Saturday, December 31, 2011

And the Winner Is........

And the winner of the I AM T-shirt is: Tom S.

In case you missed the post, he said, “I AM… single and available,”

Thanks to all who participated.

I'll show images from tonight’s First Night show after I recuperate. :)


Friday, December 30, 2011

Nothing Changes Until You Do

that targeted collections
Image from Internet

“Nothing changes until you do.”
  -SOURCE UNKNOWN                                                 

Okay, so as the year draws to a close I’ve been reviewing tips that I have gathered in blogs, books, and on the Internet. From these disparate sources I have compiled a list in a handy-dandy, easily readable fashion in hopes of staying on top of my career this year.

They are not earth shattering revelations, but they are distilled down to the essence, which makes the list handy-dandy, and maybe more doable, too.

I thought I’d end the year off by paying it forward to you in hopes my list might help you as well.

Please feel free to pass on your tips too. Any tips to help me be a more organized and productive artist are always welcome!

• Identify what you want. You won’t know what to shoot at if you don’t have a target.

• Be purposeful about where you put your attention. Only positive thoughts allowed. Positive thoughts bring positive results.

• Stay focused. Keep distractions at bay.

• Be ruthlessly protective of your studio time. Learn to say “no” more often.

• Keep failing. It builds character and helps you grow.

• Be happier. Laugh every day.

• Be better. Learn more.

• No excuses. Period.

Off to work I go.  I hope you have a creative and productive day!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I AM ... near the red sculpture in St Pete

I AM ... near the red sculpture in South Straub Park, St Pete, FL.

The show is Saturday, December 31st, 5 to midnight.

I really hope to see you there.  Come by to say hi and get your t-shirt!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I AM… Becoming Wiser Each and Every Day

Cynthia from Moon Maid Botanicals speaks her mind.

I AM.....becoming wiser each and every day.

Thanks Cynthia, for sharing your thoughts with all of us!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

What Would You Say?

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall….

Next week I am participating in the PODS show for First Night StPete, FL.

My interactive installation incorporates the background wall of mirrors from this version of Mirror, Mirror.

Mirror, Mirror©, Kim Radatz 2008

In addition to the wall of mirrors, the installation will include other full length mirrors distorted ala a carnival show.

The concept behind this work is one of questioning perceptions and reality.
How do we see ourselves?
How do people see us?
And how do their views affect ours?

But I think the most exciting part are the t-shirts I’ll be handing out to people.

Their part in the installation is to fill in the blank.  Hopefully they'll wear the shirt for the duration of the event too.

We’ll be walking billboards with our thoughts literally written across our chests.

I wonder what people will say?

It will be interesting to see.

And, if given an opportunity, what would you say?

what would you say?
All blog participants' names will go in a hat for a free t-shirt drawing the morning of New Years Eve.

Good luck.  I hope you win.

Then you can tell the world too. :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Who're You Calling Weird?

Have you seen this Scientific American article floating around on Facebook?

The Unleashed Mind: Why Creative People Are Eccentric 
"Highly creative people often seem weirder than the rest of us. Now researchers know why."

It's quite interesting, check it out.

Here's a Cliff Notes excerpt:

Too Much Information
We are all equipped with mental filters that hide most of the processing that goes on in our brains behind the scenes…and thanks to these filters, most information never reaches our conscious awareness.

Creative people, however, seem to have reduced functioning in the filters. Therefore, much more information reaches their consciousness and “is associated with offbeat thoughts."

If I am able to be more consciously aware due to reduced functioning of a pesky filter, then A-O-K.

Bring it on, I am completely happy being weird!

May you too have a weird and wonderful day!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Show and Tell Sunday-What About You? What are You Working On?

Work in progress, She’s Come Undone©, Kim Radatz, 2011

During the Florida Craftsmen show this past summer I sold quite a few pieces. Yay! In this economy I'm not going to take that bit of fortune for granted. Truth be known, I never take sales for granted. I am always so pleased to hear positive words about my work that I’m tempted to give my work to that very nice person.

Thankfully, I don’t handle my sales!

Anyway, I got a commission for one of the sold pieces, She’s Come Undone. I don’t make duplicates, but similar pieces. I don’t think it’d be possible for me to duplicate something. But like my twin sister and I, the work looks similar yet different.

Here are the 2 pieces I’m working on. The buyer will take her pick once they are finished and the remaining one is slated for a show at The Pump House in La Crosse, Wisconsin this September. I’m pleased to be getting a jump start on that show, should have all of the work done by April. It’ll help eliminate some last minute stress, which there always is, no matter what.

