tales of crinkles & edges

Yesterpost I showed you the making of the {brace for alliteration} crinkly collage of crumpled tissue paper, coloured with washes of ink.

Relative to the other pieces in this color-a-month series this one’s much bigger, so today’s project is all about turning one big piece into a bunch of smaller ones.

First was the simplest – I really like how the wrinkles in the tissue form this intricate pattern like tree roots – so it was important I set one aside as finished already: don’t change this! I just neatened up a couple of edges and that was that.

Easy peasy. Onward!

I love the veiny patterns so much I started out looking for ways to dial up the contrast. I tried with pens and markers to begin, but pan pastel is reeeeally pigmented (I don’t often find use for these, so bonus points there) I used the color Red Iron Oxide with a make up sponge to swoosh over the surface. Voilà!

Mmmmm… crinkles!

Next up: folding creases in to make lines and rectangles, like a wonky checkerboard pattern. The paper is thick with layers so takes a bit of extra back-and-forth-ing to get clear good creases, once they were done I added pen and paint to color some of the sections for extra checkerboardishness.

I gave one of the pieces a quick swish over with a light layer of acrylic, and while it was drying I faced up to what had been distracting me right from the get go: Those edge bits I trimmed off the first piece.

I cut up some more strips like the two lonely edge bits. Once the paint was dry I glued on the strips. By wiggling the ends of the strips towards the middle before the glue dried I got this 3D ripple effect I really like.

Here’s what today’s process looked like


“Twelvty” 12 Colors in 12 Months

Every month this year I am making a series of mixed media pieces in just one color. At the end of the year I’ll combine them into one big multicolored work. 

I’m sharing my process throughout this adventure here in this blog. (So far this year I’ve explored YellowYellow-GreenGreenBlue-GreenBlueViolet-BlueViolet,  Red-Violet,  Red & Red-Orange)

Hi – I’m Mixy!

This is Mixy 🙂

I’m a mixed media & textile artist from London, UK.

I love to share what I’m making, and I hope it brings some inspiration to your creative time.

You can see what I’m making on this blog, and in these places too

Join Me!

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Curious Creatures & Dreamscapes

BIG WINTER SALE in my Etsy Store

Zines, Postcards, Art Cards, Stickers, Original Art

ALL 40% OFF 🙂

Last chance this week to hop over to my Etsy store & scoop up a bargain in my WINTER SALE!

My store will be closed through December & January while I refurb my studio – so now’s your last chance until 2021!

Shipping is available worldwide. If you’re a subscriber to my newsletter (there’s a link to join at the end of this post), then some extra goodies will go in with your order. Cos who doesn’t love getting lovely snail mail? You can keep them for you, or send them on to a friend who you’re missing


Hi – I’m Mixy!

This is Mixy 🙂

I’m a mixed media & textile artist from London, UK.

I love to share what I’m making, and I hope it brings some inspiration to your creative time.

You can see what I’m making on this blog, and in these places too

Join Me!

Get monthly-ish Studio Musings Newsletter.

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hidden inspiration

inspirations from nature, tissue paper & ink

There are some universal patterns I come back to again and again, and when I get lost for ideas, there are places I always return to that feed my muse.

Sometimes I take photos and sometimes I just wander around letting the landscape soak in through wide open eyes.

Last weekend I was scrabbling to know what to make, so I took myself out for a walk and found this beautiful tree stump. So many patterns in one tree!

I didn’t look at these photos again until today, and that’s when I noticed how these patterns had crept into my subconscious and directed some choices I made in the studio.

Now I’m looking back at what I made last week, seeing the shapes without the colors, noticing those patterns here.


Lately I’ve been distracting myself from lockdown and all the associated confusions with eBay, so I got a package in the mail this morning. Not only was there a lovely yellow dress (with pockets!) but it was wrapped in tissue paper. As any small child or cat will tell you, packaging is almost always as exciting as the thing inside, and that was the case for me today.

