Saturday, September 13, 2014

Thoughts on Mixed Media at this Juncture

With all the noise in my head, I need to summarize my current thoughts/feelings towards drawing/mixed media.

1) These are techniques first and foremost to enjoy, and then to explore elements that may tie in with weaving.

2) To that end, the joy is in the making, and for me to keep/have and not to sell, (although I may give away or flog off small items later if I feel I have something "good enough" to share.)

3) To that end, my mental health postcards are already a vital genre, and I can't see not continuing for a while however sporadic. But if I abruptly stop one day, that's fine, too.

4) I am most interested in bookbinding and/or making things in a book format, be they incomplete "notebooks" to fill in later, or completed to the best of my understanding/intention.

5) I enjoy gesture drawing, but on the whole I'm still uncomfortable with drawing. I have difficulties getting started because I want to immediately end up with "nice" drawings even though I already know that some look bad while I'm drawing but interesting later, the same as weaving.

6) Just as I weave with wool, cotton, silk or these mixes, the only synthetic/artificial yarns creeping into my weaving being binders for bouclé, I like watercolor/gouache, pencils, charcoal and ink better than acrylic. One of my hangups with prototypical mixed media is the myriad of acrylic media/products. (Came home with two more yesterday so I can finish the three I started in Australia.) However, acrylic, when sufficiently dried, travels better, so in the future I shall keep a small acrylic kit for the postcards, but use what feels more natural to me for the other "me" projects. 

7) Knowing when I'm finished is difficult; I often know only when I've gone one step too far. I need to be more self-indulgent and forgiving if I am to explore and get satisfaction out of the process, which to me means making stuff anyway, pretty or ugly, and see if/how it works. By which I mean look/see, walk by, glance, glare at and mull over. See also 1) and 2).

8) I need to practice toning down my mixed media work if that is the look I prefer, and it seems that way. I like depth, but not in-your-face multitude of elements, ditto with weaving, and I haven't had enough practice to create the toned down look. 

When I looked at Seth's work in real life, they were incredibly deep to the point some almost sucked me into their tiny page, the process gazillion-layered, and yet not in-your-face. He also takes great pains to use commercial or everyday stuff to make the resultant look his own.

At present my preference is to have a good proportion of freehand, (drawn and handwritten,) elements; something like Gwen Diehn's sketchbooks but with interesting backgrounds; a heavy dose of Roz Stendahl's joy and neatness but not animals/birds but human folks and as much urban scenes as I can muster in little old Nelson; and the mystery and details of Nick Bantock without the dead, the demonic or the dark.

EDIT: 9) I want to try more printing. That is one technique I throughly enjoyed way, way back in school, and I didn't like art classes back then. 

Pity two more layers haven't done the job; a majority has been addressed and messages written but they still can't fly.
Gotto to work on the post that was supposed to come before this.

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