BTW and The Sketchbook Challenge

I was listening to a podcast recently, and I am sorry to not give credit, but I forget which one… ( Craftypod? Craftcast? Art and Soul Radio? ) But the artist was musing on electronic social networking. For an artist working in solitude in the studio, chat groups, discussion boards and the like are a great way to combat the alone-ness. Sharing ideas, posting pictures, discussing materials and techniques all feed and fuel the creative machine. I do a bit of this. Facebook is my social network of choice, I dont tweet often… but  I love Flickr. And this year I have become involved in 2 Flickr groups that I find highly satisfying, keeping me linked to my colleagues, and seeing what else is going on out there…

The first is BTW – Bead Table Wednesday. Created by Heather Powers of Humblebeads, it is a peek into your space, on your table, that day. No tidying, no glam shots, just “What are you working on today? ” Over a hundred members, crafters, professionals, glass, polymer, wire, clay… a diverse group. Here is my BTW shot this week: ( Yup, a day late. )

BTW waiting for resin

Miscellaneous pieces waiting for resin. The lockets are almost done – The outsides have elements added, the insides were resined with items, and the inside cover has vintage dictionary text, the last element. The deep open bezels  – I won them at Art Bliss  last Sept. I have found shells that fit inside…

This picture is tough to see, I know. Some of the stamped copper components have been antiqued and not polished, making them dark and moody. These pieces will all be pendants with gemstones and charms, ready for RenConII: THe Mythic Faire in a few weeks. 

copper components

 

The other group, I found in January, a wee bit late. Called the Sketchbook Challenge – its so simple it is brilliant… A group of collage and mixed media artists decided to create a group. Each month a theme is posted, work in your sketchbook as inspired by that theme, and share your pages via the Flickr group. Each month there are posts by the host artists, and a give away of materials from the sponsors. And it is free. For me it is the perfect mix of incentive and relaxed schedule, of freedom, personal interpretation, and community. Again – it is a group ranging from novices to professionals, with support not competition. A few years ago I was working on an artist’s journal – and by that I mean a journal of art, collage, doodles, paintings not my normal journal of reference notes, planning sketched, project ideas, article snippets… That artist’s journal – I was doing a 2 page spread weekly, and it was a very rewarding experience. When it ended I attempted another, but the spark was gone. I think the Sketchbook challenge is rekindling that spark nicely…

February’s theme was “Opposites”. I was thinking large/small and one/many. 

Feb sketchbook  FEB detail

Is is refreshing to just play. To not wonder if this will turn into an idea worth pursuing, just to make marks and use materials, and play. It actually makes my art work time more productive…

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