I read something once (no author’s name was visible) that really struck home. “Because we live in a world now where more and more is computer generated, people crave tactile or hand-crafted works”. I relate to this statement, not only as a consumer, but as an artist. I currently spend my days using a computer to develop material for print. While I enjoy creating on the computer, I love to actually create something by hand. We are bombarded by so much technology today that people forget what it’s like to sit in quiet and observe what is around them. I am replenished by those quiet moments. My quiet moments are often by a lake, in the woods or most often, when I am working on my art. I am inspired by the colors and textures of nature—the bark of a tree, the warmth of the sun or ripples in water. To draw people in to my art because of a texture or the colors that I use—for them to want to touch or at the very least look closer, what a great compliment!
As part of my love for nature, I started using recycled or up-cycled materials in my art. Learning Shisha (mirror embroidery) at the Textile Center got me started saving tin can lids to create a “garden” using Shisha with the lids as the “mirrors”. A few years ago, I brought home some left over natural dyes from Girl Scout camp with no particular use in mind. I just did not want them to go to waste. Some used dryer sheets, the dye, and a canvas became an abstract sunrise. Used kraft paper packing material, plastic inserts from bottle caps, mesh fruit/veggie bags and old magazines. I have tried using them all. Because I use nature as my inspiration, it only makes sense to me to attempt to use up-cycled materials in my art as much as I can. Not only do they provide interesting materials, but there is less going to the landfill.