This is the link to my guest blog post for StencilGirlTalk blog. Enjoy.
I am so honored to be a guest blogger for Stencil Girl. I am a bit of a stencil freak and a big fan for Stencil Girl. When they said let us see what you got I ran with it. Some of my faves are used to create new and unusual things. Let me know what you think. I would love to hear from you.
The company Faber-Castell has been an art supply company since 1761.
Doing the quick math… 255 years. That in itself is amazing. I was a fan with their fine art products from early in my art life. I bought a sketchbook in Italy when I was there on a 2 month art exploration lead by my Girl Scout leader. I still have the book someplace. Faber-Castell are the pencils to have. I still have some from my high school and college days. Now I have more of their products to be thrilled with.
I do love art supplies. And the quality of Faber-Castell are the best. A little side note is that they support the Biodiversity in Good Company initiative. They care about the artists and the environment. Their carbon emissions are offset several times over with how they produce art products.
Delicious Gelatos etc.
The newest line Design, Memory, Craft is no exception for quality and versatility. These Gelatos, Inks, Textures and tools are for mixed media and paper crafters. I am in love with them. There are 52 wonderful colors, I’m drooling. These are art sticks, that are creamy, vibrant pigment, water-soluble and permanent. But not the Italian ice cream. Which by the way, these creamy art sticks have the feel of painting with lipstick. They can be used with or without water and work well on any porous surface. I read a blog post on the Faber-Castell web site by a friend and fellow designer/artist, Laura Bray, about Faber-Castell Gelatos. She used the Gelatos to paint on fabric and then sewed the piece into a very nice bag to carry your art supplies. But you can do so much more with them also.
So I got to thinking that if you can use these creamy sticks of soft beauty on fabric to paint why not use in a fine art piece. I wanted to play with the colors and texture medium that came in one of the sets I bought. The first set (yes I have more now), came with 5 Gelatos, a palette knife, Texture Luxe, stencils, stipple brush, dot dabber, misting bottles, and drip dropper. I tore open the package. I didn’t have anything in mind other than I wanted to try these on a canvas and make art. I was not disappointed.
Adding the Texture Lux in silver.
I think I will add some paper to this piece and maybe some more color but while it dries….
My last thoughts.
I want to open people up to new ideas. I want people to be adventurous with their art and supplies. I get a buzz when my students discovers something new. Or if they get excited about what they are creating when they didn’t think they could or their work and creative process is an eye opener for them. This feeds my soul as an artist to see them grow and learn. Just because something is “suppose” to be for one type of art doesn’t mean it can’t be used for other things too.
I had an art escape with a canvas, Gelatos, palette knife, Texture Lux, paintbrush and water.
When we close ourselves off of one kind of art or art supply we limit our creativity. And I believe that when we do that we don’t grow as artists. I wish everyone an adventure in their art and to create from the heart.
The first meeting I had with Chris Cozen was at a local stamp store. Remember those? She was the teacher of a workshop that I was going to take. Chris had taught there many times and is a friend of the owner. I didn’t know Chris, and even though I had shopped in that store for years our paths never crossed.
At the workshop we created collage/mixed media on Plexiglass. We created a few pieces and I was hooked. Such a helpful and giving teacher. She has been a teacher, mentor, and inspiration for me for 15 years. Most of that time she didn’t know that I wanted to learn from her. Anything that had her name on it, in it or she was teaching that I could get to, I was there. A wonderful person and a dear friend that I am so lucky to know.
I have written reviews before for a few friends when their books came out. This is the first review I have written for Chris. I have been amiss.
“Acrylic Color Explorations” is one of the best books I have read on acrylics and color. It is a journey of discovery with each page being a new idea and fun technique to try. It is a true workbook. If you travel through and work each idea and technique, at the end of your journey you will come out the other side knowing so much more about color. It will be a true awakening. Or if you are a newbie you’ll get your color techniques down right out of the gate.
I was able to see the book before it was released when Chris and I met at her home to talk art, art business and we grabbed a relaxed dinner. This is the way she teaches and how she writes her books. Relaxed. It’s about fun. It’s about explorations. Never tense or hurried. Art should be fun and meaningful to the artist. “If you are not having fun you need to change that,” I have heard Chris say many times.
Chris was a working artist for Golden Acrylics for many years, and knows acrylics inside and out. She can talk and lecture (and still does for Golden), on acrylics and compounds. But delivers the information in an easy to follow manner.
This book is a classic and a must have for any artist, seasoned or newbie.
Thank you Chris Cozen for the journey into color and your friendship.
Last year was my first time at CHA. I had no idea what it even was. For those of you that don’t know the Craft and Hobby Association (CHA), here’s the story: This association is “celebrating 75 years of connecting the creative arts and crafts industry. CHA Mega Conference and Trade Show is the only place where you can conduct a year’s worth of business in 6 days” (chamegashow.org).
