Tag Archives: painting
Hello 2023! : Pantone Color Of The Year Project
I’ve mentioned previously that aside from Christmas my favorite thing about the end of the year is the unveiling of Pantone’s new color of the year. Since I started on youtube, I have enjoyed doing a project demo revolving around the chosen color each December. Another holiday artist tradition I have is creating a new series of whimsical, themed Santa ACEOs for my ebay shop. This year, I combined these two traditions into one project as I show you how I illustrate my miniature Santa portraits, this one with a Viva Magenta theme.
By a stroke of good fortune, one of my most popular teaching projects I developed this year features a heavy accent of this vibrant color. Pre-Covid, I was teaching a Creative Minds class to my adults with disabilities at Creative 360. After teaching, I shared many of the projects here if you’re inclined to take a look. The idea of Creative Minds is to learn about accomplished artists from the past and present and create projects based on their process with the goal of discovering our own artistic voice. Creative Minds has a special focus on artists who think differently than what is considered “typical”. They have disabilities, mental health struggles, weren’t classically educated, dealt with poverty. It’s important for people to see examples of why having different types of brains and backgrounds in our world is vital and something to be celebrated, not approached with apprehension. After Covid, like with many things, the class series died for a bit. This Fall, I brought it back successfully and opened it up as an evening workshop series to make it more available to all ages and abilities.
I covered globally exhibited artist Judith Scott previously, but streamlined the project a bit more this time. Scott is an artist who had down syndrome and was deaf, and was unfortunately discounted and underestimated for most of her life. When her twin sister became her guardian and brought her to a groundbreaking arts program near their home in California, Judith on her own grabbed any objects nearby and started wrapping them in yarn. Her eye for composition was soon recognized, and long story short her art has now been exhibited worldwide. This is why art is not a luxury. Art gives people a voice, and unlocks hidden abilities.
For this new iteration of the Judith Scott project, students were given an 8×10 canvas, a stick, and a plethora of yarn. The yarn that has a different texture like fuzziness, or that is netted and stretches apart is especially fun though the old standard would still work well. We painted the canvas with an abstract design. I used a large round brush to dab streaks across the canvas one color at a time until there was no white left. Then, while that’s drying take the stick and wrap wrap wrap! Yarn can be tied at the beginning and ends points, and the tail tucked under the wrapping. I also added some felt leaves as a finishing touch but that part is in no way necessary. If the branch has a lot of contact points where it touches the canvas, it can be glued at those points but my stick was extra twisty so I poked holes in the canvas which I threaded wire through, twisting the ends in the back of the canvas to anchor it. If any readers are in the Midland, Michigan area I’d encourage you to stop by Creative 360, we are always doing something new and fun!
Color is a fantastic starting point for inspiration. You can view my previous Color Of The Year projects below.
Mixed Media Movie Stills – The Wizard Of Oz
I’ve started making a series of “mini” 5×7 mixed media works on canvas board that recreate stills from my favorite movies using a variety of materials. This is purely a “for fun” project and a way for me to do some whimsical, low-pressure creating in between my larger projects. I will likely have them available for sale in my Facebook Shop so if you use that platform, give me a like. I’m starting with childhood favorites, and the first one I have for you is Wizard of Oz. Using a printout as inspiration, I am able to do a simple graphite transfer onto the art paper of my choice. In this case, I used watercolor paper. Finding printed fabric or paper for the background that is already similar to the pattern you are seeking adds ease to the art making process.
In each of these videos, I will be using completely different materials, and I hope you will be inspired to try your own mixed media projects at home. Don’t draw or paint and the idea of trying stresses you out? You could do this same thing all collage style and just cut and paste the figure from the photo! There is always a solution, just have fun with it and as always I’m just a message or comment away with questions :). Materials used for this project are: Viviva Colorsheets Watercolors (love the portability and zero cleanup!), watercolor paper, detail paint brushes, cotton printed fabric, a 5×7 canvas board, and Weldbond glue (used because it is a strong hold for all materials since we are using thicker paper and also fabric). Let me know what you think!