So, that's what's new with me.

What about you? What are you working on?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Counting Down to 2012

Image from the Internet

2 weeks from today 2011 will come to an end.

It is a bittersweet time of year.

Sorry to say good bye, and be another year older, but hopeful for the future.

To stop myself from getting caught up in “I should’s,” with a long list of resolutions, and more pressure, for the coming year I have found that reviewing what I have achieved in the past year helps me move forward into the new year in a more positive and productive way.

It sort of seems silly, possibly arrogant, to make a list of achievements. However, if done with a tender heart and no ego involved, it becomes an objective way to see how 2011 played out. It enables me to see that I did accomplish many things. Maybe not all that I had hoped for.  But that’s what the New Year is for, right?

Maybe you do the same? Maybe it is a new concept for you?

Either way, if you do it, let us know how it goes, okay?

May your list be long!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I am too exhausted to write.


But while I catch my breath and rest my feet I've got a few images to share with you of the C. Emerson Fine Arts booth.

Thank you, Lori, for bringing my work.  I am honored.

C. Emerson Fine Arts
Kim Anderson, Lee Basford, Clayton Chandler,
Dirk Dzimirsky, Rocky Grimes, Kyle Hughes-Odgers,
Justin Nelson, Danile Mrgan, Kim Radatz

C. Emerson Fine Arts
Kim Anderson, Lee Basford, Clayton Chandler,
Dirk Dzimirsky, Rocky Grimes, Kyle Hughes-Odgers,
Justin Nelson, Danile Mrgan, Kim Radatz

C. Emerson Fine Arts
Kim Radatz

No, as in no more for now.

Until the next time, may you be filled with creativity!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Abstract Thinking

Or maybe better said, sometimes you just have to punt.

I came to Miami for Art Basel.
I scoured the catalogs and brochures.
I made detailed notes.
I planned day by day.
Then I started my day by visiting with a friend.
And then I blew off the list.

I love lists, but it just felt right to drop everything and visit the Miami I knew while I lived here.

I moved to Miami from New York in 1977 and left for Tampa in 1998. A lot of years to do a lot of things.

I worked here. I was educated here. I met and married my husband here. I helped raise my step-children here. Essentially, I grew up here. Not as in years, though, naturally that happened too, but in maturity. I owe much to Miami.

So, today I visited the places I where I had lived, where I worked, the colleges I attended, and some of the people I met along the way.

Bittersweet.  And wonderful.

Tomorrow will be a killer day catching up with all of the “should’s” from today.

But sometimes it is more important to LIVE life than it is to do the stuff we “should” do.

I’m glad I did.

I know the emotions that I experienced today will come out in my work.

I can’t wait to see what it will be.

If I am able, I will post some work that I have seen tomorrow night.

Until the next time, may all be well with you.
Image from Internet

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Are You Good at Saying NO?

Letters to My Lover, I said No, No, No
©Kim Radatz, 2011
I hope you are better at it than I.  I suck at it!

But 10 days of unexpected down time has forced me to rethink how I spend my energy from day to day.

I fell down the stairs 7 years ago. Graceful, I am not. As I was airborne I made a conscious effort to protect my spine from a direct hit. Quick thinker, thankfully, I am. It worked, though I did suffer some permanent damage. Multiple herniated disks top that list. Which periodically rear their ugly heads and force me to stop everything.

Hence the rethinking.

I know my priorities. I make lists. I remind myself. But inevitably I say "yes" to things that take more out of me than I gain in return. This has to stop.

I don’t expect to change completely overnight, but hopefully I will remember to take care of myself and my needs first. How can I help other people when I need help getting out of bed?

I'll keep you posted on how that goes. :)

I did manage to make more envelopes for my Letters to My Lover series which will be in the SCOPE show in Miami next week. Nothing like a motivator such as that! :)

Here are a few that I’d like to share with you:

Letters to My Lover
©Kim Radatz, 2011

Letters to My Lover
©Kim Radatz, 2011

Letters to My Lover
©Kim Radatz, 2011

And now I am going to go get ready for the holiday tomorrow. Down time will have to wait.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, my friend! May your heart be full of love and may many blessings come your way!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Miami, Here I Come- SCOPE It Out!

2 weeks from today I’ll be driving to Miami to participate in the SCOPE show during the chaos in Miami known as Art Basel.

