Sometimes you feel yourself going through growing pains in aspects of your life, and these few months I've felt these things when it comes to my art. Folky, chippy, Americana growing pains. I've felt the need for fresh eyes, fresh brushes, a fresh take on my business. You may have noticed this in various corners of the internet---- there are changes afoot! Largest of all, a change in name.
Sleightholm Folk Art
For almost 9 years I've done business under the moniker of Audrey Eclectic-- named after the baby I had left journalism to be at home with. I was so happy to be home with her, but also needed something to do with my hands, having spent most of my life in school or work. And so it was only natural that I took up with my childhood love, painting. And I named it all after my sweet girl.
And years passed. And the baby is now a grown up girl. The style and focus of Audrey Eclectic changed and grew with me. And Im still growing, but I think its time Audrey had her own name, to do with what she will. And I will proudly take up my own name--- hard as it is to spell and pronounce (SLYT-holm, y'all!)
Even with this change, I will still offer all my regular prints I offered as Audrey Eclectic, although I'll use a new URL for this site and my etsy. Its my hope to smoothly transition with all my social media contacts together, so it will be minimal trouble for you.
As for me, I feel a lot of growing and experimenting coming, of indulging myself in the ability to play and learn--- to pursue inspiration and teachers and artistic experience that will enrich my art and the things I am able to offer to you. I've found that its hard for me to tie myself down to one thing--- I want to try, learn, explore. All within the spectrum of folk art, but there's so much I want to learn about--- yarn making, weaving, quilting, fraktur art,tavern signs, true americana artwork, landscapes and portraits,....earthy american history and faith as it was depicted through art made my common people. Those are the things that capture my imagination--- and those are the things I want to bring to you as well.
Yesterday I was lucky enough to indulge in a solo trip---- all by myself, guys!!!-- to see the American Made folk art exhibit at Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, AR. I went especially to see the art from The American Folk Art Museum in NYC-- needing inspiration and also needing something to do just for myself.
Seeing all this beautiful handmade art just made me so happy. I had tears in my eyes, my heart was just full. It was room after room of all the things that I adore. And not fancy formal portraits--- although those are lovely. These pieces were portraits by itinerant painters, quilts, home decorations, love notes! They were simple, homespun masterpieces made by regular people with no formal training. People I can very much relate to.
Going through the exhibit though, I knew that my inclinations were right. This is what makes me inspired and want to paint. This is what I want to share with people--- our history, our unique art, a connection of past and future. I love things like icons and retablos, folk portraits and landscapes, things with humble origins that still capture life beautifully.
That is my aim. And also to delve into some of these 'lost arts' before they are so completely lost. I want that connection with my ancestors. The art and sensibilities of bygone eras have always drawn me in. And it would be my pleasure to create a few beautiful things for you all, if you would be so kind as to come along on my art adventure....
Your prairie folk artist,
*Artwork in this post is from the American Made exhibit at Crystal Bridges Museum. The exhibit runs through September 19!