Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Take the Leap

I wrote the following to a response to a question I received by email. As I was responding, it occurred to me that there are likely to be many people out there in Blogville that may be dealing with the same thing...

A number of years ago I spent more time holding on to rather than using my finds. And I had a lot of finds. One day I realized that the only reason I had even collected all the stuff was that I wanted to make art. It wasn't because I wanted to be a collector. I knew that I wanted to make the best art that I could and it struck me as odd that I wasn't using the best ingredients that were right by my side.

So I decided to just take the leap and use several of my most favorite pieces that I had held on to for years. And as a result of being more comfortable with this, my art improved. Does everything work out and look good? Absolutely not. But without risk there is no reward and giving myself permission to use my good stuff made me a better artist in the long run. This one choice has made me more willing to take creative risks.

So I say, jump in the deep end and just go for it.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Create Random with Abandon

One of my favorite aspects of mixed media is the freedom that this approach to art offers. Anything goes and no supply or technique is off limits. This looseness allows me to create without thinking - a process that has made my art less constricted and more organic. And as an artist who tends toward linearity, this has transformed my work greatly.

Certain projects, such as bookbinding, require sustained concentration and a good deal of focus. Making a mixed media surface, on the other hand, often ends up better when the artist creates without conscious effort. I call this getting into the creative zone. You know, the one where time passes and your forget the rest of the world.

When we overthink as artists, we hand out inner critic a megaphone and end up with negative thoughts: "This isn't coming out the way I want it to. I cannot paint as well as...(insert the name of every other artist ever seen online). If I go any further I will ruin it." It's hard to imagine feeling the creative burn with these types of thoughts running through our heads.

The solution is to create random with abandon.

-Focus less on how the artwork will come out and more on enjoying the process. 

-Recognize that there's no law that says any layer along the way needs to look good.

-Let each layer guide you to your next move, rather than having a preconceived notion as to how the final piece should look.

-In other words, let go and create without thinking.

This process is what my workshop 52 Card Pickup is all about. For those of you who are interested in learning to create random with abandon, this workshop is now available in the Interweave store as an immediate download or a DVD. You can also purchase the DVD directly from my online shop.

For a taste of what you will find, head to this post on the Cloth Paper Scissors blog for a step-by-step tutorial culled from the project. Or take a peek at this segment from the recording.

And whatever you do...don't overthink!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Week Links: 114

Join me every Sunday when I share some of my favorite links I discovered in the previous week. Earlier posts in the series can be found here.

And here is Week 114...

1. Dale vN Marshall helps to raise awareness of mental health issues in the young. First seen here on Creative Boom. 

2. Jill Ricci layers decaying paper, graffiti, and text to create visual beauty.

3. Excited to see that the film The Journey is the Destination, about the life of Dan Eldon, is premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.

4. Ventricle - an installation at the Royal Festival Hall in London for the Festival of Love.

5. Street artist Ernest Zacharevic creates site specific installations that interact with urban structures.

6. Would love to see Peter Blake's exhibition Alphabets, Letters & Numbers at De La Warr Pavilion at Bexhill on Sea on the south coast of England.

7. Flashback Link: 2010. Revelations of My Friends. Think Mad Libs from the early 20th Century.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Make it Your Own: 1

One of my favorite parts of teaching is watching how every participant creates artwork that is truly their own. At the end of every workshop, no two pieces are the same.

I also find it exciting when I come across artwork online that incorporates my product lines. Seeing how different people use these items in such creative ways is always inspiring. I love the wide variety of styles and unique choices. Click each link below for more details on each.

(Spellbinders Robo Ring Die Set)

(Spellbinders Splatter Proof die set)

(Spellbinders Drip Drop die set; Impression Obsession Dreams stamp)

(StencilGirl Products Stencils Past Present Future, Timeless, Inside Out)

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Pat Steir

There is a fascinating feature with artist Pat Steir in Interview Magazine. So much of what she said resonated with me. And there were so many quotes that I thought every artist should hear. So I decided to share a few with you...

Painting is an object, but it is also a voice.

I'm making art because I want you to look at that painting and I want it to effect you in some way, to change what you see, to change how you see it.

Art is a way you discover the past, and so it brings the past into the present and the future.

My paintings are based on what I can do, and what I can do is not controlled. 

I have my moods, but I can always see something beautiful.

You can read the entire interview here...

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Summer and Early Fall

As the summer winds down, and the heat and humidity continue in NYC, my mixed media workshops continue too. After returning in early August from a month in Australia with Art is You (posts coming soon), I have already had the pleasure to teach at...

The Belmar Arts Center on the Jersey Shore

The Queen's Ink in Savage, Maryland


Upcoming workshops for the remainder of the summer and early fall include...

August 18 - The New York Public Library: NYC
--Mixed Media Mashup - workshop full

August 20 - Papercraft Clubhouse: Westbrook, CT
--Mixed Media Mashup - Registration Open

August 21 - Papercraft Clubhouse: Westbrook, CT
Collage Camp - Registration Open

September 3 - PaperArtsy: Brentwood, UK
Mixed Media Workshop - Registration Open

September 10 - Art from the Heart: Harrogate, UK
50 Ways to Leave Your Layer - workshop full

September 11 - Art from the Heart: Harrogate, UK
--Mixed Media Mashup - workshop full

September 16 - Blue Twig Studio: Colorado Springs, CO
Photo Op - workshop full

September 16 - Blue Twig Studio: Colorado Springs, CO
Background Noise - workshop full

September 17 - Blue Twig Studio: Colorado Springs, CO
52 Card Pickup - workshop full

September 18 - Blue Twig Studio: Colorado Springs, CO
Mixed Media Dossier - Registration Open


And check out my workshop page for workshops being held during the remainder of 2016 and 2017.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Week Links: 113

Join me every Sunday when I share some of my favorite links I discovered in the previous week. Earlier posts in the series can be found here.

And here is Week 113...

1. Loving the unique fiber work from Sue Ferrari.

2. Mesmerized by the handmade brushes created by Lorna Crane.

3. You have got to see this video about artist Alexa Meade. This is not a mural -- this is painting on people.

4. Looking forward to the comprehensive survey of work by Agnes Martin at the Guggenheim this fall.

5. Love this journal page reminder from Veronica Funk of her intentions for 2016. Could be a guide for all of us.

6. Fascinating interview about art and creativity with Pat Steir at Interview Magazine.

7. Flashback Link: 2009. Still mesmerized by these found object cameras made and used by Miroslav Tichy.