It took me decades to learn how to make a mess and to finally relax and to stop worrying that i got paint on the floor ! Of course I needed an art studio with hard wood floors to be able to have the luxury of being able to spill, pour, fling, splatter, spray, tear etc. and not de-compensate over the collateral damage I was creating. I'm not totally freak out free yet...I do like my slop sink white and clean and Comet is my best friend. However with the pleasure one takes with channeling their Abstract Expressionism, also comes the understanding that skilled artists know how to balance chaos and control when making abstract art. Pollack didn't just splatter paint....he was keenly aware of his composition resulting in very organized and successful artwork. Franz Kline 's seemingly impulsive black and white pieces were planned out first. Many Abstract artists work hard at the process of making a wonderful mess, reigning in their work, constructing and deconstructing and ultimately modulating the tensions of spontaneity, creativity and skill.
I'm often asked how do I decide on a palette when i am making my Mixed media collages? The answer is, I like to start with browsing through books about textiles from the 1950s or 1960s. I then begin to practice trying to get a certain color just the way I want it. Some days the color happens quite easily and other days for some reason, I struggle. Yes, I am aware that many artists actually know exactly how to mix colors. But, that is not the way I go about the process. I like to stumble onto the color I am after because along the way I end up making new versions of vintage colors which suit me just fine. Poking through older textile books, is just a starting point. Designer shown is Robert Stewart. This 1954 design is called Macrahanish.
Hannah talks about how therapeutic it is to quiet the mind by using mark making with just black and white and leaving out color. Although I do not know what medium Hannah uses, I have spent many hours with a sketchpad and a Uni-ball Vision pen which is water and fade resistant) just mark making into the night. The beauty of the Uni-ball pen over the Sharpie pen is that it doesn't knock you over with a smell. Hannah gets much more complex in her black and white drawings, using texture and different levels of pressure, movement and "exaggeration" of her marks. Take a look at her other B&W drawings https://hannahstraw1.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/mark-making-black-and-white/
I have a love hate relationship with using art products as the company suggests. I usually start off just doing my own thing and then months later I read the directions. This is not always a safe thing to do, so let me go on record saying...don't listen to everything I say. In the case of permanent or even waterproof ink, we are not talking about too much "danger" here. But what we does happen with ink is that people get a little nervous about how to use ink products "correctly". I urge you to simply experiment with "drawing" with the tip of the bottle, dipping a brush into the bottle, loading a pen, using homemade brushes, etc. With practice you lose your "ink anxiety".
UPCOMING SPRING CLASSES
Contemporary Mixed Media-Collage at Dick Blick Plainville CT. MAY 2016
Let Loose With Collage & Mixed Media: Leave your inner critic home and join others in the art of creating Mixed Media artwork and collages using painted papers, print making techniques, textures, mark making, dry and wet media. Emphasis on helping students “loosen up” and work more spontaneously with a variety of art materials and products. All levels of students welcomed. Day/Time: 4 sessions on Wednesdays 1:00 - 3:00, May 4,11,18, 25. Fee $120.00.
The beauty of Mixed Media collage is that you can use every thing and the kitchen sink in the process of making art. While I have my favorite products, you are welcome to bring to class what you already have and to build materials and supplies as you discover new ideas. My favorite essential materials are Canson Drawing paper ()or similar) in a gummed pad (any size works); Acrylic paint; brushes of different sizes; Sharpie Markers; Crayons; oil pastels. Other materials to collect and bring include products that can make textures such as mesh bags from onions, bubble wrap, corrugated brown packing paper that have different kinds of ridges, wallpaper that has raised texture, combs, inserts from candy boxes that have patterns and interesting surfaces etc. BTW, I also smear paint with old glossy post cards or card board that i fold to size. We will discuss adhesives in the first class. http://www.cdiannezweig.com/workshops/