Thursday, 21 October 2010

Tales from the landlocked mermaid

When I began blogging, like I'm sure the rest of you, I had little clue of what I was doing. I hadn't even really looked at other people's blogs. All I knew was I needed an outlet for my writing. Then I discovered the delightul hobby of blog hopping. A few leaps and I landed on Carmen's site - Writing from Life - an Aladdin's cave of artful tales and treasures from a land-locked mermaid. I was spell-bound by her imagination and amazed at the incredible techniques she must be using to create her art. You could say that my love affair with mixed media art began here.

One day the summer before last I read on her site that she'd joined Jamie Ridler's Wreck this Journal Group. Sounded like fun to me, so I signed up too. Another momentous step in my life. That project was a total eye-opener for me. Every week myself and bloggers across the globe splodged, ripped and tattied our journals, sharing our creative output and letting loose so many of the fears that bind our creativity. It was roundabout this time that my artistic output exploded like the most vibrant firework. Suddenly I realised that art didn't have to be neat and perfect. It could be mess. It could be made of bits of old rubbish. It most certainly was fun!

And there I was surrounded by this amazing group of new friends, all offering support and encouragement. Some I've really got to know and enjoy spending time sipping a virtual coffee with while we talk about inspiration and admire each other's handiwork and Carmen is one of these.

When she decided to launch a new blog, I just knew I'd love to interview her over here to sell her talent to anyone who has had the misfortune not to come across her before.

And so, with apologies for this being such a big post (it's worth the read, I promise), may I present my interview with the lady herself - Carmen! (All the artwork and photographs on this post are hers).

Tell us something about the birth of your new blog
I really love expressing my creativity and interests here on this page, This blog along with my previous blogs are a way to express myself creatively. Blogs are such a great way to connect with so many like-minded souls, and the sense of connecting, getting inspired and opportunity for growth motivates me to keep on sharing my own unique voice, mind and heart with this world. I wish with all of my heart with this new blog to motivate and inspire others to live creatively, because after all, we find inspiration from each other and art has an incredible power.

Each person who comes creates will bring their own message, emotion or interpretation. I am hoping that someone who sees my blog will be inspired to do the same.

How did you come up with the name?
As a blogger, as someone who like many others proclaims myself as 'self taught', I follow my gut in creating something even when the concept behind a piece isn’t clear in the beginning - or even at the end! In my posts I admit that I enjoy experimenting or that I have learned a new technique by much trial and error and keep on going and trying, (and honestly I know I still have so much to learn). I thought: Yes, I need courage to be brave enough to put my artwork and my experiments out there for others to see. And yes, I need a playground, to remind me to stay grounded and not to take myself too seriously, and the rest of the name is part of who I truly and deeply am and believe: Imagination, beauty and love.

What’s next on the creative wish list?
Over the years my life's path has taken me in many directions which is a good thing - my present is exciting at this very moment, I am so grateful for that! So, I have blown a little wish out there and hopefully will become a reality when the time is right. I have many many reasons to feel that will happen sooner rather than later ;-)

Meanwhile, all I want is to keep on sharing my process, I want to offer mostly a visual treat for my blog visitors, I want to share some aspects of my life too, specifically with photography,
visual journaling, mixed media art work, cooking and gardening. On occasion I would also like to offer and share little reflections or life poems of what I am feeling at the moment.

And thirdly, I will keep organizing round robins or art exchanges once a year for everyone who wishes to challenge herself in this kind of fun commitments.

I want to share and invite you to believe in yourself, and live creatively in the moment, and from the past, learn from it but let it go.

What artists have blown you away recently?
There are so many!!! it is difficult to name names, but I really enjoy both the life stories and craft of Mary Ann Moss And Lori-Lyn Hurley.

How has your work changed over the years?
There are so many more techniques, materials and art supplies involved in my art nowadays. Practice, confidence, and the desire to offer more is a part of that. Recently, I tried a hand on assemblage involving vintage knick-knacks, some old photos and fabric which was fun.

Creativity has always been a big part of my life. As young 4 years old I was already playing with paper and paints, all the way to my teenage years. And in between, I grew a love of homemaking. At 12, I started sewing and making jewelry. And for obvious reasons I keep getting myselft into a lot of DIY projects; tools fascinate me to tell you the truth I even use them to make textures and shapes in my abstract paintings.

What are your favorite techniques?
For this, you are going to need your imagination, a pen and several scraps of paper.
Are you ready? Doodle, doodle, doodle to your heart’s content! Another one I love and you can see clearly in all of my artwork is textured tissue paper with acrylics.

How does nature influence your work?
I grew up very close to my grandmother who was besides a seamstrees, cook, crafter, and many more things, also a gardener. From her, I learned the names for every tree, herb, plant, wild and delicate flower.

I think because of this exposure with nature at a very early age, I learned to respect it greatly and follow my instincts on knowing how to take care of it, too. And noticed every single thing going on. So yes, nature is my guru, too, and oh my how much I love the ocean and the change of seasons. Put it this way, in my lunchtime, I get all ready to go out and my colleagues say to me: where are you going? It is raining out there! Or it is too hot!

And there was this other time when started to snow and I went out and opened my arms and felt in paradise and felt like writing! Yes, I am happiest outdoors sitting in the grass or in a blanket or with my toes squishing in the sand, with rain or sunshine!

What’s your ideal creative day?
Breathing deeply, practicing kindness, taking nothing personally and seeing EVERYTHING as an opportunity to learn, grow and to live in the present moment. So that includes spending time with my loved ones; people watching; reading to be inspired; browsing around farmers' markets, thrift stores & flea markets; being outdoors; enjoying a cup of coffee, tea or a glass of wine; and
my solo dates - I'm especially good at these! I seek solace at home, in my garden and with my art. Nurturing yourself is definitely good for the soul; in return you get the clearest mind and a heart at ease.
"Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is you-er than you"
Dr Seuss

Thank you so much for your time my friend! It was a pleasure to interview you. Maybe one day we might actually get to meet!


  1. This is really fabulous!! Love how you shared this talented artist and love her candid and heartfelt responses ~ wonderful!

  2. This is what blogging is about - meeting new people, widening your horizons and getting bags of inspiration. Thanks for introducing me to some one new!

  3. Dear Lisa:
    i hope by now you know how i feel about this
    my wings have been in constant movement since i receive your lovely invitation
    and now reading me here, makes me feel all happy and smiley!
    i thank you very much for this
    this will last for the rest of my life in my heart and thoughts
    thanks for everything
    thank YOU!

    p.s. and you know for some reason i thought that i find your blog, he-hee!!

  4. Awesome post Lisa..and fabulous interview..beautiful and inspiring!
    Shine both of you!

  5. What a really great interview. I really enjoyed it alot. :)

  6. This is a great post and interview. I inspire to be more open to creativity and like you put in your blog, there are such talented people out there to learn from, such as yourself. I really enjoy the way you express your creativity and talents, and now even showcasing others. It is very inspiring. This is truly wonderful!

  7. Carmen is wonderful. How nice for you to showcase her new blog,her art and her spirit with this interview.


Thank you for your comments - I always love to hear what you think :)

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