Happy New Year! A Trash Bubble Update

Hello! Happy New Year!

Long time, no write. I know. But you know what? For once, I feel no guilt.

Time well spent, in my estimation. I have been practicing self-care, giving myself the much needed time to mull things over, plan out my course and readjust to where I am in my life and my art.

Today, I am here to share with you a little bit of what’s been going on and where I intend to take things in 2018. Hopefully, you’ll join me on my journey. At the very least, I hope you might take away a little inspiration for your own journey.

Last year was another big one for me, in that I have continued to step outside my comfort zone, stretching myself and my art. I took more chances. I experimented more with marketing and sales of my art. That meant doing three art/craft shows (up from one the previous year) and applying for a local Awesome Foundation grant. http://www.awesomefoundation.org

It’s true that the shows didn’t yield as much income as I would have liked. BUT! I learned from each one. In addition, I spent time attending shows (market research) trying to find ones that were a good fit for my art and found a few to experiment with this year. It was all part of the learning curve for me.

That grant I applied for? It was for my Trash Bubbles! And guess what?!?

I GOT IT!

Awesome Pittsburgh honored me with their 69th award! Check it out here: https://awesomepgh.com/2017/12/07/award-69-trash-bubbles/

That brings me to the request that you join me…

In August, I issued a call for Trash Bubbles. https://trashbubblesandlifeslittlebits.wordpress.com/2017/08/21/monday-morning-mail-art-call-trash-bubbles-a-poetic-exploration-of-trash/

Sadly, I have only received a few. By few, I mean less than a dozen. Trying to put together an exhibit to include the Trash Bubbles of other artists alongside those I’ve made falls a bit short when participation is low. I know they cost about $3 each to mail and that might be an issue for some of you. Understandable. Others of you may have had good intentions, but forgot, got sidetracked by life, etc. That’s cool, too.

You still have time to participate! After all, I am still seeking a venue for the exhibit. It may be that it happens on a smaller scale this year. That’s okay. Just know that I am still looking for your own interpretation of Trash Bubbles. I will be taking submissions thru March 1, 2018.

Even if you are merely curious, please check out the link above for the details. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be inspired.

In any event, I wish you all a healthy and productive 2018!

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Piece of the Puzzle

In an attempt to find my way back, I’d begun the month of January cleaning, sorting and organizing my studio. I didn’t get very far.

One item kept tripping me up — literally. It was a large puzzle whose artwork was created by Christina Riese Lassen of Maui, Hawaii c2004. My daughter’s friend built it, sealed it and presented it to her when she was still in high school. She left it behind when she moved out. It was missing a few pieces in the lower right-hand corner, but I couldn’t part with it. Something about it really spoke to me. And so, it floated around the floor, sometimes being used as a backdrop for photos, but mostly, it was in the way.

The other day, I accidentally loosed a four inch section when I tripped over it. Voila! The idea was born to break it into mail-able pieces I would re-seal them on both sides to make them sturdy enough to survive the postal journey on which they were about to embark.

DSC_0381

But… how to make them my own? I didn’t want to destroy the artist’s work. That was what I loved and why it stayed so long on the studio floor.

While sorting and organizing the magazines I use for collage, words and phrases kept jumping out at me. I decided to take the time to clip some and found that the choices I made had me thinking about the puzzle. In an effort to move past it, I began matching the clippings to the sections I’d broken up, thinking that I simply needed to acknowledge my mind’s connection so that I could move on.

Instead of the release I sought, I found deeper meaning in the bits. I jotted down each word snippet on scratch paper and wrote the first two or three things that came to mind for each one.

When I finished, I had an outline of sorts. Reading over it, I found it was a lesson in self. It reminded me of some things I’d forgotten, showed me where I’d been meaning to go and delivered the promise for which I’d been looking.

