You may be wondering what Traci, the Ivy in Brook & Ivy, has done and is doing, since we ended our jewelry partnership. She went back to college, then moved to West Hollywood and lived with Mike (Mikal) and Jeff for a time. Traci was living in California, when the tragedy of September 11th occurred on the World Trade Center. That incident became a pivotal point for her and she moved back to Ohio where she could be closer to her family. Back in Ohio, she continued her college classes and got a degree. Now, she is happy mother of two adorable children and she lives on a very, large farm with her husband, John. Traci has always been an artist in everything does whether it is child-rearing, writing a letter or making a meal. I feel so fortunate that this sincere, beautiful, multi-talented woman remains like a sister to me to this day.
In the summer of 2005, we had bought an investment property on 5 acres in rural California in the Mojave Desert near where my friends, Mike (Mikal) and Jeff had moved from Hollywood several years earlier. When we purchased this property, we had said that we would possibly make it our permanent home in 5 years which would have been 2010.
However, the year of 2006 held some surprises for us and many others, when the Midwest economy began to break down. My husband's job ended abruptly in July '06 because of the company's immediate down-sizing. We decided to celebrate instead of panicking about finances. This job, held its own burden that included a 3 hour daily commute 5 days a week. Because of the exhausting commute time, his schedule was restrictive and it was time for a change, anyways. So, we went to our favorite local cafe and he popped a big question. "Why don't we move to the house in California?". Being that my job, was quite mobile and I tend to like change, I, immediately said, 'Yes'! And, on October 28th, 2006, David and I were living here. Because the Universe dumped money from many unsuspecting sources, this kept us afloat for quite awhile and we were able to liesurely settle into our new home together. This unexpected prosperity bump alone told us we had made the right move!
Living in this incredibly different atmosphere, compared to our recent noisy, urban Ohio home was transforming to the roots of both of our artistic senses and wider selves. The work David has produced since we have made the transition is startling! He is much more fluid in his range of styles that he is making and is continually expanding creatively. I had never seen his sense of humor show up in his work until we moved here. He painted fictitious advertisements on scrap wood that were influenced by the luscious, colorful artwork done in the 1920's-40's on California orange crate labels. Here is a link to some of those works David's earliest California work.
This influence of our new locale had a domino effect throughout my entire business, including, my pieces, too. I had always thought people's tastes were generally the same everywhere. Was I wrong! I was finding it interesting that at my first few shows, my work was much more embraced by tourists from the Midwest and Canada. But there was a reason for this, I had leftover pieces that had been created in Ohio that I was selling at these shows. I, also, was producing work from supplies that had been purchased in the Midwest so I was still creating from that darker, earthier color scheme.
As I bought new stones, I made different choices than I would have in Ohio. Californians liked my work but they were asking if pieces came in other colors quite often. As I fell in love with the landscape and the shifting light upon the mountains, it was easy to see the appeal of pastel colors. I was and am still fascinated by how the light in the desert changes. Things look entirely different outside on a cloudy day, at sunset or on a early summer morning! When it rains, the landscape is quickly transformed and different colors pop. The deep blue of our night skies has me captivated continually. So, deep blues have generally become my 'go to' darkest color of my newer palette, whereas, black, was my darkest hue to incorporate in Ohio. That said, I very recently began working with black again simply because I haven't in so long!
If you are following my story, the next leg will be posted September 15th, 2014.