Thus begins a new blog series "Getting to Know You." I'll introduce you to some of my favorite artists/authors, and in the process we'll learn what makes them tick. It's all inspiration for the muse!
This month we're getting to know fiber artist, mixed media maven and sketcher extraordiniaire Jane LaFazio of Janeville (an artist so talented that even Danny Gregory is a fan!)
Am I the only one with a song from The King and I floating through my head right now? Let's get to know Jane, let's get to know ALL about her, shall we? Watch me ask Jane a series of probing questions...
Jane: I describe myself as a mixed media artist, working in paper and cloth. Then I try to explain that I draw and paint, collage, and make art quilts. But really, like you, I’ll try anything!
Kelli: You are a prolific teacher. How do you approach teaching someone how to make art?
Jane: Basically, I show them how I do it, give them the tools and a few skills, and then I heap on encouragement do their own thing. I also try to instill in them that art making is a lot about creative problem solving. Once you’ve started a project, how do you keep it moving forward? And if you don’t like the piece you’ve created, cut it up and reassemble it into something new.
Kelli: I'm in love with your "slow cloth" pieces. What do you see as the benefit of this time-consuming creation?
Kelli: I detect a "circle" theme in much of your work, from felting to paper-cloth. Is there a reason you're drawn to this shape?
Kelli: You'll be teaching in Orvieto, Italy this year--how exciting! What's the thing you're most looking forward to seeing (and sketching) while you're there?
Jane: Oh my! The workshop in Orvieto in late May is really a dream come true! One of my stated goals is to travel and teach places where my husband can join me, and we traveled to Italy a dozen years ago and had the time of our lives, so we’re really looking forward to this. To soak up the ambiance of Oriveto by being in the moment, whether we’re sketching and painting in watercolor, walking the ancient streets, learning to make the town’s famous pasta, or shopping the outdoor market. Just being there for a full week will be glorious. And then, we’re going on to Venice for a few days, another dream come true!
Kelli: It's hard for me to imagine that there is anything you have not conquered in the art world. Is there anything left on your artistic "to do" list?
Jane: Conquered? I’m not so sure about that! I certainly like to try new things! I’ve been wanting to learn to weave a basket from pine needles, and I really need to brush up on my perspective drawing. And I want to make a stuffed kimono from stitch paper!! And the minute I walk into my studio, there’s a million more things I want to work on!
Jane: This year is definitely my teaching year! Classes and workshops in San Diego, and then Sedona, Italy, Idyllwild, Utah, Northern California, Arizona, Chicago. In between, art making and yoga and time with my beloved husband. Lots going on, but all good!
Find out more about opportunities to get artsy with Jane here:
Thanks for talking with me Jane! Now get back in the studio and make us something nifty!