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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the view from the middle

Reporting in from half way through the 100 day project, I am up to my eyes in part-done paintings!

Because this time I’ve chosen to make my 100 pieces all at once instead of one per day, it’s proving tricky to see how far it’s progressing.

I’ve posted daily snippets of progress over on IG, including short videos & time-lapses showing some of the ways I’ve been keeping on top of this ridiculous number of works!

Adding a layer to a bunch of paintings all at once by drawing across them as one was fun. The spaces and shapes the big abstract squiggle made on each piece connects them, and also makes a individual drawing on each.

Filling in the gaps in between made these sweet sibling painting pairs.

Whole families of similarly colored pieces began forming, and this whole endeavor feels like a new community forming.

I look at these and consider: would a less complicated person call these finished?

Which leads me to wonder if an unconscious part of me decided to tackle the project this was a way to work on the art of knowing when something’s done.

One thing’s for sure, I don’t want to spend days 98 & 99 in a mad scramble of adding last touches to dozens of paintings. That sounds like such a ‘me’ thing to do.

So I’m thinking the second half of this marathon should focus on the process of final layers and finishings.

This is the where we are at, day 50, the end of the beginnings snd the beginnings of the the endings.

I’ll be back soon with news on the other doings and goings on in my studio. Meanwhile, to be first to see what I make and find out the thinking behind it, do sign up for my monthly-ish newsletters.

Follow me on Instagram for daily updates 🙂
#100daysofQuietColor


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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6 weeks of daily painting

How ridiculous would it be to begin 100 paintings all at once? Let me show you…

a stack of paintings

We are 6 weeks into the 100 day project and I’m really loving this challenge.

Every day I post snippets of progress on IG, photos, videos & time-lapses of the layers adding up.

There’s a box on my desk homing the 100 started paintings, and at any one, time several are scattered across every flat surface around me as the newest layers dry!

Here are a few of the pieces I’ve been playing with this week.

So far I’ve used watercolours, acrylics and inks for larger blocks of color and graphite, charcoal, markers and fine liners for the details.

Is that all? It’s been a dizzying blur (but in the best possible way)

Yeh, then there was some potato printing & stamping with a recycled hot water bottle. I’m feeling like some collage elements could be showing up soon, and maybe some stitching too. watch this space! 😉

Next Sunday marks day 50, so I’ll be back next week with a special post at the half way point.

Follow me on Instagram for daily updates 🙂
#100daysofQuietColor


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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the next of 100 beginnings

Twenty days in to the 100 day project, here’s where I’m at.

On 31 January I set myself the task to create 100 paintings in 100 days (see how it came about here).

I’ve been experimenting with different media and techniques, adding a little bit to a bunch of these paintings every day. Part of this challenge is to keep the colours quiet and muted, which doesn’t come naturally to me.

A few blue backgrounds were looking a little too vivid so I toned them down with grey to get back on track 😉

A bonus I did not expect from working in this whole new palette is that I’m getting much more of a buzz from the other (full volume color) projects that I’m working on at the same time.

To fully mix my metaphors, it feels like I’m getting a more balanced diet visually speaking, and I’m loving the contrast in flavours.

(I just finished a particularly colorful project, which I’ll tell you all about next week)

I enjoy using text in my art.

Either beginning with a word that fills the page and ornamenting it into something new, or using scribbled thoughts and chunks of wordage to fill blocks and shapes.

In the last few days I’ve been adding some time lapse videos of the process to the Instagram posts – I love re-watching the way pieces like this take shape as black ink squiggles about on wet paper.

To keep track of how many paintings I’ve started I began numbering them, which lead me to listing some words & thoughts on the back (As inspired by the great artist & teacher, Jesse Reno). Sometimes it’s a color I want to remember, or a thought that’s shown up (future me might bury that under more paint, so I’ve left her a note just in case).

As the layers build up, the lists will grow. Every painting will have its own little chronology. Some might become a poem, or a name for the painting might emerge. We’ll have to wait and see 😉

Follow me on Instagram for daily updates 🙂
#100daysofQuietColor


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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the first of 100 beginnings

10 days into the 100 days project, laying down the first layers of 100 paintings.

