Saturday, February 5, 2011

Getting Ready to Start a New Adventure

Hello, Everyone! Just didn't want you to think I had dissappeared off the face of the planet. In the last few months there has been lots of upheaval in the Adams/ Tinsley household. Much uncertainty about employment and many other person things I don't really want to go into here.

  One of my recent business decisions has been to change my online selling venue. I used to be with Artfire but they are making changes that don't really work for me. I have loved being a part of the community at Artfire and have enjoyed the many friends I have made there. I truly hope to keep in touch with those people because they have been very supportive and friendly. If you are from Artfire and wish to get in touch with me please don't hesitate to leave me a blogger message. I will send you my email.

  I know that my leaving was sudden. To be honest with you, the reason for that is that I am terrible at saying goodbye. Though I won't be taking part in the Artfire forums anymore, it doesn't mean that I don't want to stay in touch.

This business decision has been tough for me. But my Mom & Dad taught me to stand up for what I believe in and that is why I am changing venues.

I intend to have 2 shops, one at Etsy, which I will treat, as my friend Kibbles says, as my "weekend whore." In other words, list and run. I just want to try it because I see that a great many fine artists do very well there. Who knows? Maybe I will do o.k. there, too. I am also going to be opening a shop on craftisart and probably dawanda, as well.

But the thing I am most excited about is that I am in the planning stages of having my own website! I know that the effort that goes into marketing and promoting your own website is HUGE, but I believe I am up to the task.

To top it all off, I am going to start a new day job this week. So there will be some intense settling in to be done. But I am excited about all of the changes and I am very happy that all of my friends (you guys!) have found me here. I'll keep you posted on what is going on with Wendy Adams Fine Arts. Take care.

P.S. Look for new Artsytype! posts here soon!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Fun, Musically Green Ornament Craft Project

Every year I try something new and creative for our vertical yule log. The log is a post in our house that originally came from a tree in our back yard and it is now a part of the house. Our house is very small. About 700 square feet and it houses 3 people, a large dog and a cat. With so little space, we went with wrapping the log in garland and attaching ornaments to it.

We are musicians in this house and so we have a very musical theme to our tree. And, like a lot of people, we have in the last two or three years started downloading most of our music from itunes and listening to the ipod. We have TONS of cds that will literally never see the light of day again. What to do, what to do? Make the most of them! If you like something a little kitchy and flashy and music related, this is the craft project for you.

Get yourself 2 old cd's. I used 2 cds that had paper labels. Using household craft glue that dries clear, glue them together, label to label. Let dry four or more hours. Then, using the same glue or super glue (being VERY careful of placement because with superglue you can't change it once it's down) embellish your cd with, well, just about anything! Sequins, little jewels, flat sided beads, you name it. I went with guitar picks. But you get the picture. Let dry 4 to 6 hours, then do the other side. Let dry 4 to 6 more hours. Take a 6" length of ribbon, cord, string or beading line, run it through the hole in the middle then double knot it tightly right next to the edge of the cd. Then make another knot to tie the ends together.

Voila! You have a fun, recycled cd holiday ornament for your tree. Enjoy! See pics below.
For more ornaments, original watercolor painting of rockstars and musically related polymer clay jewelry, please visit my studio Adamsarts

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Holiday ornaments!

I created two new ornaments for the holidays this year. You can find them in my studio. Wendy Adams Arts

Tie Dye to Die For!

Recently, I got to spend some time asking some questions of Sara from's tiedyebysara
Sara creates beautiful tie dye clothing that is truly wearable art using 100% cotton. I know from experience that her work is beautiful because I am wearing my favorite piece of clothing right now and it is a custom dyed dress made by non other than Sara! Here is what Sara had to say.

          Artsytype-What is your biggest inspiration?

  Sara-  I think it’s the experiment of it all. With tie dye, you can do the same folds, with the bands in the same spots, using the exact same colors and still come out with two totally unique pieces.
  I’d love to be able to say that I don’t crave approval or want everyone to absolutely love my pieces, but I do. So, I guess you could say that plays into my inspiration. Even the ones my husband dyed from my designs and colors I chose, feel like a part of me, because it’s my heart in there. So, when someone loves it or hates it, it feels personal. Everyone tells me it shouldn’t, but if it didn’t, I don’t think it would turn out the same.

         Artsytype-  What, if anything, did your family do to foster your 
         creative spirit when you were a child?