Today I’ve been playing with tissue paper.

Crumpled and layered on drawing paper, I sandwiched the tissue paper with watered down pva glue, the intricate crinkled make perfect channels for ink to run through. Lots of water helps it swish around the page.

The three shades of orange {Dr PH Martin’s ‘orange’ + ‘tangerine’ & Pebeo‘s ‘saffron’} look more reddish, yellowish & brownish on camera, but in real life, especially when diluted and blended together, came out a deliciously citrusy orange shade.

Wrinkled surface and rippled lines like tree bark.

Here’s what today’s process looked like

… to be continued!


“Twelvty” 12 Colors in 12 Months

Every month this year I am making a series of mixed media pieces in just one color. At the end of the year I’ll combine them into one big multicolored work. 

I’m sharing my process throughout this adventure here in this blog. (So far this year I’ve explored YellowYellow-GreenGreenBlue-GreenBlueViolet-BlueViolet,  Red-Violet,  Red & Red-Orange)

Hi – I’m Mixy!

This is Mixy 🙂

I’m a mixed media & textile artist from London, UK.

I love to share what I’m making, and I hope it brings some inspiration to your creative time.

You can see what I’m making on this blog, and in these places too

Join Me!

Get monthly-ish Studio Musings Newsletter.

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Painted Papers

monochrome collage with painted book pages

This month we’re exploring ORANGE in the year full of color journey.

Like a lot of these single color series, I started out with a select of painted papers.

Some magazine and book pages, and a bit of an old recycled painting on heavy cartridge paper.

The paint I used is a mixture of craft, acrylic, gouache and watercolor.

Some pieces have a bit of scribbled doodling in places – if you’ve followed this series along you’ll know the kind of things I’ve been up to!

Now, between you & me, I’ve struggled to find my footing in this episode of color. I can’t tell if it’s because I’m nearing the end of a big project and my energies are flagging, or if it’s the amped up chaos the outside world filtering through and distracting me (or some of both).

But I’m sharing this with you because I guess you might have creative humps too, and it’s reassuring to know we all flounder about sometimes, and that there is a way through.

Sometimes I have to return to familiar places to find something new. Tearing up shapes and finding ideas as I make layers and arrangements.

As an idea develops, a narrative forms. Layers of rectangles remind me of abstract city scapes, the orange hues are like the light of a setting sun.

The process feeds into itself and generates more ideas. Those little bits I tore off one piece to give it that wibbly deckled edge I love so much can become another little landscape of their own.

Sometimes I play about with the pieces before deciding on a layout. Sometimes I just glue together all the little scraps on my desk and decide from there. Today I did a bit of both. Did I like all the results? No. But I made these three pieces and that was enough to ease myself out of a rut of discontent.

What I love about this way of working, is there is no wrong way.

Multiple layers of gouache and acrylic on thin book paper formed a brittle layer of color that broke as the paper tore and made this double outline of color over white. It reminds me of cracked mud on a dry river bed.

Here’s how today’s process unfolded


“Twelvty” 12 Colors in 12 Months

Every month this year I am making a series of mixed media pieces in just one color. At the end of the year I’ll combine them into one big multicolored work. 

I’m sharing my process throughout this adventure here in this blog. (So far this year I’ve explored YellowYellow-GreenGreenBlue-GreenBlueViolet-BlueViolet,  Red-Violet,  Red & Red-Orange)

Hi – I’m Mixy!

This is Mixy 🙂

I’m a mixed media & textile artist from London, UK.

I love to share what I’m making, and I hope it brings some inspiration to your creative time.

You can see what I’m making on this blog, and in these places too

Join Me!

Get monthly-ish Studio Musings Newsletter.

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Winter Sale!

