I use recycled materials to create art that you will need.

  • Working through it

    Let’s get the worst out of the way first I’ve been having ups and downs with anxiety lately. There have been days when I shut down and days that creativity flows. On Tuesday of this week, I started work at 6:15 AM. I was playing with recycled canvas strips, thank you Turnip Green Creative Reuse, glued onto recycled peach crate wood to insert into rectangular cutouts in the sculpture. I was excited and the ideas were coming fast. I was really enjoying myself, and BOOM, at 9 AM a wave of anxiety hit me like a ton of bricks. It just appeared out of nowhere and without any worrying thoughts or triggers. I knew at that moment that it was all over and I couldn’t do another thing. I became frustrated, angry, and then tearful. I quickly prepared and drank an herbal cocktail, turned out all the lights, lit candles, and put on meditation music. I laid down and practiced the 4-7-8 breathing technique. I talked to the universe and visualized my work and what I want for my life. After about 15 minutes, I began to feel calmer. The…

  • My online store is live

    My online store is live

    My goal was to have my work listed for sale on my website by midsummer. I reached my goal, but with a few hiccups. I worked an entire day photographing, editing, and creating product listings for each piece that’s finished. I launched the store plugin on my website yesterday, July 21st, and then got into bed. Shortly there after my good friend sent me a text saying that he tried to buy one of my pieces, but was unable to get to the shopping cart. I said the F-word, got out of bed, and worked until midnight, but finally figured it out. The next morning, My friend had purchased the piece that he wanted. He’s local and I was concerned about shipping charges. I sent a text asking about the shipping. He said there were no shipping options offered. My heart sunk. I had no choice but to mark all items as sold until the issue was sorted out. I worked half the day with support to fix the issue, and now it works. This is the second website that I’ve built for a business that I’ve owned. I prefer…

  • Experimental YouTube video and storytime

    My first YouTube video I’ve intended to make YouTube videos since I discovered this new process for my art, so I recently procured a smartphone camera stand with a LED ring light. My first video is just me working with music added. Since I make several pieces all at once, it’ll be difficult to film a single piece throughout each stage of creation. I’ll be selecting a couple of pieces to do that with from my next production run. It’ll take a while to make one video since each piece takes several weeks to complete. Storytime It was 1986. My friend Edie and I along with two male skater companions, mike and Dan, drive to Atlanta from Huntsville Alabama to see a PIL show live. If you’re not familiar, PIL, Public Image Limited, was a punk band fronted by Johnny Rotten, John Lydon, from the 1980 punk band Sex Pistols. Mike was tall and thin and oh so cool. He’s driving with his left foot hanging out the driver-side window, going 80 miles an hour while Oingo Boingo’s “Just Another Day” is blaring on the stereo. I remember feeling nervous…

  • The evolution of my process and of works in progress

    “Number One” I start each piece with a vague idea of what I want to make. I put certain shapes of paper down with the intent of creating a bump, ridge, or texture. As I go along, however, the piece takes me in directions that I hadn’t thought of initially. This was certainly the case with my very first attempt at using the recycled paper package inserts on a board substrate. The exception being that I had no idea what to do with this experimental medium. I was dissatisfied with the final green finish, second paint with embellishment image below, so I took it a bit further. I painted the whole thing with gesso and started over with the painting process. First, I started with a black wash, then dry-brushed with off-white that I mixed. I liked the white stripes that I used on “Number Six”, so I used it again here. I later added the cadmium orange center inside of a black circle, inside of the metal embellishment. This works for me, and I like the finished piece. “Number Six” This piece started out with two windows cut into…

  • Finding the good in the bad, plus STORYTIME

    When life challenges me, I don’t always have it in me to rise to the challenge. The level of anxiety that I deal with on a daily basis has been increasing over the last month and a half or so. My doctor recently increased the anxiety medication that I take, so I have hope that I will once again be up for the challenge. I’m making a concerted effort to be grateful for each good thing in my life and to even find the good in the bad. I was listening to a podcast on finding peace and healing in nature. The person being interviewed described being in so much discomfort from a chronic illness that she couldn’t even hold a book. Part of her daily routine was sitting outside to watch eucalyptus trees and birds building nests. She described parting the grass and watching the life that goes on underneath. She explained how this peace helped with her recovery. I want this kind of slow healing for myself. I have been hiking four to five miles a few times a week with a buddy for a while now. It…

  • Creative flow and tools for when I’m stuck

    If you’re following my journal, you know that I was creatively blocked by anxiety and depression for many years. Even as far back as 2006 when I was making art, I was periodically blocked. It was frustrating, to say the least. After 2008 or so, the creativity just stopped. I am so grateful that the blockage has finally cleared. Creative ideas are flowing pretty freely for me now and it’s so exciting. I get inspired by so many things that I see throughout my day. Sometimes ideas just come to me in flashes without reason or prompting. I’m sure that this normal for many artists, but for me, it’s a new thing. Tools that I use for boosting creativity If ever I do get stuck, or if I get bored with the work, there are things that I do that help to keep it fresh. If I want to play with a new texture I just head out to the forest. Besides the calming effect of the forest, and nature in general, the it is full of inspiration for me. I spend time off the beaten path slowly wandering around…

  • Slowly getting back in the swing of things

    Back to work for the first time in thirteen days I was finally able to work for seven hours on 6/6/21. I cleaned and primed several surfaces to begin working on. I made a couple of tools out of some old paintbrushes that I picked up from Turnip Green Creative Reuse over the weekend. These tools aren’t pretty, but they are functional. I’m working on smaller pieces these days, though I still have steps to finish on a few larger pieces also. I’m overthinking the contrast in textures and paint washes on a couple of them. I’ll work it out. I’m excited to show them. Anxiety and panic set in Not being able to create for even this short amount of time was difficult to get through. I experienced high anxiety for several days during my downtime. The worst was when I woke up in a panic. I was agitated all day and at times I could feel my blood pressure throbbing in my neck and my hearing was pulsating in and out. Though I have several tools that I use to combat anxiety, they are elusive when I’m in…