Monday, March 10, 2014

Say "Cheeseboard" and Put some Bling On It!

Over the years, I've done a series of whimsical African-American masks from cheese and cutting boards. This one was purchased by a local collector, and patron of the arts,who--though no longer with us--was held in high esteem in the Pittsburgh arts community. Title: It Caught Her Eye.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

When Art Comes Home

Adam and Eve by C. Bethea
     Whenever I make a piece of art, I rarely imagine it will be installed in my home. I don't know why that is, except maybe I see my art--in my mind's eye-- on gallery walls and not my own walls. But lately, I have started rethinking that assumption.

     For years, when I visited fellow artists--many using their own work in their decor-- I'd think "how nice they can do that." But for me personally, it seemed slightly egotistical...or at the very least, too much like "eating your own cooking."

     One day while assessing someone's art in residence, I panicked. I started to wonder: "Don't you think your work is GOOD enough?"  But it wasn't that, I decided. It was more: "I like all the art I collect, too and after all, I only have so many walls...."So, it came as a slow-dawning surprise that I never seriously considered my own home, my own spaces as plausible alternatives for displaying my work.

     In retrospect, I know THAT was an excuse. An excuse, not to curate, to love and enjoy what I have created with my own two hands. It also became the excuse for not creating more work, How can you make more, I reasoned, when you have no idea where to house all that art when it isn't being exhibited.

     To ease into the idea, I've researched some sites and magazines for new ways of living with art. Interior design is of great interest to me, and so needing inspiration was a great excuse to read articles on bending the rules and not blending and matching to hard. As for a decor theme? Forget about it!  Now the  plan is to rotate my art with all the others on a seasonal basis. That way all the artists--myself included-- get maximum exposure. 

     Finding more time in my life for making art has also moved to the top of my agenda, and yes, I'll display it right where I live. 

     What took me so long? The joy of coming down stairs, through halls and sipping tea as you meet and greet your creations on a daily basis is priceless. It's a gift. And charity, as they say, begins at home.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

From My House to Theirs

Tuesday, January 7, 2014...Cold, cold, cold.. We've become a nation of Popsicles. So what do you do if you are me? Make a quilt, of course! I'd promised a gift to my neighbors recently back from a post holiday visit.  Didn't give it a lot of thought, but I knew I'd make it from my own hands. I was catching up with their daughter who gifted me earlier in December with a wreath for my front door. So this is a belated reciprocation. I went through my stash of nifty fabric bundles--any excuse. I must have hundreds of old fabrics in boxes and drawers or stacked in my closet; mostly from vintage clothing that I like to recycle. I never dared count the actual number. (If you count, you have the responsibility to clear some out.) They are what paints are to a painter, beads are to a beader or nails to a carpenter. No, you can't have enough of them. Plaids made the perfect roof and brick walls; a splotchy beige for doors and windows. I always cut out greenery for scenery, and an orange peppermint stripe for walkways and window trim. It all came together fairly quickly and gave me just the creative jolt I needed to take me out of this day's winter doldrums. Never mind that the gift is late...It turned out nicely and I hope it will be an addition to their decor for years to come. My neighbor's daughter's eyes lit up with joy when she saw the wall hanging.  "Mommy, it's our house!" 

And so it is. From my house to their house.