I am very excited. A little scared too.

I’m honored that Lori Johns of C. Emerson Fine Art invited me to participate. It is reassuring to know that people believe in my work.

And it is a going home of sorts as I lived in Miami most of my adult life.

But the scary part?

Well, it’s always a little unnerving to show work, especially since this is such a world renowned show. Akin to running naked, as I have mentioned before.

Also, I will be seeing people, specifically former teachers and fellow classmates, most of whom I haven’t seen since leaving Miami.

I graduated from Miami-Dade Community College with my AA. Then Florida Internatioanl University with my BFA. And finally the University of Miami with my MFA. Which took me 16 years to complete. Longer than average, but I needed that time to grow as an artist.

And grow, I have.

So I shall relish the tingling going on in the pit of my stomach and forge ahead.

I’ll hope the show is a huge success for all of us.

And I’ll enjoy spending time with old friends and making new memories with them.

This time though, it’ll be the new, more confident artist that you know. Instead of the rather shy, insecure one that left way back when.  And that, my friends, can only be a good thing!

On that happy note, I shall sign off.

I'm happy to be back and apologize for the long absence!

Until the next time, may you have a creative day!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Edit, Organize, Edit, Organize

Packed and ready to go to Florida.

Sorry for my long absence, but in the midst of packing up my tiny Minnesota studio to head south, a family friend lost his son to suicide. I watched my friend’s son grow from a little boy into a man and his suicide took the wind right out of my sails. I allowed myself some down time from the “shoulds” and savored the last few days in Minnesota and the trip home to Florida, as well.

And now, one week after leaving Minnesota, I am almost done getting my home-base studio in order. I tweak each year to edit down to the bare essentials and this year is no different.

Edit, organize, edit, organize.

So, unpacking takes a bit longer than packing. Both in the studio and in the house.

I feel a garage sale coming on. :)

Which has been our practice the last few years. Keep the stuff we edit out of the landfill and let somebody else put the items to good use.

But for now, it is back to sorting and editing for me. I’ll be settled in soon and back on track. In the mean time, I’ll keep working in my head and when the time is right I’ll be producing again.

Until the next time, may your days be creative!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Do You Donate Your Art?

I am an artist. This does not mean I will work for FREE. I have bills just like you! Thank you for understanding! (Love this!)
T-Shirt design by he said tee shed
I saw the above on Facebook this past week and it reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend earlier this year.

She has a “No Donations” policy. Period. And here is why.

• The work we donate is always first rate as our names are attached to it.
• We work just as hard on the free work as the work we will sell.
• If there is no return on the investment, why spend all of that time and energy on it?

I donate art because of guilt. Or because I believe in the cause. And because somebody has asked me to do so, and I’m fairly obedient (though my husband might disagree. :)

So, I am wondering, why do you donate your art?

And if you don’t donate your art, why not?

I know I’d love to hear the ins and outs of your decision, and I bet others will too.

Thanks much, and may your day be a creative one.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Facing My Fears, Yet Again

Do one thing every day that scares you.
  -Eleanor Roosevelt     

I am a scardy cat. No doubt about it.

But I am trying to get better by facing my fears.

And not all of them are art related. Many, if not most, are just about regular ol’ life.

Like my fear of heights.

So, today in honor of my birthday I climbed the silo here at the farm. Made my heart go pitty-pat. But I did it, and I am glad. Not earth shattering in the whole scheme of things, but rewarding nonetheless.

Checkin’ that one off the bucket list as my gift to myself.

May your day be a wonderful one!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Welcome Fall

Fall display by the 49 Ford truck

Happy first day of fall to you!

My twin sister’s birthday is next week and as a gift I picked a passel of gourds for her to decorate her house with.

And that inspired me to do a little fall display for us to enjoy as the days wind down here in Minnesota.

And then I snapped a few pictures to remind me of what we grew and harvested in the pumpkin patch during the summer of 2011.

And I wanted to share them with you.

May your fall days be full of sunny days, cool nights, and lots of creativity!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Do You Call Yourself an Artist?

In reading Joanne Mattera’s blog today on “Who is a Professional Artist?” I was reminded of a conversation I had with a friend a few years back. I was telling her that I hadn’t had any sales in a while, but I was okay with that as sales are not my primary issue.

In response she said something along the lines of, “If you aren’t selling, why do it?”

I like this person very much and really respect her opinion, so her question did not offend me in any way, though at times I think she thinks she did.

