Monday, April 23, 2012

GRITTY VS. PRETTY...

Generally when I invite you into my studio I like to have it company ready and rather pretty but the truth is most of the time it is on the gritty side like this...
Art making for me is messy business.  I may have two or even three things going at one time, like a fabric book page that is being embellished, an art kit being assembled, rubber stamping for another project, and a wire and bead project for yet another project all scrambled up together.  Eventually I do come out of my crafting daze, regain my senses, and realize what I have done.  I stop and clear away the evidence of my method of madness... 
And most of the time when I create art, much to my chagrin, I make pretty art.  By that I mean it is usually restrained, color coordinated, and leaning towards the cute side, which kind of makes me crazy!  This past week I have been focusing on a project that I hope is a little more rustic, darker, and gritty.  Remember those fabric pieces I dyed and messed up?  The one that looked like a microscope slide was perfect for what I had in mind so I ripped it down into little fabric pages...
 Remember all those rusty things I gathered to dye the fabric with?  They are also perfect for this project, many already transformed into page elements...
 And what is the project?  A mixed media fabric art book!  What inspired this process?  Seth Apter. (The Altered Page)  
He currently has an open call for mixed media artist to submit a 5in.x5in. piece of art to possibly be accepted as part of his book tour, gallery, or exhibit work.  These art pieces will be his to keep and select pieces will travel with him as he promotes his new book, The Pulse of Mixed Media.  They will also be featured on his blog. 
 Now, will I actually send this book to Seth?  More than likely not, the deadline is looming large at April 30, 2012 and I might not have time to finish the book like I think it needs to be for that type of submission. (You can find all the specific details HERE.)  
 But, the point is that it challenged me to think and stretch myself beyond my normal pretty to reach deep down and find the gritty, draw it out, and apply it to a piece of work...
 I have not been satisfied lately with what I have been making so I am setting off on a new path of discovery.  Never fear, there will still be pretty here, while I am waiting on things to dry with the gritty book, I am also making a pretty book...
 Remember one of the other pieces of fabric I messed up and said it looked like birch bark?  Well it does!  Check out these tree trunks...
 I actually made the majority of the mess you see above working on this one tiny 5in.x5in. piece!
One of the great things I learned while working on this challenge, even if I don't actually participate, is I really enjoy working small scale, who knew?

I've got more grit to grind!
Hope you are all enjoying a pretty day!

9 comments:

Vee said...

Intriguing—your gritty piece will be, though I am rather fond of pretty myself. I do encourage you to stay up late to get that project done and shipped off in time. What a cool opportunity!

bobbie said...

Hooray for you for stepping outside the box!!
Now ~ I am DROOLING over that birch tree trunks piece ~ what are you going to do with it? Will it be in the fabric book?
If not, I WANT it!!

:)

myletterstoemily said...

oh wow! i think the gritty is pretty!
you are so gifted!!!

The Feathered Nest said...

YOU CAN DO THIS!!! Oh my goodness girl...I love every gritty thing I see and YOU CAN DO THIS! I would LOVE to see the post where you announce your book will be published inside ~ if you don't try, you'll never know :) Just a gentle shove from a long-time friend, who love, loves your artwork....hugs and love, Dawn

Kasia said...

How very sweet!!! I love your gritty projects! Almost a steampunk look! LOVE IT! :D

Hugs,

Marilou of Lulus Lovlies and Heartful Creations said...

Both pretty and gritty are fun to create, I can't wait to see it finished Sandy as I'm one to jump all over the place with my creating. Trying out new things, discarding old and finding what I like to do best, it is a journey:) Hugs my friend, enjoy the journey, Marilou

Vickie said...

I love how you stained the fabric with the rusty items, Sandy. "Expanding your horizons" is always good. Stretching yourself and growing. Wish you could get done in time to enter the contest - you'd be a "shoe-in"!

Seth said...

I do love "gritty" Sandy and I love this work in progress too. I hope that you are able to finish and submit it. I will not be back from my travels promoting my book until May 6th...so feel free to take an extra week if you need to. And if not...I will admire it when you post the finished work on your blog. Seth

Tina @ TinyBear Studio said...

Yeahh - you´re making a mixed media book. That´s so awesome Sandy - isn´t that just so much fun. I did see the call for artwork over at Seth´s blog, but I don´t think I have the courage. Your work in progress looks great. Can´t wait to see the finihed result.

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