  Sara--The funny part is that I was into creative writing as a child and was actually quite good at it. Working with “crafty” stuff was for suburbanite housewives, with their tole painting and potpourri sachets. Then, in the fourth grade, I went from a neurotic 4.0 GPA student, to an 11 year old with severe burn out and that changed everything about how I thought or did things. I ate Tums, ground my teeth and was hysterical if I got less than a perfect grade. So, on the advice of our MD, my parents pulled me out of public school and I was homeschooled for a couple of years, until we moved and I started a new school. My parents never pushed me to be perfect, they only wanted my best effort, but the school I had been at wanted nothing less than 100%, 100% of the time. I had a breakdown, just what the MD was hoping to prevent and just shut off about school. I suddenly became okay with just “getting by” and lost the ability to write creatively.
  My family helped me by being okay with who I was, not what my grades said I was.
  I can’t write a story anymore to save my life, but starting in my 20’s, I taught myself to tie dye and make earrings.

          Artsytype-  Why were you initially attracted to your preferred medium?

  Sara -I guess the best way to put it would be that it was the color and controlled chaos. Plus, I can’t draw or paint, so this lets me be artistic, without pulling my hair out as much.
  I started out just making stuff for my family, but then I got requests from perfect strangers for paying orders and it grew from there.

       Artsytype- How do you address those times when you are experiencing artist’s block?

  Sara -I just don’t work on it for a while. I find something else to do. Or, sometimes, since it is a period style, I watch more “hippie” movies and listen to my Grateful Dead, Three Dog Night, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, etc. It gets me in the groove a little easier. I just have to find that calm place.
  Sometimes, the time off makes it harder to get back into it, like this past summer (2010), when I had taken a year off to go back to school. I had done the dying on my own before then, but when I needed to get the lead out, so to speak, I couldn’t wait out the block, so I ended up teaching my husband how to tie dye and we knocked out about 100 pieces every weekend for the better part of 2 months. He is very production oriented and took on the larger stuff and special designs like hearts, while I stuck to the littler stuff and getting all of the other supplies like carbon receipt books, business cards, signs, advertising, ordering new racks, buying more lights, storage totes and generally getting stuff for our new, larger 10ft by 20ft booth together.
  I think we sold somewhere between 300 and 400 pieces between early June and the end of September, with five festivals.

Artsytype-Let’s say that the earth is going to be hit by a rogue meteor. And stretch your imagination to the point that you can even pretend for a moment that humans have their shit together well enough to find a way to evacuate the planet. But, each person can only take three items that must weigh in at less than 20 lbs. collectively. What three items would you take? 

Sara -
-I’m toast then, because I couldn’t leave our Golden Retriever, who weighs about 60-70 lbs, plus some dog food for him to start out with. I’d use the fact that we could use his fur to make blankets as a selling point, so we could take him. That fur is why he lives outside.
  If, aside from that dilemma, I had to choose 3 items; there is the stuffed bear that was in the delivery room when I was born, my pocket knife and a jumbo can of WD40 wrapped in a bunch of Duck tape. Wrapping the Duck tape around the can makes it one item.
  As you can see, I’m all for loopholes.
  There are 6 of us in our house, so I’m sure we’d have it covered for the family.

Here are some of Sara's beautiful pieces. She also dyes pieces out of bamboo fiber like the cute little socks, shown. The backgrounds in the photos are so beautiful. Makes me want to move to Oregon!
Please visit Sara's Artfire studio and have a look around. You are sure to find something for the tie dye lover in your life.

And while you are at it, take a look around my studio too!

Thanks, Sara!

Please join me next time when I interview another, fascinating, memorable, Artsytype!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Refined Beauty-The Artistry of Morgansilk

Welcome back to the ARTSYTYPE! blog where we continue to explore the creative spirit.

In this week's edition, I was lucky enough to interview one of my favorite artisans on, Morgansilk. She makes beautiful, handpainted silk items, all inspired by the colors and patterns that occur in nature. As I wandered around her studio, I discovered this photo in her biographical material.  She was in an article in U.S. News and World Report! If you look at the photo, you will notice that she is holding a flower in one hand and painting the image of it on silk with the other. That she paints from the actual live subject is one of the reasons, I believe, that her work is so vibrant and alive.

I asked Morgansilk a few questions about the foundation of her creativity. This is what she had to say:

Artsytype  What is your biggest inspiration?

Morgansilk   Color, color, color and their juxtapositions. I spend a lot of time scrutinizing natural patterns and negative space. Almost anything that has interesting negative / positive space catches my attention. I am less interested in replicating nature, but I love using the colors and textures found around and about as a starting-off point.

Artsytype      What, if anything, did your family do to foster your creative spirit when you were a child?

Morgansilk    I grew up in a very small college town, and there was a local art center and lots of interest in the Arts. I started taking drawing and painting lessons there when I was twelve-- all the rest of the students were adults. I was a sponge. Both my parents encouraged me; my Dad told me just a few days before he died that he wished I would paint more. I don't think he really thought my fabric design was quite the same thing as painting a scene to hang on the wall.....Lots of people have that point of view; I don't. How much wall space can you have, and there are a plethora of gifted painters out there.
I do have to say that no matter what your art, a person should study drawing and painting in a traditional manner, including emulating the dead Greats. It takes a long time to develop a style. I spent a lot of time wandering around the landscape with my watercolors and paper; a strange little hermit a lot of the time.
I used to play the piano, too, but am completely without natural ability. I should also mention that I am left-handed; lefties will understand that the world is a bit skewed for them, and there is a certain pride in being different that bleeds over into other things. 

