how to nourish your muse

I’ve been taking a few online classes lately. Exploring areas I already feel comfortable – mixed media, collage, watercolours – and adding to my range with the help of some fabulous teachers.

What I was not expecting from this, is how it’s encouraged me to revisit some older pieces that I’d got stuck with.

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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

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sari silk stripes

Join me for the final step around the color wheel…

Ever since I was a young thing,
I’ve always loved to sew.

The back and forth of needle through fibres almost hypnotises me into a meditative trance. I love the tactile textures of the fibres, the way shapes can be held together and yet still flex to move. The shadows in the folds, the waves in the weave.

All this to say, it will come as no surprise to learn I have a sizeable stash of fabrics in my studio with which to play.

It’s largely a collection of clothes {some old, almost worn out, most thrifted or rescued, saved for a quality to the fabric, the color or texture or pattern or something. Others saved for simply their fibres, to be chopped up and used as stuffing}

There’s also the yarns and threads, the ribbons and trim. Some rescued and tattered, some new. One type I’m especially fond of (shhh – don’t tell the others) is a type of yarn made from recycled sari silks.

This particular yarn delights my senses with its blend of rich vibrant colors, the light shimmer to the silk fibres. It has a character and charm in its wobbly bobbly line, like a tree branch or stream. But more than this! when lightly unravelled it reverts to ribbon with deliciously frilled raw edges, fluffy like feathers, and a criss cross of creases.

Yes, I’m altogether smitten with this stuff!

You’ll find sari silk yarns and ribbons online or in some fabric stores, I got mine online from Yarn Yarn & Good Karma Llama, these are the best I’ve come across so far 🙂

So for the final piece of this 12 month project I used my most favourite material. This golden egg yolk color was perfect to complete the wheel of color that’s taken us through this extraordinary year!

Sometimes (often times) its the simplest of ideas that lead to the best outcomes.

I cut short lengths of the yarn and unravelled to ribbons, hand stitched them using a long running stitch to form stripes on this painted paper I’ve been using all month.

Each strip of silk made stripes within stripes, the frayed edges, the stitches over and the creases in the fabric, and the marks on the paper showing through between. I deliberately didn’t iron the unravelled yarn flat to maintain the wrinkles, although next time I might add some ironed stripes in as well for yet another type of contrast. I’d like to try layering narrow stripes on top of broader ones…. so many ideas!

This is a quick look at today’s piece taking shape stripe by stripe.


“Twelvty” 12 Colors in 12 Months

Join me in the New Year to find out where this project is going next as I plan to combine them into some big multicolored works. 

(and maybe some more smaller pieces too)

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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paper doodles

making doodled patterns with painted paper shapes.

Following on from yesterpost’s painted paper collage inspired by the sun ray style mandala ideas, today I’m using the same papers but for something quite different.

From sharp cut, radiating lines to these freeform doodly torn wiggles.

I love making patterns from these rounded shapes – so much so I filled a whole sketchbook with them one time 🙂

Overlapping the pieces like scales or feathers gives them another layer of dimension, a sort of ruffled aliveness, and something I now want to explore again – maybe part of a bigger piece – maybe with fabric or card or something a bit chunkier to make them stand apart from each other even more.

Something I love most in this project is that each week I’m not just making the piece I show you in these posts, but they are sparking alive a whole flurry of offshoot ideas.

Here’s how today’s piece took shape


“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 & 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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sunset mandala

we’re into the last phase of this color wheel trip, the golden hues of ochre, turmeric and saffron, late afternoon sun, and desert sands.

Folks, we’re into the last phase of this color wheel trip! Our final color to explore is orange-yellow, the golden hues of ochre, turmeric and saffron, late afternoon sun, and desert sands.

Today’s exploration began with some painted papers (much more of these in a separate post soon!)

The paper I’m using is all scrap – from magazine pages, old drawings and a paper bag – the stuff that would end up in the recycling basket if I didn’t have this compulsion to turn everything into art.

I’ve been sorting through some art supplies i haven’t played with in a long while and came across some coloured cellophane too, so that’s in the stash as well as some thread and yarn and a couple of sandy-ochre coloured markers.