Zines, Postcards, Art Cards, Stickers, Original Art

ALL 40% OFF 🙂

As a thank you for all your support through this crazy year, and to spread some quirky colorful fun around in these weird times, I’m having a BIG WINTER SALE in my Etsy Store

Shipping is available worldwide. If you’re a subscriber to my newsletter (there’s a link to join at the end of this post), then some extra goodies will go in with your order. Cos who doesn’t love getting lovely snail mail? You can keep them for you, or send them on to a friend who you’re missing

Zines, Postcards, Art Cards, Stickers, Original Art

ALL 40% OFF


Hi – I’m Mixy!

This is Mixy 🙂

I’m a mixed media & textile artist from London, UK.

I love to share what I’m making, and I hope it brings some inspiration to your creative time.

You can see what I’m making on this blog, and in these places too

Join Me!

Get monthly-ish Studio Musings Newsletter.

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closing the open loops

Today is a day of finishings, of closing the open loops in the pieces I’ve been adding to all month.

Today is a day of finishings, of closing the open loops in the pieces I’ve been adding to all month.

“The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.”

– Steven Pressfield

If you haven’t already seen them – I shared making the first layers here, followed by the tricky middle stage here. Today is when all those loose ends come together!

What all of these monochrome pieces I’m making have come together in a similar fashion:

Experimenting, playing, setting it all aside for a while to return to with fresh eyes.

I’m working towards integrating this strategy in the rest of life beyond the studio – life as a bigger work in progress – but that’s for another post another time.

Feeling like this was the closest one to being finished, today I started out with the piece with the string.

Using loose scribbles just catching the raised parts brought more contrast to the squiggly lines. First using the same markers I began this one then with, and some oil pastels on top for a bit of extra grunge. Trimming the edges straight gave it another element of contrast with the contours and cloudy colouring.

Oftentimes my entire process consists of repeating the same steps over and over, and next up we have one of these. I loved how the newsprint/packing paper took the water soluble ink and water marks, each time I added more on top of the dried layers the patterns that formed became more intricate, so this is some more of the same 😉

The painted envelope pieces were the furthest from ‘done’ at the start of today. Still having a very scrap paper vibe I began by trimming them down to get rid of the unpainted edges.

The small pieces often work well in layers together, and I like adding folds and creases to break up the flow. It’s also a way to reshape a piece without cutting it up.

Don’t forget you can add layers under as well as on top. An almost finished piece can really come to life when ‘framed’ by layering it on top of something similar or contrasting. I used a bit of the mixed media paper behind my folded envelope parts. Keep stacking until it feels right!

 “Everything will be okay in the end.
If it’s not okay, it’s not the end”

Indian proverb

I think a lot of us are – especially in early days of art experiments – prone to lose faith before a piece is done.

The more I practice making art, the more convinced I am that if it isn’t looking right, it usually just needs more.

And that can be as simple as more of the same. A stripy layer over a stripy layer over another one. The final pieces I worked on today began with dollopy blobs of paint, some finger painting swirls to more the color around, then stripes made with my trusty art comb. (formerly a hair comb, retired to much more rewarding life in the studio).

The next layer was more paint blobs and more combing. And again. Finally some stripes in marker pen and then ballpoint to finish it up. Lots of directions, lengths, weight and media – all unified in stripiness.

Here’s how today’s finishing process looked:


“Twelvty” 12 Colors in 12 Months

Every month this year I am making a series of mixed media pieces in just one color. At the end of the year I’ll combine them into one big multicolored work. 

I’m sharing my process throughout this adventure here in this blog. (So far this year I’ve explored Yellow, Yellow-Green, Green, Blue-Green, Blue, Violet-Blue, Violet, Red-Violet & Red)

I’d love for you to join me. TWELVTY is open to everyone, and better yet, it’s free!

Sign up for my newsletter to find out more and get your free TWELVTY guide ebook. 

