A to Z: addicted

 

1: to devote or surrender (oneself) to something habitually or obsessively 
     2
: to cause addiction to a substance in (a person or animal)
 From the Latin addictus, past participle of addicere to favor, fromad- + dicere to say. First Known Use: 1534
When I sat down to compile my list of alphabet words, artistic was one of the first written. But as I perused the Dictionary – I felt drawn to this one. Addicted. In reading the official definition ( Thanks again, M-W.) I had to pause. In that context, I am addicted to art. I have devoted myself to it habitually since a child, and obsessively as an art student, a teacher, and now a working artist. It is my love, my passion. But on to the planned blog entry – tongue firmly planted in cheek. 
I am addicted to beads. 
I can’t go to a bead store and leave without purchasing something. I have had beads, used beads, and collected beads as long as I can remember. A favorite toy as a young one was a strand of plastic “pop” beads. I made and sold beaded earrings as a teenager in High school. I studied metal smithing in college (not so many beads there, though) I make beaded things, and in the past year have been making ceramic pendants. Not really beads themselves, but a companion to beads. I love semi-precious gemstones the best. Glass is good, shell/bone/horn beads are ok…Plastic is a bad word.  I have a plethora of beads. I worked at a bead store in San Diego and grew to love tiny seed beads; learned how to use a bead needle and weave a few moderately complicated stitches. Vintage and antique seed beads are even better! My studio is filled with beads. 
gemstone
Bead storage is a very exciting prospect to this Virgo!
seed beads  soup of beads
bead drawer
Molten Mama  ceramic charms
(Lampwork: Molten Mama; ceramic charms: yours truly)
I am addicted to books. 
While I can enter and exit a book store without feeling compelled… Our house is full of books. There are books in every room of the house. There are books on beads, on art, on ceramics, on myth. There are fictions, and biographies, and how-to books, fantasies and classics. There are rare books, and dog-eared books, and children’s books, and great books and mediocre books. There are comics and graphic novels, books on making books, and lately – e-books! There are artfully arranged books as decor, and there are books stacked willy-nilly by a favorite chair… And as we know from previous posts there are books waiting to be read!
artful books
Morris chair
Yes, I devote and/or surrender myself to beads/books habitually. Happy to!
What is your favorite (healthy) addiction? What are you obsessed with lately? Hey – if it makes you happy, and isnt hurting anyone (including you!)
then I say – Enjoy!
Speaking of which – have to go refill my cuppa joy… I mean cuppa joe… 😉
coffee
* Please note – I say all this in good humor. I do not poke fun at or belittle problems that occur with real addiction. It is a serious matter, not to be taken lightly. I sincerely hope this post is read in the context it was intended, and no offense is taken. *

 

Fresh start…

Resolutions. To do or not to do… Merriam Webster gives this: 

: the act or process of resolving: as a : the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones b : the act of answering : solving c : the act of determining 

as well as the more traditional New Years application: 
a : something that is resolved <made a resolution to mend my ways> b : firmness of resolve
Making a resolution on New Years simply because it is New Years – well, that has no strength behind it, no intention. Hate to break it to you, but that is one resolution that will fail. I like to get a fresh start. Evaluate the old year, and welcome in the new. Clean slate. Clean workspace.  Alyson Stanfield encourages her clients and readers to journal their accomplishments, taking time to reflect and appreciate the results of their labors. I scheduled coffee and journal time yesterday for exactly that!
New year, new sketchbook
Finished my refelections in the last sketchbook, and started the new, with images, quotes, all matter of inspiration. And goals. This fresh start of a year – planning, scheduling in major shows, exhibits… There is always some carry over of projects that have not yet come to be, transfered from the old journal to the new, moved up on the waiting list of creative endeavors. I find it very informative and interesting to look back on a year’s sketchbook entries, doodles, ideas, jagged scraps of thought that have yet to grow into a full piece of art. And there was coffee, and sleeping dogs, and sun streaming inthe window… Yes!
One of my goals for the year – is to catch up a bit on my reading. There are books from last Christmas, this Christmas, and all points in between. Can one ever have too many books? I think not – but they are to be read, and savored; not piled on shelves. I even make notes in margins – scandalous to some purists, I know, but it is MY book…
Berk and FroudFresh from under the tree: “The Runes of Elfland”by Ari Berk and Brian Froud; and the re-release anniversary edition of “Faeries” by Froud and Alan Lee. These are to be savored. My original copy of Faeries in paperback, very dog-eared is years old. I have had the good fortune to meet and chat with both these men, and they continue to be an inspiration to my life and work. 
Gaiman and BernheimerTwo anthologies: Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman and “My mother she killed me, my father he ate me” compiled by Kate Bernheimer. The latter – book club selection at Surlalune Fairy Tales. That will be an interesting discussion!
Fiction 2011
Fiction offerings: 
A.S.Byatt – “The Children’s Book”
David Bajo – “The 351 Books of Irma Acuri”
Paolo Coehlo – “Witch of Portobello”
Bill Willingham – “Peter and Max”
David Mitchell – “Cloud Atlas”