Nope. Not at all. But she did give me much to think about.

Exactly why don’t I care about sales? And why do I keep doing it if I am not selling?

It is a subject I have come back to from time to time in the years since our conversation. Both at times when I am not selling, to times like now, when I am.

After all the pondering, I arrive at the same answer time and time again.

I make art because I have to. It’s not a choice, but a passion.

Yes, a bit cliché, but I’m okay with that too.

Here’s what I think:

• Sales don’t make you an artist.
• Gallery representation doesn’t make you an artist.
• It is consistently working towards a body of work and your belief in what you are doing that makes you an artist.

It took me years to believe in myself and my work. But I kept putting one foot in front of the other and wah-lah, at some point I was comfortable calling myself an artist. The rest just falls in place.

I think titles are nice, don’t get me wrong, but I think it is more important to believe in your journey.

So if you are doubting yourself, just forge ahead. It takes time and determination, but eventually you’ll get there. I promise, I’ve been in your shoes.

Until the next time, may your day be a creative one!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Creating in the Kitchen Instead of in the Studio

We woke up to 40° weather this morning with a promise of 30° tomorrow morning.

Puts me in the mood for soup.

I strolled through the gardens earlier and this is some of what I found.

I’m thinking Butternut Squash Soup.

Or maybe Roasted and Curried Butternut Squash Soup.


I think I’ll go with just regular ol’ squash soup tonight and do the curried one later.

There are tons more tomatoes, which will all need to be picked tonight before the freeze. So a roasted tomato soup sounds good for later in the week.

Or maybe…..

I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, may your day be full of warm and wonderful things!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Show and Tell Sunday- A Crushing Blow

A little over a week ago I got the bad news that my beloved 2 year old cat, Hennessey, had feline leukemia. Fortunately her sister and litter mate, Molly, does not. In the days that followed, I found out that most of the barn cats I care for here at the farm, 10 of the 12, also have feline leukemia. It has been a crushing blow. I have fixed, vaccinated, and loved these guys for many years and now they will die. Had I received more advice, I could have saved them from their fate with a simple vaccination in addition to the others they get annually.

It is possible they were born with it, both my adopted two, and the rest, a common problem on the farm, I now know, but maybe not. A moot point, though one I will continue to second guess forever.

After many tears, which I know I will shed for a long time to come, I have accepted that my beloved cats and I were only meant to be together for a short while and we are all richer for the experience. The sun will continue to rise, as it did today while Hennie and I watched, and the world will go round and round. But I am still profoundly sad.

So, I beg of you, please, if you have cats, inside, outside, or feral cats you care for, get them checked and vaccinated for ALL contagious diseases. Speaking from experience, it will be worth the extra effort.

And now, I am going outside to visit with my barn cats. May you find happy moments in your day too!

Hennie and I watch the sun rise together

Friday, September 2, 2011

Clowning Around and Thinking Out Loud in the Bag

I have been teaching myself to sew this summer. Yep, for more than a few years I have used the sewing machine as my main tool, yet I officially don’t know how to sew.

I can get the job done, mind you, my work just hasn’t been about the sewing. To me, using the sewing machine is akin to using welding torches, (which I do know how to use); the end result is the same, it’s the materials and the tools used to attach two parts together that are different. But connecting together they both do.

So I bought a book about sewing and started the lessons. It has been an interesting journey so far. Obviously, some things worked out better than others, but each one has taught me something, and that is always a good thing.

About the time I started my lessons I received my dresses back from the Cloth Paper Scissors Artisan Search which now hang in my studio. After looking at them for a while I was inspired to try one of the projects in the book with the paper fabric that I used for the CPS dresses.

Below are a few of the bags I have made. Not sure where they’ll go from here but I have been enjoying the process. It has been a labor of fun, with a touch of aggravation thrown in. =D

And now I shall put the fabrics and sewing machine away for the weekend, very appropriate for the Labor Day Weekend, me thinks.

Wherever you are and whatever you do, I hope you have a fantastic and safe Labor Day Weekend!

Kim Radatz©

Clowning Around Red, Kim Radatz©
Clowning Around Blue, Kim Radatz©

Thinking Out Loud, Kim Radatz©

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rules Were Made to Be Broken

Today I read a blog post by Seth Apter of The Altered Page on blogging tips for artists and found it interesting, so I am sharing it with you.  Give it a read, I think you might find it interesting too.

