Hello out there, all my lovely people! I know I’ve been “radio silent” for a little over a year and in that time a LOT has happened, for me as well as I’m sure, for you and for everyone in the entire world. Right!? It’s been a crazy time. I am happy to say that we have made it to the other side without too much trauma in our family. I hope the same can be said for you and your loved ones. I thought it was a good time to give a little update as far as what I’m doing, what I’m focusing on, and where my passion has taken me.
In February 2020, I decided to take a break from YouTube and a break from the acrylic pour approach. Not only was I burnt out on video editing, but I was burnt out on the acrylic pour approach. I didn’t know exactly where I was headed. I just felt like I needed a break. I was also dealing with some seasonal depression, to be totally honest, but all is well now. That spring, during what became lock-down from the global pandemic, I brought my paints home and developed a more painterly approach to the abstract landscape.
In May 2020, I enrolled in an online course through the Museum of Modern Art covering “Abstract Expressionist/New York School.” I studied artists like Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, Agnes Martin and Mark Rothko. I found the in-depth information and hands-on studio approach to be really inspiring. It really changed my direction and paintings for a while. If you look through my Instagram feed going back to that date you’ll see the quick transition towards these traditional abstract expressionist approaches.
If you check out my website and see the paintings that are available for sale, you will see that I continued to paint prolifically for the entire year. I just did not continue to document my journey on YouTube.
I rented a little space at a local mid-century modern furniture and Home Décor store up in Asheville, North Carolina. I found success selling my art there, but as the pandemic’s effects wore on and schooling from home started to affect my own family, I started to lose my inspiration.
I found myself unable to paint anymore. Rather than forcing myself to do so, I acknowledged the artistic process, which I have come to realize is a bit of a roller coaster throughout my life, and embrace the quiet and the inertia. I knew that if I took a break, sooner or later the inspiration would find me again — as it always does.
As the country started to open back up this spring, and as we began to get vaccinated, the school where I teach high school art was also going through a lot of transition. We have been under construction and renovation for the past two years and will be for an additional 2 years. I was tasked with packing my classroom, where I’ve taught for the past 11 years, in preparation for moving to my brand new classroom in the fall. While packing all of the art supplies, I came across some tools and equipment for doing batik resist with wax on fabric. I decided to take it home over the summer to teach myself.
As I researched this topic, I discovered the unique qualities of botanical Indigo dye as well as shibori resist techniques from Japan. If you’re unfamiliar with shibori, it’s basically a much more elegant version of the American tie-dye technique with a deep historical foundation. My passion was reignited and the inspiration hasn’t stopped since early May. Currently, I am a vessel that cannot be filled, reading and watching as many videos as much as I can, trying as many different techniques as possible. If you follow me on Instagram, you will see this shift in my production toward fiber art.
So that is what I have been up to since early June. I dyed Indigo shibori patterns on more than 36 bandanas that have been sold and shipped out. I have created and sold two table cloths as well as close to 40 napkins and a few pieces of clothing that I thrifted and upcycled. My most recent ventures include silk scarves and batik as a more painterly approach to the resist dying.
I feel like I have a million and one ideas in my head where this new passion might take me. It might even lead me back to painting as the batik feels very painterly. Part of me feels like maybe I’m a fiber artist now. I just don’t know. I’ve learned to trust the artistic process and allow it to lead me where it will.
I would love to know what you all think about this new approach, about the products that I have created, and any questions you might have about my new artistic mediums and processes. Would you like a post regarding the indigo plant as a dye, the history behind it and how it works? Would you like a post about shibori resist technique, the history behind it, and how it works? How about a post regarding batik wax resist technique? If the demand is out there, I would be happy to provide.
If you would like to see my most current work, you should follow me on Instagram. That is where I am able to post most regularly. You should consider my YouTube channel defunct. I do not plan to return to YouTube. My Facebook artist business page receives posts that feed over from my Instagram account, but I do not check it regularly.