Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Key to Happiness


(Above: The Key to Happiness, front)


(Above: The Key to Happiness, back)

About seven years ago I decided to "become" an artist, specifically, a fiber artist...a creative embroiderer. I had no education, no experience, and had produced no art. I was, however, a picture framer. I framed for lots of artists, went to lots of art openings, and was familiar with some of the "professional" aspects of being an artist. Thus, no matter how ridiculous it seemed for me to embark upon a career without any background in the field, I did have some significant advantages...like a business license, a retail license, wholesale framing, a strong work ethic, a mailing list, etc. I didn't have a resume....just my name, address, and telephone information. This had to change.

I started entering juried exhibitions. The first one I ever tried was the annual miniature show at the Florence Museum in Florence, South Carolina. Only my husband knew I was doing this. It was scary and exciting...potentially embarrassing. I got in! I was awarded an honorable mention! I had my first line on my resume. I've always loved this show as a result.

Now, I rarely create art for a specific opportunity...instead, I look for juried shows into which I might submit my art. Yet, there are always exceptions....like the Florence miniature show. The maximum size is 5" x 4". The framing can be larger....but this year, my framing is part of the art....so The Key to Happiness is 5" x 4" overall.

I'm working on The Key to Success, but I cracked the plexi when installing one of the gilt headed brads....not quite "success" yet! The best part of this is, however, the fact that I've used scraps from my "month of backgrounds" with a concept (Key to....) that I plan to continue with! The background is a piece of fabric/paper...made according to Nikki's tutorial. The fabric is a piece of vintage Chinese silk embellished onto acrylic, craft felt and then burnt (with a few hand stitches worked with a single thread...obviously, I've gone nuts!) The back is a collage that is recessed so that the required "wire" will still allow the small work to hang flat against the wall. Hopefully, tomorrow I'll have "Success".

8 comments:

Doreen G said...

You sure have come a long way Susan.
I love The key to Happiness.

arlee said...

More power to you for jumping in!
I like the back as much as the front--two sided art--perfect!

Wanda said...

To some of us, you have always been an artist, Susan. I, for one, know the many talents you have and it isn't limited to "art". You are like the bards of old. You are a teacher. You spark things in others. You touch people and make them see things in themselves. You are a loving friend and a caring sister. You are a hero to at least one person I know...even if it is because she was your birthday present so many years ago!

Nikki said...

I'm excited to see a piece that came out of your month of backgrounds. I love the whole concept of this piece: Key to Happiness -- Wonderful. The back is a work of art in itself.

Something tells me Wanda is someone you know well and what she says is very true.

Karoda said...

Art must be like this...when the spirit calls you've gotta move!

Jacquelines blog said...

Oh Susan, You are so hard for yourself, what is in an agree or a paper? Relax girl!!! You are a great artist and a great friend! Let it go girl! You can't please everyone, the people that get to know you as an artist are the lucky ones. There are so many artists that become famous after there dead...let's join them! we shall never know if our work has made some influence, at least we are pioniers and we did try!

Gunnels blog said...

Yes, I can only agree with everyone else! Yor art is graet, Susan!! And the back too! Good luck!!!!

Beate Knappe said...

I love the whole concept of the Key Art - this is so wonderful - and inspiring me - thanks alot - I'm happy to meet you