Well, I did it! Open Studios 2013 has come and gone and it was a success on so many levels for me. I was challenged creatively, personally, and professionally. The months leading up to Open Studios brought many new challenges. Producing work, not just for personal expression, but also to be accessible to others. Meaning items for sale outside of my visual journals. I had paintings, painted skulls, sewn paper goodies, handmade journals, supplies and some journal page reproductions. The business/professional side involved marketing materials, artist statements, business licenses and more.
Then the massive flooding that occurred along the CO front range hit and my studio space got flooded. For three weeks Chad and I removed what was necessary, set up a temporary studio in the dining area and proceeded to pump water out, remove floors, walls and begin rebuilding. It was wet, frustrating, ill timed work. But the blessing was that it kept me from over working on the Open Studios front. That doesn't mean that it was easy for me. I am an over achiever and doing my best but "no more and no less than my best" does not come naturally for me. I had to let go and things that mattered did not get done. I did not have prints of my work to sell, I did not have my signature leather silhouette journals to sell... And you know what, it was okay. I focused on finishing pieces rather than starting new ones. And when I gathered my work I was shocked by all that I had, rather than what was missing.
Sewn paper pinwheels, painted skulls, handmade scrappy journals & my gallery wall.
Once the studio was temporarily put back together, the work was done, and postcards distributed, then came the real work. Not the creating, but the engaging and connecting with the community. Inviting people into my studio was easy, but actually being there, opening myself and my work up to strangers was its own challenge. I can talk about my work. I spent hours in critiques as a graphic design student, but many people visiting were new to visual journaling, and I had to really open up my process to them. I had personal visual journals out. Some people got it and some didn't, but I have learned that none of it is personal. I do what I do, for me and not for validation. But the moments of connection, where people truly understood how raw and risky it is to bare yourself through your art and words, really warmed me. When people looked deep into my eyes or touched my arm in a certain way, saying "thank you", I knew it meant something to them. My biggest joy in doing Open Studios were those moments combined with the pure excitement of adults and kids alike who were visibly and vocally inspired to create. My goal is to teach, to share the gifts of self expression using the visual journal, and I am thrilled to have connected with like minded people who want to learn from me.
I am not a social butterfly, yet I crave connection just like anyone else. I know my weaknesses as well as my strengths and that I have something to share, to give. Thanks to all who supported me along this journey, inspiring and supporting me as well as the ones who showed up for me. It was hard work, a challenging, beautiful process that I feel lucky to have been a part of.
***There are still pieces for sale if you are interested. Paintings, skulls and handmade journals!***
Steady - SOLD
Gentleness & Ease (deer) SOLD
Open Door (2 silhouettes) - SOLD
Small Car piece - SOLD
I am a mixed media artist and maker of curious things. I have a passion, or rather, an obsession for book arts - namely visual journals. Mixed media, collage, painting, pottery, quilting and jewelry all captivate my attention, and keep me wanting more.