Monday, February 6, 2017

Well y'all...that's a wrap! Thanks for joining me for Mixed Media Musings! Don't forget to tag me and #mixedmediamonday so I can see the beauty you're adding to the world!


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Dixie Design is offering free printable valentines on their website! Just print, cut and send with love! Link to the blog in my profile 💗


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Well y'all...that's a wrap! Thanks for joining me for Mixed Media Musings! Don't forget to tag me and #mixedmediamonday so I can see the beauty you're adding to the world!


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“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people... The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.” Steve Jobs While Jobs’ quote does not really address the challenging parts of the creative process, I love it because it highlights the importance of observation, the very first topic of this series. Art brings joy and meaning; it helps us understand ourselves and our world. It increases critical thinking and communication skills; it encourages decision-making, spatial awareness and inventiveness, and it is correlated with higher academic achievement. This is the last post in our Mixed Media Musings series, and I would like to bookend the series with a few ideas on how to make space in your life with the richness of art. 1. NOTICE. Live with open eyes, keen to notice what’s around you, and take pause to thoughtfully consider. 2. EXPERIENCE. Make concrete notes on artistic pieces or exhibits you’d like to see--gallery openings, movies, musical events--and make it a point to do so. 3. LEARN. Take classes on artistic skills that interest you, and allow your work to mature and develop. 4. WORK WITH YOUR HANDS. Garden, cook, build, woodwork, arrange flowers. 5. CREATE. Contribute to the world of art by making your own. // Thank you so much for joining me for this series. It’s been fun and stretching for me, and I hope it’s been the same for you! I’d love any comments or questions below! // Five “make space” ideas appropriated from michaelhyatt.com.


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Thursday, February 2, 2017

So much beauty; nostalgia; feelings and details of other worlds incredibly conceived and displayed all around me. Started crying during the fireworks show again. #disneyworld


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Horseback Helen #disneyworld


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We went to Enchanted Tales with Belle, and Farris got to be the Beast. This was right after she roared 😏🦁


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The most beautiful, inspiring mosaic inside Cinderella's castle. Pattern and stylization everywhere! #mixedmediamonday #disneyworld


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Space Mountain: slight claustrophobia combined with fear of actually being sucked into outer space, but other than that, awesome! #disneyworld


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Belle's castle was amazing, and it was even snowing outside the windows! #disneyworld


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Belle two ways at Be Our Guest breakfast! #disneyworld


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Monday, January 23, 2017

#mixedmediamonday on my counter. Because I love y'all. #mixedmediamusings


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It’s up to you to combine your media in ways--with each other and with your ideas--that make them stand out in a crowd. In my view, transforming your media and making it do what you want it to do is the primary thing that distinguishes art from crafts. We can change our materials by changing their CONTEXT. 1. START ALREADY. Got a white canvas that’s intimidating you? Paint over the whole thing with a 10-second wash of paint, and then blot it out in a few places, and go over it again in a few more. You could use sepia tone, or a color that is complementary to what will be the main color of your subject. Now that you’re not afraid of that canvas getting messed up, you can move ahead with your painting without fear. 2. BREAK UP THE PROCESS. You want to cut out shapes to make a collage? Explore one of more of the following: watercolor, pen and ink, xerox transfers, felt-tipped pen, and printmaking (stamping, for example) on a piece of paper first. Then cut your shapes out of that. Explore how different techniques can add widely varied layers of textural interest to your overall design. Eric Carle is a great illustrator to study. 3. USE NONTRADITIONAL MATERIALS. Collage and assemblage are great ways to experience art with young preschoolers. Go on a treasure hunt in your backyard and discuss line, shape and pattern found in nature. Cover a huge piece of newspaper with spray adhesive and let your child use natural materials as collage elements. 4. GIVE EVERYDAY OBJECTS NEW MEANING. Collect found objects and combine them. You might deconstruct, reconstruct, or employ one of the principles of design. If you want to take this up a notch in your own art, think about conventional meaning of these objects and how you are affecting that through thoughtful combining or modifying--what new meaning can you communicate? Some of the abstract expressionists, and pop artists that followed--Oldenberg, Rauschenberg, and Warhol come to mind--were known for combining everyday objects with art media to make a statement on culture and society. Link in profile for a video by Tate Modern on the concepts behind pop art. // Image: Church on a Snowy Day by Farris and Charlotte.


