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Beyond the Brush

Updated: Oct 12, 2023


Hello there,


After a hectic few weeks, I've been taking some time to play and experiment more creatively. Playing with new colour palettes, new tools and materials can be a great way to get your creative juices flowing.


Ultimately, the artistic process is all about exploration and discovery and the beauty of mixed media art is that there are no rules! So it’s important to take time to experiment and try new things, especially when it comes to developing your work further.


Today, I wanted to share a bit about my creative process and how I keep things fun and exciting in my art. I have found that one of the most beneficial things for me has been my willingness to experiment with any materials or tools that come my way. In my art practice, I hold a strong belief that no tool or material is too unconventional to use.


Repurposing Found Materials and Recycled Tools!


I find that working with recycled and unusual tools, along with found materials, can be an incredibly liberating experience. It helps cultivate a spirit of fun in my art and stimulates my imagination.


'Waste-Not-Want-Not' is a philosophy that resonates deeply with me as an artist. I believe that we can create beautiful and meaningful pieces of artwork while also being mindful of our impact on the planet.


Using materials that have been discarded or repurposed forces me to think outside the box and approach my work in a new way. This approach has often led me to unexpected results and a renewed sense of creativity.


From old maps to cardboard, packaging to old book pages, and even bubble wrap, I find creative ways to incorporate these materials into my art.

Cling film, for example, can be used to create some truly unique effects. I apply a layer of paint to my panel, then cover it with cling film, then leave it to dry. When I then peel the film off, I’m left with a beautiful textured finish. This technique works particularly well with acrylic paints.


Discovering Hidden Gems


I enjoy repurposing everyday items to add a new dimension to my artwork. I often find myself browsing through charity shops in search of unique tools/materials to incorporate into my mixed media pieces.


I can’t fully explain the thrill of discovering unconventional items that can be used for mark making. As the saying goes, "one man's trash is another man's treasure," and this is especially true when it comes to art supplies.


From chopsticks, feathers, combs to old credit cards and even kitchen utensils, the possibilities are endless when it comes to finding new and exciting tools to experiment with. Not only does this add an element of surprise to my creative process but it also allows me to repurpose items that would otherwise go to waste.


For instance, repurposing tissue paper from gift packaging can be a fun, eco-friendly and versatile medium to work with. Occasionally when I want to add depth and texture to my art pieces, I scrunch and glue together multiple pieces of tissue paper.


Incorporating tissue paper into my painting "Island of the Pelicans" created some interesting textures that must be seen up close to be fully appreciated.


I'm always on the hunt for some unique items to add to my collection. So the next time you're out and about, keep your eyes peeled for unusual items that could become the newest addition to my art toolkit and let me know.


Who knows, your suggestion could become the next star of my art toolkit!


Unlocking the Power of Impulse Purchases


Lately, I have been thoroughly enjoying experimenting with the versatility of softer, muted colours in my artwork. The process of creating these pieces has been an incredibly peaceful and meditative experience for me and I have found myself completely immersed in the creative process.


It was a refreshing change from my usual bright and bold palette. As winter approaches, I find myself drawn to softer, muted colours, perhaps a way of holding onto the warmth of the summer sun. I intend to continue with this set of colours for a wee while as I explore the endless possibilities that come with this approach.


This was the result of a recent impulse buy at the checkout. What's the best impulse buy you've ever made?


I hope that you have enjoyed reading this blog as much as I've enjoyed writing it. Your feedback and suggestions for future topics and articles are always welcome.


Thank you for your continued support and appreciation of my work.


Bye for now,

Kathryn






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