I am an artist that uses many different elements in my work. I also teach classes at my studio. Why would I want to go to a trade show that has manufacturers that sellbig orders to stores? Because I get inspired by art supplies. I get inspired when I can touch and feel the products. And I get inspired by meeting people that are very passionate about the products they demo. Plus, it is always great to meet people of like mind that love to create beautiful things to look at and/or use. There are many other things to learn and see at CHA also: demos, hands-on labs, boot camps on business, workshops, artisan workshops, and business seminars are just a few.
Last year, I fell into CHA at the eleventh hour and was only able to attend on the final day. I was one sad puppy, kitty, or otter….insert the cute animal of your choice. I found out about CHA from my business coach, Laura Bray, who will be posting at the blog hop tomorrow. She is also the daughter of a friend that I admire most, Laura Miller.
At the very last moment, my membership was accepted. After phone calls back and forth, I would have a badge waiting for me and my assistant. I only had to drive the 30 minutes to Anaheim, CA. I was there before the door was to open and connected with the registration/information desk and got my badge. Then I took a selfie, went to the restroom, and was on my way. I had a mission. I was Ethan Hunt.
As soon as the door opened, I poured into the convention floor. I was a squirrel, darting back and forth trying to get everything in as soon as I could. I got tired very quickly. Some of the booths were already shut down. It was the last day and they were ready to travel back to their homes from all over the world. I didn’t get to meet many people, but some were still doing demos and giving out great information. I did get my inspiration that I was hopping for, but at a very low key. My assistant and I took a break and decided we would look at the map and go in a more organized manner. That is what I usually do when I go to craft fairs or art shows, anyway. I felt the panic leave and I was able to focus. I saw every booth with demos and without, and got enough information to get the brain in creative mode.
The key is, you must plan. You must be organized. You can’t wait. Classes fill EARLY. Not all manufacturers can stay to the very last moment. They have to travel. I wish I had done my homework early and planned and got myself to a point where I knew what CHA was before I jumped in. But, I am going back this year, January 7-12, 2016 at the Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA. I will be organized this time. I know about round tables and demos and classes. I will do more than just walk by the Business Center. CHA is very supportive of small business and many services are offered for members like me, and brick and mortar businesses. Classes and guidance are also available.
I did get a lot of information last year. I was in a spin. It took a good month to finally sort it all out and sink in. What I did was not the prefered. It did not do CHA justice. But, I will this year.
We sometimes think that unless we learn it all that we can’t create a great work of art. That is not so. Art is about willing to take risks and play and explore. Artists throughout the ages used their tools, took risks and explored to drive their art. Picasso was one of these artists that pushed and played to move himself forward in creating. He had not been happy with some of his paintings. He cut some paper and glued it to one of his sketches. This became Collage. The term collage was coined by both Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso in the beginning of the 20th century when collage became a distinctive part of modern art.
What things do you do now? What things are you drawn to? What supplies do you have? Are you a realist or do you enjoy abstracting the real?
These are all questions to ask yourself when you are just starting out. I encourage you to take the tools and supplies that you have and do whatever comes to mind. Example… For a long time I painted in watercolor. I love it but as things go I just wanted more. But I didn’t know what to do or how to do it. I kept asking myself, “what do I want to change? Why am I not as happy any more?” I didn’t know that I was growing. Change is growth. After much reflection and after a five day workshop I was taking, I realized that watercolor just was not bold and bright enough and that it did not contain the elements I wanted.
An idea is a point of departure and no more. As soon as you elaborate it, it becomes transformed by thought. ”
First, I started painting using the paint right out of the tube. Instead of using the brush, I was using a pointed stick I had found in the yard. I would buy oil and acrylic brushes and break the ends off the handle some so there was a jagged edge and run them through the paint. I got tired of that too and found with learning new techniques with acrylics I was happier. I had always loved collage. I missed using scraps of paper and glue so I went back to creating paintings that contained all of these elements.
Art is not the application of a canon of beauty but what the instinct and the brain can conceive beyond any canon. When we love a woman we don’t start measuring her limbs. ”
If you think that you need a degree in art to enjoy creating, you are wrong. It’s about playing, exploring and painting things that you like. It’s about feeling good about creating and enjoying the process. This not to say that a degree is not useful. If you are planning any kind of art career a degree is needed. But, if you are wanting to create something because you enjoy art or feel the need in anyway…it’s about play. Create something everyday.
“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. ”
After all the crazy times of the holidays I always try and review my art and projects that worked and what didn’t work. I look at the things I’ve created and see if this the direction I want to continue.
After all that work I have to get myself back to creating and sometimes that is very hard. It seems more important to take down decorations and put gift wrap away. But I have to make myself get back to my art and art related things.
If you are feeling parched from not creating for awhile for any reason come and visit the 511 Art Studio. We are in Upland, CA and I am a proud Creative Pusher. If you are stuck or don’t know what you want to do but want to create, I can help you find your path.
I teach classes for children and adults. I work with where you are and what you want to create. And if you are not sure I will help you find your path.
Classes for children are by appointment that we can set up. I have many options.
Classes for adults are a workshop environment with things to try out or work on your project in a safe and nurturing group of artists.
You can contact me through this blog/website for more info.
