Monday, 30 June 2014

Expressing your Feelings with Creative Art

Kim Kelley loves to learn and explore new techniques and hopes that any art she creates leads someone to find their inner creative artist. She loves mixed media art because you are free to go beyond your comfort zone, using your imagination and exploring an anything goes mind set. On the other hand some people will tell you they find themselves in the creative mood when they are happy while some say that their best piece of art came out of their lowest time.

For Kim the more “personal art” she has created over the years, came out of her being at her saddest. This is when Koda, a family puppy got sick with an auto immune disease until at a point when they had to let him go because his white blood cells had dropped from medication and was not improving. She wanted to create something as a result.

She started with a 9 X 12 canvas, cutting a square in the center for her picture to show through. After adding textures and letting them dry, she used some copper, orange and gold sprays to mimic the colors from the photo she was going to use. The inside was painted with brass and black paints and outside white paint mixed with a little bit of stucco for texture. She added a few metal pieces angel wings, a key, a lock and a dog tag that has “KODA IN OUR HEARTS FOREVER”.

Creating Art Journals: Tips and Tricks

Tamara Dinius is not your usual girl on the streets. Her love for mixed media is thrilling and has taken over most aspects of her creative journey. She believes mixed media allows for a broad range of styles and anyone can find success in this form of artistic expression. Her two grown up daughters make her creative life more exciting as a result of their overwhelming support. They ground her, embrace her and make her life meaningful. In her own view they are amazing people in their own right.

She has created two videos that show and explain the process of completing an art journal layout start to finish. You will find yourself using supplies such as Dylusion Sprays, Liquitex Acrylic Inks, stencils, papers, gold leafing, as well as other items. The whole artistic creative layout will not take more than 30minutes. Art with color is all very exciting and relaxing. Tamara is the type to play with colors till they can get something out of it. She more often than not makes art journals. Together with her husband who is also her encouragement they love in the Pacific Northwest. She says you can be as creative as you may wish. So get imagining and start creating. Happy creating!

Making your Own Magnetic Chalk Board

Gloriann Irizarry loves to sculpt and will never stop creating and she confesses that Art has been a great of being able to express herself. Having been absent minded for some time, she decided to create a piece of art that would help her get a little more organized. She chose to create a Magnetic Chalk Bulletin Board.

Materials used:
  • Creative Paperclay 16 0z
  • Cookie baking sheet ( I found mine at the dollar Store)
  • Chalkboard Valspar Paint
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paint Brushes
  • Super Strong Magnets
  • Fast Grab Tacky Glue
  • Leaf Cutters
Steps followed:
  • Spray the can of the Chalkboard spray paint all over the back of the baking cookie sheet and let it dry. Two coats of the paint will do.
  • Have a big clay sheet manually to a ¼ in thickness that you will roll and cut to start creating the trunks for the trees that will be covering the frame. Draw and create the wood grain effect for the tree.
  • Give the over lapping trunk effect to give more interest to the piece.
  • Before the completed top wood trunk dry, use the needle tool to pierce the pre drilled holes in the clay and let it dry.
  • Roll a Creative Paper clay sheet to a ¼ in thickness to add a nice grass effect to the lower portion of the board. 
  • Paint to your favorite colors and use leaf cutters to stamp away. 
  • Let the magnets dry on the magnetic board.
  • Once the paint had dry, it is time to glue some of those leaves we had work on.
ART is so rewarding and seeing your creation take form is an awesome feeling.

Use your Own Style to Make an Accordion Book

As a Mixed Media & Collage Artist, Melanie Statnick creates art daily from her private studio. She is said to have fun, whimsy and eclectic style. She advises that creating your own style of journals mini books or according books looks up to your imagination. According to her, Pinterest is full of inspired artists in the present and in the past each with their own style. It can be horizontal or vertical fashion. Here is how to make yours, in a fast and simple way in case you’re making art at the speed of life:

Materials Required
  • Ribbons
  • Water Colors
  • Cardboard (craft) or heavy card stock
  • Gel Medium
  • Watercolor paper 140lbs cold press
  • Stamps and/or other word stickers
Steps to Follow
  • Measure your watercolor paper approx. 11”x4”. Measure your cardboard the same to a bit larger 12 x 5”. 
  • Apply gel medium (glue) to the cardboard piece you’ve cut. This is the cover of your book. Lay your ribbon down onto the glued cardboard, and then lay your painted watercolor paper on top of your ribbon.
  • Fold paper into itself in an accordion fashion.
  • You can stamp or draw anything you want to create one long piece of art.
  • When you are happy with your end result use the ribbon to wrap around your book if you have cut it longer. Tie it up in a bow and use it for a gift or make a shelf full. 
Happy Creating!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Getting Creative Inspiration from your Inner Child