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

You’ll get an email to confirm you’ve signed up and are human. Sorry, only humans (and their cats) can join. Check your spam folder cos sometimes the good stuff gets swept in there by mistake. Check with your cat too. You know it’s what they expect.

cross pollinating ideas

Taking up where I left off yesterpost, mixing up the mixed media ideas in this next step of red-orange monochrome.

Moving on from the first layers I showed you yesterpost, having set these pieces aside to dry I came back to find this lovely heap of semi-raw ingredients on my desk to play with today.

To unify the layers I began with, I’m using the same brush pens and acrylic paints + a little metallic orange and watercolor in deep orange and burnt sienna.

(the metallic orange looked exactly the color I wanted in the jar, but is more of a pale pinky coral on paper… but nothing that can’t be assimilated later, and some of that sheeny-shine will likely show through the layers)

Beginning with the envelopes, I wanted more vibrant color. Previously I used water to soften the coloured areas, but of course this dilutes the richness. I’ll often do this back and forth dance with pigment and water to build the layers up. As the water drops push the pigment to the outer edge of the puddles, a wiggly outline forms when it dries. Where the color is pale the pattern from the envelopes shows through.

While these were drying I moved on to the packing paper/newsprint. Being so thin, the color had seeped through to the other side and I really like the effect of both side. So I tore it in two to use make 2 new pieces.

The heavy mixed media paper doubled as a drop sheet so has been gathering incidental art marks along the way. I trimmed the edges to make a backing to collage the flimsier paper onto.

Now I could have just glued it down, but the patterns from the crinkles so delighted me I wanted to take this a step further. To give it some texture underneath so I could recreate the same again with more color and water, I glued a tangle of string between the two papers.

Finally I went back to the painted paper, trimming it down to make two small pieces, then adding a new layer of the acrylic, this time blending with a palette knife and repeating the mark making with the comb.

I can see potential in all of these, but none are quite finished yet – join me next time to see the final details take shape 🙂

This is what the process looked like today


“Twelvty” 12 Colors in 12 Months

Every month this year I am making a series of mixed media pieces in just one color. At the end of the year I’ll combine them into one big multicolored work. 

I’m sharing my process throughout this adventure here in this blog. (So far this year I’ve explored Yellow, Yellow-Green, Green, Blue-Green, Blue, Violet-Blue, Violet, Red-Violet & Red)

I’d love for you to join me. TWELVTY is open to everyone, and better yet, it’s free!

Sign up for my newsletter to find out more and get your free TWELVTY guide ebook. 

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

You’ll get an email to confirm you’ve signed up and are human. Sorry, only humans (and their cats) can join. Check your spam folder cos sometimes the good stuff gets swept in there by mistake. Check with your cat too. You know it’s what they expect.

1 color: 3 beginnings

beginning a new color for the month — Orange-Red — with experimental layers. What to do when you don’t know what to do.

Where to begin?

How to begin?

What to begin?

“Start before you’re ready. Don’t prepare. Begin.”

– Steven Pressfield

Beginning before feeling ready seems easiest – in a contrary sort of way – when I’m unencumbered by ideas.

When the muse is nowhere to be seen and all I have is a heap of colors and paper, it’s like the pressure of ‘making something’ has been pushed away.

If nothing good emerges, so what. I’ve usually enjoyed the process, maybe learned something accidentally, maybe not.

And sometimes a seed of magic sprouts forth. Maybe not right away, maybe days or weeks or longer into the future. This happens enough of the time for me to trust it’s always possible.

So far in this year of color I’ve showed you a full start to finish process of some pieces in this collection. In reality though, I rarely make one piece at a time.

Mostly I cycle between few different pieces. I utilise the waiting to dry time, or the I’ve lost all direction moments, when a piece needs to be set aside and left a while. I shuffle my attention to the next piece.

Sometimes it’s a way to stretch and find divergence – I did/used one thing on this piece, now to try a different thing on this one.

