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Amy Duncan

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Amy Duncan

I grew up in a small town north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin with my mom, dad, and five brothers and sisters. We were a family of very modest means so simple pleasures of exploring nature, enjoying school activities and playing with childhood friends filled our time. My mother took on lots of creative projects in the house, from painting the kitchen and sewing most of our clothes to reupholstering the furniture and even re-tiling the bathroom floor. She also worked at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater sewing costumes for the professional actors. My father spent part of his off-work hours as a member of a local amateur theater group. Needless to say, I picked up my parents’ skills and attitudes, including my mom’s “can-do” mindset and the idea that anything is worth a try, while appreciating my dad’s belief to squeeze in time for whatever feeds your soul. Creating from scratch was an early passion; I even won a local art contest in 7th grade for a watercolor painting of my hiking shoes—indicative of my early thought that the most ordinary of objects can be art subjects.

Amy Duncan

After college and a few years of working in Wisconsin, I sought adventure and a change of pace so I packed up my household and moved to Seattle where I continued my career in non-profit management. But, I still had a nagging for a more creative life beyond weekend projects, occasional workshops and informal teaching gigs. An opportunity to live in London for a period of time without the constraint of a 9-5 job was just the impetus that I needed to pursue my dream of being an artist. Armed with eight boxes of fabric, art supplies and my trusty vintage Singer sewing machine, it was time to figure out just what that artistic life might look like.

Amy Duncan

I had a soft spot for fabric and textiles and if it was vintage, all the better. I attended one of the local artisan fairs and was struck with the idea of combining fabric with paper and sewing it together rather than using glue. Some of my first inspirations were in creating simple graphic greeting cards—sewing a torn piece of organza over paper scraps from junk mail, old books, maps, etc. and enclosing a leaf, a twig, a feather or a hand-stamped motif on top of the paper scrap to make it visible through the organza. Since I had the paper scraps and the organza pieces cut into squares for uniformity, this spawned the idea for my business name of Four Corners…which later morphed into Studio Four Corners. It was important for me to incorporate the recycle idea from the very start, and this has been a mainstay of my art to this day. I firmly believe that one does not need expensive materials or elaborate techniques to create art, and everyone can be creative…sometimes you just need a little nudge!

Amy Duncan

When I became serious about having a creative life and starting my business, it was with the understanding that this would be the essence of every day and not relegated to the sidelines or the weekend. I now do something creative every single day…some days are more productive than others, some more frivolous, but even if it’s just a simple photograph taken or jotting down thoughts in a journal, it’s all part of my life now.

I remember visiting an artist print studio one summer while in college, and the thought of having your own space to create stuck with me for a long time. Eventually, I realized that I didn’t need to wait to have a studio space to get started; that was one obstacle I could eliminate and just begin. The intention and commitment are what is most important. I am grateful that I was able to pull together my own workshop studio five years ago, but part of that motivation was to have a place for others to gather, inspire, support and create together. With this, I began offering both workshops, as well as, art parties.

Amy Duncan

While I have an office/workspace, a basement storage/workspace and a workshop studio in the basement of the rental house I own next door, more often than not, I end up creating on the dining room table. I’m often working on more than one piece at a time; I like pulling together the composition of a collage and then letting it sit for a day or two. The foundations of my mixed media collages are cemented in finding a collection of found objects (my creative ritual) and imagining what their story might be. As I walk by throughout the day, I contemplate and assess my choices; changing the positions or swapping out a piece. When I’m happy with the final design, I take a digital photo to remember where every piece is located. The collage is then taken apart and prepped for construction, starting with gluing all the paper pieces in order, waxing the paper layers when they are complete and finishing with attaching whatever found objects will be included. Finding the beauty in remnants of the past and rescuing unloved junk means that I have plenty of fodder for future collages.

Amy Duncan

I let the items I gather tell the story. I often “audition” items until I find the right combination of color, texture, pattern and tone.

A couple of years ago, I started creating digital collages in addition to original paper collages. I was previously never that interested in photography; I had fiddled around with a camera, but the process of shooting with film and waiting for the pictures to develop to determine if there was anything worthwhile tried my patience. An introduction to a digital camera during one of my brother’s visits changed all that. Today, I create digital collages that are often four to five photos of mine, layered together to create a new composition of mediums.

Amy Duncan

I have discovered that over the past years, being quiet and training my eye to stop and observe my surroundings has served me well (another creative ritual). After 20 years, I’m still creating as an artist! My focus and direction have changed over time, but my intention to be serious about my art, to create every day and to have the conviction to call myself an artist when others ask me what I do is an important accomplishment for me. Particularly for women, I think it’s hard to actually say out loud that one is an artist…as if people will respond, “No, no, no…you’re a mother, a caretaker, a daughter, a friend, an aunt,” as if one could not be serious or dedicated enough to call themselves an “artist,” first and foremost.