Here are the twenty one pieces before mailing:

PuzzleAllTogetherNow PuzzleBalanceBlues PuzzleBeautyElectric PuzzleBloom PuzzleCarvingAnUnusualPath PuzzleCreativeControl PuzzleEnergy PuzzleFuturePerfect PuzzleHeadingIntoTheFuture PuzzleHiddenBeauty PuzzleInspiration PuzzleJewelBox PuzzleRareBirds PuzzleSeaShades PuzzleStrangerInParadise PuzzleSundance PuzzleTheGrassIsAlwaysGreener PuzzleTranquility PuzzleTrueColors PuzzleWhatLiesBeneath

PuzzleMystery

And this is what they inspired:

PieceofthePuzzleJournalArt

They were mailed domestically. Look for them to land soon, in a mailbox near you!

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

P.S. I have recently contributed a piece to the blog You-R-Here. I would really like all my readers to see it because I mention each and every one of you. Please take the time to check it out: http://you-r-here.net/2016/02/01/goodwill-lynn-radford/

 

Is The Road To Hell Really Paved With Good Intentions?

The past six months have been more difficult for me than I ever could have realized. It all began with the loss of my mother last July and the grief spiraled out of control. Every attempt at trying to resume my regular routine was met with anguish and resistance. It was futile to keep trying, or so I thought.

Creating in any form became impossible. I couldn’t find within the peace I needed to settle down with my supplies, or even a pen and paper. October saw my lame attempt fall flat in my fulfillment of a commitment for the Retro Café Art Gallery 2015 Tombstone Swap. My heart just wasn’t in it. If you haven’t already seen it, you can read that last blog post here: https://trashbubblesandlifeslittlebits.wordpress.com/2015/10/06/spooky-happenings-at-the-studio/

My friend, Jill, began a new blog in November. She hosts you-r-here.net  and invites fellow creatives to guest blog weekly. Her idea is this, “You-R-Here… So, interact with your environment and the people surrounding you.” I was excited when she asked me to participate. At the same time, I was scared to death. What could I have to offer in my state of grief and confusion? I forced myself to contribute in order to try to get myself out of… well, out of myself, I guess. It seemed I was only able to work up a short piece every two weeks, but that was more than I was able to produce otherwise.

My light, my joy, during these dark days was my grandson, Noah. His smile, his happy chatter, his child-like wonder pulled me from within and let me be light and free when we were together. Thankfully, I can count on a dose of Noah at least twice weekly.

A conversation with a Dear Aunt helped to release me from a great deal of the negativity I’d been harboring since my mother’s passing. My Aunt helped me to put it all into perspective, to show me the light at the end of the tunnel that my blinders had hidden from my view. For that, I am more grateful than you could ever imagine.

And so… I managed not only to “get through” the holidays, but to find some level of comfort and enjoyment in them. I looked forward to the New Year, as many of us do, as a fresh start. I vowed to get back into the studio (which had become the place to toss junk and store miscellaneous stuff out of sight these last few months) to sort, organize and just spend time there. My hope was that in so doing, I would eventually be inspired to begin creating once again.

Today is the 19th of January. I have made some progress in the sorting and organizing department. The biggest change I made was to hang the twinkle lights I’d been meaning to hang for two years! They are finally off the floor and out of my way, providing ambiance the way I’d intended.

Houston, we have twinkle lights!

Most importantly, I AM inspired. I have begun creating in small ways. Yesterday, I launched a new mail art project that is helping to get another large thing off my floor and out the door, whilst allowing me to be creative and introspective all at once. Look for more on that later this week because I finally feel that I can return to my twice weekly blogging schedule.

In addition, I am writing again, creatively. I was so happy about this development that I committed to the 10th Annual Short Story Challenge. It promises to be an exhilarating creative boost. The first leg of the challenge begins at midnight on January 22nd. Registration is open though the 21st in case you think you might be interested in participating.

