Wee Cottage Lane Christmas

Wee Cottage Lane  Christmas
by Laura Pallatin of LaBelle Mariposa

Saturday, June 20, 2015

"Mended Hearts" an insight into my creative process

I've been asked about my creative process more than once. More specifically, how do I get new ideas. I think that a recent series I've been working on is a pretty good example of where my ideas start, how they evolve, and what can come of just one little thought. 

So, I was in the waiting room of the Kaiser Medical Center Cardiac Unit in Roseville, California waiting for my sweetie to meet with his Cardiologist. We got there plenty early because it's kind of a drive for us and we didn't want to take any chances on being late. We were there before the staff started seeing patients so the waiting room was full of patients and their companions. Arriving extra early gave me plenty of time to sit and do nothing. Nothing, that is except let my mind wander. I noticed that Kaiser had put a lot of money into art throughout their building. The Cardiac department, however, had taken it upon themselves to add heart bunting all around their reception desk. It feels like Valentine's Day all year long in the waiting room. All of their handmade signs are also heart shaped. 

The longer I sat, the more I started to notice that the people waiting for their appointments were a very varied group. Old, young, male, female... Large people and tiny people... Every nationality seemed to be represented. That made me think of all the different problems people have that bring them to a cardiology wing. That thought led me to thinking about broken hearts and how very painful that is... And mental illness can feel like heart trouble with panic attacks and crippling anxiety... 

That's when the paper hearts hanging all around came together with the pain of illness, heartache, and mental anguish. This thought carried me through to the process of getting well and, finally, overcoming all these challenges. Starting with pain, fear, anxiety, doing the sometimes difficult work of healing, and finally walking out of the other side somehow more whole than when the ordeal started... I started creating the "Mended Hearts" in my imagination before we were even called back to see the doctor. 

Each of the "Mended Hearts" explores pain, healing, and/or recovery. I'm pretty happy with this first 12 but I still have ideas for more rattling around in my head. As it happens, the next series is already starting to take form in my imagination and I will need to bringing that into the world pretty soon...

I've submitted three pieces to a juried show and should hear if they got in by the middle of July, 2015. I'll update the blog to let you know how that went. 

I hope you enjoy the series and would love to hear how they make you feel.

Laura P. 
No. 1 "So Much Pain"

No. 2 "My Blue Blue Heart"

No. 3 "Love Heals"

No. 4 "Healing Waters"

No. 5 "Pure of Heart"

No. 6 "Radiant Health"

No. 7 "Radiant Love"

No. 8 "Never Again"

No. 9 "Heart of Stone" 

No. 10 "Black and Blue" 

No. 11 "Fresh Start"

No. 12 "Black Heart" 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Why I chose Etsy

Image result for etsy

I must confess... I resisted Etsy. I really wanted to do it on my own. I wanted to set up the look, style, feel, and environment in which I sold my art. So, I created my own website, stocked it with art and waited for the curious crowds to come knocking down my virtual door. Well, that didn't happen. So, I started looking at other options. At first, I thought I'd add just a few items to a site like Artfire because some of my cooler artsy fiends like and realized that it just didn't have the name recognition. I opened the account but didn't get much further than that. 

A turning point came for me hen I ordered a bag from a facebook friend, she requested I go through her Etsy site. She sells bags in her shop BrookVanGoryDesigns. She explained that Etsy helped her keep track of things and stay organized. This really hit home for me. I'm not that into organization. I'd much rather make art! 

When I seriously revisited Etsy, I found that they had lots of support and suggestions for people who genuinely want to make a go of it on their site. There is also a great deal of support from other artists. 

If you're doing research into what kind of success is possible on Etsy, check out this independent site that tracks Etsy sales: Craftcount. According to Alexa.com, Etsy is one of the top 1,000 websites in the world. Now, I understand not wanting to go with the crowd, and desiring to do things your own way. But, sometime we have to prioritize our time and choose what tasks are going to bring the greatest rewards.

What it comes down to is answering the question, "What is my goal?" Do you want to create a selling environment, or do you want to let someone else create the environment and you customize your own shop to sell your art?

I've had work on Etsy for a little over a month. I've had a couple of sales and I'm really happy with my shop. One thing I found very encouraging is other sellers who've included my products in Treasuries thereby exposing my work to a whole new audience. I'm following all the recommendations I've read on Etsy, Sharing my posting on social media like facebook and Pinterest, Blogging, adding a few items at a time, taking the very best photos I can... I'm giving this my best shot. You can follow along here to see how things go. I just wanted to take a minute to share my investigation and findings.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Functional Art is fun, too!

Caribbean beach house with a bird on it
I've been thinking about how I can translate my decorative ceramic art into functional pieces. While I absolutely enjoy art for art's sake, a friend recently asked me, "What would you use that for?" regarding my ceramic birdies. I thought that was interesting because no one every asked my what a painting was to be used for... But, it got me thinking. There are plenty of folks who will enjoy beautiful works of art (no matter how tiny) even more if they can "do" something with it. 

I've started this new direction with ornaments and ceiling fan pulls. Creating little houses has been on my mind for some time. I do so love miniatures. These are what I decided to start with. I'll continue to post the other ornaments and ceiling fan pulls as they come out of the kiln.

Little Ceramic Church with a mouse

Little thatch like houses with a bird

Cute little pastel cottage with a bird and yellow check ribbon

Tiny ceramic village on a hill