If you've been following along my Instagram the last couple of weeks, you may be familiar with a peachy little art collective called the Art Stew. My lovely and talented friend Rhea Amyett started this project back in January — each week, the participating artists are given a new prompt and we each make something that follows the prompt in our own unique craft. Together, our abundance of work creates a big ol' pot of "art stew."
It's a thriving and supportive little community of artists -- but anyone's welcome to pop by the Stew at any time! Head over to the #artstew52 hashtag on Instagram to check out work by other skippy artists (turned friends). I so wish I could sit down, have coffee and make with my fellow Stewards. Grateful for all of you.
Anyways! Since we're hopping into the third month of Art Stew 52, I thought I'd share some of what I've been making for the project! Ten down, 42 to go. This week, we'll be making a piece of work inspired by another artist in the Stew. It's going to be a massive challenge because I'm so inspired by all of you!
W E E K T W O :: S N U G
There's a clan of the tiniest raccoons. Their paws equal the size of just a few grains of sand and their entire selves are no bigger than a pinecone. They are kind but also naturally sneaky -- the raccoons are known to hide away in hydrangea bushes, awaiting a passerby who is wearing a snug, cozy sweater. When the raccoon spots one of these humans, she snatches up a hydrangea sprig and scurries out of the bush. She darts behind, dodging feet and follows this human into their home. She likes this human's sweater very much, so much that once the human removes it to change into sleeping clothes, the raccoon takes a pair of tiny copper scissors from her belt and snips off a small amount of the sweater's yarn. She has a stick draped with yarn scraps at her hydrangea home. Those are her own snug scarves. The raccoon is kind, of course, she always leaves a hydrangea sprig by your sweater when she takes out her copper scissors
W E E K T H R E E :: E V E R G R E E N
Here's a process shot for this week's Art Stew 52 prompt! I also have an entire page of ideas for a new project that this will be part of, so stay tuned for the unveiling of that! I'm SO flippin' excited, friends 💛
Side note :: here's why I'm fully and completely in love with the Art Stew weekly project. •
I graduated with a Studio Art degree about eight months ago. Upon reflection tonight, everything I made while in school was created with anxiety intertwined in my handiwork. Every creative move HAD to have meaning behind it. Each creative decision I made while making was preceded by thoughts of "What's the purpose of this?" because we talked about our work endlessly and critiqued deeply. •
I think that's why the Art Stew year long project I'm participating in is a breath of the absolute cleanest air. I drew this evergreen branch and quite honestly, it doesn't have a meaning to me. And nobody's going to care. I started with pencil, experimented with watercolor for the first time in absolutely forever and added some pen markings. Since I've taken on a liking to gold, I threw on some glimmering detailing and a golden border. Why? I'm not entirely sure, but I also took out a forest green colored pencil and scribbled in some green shading. •
This Art Stew community is supportive and full of experimentation and I adore my fellow makers already. I'm not anxious to try combinations of four different materials. I listened to Bennie and the Jets on repeat while drawing this evergreen sprig. And I could breathe without the anxiety I felt while in college as an art student. •
Actually, maybe this simple evergreen sprig is symbolic of creative freedom sans anxiety for my soul.
W E E K F O U R :: L U N A R
When I was small, I dreamed of living in outer space. It boggled my young mind that there was no end to the darkness, that it perhaps traveled endlessly on and on. That really, the small Kate standing on Earth was microbial in comparison to the massive darkness hosting revolving planets and stars and faraway galaxies. When I was small, I wanted to explore space, to leave this earth. But nowadays, outer space seems like it would be lonely and I think I would miss the foliage and greenery and foraging opportunities to design detailed dried wreathes. At least for now, I'll dream lunar dreams. But maybe someday, if another planet that offers a forest sanctuary is discovered, I'll be a space explorer.
W E E K F I V E :: A F A V O R I T E B O O K
"Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much." This week's Art Stew 52 prompt had my heart reaching back to Harry Potter with every beloved book I flipped through. This weaving is fully Gryffindor house-colored inspired and hopefully reminds you of a good ol' cardigan knit by Molly Weasley.
I'm rereading the books right now and am fully reminded of why the HP series was such a large part of my childhood. I have many favorite books in my arsenal, but my go-to will forever be Harry Potter.
W E E K S I X :: L O V E Y D O V E Y
In the past year, I've told myself that if a man happened to bring me flowers, I would dry the blooms and turn them into sculpture. That would be a compliment from me, of course. There is absolutely nothing like carefully moving your small hands to work with the fragility of petals as thin as paper. Preserving the beauty of nature into atmospheric and floating sculpture steals my heart every single time. It feels like home. I imagine that's how love feels like -- respectfully and mindfully handling a fragile process, discovering how a feeling of home and comfort resonates deep into the bones of each other, and creating a beautiful, preserved space. Timeless. Suspended by a thread.
W E E K N I N E :: W I N T E R ' S L A S T B R E A T H
Keep your chins up, dear sweet skippies. Feel the softness of your winter sweaters against your skin and know that soon you'll be able to shed the warm cocoon for breathable, light fabrics. Give blooms to strangers because it will remind them that those days are coming so, so soon. Seek to find beauty in all the corners. Take a walk with coffee in hand to watch the season's colors transition from brown and muted to green and breathing.