4 little questions

Over the last couple weeks I've read a number of responses to these 4 questions across the web.  I was asked to participate as one of Karen's 3 'forwards' but totally forgot last week, so here (a day late and a dollar short as my Mom would say), are my responses:

1.  What am I working on right now?
Well, as usual, I have many projects in various stages of disarray.  I'm joining in ICAD for the 3rd year so make a little piece of creativity every day for that.  But, prior to Tammy's challenge, I'd set one for myself to make something every day this year - it's my second consecutive 365 project and I'm exactly on track so far.  ICAD is just a way to accomplish two things at once.

I bought my stack of 4x6 index cards at the dollar store and always have them on hand because they also make a perfect postcard size, which is another thing I'm always working on.  It seems the postcards come in faster than I can return them sometimes, so I have marathon card making every few weeks to try to catch up. I always have a couple postcards sitting on my desk ready for a bit of left over paint or collage bits.
Finally, I always seem to have at least one canvas in process.  I work them slowly because it takes me awhile to figure out what to add, where to add it, what is needed, what I like and don't like.  Here's my current 12x12" WIP.

2.  How does my work differ from others in the genre?

The short answer is: I guess it doesn't much.  I don't innovate - I have yet to come up with a new technique, a ground breaking composition style or unique color combination. I'm in the "try this", no, "try that" phase of my art development.  I consider imitation to be the highest form of flattery (me imitating someone else).  From that imitation I feel like I can learn how to apply a certain technique or use a new tool.  From that imitation I learn what I like and don't like to do or to see.  Gradually I move away from imitating a style and incorporate just the pieces or colors or techniques that I like and it becomes mine - a conglomeration of all the imitating and influences that I've encountered.

I've been thinking a lot lately about my style and how I want to define it.  The thing is, I like so many things - how do I combine them in a artful way? As I've pondered, I've come to realize my strengths and loves. I love photography and have a huge personal library of photos I've taken all over the world.  I love collage and marrying textures and colors effectively.  I love playing with paint and the splash of color it can add to an image.  My goal - combine all three! I am going to focus on finding a way to incorporate my photos effectively into my art.  I'm not sure what that'll look like just yet - but it's going to become what differentiates me from others.....(she says hopefully! :)
Photo of arches at San Juan Capistrano

3.  Why do I create what I do?
I have created something all my adult life.  Cross stitch, quilting, cards, jewelry, whatever......I always enjoy learning and trying something new.  Why?  It's challenging, it's fun, it's necessary.  What do people do with their time who don't create something?  Dunno - I just know I prefer spending time with my glue, my bits of paper, my paint brushes.

4.  How does your creative process work?
Hmmm....my process?  Sometimes I have an actual idea, a sketch or plan or color that's calling to me and I can start and finish something with intention.  More frequently, I have no idea what I'm going to do - I just go into the art room, look around and whatever catches my eye, that's what I work on.

I'm so lucky to have a generously sized art room that is filled to the brim with 'stuff', so much stuff waiting for me to be inspired or to just "show up and do the work".  My work table is a reclaimed door, so it's nice and big and often looks like this - stacks here and there. My inspiration bulletin board is there to keep me motivated, some of my favorite creations or works in progress are tacked to the wall.  I LOVE my space - messy and yet inspiring. And I actually know what's in most of the stacks!

These utility shelves used to be in the garage, but work much better to hold my books, paper, found treasures and bins of ...... stuff.  My process is to grab a book and rip out a couple pages, grab some scrap paper, pick up a brush, grab whatever catches my eye and work with it.

So many people mention working to music or a TV on in the background.  I'm the opposite. I like a quiet house and almost always work in a quiet room.  I do have a radio in there, but it's rarely on.  I get so engrossed in what I'm doing, I wouldn't notice music anyway.  Sometimes I only have 10-15 minutes, so I dash in and make a postcard or work in my art journal - something that doesn't involve a paintbrush and clean up.  Some weekend days, I have all day so I putter in and out of the room - I'll work with focus for an hour or two then take a break and let stuff dry and go do something else.  An hour later I'm back for more and adding more layers or making more messes.  I love those days!

So, there you have it - a peek into how my brain works, how my creative process works and where I hang out.  The request for this series of questions was to ask 3 other bloggers to answer them as well.  Instead, I'm just putting it out there to anyone who feels inspired to answer.....do you?  How would you answer these questions?  I'd love to read your take - your process and background. Let's hear it!

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