Amy Duncan

I grew up in a small town north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin with my mom, dad, and five brothers and sisters. We were a family of very modest means so simple pleasures of exploring nature, enjoying school activities and playing with childhood friends filled our time. My mother took on lots of creative projects in the house, from painting the kitchen and sewing most of our clothes to reupholstering the furniture and even re-tiling the bathroom floor. She also worked at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater sewing costumes for the professional actors. My father spent part of his off-work hours as a member of a local amateur theater group. Needless to say, I picked up my parents’ skills and attitudes, including my mom’s “can-do” mindset and the idea that anything is worth a try, while appreciating my dad’s belief to squeeze in time for whatever feeds your soul. Creating from scratch was an early passion; I even won a local art contest in 7th grade for a watercolor painting of my hiking shoes—indicative of my early thought that the most ordinary of objects can be art subjects.

Amy Duncan

After college and a few years of working in Wisconsin, I sought adventure and a change of pace so I packed up my household and moved to Seattle where I continued my career in non-profit management. But, I still had a nagging for a more creative life beyond weekend projects, occasional workshops and informal teaching gigs. An opportunity to live in London for a period of time without the constraint of a 9-5 job was just the impetus that I needed to pursue my dream of being an artist. Armed with eight boxes of fabric, art supplies and my trusty vintage Singer sewing machine, it was time to figure out just what that artistic life might look like.

Amy Duncan

I had a soft spot for fabric and textiles and if it was vintage, all the better. I attended one of the local artisan fairs and was struck with the idea of combining fabric with paper and sewing it together rather than using glue. Some of my first inspirations were in creating simple graphic greeting cards—sewing a torn piece of organza over paper scraps from junk mail, old books, maps, etc. and enclosing a leaf, a twig, a feather or a hand-stamped motif on top of the paper scrap to make it visible through the organza. Since I had the paper scraps and the organza pieces cut into squares for uniformity, this spawned the idea for my business name of Four Corners…which later morphed into Studio Four Corners. It was important for me to incorporate the recycle idea from the very start, and this has been a mainstay of my art to this day. I firmly believe that one does not need expensive materials or elaborate techniques to create art, and everyone can be creative…sometimes you just need a little nudge!

Amy Duncan

When I became serious about having a creative life and starting my business, it was with the understanding that this would be the essence of every day and not relegated to the sidelines or the weekend. I now do something creative every single day…some days are more productive than others, some more frivolous, but even if it’s just a simple photograph taken or jotting down thoughts in a journal, it’s all part of my life now.

I remember visiting an artist print studio one summer while in college, and the thought of having your own space to create stuck with me for a long time. Eventually, I realized that I didn’t need to wait to have a studio space to get started; that was one obstacle I could eliminate and just begin. The intention and commitment are what is most important. I am grateful that I was able to pull together my own workshop studio five years ago, but part of that motivation was to have a place for others to gather, inspire, support and create together. With this, I began offering both workshops, as well as, art parties.

Amy Duncan

While I have an office/workspace, a basement storage/workspace and a workshop studio in the basement of the rental house I own next door, more often than not, I end up creating on the dining room table. I’m often working on more than one piece at a time; I like pulling together the composition of a collage and then letting it sit for a day or two. The foundations of my mixed media collages are cemented in finding a collection of found objects (my creative ritual) and imagining what their story might be. As I walk by throughout the day, I contemplate and assess my choices; changing the positions or swapping out a piece. When I’m happy with the final design, I take a digital photo to remember where every piece is located. The collage is then taken apart and prepped for construction, starting with gluing all the paper pieces in order, waxing the paper layers when they are complete and finishing with attaching whatever found objects will be included. Finding the beauty in remnants of the past and rescuing unloved junk means that I have plenty of fodder for future collages.

Amy Duncan

I let the items I gather tell the story. I often “audition” items until I find the right combination of color, texture, pattern and tone.

A couple of years ago, I started creating digital collages in addition to original paper collages. I was previously never that interested in photography; I had fiddled around with a camera, but the process of shooting with film and waiting for the pictures to develop to determine if there was anything worthwhile tried my patience. An introduction to a digital camera during one of my brother’s visits changed all that. Today, I create digital collages that are often four to five photos of mine, layered together to create a new composition of mediums.

Amy Duncan

I have discovered that over the past years, being quiet and training my eye to stop and observe my surroundings has served me well (another creative ritual). After 20 years, I’m still creating as an artist! My focus and direction have changed over time, but my intention to be serious about my art, to create every day and to have the conviction to call myself an artist when others ask me what I do is an important accomplishment for me. Particularly for women, I think it’s hard to actually say out loud that one is an artist…as if people will respond, “No, no, no…you’re a mother, a caretaker, a daughter, a friend, an aunt,” as if one could not be serious or dedicated enough to call themselves an “artist,” first and foremost.