Nesting: Artist Friends

My artist friends live in my house! Really, their work is in the rooms of my house and in my garden too. For me, this means that the spirit of each of my artist friends is alive and well, living with me, encouraging me, inspiring me each day.

Jeri, who started our now 19 year-long book club, crafted a metal sculpture that is outside my front porch and captures the heron and waterways of the neighborhood. Her glass table with metal designed base is in the living room, and her crow’s-nest perspective painting of a sail boat hangs in our guest bathroom. What started it all was a powerful necklace I found in the American Clothing Gallery (where owner Lil just celebrated 20 years in business and where I continue to be a customer).

Miriam, also in our book club, is an artist and has paintings hanging on my back porch, and in my child’s bedroom. Miriam teaches and is a constant student of art, going as far as Japan to take classes last yer. Bless Miriam for gifting my child with artist supplies too!

Photographer Bud, a radio show guest with me during the days of Momentum on KBOI, gifted me with a healing-waters forest image of a waterfall that hangs in my dining room, along with a smaller print of geese on a lake which also reminds me of my neighborhood.

Brave new artist and book club member Kathi is exploring her creative side this year. She recently gifted me with a painted mandala stone that graces my kitchen window sill (Stay tuned for a sill-scaping ® blog).

Penny created a custom commissioned piece for my 20th anniversary of Meeting & Management Essentials. The piece evokes foundation and movement, past and present looking into the future. Golds, greens, cream and blue bring life to my business cards and communications.

Irene’s bronze sculpture Abiding stopped me in my tracks two decades ago. I saw it in a gallery window, went inside, read the artist’s statement and was moved to tears because the story spoke to my soul. Number 3 of 10, my Abiding sculpture patinaed to my liking, is on a special book-leaf wooden 1940s table in the living room. Once in the front hall entry and once in the master bedroom, the living room has been the longest home.

Quilter Anita lives in the fabric pumpkins on my dining table, in the blue/purple/green quilt on my bed, and in the bowl cozies in my kitchen. Joy rises each time my eyes land on one of her creations.

Brother-in-law Minneapolis artist Mike has gifted me with a print of my Kentucky granddaddy (in the living room) and a painting inspired by his Montana trips (in the hall to the bedrooms).

My child (step child of 11 years and counting) began painting at 4 or 5. Her pieces hang in the hallway, in her bedroom, in the dining room, and in our office/craft room. At one time, the refrigerator and dishwasher fronts held her work too. Family surrounds me!

Master woodworker John made a sand table into a coffee table that rests under the living room window. I’ve made designs in the sand, so has my child. Together we’ve made seasonal images. Then, we take photos and send them to John who seems to celebrate knowing how his art is in use and being enjoyed.

Ingrid is a new-to-me jewelry maker. Her glass bead collection spans 30 years and now a small portion of her collection is a colorful necklace upon which I always get compliments. It hangs in my bedroom where I can see it daily.

Kim’s mosaic work turned into a table lazy susan is on my dining room table. It simply had to be because some of the tiles are the color of an accent wall in my living room and the others are the blue/white that I am always drawn too.

Blake and I met when he was commissioned to create light fixtures for a friend’s restaurant. I have one of his candle holder pieces and this year enjoyed his Boise showing of windows, lamps, soap dispensers and vases.

Donna, in her 80s and still creating, annually sends family members a calendar that includes family photos. Hooray for the joy shown in the family pictures and in the remembrances of family members we don’t see often and who have passed away. The kitchen planning wall holds this treasure. Family lore includes how one of her sons saved her paintings from the trash; she has painted landscapes very handsomely that hang in the family home.

Lorelle is a new-to-me paper artist. Being a paper person myself, I was called to visit her studio during and open artist studio event this fall. Lorelle’s work spoke to me in its various sizes and in original and print form. Her print piece is in my living room.

Master stitcher and teacher Rinda lives in a spectacular piece strikingly framed and in our hallway. Christmas ornaments are also in our collection.

Metal worker and author Rick graces the gardens…metal suns on posts and six-inch metal frogs.

Then I discovered that artist friends and teachers Paula and Marilyn aren’t among my “resident” artists. Last weekend I spoke to Paula about my discovery and we’ve agreed that we’ll find the right piece. Marilyn, I’ll be talking with you at our next book club gathering!

Of course, photos of family and friends are in each room of the house too! Vases, magnets, glass art, photographs, and more are in the rooms of my home too. I don’t know all of the artisan’s names, yet they, through their art, are friends too. I love the daily surroundings of my home – indoors and out. Each day I celebrate the inspiring people in my life. With ongoing thanks to my creative artist friends!

Whom are the people “living” in your house as artist friends? Whom would you like to invite into your home as an artist friend? Surround yourself with the art that and people who inspire you!

Get going, invite your artist friends in. Your soul will thank you.

Note: This Jana Kemp post first appeared online October 31, 2018.

Jana Kemp

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