Peggy Dembicer is an amazing mix media artist who uses her background in fiberarts to create her own version of amazing art. We recently posted here on the blog her detailed bead work of the 70’s vintage Candyland board game. From seed beads to paper weaving, her artistry technique varies as she explores art using her own modern take on traditional crafts. Pictured here is My Cup of Tea, a bead mosaic and collage memorializing when Red Rose Tea retired this box and tag design in 2005. 22″ x 18″.
I got a chance to talk to Peggy and find out where she finds her inspiration for art work, how to get started, and she shares with us her five favorite pieces of art.
NZ: Please give us a background on your artistry of bead mosaics and paper weaving.
PD: I am a self-taught artist, drawn to the fiber arts in particular. I have picked up techniques through workshops and experimentation. In the ’80s I explored weaving in all its forms with my heaviest focus on tapestry. I feel that my associations with other artists in gallery settings and shows in the ’90s, challenged me to grow and diversify.
Beads and Papers are colorful, plentiful and versatile. Weaving, gluing, embroidering with them or combining them with each other or with paints or fabrics, has been a continual delight.
NZ: Where do you get your inspiration?
PD: I am excited by the possibilities I see in everyday things. I admire beautiful papers, calendars, postcards, and brochures. I see beauty in rusty metal fragments in the street as I walk. I study the work of others, I jot down ideas as I get them and ponder how things can be interpreted through fiber or embellished with beads. Lack of inspiration has never been a problem. In fact, at times ideas overwhelm me because time constrains me.
NZ: What is your process when you are working on a project?
PD: Beadwork is very time consuming so project ideas can nag at me until I can get to them. I can create paper weavings pretty quickly. I always have three to four projects in process at one time. Right now I am working on a bead embroidery, a beaded wall relief and a tapestry woven rug. Working on several projects at once keeps tedium from setting in on the bigger projects; it enables me to satisfy different creative yearnings, and it allows new and completed items to routinely flow into and out of the pipeline. Because I spend 8-10 hours a day in the corporate world, artwork is an escape from contracts and computers and is a creative therapy. My studio is a room in my home that I can pop into and out of as I put a few minutes at a time into a piece. I connect with my family or listen to books and music as I work. I get up very early every day; start my day with exercise and art, leave home to work in the real world, and return to finish my day with family time and art. Slowly and steadily I finish things.
NZ: What do you recommend for others who are interested in learning these techniques?
PD: Take workshops and find instructors in techniques that interest you; join groups or guilds of like-minded artists.
Experiment and let the mistakes be the opportunities you learn the most from.
Put as much detail into the finishing techniques as you do into the main piece and photograph your finished work.
Join galleries and attend art shows. Exhibit your work, submit it competitively, have the courage for public scrutiny. Collect pieces from the artists that inspire you.
Thanks so much to Peggy for taking the time for this interview and sharing with us her artistry and craft. You can see all of Peggy Dembicer’s amazing work up on her Flickr photos.
Here are 5 of Peggy’s favorite projects:
This bead weaving pays tribute to all women. The hanger is a symbol of support and home; the universal icon for the women’s restroom embodies diversity and inclusion. I traced it off the bathroom door of a local Border’s bookstore.
I have threaded 118 names of the women I cherish and/or respect onto the warp threads. These women are my loved ones, artists or authors I admire, and friends I hold dear. The piece measures 22″ x 13″ and was completed in 2004.
This is loom woven beadwork from a pattern I designed from my New Balance sneaker treads. I inserted the crossing guard from the “Walk” signal seen at intersections. I tried to mimic the reflective yellow/orange color of road signs as the background. 19″ x 23″, 2005, Collection of the artist
I gridded a Persian rug pattern onto canvas and painted it square by square. I applied seed beads, matching the paint colors, to the center of each square of the gridded canvas. Acrylic paints and glass beads were used on this 40″ x 25″ piece. Collection of the artist
This paper weaving with seed beads was created from note cards printed with Wolf Kahn landscape paintings. The two cards are interwoven and then embellished with glued beads, 8″ x 10″, 2003
Hydrangeas By The Sea
This paper on paper weaving was created off loom. It combines a Monet poster of the sea with wrapping paper with a hydrangea design. I wove novelty yarn throughout the interwoven paper and pleated the finished weaving for a three dimensional presentation. 2004, 24″ x 24″