Tag Archives: mixed media

The one with the creative warm up

3 Aug

Happy Sunday,

I’ve recently discovered Rea Missigman, an artist down in Florida. Some of you may know her as part of the team that designs the Documented Life Project. In fact, that is where I was lucky enough to find her amazing work. I now follow her on facebook and pinterest (and  you should too!) as well as her blog. On Tuesdays, she posts 15 Minutes of Mixed Media and I have started using her videos as a creative warm up on those days I want to create, but need a warm up. Her work is vibrant and fun and I really enjoy it. And I’ve truly enjoyed creating using  her style. Below are 3 examples of my version of Rae’s 15 minutes of mixed media:

photo 2photo 1

photo 3

What do you think of my journal pages? Who is your favorite artist to use as inspiration?

See you next week,

Cheers,
Michelle

The one with my first art journal workshop

30 Mar

Good morning and happy Sunday.

I think I see a bit of blue sky out there today. Which is really nice since it poured yesterday. Maybe it was Mother Nature’s way of honoring my first art journal workshop. Personally, I would have preferred sunshine.

First of all I have to say thank you to Kelly and the Turnip Green Creative Reuse for hosting my workshop series. Kelly is warm and welcoming and so generous to this new to the art scene artist. She’s really flexible and understanding that building an audience for these workshops takes time and is really a process all it’s own. I am really grateful to them for allowing me the space to grow as I learn the best way to share my art journaling with folks. They are fantastic people and I love being part of the community.

The lovely and talented Shelly was on hand at the TGCR yesterday to help me set up.  She volunteers at the TGCR and is a fantastic artist (and I’m kicking myself right now for not taking pictures of her work which is part of the current show there). If you’re in the Nashville area, go and check it out. She has several beautiful painted tile pieces that you will love! Best of all, she joined us for the workshop!

We started off by binding our journals. We used leftover posters I had from work and I showed them how to do a simple saddle stitch to bind the books. Workshop9They measure 8 1/2 by 11 when completed. After we applied a layer of gesso, we set the journals aside to work on our painted magazine pages. I’ve written about this before (here) but the idea is to get paint (color) down on the pages. We used Real Simple magazine pages. You can apply acrylic paint straight to their pages (no gesso required!). The paint doesn’t slide off like it would if they were glossy pages.

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WkShp1They really enjoyed this step. I hear things like “this is so freeing” and “this is so much fun”. Oh and we discovered the best paint color ever – Bronze Yellow. It’s a Basic Liquitex color and we LOVE it. It blends well with everything!

While our magazine pages dried, we added the second layer of color to our journal covers. Using a few colors and a (gift card) pallet knife, we painted the backgrounds. We completed the covers by cutting out the focal elements and adding them to the covers. We used Tacky Glue.

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Wkshp4The best part about creating in community? The conversations.  Playing with paint and paper while in a group seems to naturally encourage people to open up and share their stories. Its a great way to bond and get to know someone. We had a lot of laughs, shared some of our stories and were inspired by each others work. It was a fantastic day!

Next month, we will continue in these journals with a gratitude layout. Join us at 1pm on April 26th. I’ll have journals ready for you to create in! See you then.

Cheers,
Michelle

The one where I test out my teaching skills

2 Mar

Happy Sunday,

You my recall  that I hope to be teaching mixed media workshop classes at the Turnip Green Creative Reuse. I haven’t received official word yet, but a little birdie told me that it looks like I will be added to the schedule. YAY!!! In the meantime, I decided that I should practice teaching these workshops. After all, working in my art room by myself is very different than standing in front of a group of people and leading them through the various stages of a project.

So, I called upon a few friends who said they would be happy to be my “guinea pigs.” My overall plan is to teach folks to make their own art journal using recycled posters. Each time we meet, we will work on a new layout in the journal until it’s complete.

Here’s my art room all ready for the class:

Workshop1I did a simple saddle stitch binding on this journal. Well, I say simple. I was able to bind it on my own, but I flubbed a bit when I was showing the group how to do it. Needless to say, this is one area I will need practice!

Workshop9I decorated the cover to have a sample to share with the group. I used magazine pages and acrylic paints to create the focal elements.

Workshop2The group working on their journal covers.

Workshop4The cover I created working with the group.

Workshop7The group and their finished covers. Thanks, Jen, Marie & Breanna for playing student for the afternoon.

Workshop6I had the chance to teach a second class with another friend and here is the page I created (I’m not sure why I didn’t think to take a pic with her – Sorry Tina).

