Today it is my pleasure to introduce the final Lulu Art Design Team Member for 2017, Theresa Mierse from Where Are My Scissors?. Theresa is known for her gorgeous collaged mixed media artwork, created with her Gelli Plate/ Gel Press. She has great taste when it comes to colour choices as her colour schemes are so beautiful. You’re going to love her work.
I asked Theresa to tell me about herself and asked her a few questions over a virtual coffee.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
I love arts and crafts and I’ve recently started a new blog called Where Are My Scissors? . For a long time I had another blog very much focused on art stamping called Misty’s Mess. I got a real buzz one day when I noticed that Tim Holtz had pinned one of my tags onto his boards. It was a long time ago so it’ll be buried deep by now I’m sure.
I live with my partner on his family farm and an assortment of animals out on a 400+ acre farm in the Lockyer Valley. Going to town is a very small affair as the nearby Gatton only boasts a population of about 3000.
I think I have always had an art or craft project on the go since I was a child. I often was winning a prize for something I had made. I made my first dollar with a drawing when I was 12 years old. I sewed a lot of my clothes and then my children’s clothes. Sold some too. I tried scrapbooking but stamping held my interest better and I made lots and lots of cards instead.
I have an ambition to create a piece of my own artwork to hang on my walls and through experimenting I find I like collaging with painted papers best. My first attempts at collage back in high school were a sorry mess. I try not to let the past define me.
I have my art space set up out on the veranda so I’m a fair weather and daylight creative mostly. Below is my early morning view from my art space. My craft room is for the laptop and storage of supplies and tools. If I do anything indoors it is usually in the lounge room on my lap as I’m spending time in the presence of my partner, as he watches tv. Early to bed, early to rise around here most days.
How/when did you get interested in art?
It’s always been a part of who I am. In high school my first priority was to know when art class was on the time table and work everything else around that.
Can you remember one of the first things you drew/painted?
I can definitely remember my first bit of art I made that had an impact on me. I was most likely 9 years old. It was Library Week and we were required to paint something from our favourite book. I chose to paint a larger than life picture of a mouse from the Silent Night story. It was huge, as it filled the whole paper.
Lesson one was how to make brown when all I had to use was blue, green, yellow, red and black poster paints. I can still see the reds and the greens as they peeked out of my broad brush strokes. Lesson two was about winning and falling out of peer favour. My classmates deemed me undeserving to win since I was only just new at the school. The joy of winning overshadowed by wanting to be accepted, is a big burden for little shoulders. I had my prize book and I was showing it to my dad. He pointed out that the art work in the storybook has a resemblance to my art with it’s broad loose strokes. I’ll never forget that moment of a dirty mine worker revealing this little fact to his daughter on his knee. My art work is forever lost to me, but if I ever see that book again I’ll know it instantly.
Do you have a favourite artist?
Before I had the internet I was mostly aware of textile and cloth doll artists via magazines. When I first got the internet the first artist I discovered was Teesha Moore. WOW! I had never seen anything like her work before. I thought how cool it was to have a life and a purpose involving wildly imaginative art journalling. A bit later I discovered Donna Downey’s vlogs. Who were these people doing extraordinary things with technology and reaching me in my far away place? I’m inspired by these two women who have revealed a way of believing in their art because they believed in their purpose to be artists.
What’s the best thing about being an artist?
Choosing my own path.
Do you like to have music playing while you create and if so, what kind of music do you listen to that inspires you?
No music. I live in a big old Queenslander farmhouse that’s just not equipped with enough power points to bring music to where I prefer to hang out on the veranda. I listen instead to the many and varied sounds of quiet farm life. We have a large peafowl family of about 30 birds on the farm and in my silence, as I move about through my day, I’ve become more observant of the intricacies of their calls and social behaviours. Something I would like to study more of and understand. I would miss all those nuances if I had music playing.
What is your favourite thing that you often include in your work?
Yellow. It represents light or a glow to me. I physically relax just that little bit more when I add it into my work. On the other hand I have an aversion to black. I use it when I feel I need to, which isn’t often, but it makes me feel very tense.
What are you doing when you’re not creating?
I’m generally a solitary person and there is lots to keep me amused on the farm. I do have three very energetic farm dogs that need their exercise. There is Rolley the Blue Heeler, Jack the Kelpie, and my dog Stanley who is a mixed breed Staffy/Bull Arab. Stanley, the biggest of them all thinks he is a small lap dog. I love being outdoors and going for walks all over the farm. Every couple of months I’ll head off into Brisbane to catch up with family and friends and get into my city girl stride.
What are your favourite products to use?
The product I can’t live without would have to be my Liquitex Gesso and Matt Medium. It was during a desperate google search for an online store that sold these two items that I found Luluart in the first place. Now I reorder that stuff long before it runs out. My other favourite supply is my Lyra Water Soluble Crayons. I was amazed when I first saw a stamping demo done with these many years ago and I spent the next hour mentally scheming what I could give up so I could justify buying a big tin of them. They still get used a lot after all this time. It was also my first quality artist supply.
Do you have any tips or inspiring words to share?
My most favourite quote is —
And then the day came,
when the risk
to remain tight
in a bud
was more painful
than the risk
— and it has served me well in times when I need to push through fear. Staying in a safe place is not as beautiful as finding yourself on a shinier side of a challenging situation. The other side is not perfect but it’ll always be better.
Best place to catch up with what I’m doing is at —