1. What type of art work do you do?
Right now, I am a painter using watercolors and oils. I also enjoy creating pages in my art journal, which sometimes in which I use paints, collage techniques, and the use of markers, pens, and a bit of stamping.
2. How did you get started doing art work?
I started doing crafts many years ago, from macramé to pottery, and stained glass. I even had my own brick and mortar stained glass supply and gift shop for several years. It was during this period that I decided to take a drawing class, so I would feel more secure about drawing up my own custom designed stained glass patterns for clients. The class I took was divided into two sections. The first section, that I was in, consisted of people taking the drawing course. The second one had the students that were taking painting.
I learned a lot about drawing, though I was intrigued with what the painting students were doing and I kept walking over to the easels to see what those people were doing. The following semester, I signed up for the class again, but this time signed up for the painting segment! That’s how I learned to paint with oil paints, and I have loved painting ever since. This past year I have been teaching myself the use of watercolors, and am fascinated with how different they are from oils.
3. Do you do any other crafts?
Well, I still have all my stained glass gear and am actually teaching beginning stained glass at the local community college. I also have spent years creating glass treasures by fusing it in glass kilns, including jewelry and other, larger art pieces. I am not doing any new glass creating these days, though I still have a lot of pieces that I created last year, and that are in my Artfire shop.
4. What's your favorite piece in your shop right now?
Of the glass pieces, I would say it is my Rainbow Border Square Glass Bowl because I just love the spectrum of clear colors or the Red Starfish Dichroic Glass Pendant because of the sparkly glass in it and the starfish is a special symbol to me.
Of the paintings in my shop, my favorite one is my Underworld Fantasy Watercolor because it was so free and spontaneous, and I love the colors in it.
5. Where do you sell your work?
Right now I only have a shop on Artfire.com though I am looking for more venues for my paintings, especially ones that will offer the possibility of prints. http://www.artfire.com/users/SpiritEssenceArt
6. Do you blog?
Yes I do! I love to blog now, though it was difficult at first for me to post regularly, since I couldn’t conceive in the past that anyone would be interested in what I was doing. Now, I especially like to post in my blog since I am creating so often, to share what I have created as well as any of my “process” – both my internal process and some of how and what I use to create the paintings. I realized that I just love reading others’ blogs with this kind of information, so I want to share my own so others might also enjoy what I am learning and experiencing. For me it is a way to reach out to others and share myself, something that I am making more of an effort to do lately. For anyone who is interested, my blog is http://www.SpiritEssenceArt.com and I love to have new viewers as well as comments.
7. Are you on any social networks you'd like to share?
Yes I am: I am on Twitter (www.twitter.com/arlenemh), Facebook (www.facebook.com/arlenemh), Plurk (www.plurk.com/spiritessenceart) and a few other smaller networks.
8. Do you watch or listen to anything while you work? If so, what?
Sometimes I listen to music while I work, often some New Age kind of music or motivational music, but more often than not, I love the silence of my studio and enjoy just hearing the birds singing or my own thoughts in my head.
9. Tell us one random fact about your self *wink*
Though I am a US citizen, I lived for 10 years in New Zealand and am a permanent resident there. I went there because I had met and fell in love with my husband at an international spiritual / personal growth retreat in Australia, and he was from there. I went to join him in the South Island of New Zealand where he lived, and we were married there eventually. They were wonderful years and I grew a lot as an individual and loved the natural surroundings and lovely people there.