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.

  

Advertisements

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!

Seeing Trees

My daughter and I took a lot of pictures of trees last week during the unusually warm weather.  I am planning to start a new body of work centered around trees and tree shadows.  I love their lacy shapes.  I have included a few of the uncropped pictures that I particularly like.  I can’t wait to see how I can capture these images in mixed media.

Spring Has Sprung

It is a gorgeous spring day here in New England.  We are having unseasonably warm temperatures and everyone is enjoying this gift.  I thought I would look back and see if I had created any “spring-like” postcards in the past that I could repost today.  I found this one called Spring Jewel.   I have put the original description of how I created it below.  It includes glass bead medium, which caught the light when I took the photograph , and added a nice effect.  Enjoy and happy spring!

The colors of spring continue to influence my art this week.  I started this piece by pressing some green paint and gloss medium between some wax paper and then pressing it onto my card.  To this I added glass bead medium.  Once that had dried I went around the edges in black watercolor and added a red-orange accent to the middle.  I left the piece for a few hours and came back to complete it.  It needed more so I added yellow to the black around the edges trying to remove more of the remaining white.  That improved it, but as usual I still wasn’t satisfied.  The finishing touch was returning to the magenta that I used yesterday.  I took a nice and watery full brush of color and applied it to the center area.  It bled and ran just a bit and to me looked wonderful.  I added some more accents around the edges and declared it done.

Emerging Cosmos – Complete

I thought I would post one final picture of Emerging Cosmos now that it is completed.  I had not been able to get a picture of it with accurate color.  This past weekend I took it outside on the deck to photograph it.  It was a cloudy but bright day which I have heard is great for photographing art.  I did get the best picture of it outside.  Of course, it was a bit chilly!  It was before the warm spell that we had for the last few days.  Now it is time to get back to Winter Trees and this weeks postcard for the postcard challenge.  We will be visiting the Netherlands tomorrow.  Stop by and tune in to the on-going saga between Evie and Brian.

Emerging Cosmos Has Emerged

I spent a great deal of time on this piece today adding fine details to areas that seemed a bit amorphous.  I think that it is finally complete.  I will have to live with it a few days to be sure, but at this point I feel there will be little if anything to be done.  It feels good to have finished it.  It is 36″x40″ and is the largest piece I have ever undertaken.  Woohoo!