Today you are in for a little treat! In just a few short weeks Mailey and I will be flying off to Virgina Beach to teach at Art and Soul. Very exciting indeed!! As a part of getting geared up for the retreat weekend all the instructors have been collaborating on special things just for you guys hoping to sweet talk some of you into joining us and drum up EXCITEMENT for those of you already attending. For the next week we are hosting a blog hop. So today, I get to scatter joy on my blog and introduce Kari McNight to you!
So, let's ask her a few questions and get to know her!!
Jenni: Kari, What teacher(s) lit your fire to be an artist?
Kari: I’ve loved art, and taken classes since I was a very small child. I had many art teachers at school that encouraged my Mom and Dad to put me in extra classes, but most of them I can’t remember by name. However, I am very grateful to them for recognizing what art did for me as a developing artist. Fast forward thru 2 post grad degrees in Corporate and Commercial Photography, and a career as an Architectural photographer. I was working creatively, but always came back to something that got my hands wet whenever I got the chance. I was taking small steps toward life as a full time Mixed Media Artist, when I met Anne Bagby. She encouraged me it was okay to pursue my passion, that I was more than capable, and it gave me the confidence to step out and make the big jump. She remains a treasured friend and advisor, and I still think of her as the Artist who most changed my life by helping me to have belief in myself. I try to model myself after her, providing encouragement and instruction while letting students bloom in their own paths.
Jenni: We all need a special person like this in our lives. And because she encouraged you to bloom in your own path, you are now able to share this joy with others as well! Sort of like a giant pay-it-forward moment. What 4 tools can’t you live without?
Kari: I am totally lost without gel or matte medium. I fix stuff around the house with it, I glue with it, I paint with it, I glaze with it, I prime canvas and substrates with it! Same goes for stamps of some sort. I prefer my own handcarved stamps, or the 8.5 X 11inch stamps from my stamp line, but I’ve been know to use a corn pad on a spool in a pinch! I use stamps in clay, in wax, paint, inks, and with oil bars and fabric. I am a devoted fan of Knead a Mold. Once I found this medium I went CRAZY with it! Molding antique jewelry, petrified artifacts, hand carved wood pieces…just anything that didn’t move faster than me! I can use resin, clay, paperclay, paper mache’ and even chocolate or jello in the resulting molds! Finally I love ICE Resin! Oh! What joy -what bliss when I finally got my hands on this amazing stuff! I cover anything with it! Jewelry, journals, magnets, hair accessories, ornaments! You name it, this stuff ROCKS!!! I used to fight with bubbles and leveling in other resins, and now my life is SO much easier!!!
Jenni: Wow...I wonder if I could fix the back doorlock with gel medium? Hmmm...And ICE resin I keep hearing about, so I just may have to give it a whirl. I can not wait to see your stamps at vendor night! So Kari, Where do you get your inspiration from?
Kari: I get inspiration from everywhere and everything. I can be in an airport waiting lounge and see a pattern on a scarf of someone going by and it will affect my art. I try to look at art and architecture everywhere I go. Even if it’s not my taste, I try to figure out WHY it doesn’t appeal to me, and that strengthens my own artistic statements. If you see my stamp line, you’ll notice one of the images looks sort of like Clark Gable, and another like Sam Elliot. I was sketching in my journals while watching movies with my husband, and they just sort of popped out on the pages!
Jenni: I think we artists have brains unlike the norm....it is amazing what we allow ourselves the freedom to see. After art, what else is your passion?
Kari: After Art, travel is my passion. I began travelling with my father doing mission work when I was very young. I had my 16th birthday in a thatch hut in the jungles of Belize Central America. I was living and working among the Mayan and Ketchi Indians. I’ve had the privilege of living side by side and working with the people of and traveling throughout Mexico, the Bahamas, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Canada, Italy, France, Brittany, Kenya, Tanzania, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Jamaica and several other countries.
Jenni: No freakin' way!! How cool is that? You are most fortunate to have had these opportunities and I am sure the exposure has broadened your artistic eye as well, perhaps without your even knowing it. One last question for you....What type of classes do you like to take at Art and Soul?
Kari: I love to take classes from instructors who are open and generous with their knowledge and supplies. I love being able to try products and techniques out in workshop situations before I decide if I want to buy them for myself. I also always appreciate when they teach me new ways to use what I already have! I try to take classes with instructors who offer something fresh and varied with a good mix of demonstration/ verbal and printed instruction. I love to take new instructors workshops, you never know when you might discover your next favorite instructor! Over the years I’ve taken them all- jewelry, painting, printing, clay, fabric, journaling, bookmaking, sketching. I tend now to take process heavy classes with a mixed media focus. But who knows- tomorrow I may get a hankering for flower arrangingJ
Well, I am sure that your flower arrangements would be more than fabulous with a flair that only a woman with style like this could create!
Barbe Saint John see here. And for a real treat...my interview will be here tomorrow (I just got a sneaky peeky at it and she did such an amazing job! So even if you think you know me, check it out.) See you guys later this week! Thanks for stopping by and do say hello!