more page hopping

So I’m back to my art journal. Flipping back and forth, adding little bits here and there…

Finding a place in this new, weirder version of reality where it feels like all the adults have gone out, and we don’t know when they’ll be back. If they’ll be back. If it was all a big illusion all the time…

[optional move: fall down that rabbit hole then have to take another nap]

OR, try to get a foothold in what used to be normal.

Okay

So I’m back to my art journal.

Flipping back and forth, adding little bits here and there. Not quite every day, but that’s what I’m aiming towards right now, to build a bit of structure back into my days.

Here’s what this new (temporary?) normal if looking like in my studio.

How are you doing?

If you’re just keeping home, keeping sane and washing your hands more than you used to, you’re doing well.

I’ll be back with the next color in my year full of color next week. Meanwhile, take good care my friends. X


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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Doodling Details

Sometimes I find my painting experiments take me to unexpected places. And the results aren’t always what I’d like them to be.

“Art is in all the details.

Christian Marclay

Little Steps

As I type this, for context, we’re on lockdown day 1 in the UK.
Early days in the unfolding story of 2020.

It seems more poignant than I could have predicted to be talking today about the little steps along the path to an uncertain destination.

The context I had in mind was about creating mixed media art in a single color. And saying it now feels trite and superficial.

But, this is here to take or leave as you choose. It might serve as a distraction, or a metaphor, or just some visual music to soothe a few minutes in your day.

The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in the details of daily life.”

~ William Morris.

In life, in art, the details are what I’m focussing on right now.

Especially when using a single color, it’s the little details that bring a piece to life, adding character, dimension.

Details in a neutral color (black, grey tones, white) break up the intensity of a solid field of one hue. That’s exactly what I did here.

Above all, doodling is a low-mental-bandwidth activity that seems to dissipate angsty monkey mind chatter.

You don’t need a plan, just follow the lines and shapes. Use little marks, dots, scribbles, whatever shapes take your fancy. For once, don’t look at the bigger picture, just take a little area and dance the pen about. Doodle until you’ve had enough and then set it aside. That’s all there is to it!


“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)

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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a small distraction

Just for five minutes, let’s look away from all the chaos and uncertainty. Join me between the pages of my art journal. Let’s go hide out amid some squiggly doodles and swirls.

Friends, I’ve got a 5 minute distraction for you.

Let’s go hide out amid some squiggly doodles and swirls.

Just for five minutes, let’s look away from all the chaos and uncertainty – join me between the pages of my art journal.

I don’t (usually) start on the first page an art journal, or methodically work my way page by page through. It doesn’t have a right way up or an upside down. Everything goes everywhere.

(I’m far too flighty and easily distracted.)

Instead, I’ll flip back and forth, adding colors, shapes, doodles and scribbles in the spaces until it feels finished. This book is almost done, so I thought I’d share some of my page hopping doodle process.

Page Hopping Doodle Flip.

I hope you enjoyed this flip as much as I enjoyed making it. I’ll be back in a few days with an update on TWELVTY progress. Until then, take good care. Much love to you.


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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Types of Stripes

Sometimes a series of simple actions – paint smeared and dolloped onto paper, folds, slices, arrangements – can add up to something new with a curious charm you’d never have anticipated.

Painting, I think it’s like jazz.

Brian Eno

One part of this year long color a month adventure I really enjoy is discovering new ways to play with the same patterns.

Really simple patterns – we’re talking fundamental building blocks here – the squiggles, the dashes and dots. And one of my faves:

Stripes & Lines

How many ways can you make a line on paper?

  • Aside from drawing or painting
  • Lines can be straight and wavy, and a bit of both.
  • Consider tearing or cutting.
  • Experiment with folding and pleating
  • Layer pieces together and see the shadow of a partially stuck down shape form another line.

Simple is not always easy, as I explained yester-post. But sometimes it actually is.

Sometimes a series of simple actionspaint smeared and dolloped onto paper, folds, slices, arrangements – can add up to something new with a curious charm you’d never have anticipated.

welcome back to my messy desk 😉

“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)

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.

The Spiral Path

Sometimes I find my painting experiments take me to unexpected places. And the results aren’t always what I’d like them to be.

“The path isn’t a straight line; it’s a spiral.

You continually come back to things you thought you understood and see deeper truths.

Barry H Gillespie

Funny how, no matter how many times we circle past the same landmarks on this spiralling journey, the same things can appear new again and again.

This is the fourth time I’ve taken on the year long color a month adventure, and with each iteration, each color is establishing a familiar pattern. And still, each time, this surprises me.