Melanie Statnickis a Published Artist and whose style of art is fun, whimsy and eclectic, creates art daily from her private studio. She remembers having spent many summers enjoying the great outdoors as she grew up. As a little girl she played in the yard, climbed the walls across the street and discovered new things while she watched all her favorite TV shows. Summer was so inspiring for her and it is so good for kids because it is the time they are on summer break from school. Trying to find something to keep the kids happy and busy can be a job in itself. It can also suck the creative life out of you. Face it, kids have high energy and they siphon it from you like little gas tanks.

So where do you get your inspiration over the summer vacation? It is from your inner child. But does it really influence your art? Doodling and painting all the wonderful things made her inner child feel good. If you are stuck for journaling or painting this is a great prompt to help you get started. Look through old photos of you growing up, where you liked to play, were you liked to play the most, the imagination you had to play house and make forts in trees, the fun friends you made over the summer. Summer vacation can look a lot brighter when you remember how to play like a kid.

Did you Know you Can Achieve Creative Art in 10 minutes?

To the delight of her husband, Katja Blum likes to find creative solutions for ugly or broken things around the house. Her latest obsession is making soft stuffies and art dolls – to the delight of her toddler. The technique of paper marbling fascinates her even though it is somewhat time- and labor-intensive. And since she loves surprises, it is possible to apply the color to the water or sizing in a controlled manner, the outcome can still be a happy surprise.

On the other hand “Tie-dyeing”, or rather fold-dyeing, paper is a technique that requires few materials and no preparation. You can do it at your worktable or at the kitchen sink while making tea. The few materials include:
  • Paper whereby most paper qualities will work.
  • Liquid fabric or silk paints
  • Gloves
  • Bowl of water (or the sink)
  • Wooden dowel and rubber bands (for the rolled technique)
  • Paper clips to hold folded papers together for drying
This is how you do it:
  • Fold the paper into various shapes. You can also crumple it up or roll it up on the dowel and fasten it with rubber bands.
  • Put on gloves, protect your work surface from paint spatters and apply random drips of fabric paint to the folded or crumpled paper and into the folds.
  • Once the papers are dry, unfold them carefully and enjoy the colors and patterns you have created. Of course you can use your tie-dyed papers as backgrounds for mixed-media pieces or as collage material.

Start Experimenting in Unknown Artistic Waters

Anjuli Johnson’s art career as a scrapbooker has been an evolutionary process ever since. However she acknowledges that having the courage to break into a new form of art can be tough and she is constantly trying to push through her fears to discover and develop her talents, meet new people, and learn from those around her. While she loves all things about mixed media including paper, paint, pens, wire, gears, clay etc, the idea of actually trying to do something that does not involve preserving her own memories is extremely intimidating.

With the so many talented people who do amazing things with canvas, books, paint, beads, paper, and an infinite number of other mediums, creating impressive artwork is a daily struggle. For Anjuli she keeps her mixed media dreams in the back of my mind and stick with what she is comfortable with. All artists wrestle with fear in one form or another but the more you create, the more you learn and the less fear becomes an obstacle.

All her through her art career, she kept wondering “How could I, just an ordinary woman, find a way to create such unique mixed media pieces?” It was in her to learn the awesome techniques without copying what everyone else created. Her pieces were unique not just because of her individual style, but because she was using tools and supplies in ways she hadn’t seen anyone else use. It wasn’t until that moment that she realized the infinite possibilities that are available to those who work in mixed media.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Making Arts without Over Spending

To be creative it is not necessary to buy and own all of the newest and greatest that is advertised. The most important tool is ourselves. We need to believe in our own abilities and then just give it a try. It is not a must for you to have a well designed and furnished top notch studio to be creative but creativity will find you already working.

Ann has had to find many unusual ways to stretch her crafting budget while she admits that she did not get to the point she is at over night. One needs to begin creating humbly. By setting aside small amounts of money over the year and waiting for a few fantastic sales and using coupons enabled her to buy some things within her creative space. She says Working in a crafty environment also enables one to access things usually at a discount. In addition there are also local businesses who gladly will give away what is useless to them but a luscious supply to a crafter. For example, stores often have tons of cardboard boxes and signage that needs to get out.

