Mythic Nature exhibiting at Allegory Gallery!

Snake Skin

“Snake Skin” mixed media on canvas. 8″ x 10″      2013

I am packing up collages today. Getting ready to ship them to Allegory Gallery for the opening this weekend. Its a whirlwind – with teaching Saturdays, creating new work for Berks Bead Bazaar, sculpting and casting new tiles for the Spring season… and I love every second of it!

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I am super excited to see Andrew’s gallery/retail space – I can only imagine the labor of love, and the joy such a place would be… Blood, sweat and tears! They describe themselves as: “Allegory Gallery is a creative space that’s one part bead store, one part jewelry boutique, one part fine art gallery, and one part gift shop. The aim of Allegory Gallery is to promote artisan craftspeople, inspire the community to explore their creativity, and act as a focal point for classes and artistic education in the area.”

Please feel free to visit their website to learn more. I am sharing this show with artist Elise Wells; there is a lovely feature article written by the local paper located here. From the article: Thornton said he finds Davies-Reazor’s style to be richly layered, like a sturdy tapestry.

“Jenny mixes layers of ephemera, pattern and symbolic color to embody mythology and mysticism, creating (sometimes quite literally) shrines.”  

The show will run through March and April. Allegory Gallery is located in Ligonier PA. 

 

That magic moment.

That magic moment. 

The kind of moment when you step outside yourself and realize this moment is so incredibly amazing and you want to record it in your memory. The split second when magic happens – the magic bean taking root, the dragon hatches, the apple is bitten. 

A few weekends back I had a moment  – I slipped away from my tent, my art and wares, my job… to sit with Carolyn Turgeon and Charles Vess. They were doing a collaborative “talk” on magic in the creative process at the Spoutwood Farm May Day Faerie Festival. I have met them each on numerous occassions and wanted to see what they would create in a tent, on an idyllic farm, on a sunny Sunday… 

Vess WIP

Carolyn is a fabulously charming, witty and very talented author. Her work most recent work takes classic characters from fairy tales and reinvents them in a style all her own. Captivating! She was reading from her novel “Mermaid” and Charles was drawing – a touch of pencil and then Sharpie! Carolyn read the scene of the mermaid’s transformation – and stopped at that magical moment before the potion is consumed. She asked us to imagine that moment  and what we would create from that point.

Vess 2

Charles Vess drawing

Where did I go – since you saw me over Charles’ shoulder, scribbling away on my 3×5″ card… 

my notes

notes 2

I plan on making this piece – as close as can be without harming any mermaids… It was a lovely creative respite from a fun filled festival day. I count myself lucky to be in such good company!

Did I mention my sketch is on Carolyn’s blog? And a huge thanks to Carolyn for the pictures! 

Read more: 

Carolyn’s Mermaid blog post on this topic ( on www.Iamamermaid.com)

Charles website: Green Man Press 

“Mermaid, a twist on the classic tale” on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

FaerieCon 2012 – a feast of friends, folklore, and fantasy

 FC 2012

Its hard to know where to begin. FaerieCon this past weekend was a reunion, a celebration,  and a homecoming. It has taken me all week to write this post. Monday, back at home, I felt cocooned in what I refer to as the “Euphoria bubble” and was unwilling to venture out into the “real” world. Its a feeling of internal warmth, of euphoria and yet bittersweet joy that the time together has come to an end. I feel connected to my friends in a finely spun Internet web, connected yet seperated by miles… After a weekend of mayhem and madness, mirth and mystery it is hard to settle in and grocery shop or stand in line at the Post office.  

fae friends collage

I have many life long friends that I have met at FaerieCon. Some may think it odd that 2.5 days of  a retail fantasy themed convention would yield such closeness. But its not to be measured in hours on the clock. These are people who understand me instantly, no explanations needed. These are poeple who may share similar upbringings, or life expereiences, or challenges and frustrations. But we meet on common ground, with so much shared experience. Attending my first FC in 2009 I instantly felt at home and so wanted to be adopted into the tribe, of these like minded creative people. And I was welcomed with open arms and open wings. So many friendships were of long standing I felt a bit of an outsider – my baggage only… In subsequent years – I feel truly part of the tribe. This year was even more intensely joyous, and thus bittersweet as we left the Realm and headed “home” 

