THEN THERE WAS CLAY--Polymer Clay:
I have always been fascinated with pottery, ceramics and anything made of clay. Whenever I would go to museums, that was the first place in the museum I would gravitate to, as if by magnate. I admired all kinds of pottery, modern and ancient. I was fascinated by the craftsmanship, the skill, and creative thinking required to make from some piece soil or call it what it is "dirt", such magnificent objects, whether they were created for utilization or aesthetic purposes.
I also liked to window shop and admire the pottery, especially when visiting a small town and touring the local artist shops. I admired anything handcrafted from clay. So then, it will come as no surprise then, to tell you that I wanted to work with clay. What is truly amazing, though, is that when I finally had the opportunity to actually do something about satisfying this desire, I discovered the most amazing kind of clay--Polymer Clay. When I say: "I discovered it", of course, I do not mean to imply that I was the first person to apply clay in this way. By sheer coincidence I went to the library and looked at a video and saw an artist making beautiful objects with this nondescript piece of gooey stuff. I watched several videos, mesmerized by the process, bought a book, bought some tools, the Fimo and I was on my way to practice my new art form.
Hand crafting with Polymer clay as with anything worthwhile doing, takes time, but then, we know there is no substitute for time. The journey, however, is pleasant, relaxing and the result surprising every time and delightful. I hope you agree with me when you observe the beautiful jewelry I have crafted and the other objects I have made from Polymer Clay on my website JDCARTSTUDIOGIFTS.com, and you may want to add some of them to your collection or give them as gifts to your loved ones.
I will be writing much more in detail about the products and the process in future posts.
FIRST THERE WERE THE PAINTINGS:
When I was a child growing up in Jamaica I always enjoyed doing crafts in school. We learned to quilt, make molds, embroidery and many other kinds of crafts. I always loved making things and found much pleasure and relaxation in doing so. I was first introduced to paints when in college and I went to the art store and bought all the tools that the teacher of my art class recommended. I was immediately delighted with the prospect of learning how to express myself artistically. Because of life's unforeseen occurrences, I did not devote as much time to pursuing my artistic goals. As a matter of fact, I did not have a goal from an artistic point of view. Whenever I wanted to relax I would take out my paint set and dawdle. Then I began to draw and practice making many mistakes and sometimes getting frustrated. I began seeking for help and found individuals who were very encouraging and offered help.
One of my teachers was an artist in my community who helped me in a very unusual way by telling me to experiment, and not be afraid to make mistakes until I find my way. I did not understand what she meant at the time, but I think I agree with her now that I have matured.. The only way to learn is to experiment and practice. I have done that, and my only regrets is that there were times when I was disappointed in my work and did not persist when I should have just pressed on. Months later when I would look at the same painting, I would say aloud, in surprise: "I like that painting!" "Why was I so unhappy about it?" I think I have learned to understand the process and have adapted and become more comfortable with the media and my own artistic expression, albeit, imperfect as it is. There is always room for growth and progress-- that is what makes the journey so interesting and appealing.
The paintings that I have included on this page indicate to me that I have made vast progress. I remember when I used to be out of control when painting with water color. I have become much more comfortable with this medium and though I still need to improve, I am glad that I did not give up.
I like painting with oil because I understood it more quickly and it is a little bit more forgiving, I think. I try to learn from the masters, and of course they make the journey enjoyable, but requires purposeful concentration with deep motivation. The result is however very rewarding and makes the burden of the journey lighter.