If you sometimes need a break form washing paint brushes, consider pouring or dabbing a little paint directly onto your surface and smearing with a pice of folded up cardboard or a credit card. I like to randomly draw onto pages with a Sharpie pen and that cover some of my marks with paint. I often will go back over the dried paint and draw shapes and lines on top of the blotches. Then I tear up my painted pages and create abstract collages. I find old books at library tag sales and other places where tattered or old books are either tossed away or sold for under a dollar.
Many artists will say that all drawing and painting involves some form of mark making. A general viewpoint is that as soon as your brush (or whatever tool you use) touches your canvas or paper, you are making a mark! Marks can be lines, scribbles, scratches, smudges, dots, dashes, patterns, textures. All different types of artists use a variety of mark making approaches in their work. Artists may use expressive and intuitive marks in non-objective work, meaning that the work does not represent anything in the natural world. Or perhaps an abstract artist using a dry brush technique might make short, fast lines suggestive of blades of grass even though that association was not intended. The viewer has attributed their own meaning to the lines. On the other hand, the Impressionists used mark making in the form of dabs, hatching and cross hatching to add movement, texture, light and life to the scenes they depicted in their paintings. Marks can be soft and subtle and barely noticeable in some work or they can be bold and intense, occupying a sense of grandness in a work.
Just like Picasso, I enjoy working on newspaper as a pleasant change from painting or drawing on a plain piece of white paper. There is nothing more satisfying to me than the rich black lines you get from using a Sharpie pen directly onto newspaper. It's fun (and relaxing) to outline the newspaper columns or create new forms and designs covering over photos and advertisements. After working at my drafting table for awhile, the smell seems to knock me over and I know its time to open that window and to take a Sharpie break. Then I might add some acrylic paint to the newspaper shapes using the end of a piece of cardboard, a plastic credit card or even a brush to smear or apply the paint. When the paint dries I might bring back more marks with the Sharpie. Painted papers can be used in collage or as solo pieces of work.
Don't feel guilty if you are a Mixed media artist who pokes through bundles targeted for charity . Even though I donate toys, clothes, linens, household items to local organizations, I also keep in mind whether a particular object can be used in my art making projects and I separate it out form the giveaways. Let's call it like it is, Mixed media artists are scavengers. In the photo shown, I saved this blue game part to use to create circular patterns in my Mixed media collages. While it looks like a stencil, it was actually part of a child's game unrelated to art. You can draw into the circles or paint over the circles leaving an impression with the paint.
Next time you come across remnants of ceramic tiles, take a look at the back of the tile. Often there is a very interesting pattern on the backside of the tile which can be used as a printmaking tool in Mixed media art. In the tile shown, I painted orange paint on the underneath side of the tile and then stamped or printed with the tile onto my work. I will use this tile over and over again, adding different colors when needed. You can also over stamp with the same color creating more patterning and textures on your work.
What a treat visiting Rosalie and Ray Gustafson, both artists who have a whimsical gallery and Frame shop called "Ray's" at 53 Poqonock Avenue in Windsor, CT. Rosalie always shares lots of her art tips and makes you feel right at home in her showroom. The shop is small but carefully planned to make to make every nook and cranny count. Rosalie enjoys variety in her work and often mixes her media to create interesting textures. One of her favorite techniques is to cut a landscape or cityscape design into a piece of Styrofoam (the kind found in the meat section of the grocery store) and to coat with paint and print with. She has done many paintings with a city scape theme that she starts out with the technique just mentioned. Than she collages painted or printed papers onto the original painting.
Just in time for Halloween, some thoughts on our fear of the other, the people in the shadows, or merely those that don't look like us.It's tempting to rile yourself up about the 'other'. But that's not the real challenge. The challenge is inside. It's the self-sabotage. The projects not shipped, the hugs not given, the art not made. The real boogeyman isn't the other. The one we're afraid of is with us all the time. http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2016/10/fear-of-outsiders.html
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/
Throughout the country, especially in larger cities, older adults are finding more and more programs geared for their special needs. While I have many friends who are artists and in their eighties, with more energy and mobility than plenty of people half their age, there are plenty of older adults who need a jumpstart to leave their homes and make art! With this in mind, I developed a brand new program at The West Hartford Art League in West Hartford, CT geared for adults who may be returning to art after many decades or who finally want to try their hand at something new. My new class "Let Loose With Creative Aging" will run Wednesday mornings at the WHAL. Some unique aspects of this class is that caregivers can accompany participants to class and that individuals with early dementia can feel comfortable attending. For more information see http://www.cdiannezweig.com/workshops/
Scribbling seems so easy when you are a toddler and you just let yourself draw freely without any conscious thoughts about what you are doing. Fast forward to being an adult and all of a sudden you can't move your hand without overthinking your modus operandi. Am I making lines too soft, too long, too dark, too crooked? You get the drill, mark making becomes tedious instead of relaxed and free. Don't get me wrong, sometimes you want a very careful deliberate line or mark, but more often than not for abstract artists, making marks is a very spontaneous process. So with this concept in mind, I have developed my newest art class "MAKING YOUR MARK IN CONTEMPORARY ART" which will run at The West Hartford Art League this Fall on Wednesday afternoons. Here is the link for more information http://www.cdiannezweig.com/workshops/