Whirlwind….

November was a whirlwind. 

It started with a trip to Faerieland, aka FaerieCon

Faces of FC 2013

Needless to say fun was had, friends old and new, revelries, magic… 

Then there was a two week period of custom orders and teaching. Whew. Glad to be getting caught up… 

And now its Thanskgiving, Black Friday sales – and more importantly the last few shows of the season! If you are inthe area – I would love to see you at: 

 The Arden Holiday Shoppe – a great local show, small and very “homey”! In the town of Arden DE (north of Wilmington.)

The DCCA Alternatives Holiday Craft Show – new to me – this annual show hosted by the DE Center of Contemporary Art shuld be stellar! In WIlmongton, at the River front… 

And I will have a few special season items at The Palette and the Page in Elkton MD. 

Holiday offerings

Whew. 

Have a great Thanksgiving, one and all! You will hear more from me in the near future. I CAN see the light at the end of the tunnel… 

 

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. 

 

 

 

Pumpkin spice and polymer skulls…

So I think I havent posted for a week. Sorry. It was a busy week. At times I think fall will settle down, when shows are over for the season and I resume my teaching on Saturdays. Not so. FaerieCon is 2 weeks away. I have workshops and classes going on in addition to the regular Sat kids cermaics class. I am thrilled !!! to be a member of the Art Jewelry Elements blog. Working on the October AJE design team reveal, as well as regular blog posts. All good, but busy. So here are a few snapshots for you…

pumpkin spice

The flavor of the season…

Muertos

From my ofrenda table/altar in the house. And yes – he has a gold tooth!

bee and flower

Last of the harvest…

muertos2

Waitresses and a happy couple…

polymer sugar skulls

Sugar skulls! Read all the details at the AJE blog or shop for these on Etsy!

Coast 2 Coast piece.

A collaborative piece from me and Cooky Schock. Read more about out shared creative ventures at Coast 2 Coast Creative!

lunar hares WIP

Copper, enamel. faux bone… work proceeding nicely for FaerieCon. 

Steampunk cameos WIP

Steampunk cameos… some with a bit of cheekiness…

 

So pour a coffee, enjoy the weather on the deck, and stay tuned for more work in progress as I create magic in preparation for FaerieCon!

FaerieCon m.a.g.i.c -C is for costumes

And finally we come to this. The final FaerieCon post, long overdue. The event ended two weeks ago, and we all try to maintian a little of the FaerieCon magic in our mundane lives. For me, back to the ceramics studio in my standard uniform – jeans, Dansko clogs, a tee shirt. 

I don’t dress up very often. Even when I go out, I wear comfortable, stylish clothes – nothing extreme, just plenty of jewelry. FaerieCon give a person a chance to go for it – to exceed the normal. There are Steampunk explorers and chrononauts, faeries of every shape and size, djinn, trolls, ogres, elves… The clothing is creative to the extreme. And there is Good Faeries Ball and Bad Faeries Ball, remember. You have opportunities to showcase your ego, your alter ego…. Items are purchased over the course of the year with costumes in mind. Full ensembles, components, mix and match…with such spectacular results!

Gnome wee one hitches a ride...

gnome baby

Gorgeous djinn allows a photo. 

djinn

Pirate in training with his lovely wench/mother!

Wench and wee pirate

Myself  – in Threads of Time bodice – with Megan and Mmy. 

JDR, MMy and Megan

The Wizard from Dover… 

Wizard of Dover

Squee! Posie and Teasel stop by for a visit!

Posie and Teasel

Melissa in all her finery! 

Fae Melissa

I love my Threads of Time bodice. Reversible! Shame you cant see my Xylem skirt. It was my jester inspired look. 

JDR and Megan

It is with sadness that I confess I do not have a picture on my Moresca outfit. Next time. I have wanted a Moresca outfit since i was a teenager and saw their gorgeous clothes at the Maryland Rennaissance Festival. And now I have a reason and a place to wear them!

Ravishing in Reyen

I mentioned Reyen Designs in my “G is for good neighbors” post. Isnt she ravishing?! And yes – she IS wearing satyr furry pants, complete with hooves and tail. 