Sometimes a common theme develops – like little splashes of water or paint – focussing on one, but spilling across to others (purposefully sometimes, not always). Or I’m so enjoying making – for instance – tiny squiggles that I add them here and there to different pieces until I get bored with that and feel called to make broad stripes, color washes, collage or whateverelse and around I go with that for a time.

If you have scattily erratic leanings like I do – I totally recommend this approach – especially if you like to work fast and furious!

“Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can”

– Arthur Ashe

Today – first steps into the realms of Orange-Red – was one such day: here’s what using just what’s on my desk looks like. One color, no particular ideas!

Ingredients:

Papers:

  • envelopes foraged from the recycling pile (love those geometric patterns printed inside)
  • packing paper – this is the thin stuff, a lot like newsprint
  • mixed media paper – heavy weight, great for thick paint layers.

Colors:

  • water soluble markers: letraset aqua marker & ecoline brush pens
  • craft acrylic paints

Techniques:

  • scribbling across overlapping papers – switching directions – random marks to fill white space with color.
  • water drips & splashes on water-soluble ink – move color around.
  • scrumpling up paper – lightly brushing color on to catch the texture.
  • acrylic craft paint directly onto mixed media paper – finger painting with non dominant hand- smudge, smear, mark making with a comb.

I gave myself 20 minutes or so to play and to see what early stage ideas would come up. Then to put all this away for a few days, and look at it with fresh eyes and develop the next layers [which you can see in my next post coming very soon!]

Here’s how today’s creating came together.


“Twelvty” 12 Colors in 12 Months

Every month this year I am making a series of mixed media pieces in just one color. At the end of the year I’ll combine them into one big multicolored work. 

I’m sharing my process throughout this adventure here in this blog. (So far this year I’ve explored Yellow, Yellow-Green, Green, Blue-Green, Blue, Violet-Blue, Violet, Red-Violet & Red)

I’d love for you to join me. TWELVTY is open to everyone, and better yet, it’s free!

Sign up for my newsletter to find out more and get your free TWELVTY guide ebook. 

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

You’ll get an email to confirm you’ve signed up and are human. Sorry, only humans (and their cats) can join. Check your spam folder cos sometimes the good stuff gets swept in there by mistake. Check with your cat too. You know it’s what they expect.

shapes in reds (part 3)

familiar patterns, following lines, dots & dashes, boxes in boxes.

What are the patterns you always return to?

One of my favourite patterns is this stacking of squares.

I love the little bits of edge peaking out from underneath, fluffy torn edges contrasting sharp cut lines. I like them a little bit off-centre, edges lifting here and there.

Like the other techniques I’ve been showing you through this series, the beauty comes less from skill and more from repetition. I think that principle applies to more than just art making 😉

Sometimes these squares within squares are all my muse requires. Other times she demands extra!

dot … dot … dot …

All these straight lines are an invitation to tweaking into something new – dotted lines ……..

A hole punch can make two types of dots: the holes and the tiny circles that are cut out. Pen drawn dots and dashes tie these together as they can cross over the edges. Paint markers leave dots that sit slightly raised from the surface, ballpoints leave indentations as well as the ink, together these all make paths to lead the eye. The can look like little stitches (I really like mixing these little marks in with real stitches too)

Here’s how today’s creating came together.


“Twelvty” 12 Colors in 12 Months

Every month this year I am making a series of mixed media pieces in just one color. At the end of the year I’ll combine them into one big multicolored work. 

I’m sharing my process throughout this adventure here in this blog. (So far this year I’ve explored Yellow, Yellow-Green, Green, Blue-Green, Blue, Violet-Blue, Violet & Red-Violet)

I’d love for you to join me. TWELVTY is open to everyone, and better yet, it’s free!

Sign up for my newsletter to find out more and get your free TWELVTY guide ebook. 

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

You’ll get an email to confirm you’ve signed up and are human. Sorry, only humans (and their cats) can join. Check your spam folder cos sometimes the good stuff gets swept in there by mistake. Check with your cat too. You know it’s what they expect.