This week's blog post is written by Co-op member and painter John Stephenson.
I have found that music is often an experience that adds excitement and helps form ideas to some of the images I create as a painter. This is rather mysterious and hard to pin down in many ways; but it makes sense to me as someone who greatly appreciates and is moved by many forms of music. The emotional intensity and excitement that music brings often helps me break out of the “static cling” periods when I get too caught up in overcautious or too detail-oriented painting - or when I am tempted to depend on some form of copying what I see and lose the imaginative aspect of image making.
Stop by Artistic Portland any day of the week 10 am - 6 pm (noon-5 pm on Sundays) to see and purchase John's work in person.
If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin!
By Marianne Wilson Stein
During this time of year your skin's needs differ based on the cooling temperatures and seasonal changes. During a summer spent in the sun, your skin can appear dull and dry, especially after the summer and dry weather we had in the Pacific Northwest. Exfoliation can remove the dull outer layer of skin,and unclog pores plugged by regular sunscreen use.
Even though we have many prepared facial scrubs, I thought it might be fun to share a recipe for a clarifying scrub you can make. If you try this, let me know what you think.
I have put together a simple, yet effective scrub that you can make at home. It starts with citrus peel (orange, lemon, lime or grapefruit). Be sure to save the peel after eating. Buy organic whenever possible. The acid in the oil helps to loosen the dead top layer of skin and then the ground peel sloughs off the dead skin. Add plain yogurt with active cultures. The lactic acid, a natural alpha hydroxy acid, in the yogurt helps smooth and exfoliate skin. These two ingredients are the chemicals of the peel. Now it’s time to add the humectant properties with honey and olive oil. Honey is a natural antioxidant and anti-microbial and will help to protect the skin from the damage of the sun's rays and rejuvenate and refresh depleted skin. Olive oil contains four different antioxidants and is one of the best moisturizing oils as it absorbs quickly and does not leave your skin feeling greasy. Finally, add the oats. Because oats are slightly rough, they are one of nature's most amazing exfoliates. They soften the skin, making it silky smooth.
Mix ingredients until well blended and massage on a damp face. Leave on skin for 5 - 8 minutes, rinse well with warm water and finish with a splash of cold water. While it is best to use when fresh, you can store the rest in the refrigerator for up to a week for another exfoliating facial later on.
This scrub is great for all skin types.
Marianne Wilson Stein is the Creator of Luscious Beauty for Gifts From the Earth.
This week meet Co-op member and textile artist Sherry Bingaman, the creative mind behind Nueva Vida.
My love of making and selling my textile work goes back to my childhood. When I was nine years old, my mother received eight free sewing lessons with the purchase of her new sewing machine. Since she was already an expert seamstress, Mom let me have the lessons instead. Aprons were the first things I learned to make. A little nine year old going around our neighborhood selling her cross stitched gingham aprons must have been hard to resist, because I sold as many as I could make! I trace my passion for making and selling textiles to these first sales.
My parents were artists, and I grew up surrounded by the materials and inspirations involved in their paintings and commercial art. I was especially fascinated with the paper doll books they made, and I designed and sewed dresses for my own dolls.
My love of fabrics continued to grow, and in 1967 I entered Iowa State University as a textile major. After my very first weaving class I changed my major to applied art with an emphasis in weaving and have ever since been obsessed with everything textiles.
I met my husband, Jim, while we were both students at ISU. After graduation and Jim’s 3 year stint in the Navy, we returned to my home town of Kenosha, Wisconsin. Here is where I started participating in art fairs in the communities between Milwaukee and Chicago. This area was rich with shows, and I had some inspiring initial success participating in various shows including The Old Town Show in Chicago and Lakefront Festival of the Arts in Milwaukee. Jim encouraged me and soon quit his job to work with me. We continued to make our living as designer/weavers for 15 years, having two artistic daughters along the way -- Kate Bingaman-Burt and Kory Bingaman Francka.
In 1980 we moved to rural Missouri to be centrally located and more accessible to shows all over the country and to experience “country living” on a bluff overlooking the beautiful Gasconade River near the small rural town of Vienna, Missouri. Jim and I were the featured fiber artists in the very first Best of Missouri Hands publication in 1986. During those 15 years we sold our hand-woven designs in shows throughout the country and in shops and galleries in Japan and Canada. .
By 1994, I had earned my art education certification and began teaching art K-12 at the local school (college costs were lurking in the near future) and also continued with our weaving business. Jim worked shows on his own for several more years while his interest in computers developed into a passion and new career. I taught for 13 years while continuing with shows on my own in the summer. My passion for weaving expanded into the world of dyeing, both my yarns and now fabrics. My one-of-a-kind colors are my signature. Silk is my favorite material—both silk yarns and fibers and silk fabric for my scarves. Dyeing silk yields wonderful subtle color blending very reminiscent of a watercolor painting. I love the unpredictability of my dye process—no two pieces are ever the same.
My main sources of inspiration are ethnic textiles, especially those from Mexico and Central America. I have traveled to Mexico many times and treasure the rugs and embroidered textiles I collected there. The colors and textures from these cultures continue to excite and inspire me.
I was an elementary principal for six years and retired June 2013. I continue doing art fairs and selling my work through shows and my Etsy shop that I opened in 2006.
In 2014 we moved to Fairview, Oregon to be closer to our Portland-based daughters and to get involved in the exciting life in the Portland area! I joined Portland Saturday Market and show my work there most weekends. I heard about Artistic Portland through another artist, and am so pleased to now be a member of this cool group. Being a part of Artistic Portland gives my work a special home among a group of other local artists who are all working together to create the best venue for local handmade. Very exciting!!
Creative people simply MUST create. A favorite quote of mine is “I make stuff, because I get sad if I don’t.” So true!! -Sherry
Stop by Artistic Portland any day of the week 10 am - 6 pm (noon-5 pm on Sundays) to see and purchase Sherry's work in person.
This weeks blog post is written by Co-op member and painter Marjorie Henderson.
Creating an inspiration board is something I create and update every few weeks to help keep inspiration fresh and ideas flowing. I occasionally hear from other artists about how they encounter artist’s block every now and then, and having an inspiration board that speaks to what is floating around in your mind can be helpful. However, this can also have the opposite effect. It can be over stimulating and overwhelming to others.
Being an artist and creating in different environments, I have noticed I respond really well to a clean, organized work area that is brightly lit, with my inspiration board right above my desk. I also enjoy having art and pictures around me that I cannot stop staring at which trigger ideas to no end and bring me a sort of joy. This environment does not work for others. A stark work area devoid of pictures and bright colors, maybe even dimly lit with a desk lamp, is the perfect ambiance needed for other artists. It clears their mind and helps them focus on their creative projects.
Another aspect of the artistic environment is audio stimulation. Do you listen to your favorite rock music from high school while you paint, or do you have to listen to classical music to get you in the groove of drawing? Others crave dead silence. I find it interesting to know how fellow artists work and to see how different we all are in our approach to making art. I personally prefer a mix of upbeat music for painting and more mellow, acoustic compositions while I draw and make jewelry. It’s also amazing how the music can influence your body of work!
What kind of environment helps you create? Share in a comment below.
Stop by Artistic Portland any day of the week 10 am - 6 pm (noon-5 pm on Sundays) to see and purchase Marjorie's work in person