Friday, 28 September 2012

Celebrating UK Artists 12: Michelle Jackson-Mogford

Welcome to the last interview celebrating the talents of British artists in the field of scrapbooking, photography, mixed-media, art journaling, feltmaking and quilting.  Some names you may know and some may not be so familiar but they are all hugely talented.



*Brief Bio
 
I’m a onetime theatre designer turned stage manager that decided to give it all up after touring the length and breadth of the British Isles to get back to my arty roots and I’m loving it! I’m married to a comedian (that’s a whole other story!) and I live in the beautiful North East country side with him and our 2 little dogs Stanley Dervish and Oliver Pickles

I discovered scrapbooking at the beginning of 2007 and realised it was the perfect outlet for my creativity. I was proud, honoured and thrilled to be announced a Best of British Scrapbooking winner at the end of 2008 and that opened many crafty doors within the industry and I feel very lucky to now have a career sticking paper together!

I have been featured in many of the UK craft magazines and have been a contributor to some including Scrapbook Inspirations and Craft Stamper and am very excited to not only be a contributor but also to have been a consultant on the launch of a brand new international magazine Scrap 365 which had its 1st issue out in November 2011. I have designed for Banana Frog stamps in the UK as well as Purple Cows Inc and Glitz Designs in the States. I also work with Serif (craft artist, digital crafting software) and I have been demoing their product on Create and Craft/ Ideal world TV as well as Purple Cows tools for the last 2 years. 2012 is shaping up to be very exciting with many big crafty projects on the go!

*Who or what are your creative influences?  And why?
I have so many influences in my life that I draw on so I guess I will have to narrow it down for this interview so I don’t send you all to sleep!

Some of the people that influence me include;
Frida Kahlo – Just an amazingly inspiring woman, I love her very personal art and her life story with all that she battled with. I also have a passion for Mexico and she was always very true to her roots
Diego Rivera – obviously linked to Frida in so many ways, again the influence of Mexico is seen in his work and I love his huge murals and simple style
Cesar Manrique – an artist I didn’t really know a lot about until I went to Lanzarote on holiday and travelled the island discovering all his installations which are amazing and awe inspiring, an artist that really thinks outside the box!
Henri Rousseau – I love his naive, simple and colourful style
Dyan Reaveley (in the craft industry) – A British woman who has taken on the craft industry and succeeded.

The place in the world that influences me the most creatively is Mexico – I love everything about it, the colour, the history, the spirituality and the people.

And finally the things that influence me are the everyday things like;
Adverts and idents on the tv between programmes – short quick imagery that has to give a message and quite often the place I will look to for a boost to my mojo
And the colours of nature, seen all around us, the beauty of the sky especially on a stormy day and the sea.



*What is your preferred medium of creativity?   What appeals to you about this?
I guess it all starts in Scrapbooking! I love telling stories, recording memories and creating art with meaning as well as creating collages, so scrapbooking is the perfect solution for me.
I love playing with everything crafty as well as using the unexpected and finding different ways to use it, Scrap art as I like to call it allows me to do all of this and even take it into my 3D work that comes from my original training as a theatre designer.



*What other areas of creativity do you dabble in?
I have fits and start with all sorts of other creativity. I enjoy photography, always looking at things in different ways to catch that moment in time although I really don’t know the technical ins and outs of it! I enjoy a bit of sewing once in a while and quite often have the urge to knit but truth be told I’m not very good at it! And every now and then I get the paints out and attack a canvas!

*What is one of your earliest creative memories?
I’m lucky enough to have lots of these. I grew up in a very creative family! I remember going out with my Gran, a painter, over the North Yorkshire moors painting sheep. I remember sitting with my nanny in bed while mum and dad were still asleep and her patiently trying to teach me to knit and also bake up days with her on a Friday. I remember getting my dad to draw me things to colour in and I remember coveting my mum’s huge box of felt tips she used to colour in a huge piece of doodle art. I also remember my first big creative achievement was being asked to decorate the classroom with my best friend Trudy for the Queens silver Jubilee, A huge undertaking for a 7 year old!



*Pablo Picasso said: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”   How did you find this transition worked in your life?
 Such a true quote! As a child we just create, we have no fear of ‘doing it wrong’ and as an adult it is hard to hold on to that. I have found myself over the years getting bogged down with all those mythical do’s and dont’s out there and fearing criticism and ridicule but have found I have been able to break these thought patterns by once in a while stopping and thinking about why I want to create and then creating something just for me, because I want to and that reminds me of the freedom of creativity and renews my energy to forge ahead with my art work and ideas.

*How did you find your creative style?
I don’t know if I so much found it or if it found me in the end! I’ve always kept my mind open to different techniques and mediums and love reading books to spark ideas and try new things but in the end I always seem to put a Michelle twist on it so I guess my creative style is just part of me and takes over most of my work.


