Tuesday, January 19

Just keep smiling, just keep smiling...

I keep trying to smile. I do I really do. A quick re-cap of a month in the life of me...I mean, my special needs 4 year old has that broken leg and is in a full leg cast after a weeks hospital stay, while he was in the hospital, my step grandma died a few doors down from his hospital room-and let me tell ya she was a remarkable woman!..,  two weeks later I break my foot, the morning after that my dog Fat Sally has her brush with death due to a gastric bleed, the following weekend, I screw up the other foot and land my “good” foot in a cast, so now have casts on BOTh feet...and then last night Fat Sally got hit by a car. She is hurt badly. The prognosis is not good. She is at the Vet. We waited there with the kids and crutches in tow until 10:00 pm until they finally made us go home, there was nothing more that could be done. So now I wait until the magic number 7, when I can call and see how my Fat Sal is doing. I am not waiting patiently.

It really has been a doozy of a month. I look at the events and any one of them is crazy, and yet all of this in a matter of a 30 days or so…my lands, certainly enough is enough here right? But it’s okay, I am going to tape a smile on my face, I am going to hope for the best. I will not let the events get me down. I am going to keep on Praiseing the Lord. I am going to keep on singing-not so much literally because well..that would just not sound great, I'm going to keep on painting because eventually the sun is going to shine.

I am so glad I have the blog, the internet and the folks in my life that I do. It helps. Like today. The gal I am featuring is so interesting. So full of a wonderful kind of energy that it literally bounces onto me. I woke ready to bring this story to you. Ready to occupy my mind until that magic 7. So here she is guys…

So normally I think doing a Q and A is a very lazy way to print a story. I think it shows lack of ambition on the writers part. However, I received a questionnaire back from a very talented artist and her words were so beautiful. I read, re-read and then read another time her answers. I tried over and over to incorporate them into a story that captured her personality. She is somewhat enigmatic, hard for me to put into a few paragraphs, hard for me to choose what I could glean from her very well versed answers. So, I am resorting to an old style Q and A. I promise, not because I didn’t want to spend time on this, I DID spend time on this, and yet just couldn’t capture the essence that is Diane Marie!

1. Can you tell me your name and a little about yourself and your studio/creative space?
My name is Diane Marie. I have three studio spaces on my property, not counting areas where I work outside, creating large found/salvaged object assemblage sculpture. I used to live in a school bus for nine years, and the bus is now a mobile/sculpture studio. I have a small trailer that is my mosaic and supply storage studio, and a small studio area in my house which accomodates my painting, multimedia and jewelry making.

2. If there’s one thing that defines you, what is it?
Art, in combination with environMENTALism, with a heavy focus on recycling, reusing, repurposing and using salvaged and or found materials whenever possible. I try to find ways to eliminate consumer waste, rather than contributing to it. Also, the nearly 100 year old house I live in is recycled. It has been moved TWICE to avoid demolition. due to lack of insulation, it has no running water--all water is hauled in by hand. It's a lot of work, but it's a lot less hassle than frozen pipes. The toilet is a composting model that runs on electricity. There is no television here, but high speed internet is a treasured priority! The island is pretty fiercely focued in its environmental efforts. Two big reasons are that all of our trash has to be shipped off the island, which costs us money! We try our best to recycle, reuse, repurpose and salvage as much as possible. Some newcomers to the island have recently been making a stink about "junk mongering", but what they don't realize is that we find ways to USE IT, rather than throw it away! The other reason is that we are surrounded by 10% of the worlds fresh water--20% if you count the other four Great Lakes. The water, despite more than it's fair share of abuse from mining, paper milling, and dumping, is still amazingly clean, and we fight to keep it that way. I am the official representative for adopt-a-beach for Madeline Island. This comes in handy, since I make a lot of my art and jewelry using found objects that have washed up on our shores!

3. Do you have a family and if so what role does your family play in your art?
I have no children, however I have a "loveband" who is very supportive of my art. He is a musician, and one of the bedrooms of the house is his music studio, where two community CDs have been created and produced, with several more in the works.