Ten days into the 100 day project, already I’m amassing a satisfying stack of paintings-to-be with first layers down.

My strategy this year is not to make a complete painting every day, but still to make 100 paintings in 100 days.

Because the way I work best is to have lots of pieces on the go at any time. I hop about between them and the ideas cross pollinate. These 100 days of Quiet Color are taking a familiar route, spiraling through layers and iterations of pattern.

Right now I’m all about watercolor and ink in swirly shapes (beginning with words which quickly evolve into more abstract shapes). Some already have a lot of tiny details,

(while these first colors are drying I move onto another one)

While others are washes and blobs of color – just a very beginning.

The quiet colors de jour are Payne’s Grey, Indigo & Sepia with a bit of Black & White gouache.

Follow me on Instagram for daily updates 🙂

#100daysofQuietColor


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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Tiny Book, Borrowed Words.

This Tiny Book is part of the #TinyBookCollective from Hope Fitzgerald over on Instagram. Check out her posts to see more itsy weeny books like this, and find out how to take part.

Colors & doodles from me, words from Marianne Williamson:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves,
who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented and fabulous?

Actually,
who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There’s nothing enlightened
about shrinking so that other people
won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest
the glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us;
it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.”


This Tiny Book is part of the #TinyBookCollective from Hope Fitzgerald over on Instagram. Check out her posts to see more itsy weeny books like this, and find out how to take part.

If you’d like to be first to see the latest projects I’m working on & exclusive insights into the thoughts behind the splashy doodles, hop onto my email list for monthly-ish updates direct to your inbox:

 

Paper Obstacles

I had a really clear idea what I wanted to do with this book from (almost) the outset last year – a rambling whirl of doodles, a stream of consciousness running through the pages.

The Sketchbook Project

It’s been  a while since I checked in with you guys on this project, I’ve had to overcome a few obstacles along the way.

I had a really clear idea what I wanted to do with this book from (almost) the outset last year – a rambling whirl of doodles, a stream of consciousness running through the pages. Then I got ill, and the heavy duty pain medication I had in hospital inspired me with a really clear visual I wanted to recreate. As best I could, two-dimensionally on paper.

I began the line work back during Inktober, and looking back I remember at the time being aware of just how thin and flimsy the paper is in the book. I mean, super thin. It would hold up well to gentle care but I’m heavy handed and (because it’s all I had to hand and impatience is my biggest motivator in all I do) I used ballpoint pen. So my pages were already crinkling from the indentation of the lines.

That’s cool – it adds character – it’s my ‘style’ – go with it, I thought.

Sure.

I delayed the coloring stage until I finally got my new watercolors I’d been so eager to use.

Then the holidays, then life, then I finally began.

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this paper soaks up watercolor like a sponge.

 

Oh. My. Days!

You do NOT wanna use watercolors on this paper. Of course if I hadn’t been so hung up on the combination of:

This Sketchbook Project + These Colors + These Paints = Exactly What I Want To Do

then perhaps I wouldn’t have been temporarily blind the reality of:

This Medium + This Paper = A Certain Soggy Mess.

 

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Soaked right through to the other side 😦

 

Damnit!

Ok, I’m an adaptable kinda person, I pride myself on being able to change direction, to adjust and adapt.

Acrylics, I thought. Acrylics are the answer. They will sit on top of the paper and give it a bit more substance as well.

 

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Look at that paper curl! It seems I  have angered the book now.

 

Nope. Not only is it a streaky mess, but the pages are actually curling up in disgust.

What do they want from me? light, delicate pencil? Do they know me AT ALL??

I heard a distant memory jangling about in the back of my mind – are there rules on what media we’re to use?  – checking the website: sure, acrylics & gesso are discouraged because the pages get sticky and … yes, yes, I know all this

So, my first plan of watercolor was back on the table – because, when I read onwe are allowed to rebind the book.  I can use actual watercolor paper!   

Now that time was getting squeezed, that forever-away-distant deadline was getting closer…  I decided that keeping it simple was the best way forward. The elaborate plans I had to begin are on hold for a separate project later in the year, meanwhile I’m back with what I know best for the pages of this book: the idea that is fuelling my creativity and has done for a long while now: an adventure in 12 colors!

