The art and craft of pysanky

Posts tagged “community

Rancho Cordova iFest 2013

Saturday, May 18, 2013 5-9 PM

Rancho Cordova iFest 2013

iFest Flyer 2013

This fifth annual international festival celebrates music, food, art, dance and more from many lands.  Come visit me at  my table to see examples of pysanky and how they are made.Applying wax

Village Green Park

3141 Bridgeway

Rancho Cordova, CA 95670


My 15 Minutes of Fame

I got a package in the mail this week.  I knew it was on its way but had nearly forgotten, so seeing it in the postal box and tearing it open brought a Christmas morning thrill.  At last, the promised September 2012 issue from the Egg Artistry Guild of Australia.  And on page 19 I found an article with  my name and some photos of my eggs.  I’m practically famous!

In case you’re wondering, here’s the path that led to this article.  At the egg retreat in July I took a class on etching emu eggs and posted a photo of the finished egg to my pysanky chat group.  The editor of the Australian Guild saw it, contacted the owner of Pysanky USA, the online store that sponsored the retreat, who called me to ask permission to pass on my information.  A flurry of emails back and forth and voila, people in Australia are now reading my one page feature.  Small world, huh?


My People

Pysanky artists seem to be few and far between here on the West Coast.  This art originated in the Eastern European area of Ukraine, Poland, Russia, Lithuania etc. and immigrants brought it to this country.  Like my dad’s family, most of them settled on the East Coast or across Canada and not so many came to central California where I live now.  As a result it is rare for me to meet others who share my love for creating this type of egg art.

Thankfully the internet has put other artists within my reach.  Just over a year ago I joined an online pysanky chat group and began learning new techniques and tips from our discussions.  I thought I knew a lot about creating these eggs already, but found a whole new world of fun to explore.  These new-found friends willingly shared knowledge and sparked a renewed excitement in me and my work.

A couple of weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity to meet some of these people face to face at a pysanky retreat.  Forty of us spent time hanging out together at a beautiful retreat center in Dalton, Pennsylvania.  I walked into that place never having met anyone but immediately I felt like I was among “my people.”  The names I knew became faces as we all spoke the same language and got excited about the same things.  Together we took classes, admired each others’ work, freely shared ideas, and continued our own projects.

 

 

 In short, I lived and breathed pysanky.

I think I just got a taste of heaven.


Intersections 2012

I believe God built into each of us a desire for community, both with Him and with our fellow travelers on this earth.  As an artist, I find that rubbing elbows with other artists inspires my in my art and in my spiritual walk in a way nothing else does.  And I don’t get to experience that very often.  That’s why I so look forward to the annual conference on faith and art called Intersections, held at Oak Hills Church in Folsom, California.

This conference covers a broad range of the arts, from drama, to dance, to music, to film, to visual, technical, and even the culinary arts.  Throughout the day we were encouraged to use the supplies on our tables to paint a small section of plastic that we could stick to a window in the back of the auditorium.  As the day progressed, so did our group “stained glass window.”

The visual artists were easy to spot.  They dove right into the paints and started producing multiple pieces right away.  I found watching the non-visual artists even more interesting.  In some I saw the initial reluctance give way to experimentation and finally a joy at simply playing with paint.

Even more fun, was watching people add their painted pieces to the growing design on the window.  Intricate designs and plain colored pieces randomly combined to create beauty where before there was nothing but empty space.

Great speakers, God-breathed conversations, and thought-provoking words filled our time together.  The icing on the cake for me came as we wrapped up at the end of the day.  With the light from outside shining in, our group “stained glass window” became a physical representation of community to me.  And I needed that.  I really needed that.  In fact, we all do.


The Artist in Community

Truth be told, I love stealing away to my workspace alone, leaving the rest of the world behind as I immerse myself in the work and play of wax and dyes and eggs.  There is something healing and soul restoring about the quiet, repetitive actions these eggs require.  I can’t seem to get enough time alone like this so when I do, I enjoy it thoroughly.

Interacting with other artists is just as valuable to my soul, yet I don’t make nearly enough time for it in my life.  Why is it so hard for me?  I understand the value of community, I enjoy learning about the art and soul journeys of others, and I get inspired when I hear other artists speak with passion about their art.

I realize I love my comfortable “alone” zone so to push against these introverted leanings, I meet monthly with other artists.  In the Sacramento area, the Covenant Artists meet on the third Thursday of each month and artists of all media and skill levels are welcome.  This group exists to share, discover, and learn about ourselves, our art and our God.

If you would like to stretch your artistic side, I highly recommend connecting with other artists.  Isn’t it time for you to step out of your comfort zone too?