 
*What activity do you use to jumpstart your creativity?
 Sometimes I’ll be on the edge of an idea or a thought but just can’t quite make it materialise so my answer is to go and do everyday things like housework, tidying and walking the dogs. I find doing these normal things frees my brain up to wander and 9 times out of 10 that light bulb will spark into life, some people call it procrastination I call it ‘thinking space’

*Describe your style in using 5 different words.  Share your thoughts about these words.
This is one of those questions that I always find difficult to answer as I’m never really sure what my style is but here goes;
Different – I like to think left of centre and put my own twist on things
Quirky – I guess a little bit like the different comment, I like to add things that make me smile and hopefully bring a smile to the viewer of my work
Mixed – Most times I tend to the colourful and the quirky but sometimes the mood takes me to create something pretty and subdued
Handmade – I really like using my own drawn imagery in my work like doodled embellishments and hand cut shapes
Thoughtful – I like to make sure every line, bit of paper or embellishment helps towards telling the story of my piece.



*Which is your favourite technique?
This really depends on my mood and the piece I’m working on but I do like doodling and I love papier mache and paint.

*Favourite quote(s)?
 ‘Surrealism is the magical surprise of finding a lion in a wardrobe where you were sure of finding shirts’ – Frida Kahlo

‘Everything happens for a reason’ – My Mum

*Favourite art gallery or museum?
The Tate – specifically the pre Raphaelite room
The Medici Chapel, St Lorenzo, Florence – An homage to Michealangelo
The Mexican museum of folklore art at Xcaret ecological park, Yucatan, Mexico



*Please add anything else that you would like to say that that hasn’t been covered by the above questions.
I have a passion for my hobby, which I am also lucky enough to be able to do as a job and I love to share it with people and I am absolutely thrilled to be invited to do this interview with Bernice alongside such a talented line up of UK artists

*Where you can find Michelle:

If you were able to ask Michelle anything what would you ask?  Please add your question to the comments below.

What a fabulous way to end this series.  Michelle sent me 38 photos of her work for me to choose from!  Fantastic.



Did I just say the series had ended?

Come back next Friday for one last surprise guest.   Can you guess who it might be?

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Thankful Thursday

I've been working hard on preparing the blog posts for the Attitude of Gratitude Journal Challenge Blog.

To find out how it's going to work and what to expect, nip over to today's blog post to find out more.


Friday, 21 September 2012

Celebrating UK Artists 11: Lin Brown

Welcome to the 11th interview celebrating the talents of British artists in the field of scrapbooking, photography, mixed-media, art journaling, feltmaking and quilting.  Some names you may know and some may not be so familiar but they are all hugely talented.



*Brief Bio 
I am a wife, mother & Nanna to four beautiful grand children. After twenty years of running my own, very successful craft store, I am now very happy to say I am semi-retired. I have been beyond blessed throughout my creative career, travelling far and wide to teach. I was also fortunate enough to attend Ranger U at Ranger Industries HQ in New Jersey, which was an amazing experience. For the past five years I have been teaching and organising residential retreats under the name of Artsycrafts along with my dear friend Leandra Franich.  I love to teach and share my creative ideas with others and will continue with demonstrating and teaching which is why I am only semi-retired….I don’t think I could ever give up my passion completely.


*Who or what are your creative influences?  And why?
I am usually influenced to a certain degree by current trends. I tend to look closely at fashion and home décor. Paint charts and wallpaper samples are also very useful as well as the stationery industry. Just checking out what’s new in the wrapping paper and greetings card departments can be a good indication of the latest trends. Having said that, I usually opt for colours that suit what I am making.

I am always on the lookout for something new, I just love to get my teeth into a new product and will spend days experimenting with it to establish its full potential.
  
*What is your preferred medium of creativity?   What appeals to you about this?
At the moment I am in love with fabric and paint. I’ve always loved paint and now I am combining the two. Fabric is a very new area for me, so I’ve lots of exploring to do. I like the idea that I can use fabric in my journals and jewellery as well as home décor projects and items to wear…Very versatile.

*What other areas of creativity do you dabble in?
Stamping – this was my first love
Metal work
Jewellery Making
Lampwork Beads
Encaustic Art
I’ve dabbled in my crafty things

*What is one of your earliest creative memories?
Making little cotton summer dresses for my daughters when they were toddlers.

*Pablo Picasso said: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”   How did you find this transition worked in your life?
I only discovered the crafty world when my own children were growing up. With three children, I didn’t have much time on my hands and I guess my Mother-in-law influenced me a lot with her beautiful and intricate Bedfordshire lace. Creativity then became my life through my business but this set restrictions on my creativity as I found I was only using products that I sold in my store. Now, without the restraints of the shop, I am discovering a whole new world of creativity to explore, so remaining an artist is not going to be a problem for me personally, in fact I feel that this is just the beginning.

