Let there be grunge... #mixedmedia #ecourse

One of my favorite online workshops is up and running for only $57! The Act-Natural workshop explores techniques and ideas on how to create natural, realistic aged pages and paintings! You get unlimited instructor support...and no time limits on the class. It's true! Find out more information by clicking here.

Stencil Inspiration

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Julie Prichard Mixed Media Journal.jpg
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A look at some of my journal pages and digital art using stencils over the last several years.. Stop by tomorrow to see some new encaustic mixed media art that I made for StencilGirl using their product designed by Michelle Ward. Hope to see you then!

(I have not received free product or compensation from StencilGIrl in exchange for this article.)

Hanging Canvas Panels #mixedmedia #DIY #Craft

The fact that canvas panels are relatively inexpensive as far as substrates are concerned, makes them attractive to artists of all levels.. but what to do with them once they are finished? I like to be able to get all of my art up onto my walls...or your walls. 

Frame shops or craft stores carry a lot of frame and matte sets. Most often, your canvas panel will fit inside one of those frames pretty easily. If you want your canvas panel to float off of the wall for a more contemporary feel, you can try this easy frameless method for a couple of bucks:

Cut two pieces of 1x1" wood to size as shown. Attach them to the back of the canvas panel with liquid nails or similar adhesive product available from the hardware store. While you're there, pick up some  "Screw Eyes"; I like 1/2" and screw them into the side of the attached 1x1. Securely wrap wire from one of the eyes over to the other and you're really to hang this on the wall. I picked up some 22 gauge wire from the craft store for this purpose and have not had any issues using that for even my larger paintings.

Hope this inspires you to get some of your art up on to your walls too! Have fun.

Know When to Hold 'Em

"Prehistoric Afternoon" 12x12", stretched canvas

"Prehistoric Afternoon" 12x12", stretched canvas

When I was just starting to experiment with the world of mixed media and art supplies, I allowed the internet to consume me. I spent hours looking at art, bookmarking things, and trying to replicate what I saw as a way to learn how to use my paint. There were many times when I grew frustrated with my painted results... and many times I quit art.. for a little while anyway.

After some time passed, It dawned on me one day.. that there were/are so many people making art like I wanted to make at the time... so many blogs, photos, etc... that there had to be an easier way to accomplish the things I wanted to try.. easier than say pulling my hair out late every night. I quickly steered away from following vague, magazine step-by-step tutorials so precisely.. to thinking that I can achieve the same "look" in my own way. Has this happened to you? How many times have you stopped mid "recipe" to grab a coupon, run out and purchase something listed on a magazine supply list... only to find out that you have something on hand already that may perform the same task? Sing it with me in your best "Frozen" song voice..... "Let it goooooo."  

The feeling is amazing. It's like giving yourself permission to be yourself... let me tell you something.. once you decide you want to take off the training wheels, your art will change.. you can feel your way around a painting more. You can discover TRUTH in your own art and find your own way of doing things..

So back to those tutorials... know when to hold them at bay... know when to try them once, and then to adapt them to your own needs. Know when to discount everything they say. Yes..I said it. Know when to make them your own.

Where did you get that? #mixedmedia #craft #art

"Fragments" 24x24 Mixed media on gallery canvas

"Fragments" 24x24 Mixed media on gallery canvas

Every once in a while, someone will ask me where I got a specific image or paper or text.. and almost always, it is something that I have made for myself. I thought I would take a minute to list some ideas on how you too can make your own embellishments to use in your art. 

Word Probably my favorite tool is the ol' computer. Using any word processing ap, you can type words, copy and paste them into any arrangement and print them using toner. These toner copies make rad image transfer materials that you can use again and again. Want the look of "rub ons" but tired of the scrapbook feel that is available in mass market? Viola.

Copier Grab a piece of printer paper, scribble all over it, copy it. Boom.. more fodder for image transfers. I use more image transfers in my art than collage, so a seemingly invisible application of text onto a painting is very attractive to me.

Photoshop Photo editing software sounds difficult, but it doesn't have to be. Use these apps to reverse images, crop, flip and rotate and layer images OR text. Sister photo storage apps like "Adobe Bridge" offer an easy way to organize and store all of your new files. I have an "art vocabulary" of common words that usually end up in my art. Use different fonts to print and flip the words so that you always have a stash on hand to use.

Stencils Take a day to cover the garage floor with deli wrap and/or papers. Spray paint basic shapes (I like common shapes like letters and numbers because I can fit them into any arrangement) repeatedly, taking a moment every two or three sprays to mono print the stencil onto more paper. Think black too... black paper with white paint makes a statement in your art. For extra credit, use ledger paper under the spray paint too!

Journal page with spray painted and mono-printed stencils on vintage ledger paper.

Journal page with spray painted and mono-printed stencils on vintage ledger paper.

