Mixed Media

Mixed Media is something I have always been fascinated with, but never really sure what to do. Hand me a medium and I will figure it out. Hand me a bunch of mediums and I’m completely lost. However, I find myself drawn to a lot of mixed media pieces by other artists. I’ve decided to do some experimentation with mixed media.

This week, I thought I would start simple. I would just mix two mediums: ink and acrylic paint. I started with a plastic palette (paint is easy to peel off after it dries), a pencil ( for drawing an initial design), paint brushes, acrylic paint, canvas board, and a permanent ink marker with thin tip. It’s important to find an ink that won’t smear with paint.

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I first decided on a subject matter. To keep it simple, I decided on some wild flowers. I began by painting a background of green and yellow, representing grass.

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I think drew in some rough flowers with my pencil to give me an outline to work from. It’s important to remember that I’m attempting to experiment and enjoy this process, therefore, I’m not trying to make this perfect. Some of my best work has come from me experimenting.

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I began blocking in color. I’ve learned from experience that I like vivid colors, so starting with a white background in best. I filled in my drawing with white paint.

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Once the white background dried, I started to mix colors and fill in my flowers. In this situation, I am painting in a hotel, so I not only put my paint on my palette, but also used it as a backdrop for my small canvas.

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Once I had the flower painted the way I wanted, I added ink. This is unfamiliar territory for me. I ended up loving it. It gave definition, but I was also able to create grass that didn’t exist in my original painting. I look forward to creating more complex paintings in the near future with acrylic and ink.

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Oil Pastels

About a year ago, I received a big box of Sennelier oil pastels. As far as oil pastels go, this is about the best. They were created for Picasso. They are this creamy soft type crayon that blends in rich colors. I was so happy to receive the gift, however, I’ve been a little intimidated to use them because I know that I don’t know how to use them properly.

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The advantage is that they are perfect for using while traveling. I decided I would give them a try this week. I started with a black canvas board, a box of Sennelier oil pastels, a pencil, and a color shaper (rubber edged tool that allows for blending and scraping). I decided I was craving avocados, so that became my subject matter.

First I drew it out on my canvas with the pencil. Then I experimented with applying the base colors of the avocado and then blending them. I was able to create a fine line using my color shaper. I could etch in a peel scraping away some of the oil pastel and letting the black canvas come through.

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I’m pretty happy with the result considering this was my first oil pastel. I love the creaminess of the Sennelier oil pastels. I can blend easily by using my finger. I was able to get the contrast that I hoped for. I look forward to doing more with them in the near future.

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Trying new things

I have decided to challenge myself with doing things I have never done. Mostly, this involves working with materials that I’m completely unfamiliar with. This is not comfortable. I know though, that growth is never comfortable.

I’m doing quiteof bit travel lately, which doesn’t lend well to my highly textured paintings (hard to transport due to slow dry time). I’ve decided to make the most of this time on the road and push myself way outside my comfort zone. It gives me the opportunity to work with mediums I wouldn’t work with otherwise, but also to learn along with the way with experimentation.

I decided to share this process.

I have been very interested in working on some self-portraits. We are our hardest critic, so I thought it would be a good challenge to try to paint myself. I have always done portraits with oils. They are slow to dry, which offers more manipulation and capabilities to blend. I decided for traveling purposes, I would try to acrylics for a self-portrait. I worked in layers, which is something I’m not use to doing. Here is the beginning of this process. I will update again as I get further in the process.

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The Art Camper Project

For quite awhile I have had this vision in my mind: an art camper. If I could figure out how to merge my two passions, travel and art, it could be amazing.

My vision includes a fiberglass camper trailer that will have a wrap of my artwork on the outside. A small studio space inside with a place to sleep and be inspired and travel.

This week, I took the first steps to make this come true. I bought a camper! I bought it from an elderly couple who can no longer use it. They told me 15027924_10209201934018555_5125255364576496871_nstories of travels and summers spent in it. This camper comes with a lot of love and I’m happy to be able to carry it on. I look forward to many adventures in it, though those are still taking form in my mind.

My first task will be to clean it out. It as if they left everything from their last trip in it. Then to clean and start customizing it!

Stay tuned for updates on how the project transforms.

 

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I’m off to do important things

“I’m off to do important things,” I said as I walked out the door this morning to head to the art studio. I meant it as a joke. I mean, how important can creating art be? It’s not like I’m doing brain surgery.

It only took a few introspective moments to realize however that it wasn’t a joke at all. I am doing important things. With the recent violence and the medias constant fueling of the anger, rage, revenge and hate, it is important to find some sort of beauty in the world right now.

This week as I was putting my son to sleep, he asked, “Mom, what is the meaning of life?”. This is a pretty loaded question, and he always challenges me to search for answers appropriate for a 7 year old. We talked awhile and one of the things I found myself saying was that part of it was to make the world a better place. To not cause harm but to leave it in a better state.

And this is MY purpose. To create beauty in the world. To fill it with color, happiness, and inspiration. To hear people say at my art shows, “your work makes me feel so happy”.

So today, I’m off to do important things. Have a beautiful day.

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Studio tour for this week

I got such great feedback from my last studio video I think I will try to make it a regular thing. This week I show you my first 3 Creative Challenge pieces, a commission piece, and a donation piece. So many great things happening!!

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Near to My Heart – Creative Challenge – Day 4

My first house was a small ranch house in a small town. It had been built by a man and his wife and they were the only ones who had ever lived there. They lived in that same house their whole lives and by the time I moved in it was in serious need of some updating. I loved the history of the house though. And I liked updating it and making it mine.

One of my favorite things about this house was the yard. It had a huge yard. The woman who had lived there loved flowers. I knew because the yard was full of them. I was almost afraid to mow the yard because I never knew what would pop up. It was like Christmas. Every day it seemed something new came up. Sunflowers, peonie bushes, poppies, tulips, and a giant magnolia tree outside my bedroom window. I was in love with it.

11219316_10153712014141369_7587909827229272282_nWe had these big bushes that grew along the front fence. I was indifferent about them. I liked that it blocked the view into our yard from the street. Then, one day, they turned yellow. Bright brilliant yellow bushes created a backdrop for hand dug fire pit and flower surprises. I loved these forsythia bushes. I would take clippings and make bouquets out of them.

I have since moved on from that house and it’s no longer mine. I wonder if the flowers and the bushes remain. One day I will again have big yellow bushes.

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