*How did you find your creative style?
This is something that I feel develops with time, you learn what colours you favour, what mediums you prefer to work with  and time along with lots of experimentation will help you develop your own unique style.

*What activity do you use to jumpstart your creativity?
Everyone has days when creativity simply dries up. I usually sit down with a few books or magazines, jotting down ideas along the way. I try to use this a a jump start, a starting place, it’s a way of reminding you of the knowledge that you already have, lurking at the back of your mind somewhere!!


*Describe your style in using 5 different words.  Share your thoughts about these words.
Eclectic – I like each piece of my work to be very different from the last.
Vintage – I do much prefer a vintage feel compared to very modern, fresh styles.
Random – I never know what I am going to make until it comes together.
Detailed – I love adding tons of tiny detail to my work. I want people to see something different in it every time they look at it.
Varied – I get bored doing the same thing, so I am always trying something new

*Favourite art gallery or museum?
Victoria & Albert, London
*Favourite book?
Way too many to choose from!



*Where to find Lin
Twitter: @yoursartfully


If you were able to ask Lin anything what would you ask?  Please add your question to the comments below.

See you next Friday for an interview with Michelle Jackson-Mogford.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Thankful Thursday

A new series of blog posts has begun today on my new blog An Atitude of Gratitude.


So why the new blog?
It started out that I wanted to set up a challenge blog for some art journaling friends that I've made in a group on Facebook.  And then through various books I was reading I knew that I needed to develop a more wholehearted life.

To take a more positive outlook.

To be more thankful.

Which is where the idea of a gratitude journal comes in.

 Read more ....

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

And in other news

 

 Another Postcard

In my postcard post I didn't include one other postcard I received this summer.

So with apologies to Nicki for missing it out, here it is:


Nicki knew I had been glued to the Olympics (and later to the Paralympics) and I was thrilled that she sent me this postcard with the cyclists stamp on and posted from a gold letterbox.


And you can see Nicki actually posting the card here.


An Attitude of Gratitude Journal

More exciting news:
I have set up a new blog where I will be posting prompts and challenges for the whole month of November.

Starting tomorrow there will be Thankful Thursday posts for 6 weeks which will give more information about the hows and whys of gratitude journaling.

The opportunity is open to all whether you are a scrapbooker, an art journaler or consider yourself not to be creative in any way. (Which by the way is NOT true!)

Hope to see you tomorrow.

Thanks for dropping by
Bernice

Wordless Wednesday



Monday, 17 September 2012

Start the Week Right

Ecclesiastes 3

New International Version (NIV)


 There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
  a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot, 
 a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance, 
 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.



Friday, 14 September 2012

Celebrating UK Artists 10: Sian Fair

Welcome to the next interview celebrating the talents of British artists in the field of scrapbooking, photography, mixed-media, art journaling, feltmaking and quilting.  Some names you may know and some may not be so familiar but they are all hugely talented.




*Brief Bio
 What can I tell you? I've been married for about half a lifetime and we have a son and a daughter and a very tall house in the city. My Grandma taught me to knit when I was five and I've been making things ever since. I currently write for the UK scrapbook magazine Scrap365 .


*Who or what are your creative influences?  And why?
 I’m influenced by anyone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously; anyone who happily owns up to mistakes and “starter” pieces and projects which didn’t go to plan; anyone who says “at least I tried”. I am just as likely to be influenced by attitude as I am by art.


*What is your preferred medium of creativity?   What appeals to you about this?
I love making all kinds of things in any way I know how; but I guess, for the moment, scrapbooking has my heart. It’s the perfect way for me to bring together my favourite preoccupations – telling stories, taking pictures, talking about history, and making it all look good. Yes, I could do all of that without the cutting and sticking and arranging and prettifying; but this way I get to do it all at the same time.



*What other areas of creativity do you dabble in?
I sew. I knit. I love to decorate. Over the years I’ve made 1/12th scale miniatures, cross stitched, created soft toys and earrings for craft fairs..I’ll have a go at anything involving colour, fabric or yarn of any kind.


*What is one of your earliest creative memories?
Sitting at a little low table in the kitchen, cutting out paper dolls. I must have been about three. I still find cutting paper a very soothing and relaxing thing to do.


*Pablo Picasso said: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”   How did you find this transition worked in your life?
Well, I have to say I don’t really see myself as an artist. I’ve certainly never had any training (although I watched a lot of Blue Peter as a child!). I’m just somebody who likes to make stuff. I’m lucky in that I was brought up in a family of makers; and I married a man whose three sisters all love creating just as much as I do. We have been together since we were both nineteen and in all the time since we met, he has never once asked me why I’m making something instead of buying it. It would never occur to him. That’s the way he was brought up too. That has really helped. We have grown into adulthood, making things together.