Pencils and Ink No copier or spray paint? Use charcoal pencils to scribble and make marks all over paper that you can use as collage in your art. Spray fixative onto the papers before you use them in your paintings. Make sure the ink you are using is archival.

Hand made papers. Scribble pencil or charcoal and use as collage.

Hand made papers. Scribble pencil or charcoal and use as collage.

On the grid. 19 #journal #lettering #artjournal

Copic markers in my molskine

Copic markers in my molskine

Hi! I've been watching "The Voice".. and learning a lot. Specifically from Pharrell. He's my favorite judge and when he isn't sitting back calmly listening to the contestants, the nuggets of positivity and feedback he gives people are really inspiring. Watching even one episode, it's easy to discern that the feedback he presents to singers, applies to artists as well.

Sing for yourself. Sing so that YOU are happy...don't sing for the judges.

Paint for yourself. Paint so that YOU are happy...don't paint for everyone else.

Imagine a painting that you have made following a tutorial step for step... the finished product looks just like the painting you were inspired by...

Next imagine a painting that is made with your own emotion.. A painting that is made with feeling and spontaneity. Which painting do you think will connect with the audience more?

I try my best to encourage students in our mixed media workshops to adapt all of the techniques to fit their own needs. Following a lesson step by step and ending up with the same painting as shown is acceptable...but I am so excited when I see a student turn the lesson inside out and make it their own. That is the best part about being a teacher, I think.

 

Making the plans... #artist #mixedmedia

Those are gluten free, blueberry bacon pancakes...and they are amazing!

Those are gluten free, blueberry bacon pancakes...and they are amazing!

Neat vignettes around San Diego yesterday. Click on the images above to be taken to the shop websites. (Photos, iPhone 6 SOOTC)

Neat vignettes around San Diego yesterday. Click on the images above to be taken to the shop websites. (Photos, iPhone 6 SOOTC)

I had a great meeting with a very wise friend yesterday. We talked about how society determines your value as a creative by your income/production. (Let's face it.. society determines your worth based on your "production" in every field, actually.) Then there are  those questions that make me cringe a little, "Are you working?" and "What do you do?" Bleh...

Answering that question with, "I am an artist" is easy for me... I am an artist... so I feel comfortable saying that.. but I feel like I am so much more... all of which is difficult to label. (Labels.. you know.)

Dear, Readers, why am I telling you this? It's hard...it's really hard for me to accept the fact that I cannot sit here and paint all day. Honestly.. As much as I sit here and tell myself that I am painting for me...and I do paint what I want to... the feelings of doubt creep up every once in a while. I often wonder what I should be doing with my time. The best way that I have found to deal with the doubt is to talk about it with my friends, or write it here.

I wrestle with how much time to dedicate to running my business and how much time to use for making art. If time is limited, which task wins? Why does making art have to be a task in the first place? 

I don't think there is anyone that can answer these questions but myself. I know this. I'm taking some time now every night to plan the next day.. I'll block out hours for art and block out hours for the business.. most importantly, I'll block out "free" time so that I don't feel overwhelmed..

Just so you know.... I'm also going to focus really hard on that elusive "three-foot ring toss."....

...and that's that.

On the Grid Again.... For real? #artjournal #mixedmedia

Overcast. Gloomy. Cool.. Yesterday I wanted to light a fire in the fireplace and make soup all day.. (Don't laugh, I know it was probably 79 degrees outside..) 

I found these images in my computer. I have not mentioned my "grid book" since June.. You can follow the tag on the right side of the post here to see more.. it's my exploration in blue ball point pen... just notes... mind ramble... Do you have a book filled with that kind of stuff? We were passing notes...but sadly, that fell by the wayside over the last few months.

Like clockwork, I am feeling more creative.. getting back into the swing of things. It is hard sometimes, but I am determined..and may even film some tutorials this week for you. I've been gone too long...

A Handsome New Shopping Experience! #mixedmedia

Finally! Friends, I have all of my art for sale in one, neat and organized place! I'll be adding my products and prints soon... feel free to take a look! As always, domestic shipping is included with every order..and International customers can pay actually shipping costs. Original art, full of depth and life.... ready for YOU.

You can see my shop by clicking the "Art Sale" tab above.

Thank you for your support!

A Lesson in Lightfastness

Early 2013; San Diego, CA

Early 2013; San Diego, CA

For my daughter's birthday in 2013, my husband and I made a few miniature-golf "holes" out of plywood so that the girls could hit a round at the party. They were super cool...with multiple PVC pipes in the back so that each ball would roll out of the "house" (in this case) in a different direction onto our putting green. It was super fun and the kids loved it. I want to show you how the "Smurf House" pictured above looks today:

September 9, 2014

September 9, 2014

Compare the two photos... and I will tell you a little about what happened here. The plywood base of each cut-out we made was prepped and sanded with gesso. I then painted each cut-out using craft paint. Some Martha Stewart, some Delta, some Folk Art... all readily available at the craft store. The cut-outs have been stored under an overhang, stacked on the side of my house. Since homes are close together in the city of San Diego, there is very little space between my neighbor and I... these cut outs receive about two hours of afternoon sun daily. That's it. Look at how much the house pictured above has faded. This could easily happen to art on your walls..