And so – my FaerieCon posts are coming to a close. Back to the realm of artwork, teaching, and tending to a pair of crazy canines. Please stay tuned. To my Fae friends – please stay in touch. It is nice to know you are out there. Until next year…what will you wear? 

FaerieCon m.a.g.i.c – I is for inspiration

 

INSPIRATION

1
a : a divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation b : the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions c : the act of influencing or suggesting opinions
2
: the act of drawing in; specifically : the drawing of air into the lungs
3
a : the quality or state of being inspired b : something that is inspired 
4
: an inspiring agent or influence
Well – FaerieCon to me seems to be all of the above! While this may seem obvious…When you attend any event and have the opportunity to meet artists and authors whose work you are familiar with, work you admire, of course it is inspirational. There can be  moments of star-struck tongue tied amazement, when you meet someone who has influenced your work, your outlook on life… (I had never dreamed I would meet and chat with Brian and Wendy Froud years ago as I showed “Labyrinth” to my 6th grade art students. Like in the early 90’s… a while ago! And some of those same students have now met the Frouds as well, with yet another generation in tow. Oh heavens!) At my first FaerieCon I was struck with the openness and generosity of the VIP’s – they were so accessible and giving of their time and energy. That continues to this day and it creates an atmosphere that is charged with energy. Where the air drawn into your lungs IS inspiration, coming from the community of like minded highly creative people gathered for fun, frolic, music, and mayhem. 
This is an atmosphere ripe with cross pollination. There is a print of Linda Ravenscroft’s called “Daughter of Avalon” inspired by the song “Rose Red” by Woodland.
Ravenscroft Avalon
Gorgeous in its own right, and more magical when you know the song… I have a tile design for a Gyspy vardo that is buzzing around my head, anxious to emerge in clay – inspired by “Caravan” by Frenchy and the Punk of course. Perhaps in time for next year?   Inspirational conversations spark up at any moment; a chat with Noelle and Stephanie about sculpture materials has me pondering sculpting skulls and bones. (And to Stephanie – the acorn! Many thanks. I will create a piece that does it justice…)
I am very fortunate to have met and developed friendships with amazing artists and creative people, growing from an initial encounter  at FaerieCon. Last year I struck up a conversation with Helena Nelson-Reed, whose work I had been drawn to for years. Her ethereal yet detailed watercolors are so rich with hidden images and symbols, they are dreamworlds in which I could lose myself. Mystical and spiritual, they continue to reveal hidden images and meaning to me over time. There is so much soul and passion inherent in her work; I was honored to meet her and thrilled to continue our friendship over social media. Through Helena I also met Antony Galbraith, a mythic painter and sculptor. His work is intense, powerful – images from myth and archetype. So often you meet new friends and talk long into the night swapping personal histories. sharing experiences. With Helena and Antony we have a friendship based on artwork, recognizing themes and beliefs each in the other, meeting on common ground through myth and metaphor. We were able to sit down Sunday morning to talk about the challenges one faces as a proffesional working artist, the long hours, the demands of family incroaching on studio time, the solitude. It is so valuable to have like minded souls in one’s life, and I am thankful to them for their sharing, their camraderie, and their friendship. We were joined by Charles Vess, and chatted companionably about art spaces, art retreats, collaborative works… and tricksters! Truly the most inspirational coffee and slice of lemon cake I have ever had!
And the authors! This year’s FaerieCon hosted the talents of: Carolyn Turgeon, Charles deLint, Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman and Melissa Marr, among others. 
DeLint cover
“Dreams Underfoot” was the first Charles deLint book I ever read. The cover states – “Myth, music, and magic, and dreams underfoot…This is a book that you will never forget.” So true! (And cover art be Terri Windling! Fairy goddess-mother of the mythic arts, she is often called.)  I have been avidly reading anything that deLint writes since then. This book is a collection of  short stories set in the town of Newford, where magic and myth are woven into the lives and histories of contemporary characters. Modern day, urban fantasy. So fantastical and magical, yet so real – a place I would love to live. To those of you that know Newford – my dream would be to show in a group exhibit with Jilly! His work is a visual feast to me, and a source of inspiration. 
As is the work of Carolyn Turgeon. A friend gave me “Godmother” which I loved, then “Mermaid” which is incredible… a completely new enchanting vision of the Little Mermaid’s tale. Prince, mermaid, princess – a triangle of complex relationships with depth and grace. I look forward to her upcoming middle grade book “Under the Moon” about a girl who discovers her mother was a swan maiden. And regardless of any bookstore classifications – I will read them all! She crafts a well written, thoughtful enchanting tale – I recommend them!
Mermaid cover
Turgeon cover
After I read “Mermaid” I was in the studio creating siren themed jewelry. I wonder what the next book will inspire?!
I could go on. FaerieCon in a unique place, away from home, where one feels completely at home. Where the novice and the mentor can talk, where mediums influence and inspire each other, where like minded people share ideas and magic. It feeds my soul. Thank you one and all. 



