Cynthea left a comment on one of my posts the other day about how I'm using paint:
"I have noticed that your style seems to have evolved into using more paint. I know you have been doing this awhile, I do not know when this change started though :) I am wondering if you paint your pages first or are you adding after collage, or even during?? I have taken a few of your older online classes, I would love if you made newer versions! I bet you would have many students! Thanks for sharing."
I just wanted to clarify something that I've had quite a few folks comment about lately, paint on my pages. I've used and taught how to work with acrylics for about twenty years now. When I started teaching, my first mixed media classes were bookbinding, canvas and acrylic paint based classes. I worked primarily in book form but I would often experiment with painting canvases, creating assemblages, working on painted fabric and much, much more. For about twelve years, my classes were mostly how to work with acrylics. I would offer new book making classes and then we would fill our pages with paint (or we'd paint our pages first and then create a book from them, etc...) I would do collage as well but that involved painting the pages first and then going through and gluing a couple of pieces of paper onto a page and calling it finished. (If you look back at my first blog posts in 2006, you can see some of the painted pages there and how much my work and my blogging style has changed. One of these days I will add more of my very early work to the blog. I have a LOT of journals to photograph and share.)
In early 2007, I decided to experiment with mostly paper. Folks kept asking me to teach collage classes and I would ask, "What is there to collage? You just glue stuff down." I soon realized I was wrong and that collage is exactly like painting, but with paper, instead. Just like paint, there are tons of different possibilities when it comes to collaging a page. I fell hard and I fell fast for paper. From 2007 until early 2015 (with my journal at the time that I called, Visual Poetry), I focused mostly on painting with paper only. From time to time, I'd offer a workshop with acrylics if folks asked for it, but paper had my heart and wouldn't let go. I realized that I had a lot to learn about collage and I wanted to fully commit to it for a long period of time and that's what I did. I definitely think it was time well spent.
One day in early 2015 my heart started to long for paint again. I walked into Blick and picked up a few new kinds of acrylics. I went home, played and fell in love with paint all over again. I wanted to do something new. I didn't want to just paint the pages and slap paper down and be done. I wanted to discover paints again but this time, I wanted to figure out how to combine them with paper so that the pages looked more unified. It was a new thought process for me and I was (and still am) excited.
As an artist, instructor and human being, I am still learning and growing. Even though I know what I am doing with my tools and I know how they work (or won't work), that doesn't mean that I know everything there is, none of us do. That's the whole point of growing as artists and individuals. We learn from each other. We push each other. We strive to make ourselves and the world around us better.
I spent several years learning how to use acrylics and to combine them with mixed media. This desire to push myself even further led me to new ways to play with paper. So, in a way, I'm going back to my roots yet at the same time, I'm branching out and exploring new ideas and possibilities as I learn new ways of putting the pieces (and myself) back together again.
To answer Cynthea's question, some pages are collaged and then painted. Other pages are painted, collaged and painted again. I try to approach each page in a new and unique way that is different than previous pages.
As far as online classes go, I have been working on a new online class (I try to keep my in person classes separate from my online classes.) When my husband became sick in February, I had to push the ideas for online classes that I had to the side. Once I am feeling like I am back on track again and we are a bit back on our feet, I am aiming for a new online class very, very soon. Right now, I'm still trying to get my life back to some kind of regular schedule. It makes my heart happy to know that someone is interested. I really appreciate the comments and people checking in. Thank you!
If you enjoyed this post, you may want to read: