Benthic Oasis, assemblage shadow box, currently on sale at Mud and Metal located in Hampden, Maryland
Senegal Woman with Mosquito, assemblage shadow box for sale at Mud and Metal in Hampden, Maryland.
Cinnamon Hippo, assemblage box for sale at Mud and Metal located in Hampden, Maryland.
Red Monkey, small assemblage box for sale at The Green Phoenix, located in Easton, Maryland.
Vintage brown China Shard, currently for sale at The Green Phoenix in Easton, Maryland
Converting Slides to JPegs and Playing 'Catch Up' with the Digital Art Generation
After graduating from art school in 1985, I soon gave birth to my first child and by his first birthday I was itching for some creative me time. I really have a thing for multimedia, found objects and the art of placement. I like to refer to Asian flower arranging and silk paintings when I need to be reminded of what perfect placement feels like. Small, quick multimedia experiments were the solution to a young mother's routine and limited alone time. I soon came to realize that I could combine my love for scavenging, antiques and multimedia into small scale art formats or brooches/pins that might be marketable.
In 1988 I boldly took a box of these wearable assemblage pins to a popular shop in Ellicott city, Maryland called Discoveries and to my great relief and joy, was not only validated but honored with my first sale on the spot. Other galleries and shops at that time often required a set of slides rather than a direct meeting with the artist and their work so I really lucked out on my first marketing attempt.
After a lot of conventional, old fashioned, leg work I built my business and by 1997, I had work orders from more than a dozen shops and galleries across the country. That was also the year my father was diagnosed with cancer and my art career was put on hold for about 10 years. There is more to that story but everyone reading this has undoubtedly experienced multiple complicated set backs in their life.
The hardest part of starting a new full time art career in 2014 was catching up with the pace and trappings of an online world. My first large expense was getting hundreds of slides converted to digital files so I could have a website with archived images of past work. Then I had to make new work and introduce myself to new galleries and in the process discovered how much trends had changed since my youth. I am now 52 and my sons are adults. Nothing has changed for me as an artist in terms of my passion for scavenging and playing with multimedia except that I am more conscious of the exploitative nature of big business. What this boils down to is being more responsible for the supplies I purchase. I try to use environmentally, human and animal friendly products.
The greatest challenge I have to contend with in this new fast paced, online world is the commercialization of DIY project kits and the explosion of the crafts market which is not a bad thing but it tends to co-opt genuine creativity and invention and sell the public mass produced "steampunk" this and that at a price a genuine assemblage artist cannot compete with.
I am only one person, not factory. There is poetry in my process. I work when the spirit moves me. I play in a way that allows innovation to arise naturally. I hope I can inspire others to be creative. At the end of the day, 'as they say,' that is what matters most to me.