This blog describes the process and inspirations for the creation of Kanika Marshall's mixed media sculptures.


| 07 July, 2014 23:20

I am so fortunate to be around highly creative people. When I assumed the identity of "Kanika" in 1993 - lover of African fabric, clay, metal and chocolate - I entered a world of fascinating artistic folk. Growing up, I was so shy that I could literally go all day (outside of my home) without speaking to anyone. But Kanika is a more typical talkative Gemini. Kanika knows that asking questions and learning about other people paves the way for not only finding people with common interests, but also becoming the welcome recipient of serendipity and other collateral benefits.  Being around creative people makes ME more creative, excited, and willing to try new techniques. Every day, I wake up with new ideas for my art, as well as lots of potential solutions to all sorts of problem situations. 



I now have many friends whom I can call on, count on, and enjoy everyday. I am no longer lonely. This world of art keeps me optimisitic, excited, and a little manic (which is OK, I think). Artists think it's cool if you're a little kooky, so I fit in a little better with that crowd.  The feeling of acceptance is more than wonderful - it feeds me everyday. So what better way to show appreciation to the people who have become such an integral part of my life? Yes, purchase their art and have a little piece of them with me always. 


I started collecting art in the early 1980s. The professional framing cost was more than the three 24x30 Kathleen Wilson limited edition prints, which were my first art acquisitions.


Then I got a fabulous oil painting (left) from my former-San Francsico Bay Area cousin, Elaine Crossley.


Next came a couple of Charles Bibbs prints, and an art trade with the indomitable Frank Frazier, from a live art show in the Oakland Hills.




And "The Guardian," from a gallery in Jack London Village, stands near my front door to protect my house from ne'er-do-wells.


I felt so proud to be an official "art collector," even though none of my acquisitions were expensive and many were just prints. Back then,3 my then-husband and I had a big house in the Pocket Area of Sacramento and I had plenty of room for my budding art collection, along with my Kanika African Sculptures business, which I started in 1993.  But then we got divorced and had to kiss the big house, and my big art space, goodbye. My current house is half the size of the former and therefore much more difficult to show my personal art collection. Adding the volumes of Kanika art that I bring out of storage for customer art shows, there's just too much stuff, even though I love to look at it. What to do, what to do? I still wanted to acquire art, but it had to be on a much smaller scale (size wise and money wise, cuz people be po' when they get divorced).


In general, I couldn't start buying art again until the past ten years or so. Most of that new art is necessarily small and inexpensive, and has to fit on the walls inside my little 11'x11' studio. Here is a Gina Leyton oil painting purchased about 10 years ago.


And more recently, I got a lighted jelly fish from my metal mentor, Kristen Hoard:


And of course, last but certainly not least, are the amazing watercolors left in my care by my talented mother, Mary Marshall.


Lately, I've been wanting to reorganize and declutter.  In preparation for spackling and repainting the inside walls, I've been selling more art, renovating some pieces into outdoor artwork, and taking art to galleries and restaurants to be sold. With the advent of my son preparing to move out, I really began thinking of ways to streamline the house. The answer? Move my local artist collection from my cramped studio to the end of the hallway, under the bright-light solatube (and removing nearly everything else from the hall walls). Now I can gaze upon, and be inspired by, the lovely artistic creations of my art friends and the people I admire (and can afford). There are exactly 103 additional local artists whose art I wish I could buy, but I have to be satisfied with the small collection that I have...until I can buy more...



How do you display your art collection?


Which artists do you love and why?


What/who inspires your creativity?