Sunday, August 30, 2015

Inspiration: who, what, where

Hello, everyone!  I have been gone from the blog for most of the summer.  And, the summer has gone sooo quickly!  It's not been a very productive summer for me as far as art is concerned.  I do have a lovely garden and lots of flowers and veggies to show for my effort, but not much in the way of beads, metal, or paper.  I think gardening is creative and so that has filled the void of not much work in the studio!  But, I haven't stopped working on projects that I'll eventually finish and share with you, it's just that I don't seem to finish any of them!  I'm working on a new geometric beadwork project right now and it's got my muse going big time!  So, I'll be sharing that first I'm sure. 

The last few days I've been thinking about inspiration and who or what inspires me.  With all the different mediums I've worked in there have been many artists who have inspired me with their work.  While I have changed mediums over the years (even though my heart still loves the fibers and fabrics I used to devote my time to) I still follow those artists that I loved then.  Now that I work primarily with beads and metal and paper art I have inspiration from other wonderful artists.  But, I also find that I'm not only inspired by artists, I'm inspired by colors!  In fact, I think that is a bigger inspiration than any one person.  The colors in nature and flowers, the colors of fabric and fiber. All of that is a great influence on what I work with and what project gets me excited.  The new project I mentioned is taking it's inspiration from the change of the seasons and vineyard hues that I love this time of year. Autumn is a great time of inspiration for me.   This new project is also inspired by the wonderful work of geometric beadwork artist, Kate McKinnon.  She is one of the artists that is exciting  me right now.  Her work in geometric beadwork is amazing and she has gathered a group of wonderful artists to further the art of geometric beading.  Here is a sneak peak:

And, another Geometric cuff inspired by the colors of Autumn leaves.

To stay on the subject of beading and bead artists, two bead artists I've followed since before I started doing bead embroidery or bead weaving are Sherry Serafini and Laura McCabe.  These two women create the most beautiful beaded jewelry and accessories and I have loved their work since I discovered them before I started beadweaving.   I don't remember how I found them and their work but I've ripped pictures from magazines and I have their books.  I just love looking through them for the eye candy and inspiration they provide.  I've been fortunate to have been able to take a workshop with each of them this year.  I'm working on the project from Laura's workshop which I took last week.  It's in pieces so I'll share it when I've finished it.  It's a beautiful necklace.  Sherry's bead embroidered workshop was in the spring and I finished a gorgeous Shibori cuff bracelet.  You can read about it here and this is a photo of it. 
But, then there is the paper art which I have become so enamored of in the last few years.  My daughter was always the paper artist in the family.  I loved what she did and finally started doing some projects myself.  We are fortunate to have a wonderful local paper arts store and to call the owner our friend.  As a birthday gift to my daughter about two years ago I signed us up for a class with Seth Apter.  That weekend of classes opened up new doors to me and Seth has become a great inspiration.  Not only is he a wonderful, fun person but his art and teaching style is fantastic.  Since that first class we have taken several classes from him and I was lucky enough to take a week long book making class with him this spring (thanks to my wonderful husband).  I've blogged about some of the projects we've done in class but here are some photos. 
From a stenciling class last winter.
A section of a collage class project.

There are so many artists I find inspirational but these three are people I go back to again and again  even if I just want some eye candy when the muse is on vacation!  In thinking about all this I still feel that color and nature are some of the biggest influences on my work.  Color inspires most of what I do.  I turn to my favorite artists for ideas on technique or style always turning things around to make them my own! 
Thank you all for visiting with me and thank you if you stuck with this long rambling post.  I'm hoping to get back to more regular blogging now that summer is winding down.  I hope you have a wonderful week and take some time to think about who and/or what inspires you!  



  1. That you now know who and what inspires you and you easily place yourself in front of that inspiration assures that you will be creating for the rest of your days :-) Lucky You and Lucky Us when you let us sneak a peek into your art!
    That e-mail was such a lovely gift to you. And how generous of you to take the question seriously and pass that gift on to those that do truly inspire you.

  2. What a great post (and yes...gardening is creating/art in and of itself)!!! You have really got me thinking about what artists inspire me as well! Oh what a feeling to have someone "find you"! :)

  3. Totally drooling over your beautiful artwork Maryanne! Wow. Kate's work as been very much piquing my interest (her two books are on my Amazon wish list!) and I can't wait to see more of that sneak peek. I can't believe summer is pretty much over, but I do enjoy getting back into the 'routine' of autumn. As always it's a pleasure to see what you have been creating lately! Hope you are well.

  4. I have to say that since discovering the joys of Pinterest and meeting all the wonderful people in blog land I'm almost overwhelmed by inspiration - the internet can be a wonderful thing! I love your work and although I don't bead, it is something that is on my list of things I would love to try. I can't believe Autumn is nearly here, we have had such terrible weather all summer - I'm looking forward to getting the autumn decor out soon.

  5. Well, goes to show I don't keep up with my blog reading; I didn't even know this post was here! I think it's helpful to think about all your inspirations and sort of catalog them now and then. You might uncover something you've forgotten about for a while.


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