I was thinking about giving art as gifts today. Part of what inspired and gave me the confidence to work on my art full time were the reactions I received to gifts I created years ago. I heard just enough, “you should do this professionally” to help me think that perhaps I could. I must admit that it is with much greater anticipation and perhaps just a bit of anxiety that I await the reaction to a piece of my art than anything I will ever purchase. This is heightened even further when creating a piece specifically for someone special.
Portrait doll for a soccer keeper
I worked in the gallery today. I noticed that just as much of the conversation was about the person to receive the gift as the piece of art or the artist. To me this made perfect sense. I always try to select or create that piece that somehow says that person’s name to me.
I had a great experience recently of picking out existing sculptures as gifts for some friends. I was pleasantly surprised by one recipient noticing the work before I had a chance to give them, and specifically asking about the piece I had intended for them. That completely made my evening.
Happy holidays, and if you happen to be one of the readers who might recognize the doll in this post… Shhhh
A couple of posts back I talked about the ornament making mini-workshop we were hosting at the Hillsborough Gallery as part of our holiday show opening reception. It was well attended, lots of fun, and was a successful first attempt at such an activity. Not to say we didn’t learn a thing, or three that we will change the next time around.
The ornaments I helped participants create were metal foil repoussé (French – push from behind) panels that we attached to a sparkly card stock, and finished with edging tape, a metal grommet, and raffia ribbon for hanging. These are similar to repoussé panels I make and affix to one-of-a-kind greeting cards.
Susan Hope, one of the other talented HGA artists who was instructing participants in making fused glass ornaments, suggested that I combine the ornaments and my cards for sale. I thought that was a good idea, so I did…
Little interactions like this are one of the things I enjoy about being part of an artist-owned gallery. A collection of creative minds working together is always fertile ground.
Many of us artists add smaller, more gift-able items to our selection of work in the gallery for the holiday season. So, now I’ll be adding a few “Ornament Cards” as well, a holiday greeting and a small piece of original art in one.
Here’s a link to Susan’s web page if you’d like to see some of her beautiful work.
My most recent art doll, Steam, is dressed in her steampunk finest complete with “leather” top hat, goggles, metal boustier, and knee high boots. She looks all ready for a trip in a time machine. I was challenged by scale of fabric patterns with this piece. Little beings can easily be swallowed up in a pattern made for the clothing or furniture of us giants. I found a black and white plaid to work into her skirt.
Sometimes this question of scale requires taking matters into your own hands. This “tie-dye” on my piece Janice, I did with Sharpie markers and alcohol added with a dropper.
Janice’s tie-dye shirt