Another year has started, and I feel that I am getting closer to figuring out what I really want to do in my art. Over the past two years, I've been like a sponge, absorbing and learning all I can about mixed media and collage, as well as striving for a more abstract style in my work. I'm more confident about drawing again and finding ways to integrate drawing into my mixed media pieces. Drawing brings my process to the forefront, exposing all of the messy twists and turns of the process, giving an expressive quality and depth that I like. The imperfections are interesting visually to me. I love creating a sense of mystery in my work, leaving at least part of the meaning up to the imagination of the viewer. I've been working on my painting, too, and find that sooner or later, I come back to watercolor. I'm using watercolor over gesso in this piece, along with collage.
For all of the reasons, I feel I am growing stronger as an artist, and that feels really good!
I love making gifts at Christmas, if I can think of (or find) good ideas. This year's inspiration came from Jessica Sporn's fabulous Holiday Garland Tutorial. As soon as I watched her tutorial, I knew what I would make for gifts this year. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to order her lovely stencils and had to go ahead on the project without them.
I had so much fun making these garlands! They basically consist of a series of mixed media collages done on a corrugated cardboard substrate. The backgrounds are watercolor and/or fluid acrylic with stamping and other embellishments. I made my own very simple stencils and masks for the tree shapes this time, but would love to try out Jessica's beautiful stencils with some Christmas projects next year. Here are some photos of the individual collages as well as the finished garlands. I'm so excited with how they turned out. Thank you Jessica, for so generously sharing this great idea!
Hmmm... I did my own lettering on the first set of collages for my 'test garland' and decided not to do lettering on the rest. Plus, it gave me a good excuse to keep one of the garlands for myself!
I ended up making four garlands (one for myself, of course) and one for each of my sisters. Making gifts like this is such a win-win situation. I get to do what I enjoy most while making something special and unique for the people I love. It sure beats rushing around in the stores, looking for gifts to buy. I hope you all had a chance to slow down and create during the busy holiday and that 2014 is a year full of time to paint and create!
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