Artisan Interviews Barbara Espey: Vitality Fine Art Show “Creating Life Pathways” Event at Kradwell in Tosa

We will be doing Artisan Interviews throughout the year some are a part of Fine Art shows some are Wisconsin Artisans. Here we will try to figure out how each artisan thinks and works. I hope you enjoy them.

Our First show of the year is the Vitality Fine Art show “Creating Life Pathways” May 21st at the Aurora Facilities on Dewy street in Wauwatosa. This is more than an Art show it’s a destination, where you can learn, talk to experts, buy plantings, buy Art, watch Art demonstrations, watch kids create art, listen to music and walk through beautiful gardens.

Our First Artisan interview is with Barbra Espey her contact info is

First off – can we have a little background information on you – Where
I live in Quincy, IL, my hometown, but I’ve lived on the east and west coasts as well as overseas.
What first drew you to Art? How long ago was that?
First drawn to art As a teenager, my mother bought me my first crewel work kit which I finished in short order. This led to creating 5×7″ petite point framed “rug” comprised of design elements from around the world. I realized that by joining designs from two cultures, the end result looked like a design from a third.
While working in California, I was drawn to creating cards which has led to the type of things I now create.
How would you describe your medium?

Anything made of paper or related to paper though I’ve been incorporating polymer and glass into some creations.

What does it feel like to create?

creating feel like to me, creation is like a moving meditation.

What motivates you?  What inspires you?

Color is the first thing I’m drawn to. I believe each color has a vibration and the combination of two or more creates a different vibration. The second thing I’m drawn to is wording. I like to present thoughts that resonate with me. It’s interesting to see who else is drawn to the words and colors I display.

Are you working on any new Art Projects (if more than one); Tell us about your main project?

I’m working to expand the selection of books I offer.

Why did you choose this forum to express your art?

It feels right to move from presenting quotes on cards to including the min books. I also like to create things that have more than one use or are open to the discretion/imagination of the buyer.

What advice would you a young Artisan in promoting their Art?

If creating art is a passion for you, if you rush home to create more, then follow that urge. Manifesting your creative side allows you to live a more balanced life. The things you create hold your special vibration which you can send out into the world to blend with everyone else’s. Your contribution adds to the infinite diversity of  life itself.

Do you think that being an Artisan is something that is in your blood?
Or is it something that can be learned?

Both. Some people are born with an obvious artistic talent. Others can develop their artistic talents to the best of their abilities. What happens, unfortunately, is that many people  believe they are not creative. They deny or are too unsure of their capabilities to think of themselves as artists of one sort or another. I think creative/artistic expression comes from our right-brain, intuitive side. It is important to fully develop our logical-analytic skills and our creative-intuitive skills to live a more balanced life.

How many hours do you work daily on your Art and what are your daily
 tasks for your work?

It depends on the inventory I’ve built up and the sales from shows. As a guess I’d say that I’m doing something with my creations everyday that I’m not at a show. I don’t keep track of the exact amount of time each day, but I do have a sense that is it daily.

What will you be showing at the Vitality Fine Art Fair, Creating Life
 Pathways; in the Learning Gardens at Kradwell?

Were I to sum up my work I’d say that I create functional elegance. This includes books: those with acrylic paste paper/watercolor pages I’ve created and the accordion books with quotations. It also includes the popular Little Black Books that hold Post It pads and are refillable and Pocket Books which have pocket pages that hold credit-sized cards. Coasters with interesting designs and cards with inspirational sayings round out my inventory.

Her Artists Statement in her own words

“Functional elegance” best describes my work. The colors and textures please the eye and serve a practical purpose. In many, quotations are included that speak of an individual’s potential,our shared human experiences, and the power of one’s thoughts.
Everyone’s thoughts help shape the future of humanity. We must be mindful of what we say and do, what our beliefs about others are and what we think this world can be. My work serves to remind us of that.
Contact  Info for Barbara Espey
More interviews to follow
Learn more about the show or get a application click here

More interviews to follow-You can read about the other Artisans who will be showing by clicking here

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