4. Where do you live and what is it like?
I live on Madeline island, in Lake Superior. It is one of the Apostle Islands archepelago of 22 islands. The area is extrordinarly beautiful--one of the last nearly pristine frontiers, though not for long, I'm afraid. More people visit our shores every year. Some call it the "Carribean of the North", speaking of the summer months. From late May until October, the island is host to thousands of tourists, in addition to summer residents, and roughly 25 year round islanders, of which I am one.

5. Where did you learn your medium?
I am self taught in nearly everything I do, and I have been an artist since I was around a year old. I started drawing on a chalk board at that time, trying to draw what I saw in the photographs in National Geographic.

6. What are your goals with your work?
My work is extremely varied, and you never know what I'll do next. I work in so many styles and mediums that I like to joke that I have multiple personalities, and they are ALL artists! I seldom do a series in any of my mediums. New ideas keep showing up-- mostly from dreams-- and I just want to keep moving and grab the new idea before it gets away.

7. How did you come to selling online?
I've been an avid internet user for about 15 years. Prior to that, I barely knew how to turn on a computer. I had never had access to one. Luckily, my loveband is what is known as a "techie" and he has helped bring me up to speed. I even have a virtual art gallery on the virtual world "Second Life". I went to college for fine art and graphic design, and I'm finding that the graphic design background is finally coming in handy!
8. Where all do you sell?
In the summer, I sell my art and jewelry in a street market in front of "Tom's Burned Down Cafe" (google that) here on the island. I also have several websites: http://www.restlessnative.etsy.com/ http://www.azzutaluna.etsy.com/ and www.artbreak.com/azzutaluna and www.artbreak.com/restlessnative. (Artbreak featured my entire portfolios, for sale, sold and not for sale. I also have a blog: http://www.bluebusgirl.blogspot.com/

9. What is the best piece of advice you can give other artists?
To be successful, you need to NETWORK: meet other artists, visit sites and artists galleries, groups, etc. See how others are marketing, and find out what works. Give even more help than you get--it will come back to you threefold. An art career is 1/3 creating, 1/3 exhibiting (live, in galleries, or photoshopping, uploading, etc on websites) 1/3 promoting. Posting, handing out cards, advertising, networking. You can't skimp on ANY of it, and if you do it right, you will be working at LEAST full time, and that's with the best camera for photos, the highest speed internet, and the best art "connections".

10. Why do you think that buying and selling handmade products benefits society?
When you buy handmade things, whether it be art or craft, you are buying a part of a PERSON or PEOPLE, and the life story of those people. Someones hands created that thing, and some piece of their life story influenced it. Ask for that story! I always have a story that goes with my art and my jewelry. Some of the stories are sad. One in particular I can't tell without crying, and sometimes people shy away when I tell it. My art and it's stories go together. You can't have one without the other.I think that about covers it.

Diane Marie

I hoped you enjoyed reading about Diane as much as I did. I found her fascinating. Her in her tinfoil hat-she tried and succeeded on new years at making them an internet phenomenon on Etsy, Her school bus home turned studio, her reflection in the water, and my favorite, her hula-hooping in front of her booth at an art show. I love the energy, and of course the artwork!

It has strengthened the tape holding the smile on my face… at least for a bit. I wish magic 7:00 would come. Good news or bad, I just can’t stop worrying about my Fat Sally.

Anyways, until next time, in the words of Diane,

~Huckleberry Bumpkin Blog is now selling a few select advertisments on the blog. If you would like to be included please contact me with a submision of your artwork and I will respond as soon as possible~

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Huckleberry! You did a great job as always. I think I might have made a type on the questionaire: We have 250 year round residents here on the island.
    I Hope that you will all be on the mend soon, and my heart aches to hear about your dog. I know how hard that is when they are hurt or sick or just plain old. HUGS to you and yours~~ Diane Marie