One thing Seth said really stood out for me. It reads:

The idea of posting interesting content, day after day, can be daunting to many artists, who would often rather be in the studio than writing blog posts. However, if you think of your blog as an extension of your creative endeavors, the two activities can seamlessly combine.

Spot on. What a great way to think about writing, as an extension of your own work. I will share this advice with my non-writing artist friends to see if it will help them overcome their writers block.

Later in the post he advises to always include an image with your blog post. Advice I have heard often before, especially since we are visual artist, but a rule I choose to break for a variety of reasons.

First of all, I get overwhelmed from the visuals that confront me on a day to day basis. It’s like a visual vacation to see only the text and let my imagination make up the visuals, if they are even necessary.

Also, blogging in and of itself takes time. To feel like I must include an image each time overwhelms me with guilt and guilt is something I am trying to eliminate from my life.

But more importantly, it takes time to get a good image, time I don’t always have. Work is my main focus, allotting some of that time to a blog photo is not something I am willing to do. Granted, if you are selling from your blog good images would be a necessity, but I don’t fit in that category.

With my blog I am thinking out loud and learning from others in the process. At the same time I am fine tuning my own voice and growing as an individual and as an artist. But in order to find my own voice, I must listen first and foremost to myself. And sometimes that means I’ve gotta break the rules.

May you swim upstream a little today!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Failing Forward

I just read Julie Fei-Fan Balzer‘s great post about being rejected and it inspired me to revisit the subject again because it is so darned important.

When I was a budding artist I thought the work I did was SO FANTASTIC, that I would blow everybody’s mind with my creativity. So when I was rejected, it was a crushing blow. The first time I was rejected from a show I cried for hours. Now, bazillions of rejections later, being rejected is a tiny blip on my radar screen.

Why? Well, first of all, I no longer place such importance on one piece.  Nor do I have such lofty feelings about my work. I like some pieces better than others, and I know some are indeed better than others, but each piece is just one part of a collective whole. I’m not banking ALL of me on any one piece. So, if it doesn’t sell, isn’t selected, gets a bad review or…. (fill in the blank), it is okay as it is just one small part of me.

Don’t get me wrong, I am completely devoted to my work, but I have come to learn that what other people think about my work has nothing to do with how I feel about it.

Why do we artist put so much pressure on ourselves to be the cream of the crop each and every time? Let’s face it; we can’t win every race we run. Or hit home runs every time we are up to bat. Why can’t we just be happy by being the best that we can be in that one moment?

I think this is where rejection and failure earn their keep.

They teach us that tenacity trumps talent and to keep on working.

That we need to face our fears and forge ahead, especially in doubt.

That we need to take risks and have the courage to fail.

That maybe we should throw caution to the wind and just do it. Right or wrong, let the chips fall where they may.

Or, that maybe we were swan diving into the wrong pool and to research more carefully the things we apply for.

That we need to hone our skills in all aspects of the business of art.

And, through it all, they help us find our own voices and grow as individuals and as artists.

They are just part of the process and are wonderful teachers, if we listen carefully.

I am so very glad to have spent time with both.

How about you?

I hope you have a creative day!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Gleaners

It is impossible for me dig potatoes from my garden without thinking about Millet’s The Gleaners. Impossible, I tell you. Which is a good thing. I always feel connected to the art world and women throughout history. Nature’s bounty teaching me life’s lessons.

Recently I was talking with my Mom about a farm that was down the street from my suburban LA home (yes, there used to be many farms in So Cal) and she told me that we were allowed to pick veggies from the fields after the farmer was done harvesting. How about that, I was a gleaner and didn’t even know it. More of life’s lesson. Fantastic.

Here are the first potatoes we have picked this season, some of which we had for dinner last night.

And the original inspiration.

The Gleaners by François Millet, 1857
And just in case you wanted to know more about the practice of gleaning, here it is:
In this depiction of the rural life of nineteenth century France, we see three female figures gathering the leftovers after the harvest. This practice – known as gleaning – was traditionally part of the natural cycle of the agricultural calendar undertaken by the poor, and was regarded as a right to unwanted leftovers. Although the practice of agricultural gleaning has gradually died away due to a number of historical factors (including industrialization and the organization of social welfare for the poor), there are nonetheless still people in the present day that we might understand to be gleaners.

I hope you glean much from your day!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Show and Tell Sunday-A Budding Artist

When I was 7 or 8 my Mom let my sibs and I buy a packet of seeds to plant in a makeshift garden in our suburban LA home.

