Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Seeking Inspirations from Art

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (1874-1965) described himself as “an English-Speaking Union,” being the son of Lord Randolph Churchill and the American heiress Jennie Jerome. Victoria Warren-Mears who is full time scientist and part time artist working in paper and mixed media is a big fan of Sir Winston Churchill and whom she describes as an orator/leader.

While Victoria is particularly fond of the speeches given by radio to bolster Britain, she wrote a journal page on one of Churchill’s speeches in pencil in her mixed media art journal. Having all the supplies she needed at hand and from her studio she painted the background of the speech a wash of 2/3 part water and 1/3 part lemon yellow acrylic paint and after drying, she began the layering process.

Next it was to mist with Italian Sunset and after allowing it to dry she misted with Alaskan Salmon. After drying it thoroughly she stamped with pink grapefruit and key lime ink. She also used a plastic doily and inked over it with Pink Grapefruit ink.

Victoria then transferred the photo of a young and old Winston Churchill from a transparency, using hand sanitizer and a rubbing tool and finally used various rub ons and tape to complete the mixed media page. She still enjoys reading bits and pieces of the speech and has a wonderful series of images of the orator for her inspiration. Her parting shot is that “Great inspirations for art are the heroes and saints among us”.

A Late Afternoon Elk Meadow Painting

The scenery of Elk Meadows which is a region in the Rocky Mountains is vibrant with fresh and brisk atmosphere. You will come across Cascading waterfalls, rivers and brooks abound with rock formations in many shapes.

Gloria Malouf-Marsh gets creative ideas for painting when she is in nature. She loves listening to nature’s sounds, watching and hearing the birds. She would do various paintings in an effort to experiment on nature. Manipulating the swirls, tucks, turns and working with the gesso in creating texture and shapes is all fun for her. She developed this when she once sat in a class and as she skimmed through the books, her imagination had ideas of free flowing curves and instead of defining scenery, she wanted to listen to her intuition and carry it out without criticism or judgment. That is how she was able to choose an area in the Rockies with snow-capped mountains.

She rises early to go for brisk walks, do her yoga practice and she inspired to face the day with inspiration and confidence. She is in the process of developing discipline in creating and making time for herself to daily paint since she wants to hone her skills and techniques in the art medium. She is curious to further her techniques.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Vintage Easter Pop – Up Card: How to Make Your Own

Learning a few basic techniques in this amazing world of mixed media art is accessible to everyone. This is what Michelle G. Brown who is passionate about mixed media art feels. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and techniques with others to allow them express their own creativity. Michelle understands too well that many people have an inner need to create.

Michelle decided to revisit the cute little vintage cards she had made during last year’s Easter while using ephemera sheet. Here are the materials she uses:
  • Yellow and white card 
  • Glue stick 
  • Double sided tape 
  • Craft knife and rulers 
  • Ink and sponges, to decorate
  • Mixed Media Ephemera Sheet 
Instructions for this task include:
  • Gathering materials and cutting out images for the card to the sizes you want.
  • Cut out a cloud template from leftover card and sponge the clouds
  • Edge the main image with black marker. Stick onto front of card with glue stick.
  • Cut the inner card along lines parallel to bottom of card. Be careful with your measurements. 
  • Carefully fold tab out and close card to check it will fold flat then decorate the inside of the card with the same cloud template as on the card front and add some green grass. 
You will eventually have a magnificent cute little Easter card!

Media Mixed Illuminated Letters

Illumination which is the art of embellishing individual letters or symbols on a page of written text has been around since 1500 BCE, when scribes began to illuminate Egyptian Books of the Dead. The word “illuminate” means “to fill with light and usually, the first letter of a page or particularly important passage is decorated with patterns and may contain intricate symbolic drawings or a miniature. As the printing industry progressed, illuminations became too labor-intensive and fell out of style thus an English artist William Morris came in, in the 19th century and led a brief revival of the art form. This has resulted in many calligraphers being able to create commissioned illuminations, often as monograms for special occasions.

Focusing on the shape, form and symbolic value of a single letter can bring an extra dimension to your artwork. It is also rewarding to create within the rules of traditional illumination. Exploring different letter shapes as the basis of your work lets you play with space and contours and takes you far away from the ever-present rectangular boundaries of paper and canvas. Following your imagination ‘to the letter’, you will discover more creative potential of mankind’s most powerful invention – the alphabet. You can also explore the possibilities of illuminated and embellished letters in mixed media artwork, combined with text, imagery or standing alone.

Are You Hoarding or Collecting

Artistic accumulation involves care whereby one takes the time to store, organize, and even label accumulated materials for future use. This is according to Ann who is a mixed media artist who tries to give a clear cut line between Artistic hoarding disorder and Artistic accumulation a topic she says has brought along a lot of fears.

Ann says Artistic Accumulation involves production and creation, specificity is involved and it also accumulates a lot of materials. On the other hand hoarding refers to the non specific collecting of anything and garbage with no goal in mind. Hoarders are non specific, have no vision and do not accumulate artistic materials. An artist who accumulates a lot of materials is balanced and will spend more time creating rather than collecting. Ann decided to give clearer definitions of these terms having being accused of being a hoarder by her craftier friends and loved ones. As an artist she says her basement is full of things and she says an artist dabbles in many forms of art and crafting and so to her she is well equipped.

