original inspiration…

Okay, I am going to flip the script once again and share with you an artist of another sort, Nancy Clarke, original jewelry maker, and story-teller extraordinaire.

Nancy told me that while she was crocheting a shawl one day she got a flash of inspiration, and she began to weave cherished baubles, tossed buttons, old jewels and gems into the shawl, in an intricate pattern and NMC, Martha’s Vineyard Jewelry was born.

I suspect many of us have ancient stones, beads, and old buttons we have no idea what to do with, but in Nancy’s authentic and artistic mind, they become innovative, unique, and wearable art.

Nancy has the ability to see an antique bead or a gem’s lost history or function and she restores the item to its previous splendor, displaying it to its best advantage, causing all who view it, to rediscover the wonders of a treasure we might well have overlooked ourselves.

Her jewelry feels good but looks even better and there is a sense of knowing that it wasn’t made by some soulless manufactured mold, but by the loving dedication and joyful spirit of Nancy. It is her trained and practised eye that allows her to know exactly how the jewelry should be displayed with simplicity and precision.

Each piece displays Nancy’s creativity and imagination, the narrative is told as a new story emerges regarding the discarded or forgotten jewel. It’s luster restored, repurposed and displayed for our pleasure, we delight in the resurrection of something old that has become new again.

Like an archeologist, Nancy clears away the dust to reveal the hidden treasures so many of us would have left by the wayside, unsure of how to create magic from something tarnished and imperfect.

It is the imperfection that draws Nancy to create her innovative and one of a kind art, and we are lucky to have found some jewelry that speaks to our hearts and our souls. Guided by Nancy’s intuition and creative vision, we are discovering art in a whole new way.

creating art…

It’s a funny thing that when I try to create art I always miss the mark. If I think about the audience viewing my creations then I somehow lose the connection the feelings necessary to create organically. I begin to focus on the product of my art and not the process and I lose my creative compass.

In order for me to create I have to feel something when I am doing the work. If I have turned my mind to the hope that others will feel the way I do about a particular essay, article, or photograph then I lose my artistic integrity and my art falls flat. It’s sometimes a struggle to remain focused on my joy and/or my determination to bring my art to life and to remind myself that it is in the grind of the work that I find the feeling that tells me to follow this path and see where it might lead.

For me art is about forgetting what others have told me art is and staying true to what I feel art is for me and without a doubt my feelings are required to create my art. The feelings may not always be pretty and the purpose may only to be to create this project so you can purge it from your system and begin anew, but I have to feel something for the piece even if I never show it to anyone.

I guess I am learning that I have to release myself from the responsibility of how people view my art and focus on the responsibility I have to myself, to make art my way, with my vision. When I participate in the process of creating and get out of my way, I find the creative connection I need to make art that pleases me and if it pleases someone else then I am happy but I remind myself daily, it is not necessary that everyone love my art only necessary that I love making art and sharing it with all of you.

water colors