In this issue we asked several artists: If you could meet your favorite art guru, the one you credit for getting you involved in paper and/or fiber artistry, who you you choose? There are scores of artists I’ve admired and loved—but the one who inspired me to get into mixed media? That’s a difficult question. If I could meet Van Gogh I’d tell him that gazing at my postcard-sized reprint of “The Bedroom” restores my sense of calm. I’d confess to Mary Cassatt that it’s her depictions of mothers embracing freshly bathed babies with cheeks as round and shiny as apples that make me long for motherhood.
But as much as visual artists move me, since childhood my art gurus have been writers. And from my childhood endeavors of story-inspired dioramas and drawings, to my adulthood interpretations of favorite novels with small art quilts and altered books, my latest attempt at art—at long last—doesn’t interpret someone else’s story, but rather my own. For the past six months I’ve been crafting hand-stitched journals of paper and fabric in which to spill my own daily entries and stories. I have my newfound art guru, Frances Pickering (see our artist profile, page 56) to credit for becoming addicted to mixed-media journaling. Using paint, stitch, and text, she captures her observations of the natural world and memorable times with family and friends with such acute perception and feeling, I can’t help but be inspired . . .
If you want to handcraft your own book, see Elli Woodsford’s article (page 44) on how to take flora from your garden and create beautifully hand-made books of pressed flowers. What a wonderful idea for those of us of us who endure such long and harsh winters! Of if you’d rather create a shrine to house all of your own art gurus or muses, see Allison Strine’s whimsical article starting on page 24. In addition, there’s vintage luggage to be altered (see Linda Blinn’s piece on page 38). We kick off this issue with Cindy O’Leary’s account of her 50th birthday bash and how she invited her closest friends over for the weekend to do nothing but create art. Who says slumber parties are just for kids?
Perhaps you’ll find your art guru among these pages.