Don't you just love my new Christmas header?
The photo is entitled "Pixie Bathtime" and is the original work of artist Valerie Fuqua.
Valerie and I attended high school together and we've become "virtually" reacquainted.
I have fallen in love with her photos, mosaics, paintings and mixed media work.
Since today is "Black Monday," I'd like to introduce you to Valerie's beautiful work...AND help you save 30-50% off some your Christmas gifts!
Valerie, when would you say you "became an artist?"
(Nice start, Dana...The World's Silliest Question.
Let's pause for one of Valerie's pretty photos - while we recover.)
I have been a full-time artist for seven years, but in my own fantasies I've been an artist my entire life. My parents weren't big believers in toys, so books and my imagination were my entertainment. I was always looking for found objects to make my little creations. I remember my mom brought home a box of rainbow Kleenex in the early 70s and I made a floral bouquet out of them. She wasn't impressed that I "wasted" the tissues, but I was quite proud of myself.
My passion for art took a hiatus through much of my late teens and twenties, but it was renewed again when I suffered a traumatic brain injury and had to relearn everyday tasks. Assembling jigsaw puzzles as part of my therapy led me to discover mosaic art and my spark to create was reignited.
Which medium is your favorite?
It's hard to pick a favorite medium. I love the textural qualities of a mosaic and incorporating treasures from around the world. At the same time, photography lets me share with the world what catches my eye and at a much quicker pace than a labor intensive mosaic. I've always been a spectator of life and I'm heavily influenced by texture, color and nature. If something appeals to me I try to capture it with my camera.
Pause for another...ooooh, pretttttyyyyy.
Valerie, who inspires you?
I admire anyone that creates. Even if their art doesn't appeal to me personally, I respect the fact that they're giving their creative voice an outlet and will always support another artist. Growing up I used to think that only painters were artists, but now I realize that art takes many forms.
What are a couple of your favorite pieces from other artists?
Here are a few creations from artists I admire:
Lyse at Imagine Studio makes digital collages that always take my breath away. It's so hard to choose a favorite.
"Memory Reach" by Mays Mayhew really speaks to me...I guess because of all that I lost and how I'm constantly struggling to remember what I've forgotten.
And this woman's work in general fascinates me--> Meg Hannan.Valerie, where can we see your paintings, mixed media and mosaic work?
And, where can we see more of your amazing photos?
And, um, could you please use our favorite word - SALE???
I'm currently offering 30-50% off fine art photographic prints at Mistflower Photo.
You can also purchase stretched canvases, framed prints and greeting cards with my photography at Valerie Fuqua at Fine Art America.
And I'm offering 30% off prints of my mosaics and $1 off pocket mirrors and magnets at my other Etsy store: Mistflower Studio.
I'll leave you with one more delight.
Valerie, would you care to make the introduction?
"Chief Build a Dam...His Friends Call Him Beaver" is the latest addition to my mask series.
And, he has a story, right? Do tell!
As a child I was inspired by National Geographic Magazine I was struck with the fact that despite having so little in the way of material things, there were parts of the world where people were adorning their faces with "paint" in elaborate designs. Those memories have stayed with me and were the inspiration behind my ongoing series of mosaic masks. Beaver began when I found a hand carved mask at an estate sale. Normally I'm drawn to African masks, but Beaver had such a big smile that I couldn't pass him up. I adorned Beaver's face with tons of fabulous millefiori from Murano, Italy, ceramic beads, Perdomo smalti from Mexico, vintage glass cabochons, stained glass, glass beads...both vintage and new, fused cabochons and tiles, vintage china and glass glitter tiles. Beaver is a one-of-a-kind creation that is signed.
Thanks, Valerie, for sharing just a little bit of world with us.
Now, to my 3 readers -
What are you doing still reading?
Head off to Mistflower Photo and Mistflower Studio to "ooh" and "ahh."