Friday, February 4, 2011

Artist Profile--Z'anne Bakke

Our featured artist this month is Z'anne Bakke. Z'anne is one of those artists who loves to do meticulous, intricate work. We always marvel at her patience for pieces that would frustrate most of us.

1. What are the main mediums you use? What do you find satisfying about them?

Beads. Lots and Lots of Beads! My first class in beadwork was January 1993 and I haven't stopped playing with them since. When I've had a particularly stressful day/week/ month, sitting down and going through the motions of picking up a bead, pulling the thread through and starting over can be a very calming and meditative practice. I've kept my sanity these past years by beading. (Bede is Middle English and means prayer.) A word of warning: beads are as addictive as drugs and just as expensive. The nice part about this addiction, you end up with some great jewelry that you can brag about and maybe even sell.

When not beading, I use a new form of doodling called Zentangle, For someone who cannot draw, (really, I can't), it gives me the self-assurance and confidence to continue with my art. I can doodle myself a cool picture using one line at a time. This, too, is very addictive. You do get some cool art out of it so....things even out.

One of Z'anne's zentangles called "Purple Garden":

2. If someone were going to get started in those mediums, what suggestions would you give? (classes, materials, book recommendations, general tips?)

Classes are the best way to learn beadwork. You can get hands on instruction and meet some very nice people. Check out your local bead store to see if they have a class schedule or if not, who they might know that can teach you. Books are the next best thing. I've been collecting beading books since I started and there is no one book that can teach you everything. Check out your library for the beading books you like before purchasing them. And you will be buying books.

3. A perfect art day would look like_________

Partly cloudy, mid-70's, no wind, out on the deck with my beads and bead magazines, no interruptions, no cares and no responsibilities. I can dream......Wha? What? The cat box needs cleaning? *sigh*

4. Do you have dedicated studio space? Give a brief description of where you work.

I have the back bedroom as my studio with all the beads, collage, stamping, painting and whatever, for all my art activities, if I can get to them. (The studio is an art storage room at the moment.) However, I spend most of the time in the living room at the Bead Desk. It's a beautiful oak roll top with big drawers and lots of cubbies. It's positioned by the living room windows so I get lots of natural light, whenever the sun comes out. I can also watch the birds and the squirrels on the deck when I need to rest my eyes.

5. Favorite place you've visited or lived?

I'm now living in my most favorite spot. Five acres, in the woods, off the road and away from most of civilization. My grandparents had a cabin in the woods outside of Camptonville, CA when I was growing up and I've always loved the mountains. Mt. St. Helens is a clear shot down my driveway and Mt. Hood stands tall over the road as I drive out. It's the closest thing to paradise I can think of.

6. What inspires you (or are there recurring themes in your work)?

Well....the aforementioned five acres in the woods is a good start to my inspirations. There are so many textures and designs in nature that keep my creative juices flowing. Also, sometimes it's just the beads themselves that can spark an idea. I enjoy looking at other artists work, and might take part of their idea and turn it into something beady.

"Sand to Pearls" necklace:

7. I still struggle with_______________

Deadlines. I think I give myself plenty of time to get pieces done for a show or competition and before I know it, time has slipped by and I missed it. Sticky notes are my friends, but if I keep losing more of my mind the house will plastered with them.

8. I'd be lost without__________

The great friends at PAC. They are fun and funny, creative and clever, inspirational and insane. Time with my Arty Girls is special time for me. Oh...I'd also be lost without my Fire Mountain Gem and Beads Catalog.

Gold dyed coral necklace:

9. Favorite dessert?

Anything chocolate. Except chocolate covered bugs or anything chocolate covered from Monty Python.

10. What's on the horizon?

Continue with my Earrings 365 challenge of making a pair of earrings a day for a year. Work on some new bead and paper collages that my Muse recently suggested and enter some art shows later in the year.

One of many sets of earrings that Z'anne is auctioning off:

I am auctioning off all those pairs of earrings, one weeks worth at a time, to help two charities. and are two no kill shelters for unwanted cats and dogs. You can see all my earrings at and click on the Earrings 365 page. Then if you see something you like, go on over to to bid on them. Thank you for helping out our furry little friends.


Createology said...

Very nice profile. Your "Sand to Pearls" necklace is stunning. How fun to utilize your roll top desk for beading. Camptonville is not far from where I live here in the beautiful mountains. Small world that it is. Happy February Hearts...

Z'anne said...

Thank you! That whole area has a special place in my heart. The cabin is long gone now, but I still have my memories.

Speaking of hearts...I just got come very cool red hearts and will be making up some earrings for my challenge this week.