Jean Skipper

My Photo
Location: Vass, North Carolina, United States

My name is Jean Skipper, and I'm a working artist who's living my dream in North Carolina. The weather is beautiful; the people are warm and wonderful; and I'm exactly where I want to be in this world.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Leaving for Pennsylvania

Within the hour, I'll be leaving for my Christmas visit with family and friends in Pennsylvania. This means dragging out the winter coat, gloves, hat, etc... that I use much less frequently here in North Carolina.

I'm always so optimistic when I pack. I load up on creative supplies while planning to use a portion of my down time to act on the inspirations that have been dancing around my mind. Inevitably, most of the supplies remain unused. I love just spending time with the people I love. On these visits, everything else seems to take a backseat to just being there. I wouldn't have it any other way; but still I pack...

Monday, December 26, 2005

Getting Started

Hello. I've been meaning to start a blog for quite some time, and today is the day.

My name is Jean Skipper. I'm a recently-turned-forty-year-old working artist who left the nine to five world to pursue my dream in November. So far so good. The decision to take the leap took years for me to make; but the actual act of making it was quite spontaneous. Since I have, I've been developing my plan along the way.

I've been working on a line of mixed media photo collages called "Soul Stories". After completing a collage in miniature form, I secure it between glass pieces and finish the piece with sterling silver and silver solder. It can then be used as a charm, ornament, or other decoration. The possibilities are amazing!

From the moment I learned this technique, I was in love with it. I'm a mixed media artist, and many things interest me at the same time. These pieces combine my, friends, photography, writing, inspiration, collage, painting, and jewelrymaking.

What I love most is that this process has allowed me to touch the lives of others. I was busy throughout the month of December with commissioned pieces. I've helped others to capture their stories about beloved family members, friends, pets, and places. My creations honor memories. They often tell a story themselves; but they're also conversation starters. They initiate explanations, and they keep people talking. They help to keep their stories alive. It's a privilege to share the sacred stories of another's life through my artwork.

The photo above is of the first piece that I completed. The man in it is my Dad. He passed away on March 30th, 2005. He was honest, proud, hardworking, loving, and funny. Since the time of his death, I've had a copy of this photo on my desk. In it he's a seventeen year old soldier in World War II. Like many others of his generation, he voluntarily enlisted in the army as soon as he was able. The heart is from a copy of a post card that was sent to his father by his uncle while serving during World War I. The signature is from my father's soldier record in 1943. The back of the piece holds photos of his father and mother as well as the word "Love" in his mother's handwriting. It hangs on a chocolate brown silk cord, and is embellished with a worn ring that's inscribed with the words, "Forget Me Not"

The piece is deeply personal for me. I made it at a time when I was really missing my father. I'm very proud of it, and it will always be one of my favorites. I think that he would have liked it; although I suspect that the attention would have embarrassed him.

Well, this officially concludes my first post. Please stay tuned as my own Soul Story develops. Check back often. My life and my artwork may be crazy, sentimental, and funny; but they're never boring. It's my hope that my blog will be the same.