 

FaerieCon m.a.g.i.c – G is for good friends, good neighbors

Robert Frost said “Good fences make good neighbors” That sprang to mind when I sat down to gather my thoughts  for this post. Good neighbors make for a good festival. Good neighbors also make good friends – and vice versa. This FaerieCon I was in my regular space, my home away from home. I have vended the event three years running in the upstairs hall. Yes, its hard to select and filter what to bring for a 6′ table display when I am accustomed to a booth. But to be surrounded by friends, old and new; to listen to fantastic music during the Masquerades; take a look: 

JDR table

Let me introduce you to some of my gypsy fae family. 

Sarah and JDR

Sarah and I have been friends for years – she was one of my first friends when I moved to Delaware. One summer she and her teenage kids ( my students) gave me a wee soft sculpted artist doll mermaid. A few years later, she and I are set up side by side at FaerieCon. She was the person who introduced me to FaerieCon and planted the seed that we should each vend! And she is one helluva a baker, too…

Toadstoolsntreestump

You can find her on Etsy at ToadstoolsNTreestump!

Sarah and I met Kimberly of Goblin Bazaar at the first Baltimore FaerieCon. If her shop is closed – she is either out geocaching of catching fae critters… She runs an adoption agency of sorts, coaxing the critters in from the wild and finding them homes with open minded magically aware humans. Some need love, others understanding, but they find the right match in the end. 

Kimberly and JDR

And there are goblins. Nose Goblins, Oak goblins… goblins wearing exquisite leather masks – they might let you wear one as well with just the right bribery. Of course I am talking about Goblin Road! Robert represents this husband and wife business/team at FaerieCon, and he is a welcoming presence, a wealth of information, freely shared. He has a certain “je ne sais quoi”. 

Robert Goblin Rd

We adopted Dru` the oak goblin a year ago (?) and he is a welcome addition to our family. (Dru` is Gaelic for oak, naturally.)

oak goblin

One additional friend, although not on our hallway – Noelle! She is a multi-faceted actress, performer, artist who never ceases to amaze me. I am so glad that FaerieCon and Frenchy and the Punk brought us together! Wouldn’t quite be the same if you werent there, darling! (Scott and Samantha you were missed! Hope you can return to the Realm next year!)

Noelle and JDR

And this hallway was the place to be! New people to meet! Much fun to be had! (And the lights bounced! Inside joke…)

Meredith Dillman – I was familiar with her work from the Interwebs – great to meet her. A picture, you ask? Sorry, no. How about her work? I love “Kitsune”!

Dillman Kitsune

There are many faeries and lovely and mysterious ladies on her site as well. But I can never resist a fox fae!

I was thrilled to see Reyen Design Studios on the map across from me! I am familiar with their wool and silk felted creations from previous FaerieCons and Spoutwood. Hand dyed, merino wool felted onto silk – they defy words. A must to see, feel, wear. And such good neighbors! ( This picture is a rough phone shot, but I had to do it…) Serenading Satyrs!

