Why create with mixed media?

During different parts of the day, if you walk in to my studio, I may look dressed for the apocalypse. You’ll see me wearing a gas mask, and then you will quickly notice the pungent smell of a chemical agent that you’re not quite sure about. If your still there after I look up I will come over to the open door, lift up my mask, and let you know that I am not creating a biological weapon for the government, that instead I am using a certain glue to bond other material into my artwork.

As an artist my work is somewhere between painting and sculpture. Sometimes I will just paint, but mostly I love using mixed media. Working with various materials allows for more possibilities and play. Something that is fun is going to the salvage yard and searching for interesting things. One of the signature items I put in my work was found on a trip to the junkyard. I almost didn’t see it as it was buried under a half inch of water, mud, and rusted metal. I tend to be on the watch for new and unusual materials.

Using mixed media takes a willingness to risk a little more. You have more elements that you are bringing together. Sometimes the combinations don’t work; yet I have found something in the process will be illuminated for further consideration, and may end up in future work. Whether it’s metal, sand, glass or other media, for me this becomes a way of expressing emotion that includes a tactile experience.
Making art is a way of sharing yourself, whether consciously or unconsciously I believe the work represents who you are being at that moment in time. Working with mixed media adds complexity. I enjoy adding layers and creating depth within the work. Like our lives my work is multifaceted, the past is covered up, yet if you look closely you will see places of what was once there. There are hidden gems that may be partially revealed. Like us we may cover up what is unique and beautiful, and only reveal that at certain times. This metaphor works beautifully regarding the heart.

I am opening up my studio the day after Valentine’s Day, the weekend of Feb. 15 & 16. Sat-Sun 11-4 each day. Please put it on your calendar to come visit me, have a glass of wine, and see my latest mixed media works, which include images about the heart.

PARO Wines will be providing the wine. Also meet the winemaker, Patrick Murray on Sunday, Feb. 16th

Before you go, make sure to leave any comments on my BLOG page. I always enjoy hearing from you!

Awareness and working in the present

I woke up the other morning with a food hangover. The holidays are past, but someone forgot to tell me to stop overeating. The preceding evening was given to gluttony, a sort of binge eating. Lets just say not my idea of a healthy diet. No, don’t worry this isn’t an article about what I ingest, at least not entirely. 

After I woke up, I went thru my rituals to begin the day, then got in the car and drove to the studio. After entering the studio, I got my paints out, and then just stood there, most likely looking like a deer in the headlights wondering what to do next. I slowly became present to the thoughts I was listening to thru the fog that was blanketing my mind and spirit. I had been chastising myself for overeating the night before. That’s when I realized, I’m not here, or I should say my body is, but the rest of me is still back in last night thinking about those sweet dates, cake and beer. You may be wondering who eats those things together?

Once I become aware that I am in the past and not present in this moment, I become present again. I am then able to focus on the task at hand. I begin applying paint to the mixed media work that I have been creating over the past month. For the next couple of hours time disappears.

Being here now in this moment allows me to connect with my heart, which grants me peace, allows for creativity, and connection with others. As you can see here, the mixed media painting I am currently working on is about the heart.

I am opening up my studio the day after Valentines Day, the weekend of Feb. 15 & 16. Sat-Sun 11-4 each day. Please put it on your calendar to come visit me and see my new works.

I look forward to hearing your comments!


What inspires me to create?

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I wish I could tell you that to get inspired all I did was sit on a pillow, and meditate for 15 minutes, and an awe inspiring idea hit me. Sometimes it happens that way, yet it seems most of the time it doesn’t. For me the creative process is much more proactive.

I usually start with an inquiry, maybe a question like what elements do I want to work with or do I want to work with a concept or a theme? What do I want to convey? For example Valentines Day is coming up, so I am going to do some works that express the heart. Creating art around Valentines Day isn’t necessarily inspiring to me. What is inspiring is creating something original around a conventional theme. Taking different materials such as metal or glass, and incorporating them is one way to explore and play with a painting of the heart.

A lot of times I am building on the previous work, taking what I consider the strongest part and beginning with that in mind. Some examples of where I may get inspired, could be looking at the shapes of tree branches in nature, or standing in front of a giant red colored Rothko painting, a dream from the night before, or a pattern from a certain seashell, etc.

I think most of my inspiration comes from wanting to create and convey something unknown. The act of creating with the anticipation of something new and beautiful is inspiring to me.

There is another aspect of creating art that inspires me. Once the painting is done, the public or viewer has their relationship with the work. Sometimes people will tell me what they like or dislike about the art. They may also share what it represents to them. It could be a place, something they are reminded of, or it could bring up an emotion. I have heard some wild interpretations. What I have enjoyed is the connection with others through my art.

In February I am having an open studio with new works. Something being expressed about the heart. Stay tuned.

I look forward to hearing your comments.


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