*How did you find your creative style?
I don’t know if I have one! I’ve been making things for so long now that lots of different styles have come and gone around me. I buy fabrics and trimmings and papers when I see something I like rather than with a specific project in mind, so I always have something “me” on hand to work with.

*Which is your favourite technique?
Using stitching or distressing to create texture on my pages. And layering up embellishments to make you take a closer look. I like to add journaling you have to seek out and little clues about the meaning of the page so you have to work a little to find it all.



*Favourite quote(s)?
“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”
- Maya Angelou


*Favourite art gallery or museum?
My family are very used to being dragged round every handy museum when we are on holiday! My favourite is always a “living history” exhibition which recreates a scene from the past, building up the atmosphere with lots of details. I guess that’s what I try to do in my scrapbook pages too. Last summer I was lucky enough to visit Bergen Open Air Museum, Norway; and, closer to home another favourite is Blist Hills Victorian Town.


*Favourite book?

“Ulverton” by Adam Thorpe

Where you can find Sian



If you were able to ask Sian anything what would you ask?  Please add your question to the comments below.

See you next Friday for an interview with Lin Brown.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Liberate Your Art Postcard Swap

I recently took part in  a postcard swap organised by Kat Sloma along with 192 other artists around the world.

We each had to send 5 postcards to Kat in Oregon and the return postage and some addressed labels and she sent back to each participant 5 postcards from other artists and one from herself.

My first postcard came from Sherry in Alaska and is a photo of her home on Amook Island. 

 The second card was from Debbie in Georgia, U.S.A. 

The next was from Ana in Portugal. 
The fourth one was from Brenda in California

And the final swap postcard was from Dawn in Virginia.

And finally the bonus postcard from Kat herself.

I shall be getting to meet Kat on September 29th in Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire as I have registered for her Sense of Place workshop.

And if you go to Kat's blog over the next few days you can view other blog posts like this about the art that was liberated.  Here's an amazing video that Kat made.



And while all this was happening I received a piece of original artwork postcard from Robin Norgren who also has a Postcard Project.






Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Monday, 10 September 2012

Start the Week Right


Not the maker of plans and promises, but rather the one who offers faithful service in small matters. This is the person who is most likely to achieve what is good and lasting.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Friday, 7 September 2012

Celebrating UK Artists 9: Karen Rao

Welcome to the latest interview celebrating the talents of British artists in the field of scrapbooking, photography, mixed-media, art journaling, feltmaking and quilting.  Some names you may know and some may not be so familiar but they are all hugely talented.


*Brief Bio
I am a contemporary felt artist creating dramatic wave-inspired wall art inspired by the ever changing Brighton seascape.  My subject matter within nature is constantly evolving as I produce unique animal wall art for kids, cosy floppy-eared felted hats and pretty floral jewellery.  My individual method of feltmaking results in highly coloured, tactile works of art that are rich in texture and depth!




*Who or what are your creative influences?  And why?
The sea and its hypnotic calm quality to the turbulent Winter waves of brown and olive greens.  i love that this force of nature is never the same.


*What is your preferred medium of creativity?  What appeals to you about this?
Feltmaking is a relatively new outlet for my creativity.  What makes it such a refreshing medium is its versatility.  It can be of a cobweb thin delicacy or have a painterly quality whereby you add layers and texture gradually with contemplation.  Felt can also be a robust three dimensional garment of sculptural properties.



*What other areas of creativity do you dabble in?
I am a freelance graphic designer specialising in packaging design.  The relationship between image, typography and colour has always been of great importance to me.

*What is one of your earliest creative memories?
When I was 3 I used to draw fantastic creatures in crayon.  I would then place them on the window and continue to draw the reverse.


*Pablo Picasso said: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”   How did you find this transition worked in your life?
When you are a child you are constantly exploring and inadvertently tapping into your inner creativity.  As an adult, searching and questioning everything around you is still of utmost importance.  Without this hunger for knowledge, creativity cannot be released.  Sketchbooks and ideas books are like gold dust.

*How did you find your creative style?
When I think of dramatic waves, I want to work in a bold and powerful way.  Colour is always important, it has to have contrast and impact.


*What activity do you use to jumpstart your creativity?
I sketch.

*Describe your style using 5 different words.  Share your thoughts about these words.
Dramatic ~ I want my work to be eye-catching
Colourful ~ This helps with the impact of my designs
Unique ~ I want my work to be original
Textural ~ Felt can have a three dimensional quality that enhances the power of my wave art.


*Where you can find Karen
Website:  www.karenrao.com
Etsy:   http://www.etsy.com/shop/karenrao
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/karen.rao2


If you were able to ask Karen anything what would you ask?  Please add your question to the comments below.

See you next Friday for an interview with Sian Fair.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Monday, 3 September 2012