Reyen satyrs

Last but not least – Danielle from Earthly Leather Designs. We were Etsy acquaintances, and I am thrilled her first FaerieCon was a smashing success! Here’s to many more! (And hoping we get to chat a bit next time!) 

Earthly Leather

Thank you for being the best neighbors a girl, and her dryad, could wish for. Have a wonderful year, til next we meet! 

FaerieCon m.a.g.i.c – A is for art and artists

When I was  middle school art teacher I used to show the movie “Labyrinth” to my 6th grade students. I wanted to impress upon them that there were people out there, working, and creating incredible art. That art can be a lucrative job… Just look at the film with only 2 humans and all creatures! Never did I think that I would meet, let alone go to events with Brian and Wendy Froud – the designers of said magical creatures in the movie. My original copy of “Faeries” by Brian Froud and Alan Lee is dog-eared to say the least…

FaerieCon is a gathering of all creative peoples, from far and wide. There are painters, famous and up and coming. THere are artists whose work you recognize in major retail stores, and comic book shops. There are artists with work on tote bags, calendars and tee shirts. There are sculptors and metalsmiths and designers and artisans. There are featured artists and artists vending thier artwork.

I am happy to be an artist exhibiting my work with the likes of: 

Brian Froud

Brian Froud – “Gwenhwyfar”

Wendy Froud

Wendy Froud 

Amy Brown

Amy Brown – “Restless Thoughts”

Brigid Ashwood

Brigid Ashwood – “The Locust Queen”

Ravenscroft

Linda Ravenscroft -” Maiden Spring and Jack in the Green”

Star Weils

Jane Star Weils – “Dryad Sister”

Charles Vess

Charles Vess – “Faery Processional”

Nelson Reed

Helena Nelson Reed – “Lady of the Wildwood”

 

* This list – almost exclusively 2d artists does not in any way slight my fellow sculptors out there!

* All works are copyright of the artist. Many are watermarked to prevent copying. If you like their work, support them and the arts – buy a print! You won’t regret it!

 

FaerieCon m.a.g.i.c – M is for mermaid

Once a year I get to leave the world behind and cross over into the land of FaerieCon. I won’t return aged 100 years, it is safe to partake of food and drink, but I will see glorious wonders and frolic with friends, old and new, and my gypsy faerie family. (I am not exagerating, although I may be accused of waxing poetic.) Until you have experienced an event such as this, you will have to take my word, suspend your disbelief, and read on…

Where else can a dryad frolic with a mermaid? While djinn stroll past, and satyrs lounge, strumming a banjo? Where artists share epic feats of imagination and skill; where authors read words that transport you further away from the mundane world;  and where music can spiral around you in ethereal tendrils? 

This past weekend – we arrived Thursday, settled in, noshed on sushi… Met up with friends for laughter and libations – the uber talented artists Brigid Ashwood and Jane Star Weils, and storyteller/creative genius Mark Lewis. This night alone thrilled me no end – sharing wine and witty conversation with artists whose work I admire, very nourishing and inspiring to my creative soul…

We set up Friday morning…

JDR table

Tiles, a few shrines, and my dryad sculpture reigning over all the mixed media jewels. I was thrilled to have as my neighbors – my friend Sarah of Toadstools n treestump, and Mermaid Melissa!

Mermaid Melissa

The iPhone picture really doesn’t do her justice – the carpet colors are overpowering the variations of sheen and hue in her – rather long – tail!

Mermaid Melissa, hailing originally from Florida has worked professionally as a marine animal trainer, pearl diver, and currently as a professional mermaid. She is charming, personable, and a self professed “kid magnet” as we witnessed through out the weekend. At FaerieCon she was representing Fae magazine, and their new publication Mermaids and Mythology magazine, for whom she writes a column. Her website is filled with stunning photos and even more breathtaking videos.  Saturday afternoon, like wild fire, a phrase rarely heard raced around the lobby: “There’s a mermaid in the pool!” Even those of us that had seen Melissa swim on Friday, joined in… how often do you get to exclaim that to others? 

