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"The meaning of a piece often becomes apparent only in the end.
It's like finding a secret message that you unkowingly sent yourself."
This last December I was visiting with one of my neighbors. She was looking at some of my work and asked if there was a message or meaning behind my pieces....I admit, I said, "well no". Actually, that is not true. When I recently read this quote it reminded me of how many times the meaning of a piece stairs me right in the face after it is finished. Sometimes, long after.
This piece is a great example. This is an encaustic piece that I made at a workshop in Seattle. The instructor was fantastic. She gave us freedom to create and play. This is one of the pieces I made. The words are "fly away home". When my mom passed away from Cancer recently a couple of birds landed on the telephone wire outside. I will just say that my dad was having a personal moment saying goodbye to his wife of 46 years when the birds arrived. My sister and husband were at a table near by...he didn't know they were there. The birds began to sing. Kim says it was beautiful, it made her gasp out loud. Those birds were a true gift for my Dad.
Two days later, I came home from being out and the piece above was laying on the floor right outside the doorway of my studio. It had been hanging above my studio door for over a year.
This piece is a triptych made from an old hollow core door. The canvas hung on my wall for quite some time. I put paint on it. Drew on it. Scribbled on it and then one day, I saw it. I was walking through our family room when a red barn with trees appeared. So I began. I tore the trees from a large atlas I have. Painted the barn. Found the metal roof in my supplies and created the piece in my vision. I am fond of this piece for many reasons but especially because I used materials that would have ended up in a land fill and was the biggest piece I had made to date. But where did that image come from? What did it relate too?
We have been given this fantastic gift of "The Refuge". It is a cabin (very nice A frame) in the woods. A place where peace resides. Walks in the trees dripping with moss from all the rain. The lake always beautiful, even on gray days. This past Christmas my husband and I spent a couple of days at The Refuge". One morning I got up and went for an early morning walk. Smack! there it was. A beautiful log cabin (huge) in the woods. The one that I have taken pictures of, the one that I admire, the one that I comment on everytime we go. A cabin or barn in the woods. I clearly saw where this piece came from.
God is great and creativity is a must. Many say, "oh I am not creative". I do not agree with that. I can say that becasue I too have said that many times myself. We are creative, we were created in His image....created. Creativity comes in many forms, shapes and colors. It is a true blessing and many times the meaning becomes apparent only in the end.
This is going to be an amazing event. You may camp with us or stay in a hotel that it close to the camp. The teacher line-up is amazing. Not only that...the assistant line-up is just as amazing. I am so excited to be a part of this event. Did I say amazing yet?
If you are brand new to encaustic or have encaustic experience - this is for You. If you enjoy mixed media creativity - this is for YOU too.
The show includes 50 artist works. It runs from January 8th - 30th.
Please join us for the Artist Reception!
Saturday, January 8th
5 pm to 8 pm
at Gallery by the Bay
Bill and I are still working on our website!! We have our Portfolio's to add, Gallery and Events, and I am thrilled to soon share with you workshops I will be teaching this year.!!
Be sure to check back here on Monday, January 10th for an exciting announcement!
Until then..be happy, healthy, and tell those important in your life, just how special they are.
Letters - Mixed Media Encaustic 9 x 12 $75.00
Carton of Roses - Mixed Media Encaustic 6.75" x 16" $165.00
First! I need to change the background and design here. Hang in there with me. I know this is hard to read. My awesome hubby is working with me...and that's a good thing. He'll help me get this where I want it. Until then.....
So, so, so many idea's. From fabric to wire to jewelry to, to, to...........so why is it I just don't play in my studio for twelve hours a day? Do it!! Just do it, Sue. :)
I had the pleasure of seeing a couple of Mary Beth Shaw's stencils while I was in Portland. Crystal used them in her workshop. They are totally awesome. Mary Beth is having a give-away on her blog. Do pop over and enter. What fun. Do tell, what are some things you do with stencils? Or what idea's are you dreaming of?
Going for 200 people to "favorite" my etsy store by December 15th. If you've been there and liked what you see, will you favorite me! If you haven't visited my online store yet.... I invite you to take a look and if you like what you see...will you "favorite me"?
Sue Simpson at Earthtone Studios Online Store see add favorite on left hand side. :)
Bill has been a busy boy the last few days. The not so good news - no work, since he has been home he has taken up the graphics job tittle.
