Do you ever feel intimidated by a technique, surface, tool, medium? Well I do! All the time. But I won't let that stop me. Not anymore. Don't let those limiting voices creep in and keep you from trying something new.
I posted this as my Facebook status the other day.
Live Out Loud! The greatest tragedy is "…our failure to fully utilize our abilities, which means that most men and women go to their graves with their music still in them.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes.
This quote is as true a thing as I have ever read. It has impacted my soul. Doesn't the thought of all the lost artists make you weep? This must not be! And so I took the quotation and my feelings about it and channeled all of the techniques I have amassed from workshops by Michael deMeng, Alisa Burke and so many other sources of inspiration and made this canvas page for my journal.
(All images are clickable for a larger view, but if you don't want to say, 'My Eyes! My Eyes', perhaps it's better not clicked. LOL)
Is it perfect? Nope. Is it A R T? Maybe. Is it mine? Oh yes! Does it serve a purpose? Does it do anything? Is it going anywhere? Will I mail it, hang it, publish it, turn it in for an assignment? Nope. But I will 'live out loud'.
Do you know what I discover on a daily basis? That my creative meanderings, tools and the like constantly make it into my 'real life' (whatever that means!). But creativity has constant practical application, whether it is to cover, decorate and repurpose a school binder and make a child feel special; or stick a pumpkin stalk and it's associated viney 'hair' back onto a prized 'ghost pumpkin' with some epoxy clay, before tears fall when said child discovers that Mommy was right when she told you not to hold the pumpkin by its stem…
So don't limit yourself. Don't judge. Just PLAY, CREATE and FEED your inspired soul. And then empty the dishwasher and do a couple loads of laundry. Yes, do that too. But MAKE TIME for art.
Let's get down to some techniques. I've often told my students that we raise a technique onto a pedestal and say AHHHHHHHH. It's so AHHHmazing. And we are afraid to try it. But as soon as you go for it, you discover that the mysteries of that technique aren't really so hard? Half of A R T is attitude.
Let's start. Three brushes. Three water containers.
- One brush/container is for adhesives.
- One is for transparent paints.
- One is for opaque paints (especially white – keep it away from your colors).
Grab a heat tool to speed things along. NOT the one from the hardware store. Ladies, it is a paint stripper, too hot and burns a hole in your paper and makes your paint bubble up. NOT a good money-saving option. Get thee to a craft store and buy a Milwaukee Heat Embossing Tool or a Ranger Heat-It Craft tool and be done with it.
Take a blank canvas. Mine is a canvas page from a Donna Downey album/journal by Prima. Love these because they aren't primed – just 'raw' natural canvas. Anything from Canvas Corp. will work beautifully as well.
Take some decorative papers, ledger paper, anything not-glossy (I'm not a fan of magazine pages, for example) and apply it to the canvas sporadically with some gel medium. Investing in a little good gel medium will always be a good choice. This way you have canvas texture showing and bits covered up by smooth paper. Oooh multi-surfaaahhhce. Sounds artistic already. Let that dry or gently speed up the process with your heat tool.
So if you throw some spackle on a page, dry it with a heat tool and then slosh some watered down paint around on top of it… you can just add an AHHHH sound to the technique and live that intimidating word – and get past it. What shall we call Spackle with a smoosh of bubble wrap for texture and watered down paint brushed on top?
Actually that kind of sounds like a Star Trek character. But that is how silly this intimidation thing is. So aforementioned spaaahhhcksh technqiue is applied here on the lefthand side:
And then these incredible paint combinations, including the one that make things look all verdigris when they were just blank to begin with – are really from a little fan of paint combinations by Michael deMeng that you can buy and realize that it isn't so hard to do AT ALL.
And that a stamp can guide the building of a window, because good Lord knows I can't draw one. (is that limiting language?). And some glass bead gel can be applied and dragged out with the end of a paintbrush to make windowpanes. Look Ma! I made a square. And then I divided it into more squares! Wowie!!
That stamps can be applied to dry paint (even wet paint, if you clean em off quick enough) and put not only onto the surface, but parts can be cut out of paper and layered as well. I love using Ranger's Archival Black for this. Great waterproof ink.
Ooooh some more gel medium to adhere it because it is so artsy to use gel medium. Ok, it isn't so artsy, it is just a really good glue for this kind of work, ok?
And that's it. Go make something. Share a link in the comments.
I'm off to do aforementioned laundry…