January 10, 2015 I am teaching a Texture Workshop for mixed media 9:30am-3:30pm. Cost is $50. and I will supply everything. All you need to bring is your lunch. Come and find a texture application that suits you.
This is a new website for me. I have shut down my aletajacobsonart511 website to combine my site and blog. This is the way to go if you ask me. So much easier and time saving so I can create art and teach more classes.
One day I plan to have online classes right here and you can watch and learn right in the comfort of your own home or wherever you choose.
Today I will be cleaning my classroom and gallery studio. I have Chris Cozen coming tomorrow for a wonderful 2 days of Color Color Color and A Little Collage Thrown In workshop. Chris is an amazing artist and has been a working artist for Golden Acrylics for many years. I first took a class from her at Claremont’s stamp store, Stamp Your Heart Out many years ago. I think she is one of the kindest and most sharing of teachers. We are sure to learn all about color and mixing and creating wonderful effects.
So, stay tuned here and I will be posting many pics and upcoming events.
It’s Monday. I have buried myself in papers for weeks. Collage papers, notes, grocery lists, articles about art, and notes for this blog. I have been digging out for a few days now and I have found some interesting things about texture. And I have been using it in my artwork.
I love texture. There are other things about painting and creating that I love but I have just started to use more texture in my work and I’m having a freaking good time creating.
There are many ways to create texture. One that I used in this piece is *Molding Paste. It’s kind of like a light weight Spackle that you’d use to patch holes in your walls. I have heard that some people do use Spackle in their art but I wonder what it’s made of and if it will hold up. I know it’s good for walls. Does anyone have all the palette or putty knife info on Spackle vs Molding Paste?
The thing of it is you can get carried away with the Molding Paste. You will fall in love with the texture and think that if a little makes me shiver then a lot would bring me to my knees. Not so. I know now that a lot is not always better.
Molding Paste is just one of many mediums to use in your art to bring interest and layers to your work. But just like salt in cooking, a little is great but a lot is way too much and you feel like you just drank pickel water straight from the jar . So go easy on the Molding Paste. Take a little and move it around on your canvas or paper with a palette knife or old credit card. Then drag some *tools through it. Making marks with a pencil is always fun. If you think the work needs more then add more paste.
Take it slow. Maybe let a thin layer dry to see if you like it. Then try a little more.
These two pieces were overdone. I removed some of the paste after it dried by sanding them and then coming back and adding more paste in a few areas.
If you would like more info on Molding Paste and creating texture in your artwork please see the page that list the classes and workshops.
And if you would like to have these posts about art dropped in your email box please subscribe to this blog.
I welcome all comments and questions.
*tools that I use besides palette knifes and credit cards are:
Catalyst brushes and wedges by Princeton Artist Brush Co.You can find these at CheapJoes.com or Blick.com
Decorator tools by Plaid. These can be found at Michaels
When I see things that interest me I need to know “how that was done.” So the first thing I do is study it and work it over in my brain to see what was used and how it was used and so on. This has been good for me but sometimes an impediment also. You can’t create and study something and turn it over in your mind and expect that creativity will burst forth. I saw a painting someplace. I can’t remember were it was but it was not a show or gallery. The painting intrigued me. First it had birds in it and I seem to be drawn to birds. I don’t paint many of them but for some reason I like to look at them. This painting was not bright with color. It was not one of those, Oh, I got to have that or even I need to paint one like that. But the contrast in the painting was so striking I had to mull it over and over. Days later I was still thinking about that painting. I will try and describe it. There were two complimentary colors that had been laid down in random strokes. Wide swaths across the canvas with some blending to create a nice neutral to go along with the pure color. The painter used a slate blue and an orange brown. They then used a watered down white to negatively paint branches with birds. So the white covered the background and the only thing that remained was the birds and branches. It looked something like this….
These are three samples that I did when I was working up the lesson.
I first painted acrylic paint with a brayer* over mixed media paper* or canvas*. I use Golden fluid acrylics* and did not think about where or how I was putting the paint down. I then watered down white gesso* so it was runny like the “legs on wine,” more on that later. I took a stencil* that I liked and traced around the image onto the painted mix media paper, placing the image so I had the colors showing that would work together.
After I traced the images I painted around them with the watered down gesso. Putting on a very light layer.
I added more gesso as it appealed to me. Some areas I painted two or three coats of the watered gesso and some areas only one coat.
These are some of my students’ work from the lesson that I developed. You can see the different ways that they created their work as they completed their paintings.
These are paintings that are almost complete from some other students.
The students had a good time learning this process and then they took the ideas and made them their own by tweaking them as they saw fit.
I hope you will give this a try and let me know if it works for you and/or what you did or didn’t do with the process. Please share your thoughts. Thank you.
Keep creating everyday!
Tools and materials used: Speedball 1.5inch brayers @ Michaels or art supply stores. Strathmore Mixed Media paper @ Michaels, Aaron Brothers or art supply stores. Acrylics, Golden Fluid Acrylics @ CheapJoes.com or art supply stores. Any brand of Gesso you like. Canvases at any art supply store. Stencils @ stencilgirlproducts.com