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Art, Business and Balance + 3 Amazing New Stencils in the Shop

 

Can We Talk?

Nothing like starting out with the truth. After last weeks post, I had some second thoughts that I should have told you how I was being paid for featuring Heidi and her shop. Um, I’m NOT. I did that feature (and will do future ones too) for FREE. Nothing, Nada. Zero.

I spent my time and effort all for the fun and joy and humanity of doing it. Interested in having your own feature? Just send me a note and we’ll get started. Now, that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about some more true things.

The weekly newsletter is from today going to be a monthly newsletter. (If you haven’t, you can sign up here.) It’ll be a little longer and include goodies for you like free product downloads, subscriber discounts and early product releases the first week of the month. If there’s something super exciting in the studio in the meantime, you may get an interim quick update as well. Of course, those are likely to be more random, but there’s the fun of it!

Wondering why the sudden change? The true reason is the toll on my own art and creativity is too high. I committed to weekly mailings for a year and I’ve done that and more but my studio time and artistic output has suffered greatly. So, I’m making the decision to cut back the schedule and focus on making more art. That means more creative stuff to share with you!

If you want to keep up with the new projects and behind the scenes, let’s connect on Instagram or Facebook. I’d love to see you there!

Taking the time to really look at art and business and personal time balance and telling the truth of it is how we all make creative progress – whether it’s purely personal or as a tiny business. It’s no good if it’s not fulfilling.

New Things in the Shop!

I know you’ve been eyeing these NEW stencils – I have too! They’re heavy duty, easy to clean Mylar, made in the USA and ready to ship from the studio. I especially love these gears and have an idea for a journal cover. See how fancy they are!

Thanks for taking this walk with me…

Monette

PS Long made short: Have your own shop feature (NO payment required!); the newsletter becomes monthly to make more time for art; NEW stencils in the shop; you’re awesome!

New Stencils in the Shop

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Print and Create! Printable Collage Sheets – Watercolor Strawberries, Leaves and Blooms

Strawberries! Let these watercolor berries and blooms breathe a fresh spring breeze into your creative projects. Just print, cut and collage the elements into your art journal or mixed media projects for bright berry fun!

 

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Use Stencils for New Complexity and Interest in Your Mixed Media Art Practice

Find new complexity and layers in your mixed media art practice. Stencils add depth and interest to your work. These perfectly sized tag shaped stencils are easy to use and clean.

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Artist and Paper Ephemera Kits – All the Beautiful Papers!

Creative Fuel for Art Journals and Mixed Media!

It’s easier to create when you have a supply of materials. Grab one (or a few – each one is unique) of my exclusive artist paper and ephemera kits for more creative options.

I personally create the contents of these kits as well as assemble them with assorted hand painted papers, punch outs, and other paper bits to add spice to your stash. Use them just as they are, cut or tear them up, punch your own shapes – whatever you can think of!

There are at least a dozen (12) pieces in each package with one half letter sheet and smaller items varying from approximately 2 inches to 6 inches. Each one has a unique and beautiful assemblage from my collection of artist and studio ephemera.

These are samples of the fun things you could receive, your package will be completely unique – I’ll choose a nice one for you!

Each one is in the studio and ready to ship!

 

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Mixing the Media – 3 Simple Steps!

Three Simple Steps to Mixed Media Projects

Mixed media is fun, but it can be confusing – how to start, what to do next, am I done yet? Try simplifying to this 3 step process to get started. Having a process framework takes the guesswork out but leaves room for the creativity. This is how I approach my own projects – give it try and see what you think!

Mixed media describes art and journal projects that bring together different elements and materials in a variety of different ways. Pretty much any art or craft technique and medium you can think of can also be called mixed media when used together.  When you start combining techniques and media, the possibilities multiply and can become overwhelming.

That’s where a simple framework comes in – giving yourself some order and reducing choices can have the unexpected effect of freeing your creativity and helping you get started.

Limit Your Choices for Success

Before you start, go ahead and choose the media you’ll use and the colors. I often only use 2 or 3 types of media – such as paint and collage – and only 3 to 5 different colors. This restriction allows me to be more free in the application because I’ve made those decisons ahead of time. The piece in the picture was made with acrylic paint, stencils and texture paste with only 5 colors of paint.

Steps into Mixing Media

Choose a surface

First you need a substrate to work paint, draw or glue onto. There are many different things that you can use – from recycle bin cardboard and paper to canvas and fabric to wood and other rigid boards. But, before you grab the first thing at hand, think about how durable you want the finished item to be. If you’re making a journal cover, paper is likely too thin but cardboard would be about right.

Add Layers

Start by priming your surface with an appropriate sealer. Most papers and paper products can be successfully primed with gesso or even basic acrylic paint. Add more layers of paint colors and shapes and/or glue down interesting papers to fill in the space. Then paint over the papers to partially obscure them. Once you have an interesting surface, consider if there are any blank spots or places that are too busy.

Add a Focal Point and Finish the Details

Choose an image, or item, to be the main point of the work. It can be an image cut from a magazine or book, your own art, or a found item attached to the page. Make sure it’s large enough to work as a focal item: around a quarter page size or larger makes the point to the viewer.

All that’s left is to finish the details with smaller images and embellishments around the page. Knowing when to stop is the hard part – my advice is to stop when you have two more items and you’re searching for where to put them. Usually, the work is done at that point. Leave the whole thing to sit overnight and see how it looks the next day.

Wrap it Up

Once you’re happy with the piece, all that’s left is to seal it, if necessary, and use it as you originally intended: as art to display or as part of another project.

Let me know if the idea of simplifying and thoughtfully restricting design choices is helpful – I’d love  to hear from you!

More Art Journal Inspiration in the Shop: