Creativity in everyday life – Why I picked mixed media

Why I picked mixed media

Mixed media has become my ‘go-to medium’ because it allows me to experiment. People get mixed media and multimedia mixed up….

“Mixed media” tends to refer to a work of visual art that combines various traditionally distinct visual art media — for example, a work on canvas that combines paint, ink, and collage could properly be called a “mixed media” work, but not a work of “multimediaart.

“I love trying ‘what will happen if…’ with different art mediums. In another life, I must have been a scientist. I just love mixing and matching to see what will happen. In my current practice, I mix collage, acrylic, watercolour and graphite. Different combinations lead to different results.

In the cove

The texture of the graphite appeals to me while the soft subtle tones of watercolour blend nicely with the black and white but I get the ‘punch’ with the acrylic. I add collage for texture too. 

Because I have chosen landscape as a topic, all these elements fit right in. I get land-type texture from the graphite. I get soft subtle colours for the water with watercolour and the drama with the collage and acrylic. 

When I worked other themes, I loved these elements for the same reason. I worked on a theme of dreams with figures for a few years. I could get the best dramatic effects by combining mediums. 

I often tell my students that if you are not happy with your painting when doing mixed media, you just keep painting and collaging. The worst thing that can happen is that your canvas will get heavy and you will need a bigger nail to hang it up. You need not stop if your painting is not working. You need not throw it out. Often an under layer adds to the painting. You can see subtle effects peeping through that you would not have if you had a white background. Having a varied underpainting is an asset. 

My favourite mixed media artists include:Kate Borcherding, Christina McPhee and Anne Bagby. I love Anne Bagby’s rich textured work but I also love the expressiveness of McPhee’s and Borcherding’s work. My goal is to combine the expressiveness with the texture. 

Depending on the style you work in, you can find lots of inspiration from these artists. This article: https://www.ranker.com/list/mixed-media-art-work-of-this-form-and-medium/reference, will give you even more ideas for your mixed media. It features a wide variety of artistic styles for you to peruse. There a mixed media style for every artist and yours is waiting to be discovered. 

Here is a list of popular mixed media artists on Instagram: https://www.sarahdonawerth.com/15-mixed-media-artists-instagram-need-follow-right-now/

I wish I was one of these artists but this is just another reason for me to practice my social media skills as well as my mixed media skills. No matter what style you pick, the marketing and social media jobs need doing too. Groan! Like most artists, I like creating more than marketing. Well, nice visiting with you but I must get going on my social media tasks. 

I hope this helps you .

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at: https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

For more information on mixed media by Doris Charest:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCltBfqSMAK0OOWeXaKGud6Q?view_as=subscriber

https://www.facebook.com/dorischarest

https://www.pinterest.ca/dalinec/

https://www.instagram.com/dorischarest/

https://www.udemy.com/user/edit-profile/

https://www.skillshare.com/user/dorischarest

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time …

In the valley

Creativity in everyday life – A 30 day challenge reflection

 A 30 day challenge is just that, a challenge.

I readily agreed to a 30 day challenge thinking it was going to be easy to do. We were to create small, 8 x 8 in. drawings or paintings and post them once a day. How hard could that be? I would do this first thing in the morning as a warm-up. The goal of this exercise was to experiment.

As it turned out, this is a harder exercise to do than I thought. The first few days were easy enough. I worked through ideas I had been wanting to try. I normally work in an abstract or semi-abstract manner but something happened in the last few months. What was coming out was landscape. The work was abstract-ish but definitely landscape. I surprised myself because I had not worked in a ‘realistic’ manner for years. Why was this coming out? 

Landscape was a subject matter that I had touched on and off for years but always just as one tiny element in a larger more abstract format. Every time that I went back to my ‘old’ style, I created a mess so I decided to go with the flow and work this element out of my system. Maybe I could incorporate some of these realistic elements in my abstracts. This challenge would do the trick for me. 

The goal became a blending of two loves. I would combine abstract and landscape; abstract landscape. I hate roller coasters and this seemed like one. My landscapes turning abstract. Sounded good at the time and a possibility. 

So I started. I started with graphite powder. These happened when I sprinkled the powder on the paper then hosed it down. What was left was an abstract background where I often looked for hidden imagery in the marks. Landscape seemed to come out most of the time. Now I wanted looser, bolder results. Could I do this? I added bits of collage with mixed results. Perseverance is the key, I knew. Make a lot of work and the work would evolve. I kept going. I added watercolour in some then acrylic in others. I splashed paint and I rubbed out the graphite. 

I kept telling myself that it was only paper. These bits of paper were just that, bits of paper. One of my past instructors had told us once that ‘Nothing is precious’. You can always redo the work. At the time, I did not believe him. This work was so ‘magical’ to me. Every time that an artist reaches a new level of achievement, he or she hangs on to these new ‘greater’ works for fear of not being able to do it again. The fear goes away. Your work continues to grow. Slowly, you let those first works go. You even realize that they are not that great…anymore. You have moved to a newer level. You have gotten better. 

I kept repeating my advice in my head and slowly, I made progress. I added elements that I had not done before and the result was occasionally pleasing to my eye. I made small micro elements of progress towards my goal. Days passed and the pile of paintings grew. 

