Stenciling Violet-Blues

Exploring Violet-Blue by breaking all the rules of stencils in the paper dying process!

If you’ll believe in me, I’ll believe in you. Is that a bargain?

– The Unicorn

On Contrariness

The rebel part of me who yearns to do the thing the opposite way from which it’s intended is secretly enjoying the ride of this ‘down is up, up is down’ year.

And that got thinking about stencils.

The point of the stencil is for neat tidy edges with regular lines and orderly patterns, and the contrariness of distorting the lines from a stencil appeals to my creative heart so much.

I love smudged edges and misaligned prints. I love worn paint effects, skipped lines, mis-matched patterns, mis-sprayed with glimpses of background showing through.

All this is why I love using stencils in my paper dying experiments, so that’s where I’m going in today’s first dabbles with this month’s color: Violet-Blue. 

Being a tertiary color, Violet-Blue straddles the space between its neighbours in the color wheel, the place we find the moody mauves of bluebells and forget-me-knots.

And I’m excited to see how that works out in this process!

I’m using two inks: Violet by Colourcraft Brusho and Cobalt Blue by Pebeo Colorex. This blue has a strong violet undertone, and the violet is right at the coolest edge of the hue. 

I’ve got a few different types of paper to play with – cartridge paper, regular copy paper, ultra thin Tomoe River paper, and some heavy watercolor paper. Different weights and absorancy of the papers all take up the ink in a different way.

Paper dying basics:

  • Play with a variety of paper for a range of effects
  • Torn edges often soak up ink to make darker edges
  • Wet the paper with water – spray or brush or sponge or drip.
  • Layer with stencils, (and/or bubble wrap, string, plastic wrap.)
  • Add ink (writing ink, drawing ink (thin it with water if it’s thick and gloopy), watercolor paint, dye, food coloring….
  • Keep adding overlapping layers of paper, water, color, stencils…
  • Leave to dry.
  • Unpeel the layers to reveal the magic!

Wet paper (especially the super thin stuff) goes wrinkly and buckles up. This adds even more patterns as the ink escapes through gaps and wiggles through in little rivulets between the layers.

If you don’t like the really crinkled effect you can always press the paper flat with a warm iron after it dries, or squash flat under some heavy books..

But if you do like this texture, try adding more by crumpling and folding the paper in places before you begin. Where the surface is disrupted like this it often allows the ink to penetrate the fibres more and makes a darker, stronger pattern.

Here’s my Violet-Blue stencil play!

What’s next?

Some of these turned out so pretty I’m leaving them just as they are, but others will be backgrounds for further adventures – maybe another round of stencil dying – maybe something else 🙂 I’ll be back next week to show you more!


“Twelvty” 12 Colors in 12 Months

Every month this year I am making a series of 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)

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. 

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25 more days of junk journaling

To celebrate the halfway mark in the 2020 #100dayproject, here’s a quick whizz through the next 25 pages in this ever evolving junk journal.

The 2020 #100dayproject
is over half way through!

To celebrate the halfway point, here’s the next 25 page skip through the pages in this ever evolving junk journal.

You can see the first 25 pages here 🙂

 

I am having the most fun making this!

I think the key to the 100 day project for me is to always be ahead of the game. Previously I’d find myself chasing my tail to get something done and posted every day. It got progressively less fun day by day!

That’s the reason I chose to make a junk journal for my 2020 project.

Every page is made from already started artbits of dyed book pages, painted papers, oddments and scraps from around my studio.

So my foundations were solid this time.

And I’ve been adding to the pages ahead of time. As I find more things to add, or have left over paint to use up, I find a space in these pages and add a little bit more. When I’m stuck for ideas I pick up this little book and doodle a bit.

The one part for me that I keep to a strict daily practice is to number and date today’s page and post it to Instagram.

A side benefit is it’s a daily reminder what today’s date is – which right now is the only way I know!

So join me, will you?

 

I’m @mixygregory over on Instagram, and for the course of these 100 (or so) days I’m posting daily updates with the tags

#100daysbymixy and/or #100pagesbymixy

(because being consistent was never my strongest skill.)

 

 


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 Studio Musings Newsletter.

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Word Soup

A stream of consciousness on the theme of the color.

“Life is a continual flow of events, streaming in from the universal stream of consciousness in such a way that it exactly matches our own stream of consciousness.”

Neale Donald Walsch

I like to use text in my art. My art journals and sketchbooks are strewn with scribbled down words and phrases, song lyrics and notes to myself. I jot down things I hear as I’m doodling, from the radio or a podcast. Sometimes words just appear in my head and I have to trap the thought on paper before it evaporates.

Other times words are just another form of mark making, a sort of a scribble to fill in a space, a dance for the pen across a surface and make some pleasing patterns. Words over words over words become a cacophony of layered shapes, delightful squiggles that merge into one vivid buzzing hum.

