Importance of an Art Warm-up

I was sitting at my table yesterday and I pulled out some scraps of paper from some work I’d done months earlier.  I was going to use them to experiment in techniques for my new series.  The thing is, the minute I ripped a piece I decided to glue it down.  And then I just kept going in quick succession.  Rip and glue.  Rip and glue.  Eventually I had a rough collage on the page.  I mixed some red, black and white acrylic into matte medium and applied a wash of color over it and called it done.  I have to tell you, it was exhilarating!  It was this wonderful escape from thinking so hard about the “right” way to approach the series I am starting.  It was freeing and fun.  I wasn’t worried about the outcome, the point was just to – DO IT.  It felt so good that I did another.  I took the leftover paint and slathered it over an empty tracing paper roll.  I rolled that over a third page.  It felt great.

Okay, so I’ve heard about doing a warm-up exercise before you start working.  I used to consider the postcards that I put together as my warm-up.  But I never really grasped the concept.  I’ve been having trouble getting started on my new series.  I’m frozen with too many ideas.  But I’ve found that art is like writing.  The hardest thing to do, sometimes, is start.  The warm-up got me moving.  It got me working where I hadn’t been for days.  I realize that I just have to do something to get started and once I’m started the work will flow.  I’ve posted the pieces below.  Yes, they aren’t amazing.  They don’t need to be, they were a means to a start.

  

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SoulCollage

A couple of weeks ago I participated in a Soul Collage workshop.  “What is SoulCollage?” you ask?  The SoulCollage website states, “…Originated by Seena Frost, SoulCollage® is a process for accessing your intuition and creating an incredible deck of cards with deep personal meaning that will help you with life’s questions and transitions.”  A friend of mine, who was in an Artist Way group with me, originally told me about SoulCollage.  She had taken workshops and gone away for weekends to pursue this new interest.  She fell in love with SoulCollage and has become a certified instructor/facilitator.  So, not knowing what to expect, I went to her house for a workshop.

There were 5 of us taking the workshop.  My friend had laid out lots and lots of pictures on tables around the room.  They were sorted roughly into people, places, things and animals.  We were instructed to choose 6-8 images based on what resonated with us.  We weren’t supposed to think hard about it – just choose what felt right.  Once we had our images we were given four 8″ by 5″ cards to create collages.  We were not told a right or wrong way to do this, but were to do what “felt” right.  I did my own thing and did not even glance around to see how others were approaching this task.

I created four cards, though you did not have to use them all.  Some people made only one.  On two of my cards I used a single image.  On the other two cards I used two and three images.  It was a very enjoyable process and I was pleased with how my cards turned out.  The last step of the workshop was to read our cards.  You are given a set of prompts and are meant to let whatever words come to mind flow out while someone records them.  I volunteered to “read” one of mine first.  It was surprisingly easy and the words seemed to fit the image well and felt right.

It was an interesting workshop and I plan to return again.  I still have to go back and “read” my other 3 cards.  I encourage all you creative types to google SoulCollage and read more about it.  You might find it a very fun and rewarding practice!

Marbled ATC’s

I had so much fun creating Turkish Delight that I thought I would do some more marbling with shaving cream today.  I wanted to experiment with different techniques, so I worked small and created a bunch of ATC’s.  I created more than the ones above but these are the ones that I liked the best.  Some ended up with more prominent lines where I took the shaving cream off.  If anyone has suggestions how to avoid that I am all ears.  I really should have been wearing gloves as my finger tips are tinted with various shades of ink. Oops!