Our Magical Emcees

 In my life – I have worn many hats: awkward smart kid, art student, art teacher, artist… When you are 11 its not cool to have your head stuck in a book of myth. I found Elfquest at age 10 and had a physical reaction to the story and the art. Heart pounding, face flushed, incredulity and love. I read all the mythology i could get my hands on….In High school – it was Arthurian legends, Celtic myth…and the Pre-Raphaelites. My amazement at discovering artists creating with the same inspirations, having read the same materials; that sense of connection through time. When you are an art student in college, so many classmates are all angst and turmoil… I was fabricating sterling penannular broaches and painting surreal compositions with archetypal mythic themes – snakes and apples anyone? As a teacher, I found good friends – but not colleagues who understood the passionate desire to create and express myself through my work. I think life is so often arranged in circles. Some circles where one part of your complicated self is welcomed; other circles satisfy other needs. Can you imagine the joy in finding a circle where you can feel whole? Where all of your interests and attributes are recognized, welcomed, and appreciated? Thats how this Mythic community makes me feel. Green Men handing out acorns and blessings, discussing Waterhouse and Burne-Jones over a glass of wine…discussing kitchen witchery and runes, living with intention.  

Portraits

I have the good fortune to be a working artist. I do teach part time, but my days are split between creating in the studio and the chores of running one’s own small business. I can keep living in this creative space as I work and travel to shows. At times I feel like a Mythic Ambassador – setting up at a regular fine arts festival… with my mermaids and dryads, Celtic dieties, totem animals… Its lovely when your work resonates with people and they stop to talk, ask questions… and perhaps make a purchase. And it is interesting to see the mythic icons spark interest anew, speak to that collective uncosciousness. And the teacher in me loves to share…

I started the arts festival circuit in 2004(?) after returning East from a brief sojourn in San Diego. After making the leap to put my work out there I knew it was the right path for me. And I was happy doing that – thankful for the Internet that gave me access to thinks like Endicott Studios… But never in my wildest dreams did I imaging meeting Terri Windling, or the Frouds, Caitlin Matthews or Charles’ Vess & deLint… Artists and authors whose work was so influencial to me. Knowing there were other creative people out there – like me – was huge. Getting to meet them as peers and discuss art, pets, myth – I can’t tell you what that means to me. I may be alone in my studio with my dogs, sawing metal or glazing clay; but I am never alone. Thank you new friends and old for having helped me find my place in the mythic world. 

 

 

 

Amulet from Amanda…

Amanda Davie – that is. 

Before Christmas I was doing my usual coffee drinking, blog reading and posting routine – and I left a comment on Amanda Davie’s blog. Now I had followed her work for a while – innovative mixed media pieces, unique bezels with resin, often incorporating vintage text, a sense of the sacred, a reverance for the natural world… These are things I am drawn to, and recognized a kindred spirit in her work. She is a artist/mother/blogger/creative soul in Wisconsin. 

How thrilled was I to win the giveaway!?! And recieve a gift certificate to her shop? Ha! I am going to treat myself! So I window shopped, and browsed, and was tempted… and didnt commit. To many things I liked. I went back – they were gone… But thats ok. I found an even better piece. A talisman for the new year. An amulet for myself. ( Enough already, show them a picture…)

The packaging. Gorgeous. What attention to detail!

Davie package

Inside – what? More gorgeous-ness! A bonus! Hand made treasure pouch withe silk ribbon and sea glass button. You are too much, Amanda!

