TTTPL Graphic Composition Two

Here are a few more photos from a Tending to the Pilot Light session focused on victory over the blank page.

How often do you sit down all ready to do some project and suddenly find yourself staring at the baleful, blank, uncompromising expanse of the white piece of paper or canvas, the bolt of fabric, the assorted tools of your craft, the raw materials around you - only to have your intent, your creative juices squeezed right out of you.

Sometimes it happens even before I start... it's as if there is a virtual blank page in my mind.... looming, pristine and unblemished in front of me... just daring me to make my mark, to create something FANTASTIC, something worthy/beautiful/meaningful/compelling/_you fill in your own creative block here. Writer's block, artistic paralysis, loss of inspiration/muse... etc.

The exercises we played with over the last few weeks were in direct response to this phenomenon. And the key word is "play". Breaking down the seriousness, pressure, the dramatic musts, shoulds and aughts around creativity is the only way to get past these roadblocks. Not every piece has to be a MASTERpiece.... the steps we take in the direction of a "finished" piece are just as important as the result. It is in the DOING, the ACTION of creating that we find our direction, our peace, our true selves.

Breaking down the page...

I am really excited by some of the work I've been doing lately.  Using old book pages as a base, I've been painting through punchinella, using lace as a monotype texture, employing texture and pattern stamps and painting through pre-cut stencils.

This work is very rewarding and is not with the intention of creating a finished piece, rather to create richly textured backgrounds that may become part of a greater whole in the future.

Here are a few examples:
(click to enlarge)

Here is a link to my dress-a-day blog where I used these techniques to make a bunch of recent pieces:  http://mackomics-studio-dress-a-day.blogspot.com/
In other news:
Next weekend - Art in the Park! Go to South park and enjoy great variety of fine art and creative mixed media!  I'll be at the info table during most of the AM hours, so stop by and say hi!

The Lawrence Art Center's summer catalogue is out and online... I'll be teaching a number of classes including teen and adult offerings.
I have a new feature on this blog: Student Resources.  I will be populating this site with online and other resources I use for my business or for classes taught here at MacKomics Studio or at the Lawrence Arts Center.  Click "Student Resources" up on the right of the blog under "Pages".  Scroll to the class you've taken and find all sorts of goodies!
Have a great week.  This Thursday, we will be doing some drawing and doodling in Tending to the Pilot Light..... tips and tricks to get that pencil moving on the page!


TTTPL Graphic Composition

This week at Tending to the Pilot Light (April 12, 2012) we played with a number of methods designed to break down the power of the blank page.

Using layers, contrasting colors, perspective and some plain old fun, participants left with 4 or 5 mini compositions.

Here are some pictures:

We played with colored inks and straws - blowing tendril patterns onto the page to break up the expanse...

We created fantastical maps with distinct shorelines to acclimate our eyes to the use of 1/3 or 1/5 page grid systems...

Don't they look great all lined up together?

We swooshed ink onto the page in random patterns and then turned it around to find creatures or objects emerging on their own....

We worked all evening, intermittently, on layering textures and colors onto a single piece, each step in the progress carefully calculated....

We worked on a simple collage incorporating a horizon line designed to compliment or create friction with the collage piece.....

Even though these pieces are really fun and quite well done, the exercises were not about a finished project; rather a series of lessons to fill that creative toolbox with techniques for BEGINNING the process... tricks to get past that blank page... that great expanse of white!  

I look forward to creating with you!

Have a great week


Fascinating Fascinators at the Lawrence Arts Center

I just wrapped up my first class at the Lawrence Arts Center a couple of weeks ago and would like to share some of the wonderful accessories my students created over the course of eight weeks.

Each week was centered around a type of fabric or a specific method.  For example, one week we worked exclusively with ribbons, another with cotton fabrics, and another with all recycled materials.

Here are some of the projects completed ....  I've seen some of the final projects in process and personally can not wait to see these beauties once they are finished!

 Final project: working on composition for the final project - buttons, feathers, rolled ribbon rosettes
Final project: working with vintage velvet petals and burnt edge organza
Final project: trying out the angle of the feather accent on the final project
Designer headband made with feathers, rolled ribbon rosettes, glass beads and netting from a fruit bag
 Beautiful petite hair accessories made with a cotton yoyo and a satin ribbon rolled rose
 A super luxe burnt edge organza accessory
 A stunning buttons, beads, organza and feather brooch and below it a multi layered pleated rose with a velvet yoyo and button accent accessory
 A study in contrasts, complex burnt edge organza and designer fabric/vintage button pieces
 Three cute headbands for a toddler, using felt, ribbon and cotton yoyo techniques
 Using many of the felt techniques from class, one student even made a full sized holiday wreath!

 Combining techniques to make an elegant Mother-of-the-Groom hair accessory
Clever use of recycled materials to make unique hair combs
Two of my students sporting Fascinating Fascinators! The Dr. Seuss hat on the left was a great hit at the School Library Fair it was designed for!

I really enjoyed teaching this class.... and I believe the students had a good time too!

This is being offered again at LAC - click on this link to view the summer catalogue: http://issuu.com/artsinaction/docs/aia2012?mode=window&backgroundColor=%23222222

Art Journals

The art journal project continues at Tending to the Pilot Light.

Here are some more pictures of covers and some books starting to take shape.  This last week we actually started stitching.  Next week we will have one more stitching session and be finished with the project.

Here is an inside cover with a hand made envelope attached, complete with melted and torn edge pieces, stamping, distressing, found images and book pages

 Antiqued doily and re-assembled holiday card elements make an intriguing mixed media piece
 Here is the inside cover with the envelope open
 Assembling signatures and adding handmade pocket elements - note the use of handmade paper combined in a single signature.

Here are a few pics of my "finished" art journal. I say "finished" because I need to un-bind the last section and re-do the stitches.  In my excitement to complete the project, I omitted a step on each station and the book does not sit snug-ly together as it should.

In addition to the mixed cut-to-signature paper, I provided extra long paper for participants to create accordion fold out pages.

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