She advises all artists to keep their eyes and ears open since there are people all around who need to unload items and you can use them. Joining a club where you exchange ideas, learn from each other, trade materials and contribute to a group pot whereby each member has a turn to spend the money on tools or supplies is also a key point.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Going the Zentangle Style with Canvas Pens and Wash

Jean Mullins is not only a mixed media artist but also a craft teacher, teaching many different mediums, including book making, crochet, patchwork and quilting, ceramics, porcelain doll making, sculpting in clay and mold making. She has created paintings pen and wash style using both oils and acrylics having started out many years ago. With a lot of knowledge gathered over the years she considers it a pleasure and privilege to share. If you are interested, this I how she advises that you do it:
  • Draw your design on the canvas using a pencil very lightly. You can always trace a design if you are not a so confident drawer. 
  • Using the permanent pen draw over your design, alter the pressure for thicker, thinner or lighter, darker areas. 
  • Let it dry for a couple of hours or overnight if possible then spray thoroughly with hair spray or a sealer. Give it 3 coats drying between each one. 
Note: Use liner brushes or small rounds for applying the paint with the idea that you are having fun and being creative and in the long run you will be happy with your canvas. Her parting short is that “Any form of meditation is a wonderful stress reliever”.

Creating your Own “Stash and Smash”

Michelle Brown says being able to learn a few basic techniques into the amazing world of mixed media art is accessible to everyone. On the other hand Cindy Shepard who has created a fun little book called “Stash and Smash” encourages us to get out our stash of ephemera and bits and pieces and turn them into a work of art. “Stash and Smash” includes over 120 individual techniques, grouped into 19 categories, with a few step-by-step photos, where needed, and a simple overview for the creative prompts that are self-explanatory.

However with her passion for mixed media art and the fact that she enjoys sharing her knowledge and techniques with other people to allow them express their own creativity, she has created her own stash book with a few sheets of water-colour paper, a few sheets of scrapbooking paper and a pile of ephemera I had lying around. This comes with the simple understanding that majority of people have an inner need to create. She quotes “It’s time to rescue your memorabilia and present it in a manner that pays due homage to the emotion of the memory”. What more would you ask for with these kind of words from an artist who is so passionate about art?

Learn How to Make Mixed Media Mini Books

Laura Thykeson discovered altered books and art journals about a year ago and has been hooked ever since. She says she loves everything about books. Even though she enjoys working with a 4 x 6” piece of cardstock or recycled watercolor paper art for making the cover, she also has a passion for small details and some of her books have only measured 1” x 1”. Colorful embroidery thread is what she uses to sew the spines but if the book is small enough, she will just staple them together in the fold.

She will embellish the pages in these little books, and often give them to others as little gifts either tucked away into a card or tied to a tag on a present. After embellishing and while using an inexpensive acrylic varnish made by Sargent, and which works just fine she will coat each page with a clear gloss varnish that helps to protect and seal the pages.

Her love for books is clearly complemented by her love of mixed media art. And to keep the pages from sticking together, she will use the trick of dab of Turtle Wax to buff the pages. She is absolutely hooked into making these mini books, or as she calls them the “Teeny Tiny Books”.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Creating that Magnificent Bracelet with Left Over Materials

Martice Smith II has established herself as a freelance Illustrator and graphic designer after receiving her Bachelor of Arts Degree. Lately, she has been experimenting with creative ways to incorporate more color into her wardrobe and accessories. One day she thought of transforming her art into ‘wearable art’ and with some basic jewelry making supplies she imagined infusing them with her own, signature style…vibrant splashes of color and of course, graffiti flair! Follow what she did below after gathering tools and supplies of your choice:
  • Paint the front and back of the canvas ATCs with your favorite media and set aside to dry
  • Cut canvas into pieces and Narrow shapes, squares, ovals, and irregular shapes will add more interest and variety to your design.
  • Seal the edges with black acrylic paint or a gold leafing pen.
  • Using an awl, pierce through each piece of canvas, 1/4″ from the edge.
  • Insert jump rings while using needle-nose pliers to slowly open the jump rings. 
  • Measure around your wrist with a flexible tape measure or a piece of string, add 3/4″ to that measurement, and then cut the chain to that length. Then take your chain and attach the jump rings, however you wish.
  • Finally, attach a small lobster clasp closure to finish the graffiti charm bracelet.
Note:  For a more feminine look, weave a silk ribbon through every other link in the chain. Secure ends with a double knot. The secret of her projects is that she does not throw away leftover paper or fabric scraps from my previous projects.