After all, it’s my thing, right?

My pages are complete and ready for binding, I’ll show the finished book as soon as I get some good light for photos – then it’ll be winging it’s way off to Brooklyn Art Library


If you want to be first to see what I’m making, and get exclusive discounts on these things, clickety-hop aboard my email list right here.

(and I’ll send you my ebook A Year full of Color as a thank you for joining)

Your email is utterly safe to me. It will be wrapped up snug and nestled with a hot water bottle & a kitten until the spring arrives.

 

Inner Space: Art Cards

I love how life and art spiral round, how patterns repeat on a range scales, how it’s all about the context.  

Art Card Inner Space #15
Inner Space #15

I began working on this series back in July, but the paintings from which I collaged these tiny works date back much further.

 

Art Card Inner Space #14
Inner Space #14

 

I love how life and art spiral round,

how patterns repeat on a range scales,

how it’s all about the context.  

 

Art Card Inner Space #2
Inner Space #2

 

Then I zoom out and I see this project in the context of all the art I’ve ever made, and all I have yet to imagine.

 

 

It’s a place on a timeline, and that line spirals round.

 

Art Card Inner Space #10
Inner Space #10

 

These 15 pieces are the first of a multi-part series: “Inner Space”

 

Art Card Inner Space #8
Inner Space #8

 

In this iteration I’m zooming in.

Next look at these thoughts will be both from afar and close up.

The micro & the macro. 

 

Art Card Inner Space #7
Inner Space #7

 

There’s so much more yet to come,

I’m so excited to show you how this develops!

 

Art Card Inner Space #5
Inner Space #5

All these paintings, inclusive of their mounts, measure just a smidge over 5 inches square.

I think their magic is in the tiny details.

You can become lost in these itsy-small worlds.

Art Card Inner Space #6
Inner Space #6

 

All of these one-off art cards are available in my Etsy Store from today.  International shipping is available — catch ’em while you can!

AND If you’re on my mailing list you’ll be getting a little note from me today with a special coupon code for one week only – just for you. If you’re not on my mailing list – why the bejeepers not?! scooch on down and sign up now!


yearfullofcolorbypenngregory_page_01

When you hop onto my mailing list I’ll send you my ebook all about color.
Your email is utterly safe to me.
I’ll sing it to sleep when it lands with me, and bring it tea and a bun if it wakes up.

 

just lurking

Hello lovely friends of the internet, I’ve missed you, where have you been?

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I haven’t posted in a little while due to an absence of images.

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This is the coming together of a doodly thing I did a few weeks back

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Watercolour and fountain pen,  intricate and involved but in a stilted inhibited style, so I left it there

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My creative mojo has dropped off temporarily, the tide’s gone out, so I’m patiently waiting it out.

Meanwhile, I wish you all a beautiful Solstice, whatever that means to you. Be well, lovely souls X

something familiar going on…

We’ve all got our own way of categorising, organising, ordering our worlds about us. And we often aren’t even aware of this until we encounter someone whose ways differ greatly from our own.

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For me, it’s by colour.  (no shit…really?)

Back in a previous life when I was an office bunny who shuffled papers and rattled at a keyboard all day I sought out opportunities to invent new systems I could colour-code.

I’d spend any spare time buried in the stationery catalogues, choosing folders and files and highlighter pens.

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What I came to realise much later on was that I just had a thirst for colour and creativity that was going unquenched.

Beyond that, colour is the defining visual attribute I’ll notice over any other: He’s the guy in the blue shirt, it’s the house with the red paintwork, the shop with the green & yellow signboard … I don’t know any of their names, but I usually know what colours they are.

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It occurred to me today, as I edited these images from my current journal to show you, a habit of mine to spend a time with a group of colours.

 I revel in their company, their character, the memories they muster and the feelings they stir up.

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When sated, I can move on, visit a different range of the spectrum.

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I never know which colours will appear next, or how long I’ll be in the company of my current companions. But while we’re together, they will seep into aspects of my day without me even realising.

I put these images together, here I am in the realms of purple and a little to either side, and I felt a pang of familiarity, a sense that something’s closer than I realise…

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I looked down at what I’m wearing….

Oh yeh… I see what’s gong on here!