If you’ve ever experienced a creative block of any kind, you know how monumental this all is. So, to answer the question I posed as this post’s title… NO! The road to Hell is not paved with good intentions. The road back to self, however, is. I’d intended to make more progress by this time, but I am happy with the fact that I am moving forward, I am embracing the life I am meant to live despite my heartache and the healing is happening.

Thank you, all of you! On the rare day that I even looked at my blog, I was encouraged to see that you had kept checking in despite my absence. Your faith in me, when I’d so little in myself, gave me hope. For that, I am immensely grateful. There would be no blog without you folks who care to catch a glimpse inside my crazy world!

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

Outbound Mail Art: A Little of This and a Bit of That….

Spending no less than two full hours a day in the studio is bound to lead to productivity. That was the assumption when I began the experiment and I am happy to say that it held true for me.

DEATHsGRIP2

Death’s Grip

It’s like Pablo Picasso said, “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

USPSTrashpocollageLibertyForever

USPS Trash Po Collage: Liberty Forever

I spent most of the holiday weekend immersed in my own little world.

Natural Beauty

Natural Beauty

Creating with regularity has led to a happier me.

OnlySureThingsinLifeDEATHandTAXES

Only Sure Things in Life: DEATH and TAXES

Sorry to blog and run, but the studio is calling!

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

 

 

Outbound Mail Art: Collage and Rust-Po

Recently, my goal has been to spend a minimum of two hours in the studio each day. Life has a way of thwarting things, but I have pressed on. I firmly believe Pablo Picasso’s quote, “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

When I go to the studio without an agenda, no project in mind, I spend time looking through my supplies, until something jumps out at me. Then, I get to work with an energized vigor, often losing track of time.

That is what happened with this piece. I found myself thumbing through some old magazines and catalogs and was inspired by this vintage black and white photo inside the cover of a gun magazine.GunsDontKillPeople

I call it, ‘Guns Don’t Kill People. People Kill People.’ My art work has not previously had such a political edge to it. Not saying this is a turning point in my work, but I really like the way it turned out and the message is hauntingly alive.

Rust-po is a special brand of trash-po, one that inspires me to think of certain rust-loving folks whenever I stumble across some great rusty bits.

TinRoofRusted

The rusty bits in this piece were from a rusted out chimney flue. That said, the title is a bit misleading, ‘Tin Roof-Rusted!’ came from the B-52s song, ‘Love Shack.’ The base is 4×6 card stock inked in brown. The overlay is vinyl tinted with alcohol ink.

Visions of Nancy Bell Scott’s delight are currently dancing in my head. Can’t wait to get it into the mail to her!

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

 

Inspiration, From Whence It Cometh?

If I had a dime for every time folks ask, “Where do you get your inspiration?” or “How do you think of these things?” I’d be rich!

Seriously though, where does that oft elusive quality, INSPIRATION, live?

For me, inspiration is everywhere! It’s in the patterns of nature, the words of a treasured author, the aspirations of a friend… It’s hidden in that painting I stare into so often. It grabs me on my daily walks: in a bit of over-heard gossip and the colorful trash that grabs my eye. Glossy magazine pages and songs are equally inspiring. I could go on and on….

Many artists have an inspiration board, or book. It’s a place where they tuck swatches, clippings, and other inspirational bits. I have a board because if the bits are tucked in the pages of a book, I forget about them; out of sight, out of mind.

In my studio, I also have what I refer to as a Living Collage. It is an assemblage of vintage mini-crates which holds little art, small treasures, found objects and bits that make me smile.

LivingCollageTheStudioatPineyCreekAcres

The contents of these mini-crates is ever-changing and evolving. Bits are removed for inclusion in projects. Other bits are added as they are found. The constant is the way I interact with the collage. Its simple visual display inspires.

Inspiration is not one of those things I can put my finger on. It’s a good deal like faith in that regard. It never abandons me, but sometimes I neglect it, or take it for granted.

What inspires you? I’d love to hear about it!

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!