Entertain Yourself with Rainbow Grunge Backgrounds

Kate Palmer loved playing with mixed media and techniques and most of her work incorporates sparkly media of some sort, which is used on journal pages, canvases, scrapbooks or handmade cards. Some of the materials you will require include:
  • Delta Ceramcoat Acrylic Paint: Seashell White, Royal Fuchsia, Deep Lilac and Laguna Blue 
  • Ranger Archival Ink Pads: Deep Purple, Aquamarine, Magenta Hue and Watering Can 
  • Delicata Ink Pad – Golden Glitz
  • Dina Wakely & Stampington – Create with Abandon & Script Heart
  • Stampers Anonymous – Spills & Splatters
  • Pam Carriker – Honeycomb
  • Kaisercraft – Bubble Wrap
  • Old credit card or paint scraper
The steps include:
  • Randomly spray paper or canvas with a variety of Lindy’s Stamp Gang Sprays and allowing it to dry.
  • Use a credit card and Ceramcoat Royal Fuchsia paint then scraping the edge along the paper.
  • Using this same scraping technique add a little of the Laguna Blue
  • Continue to scrape paint onto the background, but add a few horizontal elements. 
  • Add some of the Seashell White to tone it down.
  • Using Aquamarine ink add some Bubble Wrap impressions
  • Using Magenta Hue ink add some Honeycomb stamped images
  • Add a little darkness to the background – but be careful not to overwhelm the more delicately colored layers underneath.
Note she advises that you have a little bit of ‘something’ everywhere on the page as you never know which bits will be seen in the final piece.

Taking Refuge in New Beginnings Without a Doubt

As a way of starting a new beginning after retiring from her a hectic 30-year career and on celebrating her 60th birthday Deb Middleton-Hope set her goal to be an artist. She had all her journey mapped and she started by developing a strategic artist plan, creating a perfect studio, buying art supplies, signing up for courses as well as buying videos.

She had to replace the working habits whereby becoming an artist and actually creating an art became a daily struggle. Three months into the new beginnings, she realized she was not having fun and wanted to quit. She was ready to give up on her artist dream. However her artistic soul was not ready to give up on her and through the reading of a book by Natalie Goldberg called Writing Down the Bones; she was able to discover a whole new creative world.

She discovered and incorporated practical art exercises she adapted from the book; keeping the hand moving and creating a list of topics to use for creative adventures. These two simple practical exercises have helped her deplete her fear of the empty page and she now able to make directional decisions. She is now discovering her artistic soul through mixed media and pushes herself to try new adventures as a learning tool. She says she will continue with the two exercises until she has had a sense of freedom, deep feelings and a soul of satisfaction.

Finding Comfort in Artistic Healing

There is so much joy in art journaling according to Laura Thykeson who has been totally immersed in mixed media art for many years. She has always loved mixed media art because of the variety and the “no rules” aspect. Having spent a lot of time in hospital with heart attacks, surgeries etc she confined in SIMPLE, Expressive Art Journaling which would encourage others which would lead them into something clean and pure and healing-Art.

It does not matter whether you have the talent instead what you should be looking at is that you have a refuge to go to. She says no words can explain her journals so she let colors and the shapes do the talking. Healing art is a simple concept that has helped Laura save her life, yet so many shy away from it because they “don’t have the supplies. The supplies are readily available so take the time to decorate, paint, collage or otherwise embellish your composition notebook/art journal and give it a name.

Don’t spend time worrying about your pain instead spend it playing with vibrant colors, various shapes, blobs and drips and splatters of paints or inks, scribbling with pens and markers, and whatever else you decide to use. Soon you will find your own way, your own path through the pain and insanity that has seemingly taken over everything in your life, and suddenly-YOU are back in control of your life again! Worth a shot, now isn’t it?

Getting Creative with your Art Work

Art is all fun and Tamara can attest to the same with her love of mixed media which has taken over most aspects of her creative journey. She believes mixed media allows for a broad range of styles and anyone can find success in this form of artistic expression. She confesses that what make her work even more exciting are her two grown daughters who make her life meaningful because they support her, ground her, embrace her, and are just amazing people in their own right.

She has video that showcases her art work in two parts (Part 1 and 2) and she adds that it takes all courage to achieve the same. The videos show the process of completing an art journal layout, start to finish. She will use materials such as Dylusion Sprays, Liquitex Acrylic Inks, stamps, stencils, papers, paper napkins, as well as other items. The elements are all easy to use and according to Tamara, there is a lot more you can do with them. She has a website of her own from where you can check out more of her work. Look out for the likes of Tamara whose passion of art is all on their voices and faces.