I made this image my current profile picture on Facebook to remind me of the toned down palette I once used and how relaxed it made me feel. I’m in particular need of some relaxation as I prepare to leave to teach nine days of workshops in Wisconsin (a 6-day workshop in Racine and a 3-day workshop in Mineral Point). It is also an earlier version of my “impressionists” garden technique, although a bit more controlled. I cut each component out of a very thin cane slice then pieced them together like a landscape quilt. I find it interesting that I’ve circled back to an earlier approach but in a modified version.
It also reminds me how satisfying it is to draw upon personal experience to create a piece of art. When I look at it I think of quiet walks along the beach in Puget Sound and wonderful times spent with polymer friends and great food on Whidbey Island.
Similarly, these “river rocks” remind me of a month spent in rural in New Mexico.
And this desert landscape brings back memories of fantastic birding adventures in Arizona with my husband.
I’ve been thinking about my earlier work a lot as I mull over possible directions to go when I am done with this year’s kaleidoscope cane workshops. The International Polymer Clay Association’s Synergy 3 Conference in Atlanta last month was extremely helpful in this regard. There were many talks about taking one’s work to a higher level and how to do that. Basing work on deep feelings or personal experience, completing projects that require planning and problem solving, and making use of honest critiques (both self critique and critiques by mentors and peers) were all discussed as being part of that process. I plan to do all of these things as I move on to what I hope will be my next body of work. What will that work be? Stay tuned.
Thank you, Synergy speakers, for your inspiring insights.