Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Winter Art Exploration

It's been a long winter; it's been a short winter.  Whichever it has been for you, hopefully it has been a productive winter, a creative winter, and a healthy winter.

For me it has been a winter of exploration of art beyond and including photography.  Previously I posted about using my photographs in mixed media artwork.  This winter has been a time of great learning all about various types of mixed media artwork as well as the fun and addictive art of what is now known as Zen Tangle or Zen Doodle.  I've spent many hours learning and practicing this art form with mixed results, most of which turned out pretty, although some were quite messy.  I've incorporated them in new art journals as well as simply filling up colorful page after page of doodles in my sketch book.  While some of the typical doodle patterns seem too difficult for me for now, most of them are very easy to do and gave me much new inspiration and creativity.

Along with doodling my winter away, I have found even more beautiful ways of using photography in mixed media artwork.  Especially the kind of photographs I make using post editing of all sorts of photography subjects.  I have always said that my designs would work beautifully in scrapbooking, but as winter comes to a close I am even more convinced that the possibilities are endless!  The other day I browsed through some of my oldest designs on this blog and my other photography sites such as Flickr, and now Viewbug, only to realize that if I stopped taking photographs and turning them into strange and beautiful abstractions, I would still have an endless supply of art to use creatively in mixed media artwork.

On the other hand, while browsing, I discovered something not so wonderful, but still useful.  That is that over time as I have taken on more and more new methods of creating my photographic artwork with new filters in my editing programs, I have forgotten much of what I used to do in the early days when I was still learning.  This turned out to be a good value lesson for me though.  I realized that it is not always necessary or even good to continually upgrade our abilities to create.  While I go for the freebie options for filters and plug-ins for my editor, it shows me that maybe, at least for awhile, I should just stop looking for new things and spend more time going back over what I did in the early days.  Maybe it is a good idea to re-explore everything I have right now to see what more can be done with it.  There is a tendency sometimes to spend so much time with the new stuff that it can end up boring.  Especially if you have allowed yourself, as I did, to forget that sometimes making do with what we already have can lead us into great discoveries.

For the next few weeks until the weather is warm enough to spend lots of time outdoors taking new photographs, my art exploration will include discovering more ways to combine my digital fusion photography with my mixed media artwork.  Last year I created over 500 different patterns alone, not counting everything else I did with my photographs.  Those patterns would make very interesting mixed media work.  So I am thinking now that stocking up on a good supply of printer ink is very important as I am going to be printing off a lot of digital fusion artwork to be used on canvases and in art journals.  I can't wait.

On a sad note, I said "Goodbye" to my Jonah.  Jonah was my Shih Tsu rescue dog I had for 4 years.  He was a good dog and rescued me in many ways too.  After he passed, I decided to get a new companion.  Meet KatieKat. 

You can see Jonah's photos under the tab dedicated especially to him.  He is greatly missed.

I also became a grandma for the 9th time this winter.  Photos of my grandchildren remain private, however.

Below are just a few of the projects I have been working on this winter.

 These are 4 examples of Zen Tangles or Doodle Art.

 These photos are of my first, believe it or not, toilet paper roll mini mixed media album.  I saw several videos on YouTube for how to make these cute little books and had to try it.  The toilet paper rolls become the pages which include pockets to add tags to.  I found that this was a great way to use the sports photographs my grandchildren give me each year.  For those who for whatever reason do not want to use toilet paper rolls, you can also use paper towel rolls cut into 2 or 3 pieces.

 Below are the 10 tags I made for sticking into the pockets I made.  I painted one side with oil pastels and used colored pencils, notebook paper and antique buttons for the reverse side of the tags.  The pencil shows just how small these little albums are.  This is the same album in the photo of KatieKat above.

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