Painting has always made me happy, even when it pissed me off. Placing an idea on a flat surface and accepting that it will develop and morph in ways that I can’t anticipate nor control has been a challenge that I have always embraced. In the past few years I have struggled with the “what” and “who” aspect of painting. Focusing on “What” I was ‘supposed’ to paint and “Who” was going to like it muddied the waters and contributed to the darkness in my heart. My goal lately has been to bring the elements, textures and colors that give me giddy chills and play with them until I have created something that gives me that same reaction. I have worked my way back to following my wonder. I have also pushed myself to experiment with new materials and get them into public spaces. I want more connection to the community around me, whether it is creating work that beautifies a space, inspires or with hands-on interaction. One goal this past year was to get back to the Daybreak Youth Shelter on a regular basis. That organization really helps young people in my community and I wanted to contribute art to the program, so I am bringing jewelry making supplies and letting them play. It has been wonderful!
One “supposed to” that has haunted me over the years was the idea of focusing on just one thing. During my undergrad, being called a Jack-of-All-Trades in a demeaning way had echoed through my head and stuck. I tried with all my might to fight this tendency thinking that I was not having a successful career, the career I was “supposed” to have because of this major flaw. Rubbish! That is not the kind of artist I am, and I now embrace it! Lately, I have been dividing my time, but in a focused way and I feel more whole. In addition to painting, I continue to work on the Metots. I still have not fully figured out how they fit into the bigger world. The Metots are adorable portable puzzles that I get to solve via my iPad. They accompany me on my travels or just to the local bar and I have really enjoyed building their little community. I want to continue to expand who and what they are, especially the idea that they are “Motivators” by getting feedback and ideas from individuals who also like cute creatures.
When I ask myself what used to make me happy, I think about the collection of Barbie Dolls that lived in a trunk under my bed. I would create clothing by wrapping scraps of fabric around them or embellishing them with costume jewelry. Returning to fashion in a tactile way has been the missing element in my life. Designing fabrics, choosing patterns or just free-form winging it, has been amazing! I am learning so much about garment construction while satisfying my need to build and construct using color, shape and the line of the serger machine. Recently, I participated in a local fashion show. Seeing my garments on others and their reactions was intoxicating! Another goal for this coming year is to work towards making unique clothing for shapes other than my own.
These three passions have balanced me and given me the confidence to reach out to others in a way that felt terrifying in the past. I finally decided to launch a Patreon page. This platform gives me the ability to build a community with those who enjoy what I make and offer different ways of interacting. Want to learn more? Head on over to Patreon and join me on the next phase of my artistic adventure!
With much love, Amy