Monday, January 30, 2012

New Orleans: Roux

New Orleans:  Roux, 20 x 20" ©2010 Kim Hambric

Another "new" piece in the New Orleans series.  This series represents the rebuilding, the languishing, the heat and the lush growth of the city.  Roux also represents the cultural mix that makes that forms the city -- for good and bad.

This piece is now available on Etsy.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Little House

My Little House, 4 x 4"

Like I've got just loads of time piled up around me, I've gone and started another blog.  Pay a visit to My Little House and see what's going on. I'm not sure what kind of blog this is going to be yet. I'm not too much for planning ahead. Some photos, perhaps. I'm not that great of a photographer, but maybe this will give me reason to improve. There will be little glimpses into my house. The goal is to show myself what I already have. I'm one of those people that is always wanting something more than what they already have. I'm hoping my new blog will help me to get over that.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Beast, 6 x 6" ©2012 Kim Hambric

Finally, one actually created this year!  I love the more open and playful look.  (At least it looks that way to me.)

Too many things are taking me out of the studio this week.  A new 4x4" piece was finished today, and one 6x6" piece is taunting me and becoming totally obnoxious.  I've threatened it with a wash of gesso.  We'll see what comes of it.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

To Print or not to Print

One of my favorite blogging artists Andrea Pratt, has been grappling with making prints of her artwork.  While I have never seen one of per pieces in person, I can imagine it would be thrilling.  Her trees practically crackle with energy.  That got me to thinking about prints.  Again.  And that thinking got me to the same conclusion.  Again.

I do have some prints of others' work.  There are those occasions when the interest in an art piece wanes, and when it does, for me, it's always a print.  Sure, I'd love to have an Van Gogh.  Not going to happen.  So I settled for a framed print.  While I still enjoy looking at it, it no longer draws me in.  I see its flatness.  Of course it must be flat.  Texture does not convey.  I am still drawn to the original pieces of art in my home.  I've tired of the content of a couple of pieces, but the rest have stayed with me.  Their textures still draw me in.  Yes, I've been known to run my hands over these pieces.

As I've mentioned here before, I love creating my pieces.  I have loved working with textiles.  Then when I wanted more texture, I added beads.  Then paper.  Now I am working with paper and paint, and I add texture with those.  Sometimes intentionally, sometimes accidentally.  I pet these pieces while I create them.  I pet these pieces when I finish them.  And since very few have left the house recently, I can take them all out and pet them when I need to reconnect.

These pieces still have energy.  I still feel the heat and excitement I felt when creating them.  Even though I am not creating the textile pieces right now, I still feel the same about them.  When I feel uninspired, I will take out my finished artwork and touch it.

There are cultures that believe to take a person's photograph is to steal their soul.  While I don't try too hard to avoid black cats and walking under ladders, I do feel there is something to that superstition.  I certainly feel that way about artwork.  My refrigerator is covered in photos, notes and drawings.  Many of the magnets are mini-reproductions of famous works of art.  I've got no problem with that.  And why not have a mouse pad Mona Lisa?  But to me, to truly feel the art -- its weight, meaning, significance, you've really got to be able to feel the art.  It's soul is lost when it becomes a photograph.

Art is not just a product.  It is also a process.  When I see my own art, I see the process.  I can still feel the process in my fingers.  When I look at art I've purchased I want to be able to do the same or to get as close to the process as possible.  I want to see the order the layers were applied.  I want to see and feel the textures.  I don't want a piece of art on my wall like a trophy.  Something once alive.  Something that I can't relate to and that can't relate to me.  I want the art on my walls to still be living and breathing.

I know that art is not cheap.  People will say that they love a certain artist's work and that buying a print is a close as they can get.  If there's some artist that you must have something, anything, by -- well sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.  But to say you can't afford original art is probably not true.  Come to think of it, my artwork is pretty reasonable. Etsy is chockfull of awesome art. Look in junk shops and flea markets. Even the side of the road. Check out local crafts fairs and art auctions. Check your granny's attic.

I've probably ticked off some artists out there. Perhaps their work DOES translate well into prints. Mine doesn't.

Now go and buy some art or pull it out of someone's trash. Love it. Touch it often.

And if you think I'm wrong, please let me know.

Monday, January 16, 2012


First, I would like to thank my readers for their inspiring and encouraging comments on my last post. It is nice to feel, even for a hermit, that I am not alone.

Next, I want to talk about rules.  I understand there must be rules.  Some folks believe in commandments, some believe that one should wait an hour after eating before swimming, some enjoy a life of anarchy.  I believe that in most cases rules make us safe or even out the playing field or make life a little easier for the government of a country comprised of hundreds of million of people.

After a point, rules can become a nuisance.  Rules are often used in place of simple encouragement.  And, too often, rules are made just because it feels good to somebody to make them.

Each year in January, many bloggers I read chose words or statements of encouragement to follow throughout the year.  They may use these words to create more art, deal with people more effectively, make more money, etc.  Sounds like a good idea.  I've never done this before.  This year, my personal statement is: follow fewer rules.

Sure, I might get into a bit of trouble.  I might lose a friend or two.  I might, inadvertently offend someone who might have been willing to give me a bit of help.  But for so long, I've followed too many rules in order to keep out of trouble and keep from offending.  And I feel this has keep me far too silent.