The top photo is straight out of the camera, with no color enhancement. Now..some of you more astute readers may think that the first photo has been adjusted for saturation. I assure you it has not. The vignetting is from my camera lens. We are dry as a bone here in San Diego too...so that house has not been exposed to water damage.

So what to do?? 

Making Art: Understand the lightfastness of the paint you choose to work with. Paint has a lightfastness rating associated with it. The lightfastness scale in the US varies from 1 to 5, with paints falling in the 1 & 2 range as most stable to light. Some UV varnish products will help reduce the effects of UV rays on your paint (reduce not eliminate). 

Buying Art: If you're spending your hard earned money on a  painting, I don't think you would want to risk it looking like the second photo above. Inquire with the artist and know what you are buying.

There are many practical applications for craft paint. Don't pitch it! I give craft paint to my daughter for various projects, and I use it when painting wooden craft things on holidays for example. I don't, however, use it in any of my fine art...or anything that I sell. The lightfastness quality of higher end paint is just one of many reasons why I use it.. How about you? Join the conversation on Facebook.

 

 

Reef Break #encaustic #mixedmedia #abstract #art

"Reef Break"  16x16" Mixed Media (Encaustic) on Birch Panel

"Reef Break"  16x16" Mixed Media (Encaustic) on Birch Panel

It makes perfect sense to me that during the warmest part of the year, I should remodel my garage, build an encaustic workspace, and teach myself a new medium from scratch. (Say it with me now), Naturally.

I had some trouble finding my way at the beginning, but even still, this practice is relatively new to me. I stuck with it (at night mostly) and have come out with a small handful of paintings I think I like. I'll never give up painting with acrylics.. this was my "summer fling".. and maybe, when the weather cools down, I'll heat the wax back up and take it for another spin.. but for now... back to my canvas.

Shake Away the Decay...

"Golden Decay" NFS

"Golden Decay" NFS

Creatively, I've had a rough week... which puts me in a bad mood.

Towards the end of the summer here, I decided to try my hand at something new.. and I have to tell you, I'm pretty sick of myself right now. Never fear though, I will get back up and brush off the dust...

It's a speed bump... and in the grand scheme of things, this can't be all that bad. Tomorrow I am going to go into the studio with a corrected attitude. For sure.

Video Producers and Vlog Makers #vlog #audio #mixedmedia

Now hear this...

San Diego Photography

San Diego Photography

Long-time-friend-of-us at The Land of Lost Luggage, and everything-cool producer Lenny B has some excellent royalty-free music that you can download...cheap.

I know many of my lovely and talented readers make video tutorials and vlogs.. come correct with copyright and purchase snazzy background music the right way! These are professionally composed songs and jingles that you CAN afford. Click here to take a listen.

I love that these tunes are not played all over the place on every Tom, Dick and Harry's website... I hate watching a video and having my brain go... "Oh..I have that track." 

Don't ever stop painting..

I've had a couple of people who I respect in the art community look  me dead in the face and say with utmost urgency, "Don't ever stop painting." I've never asked any of them to elaborate.. but I have to tell you, this comment haunts me a lot.

Why not? What would happen? I imagine they are saying the comment to me with regards to a painting being great..and that it would be a shame that I surrender painting to do something else.. which puts a load of pressure on someone like me. What if this painting looks like I tried to stop painting? Is this painting good enough for someone (two of whom were jurors) to tell me never to stop painting again? Well... it's hot in San Diego..and I have stopped painting.

I don't want to stop painting..but I have to tell you..I can't concentrate and paint when I am hot..so when the weather gets cooler... I'll get some brushes out again.. but for now, I imagine fall weather...falling leaves... (ha right) and pick up other things to keep me busy.. If it doesn't feel "right" to sit and paint..I don't push it.

The best and most fitting pattern came through my feedly a couple of weeks ago. If ever a gemologist was supposed to carry this change purse... out came the fabric. I love these and am so happy that I stitched a few of them up. You can make some of your own. Here is the tutorial. Hey, Kate- excellent pattern! Thanks. xo

In other news.... I'm enjoying a new crop of summer roses.. Thankfully.. we did not have winter last year..the bushes never rested. I am feeding a lot resulting in smaller blooms..but at least I have some!

Kevin built us this rad (heavy!) table and benches for the patio.. hosting many dinners...and linners... so nice to sit together with everyone.

Clockwise from the top: BUY THESE PIES. Trader Joes... 8 mins, 150 calories.. delicious! Found an amazing parisian bakery in the Zion market! Got some picks! RODGERS! Love this pink..

Thanks for stopping by...see you again soon!

 

PS- the purses have metallic thread for the facet outlines.... yah..that's what I said. :)