Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Play Time has begun!

Many years ago, I spent a lot of time painting with acrylics.  I am self taught, which means I learned as I went with no formal training.  I painted mostly abstracts and landscapes, and still have most of my paintings.  But after awhile, I found I couldn't paint anymore.  Years passed, during which I began dyeing clothing and fabric, delved into art quilts, and pretty much devoted my creative energies to fiber arts.  But I have found that I still  have interest in other mediums, such as Mixed Media.  Over time, I have come to know quite a few talented fiber artists online who engage in other creative outlets as well... one of them is Beth Berman, a very talented artist in Maine.  In a recent blog post, she was discussing mark-making, and  referred to 'Drawn to Stitch' by Gwen Hedley... you can see the post here.  Well, I decided to order the book, and it came last night.  I have just begun to read it, but I know I am going to enjoy experimenting with the materials and techniques she has written about.
Another source of constant inspiration to me has been Melody Johnson... no matter what Mel is up to, I'm interested, enthused, and longing to play with her in her studio!  She has always been nice enough to reply to my e-mails and comments, and I wanted to share a recent post of hers here about her mixed media experiments.  She is multi-talented, and loves to share what she is doing with readers.
So having given you some of my sources of inspiration, I will proceed.  Yesterday, I picked up some drawing paper and paper palette, drug out my ancient Liquitex acrylics and a series of brushes, and proceeded to do a little experimenting.  Right now, it's all about re-introducing myself to mixing paints and applying them.  The first 2 pictures are of my first 'ground' and the palette paper I used to create a monoprint on the ground to start with:

Interesting note on the palette paper - I had the drawing paper taped to a piece of corrugated cardboard, and I placed the palette paper on top, paint side to paper, then brayered the paint onto the paper.  I got the added bonus of texture from the corrugation, which was a "happy accident"!  I let the initial paints dry some, then went in with paint brush, pencil eraser, and a piece of plywood with paint on the edge to create some marks.  Later, when the paint had dried, I added some marks with felt tip pen, then washed over the piece with paint that was thinned with water.  By no means do I consider this anything other than an exercise, but I'm saving these 2 pieces, because there is a good chance I can use them later as part of a composition.  I like that about the Mixed Media concept... mix, match, blend.
Here are a couple more grounds I did today, using a cool color palette:

Again, just experimenting and playing.  The bottom one is on card stock, which I did not tape to my work board, and as you can see, it's curling.  The drawing papers were taped to the board as I painted on them, and have stayed flatter as they dried.
Finally, in an effort to remind myself that this is mixed media, I decided to throw a couple of pieces of dyed or painted fabrics up on the design wall with them to see if anything gelled.  Not yet, but I'm starting to become intrigued by the possibilities!  Needless to say, more posts are forthcoming.  I do think I will need to break down and add more paint to my collection... my palette is severely limited, so I hope Michael's has a sale on real soon!  Stay tuned...


Carol said...

Releasing the inner creativity again!! Love it! Go big and go bold!

Bridget said...

I, too, and a fan of Melody. Love your playtime results!