The new pieces in the photograph above are part of the new me.  You are probably thinking they look pretty much like the old me.  Maybe I'm the only one that will see the difference.  That's ok.  These five pieces were made in five days.  My goal wasn't speed, but just a freeing up of my mind.  I wanted to get something down fast.  I wanted fewer rules, even self-imposed ones.  While creating is normally fun for me, doing these pieces was a joy.  I actually laughed while making them.  Not hysterically and not the entire time, thankfully.  Sure, there was a moment of sorrow when I dropped a piece that had been painted and the board cracked.  But seconds later it was in the trash and another piece was underway.

Destination, 12 x 12" ©2011 Kim Hambric

Last,  here is my newest piece on Etsy. Definitely a more controlled piece, but fun just the same.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Quiet and Alone. What's wrong with that?!?

There are those out there that keep exquisite journals. Artwork. Clippings. Hugely creative doodles. These things get shown in national magazines.

I infrequently buy journals. I love paper. I love blank paper. I love a fresh book. I just don’t know how to properly deal with these things.

Now, if I buy a journal, I make sure it is quite small with few pages. That way, if I get a third of the way through, I can feel some sort of accomplishment.

I put little sketches in them. Mostly designs. I cannot “draw,” so no portraits or still lifes for me. So a page of multi-sized dots may be the extent of my drawing. Often I will write a pithy thought or perhaps an excruciating line about my mother’s death. How about a short list of names I will never be called? Or a list of my five (at the moment) favorite words?

I am now taking an on-line creativity course. I am supposed to write down my dreams. I am supposed to write down my fears. I HATE writing this kind of stuff down. It makes me feel like a dweeb and I already feel like a dweeb, that’s why I’m taking this course. I’m searching for a way to creatively leave my dweebiness behind.

In picking up a journal to do a writing exercise I don’t want to do, I flip though a few scribbled pages, among many blank ones. One page simply has a single word. And this word makes me laugh hysterically.


What a fantastic place that would be! A city. A metropolis. Where one could actually be a hermit. Beautiful little apartments lined with books. Coffeehouses where hermits could infrequently meet or sit by themselves, lined with books, of course. Narrow little book-lined townhouses. Doors open on occasion to admit one’s closest friends. Little shops. Movie houses. Bistros. And then quickly home. Ahhhh, hermitopolis.

I’m not sure why I chose to write that one word down. No doubt I was feeling hermity. I feel that quite often. But I’m thinking I would like to live in hermitopolis. I’m sure it would not be a bad, cold, unfeeling place. Hermits care about others. They just prefer to peek through the curtains at what is going on in the street. If they even bother with peeking through the curtains. Perhaps they are damn jolly just working on a puzzle, doing some research, or perhaps having a delightful and saucy evening with another hermit of choice.

Tonight my daughter is going to a sleepover at 6:00. The hubby is trying to plan the perfect evening out. Dinner? A movie? A band? All three or just a combination? I don’t know. It’s cold. Snow is on the ground. I’m thinking of a cozy little restaurant. One with a fireplace. One populated with several other hermits having a rare night out. Then back home to do the hermit thing. Sounds good to me.

Monday, January 9, 2012

As Clean as it Gets

Looks like a pretty clean slate to me.  I reach this point about once or twice a year.  My own version of shock and awe.  It is quite temporary, though.  The studio no longer looks this way.  This is last Wednesday afternoon.  By Thursday morning, new projects were started and the bits started gathering and reproducing.

I'm not one of those people than be called an optimist.  I am not cheery.  Not enthusiastic about the unknown.  I hold grudges.  My least likely nickname is "bubbles."  Last year wore me down.  Family illness and death, lack of sales.  The usual central Pennsylvania gray and cold.  This year does not promise to be any better.  But, I've learned (finally) after 48 years of living that things cannot remain the same and get better at the same time.  I can't rely on the outside world to make any improvements on me.  Something must be done.

I have signed up for Stephanie Levy's e-course, Creative Courage.  I'm not a class-taker.  I think the last thing I tried was an 8-session evening painting course for absolute beginners about 11 years ago.  I want to have high hopes that this course will change my life.  However, I am a complete cynic and expect nothing of the sort.  But I have to be just a little bit open.  I have to crack the door.  I do not promise to give you any updates.  Perhaps I won't feel updated in the least.

But, here goes.  After I finish the dishes and put on some earrings.  Earrings?!?  Yep, I don't feel dressed without them.  And I know some jewelry makers out there that will NOT be laughing about this.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Clean Slate?

New Orleans:  Renewal, 20 x 20" ©2009 Kim Hambric

Resolutions!  Lists!  Plans!  Burning of sage!  Prayers!  Sacrifices!  Ceremonial burying of 2011!

I have done none of these.  But I do plan on a new beginning of some sort.

Today, I turned on the studio heater in preparation of working after 3 weeks of holiday activities taking me away from the studio.  What a mess!  How did I work in all of that filth for the past several months?  Now, I must clear my slate before I create.  I'm heading up with the vacuum cleaner after posting.

Above is one of my newer wall quilts.  I did a large series of New Orleans quilts beginning after my 2008 visit.  We visited in late 2006 and returned in the spring of 2008.  While much progress had been made after Katrina, still so much was left to be done.  But there was much inspiration to be gathered from the hard work and new beginnings so visible, to some degree, almost everywhere.  I had plans for these quilts, but these plans did not pan out.  Now I will be adding them to my Etsy shop. It is time for them to see the light of day.

Now, off the the studio with the beast.  Every time I touch that vacuum, there is an injury.  I hate the vacuum.  It hates me.  If I never return to this blog, you will know who won today's battle.

Happy 2012!!