some more of the iceberg

In these strange days I’m leaning extra hard into my creative practices.

Most of what I share here in this blog is from my one color a month project, TWELVTY, but there’s a lot of other stuff bumbling away in the background.

I think of that other stuff being the other 9/10 of the creative iceberg.

illustration: one page at a time

In this month’s studio musings email I shared a new project I’m just embarking on.

It’s something really enormous, both literally, and I hope, figuratively too.

All of this is feeding into what comes next.

‘The sun wants to shine.’

I add these little thought snippets to my drawings.

Oftentimes words from whatever I’m listening to as I draw. Sometimes they have a meaning to me at the time, but sometimes the meaning arrives weeks or even years later.

Or the meaning gets lost and reappears later, morphed, updated to the current moment.

It’s a leap of faith – putting this out there into the internet, and saving these thoughts in my drawings. Faith that it will have some meaning to someone -a future version of me, or a present day version of someone reading this.

It’s like a lot of loose puzzle pieces to me right now.

I’m intrigued and entranced by the process of puzzling, through drawing and words.

To slow down the spiral enough to catch focus on what the elements of it are:

The repeating patterns, the sequence of feelings, the stories that play out over and over again.

I don’t have answers, but I do have observations, and new questions all the time.

If you’d like to join in me in this curious adventure, sign up to my newsletter and I’ll show you where I’m at right now. Let’s puzzle some of this out together, shall we?


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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Layering in Inks

The essence of mixed media is layers. Today I want to explore a lighter, more dreamy version of layering.

Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.

– Rumi

It’s all about the layers

The essence of mixed media is layers. I love piling layers up, with scribbles over paint over collage over who knows what lies beneath.

But layers don’t have to be weighty and dense.

My tendency is often towards over-ness: over complicated, over-thinking, over-working. So here is a stretch for me – cos I believe it’s always beneficial to stretch our creativity.

Today I want to explore a lighter, more dreamy version of layering.

I’m using the same two inks from last time, because these colors are perfect, and because I’m all about simplifying my process right now. Less decision making & more spaciousness!

Here’s my simplicity:

  • Two inks + water + plain white paper.
  • One brush.
  • Paint quickly.
  • Don’t stop to think – keep moving.
  • Let it dry.
  • Repeat until done!

Here’s how the process played out:

The result was some delicate patterns which I find only come from creating spontaneously like this.


“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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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.

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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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.

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. 

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.