Creating Art with Joy
As a self-taught artist, I have experimented in a variety of art mediums from Acrylic painting to Zen doodles!
I enjoyed drawing as a child and hoped to go to art school as an adult. However, I was discouraged by my father so instead, I studied for a “safer” degree in Communications.
Inspired by my grandmother who was an exceptional seamstress and needle crafter, I also learned to love embroidery and x-stitch as a child and into my early thirties. I created my own designs as well as completing store bought patterns.
A passion for beading and jewelry making
In my late thirties, the fall of 1999, I discovered a passion for beading with needle and thread when a friend invited me to a class to make a beaded purse. I was amazed with ALL the different sizes, colors and shapes of glass beads! In no time, I joined weekly classes and filled my craft drawers with beads!!
Two years later, I was introduced to jewelry making with Precious Metal Clay.
For a short period of time, I sold my handmade jewelry, but found it discouraging when people compared my hand-crafted necklaces and earrings to cheap, manufactured jewelry.
Mixed media and collage classes
In 2006, my mid-forties, I attended “Art and Soul” in Portland, Oregon where I took several classes in mixed media and collage art. After this trip, I started creating “art tags,” two-sided paper collaged book markers.
Using humor, I learned to tell stories with my art.
I purchased a Viking sewing machine with all the bells and whistles in 2008: I had always wanted a fancy sewing machine with creative stitches. As a result, I took up sewing and adding beads to my creations.
Then a friend invited me to take a weekly watercolor class.
It was a difficult class for me as the teacher was very serious. I tried to make watercolor more interesting by sewing watercolor painted papers to fabric.
This experiment led me to create my first wall quilt, titled, “Confetti.”
A return to beading
After I created my wall quilt, I started “journaling” with beads on small pillows.
Beading with needle and thread was meditative for me. I added rubber stamped paper faces to my mini art pillows with the intention of eventually learning to draw my own faces.
First love rediscovered: drawing
In my early fifties, I purchased Carla Sonheim’s book, “Imaginary Animals.”
When I visited her website, I discovered that she would be hosting her first year-long online art class in 2013 called, “The Year of the Giraffe.” Although I didn’t know much about a giraffe, I was interested in learning to draw, paint, and sew!
I signed up and loved Carla’s teaching style and I enjoyed drawing again! Thanks to Facebook, I made many online art friends all over the world. My glass that was once half empty was now completely full and my joy was spilling over the top!
Sharing art by blogging
In 2015, I started blogging on WordPress to share my art and record my creative journey.
Currently, I post three days a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
I enjoy blogging and the friendships I have made online. Blogging motivates me to write and keep creating art. I also post my art on Instagram.
It’s now 2019, and I’m in my late fifties taking several online art classes this year from a variety of teachers. I plan to improve my drawing skills of people, create mixed-media paper collages, and perhaps return to stitching with beads.
Another goal I have in mind is to self-publish a book on my whimsical, weird birds (Weird Bird Wednesday is a weekly feature on my blog).
Art making for me is about the discovery.
I love learning and experimenting in different art mediums.
When I realized that art could be created as an experiment, I was able to put away my perfectionism and find the JOY in making it.
I encourage you to take an online class and discover the joy in creating art!
Would you like to be a featured artist on this website?
If you wish to be featured as a guest artist, please contact me and I will send you a letter containing information about this bi-monthly article on my website.
Please leave your comments for Jill in the box below. Thank you!