Artsytype     Why were you initially attracted to your preferred medium?

Morgansilk    I was taking a required  undergraduate Design in Fiber class in college, doing loom work. My professor, the Great Nancy Belfer, used her free time in the college studio to experiment with dyes. She was very secretive because she was writing a book, but I eavesdropped when I was supposed to be stringing a floor loom. I took an advanced class from her, but we did nothing with dyes-- I just wanted to sneak around and see what she was up to. We became friends and traded artwork, and are still friends. She is still creating some of the most amazing work in the field of Surface Design. ( as an example. Her book on fabric dye was the definitive at the time in 1969. She has also been featured in Surface Design Magazine and sells to mostly corporate clients and galleries)

Artsytype      How do you address those times when you are experiencing artist’s block?

Morgansilk    I hate to sound phoney, but I have never had that problem. I work constantly on new designs. I get ideas walking around the block or in my dreams. Nature is a never-ending inspiration: all our color preferences come from what we see created around us naturally, so I get ideas every time I look outside. Going on a prolonged trip gives me weeks of thoughts to work through. I also like to experiment with unusual color combinations, and they give me spurts of direction as well. I like to take two opposite colors and play around with their tertiary colors in contrast to each other.

Artsytype          Let’s say that the earth is going to be hit by a rogue meteor. And stretch your imagination to the point that you can even pretend for a moment that humans have their shit together well enough to find a way to evacuate the planet. But each person can only take three items that must weigh in at less than 20 lbs. collectively. What three items would you take? 

Morgansilk    Twenty pounds is not enough! You can't take people, and my dog weighs too much. Probably photos of my family......not my artwork, because everything I would see after that event would make everything I had done before obsolete. Which reminds me, I am fascinated by nebulae, but am not ready to attempt making one on silk......  Maybe if we had our shit together we could all shrink ourselves first........

Here are some photos of the incredible handiwork from her new fall line.

And here is my favorite from her studio, this lovely spin on my favorite plant, the coleus.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Morgansilk as much as I did. Here is her contact info so that you can visit her studio and pick up a piece of wearable art for yourself or someone you love.

Morgansilk's Website

And while you're at it, please stop by and visit me too!
Wendy Adams

Thanks so much for stopping by and reading all about another ARTSYTYPE!

Next time join me while I talk a little about artistic confidence and change, from a personal point of view. Until then, remember, the world needs art and music more than ever!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Artsytype Soapbox

    Hi! Welcome to the Artsytype blog. My original plan for this blog was to research and feature information about the creative mind and what makes it tick. This blog actually started in my Artfire studio which you can find here: Adamsarts For that post I interviewed one of my favorite artisans from Artfire. Her name is spiral and you can go read about her in my Artfire blog and visit her studio as well because she is a very talented and fascinating person.
   For this post I am diverting my course a bit because I have things to say that I just have to get out. Please bear with me while I hop up on my soapbox.

  It's all over the news: Another young life lost to intolerance and hatred.
  In my nearly half century on the planet I am sad to say that I haven't seen much change in the world where hatred is concerned. Every day innocent people die because of it. Intolerance is just as rampant as it has ever been. With the advent of the internet and social media it is as widespread as ever. Every day, all over the planet, people die because they are "different". Children die because they are powerless. Women and girls are abused and killed because they are female. Lives are cut short because of a difference in sexual orientation, skin color or religion. It happens all the time in every nation. No country is exempt.

  You may ask yourself, "well, what can I do? I am only one person. I can't change the hate mongers!"
You are infinitely more powerful than you think you are. Start by setting a positive example in your every day life. Show the world that you will not put up with ignorance and hatred. Stand up for what you believe in and DON'T BACK DOWN. Most importantly, teach your children that bullying is wrong and then repeat that lesson over and over, as if they were memorizing their multiplication tables. Because this IS the most important lesson that they will ever learn. Teach them that to hate a person based on their age, sex, skin color, religion, disability, sexual orientation or monetary worth is WRONG  and that will never change.
   Then teach them the power of love by your example, as well. Show the people that you care about how you feel, in both word and deed. Show your community that this issue is important to you and that you will make a difference.

   Come on, people. We can DO this. Let love and sanity prevail.

  The "soapbox" versions of this blog will be few and far between. I am grateful that you read this one. Oh, and I would appreciate it if you can pass this along.

  On my next post we will be exploring what link, if any, there is between "handedness" and creativity.
'Til then, Peace!