1 Packet.

Hmmm, what to choose, what to choose.

While my sibs picked radishes, pole beans and carrots, I picked gourds. Gourds?

I should have known something was up at that point.

I think what was up, was that I was a budding artist. I didn’t want to eat what I grew; I wanted to enjoy something visual way beyond summer.

And here I am, a bazillion years’ later, living part-time on a farm with a real garden, and my favorite plant is still gourds. Pumpkins too, but they’re just part of the family.

Some things never change.

And now we are at that time of year when I stroll through the gardens daily just to see what has appeared since yesterday. Sort of like an egg hunt, but with pumpkins and gourds.

Here's what today brought.

young jack and gourd cross

winged gourd

warted gourd

blue hubbard and white pumpkin cross


I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Until then, may your day be blessed with treats too!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Swan Diving Into the Wrong Pool

Life has a funny, funny way of helping you out
  -Alanis Morissette

A while back I told you that I was applying for a residency and had my fingers crossed for good news. Well, the good news is that I didn’t get it. Yep, that seems like the wrong answer, but I mean it. I am so very happy that I didn’t get accepted.

If I had, I’d be packing up and leaving right now for the 2 month stint working on a new body of work. Instead, I am home (very important to a home body such as myself), working diligently in my studio on the pieces that I already have in my head and need to get out.

Also, if I had, I wouldn’t be able to watch Summer slowly fade into Fall from my small house on the farm. My favorite time of year in one of my favorite places on earth.

I got excited by an idea, and instead of working through it in my sketchbook, (which is sometimes all I need to do to work through an idea and then be done with it) I had a momentary lapse in objective thinking that made me swan dive into the pool, the wrong pool.

And the universe jumped in to save me from my own mistake. Thankfully.

Did it smart a bit? Maybe a touch. But I am so HAPPY that it worked out this way.

And, rejection helps toughen the skin. Who doesn’t need that from time to time?

Life indeed has a funny way of helping us out.

May your day bring you wonderful surprises!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Q and A Mondays- Finding Your Own Voice

A friend of mine started grad school this past year and periodically asks me for input.

Recently we were talking about her thesis, which isn’t due for a couple of years, but it’s never too early to start thinking about that, me thinks.

So I suggested she start brainstorming with words. Just start yelling them out, (writing them down too, lest they slip out of her mind) and see what words appear. I suggested she do this often to see if any words reappear. After a while a trend will indeed appear and that would be a good place to start, with these random words and thoughts. From there she can build upon them to find out what she wants to say with her work. Like a road map for her art.

How about you; How have you gone about finding your own voice?

Friday, July 29, 2011

How Do You Do That?

A fellow blogger recently asked about the dresses that are in the Cloth Paper Scissors magazine, specifically about the patterns, dress patterns, and if the dresses are wearable.

Re my process, I use actual dress patterns, 2 per dress, purchased from a fabric store adhered to vinyl with any medium of choice. My preference is Liquitex Matt Medium, but there are a bazillion others to choose from.

The patterns on the dress patterns (that is a difficult one to figure out, yes?) are achieved in a multitude of ways depending on what my direction is for that specific piece.

Both Clowning Around and Lemon Drop have paint, graphite, and charcoal. Tuitti Fruitti is collaged tissue paper.

And no, those specific dresses are not wearable. Though I have worn a skirt made from this material for openings I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody. And I would never subject any kid to that torture. It is made out of vinyl, which does not breathe. Which means it is very hot. And the fabric doesn’t bend, so standing is the only option.

I hope this helps. And I hope you have a creative day.

Clowning Around, 2010
Kim Radatz

Lemon Drop, 2010
Kim Radatz
Tuitti Fruitti, 2010
Kim Radatz

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Never To Give Up, Kick Against the Pricks

I’ve been working on more envelopes; here are 3 of them.

Like any ol' spin doctor, taking words out of context changes their original meaning.  These 3 pages came out of a heavy handed religious book from the 1940's.

Food for thought.

Never To Give Up, Kick Against the Pricks, 2011
Kim Radatz
Deep Down Below The Fire Sill Lives
Kim Radatz

I hope you have a creative day.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Show and Tell Sunday-Double Edged Sword

I have been working towards a show a C. Emerson Fine Art, and instead of delivering something from a current series, I wanted to try something new and different.

Which brings me to the double edged sword.

It is great to be challenging myself to try something new, as in doing so the challenge is also pushing me forward towards new and wonderful possibilities. But, it also leaves me feeling nervous and vulnerable.

