Sunday, June 20, 2010

Trashcan Annie

Last Friday, I taught my "Scraps, Fragments and Artifacts" class at Random Arts Studio.
There was a mixture of five beautiful and quite entertaining women there.
I always love to watch the group dynamics unfold as the day passes, and I
certainly wasn't disappointed with this awesome group of artists!

Woman are always so supportive of each other, aren't they?

As we went through our stash of memories of people, places and things,
we managed to begin a very good foundation of work.
I took photos but because I was remiss in asking permission,
I'll wait about posting them.
I will, however, post Jane's piece
since she posted it on her facebook page already.
But first, since I uploaded the photos in the wrong order,
I'll share a one of the last two pieces that I did.
They are both mixed media fiber collage.
I mounted both of them in shadowboxes and it looks really nice.
The shadowbox on the left is especially nice,
as it has a hinged front that opens so you can mount items easily.
I'm thinking about taking the Artifact piece I did about my grandmother
and putting it in one of these.
It would work great since it is an interactive piece of art work.
It would be housed in a frame that would keep the dust away
yet I'd still be able to pull the little pieces of paper out
to show and read.
In front of the framed pieces are a few things that Jane has made.
Maybe the woven book covers belong to more than just Jane -
I can't remember for sure.
What I do know for sure is that they are beautiful!

Here is Jane's Artifact piece. She sat down with a small box of random vintage items
and challenged herself to create a piece of work
without adding items from any other source.
I'd say that she did a really good job, wouldn't you?
I love the simplicity of it and the colors.
I also love the gridded background.
She used walnut ink to tone down the fabric.

I enjoy teaching so very much.
A friend of mine, who is also a teacher, and I were talking the other day
about why we liked to share this type of knowledge.
With our type of artwork, it's our creative process that we are sharing.
I think that, as artists, we (as in all artists) think in a different manner.
And when you embark on the mixed media journey, you really do
look at everyday items in a different way.
We try to help people look through our eyes, or look at things the way that we do.

I love to tell the story of going to a Salvation Army type store
and finding the best art supplies in the trash!
The lady there told me (in her very sweet southern way) that it was just trash
but "hunny, ye take what che want. Ye just hep yeself."
That was the day that I acquired the most fabulous lace tablecloth!
It was torn in a couple of places but it has proved to be
an invaluable resource of collage work for me.

I guess I am what my grandmother would call a "Trashcan Annie"...
In all the photos of me as a child, there was a paper bag in there somewhere.
I, like Pippi Longstocking, was a "Thing Finder".
I found all sorts of treasures in my ramblings...
sticks, stones, feathers, leaves...
And the funny thing is, I still collect those things.
I just have a more sophisticated manner of displaying them!


Joanne Huffman said...

I bet it was a fantastic class.

Sharon Gunn McMahon said...

I was a "thing finder"/re-purposer too! I once walked the last block to school with a spiderweb-and-dewdrop necklace for my teacher stretched between my hands. By the time I got to class there were only a few dewdrop beads left, but I was thrilled because she GOT it!