How cool are these? The back side has all of my contact information. He used shots from some of my work...clever, isn't he!! I am a happy camper. He has also been working on our website. It's still in the beginnings but check it out. Earthtone-Studios.com
On a final note for the day...I submitted my first pieces to a juried show! Wish me luck.
Enjoy life, it's yours!
So many great things are happening! I can't wait to share them with you.
Until then, a snippet from the studio.
From the shelf in my studio.
Jake, about six months old. Me pregnant with Jake, nine months and almost two weeks (but who was counting?). A journal page with my grand daughter Jessica.
Also on the shelf.
Canvas in process. Monkey Jake gave me. The Monkey is wearing a neckless he made me for Christmas one year. Dog Bill gave me. Number One Mom, from the girls. Piece I did a few years ago.
Meanwhile - a few new encaustic pieces.
This week I am working at Alternative Counters and Floors. Just for the week while the owners are in Mexico. I walked in the door tonight after work and OH the wonderful faint smell of beeswax. My studio was calling me.
The opportunity started to come to the forfront last fall. My husband, Bill has always been my biggest cheerleader. He honestly is the most patient, loving and caring man I know. ( Don't get me wrong, he can also be stubborn, irritating and just plain a man) He is the one that opened this creative side of me. He is also the one who continues to encourage it. Evidentally I am much easier to live with when I've spent time creating and playing in my studio. I have been told this not only by Bill but my son, middle daughter and good friend Melita.
There are times that I feel like I am half - a gorgeous woman in a business suit and briefcase and the other half...well hippie, really. In school I use to tell people I saw myself in a BMW or Mercedes. Maybe a lawyer or CEO. My friends, and family for that matter, always giggled and said they saw me married with children, driving a VW bug. Today I talk about that white bug, convertable of course! One that runs. I have even pictured myself in a VW van, orange and off white. How fun would that be?
In 1995 I was diagnosed with Rhuematory Arthritis. Since then Fibromyalgia has been added. I really can't believe that was fifteen years ago. The opportunity not only involves the freedom to create but the freedom to change my life. Really, that's what I want and need to do.
It was last winter when two different friends sat me down to ask me if I was, "doing it again". They had seen me go through this cycle before. I start to take care of myself and get "better" and then I self sabbatog. I came from a background of hard work. My Dad is a wonderful giving man who grew up on a farm. They worked in the fields seven days a week, twelve to fourteen hours a day. He never missed a day of school throughout his high shcool days. His work ethic is amazing. I put my self worth in the hands of "who I was". What position I held. Whereever I worked, I always worked hard to make it to the top. So what my friends saw was me going through the cycle heading for yet another crash. And crash I was doing, fast and hard. I admit now that it frightened me. Would I make it out of this one? Would I ever feel "good" again?
I started by saying the opportunity came last fall but I have to be honest, my husband has encouraged me to take this opportunity for years. I just didn't know how. I am hoping that I am learning how now. The y opportunity to be healthy. The opportunity to like and love myself. The opportunity to walk on the beach without that deep inside guilt. I never realized it was there. If I did, I didn't want to acknowledge it. One day recently, during a mid afternoon soak in the tub, God said to me "you deserve this, yes you deserve wholeness, happiness etc". Don't get me wrong. I have lived a really good life. I have made many mistakes too.
This opportunity.....this dream.....this soon to be empty nest.....this turning 47 and wrinkles....this time of self....is a huge opportunity for me to be me. I like to be liked. I like for people to say nice things about me. I like to be loved. I have lived my life like that for so long that I don't really know who I stand for. What my true self is. Again, don't get me wrong, I am strong, have definite opinions and I am not afraid to voice them. At the same time, I am shy, will say what is best to say in that situation, want to be loved. Oh...and I am loved by many. I just don't think I have fully allowed that love in.
I have this opportunity to walk on the beach. The beach I grew up playing on, on weekends and summer vacations. The beach I brought my children to when they were young. It truly is a gift. A gift I think I will accept.
Fall is one of my favorite seasons.
A beautiful sunny day.
To the left, once there.
To the right. This is the way I walk.
Don't the rocks look like a gate. I walk down to the point.
Going back up the hill.
Yesterday on the way down it was like a chorus. The birds were singing so beautifully. On the way up it was silent besides the leaves crunching under my feet. True beauty. Such a gift.