Let’s see what we can make with this assortment of orange-yellow things!

I’ve got a real fascination with mandalas right now (again – more to come on these in a few post’s time!) so that’s the idea which sparked today’s creation.

Beginning with a small piece from each of the painted papers I cut out a bunch of triangles. Using PVA glue on a piece of card for a backing I arranged the triangles, alternating the different papers, pizza-slice-fashion into a mandala of sorts.

I’m left wondering if it wants some patterns doodled onto some of slices, so this might still be a work in progress.

Options (as usual) remain open 😉

Here’s how today’s process took shape

Next post I’ll show you how the rest of the painted papers became part of this orange-yellow series.


“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 & 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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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!

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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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. 

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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.

100 days & beyond…

as one project ends another begins. see the full flip through of my 100 day project + where to see what I’m making now!

The 2020 #100dayproject
junk journal

Last week saw the last day of the 100 day project which has kept me busy since early April.

Every day for 3½ months I added more to this little junk journal: more doodles, collage, patterns and thoughts. Even these little paper animals who live tucked right in the middle at page 50!

Beginning just a week or two into the covid lockdown, this project and the daily ritual of posting on IG really helped me by providing an anchor to the reality of the day, one single constant amid the overwhelm, and kept me from drifting off in the confusion.

For a long while I was quite set on the idea of carrying on beyond the 100 days, especially as I’d overshot in the making of the junk journal and still have lots of *prepped pages.

But as the 100th day loomed I was already getting giddy on ideas for what’s coming next. It’s a much bigger project, and something that will keep me busy for much more than 100 days this time!

*so there will be a junk journal part two at some point in the future!

For now, here’s the full flip through of the 100 page book.

Junk Journaling: April – July 2020


 

In other news, my monthly-ish newsletter has resumed!

After a short hiatus, my spring/summer studio musings went out last week {Sign up below & I’ll send it to you!}

The next one goes out in August: where you’ll be first to see the latest about my gigantic new project + how I’m getting on with some new mixed media techniques I’m about to dive into. 😀

 


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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Violet Spirals

“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 

exploring the spiral path

As we continue around the color wheel, this week I’m sharing my first experiments with the color violet.

I’ve taken this year long trip around the color wheel a few times now. So stepping into each color feels like a return to a familiar place.

A few years ago I set the starting point of this color adventure as yellow, meaning that violet marks the mid point in the journey, and in turn has come to be the color of summer to me.

I love how these connections develop over time, it’s something we can appreciate more and more with each year clocked up in this lifetime.

Each time I repeat this 12 color project I learn something new in the nuances, and a bit more about myself along the way. So I was inspired [there’s that word again] to revisit a pattern that suits this notion – the spiral.

a spiral collage

I began with some painted papers, much like i have thoughout this journey.

Painted with watercolor and gouache in my usual haphazard way, today I’ve got regular drawing paper (pages from a sketchbook) and some heavy weight tracing paper, for contrast. I like tracing paper for the way the color shows through both sides, and the way it crinkles up on contact with paint and glue.

I tried three shapes for my spirals: a square, a long rectangle, and a circle. The long rectangle was the most fiddly to handle, the circle probably the easiest, being the smallest of the shapes it didn’t flop around so much.

the long rectangle spiral made with painted tracing paper.

You could do this with scissors, but I love torn edges so much I freehanded all of these.

I’ve been playing with this torn spiral technique in my art journals for a long time so can go quickly, but if you’re trying this for a first time it might be easier to sketch your path out on the back of the paper before you begin.

The trick is to keep the spiral wide enough to follow the line in to the middle, then back out to the edge. That way you get two complete pieces. Hopefully that explanation will make more sense in the video!

By the time I finished I had a little heap of spirals. They naturally like to knot together (in the same way as cables do) so in this last collage I let them do this.

I especially like the combination of surface pattern in this one, it reminds me of batik dyed fabric. It’s got me wondering about trying a more intricate pattern for a larger piece. What do you think?

Here’s how my spiralling went


“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)

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.