Monday, June 30, 2014

June's Featured Artist: Sunshine On Water

Name:  Betsy Murray
Business Name:  Sunshine On Water
Etsy Shop:   Sunshine On Water

Social Media:
Age:  36
Profession/Day Job:  Stay at home mom of 2 kids
Where in/around Rochester do you live?  Webster
Craft(s) of Choice:  Metalwork, creating sterling silver and copper jewelry, painting

Besides your main craft of choice, do you enjoy any other crafts?  
My main craft is metalworking and creating jewelry but I also love drawing and painting!  As a child I enjoyed drawing in my sketchbook, in art class and painting with watercolors.  In college, drawing was my concentration.  I love drawing what I see in front of me on paper.  Charcoal, pencil and ink are my favorite mediums to work with because I like to create "sketchy" lines then work from there.  Drawing people have always been a challenge for me, I enjoy drawing figures but not necessarily faces!

Is there a craft you've always wanted to try, but never got around to learning?  
Welding, someday, maybe this or next summer  I will pursue it.


Did you go to art school or are you self taught?   
My initial degree is in Physical Education, after years of not using that degree and teaching Prek instead, I decided to go back to college.  I left my teaching job and returned to school!  I went to SUNY Brockport and received a BA in Studio Art.  Every class was an amazing learning opportunity, I had wonderful professors and am still friends with many of them today!  While there, I made sure to arrange my schedule so that I would be able to take Metalsmithing.  It was only offered 1 semester a year so I was able to get in the spring semester of 2005.   My professor was tough, no slacking but I learned so much!  I also learned to use a torch in that class, there was never a fear of it from that class until now. 


What’s your first craft-related memory?  
Sewing as a child!  My parents always had the sewing machine out, usually open, so my sister and I were able to sew doll clothes, purses, or whatever we felt like!  It was great to make my own "creation" with a piece of fabric and some thread.

How did you get started with Etsy? 
My sister encouraged me 4 years ago in 2010!  I opened my Etsy shop under another name and it took about 3 years to get it established to what it is now. 


In your creative life and work, of what accomplishment are you most proud ? 
Participating in art & craft shows.  I have always been quiet so taking the leap to sign up for shows was difficult for me.  I decided to try my first show 3 years ago and am happy with the confidence I gained over the past few years in regards to selling my work at shows.   

What inspires you, or makes you want to go dashing off to craft?  
Nature, I see things around me, leaves, trees, water and I want to create what I see in my work.   I am a big recycler, yes, it sometimes drives my husband crazy, but I see trees disappearing around us with new buildings going up and I want to preserve some of that.  I love collecting leaves, drying them and shaping sterling silver wire to their form.  Water is also my inspiration, it makes me happy.  Much of my work incorporates water themes, beach glass and leaves.    

What does your workspace look like most of the time? 
Messy, metal, pliers, wire cutters, dremel tool, torch, etc... I have been trying to organize myself and my space more lately! :-) 

What (if anything) do you like to watch/listen to while you create?  
House Hunters on HGTV,  Kid Rock & Bruce Springsteen music wise.  

Do you craft with anyone, such as your kids/grandkids/friends?  
I love creating art with my kids, simple things like watercolor on paper, painting lake rocks, giving them paper to collage with.  They also love painting.  My daughter is super organized and very symetrical in her work, my son is more abstract, asymetrical and thinks outside the box with art.  They have different personalities but both love to create!


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