What are some of the prettiest movies you remember?
Who’s In Your Way? /Or/ I Guess I’ve Grown Up Now.
I came across a post from an old friend on facebook a couple weeks ago that read “The phrase I hear most from weak people is ‘You’re holding me back’.” It’s one of those things you read that stops you in your tracks mentally for a moment. Being me, my first thought was “Ouch! That’s kind of mean … and can’t that be true sometimes?”
I’ve been through this scenario in a workplace situation. Far back yonder, I put someone in charge of a project they wanted to lead, and spent copious amounts of my time and energy making sure they had what they needed to be supported and thrive. I was alongside the whole way, being sure to ask probing questions to get them thinking and planning while still empowering them to take the lead. I made myself available for any and all help needed, even for troubleshooting and brainstorming outside of work that I would not be compensated for. Long story short, even with all this they continued to sit on their hands until after much pleading and prompting, I was forced to take over because others were depending on the end result of this undertaking by a certain due date. The other helped about 20%, and a lot of what they did I had to improve upon or fix because full effort wasn’t put in. Afterwards, both our names ended up on the project and they were PISSED. The attitude was that they had done most of the work, and I was just in the way but everyone always wants to give me all the credit and attention because of favoritism. Not to get into my life and/or work history, but the idea of me ever getting superfluous credit or “favoritism” is laughable. Oftentimes it’s honestly been almost the polar opposite. I never had asked for my name to be on the project or even told anyone I’d done most of the work because I hadn’t wanted to make the other look bad, and I had actually been planning to let them take the credit which was why their reaction especially upset me. Yes, that’s dumb and unhealthy but as I said this was years and years ago. The truth has a way of being noticed regardless, and so someone had deemed fit to add my name in the final credits. At the end of their rant was when I was treated to the above statement, when I was told all I do is stand in the way of their success, and I was rendered quite speechless. They are lucky I was speechless, because I had entered full volcano mode at this point.
I’ve also run into this accusation in my social life outside of work, usually when I won’t drop everything to completely manage the events of someone else’s life.
However, I certainly can’t sit here and point the finger as if I’ve never had a similar attitude during some struggle points in my own existence. I remember countless frustrated, tearful conversations with family as a teen and young adult asserting that I would never find my success because of where I lived, and it was their fault I’d never find a job in my field because they didn’t pay for me to go to college out of state, and wouldn’t drive me across the country and get me an apartment in California, and how I would never have any real friends because they chose to start a family in such a boring place where no one likes me … Yikes, I’m super embarrassed now at how rotten that sounds but it’s the truth.
I have struggled to find my place in this world, and at times still do. Only now, I’m not convinced location has a ton to do with it. Maybe a small percentage, but I also think I may just always be that way and that’s ok, we all have things.
It’s always easier to point at someone else as the reason you’re floundering. It takes strength to look at yourself and say hey, I’ve got to step it up and make some changes. The moment I stopped being so narrowly focused and started being open to doing things with my art career outside of a very specific, internally special to me, niche subject I started reaching people, which in turn drew them into all that special interest stuff too. In the past, I never would have created a mixed media landscape because, “Allise only does a, b, and c” (Freshman year of college, a friend asked me to paint a girl holding a cat for her dorm bedroom and I did but put dragon wings on the cat because I was on a dragon kick! – This reminds me now of something some of my Artshop students would do. Ok, maybe I have found one place I feel at home most of the time 😉 ). I expanded my scope to add a broad letter d, I also do art that may not be my special subject of interest but helps improve others’ lives and makes people happy, especially those groups that may not have access to fine art on a daily basis.
The moment I stopped thinking I deserved more than where I was and cut the entitlement, I saw doors where before I’d thought there was only a brick wall. Am I rich and famous now – hell no. But am I pretty happy most of the time, and do I generally like my life? I’d say, sure, I think so.
No one can stop you unless you let them, and no one is obligated to prop you up. Show gratitude to those who do anyway, and do your own work.