When haven’t I created something that was mixed media? Paint, paper, fabric and embellished with stuff… would probably describe anything I have made. So to pick a mixed media favorite is going to be very, very difficult. I don’t even think I could pick a favorite of the ones displayed in Seth’s blog for Playing Favorites: mixed media 1, because I love to look at other people’s mixed media art as much as I like to create my own. It is obviously a well loved art form, since he had to break it into two seperate posts to contain all the wonderfulness.
This is a wonderful mixed media doll sculpture that I made at ArtFiberFest a few years back. She is my favorite because it was really my first time really embellishing the heck out of something and I LOVED it!
Where does art live? When does the muse come to visit? Will she arrive in her fancy frocks or grungy jeans ready to get down and dirty? This doll represents my muse when she is dressed to go to the gallery and make an enterance. See larger detail images hereThis doll is created with a base body of a men’s tie. It is embellished with buttons, beads, feathers, ribbons, tulle, coins, sequins, paper, wire and many different types of fabric. Her stamped face is sewn in and painted on paper with watercolors. Little pockets are sewn onto the front in sheer ribbon and each pocket is stuffed with yarn, beads, gold powder, other fabrics, sequin waste and even tinsel. Inspired by Kate Lyons and her dolls.
In Seth’s second set of questions it looks like he asked artists to pick out their favorite art peices (that they have created) within a number of different categories. He says to “Imagine a museum filled with the work of all your favorite artists working in all your favorite artistic mediums. Now imagine that every piece of artwork has been hand chosen by each artist as their absolute favorites. Then imagine that printed by each piece of art is an explanation written by the artist detailing their selection.” So with that, here is My Playing Favorites. First up: Assemblage(click to see other artist’s favorite picks, some VERY cool art is represented here.)
I haven’t done a ton of assemblege so I think my favorite is my most recent. This was created in Michael DeMeng’s class at artfest 2008 and I talk more in detail about the experience here.
My first class at Artfest 2008 was Opie and Linda Obrien for Who’s your Dada Dolls. We all received the same head and block for a body, but it is amazing the different things that came out of that class. I find that incredibly fascinating, the different ways to solve the same problem that can come from a group of very creative people. (Here are someexamplesfromshow and tell night) I was also amazed at how little Jen brought with her… I had tons of stuff! but her work was amazing none-the-less. I kept offering her some of my junk… but apparently she likes a challenge.
Opie and Linda are a hoot and I learned some VERY cool things about apoxie sculpt. A material that I had never heard of let alone tried. On my first piece, I really only used the apoxie as an attachment substance. It worked well to connect a plastic comet to the doll head and the heavy wooden wings to the wooden block body. The material takes paint easily and blends in to the sculpture, in addition to being a super way to attach awkward pieces. I would love to explore it more, perhaps. I really want to move beyond mixed media and sculpture in general to focus more on fabric. I do love sculpture so who knows what I will do! I wish I had learned more about wire and sculpture attachments but Opie and Linda had too much desire to do things for their students.
I brought some wings that have been in one of my mixed media drawers for awhile. These went on my body right away. But then I was stuck on how top heavy my piece was turning out. While I pondered this problem, I walked the room to see what other people were creating. Then I worked on some more sculpting material on a second piece, also with wings. I am not much of a clay sculptor, but I was so impressed and inspired with what some other classmates were designing, I had to try something a little more textured and design oriented. This little bug was the results.
Luckily on the walk back from lunch I found a couple of sticks that looked like they were legs with high heels. Turns out they were the perfect finish to balance out my first piece. I love these two dolls together, so I have named them “Little Boy Bird and Bitsy Bug”
I can’t believe that I haven’t blogged about my ArtFest Projects! This is my project from Michael DeMeng’s Transparency Collage Class. The supply list included a 5’x7″ frame. I hoped that he meant the picture hole part should be 5″x7″ and thankfully I was right. This frame was actually something I found in the art asylum over two years ago. I painted it silver and planned to turn it into a shrine. Unfortunately, it sat around and gathered dust as I did not find inspiration. I was glad to be able to turn it into something unique.
Michael DeMeng’s transparency class was held in the art asylum which ROCKED! We were able to look for lots of extra cool things to add to our assemblages (said with a Michael accent) I really did learn quite a bit in this class. I learned some new words (although they are coined Michael words) like the “usuag” actually not sure how to spell it but it stands for the usual colors he likes to mix. He shared a lot about mixing paints, creating washes and layering. He shared how to put a wash over metal (heat it with a heat gun first) He also talked about how assemblage is all about problem solving and that you need a ‘visual bridge’ to bring pieces together. . I didn’t take any notes or do any journaling this year, just wasn’t into it, but I wish I had written a few things down in this class.
I do admit that after taking his class I understand what all the buz was about. Michael is so funny, attentive, personable (uses your first name in a way that isn’t creepy) and really wants you to learn. He encouraged us to use new power tools, never tried to push his ideas or do something for us. He gave great feedback and though the hour long critique was long, it was also valuable. I haven’t really been in an adult art critique since college. How many times do we as artists working in our own homes get that opportunity? I almost wish there had been a platform for more peer to peer critique and feedback. I also learned how to make paper look burned without burning by using some simple paint techniques.
My favorite new supply was regular household caulk. It was great for texture and added depth. I used it over most of the front of my shrine. I didn’t have the exact types of acrylic washes that Michael recommends, but watered down my regular acrylics to get a similar effects. With the transparency we used a little white paint on the back of small areas to help them stand out more, this is how he makes the eyes really stand out.
The inside is even more layered and complex than the outside. I covered most of the silver painted frame with strips of old book pages(inside and out) before doing different washes and texture layers. I included puzzle pieces, an old compass, some mini apothecary bottles and several different transparencies. I had plans for many things to dangle off other areas and drilled the necessary holes (using electric tools was a new thing for me.) Since I ran out of time in the class these items did not get added at the time, I am still debating whether to add them, or leave it as is. (see some more detail pictures in my flickr Artfest 2008 Set)
When I am working on a series… titles are a cinch! But when I have something like this that is out of the norm it is more difficult. “Eyes Wide Forward” is what comes to me right now, we will see how it sits.