Workshop8I learned  a lot with these test workshops. I’m not used to starting and finishing a layout all in one sitting. Going through the process of working on a page, liking it, doing something and then hating it until I figure out how to “fix” it all a short period of time is a new experience. A bit uncomfortable to tell the truth. But I figured out how to overcome that. I’ll keep working on it for now. And I’ll be sure to announce my class(es) as soon as I get on the schedule.

Till next time,
Cheers,
Michelle

The one with the Turnip Green Creative Reuse

9 Feb

Happy Sunday,

I took this photo after working on some valentines cards with one of my nephews. I introduced him to mono-printing (using my Gelli Plate) and stamping last night. We had a blast!ActI am pleased to say that I checked off a major goal this week by visiting the Turnip Green Creative Reuse yesterday. The TGCR is an amazing organization that is a common place for local artists to meet and have a shared space to create. They have retail space, a gallery, host workshops and collect materials for artists to reuse in their art. The energy in this space is inspiring.

A few friends and I went to a collage event yesterday they hosted for the Nashville Collage Collective. We had so much fun!

TG3If you haven’t been to the Turnip Green, I highly recommend you do so. I had a chance to chat with Jake and Kelly, two generous, kind and creative souls, who made us feel right at home. They showed us around the wonderful space:

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TG7and introduced us to the folks from the Nashville Collage Collective (Lisa, Eva and Robert). Lisa shared with me that they hope to host the collage event at TGCR monthly so follow them on Facebook for the next date.

We were able to choose materials from the shop to use in our own collage pieces (what a treat!). Here’s our table:

TG2I brought one of my art journals with me and here’s my finished(?) layout.

TG1I had a chance to share my idea for teaching art journaling with Jake and Kelly (and they loved it) so hopefully, I’ll have some good news to share with you in the not too distant future!

It was a fantastic afternoon. I enjoyed exploring and searching for materials, chatting with my friends as we created collages, meeting new people, finding inspiration in their work and meeting the folks who volunteer their time for two great organizations here in town. I can’t wait to go back!

Till next week,
Cheers,
Michelle

The one with 5 finished pieces

9 Nov

Happy Saturday.

I spent the last two weeks finishing up 5 granola box canvas art pieces. There are a few galleries in town that sell local art and I am hoping to get into a few of them. So this week, I won’t be sharing a narration of my process; just the individual finished pieces.

Each canvas began life as a granola bar box and they are 5 7/8″ x 6 5/8″. I use old book pages, magazine pages, and other papers to create the focal elements (the flowers and houses). And the rest of my mixed media consists of acrylic paints, water colors, gel medium, drawing inks, acrylic coating and varnish.

I’d love to know what you think. Feel free to leave comments at the end.

Grayscale flower

Grayscale flower

Sideview grayscale flower

Little houses in a field of purple

Little houses in a field of purple

sideview - little houses purple

Little houses in a field of green

Little houses in a field of green

Sideview Little houses green

Yellow flowers at dusk

Yellow flowers at dusk

Sideview - yellow flowers

Whimsical Blue Flowers

Whimsical Blue Flowers

Sideview - Whimsical Blue flowersSee you next week (and don’t forget to leave some comments.)

Cheers,
Michelle

The one with the canvas that took months to complete

19 Oct

Happy Saturday!

Last month, I shared a few photos of a canvas piece I’ve been working on for a friend. Today, I am happy to report that I have finished it! I will warn you; this is a long post as I’ve been taking photos over the last few months (I think I started this back in April?). So, grab a blanket and a cup of coffee on this gloomy fall day, and take a look. And if you are so inclined, I’d love to hear what you think in the comments at the end.

Oh and by the way, everything used for this piece, including the canvas, is recycled (well, except the paint and adhesive). Yes, this fantastic 3′ x 3′ canvas was given to me by a good friend (her company prints photos on stretched canvas and when they are done with them, she gives them to me!)

So heres where we started. One large 3′ x 3′ canvas. First layer was of course, gesso (not pictured).

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I knew my color pallet was going to be purple (my friends favorite color) and yellow (to match her office) so that part was easy. A lot of times my second layer of miscellaneous paper helps me determine the colors I’ll use. Since that wouldn’t be the case here, I went with papers that would complement my pallet.

2I used Regular and Soft gel medium to adhere the papers (I used both cause I ran out of the regular part way through). I used the old gift card to smooth down the bubbles.

3 I used a combination of book pages and wall paper samples.

4Using one of my favorite stencils, I added some texture down the left side of the canvas with Golden Course Modeling Paste. I love using the paste as it gives the piece dimension and interest (and it’s so touchable!)

