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.

shapes in reds (part two)

red painted papers, rolling & ravelling.

are you ready to roll?

If you saw yesterpost, you’ll know that the painted papers I made last week were intended for further adventures, I love making 3D elements in collage, so today I’m exploring this again, but in a different direction:

Instead of blocky raised shapes I’m making these rolled shapes.

I’m fascinated by spirals, and love to explore them in every way I can in my art. The spiral is a metaphor for just about everything in life, and it’s also a super simple motif that’s super easy to create.

The rolled up paper forms are a sort of spiral through their own layers (think of looking at it end on), and by rolling the paper on the diagonal it has the appearance of changing direction in the middle.

Add to this another layer by binding in thread (which also helps hold together the sometimes unruly paper) with the alternating directions of the white torn edges, the direction of the print, altogether make a multidimensional criss-crossing which is endlessly fun to minds like mine!

I think that variation is everything.

Varying the direction, the weight and thickness of the thread, the narrow band of color with a smidge of back and white contrast, echoed by the shadows in the in between spaces and highlights of the paint’s sheen.

If I did this again I think I’d explore the variations further – with thicker yarn – and with black and white as well as red threads.

Here’s the step by step of how I made today’s piece:


“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.

shapes in reds (part one)

red painted papers, recycling, reinventing.

What does RED mean to you?

Often associated with passion and energy, RED is attention grabbing: from the red stop lights and warning signs to advertising where it’s the color used to draw our attention to the big SALE signs.

Today I’m using three shades of red acrylic paint and some scrap paper from some of last month’s red-violet pieces that wound up in the recycling box.

Layers of acrylic paint spread thin have a transparency that allows patterns and print show through from underneath, the color is similar enough not to interfere.

These painted papers will be the basis of three different pieces in this month of red.

This time I’m making something a bit more dimensional than the usual layered shapes: Rectangles cut from mount board, wrapped with the painted pape build up a multi layered landscape of shapes.

Working in this small scale with one color, channels all the focus into the process, it’s a jumping off point for another project further down the line. I want to revisit this theme in a bigger format… but that’s for another time!

Meanwhile, if you’d like to follow the journey of how this piece came about:


“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.