Saturday, August 23, 2014

Mixed Media Workshops, Australia

Yes. Well, it may have been because I saw it as an extension of drawing or my mental health postcards. Or I needed a technique to commemorate Dad's life and use his many pictures in a meaningful way. (I haven't shown you a box I brought back!) Or I wanted to know how Seth manages to have so much fun day after day after day on his blog. Whatever the reason, I signed up for it. Three workshops, in fact.

All three workshops I signed up for aimed to create a "book" of some kind.  
Day 1: a journal meant to be bound at the top but I had a few winged pages and must cut the tops of the wings so they fold in. (Is that the correct description?) I'm almost finished with the background painting, but there are quite a few more steps left for backgrounds. I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but nine days later the pages are still not completely dry. I was so lucky the title on the cover was done by Kaye, an experienced calligrapher in the same class.
Day 2: a small accordion book of photos; again, the pages are not dry so further background work awaits but this is the first book I want to return to. Everything relates to Dad and on the left, I used the map of Bergen Alicja sent me in W2W2. I suspect this is only the first of a few Dad books to come. 
Day 3: an unbound book, (i.e. just loose book covers) showcasing all the techniques we learned; they will be bound/wrapped with a ribbon or a piece of fabric when completed. I had great trouble with residual paint/medium on the protective plastic on the table sticking back to my work in progress, (really bad on second left piece,) so peeling those off would be my first task. We worked on seven covers, on both sides, and the far right backup board has just one layer of paint, because two of my favs decided to stay in Australia.
The left one lives with Hope and the right, with Carol. I was thrilled they liked them enough to want to keep them. I had trouble with some pages, but these two came easily. 
These are unfinished backgrounds only so they are not finished/polished in the way I would have liked; the idea is to work further with collages, stamps, stencils, rub-ons, and I'm also interested in some free-hand drawing and taking off unwanted bits. Hope's on the left has "Unfinished" on the other side, a wonderful reminder for the both of us.

The classes were great fun and Seth a wonderful teacher. We were in a rush to learn all the techniques so not many of us progressed beyond background paintings, but we had sufficient instructions and samples to know how to proceed. Imperfection was labeled the "best parts" and I tried my best to experiment with layers-upon-layers, textures, and complexity.

I'm not sure where mixed media sits in my life, but there is definitely room. I'm keen to use a few material/techniques I already have/use, (collage, stamps/stamp pads, inclusion of my fivers/textiles, gesso, drawing, but I'm so inept with stencils) and one new thing I liked in class, acrylic glazing liquid, which slows down the drying but creates transparent/translucent color layers. I must also learn to work cleanly and to remove the unintended messy bits.

I kept telling myself I like simpler, slicker, flat pages; (can you see the orange bottom, a twin of the top right piece in the pic, in the small collaged piece?)
But then I did this, too. (This started with the red thrums from Kaz's workshop but I didn't like the paint colors I used and piled up glaze and gesso in many layers. In the end, Linda and Seth helped me with color choices.) 
Somewhere in between;
appeals to me the most, more interesting than my postcard in progress.
Finding a new technique is almost as exciting as making new friends but these classes came with a few new cohorts with whom I hope to keep in touch.

How wonderful, this life of making.

8 comments:

  1. By Day 3, I was noisy again with too much nervous energy. Sorry about that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, mixed workshops (using the thrums)...kind of like when we were kids and asked for mixed flavors of soda! Nice work.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yup. Worked well as long as I used the right adhesive, LOL. Also, I'm sorry I used up so much of Seth's glazing mayonnaise.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love what you've done here. Glad you're making books and doing mixed media!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. It opens a whole new vista to the making, doesn't it, Connie, but I suffer from poor cutting-with-blades and gluing techniques, so, to practice MM techniques or to weave, that is the question. Google, you'd better not lose my comment a third time.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for joining us for the first AIY retreat in Australia Meg. Great to have finally met you and watch your creativity unfold. How nice of you to gift those two pieces from our last workshop. Hope to return to the area and see you again next time!! And no worries about the mayonnaise :-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. It was great fun, Seth, needless to say. And strangely not as challenging as I had imagined; you could say I came prepared. Also, really enjoying the DVD - so many more techniques!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think one way or another, the things you taught us are going to become a regular occurrence in my life, albeit perhaps not too frequently because weaving is so time-consuming. Last night I cleaned my palette and stencils with methylated spirit - I might try a bit of that to get the stuff my pages picked up from the table plastic, rather than trying to lift them off. Dad would of course so disapprove. LOL.

    ReplyDelete

I love comments. Thank you for taking the time!