“Word Soup”

While we are exploring a single color at a time, I played this is with idea using word association. Words connected to “Blue”.

I grabbed a bunch of blue pens and set about filling my paper with a stream of consciousness about my thoughts on the color blue.

I set a few ground rules to begin:

  • One word, change pen.
  • Rotate the page between each word (to stir up the word soup).
  • Don’t think – if nothing comes to mind – begin again with ‘Blue’.
  • Repeating the same words is just fine.
  • Keep cycling round until the paper is full or I get bored with it – whichever happens first!

The pens themselves effect how it turns out – some are chunky and make big, bold letters, some flow easily, some are scratchy and prone to skipping. All of this is great – it adds to the variety and fills the space with different shapes and marks.

I kept going until I’d filled the space, then gave it all a wash over with some water to merge the colors just a little bit more.

Here’s my Blue themed stream of consciousness


“Twelvty” 12 Colors in 12 Months

Every month this year I am making a series of 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)

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. 

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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.

Mind Like Water

This week I’ve been noodling about with some collage ideas.

I can’t see the color blue without thinking of water.

Each time I take this circular journey through the colors, I build a familiarity with each segment of the wheel, and each time I get to the blues I’m drawn into making something watery!

This time I want to keep it super simple, to allow the water make the patterns.

I gathered up all my water based pens and water soluble media (my favs are the Derwent intense blocks, but this time it was the felt pens that made the best inky patterns).

Using all these blues on watercolour paper, I made some scribbly marks – doodled lines, dotted and dashed, thick and thin, light and heavy, wiggly, wavy and straight – some over lapping and some spaced apart.

Brushing loosely with water to loosen the pigments, I left it to dry. What I find really fascinating in this process is seeing how the ink colors separate – the undertones of turquoise and violet appear and surround the main hues of blue.

Let water + serendipity be collaborators in your art!


“Twelvty” 12 Colors in 12 Months

Every month this year I am making a series of 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)

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…
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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.

Soothing Blues

This week I’ve been noodling about with some collage ideas.

“Blue has no dimensions. It is beyond dimensions.” 

~ Yves Klein

This month in our adventure around the color wheel, we’re exploring the cool and soothing tones of blues.

This week I’ve been noodling about with some collage ideas.

I’ve always got a stack of painted papers under my desk – created from mopping up the last of what’s on my palette before it dries up – and ready for backgrounds and collage bits in my art journals.

That’s what inspired me to play with this idea in monochrome blues.

I began with two postcard sized papers, painted in blue acrylic paint:
One for the background and one for some bitty torn up pieces.
I do love me some torn edges!

Using diluted PVA glue to attach the bits, in between the collage layers I gave it all a wash with watered down blue ink. The rough torn edges soak in the ink and create lovely outlines to each shape.

Like most of these experiments, there’s no right or wrong way, but if you’re looking to make something bit like this, here’s how I did this.

(excuse my messy desk and inky fingers!)

“Twelvty” 12 Colors in 12 Months

Every month this year I am making a series of 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)

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.

25 days of junk journaling

To celebrate the Day 25 milestone in the 2020 #100dayproject, here’s a quick whizz through my first 25 pages in this ever evolving junk journal.

The 2020 #100dayproject
is a quarter of the way through!

To celebrate the Day 25 milestone, here’s a quick skip through the first 25 pages in this ever evolving junk journal.

 

I am having the most fun making this!

I’m finding use for all those bits of collage leftovers, the snippets and scraps, dyed and painted papers. All my odd in between bits of day are spent doodling in corners, outlining edges and shapes, filling spaces with stripes and spots, scribbles and squiggles.

Although I knew I’d made a few extra pages (because just in case) for the book (also because, it turns out they are a lot of fun to make too) …..aaaand I know I get carried away when I get enthralled in the making zone….

….But it turns out I’ve got closer to 200 than 100 pages to fill. Let’s see how it goes, but I might just keep going after the 100 days are up!

So join me, will you?

 

I’m @mixygregory over on Instagram, and for the course of these 100 (or so) days I’m posting daily updates with the tags

#100daysbymixy and/or #100pagesbymixy

(because being consistent was never my strongest skill.)

 

 


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 Studio Musings Newsletter.

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waves

Playing in this part of the color wheel naturally lends itself to watery effects. Inks and watercolours swirl beautifully on puddles of water and mingle together.

“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

 

― Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Today’s one-color piece came about by accident, through a series of frustrations, not knowing what I wanted to make.

As the colors mingled and the shapes began to show up I saw a pattern emerge – I caught a wave – and let it carry me through this process.

Like all creative folk, I don’t always love what I’m making – I don’t always feel lit up inside by a vision of what I’m making – and I don’t always feel sure it will result in something good / usable / worth the time it took to make.

