Thursday, January 5, 2012

struggles in mixed media

Hello, again.  Trying to expand my artistic horizons, I recently signed up for an online course called 'doodles unleashed' taught by Traci Bautista.  I wasn't sure exactly what I was letting myself into, but since the class is free, I decided to go for it.  This is my first attempt at mixed media. 

This is the first week and I really struggled with my first project.  We started by using found objects as stencils.  OK, that part was easy.  But then as we began to add layers of paint and markers, etc., mine became a real mess.  My first attempt was treated to some gesso and painted again, and still I hated it.  I ended up completely covering it with gesso and setting it aside to use as a base for something else.

I wasn't going to share my second attempt here on my blog either, but my daughter convinced me that I should.

Let me first explain that I have never been very comfortable with a paintbrush in my hand.  I prefer something that has a more rigid tip against the surface of my work - a pencil, pen, marker - you get my drift.  So here I am trying to put acrylic paint on my project with a soft, squishy paint brush, and I am NOT HAPPY.  Maybe I need to go out and buy some brushes that have stiffer bristles.  I don't know, but I ended up setting aside the paintbrush and picking up a sponge brush to apply the paint.  I was much more successful.

Another issue I had is that applying a layer of wet paint over a layer of color wash mist, caused the color wash to bleed into the paint.  Maybe it's the paint that I'm using.  I chose to use whatever I already had on hand, rather than purchase something that I might not use again.  I'm frugal that way.  So I tried to be careful with how much paint I used and how hard I pressed, so the layer beneath didn't bleed so badly.

As part of the project, a white correction fluid pen was suggested, so I went to the office supply store and picked up a package of two.  Another struggle to use, but I think this time the design of the pen is at fault.  You have to press the tip to your paper while squeezing the soft part of the pen.  But because the squeezable part is about an inch and a half above the tip of the pen, you can't rest your hand on your paper while squeezing and pressing, so it's very hard to control your lines of fluid and I also got nasty cramps in my hand.  Not fun at all.  It was impossible to make nice straight lines.  I didn't like how bright the white was all over, so I used some sharpie markers to go over some of the white lines and change the color.

I thought there was too much white space, so I used a wet paintbrush to spread around the color wash that I used during the stencil part. 

Anyway, I finally decided that I was finished with this one.  I don't love it, but I don't hate it either. 

Thanks for stopping by.


Judith Tetley said...

Oh Melody, I can so relate to where you are at with this. I'm sorry but I had a good giggle at your post. Whilst your project looks fine to me; I know the frustration you went through to make it happen. I'm on this journey myself and am wondering why I have such a desire to get "arty" and muck things up when I am a neat and tidy person, who creates perfectly good neat and tidy!
I'm about to attempt my first Mixed Media Journal Journey with 'Roses On My Table' and am still sitting on the fence with the first Good luck, I will be watching your progress.
Kind Regards

Marjie Kemper said...

I think it's wonderful... I love the flowers and the white pops, no matter how you made it. Isn't this art journaling fun? I'm new to it too, and I think it's going to be addictive like potato chips!

Lagene said...

Melody, I love your piece!!! I love the absolute variety of looks in the photo gallery at Strathmore! This is fun as well as frustrating!

Jenna Kannas said...

Melody, I think this looks great! I just started art journaling a little over a year ago and never did this kind of drawing or painting (or any kind of painting, other than mainly craft projects), but now I love it! I tell people its my stress reliever! Glad to see you in the strathmore class!

Renee! said...

I think it's awesome! Don't be too hard on yourself...
true freedom of expression comes when you let go and just experiment!
I'm in the class too and still have to finish the exercise... will follow your blog and hope you'll do the same for me! Together we can conquer this class, haha!

Starla said...

Good for you, Melody! I keep thinking I need to start an art journal, but then I never do! Maybe your leap will push me off the cliff too!

I actually like this! It may be the mix of colors with the pop of white and green or the different textures, but I like it!!