Tell me, does the same thing happen to you?

And if yes, how do you deal with it?

In the meantime, here are some pix of my new piece, Letters to My Lover (Bleeding Out), along with my artist statement.
For many years I used the house form as a metaphor for people. That concept evolved to include clothing as an actual house for our bodies. Taking the concept one step further, I removed the form altogether using only the skins. Like cast off tattooed bits, the skins remain to tell a story long after the moment has passed.

With Letters to My Lover (Bleeding Out), I am reintroducing a form, this time a simple envelope, but one rich with its own history and symbolism. In tandem with the memories of the viewer the piece becomes a unique experience to each individual. 

Letters to My Lover (Bleeding Out)
©Kim Radatz
Letters to My Lover (Bleeding Out), detail
©Kim Radatz
Letters to My Lover (Bleeding Out), detail
©Kim Radatz

Whaddaya think?

And no matter what you do, I hope you have a creative day!

P. S. The gallery owner loved the piece. :-)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Something New to Play With

I am hard on equipment and recently killed one of my sewing machines. It lived a very long and productive life, first with the previous owner of over 30 years and then five years with me. No regrets or complaints about that work horse.

But, I cannot be without a backup sewing machine since much of my work is stitched.

So my 10 year old Viking goes to back up position and my brand spanking new Viking Sapphire takes center stage.

Woo Hoo, wonder what will come from this. Only time will tell.

Until we meet again, may you have a creative day!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Q and A Mondays- Are you a 2D or 3D artist? Or both?

I recently wrote in my sketchbook, “I am a 3D artist.”

That statement came after a show in which I had both 2D and 3D work and I felt the 2D didn’t hold up to the 3D work.

It is a train of thought I have considered before.

Am I one or the other?

Need I be one or the other?

I know we artists all struggle with multiple personalities in our work and it is important for the work to be consistent, but does that mean it must be only 2D or 3D? Or does a consistent theme trump all else, no matter what the materials or method of making?

I think the latter is correct.

But, I could use your feedback.

What do you think? And do you struggle with similar thoughts?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th!

May it be happy and safe and filled with fun!

Questioning Our Allegiance, Kim Radatz
A dress I made a few years back inspired by The Pledge Of Allegiance.  Questioning not only the various versions, but also the rules on how to treat a flag and our choice to ignore many of them.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

I Quit

Yep, I know I am supposed to persevere through all challenges as happiness comes at the end of great challenges. Right?

Well, sometimes.

And at other times things are just an uphill battle.

Which has been the case this past week with the new series I am working on.

So, today I shall follow my own advice from the Cloth Paper Scissors interview:

What do you do when a piece isn’t working out the way you want it to?

"Keep forging ahead. Making a piece requires and open dialog with the materials. It’s not just about me; I am a partner in this dance called art. I have to listen to what is working and if its not, adjust accordingly. If a piece continues to be a struggle I move on to another piece."

Which is exactly what I am doing today, moving on from this new series. I will return to it eventually but we need a break from each other right now.

Happily I already have a new piece started in my head. Time to get out the tools and bring it to fruition. I’ll keep you posted.

Until then, may you have a creative day!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Some Days Are More Challenging Than Others

“Happiness comes when you overcome the most impossible challenge.”

In the whole scheme of life, the challenge I am facing with this new series I am working on is nothing. But, oh how I wish it would ease up a bit. I have been inside out and upside down and everywhere in-between with no resolution on the work.

So, when I brewed my tea this morning and read the inspirational message that came with the tea bag, I felt the universe was trying to tell me something. And I will heed the advice. Struggle through the piece. It’ll all work out in the end. Hopefully it’ll happen soon!

In case you aren’t familiar with Yogi Teas, and I wasn’t until very recently, each tea bag comes complete with delicious tea and an inspirational message. As some of you know, I just love inspirational messages! Makes me want to run out and buy more boxes just for the messages. But, I won’t, it’s back to work for me, I will resolve this piece!

I’ll let you know if and when it works out.

Until then, may your day be a productive one!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Q and A Monday- How? and What?

Judy Hayes, a fellow Minnesotan, asked the other day, “How did you get started making pattern paper dresses? And, “What inspired you?”

First, what inspired me?

