Friday 30 January 2015

I am wondering...

why it is that we are sometimes addicted to creativity, and at others wrestle with the muse.

A student of mine came for a studio play date this week, and she confessed that she was stuck. Her forays into mixed media got her enthusiastic about creating (although in another medium entirely), but she found after Christmas that she could not talk herself into her studio.

This got me wondering.  What it is that keeps artists and creative types doing the play (or work, if you prefer that term) day after day?

I go into the studio for colour,

'The Eye of Ra' mixed media on canvas, © Win Dinn
for experimentation,

'Cattitude'' mixed media mat board, © Win Dinn
for meditation,

'Elderberry Mandala' mixed media on canvas, © Win Dinn
for texture,

'Alien Portal' mixed media on mat board, © Win Dinn
for pattern,

'Z' from Gratitude altered book © Win Dinn
for silliness,

'Fish Fancy' mixed media on board, © Win Dinn
and for play.

'Roadside Crosses:  She Inhaled it Much Too Quickly' altered book © Win Dinn

The more I go in there, the more time there I crave, (and as a side benefit, the better my creative play becomes).  

What is it, though, that makes me avoid the studio?  Is it fear (high expectations of myself), boredom with the current line of creative experimentation, the inner critic that says I don't deserve to play, the lack of stimulation?  I've had periods where these all apply, and one way for me to combat them is to trick myself into the studio 'just for a moment', coming out hours later refreshed and renewed. Another way for me to get unstuck is to watch some creative videos on YouTube, or switch mediums entirely (e.g. moving from mixed media to drawing or paper play).

Tell me, what sends you into the doldrums of creative lack?  What do you do to get 'out of the pit'? Let's start a 'Kick the Creative Blues' list in the comment section!

Thursday 29 January 2015

Questions and comments...

...abound from the last post about working on CD's so I thought I'd answer some of them for you.

The process is relatively easy.  I start by filling in the hole with heavy gel medium and waiting oh-so-patiently for it to dry overnight.

I coat one side with black gesso, allow it to dry and then coat the other side (use the blow dryer if you don't have my exemplary serenity -  ha!).

I secured some keys and oddments to the gessoed CD using heavy gel medium (for the weight of the keys in this case), and after it was dry over-painted with white gesso twice.

 Splashing on the intensely coloured Adirondek alcohol inks was the best part.

I then inked in some of the holes and ridges with my black Pitt pen, and added some circles with my white Uni-ball Signo pen.

I managed to twist John's arm, and he made me some wooden blocks to use for backings - they're 1/2" x 3 1/4" x 2 1/2", AND he primed them for me.  What a treasure he is!  Although the heavy gel is not yet dry, this back view photo gives you the general idea.

I encourage you to give it a try, using keys, dried vegetation, puzzle pieces, metallic embellishments, bottle caps, etc.  No limits, all fun!

Saturday 24 January 2015

If I could manage... be on time for Wednesdays, this post would qualify for WOYWW (What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday), but once again I'm a few days short this week!

Playing with the JumpStart videos gave me an opportunity to test a technique using keys presented in a video by Ronda Palazzari.  Ronda was working on journal cover and using acrylic inks;  I, of course, had to do my own thing using a CD and alcohol inks, but I think she'd forgive me!

I'm also testing a pour technique for acrylic skins presented by Joe Rotella.  This has to dry for four days before use, and you know how patient I am ... fingers drumming as you read! The colour combination means it will, in part, end up somewhere in the first signature of the art journal project below.

I also tested out the canvas staining video by Nathalie Kalbach, the organizer extraordinaire of JumpStart, knowing the technique would garner some lovely colour additions to my mixed media. The techniques uses acrylic flow release, and happily I found some in my studio I didn't even know I had!

I've already sliced and diced another piece into starts for making into tags.

Since there's so little colour in my life (says she, laughing hysterically), I also attended the first session of The Creative Life here in Creston (thanks for the AWESOME Christmas gift Rochelle), presented by Brandy Hunt and Beth Swalwell at Creative Fix.  We're on a year-long mission to create an art journal, and I've got Dylusion sprays on everything!    Warning - red alert!

It's everywhere - must be because Valentine's day is coming up, or maybe because I'm a red colour pig?

Also on my desk is this gorgeous tag that came in the mail from my friend, Jackie P. Neal. Jackie is the owner of Creating and Sharing Mixed Media Art over on Google+ and I know she'll take it kindly to see me say she is much of a colour pig as am I.  I love that her tag (January's theme was magical) makes reference to Alice in Wonderland and immediately makes me think of my friend Alice, who is also magical.

Because I find it impossible to do only one of anything, I'd started another CD piece.  I'm in love with dried vegetation, and the poppy bits that John saved for me from the garden begged to be used on the CD, along with some UFO pods and other 'things' (can you tell what an avid gardener I am?).  I used a blended fibres layer and then alcohol inks on these to colour.  I thought this might be restful for your eyes after all that previous intense pigmentation.

Here's a close-up.

I hope your work area is a colourful one too, and that you're happily creating up a storm.

Tuesday 20 January 2015

In Kimberley...

the art group is WAY beyond obsessed.  Every time I teach at the Centre 64, I'm stunned by the response of the students - the manner in which they pick up and test new techniques, the enthusiasm they show and the fun they generate.

The Gelli plate playshop brought so many stunning pieces to the table (and the floor) I couldn't stop taking photos.  From the gilding technique,

 to textures plates,

 to fun foam stamps,

and they still couldn't get enough of it.

They used ArtFoamies to the max,

they masked,

and they stencilled.

They printed on every conceivable surface from mat board to dryer sheets to card stock to printer paper, and I wouldn't have been surprised to see the walls done up by Sunday afternoon.

You can tell some of them took their work very seriously!

Watch their space;  they'll be up to more shenanigans in that wild art group!  And if you'd like to get in on some of the fun, please join me at The Arts Station in Fernie at month-end!

Friday 16 January 2015

Colour in the playroom... never boring.

I've been having fun working from the Creative JumpStart 2015 videos.  This  piece was a technique on plaster wrap that was demoed by Jamie Doherty, and I got so involved in it that I forgot to take photos as I went along.  I'm enjoying the texture added through the use of the plaster in the background, and I love it that I got a second chance to play with my face stencil from Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's video.

'Conflicted' mixed media on wood panel  8" x 8" © Win Dinn
The other technique I started was by Marsha Valk, and I did remember to take a photo or two, although I'm a loooooong way from finished.  I made an effort to step out of my usual colours to start the background.

The colours I added on top are not what I'd normally use together either, but I liked them so much it was hard to go on to the next stage!
Adding some marks and more colour
Imagine my angst in covering over all that luscious colour!
Masking and over-painting in white
I'll be working more on this next week, but in the meantime, I'm also in the midst of packing for this weekend's Gelli it Up! playshop in Kimberley, BC.  I'll be at one of my favourite venues - Centre 64 - and if past playshops there are any indication, it will be a veritable riot. I expect the RCMP will have to be called out to quiet us down.

If you can't join us there this weekend (and I know there's a spot left for you), the same class is running in two weeks at The Arts Station in Fernie, BC.  I'd love to see you there!

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