The art and craft of pysanky

Posts tagged “artist

The Fall Show 2016

rcartsThe City of Rancho Cordova is doing a great job of promoting the arts!  Visual arts, public art, and performing arts all are celebrated and supported well by the Cordova Community Council.

 

The Fall Show 2016 Opening Reception will be held Thursday, October 13, from 5:30 to 7:30 PM in the lobby of the Rancho Cordova City Hall, 2729 Prospect Drive, Rancho Cordova, California 95670.  Stop by to meet the artists and enjoy the great variety of art on display .

 

I have three eggs on display at this show and as an added bonus I’ll be playing Baroque music with the string trio Camerata Cordova at the reception beginning at 5:30 PM.


Working in Series

Sometimes design ideas just pour out of my head and onto the eggs and I can’t find enough studio time to complete them all.

 

Then there are other times when I sit staring at a clean white egg and experience what I call “Blank-egg-o-phobia.”

 

You know the feeling.  You want to create and yet you sit and stare at that unstarted project and the longer you sit and stare, the harder it is to get started and pretty soon you realize that your studio is a mess and you should really organize it better but first you need to move everything off your table and you discover it is incredibly dusty which requires a trip to the kitchen to get the cleaning supplies where you remember that you forgot to unload the dishwasher and two hours later you finally come back to your studio and decide you’ll try again tomorrow.

 

Please tell me I’m not alone here.

 

So how do I get past this?  Artists everywhere have discovered that working “in a series” can help unleash creativity again.  A “series” just means creating a body of work with a common theme.  It doesn’t even matter whether you decide to link all your work by color, texture, subject, or style, a series will provide definition and boundaries.

 

It’s very counterintuitive, but limiting my choices requires me to think more deeply about the subject.  It’s an opportunity to explore those ideas fully and to learn from each step.  The same rules that limit me will keep me on track but free me to get creative in discovering new solutions to design problems.  Fear of ruining a piece can keep me stuck but working in multiples can get me unstuck.

 

As I started thinking about this topic, I noticed that God also works in series.  Think about trees, for instance.  God designed all trees with the same basic parts… roots, trunks, branches, leaves.  That could get boring pretty quickly but God, the infinitely creative artist, started playing with all those parts using color and shape and size.  I’d venture to say there is an infinite variation in the tree world but all within the boundaries of those same boring parts…roots, trunks, branches, leaves.  Take a look around you.  It’s not just in trees, it’s in everything…clouds, rivers, rocks, and people too.  Absolutely everything shows God’s creative handiwork within a set of rules.

 

The lesson here?  Rules are your friend both in art and in life.

 

Returning to my studio here…Let me give you a peek at my latest series.  Quite a contrast to my usual multi-colored eggs with lots of fine lines, these Trypillian-style eggs require only three colors…white, brown and black.  The designs are very bold, simple and repetitive but as a group I find them fascinating.  Hope you enjoy them too.

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It’s Calendar Time Again

This just in…the 2016 Incredible Egg Calendar is finished and it’s beautiful.  So many wonderful artists around the world contributed photos.  I’m honored to report a couple of mine made the cut.

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Clicking on the above photo will take you to the calendar page at Lulu.com and once you are there click on the tiny word “Preview” directly underneath the cover photo to scroll through the month by month photos.

 

Enjoy!


Arts Camp 2015

Another God-breathed, fun-filled week at Arts Camp at Oak Hills Church in Folsom, California.VA56_Pysanky_Group_Silly2


Summer Camp for Me!

Doing what you love is a good thing…but doing it with a bunch of other people who also love it is an amazingly good thing.  I spent last week in Pennsylvania with 60+ other pysanky artists at an egg retreat learning, teaching, connecting and laughing with friends old and new.  To put it simply, I went to summer camp for adults…and I highly recommend it.

 

This is my third year attending the Pysanky USA Retreat.  I took a few classes, taught a few classes and mostly hung out in the “play room” where we could work on our own projects as we talked and shared about egg art and life in general.  The room population ebbed and flowed throughout the day as classes started which allowed me to meet new people with the luxury of unhurried time on our side.  Free flowing ideas sparked new techniques, new color combinations, new dyes to try.  Wow, my brain got full fast!

 

I came away from this week not only with a renewed enthusiasm for this art but with a sense of community and connectedness to my fellow pysanky artists across the country.  And I’m already looking forward to next year!


Passing It On

More than thirty years ago in my former life (those days before marriage and children) I worked as a registered nurse first in a hospital and then in a doctor’s office.  Another life chapter began when I started teaching Body & Soul, an international program that combines faith and fitness.  Twenty three years later I’m still leading my fitness class weekly and have also been speaking and demonstrating the art of pysanky to individuals and small groups whenever the opportunity arises.

As I reflect back on all those experiences I noticed a common thread…teaching.  I never thought of myself as a teacher before but the more I thought about it, the more it makes sense.  Even when I worked as a nurse, the part I liked best was that one-on-one time teaching.

I delight in taking complex topics, breaking them down to understandable pieces, and communicating those ideas in a simple way the listener can grasp.  I also love the challenge of coming up with different ways to transmit knowledge to help the student gain success.  And I especially love seeing that student’s eyes light up with understanding when the “light bulb” turns on at last.

Arts Camp Pysanky 2In a couple of weeks I get to teach another group of fifth and sixth grade students all about this egg art called pysanky.  Arts Camp 2013 at Oak Hills Church in Folsom is one of the highlights of my year.  Students from first through sixth grade come together for a week of fun and excitement where they explore a particular art and in the process learn more about the God who created them.

If you know of a student who might be interested, it’s not too late to sign up for this great adventure.  My class still has a few spots left and I know there are openings in a wide variety of other arts as well.  For more information, click here.

Let the fun begin!


Me on TV???

I am a “behind the scenes” person by nature.  I do not like being the center of attention.  And that sentiment goes a long way back.  In second grade I remember vividly a time when our classroom ended up with an extra red rubber ball after recess one day.  My teacher asked for a volunteer to return it to the neighboring classroom and everyone jumped up waving arms ecstatically in the air.  That is, everyone except me.  I sat quietly with hands folded thinking, ”Why would anyone want to go and do that?”  Sister Mary Vincent settled the class down and then imagine my shock when she called on me.  I began quaking in my saddle shoes as she handed me the ball.  I can still feel the terror of leaving the safety of my classroom to walk that long hallway, knock on the door and then enter the other classroom, all eyes fixed on me.  Oh the horror!

Given my aversion to the limelight, it’s rather hard to imagine myself on television but that’s what happened on the Friday before Easter.  With just a few days notice Channel 31 Good Day Sacramento’s Cody Stark and his camera man came into my kitchen to highlight my egg art.  Ch31 truckMe on live TV, just like that.  I didn’t have much time beforehand to fret and get nervous which is probably a good thing.  And talking about pysanky and demonstrating the process was easy.  While I can’t exactly call myself a television star, I can at least say,”Want to see me on TV?  Click here.”