Three years ago I woke up one cold morning and told myself that today was the day. I had to start being creative. I couldn’t wait any longer, couldn’t put it off until my son was older or my schedule was less hectic or…? Or what? There was always an excuse, always some reason to ignore the urge to create that I felt inside. My son was three at the time and was becoming more independent. Not having to do every little thing for a toddler allowed me little bits of stolen time -- an hour, an hour there -- to work on creative projects. I began painting again and making handmade cards. I created a Flickr account to showcase my work and an Etsy shop to sell it. I enjoyed that, but it wasn’t until I signed up for my first gallery show that I found what I feel is my true calling.
|My first collage, June 2011|
The show was called the 30/30/30 Challenge -- 30 artists each creating 30 pieces of art in 30 days, all working on 4” X 4” canvases. When I received mine I played around with different ideas, began going through all the interesting odds and ends I’d collected over the years. Inspiration truly struck when found a local salvage store that turned out to be a treasure trove of the rusty castoffs and antique hardware that’s become the signature of my work. I combined those bits with pages from old books and toys and the first of my collages were born.
|Jen Hardwick, "The Queen", "Salvage Bot", "Metal Medusa" and "Fish Fish"|