Thursday, July 29, 2010

ocd & a jeweler's hands

Greetings Sweet Hearts,
Thanks so very much to Miss Lesley Venable
for her fabulous guest post!
I LOVED finding out more about her
& getting a chance to see some of her amazing & creative mixed media arts.
I want to take a class on each & every one of them...especially the burnt tins. I'm totally enamoured with those lost & tattered looking boxes!
So, my questions to all of you...
Is this the way a jeweler's hands are suppose to look or am I just having difficulty in wire wrapping? lol

Next question...
Am I the only one who when starting a new project or passion, becomes completely OCD about it & can do nothing else, or do I really need to find some medication to control my urges?

This is my 2nd charming handmade necklace & earring set 'Buttons & Baubles'
& I really do love it.
I made this set from vintage buttons & faux black pearls, with Vintaj brass findings. The white flower button is made from an abalone shell & is just adorable.
As I continue to practice, I have begun to have a feel for the wire.
The round nose pliers have become my friend rather then a stubborn bureaucrat unwilling to bend. My 2 long noses, help he hold my creation firmly as I work & my sweet wire nippers give me a feeling of accomplishment every time I nip the tiny tail off of 1 of my links.

For my 3rd set I found a fabulous source on etsy,
Studio on the Hill
where Karen creates amazing hand torched wire in different colors. Her fishhook ear wires are so beautiful, there is no need for me to try & duplicate them as I could never make them as lovely!
I chose her brown copper penny wire & love it. The 22 gauge is perfect & just what I wanted to use to make this next set.

My inspiration for this piece was a gorgeous vintage rosary I had seen made with natural stone beads. I used a wonderful old vintage brooch as the focal point & accented it with smoky quartz. My photos so don't do it justice & I should probably use a different surface to photograph on other then my rusty old desk top...but what the hey! It's what it was sitting on! lol

{check out those great fishhooks Karen made}
I've listed these in my etsy shop, all though I'm still learning how to let go.
Who knows?
Next week I may decide to run away & join the circus,
but for today I'm a
jewelry designer!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Happy Monday Morning...

Hi Everyone!!!

First off I want to thank Susie for so graciously letting me come over and visit with y'all!

My name is Lesley Venable and I am a self taught Mixed Media artist who lives in Virginia with my wonderful hubby, Tom (aka Mr. Lesley), and our furry family of 4 (Clancy, Lucy, Cagney & Squirrelene). I was born in Texas, raised in Louisiana and moved "North" about 12 years ago so I am a true Southern girl.

I always considered myself a rebel although I must admit that most of the time I was the rebel without a clue.....well that is until I came across the world of Mixed Media. This art form really allowed my artistic side to shine and it allowed my artist the space to color outside the lines. My mom, Ginger Edwards, is a traditional artist who creates beautiful oil painted canvases, watercolors and more. I have always been in awe of her work but the style just wasn't what my brain needed to wrap around creatively so when I "found" Mixed Media I jumped in feet first and never looked back.

I've been teaching Mixed Media art for the last 4 years and have taught at small studios as well as at major art retreats (Art Is, Art & Soul, Artiscape). My art has been published in Somerset Weddings, Somerset Gallery and I have two pieces which will appear in the next issue of Sew Somerset. 2010 has been a busy teaching year with more still to come.

First up I will be teaching at Art Bliss in September at their Inaugural Event. I will be teaching the Altered Coaster Book, the Altered Tags and the Altered Vintage Photo Album (see photos below). This is going to be a wonderful event and I hope that if you are interested in taking Mixed Media or jewelry classes that you will come and join us. The classes look fantastic, the hotel is fabulous, the room rates are absolutely terrific and I promise you will be amazed at the feeling you get being surrounded by other like minded souls. Click on the link below to be magically taken to their site....
Then in October we will be traveling to Connecticut for Art Is You. Where I will be teaching an altered tin class, altered album class and altered cuff class. October in Connecticut is a beautiful time of year and this is an awesome retreat. You can check it out here:
My final "away from home" class will take place in Waxahachie, Texas at the Paper Cowgirl Wicked Tea Party. This is a one day, 4 teacher event which promises to be nothing less than spectacular!!! Check it out here:
So, I am hoping you stuck around long enough for me to show you just who I am and what my art is all about.....
My First Ever Altered Book

I began by altering books....I loved working on the pages and building little niches to place vintage images. Tom had no idea what I was doing and my co-workers, to this day, still look at me like I'm totally out of my head...maybe I am but I'm happy here.

My next steps were into altering tins. It was the happiest day of my life when I learned that you could burn off the paint on the tin instead of having to sand it off. Tins are one of my all time favorite things to work with, little boxes that hold mysteries and secrets.....

Altered Tin With Booklet

The more I created the more I learned about composition, then I had to learn (or try) about shading, layering and drawing the eye across the page or piece. Sometimes my "necessary job" wouldn't let go at the end of the day and I found I was too technical and could see my rebel brain making a break for it. I finally figured out that I had to just let the piece flow like it wanted to and to quit looking for perfection. Art is supposed to be fun and inspiring and (ack!!) I was stomping down my muse with my banker brain. So I started creating with out of the ordinary items.....

Altered Coaster Book - Page Detail

Altered Coaster Book - page layout

Then I began adding other elements that I had never used before like fabrics and sewing...

Altered Vintage Photo Album

And incorporating my love of all types of transfers into my work....

Altered Tag with Transfer

Then I began making books instead of just altering them.....

Altered Book Page - Paper & Fabric

Adding embellishments, although still keeping with my more simplistic collage style...

Altered Tag with Transfer & Embellishment

and I found that I fell in love with Mixed Media all over again and my muse was happy which in turn made me happy.
Thanks again Susie for allowing me to share a bit about myself...hope I wasn't too boring!!!!
Have a wonderfully blessed Monday everyone!!!!