One of my favorite approaches to creativity is the mixing of mediums. I love to mix vintage collected treasures with new materials- or spray paint and paint pen -or cardboard and house paint -or yarn and drift wood -or stencil and fabric -or whatever and whatever!!! It can be so many things! In fact the possibilities are endless. (Thus my obsession of the term : ‘endless source’)
Making artwork that is true to you is such a gift. I love making things that are unique and true to my own voice and imagery, my own life’s experiences and histories. Drawing from my rich cultural history (which we ALL have) and spiritual practices and pursuits are rich and fertile ground for gathering inspiration and imagery. Taking mediums that have meaning or inspiration for me and bringing them together can yield profound and healing art work. Here are a few pictures from times where I have mixed my loves and created new work.
I have the great fortune to be teaching on an online ecourse called ‘Lifebook’… a depot for teachers from all over the world who work like this to share lessons in one place. I will be teaching some of own personal techniques and perspectives on this kind of art making. Registration opens on October 6th and the course begins on January 1st, 2015. To check out and or register for this offering click here:
AND- if you are interested in Lifebook and are swayed by the registration fee- you are in luck! I will be giving away one spot to participate in this! Leave a comment below and you will be entered to win that spot. I will choose a winner at random and will announce the winner on Tuesday morning in the comments here and on my Instagram page.
:: Life Book Teacher Line Up + Blog Hop Giveaway ::
8th September 2014 – Tamara Laporte – http://www.willowing.org/
9th September 2014 – Jane Davenport – http://janedavenport.com/
10th September 2014 – Joanne Sharpe – http://joannezsharpe.blogspot.co.uk/
11th September 2014 – Jenny Lee Wentworth – http://jennyleewentworth.blogspot.co.uk/
12th September 2014 – Violette Clark – http://www.violette.ca/
13th September 2014 – Chris Zydel – http://creativejuicesarts.com/
14th September 2014 – Danielle Donaldson – http://danielledonaldson.com/
15th September 2014 – Effy Wild – http://effywild.com/
16th September 2014 – Flora Bowley – http://florabowley.com
17th September 2014 – Alisa Burke – http://alisaburke.blogspot.co.uk/
18th September 2014 – Rachael Rice – http://rachaelrice.com/
19th September 2014 – Jeanne Oliver – http://www.jeanneoliverdesigns.com/
20th September 2014 – Andrea Gomoll – http://andrea-gomoll.de/
21st September 2014 – Kristin van Valkenburgh – http://www.kristinvanvalkenburgh.com/
22nd September 2014 – Jill K. Berry – http://jillberrydesign.com/
23rd September 2014 – Alena Hennessy – http://www.alenahennessy.com/
24th September 2014 – Juliette Crane – http://www.juliettecrane.com/
25th September 2014 – Jenny Doh – http://blog.crescendoh.com/crescendoh/
26th September 2014 – Mati Rose McDonough – http://www.matirose.com/
27th September 2014 – Patti Ballard – http://www.pbsartstudio.com
28th September 2014 – Lynzee Lynx – http://lynzeelynx.com/ <— YOU ARE HERE
29th September 2014 – Roben Marie Smith – http://www.robenmarie.com/
30th September 2014 – Andrea Schroeder – http://www.creativedreamincubator.com/
1st October 2014 – Lynn Whipple – http://www.lynnwhipple.com/
2nd October 2014 – Donna Downey – http://www.donnadowney.com/
It has come to my attention through many many years and hours of making art, that there are a few elements of design that can make an artist satisfied with their work and also be unique. One of those elements in my world of art making is : Color + Color Combining. This is an endlessly interesting topic, rich with contrast, contradiction, fear, fun and experimentation.
This being the first written post about color combining, for starters I will focus on identifying your present color inspirations. Implied in that last sentence is the concept of ‘present favorites’… because all we need to do to see color preference change over time, is to look back over our artwork or clothing for the last number of years. Maybe you have kept favorites and simply added new hues or tones to the growing rainbow of loved colors. Or maybe your palate has changed drastically over time. Either way, beginning by noticing what you love is where to start. I like to take iPhone photos of combinations in nature. And by nature, if you live in a city like me, it can be trash, wall paint colors, etc. Notice what you love by seeing things that inspire you all around you. As I sit and write this, I am noticing my water bottle with a glass vase full of scissors and a hot pink painting in the background. YEAH. This is what I’m talking about. These combinations can be subtle or bold, full of contrast or full of subtlety.
Take notes! Being a creative can also mean being a scientist. I love the combination of the two archetypes together. Taking detailed notes on color combinations that I want to try is a practice that I do. I keep a list going, so that when it’s time to make art, if I feel like I need a little inspiration, I refer to my own notes made from my own life. I prefer to do this than to look at other artists work. Whenever possible, I avoid referencing other artists work for color combinations and direct inspiration. There is only one you! All you have to do is look around your life and world, and maybe you need to look closer (like with a magnifying glass or binoculars!) and see what you can see. Keeping a list of inspiring combinations and new colors to try out is a fab way to see the world and your artwork in new ways.
Merging issues of ecology and creativity get me going. I love pondering how to find a balance between making beauty and meaning with gentle impact and creative re:use; honoring and loving our mama earth all at the same time. It’s not always easy or obvious, but when it happens it has quite the impact for me. There are many artists whom I draw inspiration from in this department. For example: Shrine, Simone Star Weit, Rachael Rice, Dross into Gold, to name a few. I think this movement of creative re:use or also referred to as ‘upcycling’ has a grand place at the art dinner table. Blurring the lines of art and craft- I have taken to the fun time of taking second hand denim jackets and putting acrylic paint upon them. This is not a new concept to the world, but a new one to my hands. It has proven to be beyond satisfying and inspiring.
I always evaluate creative projects by how I feel when I am making them or how I feel when I am done. If I get the distinct sense that I have MORE energy and ideas after or during the process of making – then it is worthy of making more. If I feel tired, drained or sad during or at the end of the piece, I reconsider the mixture of mediums and locales and rethink if I ever want to do that kind of piece again.
Painted denim is pure fun. Finding a thrift score denim jacket or vest is first (or maybe you even have one already around!) – then is ironing the piece. Then is ‘priming’ the denim making it paint ready. Painting a background of a titanium white or just some gesso as a background can really help make the colors pop on the next layer. This is one of the times in my creative process that I do pre think out imagery and color combining to a certain extent. Not all the way figured out in advance, but enough to have a general plan and trajectory. The rest is really up to you! Perhaps penciling in the design would be helpful. Perhaps testing some colors on a piece of paper or canvas first will tell you better in advance if you indeed fancy the combination. You can layer on the jackets, but my experience so far tells me that it can get muddy with lots of changes. Also with every layer of paint, the jacket stiffens and gets more papery and has less drape. So, my recommendation is to keep as few layers of paint as possible after the white background and your chosen colors to top that. If you do indeed take this project on in your home, please post pic’s of your pieces! My plan from here is to make a flock of denim jackets with my studio mate and love muffin Rachael Rice. Stay tuned in for pics of our fun times with up:cycled denim and COLOR LOVE. OR- if you have a denim jacket you’d like to have painted by us- contact me and send it over… we love painting them custom.