The thirtieth day arrived. I stopped. Looking at the pile, I decided that I would leave the paintings alone for a few days then look at the work more objectively. I kept worrying about my progress or lack of progress. I worked on other projects and time went by. Two weeks later, I looked. Laying out all the work on a large table, I examined the end result. I saw a bit of collage here and acrylic there. This part was good and that part certainly wasn’t. I made a list of the good parts that I liked then picked out my favorite paintings. I put away the others. 

Looking at just the work that I considered successful, I made a plan of what I could do with future work. This is what I discovered:

  • I kept only about 20% of my exercises from the 30 days. 
  • I was pleasantly surprised that I had made progress towards my goal of combining the abstract and landscape themes.
  • The work took a turn that I had not expected. This is not a negative. The result pleased me. 
  • Working consistently changed me and my work. I gained confidence in my overall plan. My work surprised me. 

Convinced that a challenge is good? Here are some links for you to look at:Why You Should Do an Art Challenge
Have you guys ever done an art challenge? Will created the Draw 50 Things Challenge , it’s a design challenge where you…www.svslearn.com
Why join an art challenge?
We are currently in the middle of a 10-day art challenge in our Facebook group community called The Soulbrush Sessions…www.artiststrong.com

A challenge is a way to grow and change your work. Why not give it a try.

I hope this helps you .

Doris’ website: www.dorischarest.ca

I have creativity courses and art courses online at: https://www.udemy.com/user/dorischarest/

For more information on mixed media by Doris Charest:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCltBfqSMAK0OOWeXaKGud6Q?view_as=subscriber

https://www.facebook.com/dorischarest

https://www.pinterest.ca/dalinec/

https://www.instagram.com/dorischarest/

https://www.udemy.com/user/edit-profile/

https://www.skillshare.com/user/dorischarest

All photography and artwork by Doris Charest

Thanks for reading, and please do recommend, like, share, comment, etc. Thanks.

Till next time …

Blogging blues – Blogging is hard but I have one idea -a school mural.

I have the blogging blues.  I am stuck!  Everywhere, absolutely everywhere I read, the literature says that I should blog regularly.  I am not a regular blogger simply because I have trouble finding topics to write about.  I would love suggestions if you read this. 

I went to a lecture/talk by Michelle Blanc who gave us some wonderful tips on social media updates that we should initiate.  http://www.michelleblanc.com   Mainly, she emphasized finding your niche and writing about that.  I am not sure I have a niche.  I love mixed media and know a lot of information about this but is that my niche?  

She also said that we should talk about our environment; what we see or do.  My latest is finishing a mural with a friend of mine, Karen Blanchet, https://karenblanchet.ca, at the Ecole Pere Lacombe School.  Thanks to Josee Lemire, the principal,  for the opportunity: https://pl.centrenord.ab.ca/ecole  We loved working with the children and helping them paint the mural.  Putting it together was a challenge.  Each of the little squares were painted by the students then we had to put them all together.  The steps actually went like this:

Pre work: We meet with the Principal and discuss the theme and the location of the mural.  Several meetings later, we set a budget that goes in for approval.  Once approved, we decide dates that will work for the school and for us.  There will be a time to prep the mural, a time to work with the students and teachers and a time to put together the mural.

1.We get the two pieces of plywood and put them on a frame.

2. We add some mural fabric on top of the mural without adhering it.

3. We draw out the mural – the school logo in this case.

4. We paint an undercoat of colour for the mural.

5. We cut the mural into 5 x 5 inch squares. This was long because we had to label each square. 

6. The students paint the pieces based on a theme decided on by the school. This takes a week.

7. We put all the pieces back together again!  This was a very interesting puzzle.  There are always glitches.  Keep that in mind. 

8. We gel the pieces on then gel the surface several times.

9. We varnish the mural 3 x. 

10. We seal the edges with silicone. 

11. We call the school for pick-up.

12.  The school sets up the mural and we attend the opening. 

My biggest blog blues issue is that I am not sure what people want to know.  I know a lot of technical information related to art, but is that what people want to know?  Do you want to know about the ins and outs of being an artist or ??????

Here is a new work of mine.  This is what I like to talk the most about- the work. Is that enough?

 

Starting an Etsy shop

-Day at the mountains mixed media on paper $ IMG_9635 I decided to try online marketing. I have decided to open an Etsy shop. I chose Etsy because of the simplicity of the message. It is a shop and there is no pretence to anything else. My shop is not a gallery with hidden messages that you can buy. It is simply a shop. I noticed that there are few painters in the Etsy collection of artists and I hope that is not a deterrent. Here is my plan: I will sell mostly small works and I will start by selling mostly works on paper. Once I get a handle on shipping and the details of selling, I may graduate to bigger items. I will wait and see how it goes first.My first works will be inexpensive and I will gradually work my way to regular pricing. The first people to go to my site will get deals, as they say.

Starting this journey is interesting.  I always hated painting small.  I found that I spent as much time on a small work as I did a bigger work (almost), so I avoided ‘small’.   Now, I am making myself paint small and after about 20 painting, you know, it is not so bad.  I have chosen to specialize in landscape….Alberta, Saskatchewan, BC…..  I have more photos than I want to own up to from our trips to the western provinces for our children’s sport activities.  I have started taking them out and working with them.  I discovered that I like skies; storm, sunsets, sunrises and wispy clouds. I learnt something about myself.