Davie pouch

Butterflies inside? Now its getting too serendipitous. My favorite symbol – the embodiment of transformation, a sylph of grace and beauty…

pouch interior

And the necklace itself…

The necklace A. Davie

The pendant is a cluster of charms, first and foremost a small brass screw-top vial. A charm of Inanna, a turquoise wand… My plan is to put a message to myself in the vial. A message for the year. Not goals per se, but an affirmation, a reminder, a few powerful words… And as I have “written” it, so it shall come to be. I am still thinking this over, knowing that the right words will come at the right time. 

necklace detail   

Gemstones – pearls, coral, turquoise, wood, hand crafted bronze charms. A plethora. A delight to the senses – touch, sight, sound…

necklace detail2

Thank you Amanda! Thank you so much!

 

In our emails back and forth we have begun a fledgling blogging friendship – and I sent Amanda some of my ceramic pendants. I can’t wait to hear and see how she puts them to good use. Its nice to make a connection across the miles with a kindred creative spirit. Shame we are to far apart to meet for a coffee…

 

A to Z: amulet

I have been ruminating on this alphabet concept for almost a year. 26 letters; 52 weeks. There is a beautiful symmetry there. I have lists of inspirational words, topics, and the like in my journal. So I am going to begin, on this first Friday of the first month to wend my way through the alphabet, from A to Z. 

A is for…

art? artistic? No. A is for amulet:a charm (as an ornament) often inscribed with a magic incantation or symbol to aid the wearer or protect against evil (as disease or witchcraft) From the Latin amuletum; first known Use: 1584 Synonyms: charmfetish, mascotmojo,periaptphylacterytalisman (Thank you Merriam Webster online.)

"Mojo" amulet

My personal amulet; my “Mojo” pendant. When I started it – I wasn’t even sure if I would end up wearing it, but I wanted to experiment a bit. It started with the bone game piece, altered with antique paper, and aged. It was a paper-centric class I took with my friend Keith at the Shepherdess. I tend to focus on trying a new technique and creating samples to take back to my studio – as opposed to manically attempting an entire piece of art in a class scenario. Doesn’t that sound logical? You would be surprised…

 Anyway – it reads “Happy in her studio” found text from a turn-of-the-century art book. It is drilled and adorned with three garnets.  The paintbrush, sacrificed, cut short and topped with a copper bail. (The component missing in this picture is a ceramic shard from Marsha Neal Studio. It needs to be replaced.)  A delightful woman met me at a show (Artsfest at Annmarie Garden) and offered me antique doll parts. A treasure to have, for sure, but this one is the first I have incorporated into a wearable piece. The sea glass and river stone were drilled through by me, another skill accumulated in a class with Keith. The copper “trapeze” shape is simply forged wire.  

This piece reads on many different levels for me. It is a compilation of the materials I love to work with: clay, paint, paper, metal, found objects. It represents all these materials unified in a  mixed media piece. I have been gravitating more and more to mixed media, and think that is a strength and source of creative inspiration for me. I am so fortunate to be able to work with my hands, at what I love, every day. I felt that needed to be honored, and appreciated – with the hand itself. There is a magic to creating an object of beauty and/or meaning out of seemingly insignifigent and disparate objects. Something from ‘nothing’. It is my idea, my intention, my creative spark that brings the parts together into a whole. My intention was clearly to create a piece that embodied my personal artistic journey, and would act as an amulet to attract creativity, happiness, success…

Many of my wearable pieces have a deeper meaning. A symbolism behind the image, an inspirational word, the properties of a certain gemstone. Yet others are simply a harmonious arrangement of elements, pleasing to the eye. I think the jewelry we wear speaks volumes about us. Our histories, likes and dislikes, our passions, our choices, our culture. What piece do you wear that speaks out, a self portrait of sorts? What piece has a strong personal meaning? (Of course – I am thinking beyond rings – they are the most potently symbolic piece that many of us wear daily. Wedding rings, engagement rings, even school rings.) I would love to hear…

 

* Please forgive the delay. This type of post – longer, more thoughtful and hopefully thought provoking – is new to me. I wrote and edited it for a couple days, although I had wanted it up on Friday. Please stay tuned for a related “amulet” post this week as well as the second “A” post on Friday.*