Green

Moving around the color wheel from Yellow-Green to Green, stepping from green-ish to full on green, once again has felt brought with it a familiar sense: it’s an amplified sense of something oppressive and stifling.

And with that, a little confusion.

The first time I wondered if it was just my mood of the moment, outside life reflecting back in my studio practice, but it’s returned each time, so I suspect there’s more to it than that.

Hidden Links

Every color has connections and associations, some commonly accepted and some more personal to the individual.

Rolling meadows and fields, lush long grass, deep forests with winding paths with their curious rustlings (usually squirrels). These are all things I love, and I’ll instinctively seek refuge here when the modern world gets too frenetic.

I think it’s something primal that connects the color green with a sense of soothing tranquility.

And yet none of those feelings, which I’d expect to accompany a month of green painting have turned up. Just the opposite.

All this led me to wonder if the problem lies in the synthetic nature of green paint. Maybe when my unconscious brain sees so much green but doesn’t sense any chlorophyll, it gets agitated. (when it comes to landscape painting, there are a bunch of recipes for natural greens that don’t involve any readymade green paint. But I digress…)

Maybe, maybe not. I’m not here to dig out a reason, I’m here to seek a solution. I’ve circled back around to a lesson I picked up early on in TWELVTY:

When single colors are too intense and overwhelming, dilute the intensity with tonal contrast:

  • Darken the darks and lighten the lights – right the way up to black and white if need be.
  • Leave white space, add white to desaturate the color.
  • Water down ink or paint to build up delicate layers, increase intensity in places but leave ‘quiet’ places.
  • Begin with black or darkest green background, add elements of brighter, lighter green.
  • Pull color back by adding water to wet paint or ink, dabbing & wiping with a rag or sponge.

Simple is not always easy.

All that said and done, I don’t find holding back on color easy.

One way around this is to paint across a few pieces at once, setting pieces aside before they get too covered and moving along to the next one. Sometimes I’m a bit heavy handed, but I know I can always go back to and tweak the tones with white or black once they’re dry 😉

With that in mind for some first layers, let’s play.

Join me next week to find out what I did with these bits of greenery next.


“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)

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.

Yellow-Green: Plastic Fantastic

As we begin a new month I’m stepping round to the next color in the wheel in the year full of color project. Twelvty this month is exploring Yellow-Green.

You can do anything you want to do. This is your world.

— Bob Ross

Like a lot of folks these days, I avoid using plastic as much as possible, especially the single use kind, but still it finds ways to sneak into my home and my life. This stuff can’t be recycled so I make sure as much of it as possible gets involved in my art making process before it’s inevitably binned.

And it was with this in mind I came across a new way to make painted surfaces uniquely pattered, and super shiny too!

I’m sure to be revisiting this way to play again, there are so many degrees of shininess, texture and thicknesses which make different patterns.

The first thought I had when I saw the effect in the yellow-greens is how like glossy leaves it looks. So just right now I want to dash off and cut out leaf shapes and collage me a big ole shrubbery or something. … But I must finish this post first!

It’s a super simple process:

  • A thick-ish layer of acrylic paint on paper.
  • A plastic or polythene bag laid out on the wet paint surface.
  • Smoosh and squish about a bit to stir up the color and get it to stick to the plastic.
  • Squidge it up in places to make little ridges and bumps and stuff.
  • Wait to dry (I left it overnight)
  • Gently peel off the plastic to reveal deliciously rippled surface and shiny bits.
  • I’ve saved the plastic to reuse again – some paint got stuck so I figure there will be interesting effects using another color with it next time . Watch this space!

This is how my first experiment panned out:


Every month this year I am making a series of pieces in just one color, so at the end of the year I can combine them into one big multicolored work. 

I’ll be sharing my process throughout this adventure here in this blog.

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.

Weaving & Wiggles.

Sometimes I find my painting experiments take me to unexpected places. And the results aren’t always what I’d like them to be.

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way–things I had no words for.”

Georgia O’Keeffe 

Sometimes I find my painting experiments take me to unexpected places. And the results aren’t always what I’d like them to be.

It’s no secret I mostly create this stuff in a haphazard, directionless fashion. I like throwing color around. I don’t much like planning my art. There’s plenty enough opportunity outside the studio to be responsible and ‘adult’. When I’m making art it is – for the most part – spontaneous messy fun.

Generally I keep going until I have a result that I like, and stop there. Of course there are small regretful moments of taking something too far, but it’s only paint on paper and the remorse soon fizzles away.

sometimes moving paint and color about makes for something like this, and I’m happy to leave it be. But not always.

When a piece gets stuck or stale or I just don’t know what direction to take it in next, I set it aside to rest.

