Vacation Art Inspiration: Mud and Glitter!

My 17 day vacation officially ended yesterday afternoon when I returned to NYC and went back to work to see evening patients…

It was a great vacation, again like last year, at the same place, the froggy pond cabin in upstate NY near Cuba, NY, spending time in the woods, far from the city, watching frogs and crayfish and other beings on the pond, making fires at night, making art by myself and with my five year old, reading and venturing out on a few different kinds of adventures, including for the first time, blueberry picking, which I found to be quite addictive. Once you start picking you can’t stop!

Anyway, last year, my post vacation post was about death and necklaces. This year I made sure to avoid books too close to my work, although I read most of a memoir on insomnia, called “Wide Awake” and another memoir in graphic novel form. I also read “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” with my daughter which was great fun and quite inspirational.

This year I did not do much jewelry making although I brought my beads and bought a lot of new beads. I did use beads in my art though. Every year we make expeditions to Joanne’s Fabric, a great craft supply store that I only go to online when at home, so it is lots of fun to explore what they have in the store. Also there is an amazing Dollar Tree Store next to JoAnnes that has pretty cool art supplies for a dollar. It really is a dollar store and everything is a dollar! This year’s discovery was fine glitter. I never even knew “fine” glitter existed. At the dollar store it comes in little bags; for a dollar you get several colors in tiny bags. We also got regular glitter in all colors there and some other fun cheap art supplies, and splurged at JoAnnes on the more than one dollar things there. JoAnnes is one of the few stores that has really great glitter paper which I discovered last year and got more of, but fine glitter is a level of fun I was very excited to discover with my daughter. It comes out like sugar out of a packet.

The other surprising material was mud! It rained off and on while we were there, more than usual, but not that much that it ruined our vacation. Some enjoyable summer storms and showers in between sunny days. The ground around the cabin was super muddy at all times as it did not dry much between rains. At some point over half way through the vacation after a short walk up the hill to look at strange new mushrooms and collect rocks, I realized I could take mud and smear it on canvases and then add glue and gravel, pebbles, and twigs. Then to top it off, I poured glitter, small beads on the muddy canvas and also glued rhinestones and mosaic tiles to it. It was fun mixing natural materials with the opposite: glitter especially!

The other cool art project that was not my idea involved collecting “clay”, meaning digging a hole in the mud to get to the more clay like mud and then using it to make ceramic pieces to “fire” in the fire pit. What a crazy idea! But it worked. I made two pieces, a bowl and a sculpture, both with mosaic tile in them, fired them in the fire by placing them deep in the fire pit where they would get the most heat all night over night. Then next morning you get to search through the ash to find your “pot”!

Of course, I added glitter to my ceramic pieces. What a much less expensive and complicated process to fire real mud clay from the ground without a kiln!
Below are several images of the canvas pieces mixed media described above, the ceramic pieces, and a heart box made with my daughter on our last night there, painted and then drenched all over in all kinds of glitter!

Tonight I made something in my studio that was inspired by my vacation art. I will post it in another post… Enjoy!

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