Mermaid in the pool!

Mermaid2

And let me share Mermaid Melissa’s message here: Save the world’s oceans before all creatures become mythical!

Please check out her site. You wont regret it. Until tomorrow – when I bring you Day 2 of the “Five days of FaerieCon m.a.g.i.c…

 

 

Fifteen minutes of Fame, winners, and the like…

Halloween

Spook-tacular news: After three (?) years of waiting and wondering – my episode of HGTV’s “That’s Clever” will air on Monday October 17th, 2011! I am excited, and a little anxious. It has been so long, its all a blur in my memory. I am excited to see it, and feel a little self-conscious – will it be cool? Silly? Hmm. So check your local cable listings for time and channel! I am interested to hear what you think. 

Winners! – I though I was being so smart – deciding on 1 random winner and 1 that I selected. Completely impartial, I know, but my perogative. Well, that was a hard decision! There were great ideas for talismanic words and phrases – many that I will use! Thank to all who entered, that was the creative impetus I needed. I will post pix as things are hammered out. 

The random winner is…’Serenity now’ from Angela

And I could not resist…‘Empowered‘ from Rachel. ( Hard decision! SO many great ideas!) 

Other points of interest: 

FaerieCon – November 4-6, in Baltimore. A truly magical weekend of music, art, festivities, and the like. Great authors and artist, a chance to meet and see their new work. The line-up this year is the best yet! And the costumes! And the Green Men parade! and the Masquerade Balls! I cannot wait. 

The Arden Holiday Shop – November 27th, 11-4 pm. A tradition in Arden DE, this small gathering of local artists and craftspeople is very festive! Great place to start – or finish – your holiday shopping! 

And yes! I will have ‘word mojo’ necklaces at both events. Thanks for stopping by, I hope you can tune in on Monday!

A to Z: D is for destination… ( and delay – apparently)

1
: the purpose for which something is destined
2
: an act of appointing, setting aside for a purpose, or predetermining
3
: a place to which one is journeying or to which something is sent <kept their destination secret>
4
: a place worthy of travel or an extended visit —often used attributively
  
  
“Destination” really seems like a normal mundane word at first. A word we use frequently, and know very clearly its meaning. But look deeper, if you will. Destiny. Fate. Journeys. Travel. Those words are more intriguing, alive with possibility. And so this entry comes to you from my destination, a place I find well worth traveling to… The Mythic Faire.
  
I like my life. Quite a lot in fact. I work doing what I love, I have amazing family and friends far away, and friends close by. House, pets… But twice a year, I have a chance to leave the mundane world behind and enter the Realm. FaerieCon and RenCon – The Mythic Faire create a world out of time. a place of magic and creativity and mystery and lore. You have heard me talk on them before. I find them soul refreshing.When you find yourself surrounded by hundreds of kindred spirits for a weekend – the energy is phenomenal! Talking of art, music, myth, magic, lore, legend… all the things that inspire me and fuel my artwork. 
  
It begins today. It nice to have found my tribe. 
March 22nd – And it was a great weekend… albeit over a week ago! It was a whirlwind, and wonderful. Let me finally wrap this up with a few high points of my weekend: 
SJ tucker Siren, songstress, petite pixie of a bard – SJ Tucker. Got to hear part of her set Friday night, and finally got to meet her and chat in person. The new cd “Mischief” is amazing, naturally. 
Cucina Aurora My friend Dawn of Cucina Aurora. (Sorry you cant see my ears in that picture…) Great to see her again, and catch up…
Grimassi and Taylor Raven Grimassi and Stephanie Taylor.  It was lovely to meet them, and yes, that is John Matthews peeking out in the background…
But I would say, as always the most inspirational is meeting and talking with fellow artists. Although my medium is so very different from theirs, I have found amazing kindred spirits!
Please take a look, and enjoy!
Ashwood's Locust Queen
Jane's Within the Woods
Lostimolo Rosemary Raven
Noska'S Kindled Conversation
Goblin Bazaar watercolor
 
**Please note: all images copyright of the artist. **