Monday, November 7, 2016

Homemade Harvest 2016 Artist - Brenda Pierce

Homemade Harvest is less then one week away and we only have a few more artists to meet, including today's Brenda Pierce. Brenda and I know each other from her work with the Salaam Culture Museum and I'm excited to see her beautiful jewelry in person.
Tell us a bit about yourself? Apart from being ‘creative’ what do you do? 
I work for Salaam Cultural Museum (SCM), a non-profit organization that provides humanitarian and medical aid to Syrian refugees. We raise money and collect donated goods to help the refugees in Jordan and Greece, and send humanitarian mission teams to Greece on an ongoing basis. It also has a private collection of cultural items from the Middle East and North Africa that is loaned out for special events. I also work for Caravan-Serai Tours, specializing in travel and tours to the Middle East and North Africa, and shares the office with SCM. A few times a year I get to travel to the region either with tour groups or for a mission.

What inspires you to do the kind of work you do? 
Making jewelry is a creative outlet that is different from my “day job” and gives me a way to exercise the other side of my brain. I’ve always liked to make things and to be crafty. I think it runs in the family – my mother has a craft room that is packed with supplies for all kinds of things. My grandmother always had things for us to do and one of my favorite things to get into when we would visit were the giant jars (2+ gallon glass pickle jars!) of buttons and miscellaneous beads that she let us play with.

Do you look up to anyone? Who? Why? 
There are numerous people I look up to and admire. I admire their perseverance, entrepreneurship, and ability to bounce back from adversity. Several people come to mind so I would name one individual, but I look up to people who are fair, determined, creative, can think out of the box, and who get things done.

 What other passions do you have in your life?
 I really enjoy the art of wine and cider making. We make our own hard cider at home that is winning awards in amateur competitions. We enjoy learning from other wine makers, visiting their wineries, and also trying out other new and different beverages that are locally made, hand crafted, have unique characteristics, and quality ingredients.

How do you promote your work?
 I am just starting out so I have promoted my work through my friends and family and shown it just a few times. I have posted various pieces on Facebook and Instagram.

In the future I’d like to be… 
The owner of my own business. I have a few ideas and just need to decide what exactly I will do and finalize my plan.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Homemade Harvest 2016 Artist - Northwest Suds

I'm trilled to talk about today's vending artist at Homemade Harvest because she is a returning artist that you will be familiar with from last year: Natalya of Northwest Suds

Tell us a bit about yourself? Apart from being ‘creative’ what do you do?

I am a wife and a mother of 2 grown-up daughters. I am also a bioengineer, working in medical device industry. My responsibility is assuring that the medial devices are clean, sterile and non-toxic when they reach patients.  So my work is all about cleaning – and so is my hobby.

What inspires you to do the kind of work you do?
To some extent - my family and friends who like to use my soaps and see benefits. But overall I like homemade soaps for no particular reason.

Do you look up to anyone? Who? Why?
To Mother Nature. With billions of years of evolution under its belt, it is way more simple and way more complex than anything a human would ever make. In nature everything is interconnected and has purpose. Things are practical, yet beautiful. That is what I would like my soaps to be. 

What other passions do you have in your life?
Walking outside, hiking. I prefer to spend time outdoors, and like moving. If I am not working, eating, sleeping, showering or making soaps – I am most likely walking somewhere outdoors.  

How do you promote your work?
I do not really promote it. It is mostly word of mouth. I give soaps to family, friends or neighbors. If they like it – they promote my soaps for me, I do not even have to ask.

In the future I’d like to be…
Myself. Same as today. Maybe wiser, but not a day older. Maybe a better photographer (but I said that last year, didn’t I? :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

4rd Grade Art Lesson: Frank Stella and Lines

This year my daughter is in 4th grade and her teacher has graciously allowed me to come in and teach art to her class.  Today was our first lesson.

During the year, we'll be studying the seven elements of art and I decided to start with lines.  We used only paper and pencils as materials. I like to include an artist with each lesson and choose Frank Stella.

I was not able to secure the art room and needed a lesson that wouldn't utilize messy materials.  Since this was some of the students first time meeting me, having an easy lesson to start also allowed me more time to memorize names and observe listening styles of the kids.

We started by talking about the seven elements we'd be learning about in the coming year. I explained that artists use these seven elements to create art, and we'll be going through them, starting with lines.

I told them that lines can be bent into curves and broken into angles to create an infinit number of configurations.  These include zigzag, curve, wavy, spiral, scalloped, etc.  We listed more types of lines together.

Then we went on to getting to know the American artist Frank Stella, who currently lives in New York City, NY.  He was born in 1936 in Massachusetts to a doctor father and a mother who was a landscape painter. He went on to study history at Princeton University before moving to NYC in 1958 after gradation.

Frank Stealla, Sinjerli, III, 1968

Frank Stella didn't feel that a painting had to represent or look like anything but a painting.  He was quoted in the early 1960s as saying a canvas was "a flat surface with paint on it - nothing more".  His work is known for being abstract and minimalist.

Frank Stella, Star of Persia, II, 1967

We looked at a few of his pieces and talked about the size since most took up whole walls.

Frank Stella, Harran II, 1967

We moved on to our art lesson by first talking about henna and how some cultures use lines it to decorate hands on special occasions. I told them that for today's lesson, they were going to outline their own hand and arm and decorate it with as many types of lines as they can fit in.

Here are a few of the masterpieces:

A few were able to finish early and had time to come up to the front of the class to list all the different types of lines they included in their arms and hands.

The kids were great. They really got the concept of lines and how to use them to create minimalism art.

More art lessons can be found checking out past Art Lesson posts. See you in two weeks!