Today we’re in the middle of the “mitten” visiting with another Michigan artist whose work attracted me as soon as I first saw it and I knew I wanted to share it. So … Here’s Lisa!
Your name: Lisa Fitzgibbon
Your etsy shop: Dancing Rain Designs
Your blog: www.dancingraindesigns.blogspot.com
Your Facebook page: www.facebook.com/dancingraindesigns
Your Twitter page: http://twitter.com/#!/dancingrainlisa
FK: What’s your favorite “cuppa” in the morning, Lisa?
Coffee, preferably Paul Newman Special Blend!
FK: I’m a coffee drinker too. I wouldn’t be able to get started otherwise! I’ll pour the coffee while you tell us about where you live.
I am from Jackson, in southeastern Michigan. It is a small town of about 35,000 people that has been hit hard by changes in the automobile industry. When I was young, Jackson was a fairly prosperous blue collar town, now most of the industry is gone.
We do have some very nice attractions here. The Cascades is a man-made waterfall 500 feet long and colored with thousands of multicolored lights. Opened in 1932, the falls are still a favorite tourist destination in the Jackson area. Visitors from every state and 33 countries have signed the guestbook. Firework displays are held here on holidays such as the Fourth of July and Labor Day. The park surrounding the falls had a championship golf course and beautiful walking trails. In the winter, it's a great place to sled!
There is a thriving art and theatre community here. Shakespeare in the Park is a well-attended event with a different play done every year. We also host a hot air balloon festival every summer and Civil War Muster.
The Ella Sharp Museum and Park houses a first class area for exhibits as well as a farm house "dressed" as it was in the 1800's. Just recently, it was the only place in Michigan to have an Ansel Adams exhibit that was quite spectacular. The park is known for its rose gardens and lovely areas for picnics and ball games.
This fountain has a little sitting area across from the shopping areas where sometimes festival events are set up, such as classic car night or a race weekend. NASCAR is a big deal here in Jackson because we are so close to Michigan International Speedway. Race weekends bring visitors from all over the US and Canada to our little town.
The Art 634 building is an old warehouse that has been turned into small arts and crafts shops, also an art school for children.
Our town is also quite well known for Jackson State Prison but I’d rather have it be known for the arts!
FK: How did you get started in art?
I took painting lessons when I was very young, but other than a few jewelry classes and one digital class online, I am mostly self- taught. I have always loved color and all kinds of arts and crafts. I’m always on to something new. Unfortunately, that leaves many unfinished projects all over my house!
FK: Talk to me about your etsy shop. Your current shop is a combination of jewelry and digital art. When did you open?
I started my etsy shop in February 2010 but didn’t stock it until May 2010. I had to have surgery on my left elbow and was off work for 8 weeks. During that time I fell in love with digital art. I decided to post a few of my digital prints for sale to see how it went and the response has been gratifying. It’s nice to know other people like what you create.
I will be opening a new etsy shop for cards and handmade gift tags, probably in another month or so. You’ll have to come and check it out soon! taggyouareit
FK: Tell me about your creative life. What do you love doing the most?
I have been making jewelry for about 7 years and took up bead weaving about 3 years ago. I have really eclectic taste. I especially love metals, copper and silver, and use them a lot in my designs.
Digitally, I never know what I will do next. I may find a public domain photograph and layer it with any multitude of textures or pieces of ephemera to make my final print.
I have taken two classes online for my digital art as well as participating in challenges on flickr and the website Digital Whisper. There are hundreds of tutorials online to help with techniques.
I feel my art is intuitive. Sometimes I may layer 4 images, sometimes 74 images! I use Photoshop Elements now, but would like to get the whole Photoshop CS5 suite at some point. Of course I'll have to find a good tutorial!
FK: Where do you do your art?
I have several areas in my home I work in. My office, or studio, is a small bedroom where I paint, work on mixed media and do bead weaving. In my basement, my husband built me a wall of cabinets with a counter to work on my jewelry. Luckily it’s sturdy for all the pounding I do on metal! Then of course I do my digital prints on the computer at my kitchen table. I use a scanner for old pieces of ephemera I find including family pictures and items I pick up at antique markets.
FK: What part of being an artist is the most gratifying to you? What part of being an artist is hardest for you, or that you dislike the most?
In my normal day job, I’m a dental hygienist. I have been practicing for 26 years, 13 of those in Chelsea Michigan. I love my job, but any health care profession can be stressful. My art helps relieve me of the stress of work plus being the mother of two teenagers!
My family is very supportive of my need to create. I try to do a little art each day, even if it’s only choosing photographs for future projects or going through my (huge) bead stash. I wish I were more versed on mixed media techniques. I admire so many artists and hope to accomplish at least some level of competency in collage.
FK: Well, Lisa, I think you are doing just fine! Your work is beautiful. Now tell us about your giveaway for one lucky person.
I would like to give away a $25 gift certificate to my shop.
FK: That is wonderful! Here’s how they can win.
How to Enter
You have several chances to be entered into the random drawing. Each one must be entered as a separate comment.
First entry: Visit Lisa’s shop or blog, come back here, and enter a comment about your favorite piece(s).
Second entry: Enter a comment if you have signed up to follow Lisa’s blog (or comment if you already follow).
Third entry: Enter a comment if you have signed up to follow Lisa’s Facebook page.
Fourth entry: Enter a comment that you signed up to follow my blog (or comment that you already follow).
Fifth entry: Enter a comment that you signed up to follow my Facebook page (or comment that you are already a fan).
That's five chances to enter for the random drawing! Please be sure that your correct email address is in your profile; if it is not, include your email address in your comment. I will use random generator to pick a winner after 12 noon EDT on
Tuesday, October 11
Good luck to all of you!