She forewarns her future visitors that her studio is big and full with productive and buzzing hive and which has been dominated by one super hard working Queen bee.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Making Collages that will Remind of your Family History

According to Anjuli Johnson who is a Mixed Media Artist form Raleigh, NC, you should not be afraid to showcase your family history through art. She advises that you Collect your family’s primary documents, make copies and scans and do something with your family’s memories that will spark interest and ensure that those memories are remembered and cherished, never misplaced or forgotten.

She did want to immortalize that truth and make sure that the memories of her father through letters to his family while he was a young missionary in Mexico in 1974-1975 were not ruined. Seeing his handwriting, the little tidbits he had collected, the replies his parents sent him, pictures, etc. were just like a window to the past. It sounds so tedious, but going through those letters and certificates and seeing the names of actual people, their handwriting, and the tiny portions of their lives was fascinating. She finally created a collage about his father which was more vintage looking. The nature of the elements she used for it, and the fact that they are 30 years older added to the amazing look.

She says She began her art career as a scrapbooker, and it’s been an evolutionary process ever since. However she is still constantly trying to push through her fears to discover and develop her talents, meet new people, and learn from those around her.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Becoming a Self-made Artist like Gaby

The combination of the illustrations and industrial in Gaby’s work at the Designer Showcase at the Craft & Hobbies Associates Winter Show in 2014 is what drew Michelle into wanting to learn more about Gaby. Gaby who started Gaby&Co in September 2012 is an illustrator, artist and a pattern designer. Having graduated with a Bachelors Degree in graphic design and a minor in photography in 2004, Gaby always enjoyed taking art classes of all mediums while in college and continued to take night art classes after graduation. Additional classes that Gaby has taken include photography classes, painting, ceramics, jewelry making/soldering, jewelry enameling, DIY design/collage, children’s books illustration among others.

As part of his commitment to post weekly illustrations which have now turned to daily sketches of street objects, Gaby has created her own website gabyandco.com. It has been fun turning her illustrations into zines, zip pouches and other products and with the help of the husband who helps her prepare she has zest for art and drawing. The husband helped her silkscreen her illustrations on cotton fabric by using their homemade silk screen station while her mom, who is a wedding dress designer, taught me how to sew zip pouches and helped me sew a few for the show. According to Gaby art is just amazing.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Mixed Media Inspirations from ‘The Beauty of Zentangles’ Book

The Beauty of Zentangles’ is a book that has been authored by Suzanne Mc Neill and Cindy Shepard and published by Design Originals. While on a mission to provide comprehensive overview of possibilities, Suzanne has applied her extensive experience in art and design to taking the commonplace doodle to an art form in its own right. On the other hand Cindy loves experimenting with mixed media, showing that Zentangles can be applied to any surface – ceramics, wood, quilting, birdhouses, even boots. While using her zentangle designs, she has developed her own rubber stamps.

However according to them anyone can do a zentangle, especially after reading their book. It is a book that you can take on any level you want; for Inspiration, instruction, a jumping-off board and many others. Both authors are CZT (Certified Zentangle Teachers).

While the zentangle lends itself to the simplicity and the elegant impact of black and white, you can still color it and any medium: pens, paints, crayons, markers can be used. Zentangle is so inviting and takes the doodle to another level. The book is very comprehensive and is highly recommended as a resource, especially when faced with a daunting blank page. So never run out of ideas for your creative project and by making mistakes, new tangles emerge.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Applying Simple Creativity into making Business Cards

Jean Mullins who is passionate about teaching and passing her knowledge on to everyone she can, also loves creating and playing with paint. As such as a result of using the following simple guide she can easily create the back of business cards while using local basic materials.
  • Paint, stencil, and stamp the paper or thin cardboard
  • While your painted paper is drying, create your business card. Type the wording you want on your cards, name address, webpage, what you do etc. Save, and then print them out on the card stock, use a colour that will blend with the paper you have just painted. Cut each card out.
  • When the painted paper is dry, use a cut out card as a template on the back of the paper draw around it, this will give you the right size to cut for each card. Cut them out.
  • Using a glue stick, dab a bit of glue on each card as you stick the front to the back.
  • It’s now time to laminate. Lay a laminating pouch on a flat surface, open it, then dab the glue stick on each card as you position it on the laminating sheet.
  • When the laminator is ready carefully lift and feed through, cut and separate each of your beautiful, unique business cards while trimming any excess laminate.
Sit back and say wow to your creativity!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Finding Inspiration in Mixed Media Art Projects

According to Victoria Warren-Mears who is full time scientist and part time artist working in paper and mixed media, finding inspiration can sometimes be easy and other times can be difficult and especially if you are using mixed media projects . The photos she has for her dad’s family after they migrated hold a special place in her. They represent the seashore and the color turquoise and perhaps Indian Blue acrylic paint from Delta.

A year later she found a row boat shelf on – line and thought it us a perfect base for her project and while using a faux crackle, an outside paint technique and inside “flooring” of the boat, she had her project done. For large crackles that would make it look worn out and aged, she added a thick layer of liquid adhesive. The same was to be done for the inside of the boat. The photo was meant to be her focal image and the image was adhered to the shelf using dimensional mounting tape. She would then add rocks and large shells from beach vacations, items that were adhered with liquid adhesive and definitely are a good use of found memorabilia. Dimensional natural elements would be allowed to dry overnight.

Throughout, Victoria chose to stick with a theme of blues, ivories and light brown. Eventually she was to achieve a photograph which was actually a copy of the original and which was scanned and printed.