Wednesday, May 2, 2018


                     Prayer Flag                  Mixed Media
Rollinsville  Mixed Media

I am an abstract mixed media artist, and some people think that I just splash color onto a canvas and receive accolades. Besides the classes and practice that I have in common with representational artists I, like them, still need to base my work on imagery. Sometimes, the work is based on a still life, but many times, it is inspired by my travels. My husband and I have been fortunate to  have been able to devote time to travel.  Here’s how I prepare to record my travel inspirations.
First, I recommend a very basic portable studio. At first, I used watercolors, but sitting in the wind with bits of twigs and leaves flying onto your work can curb your enthusiasm. Carrying pots of water over hill and dell is also going to slow you down, so instead I use watercolor pencils. With them, you sketch out your impressions, and in the comfort of your tent, cabin, or lodge, use a brush to wet the pigments and complete your work. 
Second, I use a bound sketchbook which I have prepared by taping off the surface and applying gesso. Since I work in squares, I tape the page to a square, and the gesso gives the paper a little more tooth. Sometimes, I set a problem for the page such as painting blue, yellow and red wash bands (Prayer Flags above) or coating the page in a single color ink wash.  My pad is not large, about 6”X4”, so finished sketches are 4”X4”.
Finally, I round out my portable studio with a small set of brushes, rubber bands, and small containers for water. The rubber bands hold the notebook open and can be used for securing other items as I sit on that windy hill.
I use these sketches as my inspiration. They also help to set my palette and name the work.
Above, I’ve included some sketches from my travels.

How do you prepare to be inspired to create?  Share Your Comments Below.