Thursday, December 23, 2010

Question of the Month--Art Gifts

In the spirit of the season, our question this month is "What was one of the best art gifts you either gave or received?"


I think the best art gift I have ever given have been those to my nieces and nephews. My nephew, Adam, just graduated with a BFA in Art. I have often wondered if me encouraging him lead to this degree.


Given: Our PAC gift exchanges have opened doors for me. As a result of a couple projects, I’ve developed classes and products to sell, not to mention how much I learn each time we do these. When I gave Leigh the Shrine, I learned how to work with water soluble oil pastels and developed the Pop Up Fold Out Neighborhood Shrine, which lead to writing a little booklet and teaching classes, and having an article published in Cloth Paper Scissors in March 2008. Then that lead to doing photo tinting and teaching classes in that. This group has been a huge gift in helping me develop as an artist.

Received: Teachers who have showed me how to work with art materials that broke through my story that “I can’t do things, like painting, drawing or calligraphy.” Best gift received: possibility. Then there was the woman at Fabric Depot who was cutting some yardage for me and out of the blue asked me “Are you can artist?” I had to look behind me to see who she was talking to. When I realized it was me, after a moment of going inside and really asking myself, I realized the answer and said “Yes!” That was a gift.


Best art gift? The unexpected one. A friend went trekking in Nepal and visited her daughter who lives in Katmandu. Upon returning home, my friend presented me with 4 sheets of colorful paper, each one stamped differently in gold. To think that she had traveled around the world to bring home this precious gift. Of course, I quickly made a box for her covered in the papers.


When I was a kid I used to beg for paper without lines. I always had tablet paper, but not drawing paper. When I was about ten, one of my older sisters who had gotten married, sent me a whole a box of typing paper and construction paper along with a paint set and a bottle of glue. I thought I was in heaven.


The BEST art gift I've ever received was from an artist (now architect and artist) who had seen my assemblage art and loved the fact that I actually used my treasures to create my art. He said he had "a few assemblage bits" that he had collected and that he would like to give them to me. We kept in touch by email for about a month and finally the day came for me to collect the "bits". Imagine my shock when I saw the boxes (plural))! He told me the stories of how he came to acquire many of them. He used the treasures he collected to paint (fabulous!) still life paintings from them and wanted to pass along many of them to an artist who could use them.

It took me months to finally incorporate them all into my art studio. Many of the "bits" have become my favorite treasures (of course) and it will take a very special piece to get me to part with them. Some of them have become "just the perfect thing" for an assemblage. I can only feel passionately grateful for these gifts as I place a bit in my art piece (a skull, a yellow car, part of a musical instrument). When people asked how I could bear to use some of the pieces in my work, I can say that was because I feel like I have "enough" to use! Well, you know, one can never have "enough" of these treasures. But as I created pieces for my shows, the pile of treasures doesn't seem to diminish.


The best art gift I have ever been given is the invitation to join PAC!


One of the best arty gifts I've received was today, at our Annual Christmas Party. Judi gave me her most wonderful rooster. He is big and red and living on a purple background. He fits perfectly in my office and makes me smile every time I see him. Not to say that the beautiful gifts I've received from our other members are not appreciated, they are, very much so! I'm glad to be surrounded by such creative artists!


I've made handmade gifts my whole life and always like to customize whatever I make to the recipient, so it's a little hard to pick a favorite gift I've given. Most recently I made my sister a funky stitched pillow for her bed in reds, limes, oranges and purples. No one else probably would have liked it, but she loved it, and it pulled her room together perfectly.

The best art gift I was ever given was when I was 8. The first art supply store opened in our town, and my parents got me a huge set of real artist oil pastels and canvas paper. I was so thrilled to have serious art supplies. This was during my "swan period," so I drew swans for weeks and eventually took all my clothes out of my closet and turned it into an art gallery to display them. To this day, I'd much rather have art than clothes.


One of the very best Art Gifts I receive are the teachers that share their creative instructions with us, for example a great gift to me is Tory!


Always the most recent one. Anything I recieve is so special, that someone took the time to give me anything, the value is of no importance, just the gesture. So for this moment, I would have to say a special personalized coffee cup that my art friends got was too funny.


This was a hard one for me, as I think of all the wonderful gifts I have received over the years from PAC friends and others, and it is too difficult to name just one.

Sooo, I will retreat from that area to perhaps my all time favorite art-related gift from Jim, which was my all in one color printer, lo these many years ago before they were so commonplace. I only recently reluctantly replaced it, and the new one just isn't the same.


One of the best art gifts I ever received was one of Stephanie's flaming hearts! I had been coveting one for a very long time!

From all of us at Portland Art Collective--Happy Holidays!

1 comment:

Jan said...

this was fun to read.