And then there are other times, when more layers of color just don’t feel like the right next step and impatience won’t let me leave it to rest. I’m compelled to make it into something else.

At times like this I’ll often take the scissors to it. Cutting it up and rearranging the pieces takes the adventure in a whole new direction.

There are all kinds of cutting up – with scissors or a craft knife, tearing up, die-cutting and punching out possibilities to make collage bits for remixing and reassembling, but today I’ve got something else for you:

Paper Weaving

This works best with lightweight cardstock, watercolor paper or heavy cartridge paper. Lighter weight floppier paper might be possible, but I suspect could become infuriatingly fiddly.

Use straight lines or wiggly ones, vary the spacing, overlap the pieces.

In my usual manner, I made this up as I went – adding more strips to already woven bits and then filling in some spaces in between later. I don’t know how instructional this video will be – but you might like to use it to spark some ideas.

When all else fails cut it up and make something new with the bits.


Every month this year I am making a series of pieces in just one color, so at the end of the year I can combine them into one big multicolored work. 

I’ll be sharing my process throughout this adventure here in this blog.

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.

About

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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The Return of the Curious Creatures

To celebrate my birthday this month, I’m launching a new project involving my little doodled friends.

At the end of last year I published Imaginary Friends & Curious Creatures, a limited edition zine from illustrations in the art journals I made through 2019.

You can see a quick flip through of the zine here, and at the time of writing there are still some copies left in my Etsy store.

To celebrate my birthday this month, I launched a new project involving my little doodled friends:

Stickers!

We’re very excited about this!!

Featuring some familiar faces from the zine + some new ones, there are FIVE different sheets of NINE stickers to choose from.

Sticker Sheets are £1.99 per sheet or £6.99 for the set of five + postage and I can send these to you anywhere in the world.

Hop over to my Etsy Store to snap up your very own curious creatures to adorn your planners, journals, laptops, and phone cases. And anything else!


If you’d like to be first to hear about my projects like this, sign up for my monthly studio musings newsletter. Just pop your email here and I’ll make sure it lands in your inbox 🙂

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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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Yellow-Green: Surfaces & Texture

As we begin a new month I’m stepping round to the next color in the wheel in the year full of color project. Twelvty this month is exploring Yellow-Green.

“Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.”

Claude Monet 

Yellow-Green

As we begin a new month I’m stepping round to the next color in the wheel in the year full of color project. In Twelvty this month I’m exploring Yellow-Green.

This is the first of the tertiary colors we encounter in our journey around the colour wheel: these are the intermediates, the not-really-one-nor-the-other.

When it comes to playing with yellow-green as a single color, it becomes like a dance between it’s color wheel neighbours.

watercolor & ink on gesso on watercolor paper

Painting on Texture

There are so many different combinations and ways to add color to texture. Here are some I like playing with a lot.

Gesso (clear or white), matte gel medium or white acrylic paint all make for a good base layer, and all give slightly different effects. Try covering the whole piece, or leave places bare for contrast

When this layer is dry you can add even more texture by crumpling and folding the paper, breaking the surface of the gesso

Do experiment – tell me which you like best!

I like to agitate the surface with a plastic card before the gesso sets to get those lovely tree bark patterns with peaks and ridges and organic wiggly, wavy lines.

I’ve had equally good results dabbing at the wet surface with a plastic bag. I shared a demo of this in a previous episode, but for this post we’re jumping in at the point where this is done, and the paper has dried.

Adding Color

The color I used was a very watery watercolor paint in yellow + green drawing inks (‘chartreuse’, ‘olive green’, ‘grass green’). Any water based color will work – I always advocate the use what you have principle – any yellows and greens that aren’t too blue-ish will work for this.

Version One: I gave the whole piece a wash of light, thin, watery color then added drips and drops of stronger color.

Version Two: Ink drips first onto dry gesso then watercolor dropped on top.

Lifting and tipping the paper side to side encourages the color to run around in the textured surface, so pigment settles in the valleys and shows up the patterns.

Where the wet color puddles I dragged it about with a paint brush, linking the pools together for the color to flow between.

Explore all the ways to hold and move the paint brush – left handed, right handed, by the very tip of the handle – let it hop and skip across the surface – try with eyes closed – twisting and flicking color about – dance the brush in time to music or a rhythm in your head.

Here’s how my first layers of color over gesso began…

Yellow-Green, ink and watercolor on gesso on paper. Layers on layers on layers!

Next post I’ll show you a way I like to use painted papers – especially the ones that haven’t gone the way I would have liked!


Every month this year I am making a series of pieces in just one color, so at the end of the year I can combine them into one big multicolored work. 

I’ll be sharing my process throughout this adventure here in this blog.

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.