I cannot "not" create. I am creating something new every day. I am never at a loss for ideas of what to try next. I give myself permission to express my creativity.
From painting to glasswork, from jewelry making to art journaling, from teaching to writing, every day is a creative day for me.
I love experimenting with new mediums and getting my hands dirty; I usually have paint on my arms or face. That's when I know it's been a great day.
I grew up in a home surrounded by natural beauty and an appreciation for nature. My mother was very artistic and crafty and we often did creative projects together in preparation of holidays, as gifts and a way to express ourselves. I made handmade greeting cards and books from the earliest time I can remember.
Many years later, I knew that something was missing from my life and that busyness at business just was not feeding my soul. I began to draw and paint, attended some weekend retreats with a focus on creating and painting, and felt enlivened. I started my studio with just a pad of paper on my desk.
More than 25 years later, from creating just at a desk, then moving to a room, then another, I finally created my studio, Bohemian Art Cafe. My studio was included in the Spring issue of Studio Magazine in 2012. It is a place to feed my creative spirit and I hope it will feed yours too. I expanded my mediums from acrylic paint and colored pencil and began working in fused and enamel glass. My fused glass is intended to be displayed rather than as functional pieces. I also use my glass cabochons and glass enameled copper in jewelry. Exploration and play are earmarks of my artwork and I am constantly working with new mediums, trying new techniques and styles, and adventuring into new methods.
Over time, my painting styles have diverged into several types. Primarily when I work with high pigment tempera, my paintings tend to be visceral, intuitive, and what I call "modern primitive" or folk art with a spiritual twist. I like that tempera paint has a long history, that it has lasting power. Since medieval history is also important to me, even though my subjects are different from those medieval artists might have painted, I choose to use tempera to be in touch with that historic link. I love using high pigment tempera paint because the colors are exquisitely vivid and easily layer to create depth and richness. In my watercolor paintings, I tend more toward florals, landscapes and seasonal depictions although I rarely adhere to a pastel palette so frequently associated with watercolor work. My New Mexican roots and my meandering spiritual journey show up in my color palette, the symbology that appears or the subject matter of all of my different artwork.
Working in mixed media and using found objects for assemblage is the most freeing of all the mediums I utilize in my art as I feel there are no rules that bind me to any tradition or expectation. My mixed media and found object assemblages tend to cluster in groups based on themes and iconic images, saints, angels, celebrity, and other motifs that draw upon a wide interpretation of representational ideas.
In keeping with the name of my studio, my Jewelry line, Expresso Bar Designs (TM) was born as a result of massive quantities of jewelry stacking up. Because I create daily and often spend multiple hours in my studio, I tend to have a great deal of artwork and jewelry available.
I also have a teensy-tiny bit of an ephemera addiction due to massive amounts of hand-painted and other papers I've collected, digital compilations I've made, along with a bunch of ephemera I inherited from my Grammy Dottie and my mom and dad--both of whom loved to save and collect ephemera, bits and bobs--so I come by this love of ephemera quite honestly. This led to my creation of The Ephemera Bistro(TM) brand where I sell many of these treasures.
For many years I have created surface designs and sold them on a variety of products on demand. I recently began developing my design portfolio and am actively seeking collaborations and product licensing. I love seeing my designs come to life on fabrics and products. I currently have a wide variety of designs on Spoonflower and RedBubble. I continue to work in all of the various mediums I have explored depending on what interests me on a given day. My artwork is influenced in part by folk artist Howard Finster, as well as the freedom of expression exhibited in the works of Andy Warhol, Yayoi Kusama, Pablo Picasso, Tracy Emin, Hilda af Klimt, Henry Matisse, Jackson Pollock, Willem De Kooning, Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo, SARK, Dale Chihuly and many other artists whose work I admire immensely.
I have had my artwork in many art shows including solo shows. I still love to show my artwork and do so often. My artwork is part of private collections from Canada, Mexico, South Africa, France, England and most states in the United States. I teach live and on-demand video art classes and at occasional travel art retreats. My life is centered around creating and art. There is not a day that passes where I am not creating something--sketching, art journaling, painting, writing, digital....It all
I use all of my body of work to represent a feast of amazing, colorful, one-of-a kind artwork. I am a full time artist, art instructor, and writer. To create daily is what keeps my psyche content and my life in balance. In joy, enjoy! -- Stephanie, Bohemian Art Cafe
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