As I open more and more of your mail and familiarize myself with your artistic styles, I find myself wondering about your lives. Some of you I know a bit through your blogs, but many of you don't have an on-line presence. So here's what I'm going to do - post a profile of a different swapper each week. I'll get the ball rolling with my own introduction, and then it will be your turn.
Meet your hostess!
Name: Karen Isaacson
Day Job: Director of a school-age childcare program and summer camp
Home: Shrewsbury, Massachusetts (United States)
Family: Married to my college sweetheart. We have one son, age 12 and an extremely helpful black cat named Jake.
My Art Journey
- 1967-2008: I try my hand at every craft known to man, and yet do not consider myself a creative person.
- October 2008: I go to the DeCordova museum with a visiting friend and stumble upon an exhibit of artist's journal pages. I am enthralled, and experience a painful yearning to create something that cool.
- Christmas 2008: I buy Dawn DeVries Sokol's "1000 Artist Journal Pages" as a gift for the aforementioned friend. I drool over it before mailing it to Seattle.
- May-August 2009: An extremely stressful professional situation prompts me to keep something of a visual journal in an old datebook. I find a few websites that offer inspiration, I buy some books, I buy some art supplies. I take over our dining room with my stuff and all family meals are eaten at the family room coffee table for the entire summer.
- September 2009: I start a new job and pack up all my art stuff. Over the next 18 months I occasionally try to create something, but it rarely seems worth the effort to unearth my supplies.
- Winter 2010-2011: It snows every day. A foot at a time. Snow banks tower above my head. I feel trapped, desperate and depressed. I tape photos of my flowerbeds to my windows and try not to cry every day. I leaf through my art books. I find a few new websites and blogs. I become increasingly despondent. And then one weekend I get fed up. I empty our so-called "guest room" of the enormous piles of junk we've been storing there. I buy cheap shelving, drag a folding table up from the basement and make myself a little art space.
I hang these two things on my wall:
- March 2011: I start my blog, I Am Rushmore, so that I have a place to post the work I am creating in response to on-line challenges and classes. I don't tell my family about it for four months.
- I join Swap-bot and IUOMA, open a PO Box and start getting wonderful things in the mail. I'm immediately hooked on mail art.
- June 2011: I join the first Daisy Yellow "Index Card A Day" challenge and begin a daily art practice that will transform my life.
- Today: I still find time to create almost every single day, even if it's only for five minutes. I am finally comfortable calling myself an artist without putting it in air quotes. I have wonderful artist friends all over the world. Postcards are my favorite format for my art, but I've also started creating works on canvas, and have even hung some in my home. My primary loves are collage and abstract painting, but I can't resist trying any new technique I come across.
Here are a few of my favorite recent pieces.
|mixed media 18"x 36"|
|encaustic mixed media 8"x 10"|
Things I've learned so far
- I stopped worrying whether my art is good or bad, I just show up and have fun. By playing with my art supplies on a regular basis I can't help but improve my skills and develop my style.
- No time spent creating art is wasted time. Creating art fulfills me, which in turn makes me happier, calmer, more patient and all together nicer to be around. Everyone wins.
- Every single thing I create teaches me something. I can spend all afternoon in the studio and end up with nothing but a full wastebasket, and yet I've gained valuable experience and understanding of what not to do next time. Figuring out what doesn't work is every bit as important as figuring out what does.
- Commenting on blogs, participating in challenges and joining swaps are all great ways to meet people and make friends. These relationships have enriched my life in ways I could never have foreseen when I started this journey.
So there you have it, folks, our first artist profile.
Who wants to be next?
(don't make me beg!)
Email me your story and some pictures and I will feature you in the coming weeks.
We really want to get to know you better.
I've added a permanent tab at the top of the blog with the general guidelines/suggestions for your profile.