Sunday, October 30, 2011

Art Is... You!

Making art is a lonely business! 
This really began to hit home since I quit my day job a few months ago and, in spite of the many on-line friends, groups and followers, I found myself hungering for real live interaction with like-minded artists.  So when my brilliant and perceptive life partner offered to send me off for classes as a birthday present, I jumped at the opportunity to go to a convention.  Which is how I found myself celebrating this year’s birthday in Danbury, Connecticut at “Art Is… You!”
“Art Is…” is a mixed media art convention that takes place every year alternating between the east and west coasts (with a new convention beginning next year in Australia). Sallianne and Ellen, the creators of this remarkable event, have packed the 5 day journey with an incredible collection of teachers, “spontaneous” happenings. Being a very early riser, I was stunned to find Sallianne manning her welcome station as early as 5am!
I have found nothing that compares to the jumpstart of my creativity as going to a convention or live class.
 My classes included a day with Australian jewelry designer Keith Lo Bue (this man’s brain knows no boundaries for what makes artistic materials!)
a couple of days with doll artist extraordinaire, Shelly Thornton (I’ve been working my doll non-stop since I got home) (this is Shelly’s doll, not mine)

and the ever so famous quilter Berryl Taylor (I got her autograph!)

each of which demonstrated techniques and new (to me anyway) materials, that have changed my way of thinking outside of the box.

Most important to me were the people I met along the way, several of which live close enough to get together. Recharged, with new inspiration, skills, ideas and real live friends – probably the best birthday present ever! Thanks, Tom – and thanks to Sallianne and Ellen too!