I feel like it is time to “mix things up” in the studio. Those undertones have been brewing for a while. It is a way of keeping things fresh, while opening myself up to a different means of expression. The experience feels …. scary, exciting, friendly, unfamiliar, raw, awkward and at times it leaves me uncertain of how to progress, but isn’t that what growth is?
So what exactly am I doing? Mixed media … incorporating acrylic paints, photo transfers and collage, using a variety of papers and materials which are adhered to canvas or heavy paper substrates using soft gel or matte medium. It is a gooey process that can make any studio look like a disaster area while you are in the midst of creative collaging, but there is a discovery phase of the process that is magical. This occurs when you get the feel of how certain papers will adhere, what happens with abundant layering and how the addition of paint will enhance the collaged foundation. With magazines dating back to the mid 1800s right through to the latest feature magazines of the WSJ, it amazes me how the aged papers made with pure cotton adhere to the canvas, plus the visual delight of the printed word of days past is a true treasure. It is all very mysterious yet exciting.
Now, I have not abandoned my pastel practice, though pastel is not particularly compatible with mixed media. However, with my fondness for capturing local landscapes I am using my pastels as inspiration for creating scenes using the mixed media techniques.
It has been my delight to be a student of two instructors at the Providence Art Club who have fueled my desire to explore new mediums: Karen Rand Anderson and Kevin Gilmore, both spirited artists living and working in Rhode Island have shared their knowledge of materials and process.
This discovery has recharged my batteries. I hope it continues to inspire new work while adding a fresh approach to my pastels!