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Finally an update folks. March 2018
I set up a new page, called Old News
Just like it sounds, old stories I had on my main page here get moved. Too good to trash, but too old to keep on the front page. And when that page grows too long like most blogs tend to, I will add some navigation so you can find what interests you most and skip the rest.
Site building update, (for those still waiting for my store.) It seems my web host might have issues. I always got replies right away and lately I can't get answers at all. I'm paid up through this year but I think it might be time to hunt for a new webhost. If you have suggestions, I'd love to hear it. (no spammy junk though, I can tell.)
The newest scoop, March 20, 2018
Some time ago, my former art teacher David Baker called me out of the blue. And after we got past the how ya doing stuff, he tells me his story and wow. His daughter, about the same age as my own daughter, was diagnosed with two brain tumors. I about fell off my chair when he said that. He jumped right in with she's fine, she made a full recovery. Phew but wow. I cannot imagine the ordeal that must have been for her and for her whole family.
Well, he explained that after she went in for treatment, it wiped her out. She would go take a nape and during that time he would take his notebook out and paint for an hour. He explained this hospital she was in was built on a former golf course and was on some really pretty grounds. He'd just do quick studies and eventually filled a notebook. He put together a nice video of this. Personally I cannot possibly imagine if MY kid had brain tumors ever finding it in me to go out and be creative, but watch the video. This was a way of coping for him.
The collage of pieces I'm also posting here has an interesting story too. These are recreations of drawings he made for his daughter to help her recovery. Anything to get that brain working and rewiring itself. She temporarily lost her ability to speak but could use a flashlight to point. So he'd say which one is the clock and she'd give him a look like come on dad and point to it. What a great way to help her recover. And it worked too. He redid those drawings in a more finished form to show at art shows.
Then he explained he is calling former students and asking each one if they would be willing to contribute a piece into an art show/fundraiser he and some friends are putting together. That his video would be shown there, as well as his daughters own works, and there would be a silent auction, one winner might sell a piece for this fund raiser. Of course I said sure.
Well now what to submit? I'm a painter but HE was my teacher. How does one submit a painting to the master? I felt like nothing I could do would measure up. I already had an idea what subject matter to do. That popped in my head as soon as I heard the story. But the medium?
Out talking with a friend, he suggested I do something with polymer clay which I have been into lately but mostly making crafty things to sell. I have dabbled around with making actual art pieces in clay but never took on anything like this.
He said to me "that's where your head is at now." And it sure would be different. So sure, why not.
The idea of a generic man/woman figure with the woman sporting a nice pair of angel like wings and fending off some nasty storm is what came to mind immediately. I wanted generic figures never really thinking HE would want to buy this. At some point it would need to be up for sale and wanted a piece that could represent anyone. Father daughter, brother sister, friends, couples... Of course this pair was meant to represent him and his daughter, but without knowing the story, this piece could be sellable.
Now how to pull it off with clay.
I started with a very rough acrylic painting. Just to get the layout of everything in place. Clay is not something you can push around as easy as with paint. It has to go down right, no room for fixing later.
I looked again and again at his video and thought using elements of his own paintings would make this even more special to him and his daughter. I put just enough in there so he would recognize it immediately, and he did.
"Painting" in clay isn't really much different from paint. Colors are blended the same. Same basic drawing principles apply, light and shadow, all that good stuff. And I've had enough practice with clay at this point working with it isn't a problem.
Well the piece was a hit. He and his whole family was really impressed. The piece was shown at this fundraiser and even tied for first. (A very sweet bronze statue won, I'm fine with that. It was beautiful.)
Later the college ran an art show for former students and that piece was shown yet again. Again his family adored it as did quite a few other folks.
Well I took it back home, set it aside and forgot about it. Time passed, and one day the college did a show all about past works of their art teachers. Of course I had to go, and of course Mr. Baker had several pieces there, some I hadn't seen in years. It was fun.
Then he approached me and asked if he could buy my clay piece. I honestly never considered what to ask for it. Frankly if I knew he REALLY wanted it, not just being nice, I'd have given it to him. But before I had a chance to think he said "or how about a trade." Now he had just done a whole series of lake paintings and more. Mostly working with water color now which is one medium I never really tried to master. His water colors are sweet. So... I asked if he would be willing to take on an assignment.
I sensed a bit of hesitation. I said it will be easy. I'll stick to what you've been doing already. And I'll think about it and get back to you.
My "assignment" for him was simple. Silver Beach in St Joseph Michigan is my very favorite place to swim. I've been snorkeling off the pier there for decades now. I told him these are my rules. I want the beach, the lake, the sky, and somehow get that south pier in the image since that really defines the place as Silver Beach and not just any beach. I don't care if the pier is off in the distance, or your standing on it. Artists discretion there. And no winter, I don't want to look at snow. I'll be looking at this in winter when I'm sitting in the house all day dreaming of the beach. And later I pointed to one of his paintings and asked, if you haven't started already, I really love how you get the waves and light coming in from behind them.
Well lookie what he did? I have my waves, in fact a whole row of them. And right up against the pier I know so well. It's just beautiful. I had this framed and have it hanging where I see it first thing in the morning. Handed him his clay piece and he clutched it as if he just found a treasure box filled with jewels. He said to me "it's a good trade when each party thinks they got the better deal."
I'm just so glad his daughter pulled through this ok. What a great ending to what could have been such a devastating tragedy.
ArtmakersWorlds is my portfolio space. This is where I show some of the art and crafts I've made. Enjoy your visit.
WHY I need to open my OWN store.
You will NOT find me on etsy, nor will I promote anyone on etsy. Sorry. Read the whole story here.
Artfire just joined my shit list for horrible sites. And they started out so good too. But they sold out. Ads slapped everywhere, and like SO many other sites in the past, complain too much and get booted. So fine. I've had it with all venue selling. They all seem to go this way. Start out fantastic, grow too fast, then sell out. I'm done with all of them.
Anything you may have found on pinterest or elsewhere (my photos all have watermarks so most people can still find me.) Just contact me directly.
I do have a ton of crafts to offer. Lots of polymer clay canes, pens, notebooks, kaleidoscopes... the list goes on. But you have to talk to me to find out what I have, give me a clue what your looking for. I know, it's a pain. But for the time being this is the only way.
Such as it is.
Ugh, I'm disgusted with Zazzle too. I'm really disgusted with all venue sites now. But at least this one I don't have to do anything to. Items I had listed back when I could build a nice looking, easy to navigate store are still on zazzle. Good luck finding them, but they are there. I haven't added anything new since they destroyed our custom layouts though. Doubt I ever will. Their forums are all but useless. But... I still make the occasional sale, (rarely.) So fine. Stuff I had already listed, is still listed. At least that doesn't cost me anything.
Jenny Mehlenbeck is the creator and owner of Artmakers Worlds copyright 1999 - now. Copying, linking to, downloading, or using ANY images off this site without permission is expressly prohibited!
Want to use something here? ASK ME FIRST!!!!