Long story short, I started out life as a potter, and pottery deals with containment. Not that I was a production potter, but I do know how to throw on the potters wheel and have made my own dishes, cups, teapots, etc., so the whole concept of “containment” in deeply entrenched in my brain. Plus, all of us are essentially “containers” moving through the world. Our bodies literally contain our thoughts, ideas, and memories, in addition to the stuff of our physical beings. So, I‘d have to say that concept is the jumping off point for the dresses and almost all other work that I do.

On using actual dress patterns as material, well, that takes a bit longer to explain.

I collect things and vintage dress patterns have long been on my list of favorites. It probably started with the patterns that my Mom used while I was growing up. Both of my sisters and my Mom were great seamstresses. Me on the other hand, not so much. I loved looking for fabric and patterns and wearing clothes that reflected my design sensibilities, I just wasn’t good at sewing. In high school I actually had some of my clothes made by a local seamstress. So the sewing machine as my go to tool didn’t happen by choice.

Fast forward approximately 20 years to when I was invited to do a themed show about “transparency.” My original idea didn’t work out as I had hoped and with a looming deadline, Plan B was hatched. I thought to use some of my vintage patterns but quickly realized that I needed two matching patterns for my vision to work. Nix the vintage patterns and buy new ones. The next hurdle was how to stabilize the patterns to withstand the actual sewing process and survive getting delivered to the gallery. Which I eventually figured out through much trial and error.

I have been making them for 6 or 7 years now and I have fine tuned the process even more. In the past few years I have moved beyond dresses into other forms including a swing set and a boat, with still others yet in the works. I’ll share pictures of the newer work in the near future. In the meantime, here are pictures of the swing set and boat.

Games People Play by Kim Radatz,
installed at
Gala Corina’s iluminación, 2007

Wishful Thinking by Kim Radatz
installed at
C. Emerson Fine Art in St. Petersburg, 2010

Thanks so much for asking, Judy.

And may all of you have a creative day!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Show and Tell Sunday- Serendipity Strikes Again

Life is so interesting, don’t you think? One never knows what seemingly insignificant stuff can turn into big and exciting news. A little over a year ago, my friend and fellow blogger, Martha, at An Artist's Journal, blogged about using Citra-Solve (spelling varies greatly, BTW) in her art work and mentioned reading about it in the magazine, Cloth Paper Scissors. I was intrigued by the sound of it, went to my local bookseller, and bought the magazine.

Also in that issue was a Call to Artists for their inaugural Artisan Search 2011. Hmmm, I thought, maybe I should check into this. Which I did and decided to apply for. Lo and behold I won in my category. All because I read a blog post. Wonderful stuff, this serendipitous path called life.

The winners in each category received a wonderful prize package and were interviewed to appear in the magazine throughout the year. I was slated for the July/August issue, so I jokingly called myself  Miss July/August. Made me want to walk down the red carpet with flowers and a crown. (Yes, in clothes, just in case bunny ears came to mind.)

And then the crowning jewel of this serendipitous path was reveled this past Friday when I received the actual magazine and was surprised to see my work on the cover. I am honored. And I promise to not take stuff like this for granted.

In lieu of scanning the cover, which I can’t do as I am traveling, here is the link to the magazine with the cover and info about the issue.

Until the next time, may your day be filled with surprises!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Hello, My Friend!

First, let me apologize for being away so long. I am sorry. Life gets in the way sometimes and you just have to deal with it right then and there. And that is what I have been doing as of late, which has kept me out of my studio for an extended time. But things are settling down and soon everything will be back on track.

Pending deadlines are a big reason that I am getting back on track, and you know how I love those. One deadline is for a group show about portraits coming up at C. Emerson Fine Art, in St. Petersburg. I love the challenge of a themed show as they often take me on paths I never would have considered. And that is indeed the case with this show. But more on that later when I have something concrete to talk about. Which will be soon, I promise.

For now, my next deadline is a blog post for Show and Tell Sunday. Yes indeed, getting back on track. And I do have some exciting news to share with you. But that will have to wait until Sunday. Which is tomorrow. Not too long a time wait.

So, I shall sign off for now and hope to see you tomorrow.

Until then, wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, may it be wonderful!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

BRAVA- Women's Work at Salt Creek Artworks

Our show opened on Friday and what a lovely evening it was visiting with old and new friends alike.

Here are some pictures I took after set up, but before the opening as I was way too busy to get any pix at that time.  I intended to take some, but......

Have a  great evening and a creative day tomorrow!

Kim Radatz

Margaret Conte

Candace Knapp

Phyllis McEwen

Carolina Cleere

Lyla Haggard