5Here I’m starting to add acrylic layers. I used all types of “tools”. For example, a large plastic bowl as a circle stencil.

6I began adding more color using a (new) kitchen sponge. It adds great texture.
Ok, I have to be honest here. I wasn’t too happy with the the way the background was turning out. Actually I was getting frustrated. This process usually comes together nicely and I’m always pleasantly surprised at how it all comes together. Especially since it’s so random. That’s part of the fun! But, this wasn’t turning out how I pictured it in my mind and I started to panic. After all, this is going to hang in my friends office (where we both work) and everyone will see it. I know, artists; we’re kind of a mess. So, I left it alone for a bit. I imagine she thought she was never going to see it completed. And everyday, I walked by it and hated it even more. Until I realized the purple wasn’t right and that was throwing it off for me. So, I bought a new tube of purple (more blue than red this time), started over (and by that I mean new layers on top of the hated layers) and LOVED it!

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Look at all that textury goodness!

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This time, as I added layers of paint, I pulled some off with cling wrap. Now, I am loving the background.

13Next, it was time to concentrate on the focal element. I knew I was going to use my signature flowers and my friend had given me her favorite proverb. So, I covered about a dozen pages of thick magazine pages with gesso, allowed them to dry, and drew the petals using Winsor & Newton black drawing ink.

14After a few attempts to choose the right shade of yellow, I finally settled on this. Too bad the purples were all off.

16As you can see here. I thought I had the petals completed but when I put them on the canvas, I realized the purples were too red compared to what I had going on in the background (a more bluish purple). So, I made new sets of petals……

17And finally landed here. Or so I thought. More on that in a minute. I was really pleased with the center parts of the flowers (the anther). I used painted granola bar boxes and a circle punch to create them.

18Ok, so here we are. Flower petals (before I redid them) and the proverb (printed out on printer paper) which I went over with drawing ink so it was really crisp. I’m playing with the placement (and not too happy). It seemed too heavy with this design.

19Moving things around…..

20Finally deciding that yes, these are the correct placements….

22And that’s when I realized that I still didn’t like the insides of the flowers. The purple was too much. Yes, after I had adhered them to the canvas. Yep, I was back to hating it. Until I decided to soften it up by adding some yellow.

24Much better!

23I also decided that the printer paper was too dull. So I cut each letter out with an exacto knife and glued them down on gesso covered book pages. Again, much better! That took an entire afternoon.

29And now we have this……

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26I think it was a happy accident that the placement of the proverb makes an upside down abstract flower (do you see it?)

So, from start to finish, this took about 5 or 6 months. And it was quite a journey. It reinforced my love for paining and mixed media. Even though I had moments when I hated this piece, I think in the back of my mind, I knew it would all come together. That’s the beauty of it; you get to keep trying till you get it right. Kind of like life. I’m back to my much smaller canvases this week, but I am ready to challenge myself again on a large canvas when the inspiration strikes.

Oh, and my friend loves it. We’ve joked for a while now that I would know if she liked it based on where she hangs it in her office. You know, if she hangs it behind her, not so much, but if she hangs it where she can see it, then clearly she likes it. Yeah, she has it on the wall right in front of her desk so she sees it all day. Now, if she could just get me to quit parading people in her office to take a look at it. First I was afraid for people to see it and now I want everyone to see it. I say it again, artists. We’re something else!

Till next week,
Cheers,
Michelle

The one where it’s my one year anniversary!

15 Sep

Happy Sunday!

I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since my first blog post; something I never thought I would do. In fact, the reason I started blogging was to hold myself accountable. I figured I would keep creating if I had to produce a post every week. And then I thought about it; for a long time. And kept putting it off.  I guess it was partly because sharing my art so publicly was a scary idea and the nagging voice in my head kept telling me that no one would care enough to read it. But I was talking about it a lot and one of my friends suggested choosing a date to launch and sticking to it. That was really good advice. Thanks Viki!

Over the last year, I’ve created a lot and tried to post every Saturday (and sometime on Sunday). I’ve received lots of good feedback and comments and it’s been more fun sharing than I anticipated.

So, I thought the best way to celebrate my one year anniversary would be to share some of my favorite pieces from the last year. Let’s start with the art cards:

art card 3

art card 6b

art card 6How about some of my favorite art journal pages:

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Challenge 11

LayoutAnd my favorite granola bar box canvas pieces:

canvas 9

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GB8It’s been a pretty amazing year. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve been developing my style. I’ve shared art journaling with a lot of people (on the blog and in person). I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store for me.

Thank you for joining me on this journey.  I truly appreciate it.

Till next week.
Cheers,
Michelle