Becoming AngelinaBeadalina (my glass persona) has brought a cascade of subtle changes to my life in the last year and a half. Just learning to sculpt glass has been a revelation of sorts to my self-confidence and creativity. Reading about different cultures and religions has been another revelation of sorts to this middle-aged skeptic, bringing both artistic and spiritual inspiration. Connecting these sources of inspiration into my own “big picture” continues the cascade of subtle changes, as I find my “big picture” constantly expanding and evolving. Right now, I find myself amazed at where this is leading me. It’s leading me outdoors!
Big deal, you say? So, what, given that generations of artists have been inspired by nature? You’re right, too. This is not a revelation that will change the entire realm of art. Lots of beadmaking people are also gardeners, as a matter of fact (check out Sheila M’s post about lilies or LindaCarol’s blog for mention of her flowers). But me?? I have always been a lover of the great indoors! I was the kid who despised planting seed potatoes in my mom’s garden, the kid who hid downstairs in the dim basement and read for hours while everyone else was outside playing. Even decades after the dairy farm that always seemed to be downwind of my parents’ house went out of business, I still preferred stale air conditioning to fresh breezes. This has been changing recently, even though the air conditioned indoors is still my favorite when it’s 90 degrees outdoors. Gaia is taking me outdoors– Gaia, the earth goddess, Gaia, the idea of the interconnectedness of all the components of life.
Yes, I’ve become obsessed with the idea of sculpting the perfect embodiment of Gaia so that I can take a series of pictures celebrating nature and the interconnectedness of nature and art. I’ve made an Elemental Earth Goddess sculpture, a substantial Gaia carrying a bowl of ocean on her head, and a Gaia with a Nile green body and long, flowing turquoise hair that turns into waves of water.
There are even two more waiting patiently on my counter, ready for their photo shoot…but they still aren’t the Gaia I’m trying to find in the glass. The funny thing is, that’s okay. I’ll still take those other two sculptures outside and look for the perfect shot that showcases their “earthy” personalities. Since we don’t have many flowers in our yard, that means I’ll have to wonder around the trees (and maybe even by the neighbor’s pond), looking for a natural background. . . and Gaia will have accomplished her goal of luring indoors-y AngelinaBeadalina outdoors to discover more of nature’s patterns, textures, and shapes!
Angie Garren can generally be found squirrelled away, inside her studio in southern Illinois, unless she’s been lured outdoors to take pictures of Gaia sculptures. There’s usually a story to go with those pictures, and you can check them out in her blog or her BeadArtists.org gallery!