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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Make it: Aluminum foil relief. Key concepts: line, texture, space. Materials: smooth-surfaced glue-line relief, lots of old newspapers, paper towels, gold printmaking ink or shoe polish, fine grade steel wool. // This project builds on the previous one. After you pull your print (step 6 in previous post), continue with the following steps to make your relief really shine. // 1. While the ink is still slightly tacky on plate, use newspaper to remove excess by pressing one sheet at a time with your hand or brayer. 2. When no more ink is visible on the newspaper, gently use a damp, folded paper towel to wipe the plate and remove excess ink, except from indented areas. When no more ink shows on paper towels, use dry folded paper towels to burnish the plate. Ink should remain in the indented lines. 3. Use your fingertip to sparingly dab the gold ink or shoe polish on the plate. You can then burnish again with paper towel or steel wool. // Project idea from Emphasis Art by Frank Wachowiak.


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Make it: Glue-line Relief Print. Key concepts: line, texture, space. Materials: smooth-surfaced cardboard, white school glue, aluminum foil, blunt pencil, black printmaking ink, two brayers, paper plate or cookie sheet, white printmaking or drawing paper. // For this project, we decided to research heraldry and do a coat of arms on a crest. We looked at different animals, plants and symbols as motifs and divided the crests into sections. // 1. “Draw” your subject matter on the cardboard with glue, filling up the space. Good subjects for young children include animals, fish, butterflies, and flowers. An older child might like historical or outer-space subjects, still life or figure studies. Let dry completely. 2. Once dry, use a glue stick all over the surface of the drawing and press down sheet of aluminum foil, using the heel of your hand to press along raised glue lines. 3. Use a blunt pencil to trace along the edges of the glue line to emphasize the relief. You may then go back into the spaces of the drawing and add patterns with the pencil, such as scales on a fish, spirals in a flower petal, or grass. You could think about dots, swirls, diamonds, stars, and all variations of lines. 4. Using the cookie sheet, roll out the ink with the brayer until the ink is tacky, and then apply ink to aluminum foil surface with pressure. 5. Lay the inked plate carefully on a large clean sheet of paper, face up, and place another clean sheet of drawing paper on top. Roll over the top evenly with the clean brayer, making sure all areas are pressed into the ink, especially the edges. 6. Pull up print carefully by the corner and let dry! // Project idea from Emphasis Art by Frank Wachowiak.


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The smell of printmaking ink is taking me way back to Professor Munday's class in the basement of Biggin Hall! We've got two projects in one coming up real soon for #mixedmediamusings !


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Monday, January 16, 2017

GET SCHOOLED. Remember how we started this series talking about seeing the world? I want to build on that concept this week. I know that sometimes we don’t know where to start when creating, or helping our children create. Our minds are blank, and we have zero ideas. I’ve been there, and something that really helps is studying the art of others. Visit a museum or check out a book from the library on art or history. Find something that fits your child’s interests. Heck, just google Michelangelo and see your kids’ reactions when you tell them that he was paid to paint on the walls and ceiling. Exposing yourself and your children to lasting art will simply add more knowledge and richness to your own art. You might discuss the short, broken line quality of Van Gogh, or Monet's interest in the changing light, or the surrealism of Magritte. Your child might love the minimal colorblocking of Mondrian, and you might be totally moved, as I am, by the rich layering of Rothko’s color fields, through which he expressed fundamental human emotions. You might come home and let your research give direction to your next project. Note, too, that anything can inform an art project, and that historical references can be especially inspiring. If your child is fascinated by knights and castles, look at ornate tapestries, coats of arms, and medieval clothing. A really great way to start a project is by having a reference in subject, technique, materials, or format; for example, my girls were enamored with a beautiful gilded egg we found at a yard sale. So we looked at pictures of Faberge’s famous jeweled eggs and decided to make our own.


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Her favorite thing to do these days is read. Sometimes it gets quiet around the house, and I love that I just know this is what she's doing. #hellohelen


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