But experience has shown that, more often than not, I can bring it round. At least to be better than it was at it’s lowest point.

And, even if I don’t like it now, I will likely see it through different eyes in the future. Perhaps it needs to be put away for a while to rest so when I revisit it I can see what it needs to bring it around to be something I like.

That’s just how it went today.

I began this piece moving color about. Two turquoises, a greenish-blue & a blue-ish green. The very first wiggles and waves in the paint marks became a repeating motif, despite them being lost under layers quite early on, I think that idea was lodged in my unconscious thinking.

A thing I often find myself doing while I’m lost in the ‘no idea’ foggy stage I’ll just smother more and more layers until a critical mass of muddiness appears – like the tide which reaches it’s furthest stretch and has to return – there’s no more way to add more paint so I have to blot some away.

Then if all else fails, cut it up and rearrange the bits.

All those layers of wet paint and collage gave the whole piece a pleasingly wiggly rippled surface to echo the waves.

Here’s how this piece came together…


“Twelvty” 12 Colors in 12 Months

Every month this year I am making a series of 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)

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. 

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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.

a place to rest

Playing in this part of the color wheel naturally lends itself to watery effects. Inks and watercolours swirl beautifully on puddles of water and mingle together.

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”

 

― Joseph Campbell

How are you adapting to this new upside-down world?

In all the uncertainty I’m finding my feet in small ways by coming back to some familiar practices: Simple things, safe places, one day, one page, one color at a time.

I hope you’re able to find some moments to step aside from the background noise of the news and the confusion.

Blue-Green – Watery Swirls

Playing in this part of the color wheel naturally lends itself to watery effects. Inks and watercolours swirl beautifully on puddles of water and mingle together.

If these colors have a textured surface to run rivulets through, all the better. I used some clear tar gel medium, but any gel medium, gesso or mod podge will do. With a thick layer you can draw valleys and squiggles in the surface (any tool with a pointy end – I keep old pens that have run out of ink, also forks and combs work well. As do fingernails)

Let the textured surface dry completely then splash some water on. Inks and watercolours dripped into the water will wiggle along the paths in the texture.


“Twelvty” 12 Colors in 12 Months

Every month this year I am making a series of 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)

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.

Bluey-Green & Greeny-Blue

If you’re feeling adrift in between places, in between times, join me for a dreamy watercolor interlude in between blue and green.

“I did not know how to paint or even what to paint, but I knew I had to begin.” 

― Margaret Atwood

In Between Places, In Between Times.

Well hello, fellow twilight zone dwellers. Are you feeling as betwixt and between as I am?

Last week we stepped around to a new month, so it’s time to shift attention to the next bit of the color wheel.

This month is all about the delightfully fresh aqua tones of turquoise & teal, the in between place that’s not quite blue and not quite green.

Here’s a little dreamy interlude of watery watercolours, I hope it inspires your creativity, or at least gives your thoughts a place to rest for a few minutes.


“Twelvty” 12 Colors in 12 Months

Every month this year I am making a series of 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)

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.

100 days of junk journaling

The 2020 #100dayproject begins Tuesday 7th April. This year I plan to do something a bit different.

The 2020 #100dayproject begins Tuesday 7th April.

I’ve taken part in this for the last 3 years. 2019 was the first time I achieved 100 consecutive daily posts on Instagram, of my daily art journal doodles.

This year I plan to do something a bit different.

100 creative acts in 100 days is no small undertaking.

Given that 2020 has the added factor being, so far, upside-down and spectacularly unpredictable, I’m factoring in a little more leeway to my 100 day project.

This year I’m going to explore 100 days of

Junk Journaling

As almost all the pages start out with something going on – some color or pattern – so I’ve got an easy starting point each day. On days that are full to bursting I can just add a few little doodles, a swipe of paint or some collaged bits. When studio time is more spacious I can be more inventive in the ways I can play.


So in readiness I gathered together an assortment of paper to use – scrap paper, painted, printed & dyed papers, book pages, maps, graph paper, tracing paper, envelopes and paper bags.

I like working fairly small, so I’ve made my pages no bigger than 6 inches square.

There’s a mix thick and thin, flimsy and heavyweight paper with torn and cut edges. (I kept hold of the offcuts to make collages with as I go through.)

I bound the pages into signatures of 5-6 sheets, plenty enough to make a spread every day + a couple of spare signatures for just in case.

The little 10-12 page booklets are a manageable size to work in, I figure I’ll find a way to bind them all together into a big chunky book when it’s finished. As is my way, I’m making this all up as I go along 😉

If you’re interested see how I made these bundles of book pages, take a peak at my process here:

So join me, will you? I’m @mixygregory over on Instagram, and for the next 100 days I’ll be posting daily updates with the tag #100daysbymixy


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 Studio Musings Newsletter.

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