Celtic 2011
The Celtic resource books… ( Note the coffee splatter on the top book. Thanks Zoey!)
Mythy books
And the last pile of mythic/folklore/essays, etc. There may be a series of ceramic tree tiles awaiting me in the pages of that one book…
Where do I begin? Started “Peter and Max” last night. It is a “Fables” book, set in the contemporary fantasy universe I have grown to love in the graphic novels. Excellent so far. Perhaps the Norse mythology. There are some goddesses I want to read up on – inspiration for new collage works for a show in March. 


Music to my ears…

In the studio – I always have my ipod or iphone plugged in… just to the left outside this photo’s frame…

worktable in studio

I have some podcasts, but I seem to always prefer music while I am working. Often, when I get a new piece of music, I listen to it exclusively for a week or even two. Total immersion. The current CD is “Seasons in Elfland” by Woodland. 

Seasons in Elfland

Mythic, magical, mystical, haunting… the songs reference the dark half of the year – from Samhain (Halloween) to Ostara (Spring Equinox). Shadows, seasons turning, roots delving deep in the earth, the fallow period, Earth resting under snow… to green shoots breaking through as Spring emerges. Sample it on iTunes, you have to hear it… I am not describing the music itself…

Previously it was The Gypsy Nomads – as you have probably seen in previous posts. Might see them at First Night, My Holly NJ if the weather permits… 

Nomads by R. Napoleon

(Photo by R. Napoleon.)

 

And before that is was SJ Tucker.  (Also here.)

Sirens - SJ Tucker

I was introduced to SJ Tucker’s music at the first FaerieCon – or was it RenCon? Well, she is a classic bard. Telling stories with words and song, very evocative. Thrilled to know that I will see her again at RenCon II – The Mythic Faire, in March of 2011. 

And of course, I do alternate with Holiday music…It is that time of year, and I am feeling festive. What are you listening to? 

 

All in a day’s work

Tuesday – yes, its Thursday as I post this… but Tuesday was one of those blissful days where I was in the stydio all day. Actually hopping back and forth between my 2 home studio spaces. There were no vet appointments for furry kids, no classes to teach, groceries were already in house…no meetings to attend. It was such a pleasing and productive day, I tell myself to schedule more of them into future weeks!

2 loop pendants           glaze shards

I spent some time making two loop pendants for a commission, and new necklaces ideas percolating in my head. And took glaze breaks in between to glaze new smaller ceramic components. I pressed some tiles – dryads, owls, Celtic dieties… (pix soon.)

 

And I spent a good bit of time in the upstairs mixed media studio. I am pairing words stamped in copper with my ceramic pendants. Take a look:

 MM pendants

And a few extra stamped words for future mixed media adornments… Now, to patina!

*The rest of a week was a blur of errands, classes, meetings… Here’s to a more productive week next week! *

 

Frenetic…

Main Entry: fre·net·ic
Pronunciation: fri-?ne-tik
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English frenetik insane, from Anglo-French, from Latin phreneticus, modification of Greek phrenitikos, from phrenitis inflammation of the brain, from phren-, phr?n diaphragm, mind
Date: 14th century
“Inflammation of the brain” – that discribes the state of affairs here rather well. I am in full on frenzied production mode finishing – well, starting AND finishing new mixed media work for my first solo show. I have clay drying – hopefully to be fired and glazed in time. I have shrines awaiting interior installments. I have lined up blank canvases primed (pun intended) for paper, paint and glue.
studio shot(You can just see the shrines in the foreground on the left. And two labyrinth themed colalges on the work table, very near completion.)
Please save the date: Friday May 7th at the Newark Arts Alliance here in town. The reception is from 6-8 pm. So there are finishings artwork lists, and reception/organisational exhibit lists…
And icing on the cake – my friend Cooky will be here from San Diego! WooHoo! She is the owner of The Shepherdess – bead and fiber store extrordinaire – in Old Town, and an incredible mixed media artist/jeweler in her own right.  Coming for her first East Coast visit to my humble abode, she is drafted to help hang my show! Hee Hee. But she is also here on business and she and I will be attending MD Sheep and Wool Festival over the May Day weekend. So lets get this artwork prepped early – there is fun to be had; wine to be drunk, fibers to be fondled…
I digress. More on the show in the coming days/week… I need to get back to the studio. “Inflammation of the brain” – yes, that does sum it up…