For the past 8 years or so I’ve chosen a Word of the Year in January to help guide and focus my efforts in the coming months. Past words have been Joy, Thrive, Love, Focus — inspirational, you get the picture.
It helps me to have a large visual image to reinforce it usually placed in a high-trafficked area of my Studio (the bathroom). And, I always create the artwork, usually with a friend or two, using Mixed Media techniques.
After conversations this year with friends and students, coupled with a sense of inertia, at times, my word of the year for 2022 is DO. My Mantra for 2022: Do Not watch, scroll, ponder, procrastinate, avoid, ignore, but DO.
Coming out of the Pandemic I think something has shifted. Magically we were awash in online content that could take up days upon days of time to watch. I’ve had many conversations of late with folks frustrated that after hours upon hours of watching, they were not nearly as proficient in DOING as they assumed they would be. Not just mixed media videos but also home renovation and repairs, new crafts, and other instructional programs that were solely watched.
I think my brain can trick me into thinking I did it rather than just watched it.
I can’t stress enough that it is in the DOING that I learn and grow. I’ve never been able to just hear, watch or read about something and perfect it. It’s in my hands that I learn. And I never regret the time spent in the Studio.
So, in 2022 I am gonna DO. Help hold me accountable.
This sign was developed with one of my absolute favorite mixed media techniques - reductive painting and collage.
Here’s what I did:
- Grabbed a canvas I had already painted on - @ 18” x 18”
- Pulled together a random stack of papers (about 15 -20 sheets) including ledger paper, old book pages, rice paper, deli paper, and plain white paper.
- Using a variety of colors of heavy-bodied acrylic paint I spent a lovely day painting papers. I used my Boro Stencil, parts of the Stitch ATC Stencil, Michelle Ward's Ray Circles, January's StencilClub Pattern Play (swoon!), and lots of others to paint the papers. For random texture, I used a palette knife through the stencil with the heavy-bodied paint. Because my word indicates getting busy, I wanted lots of color and images going on my canvas.
- Once painted, I got out the acrylic inks and made marks, painted on ink over the acrylic paint, made patterns, and some illustrations on the painted pages. My favorite tools for mark-making are wooden skewers and vintage dip pens. I even wrote the word DO. Over and over on some of my papers.
- Satisfied with my pile, I tore it up.
- Using Matte Medium I began randomly adhering the pieces to the canvas knowing at the end I would cover a lot of it up with paint.
- Once glued in place. I made more marks and added stenciling in black and white paint.
- Then I covered it in one more layer of Matte Medium.
- I struggled with where to put the DO. Cray-pas pastels are great for this because if you don’t like the placement, a baby wipe erases it and the layer of Matte Medium below it protects what you've done.
- I committed and choose a heavy-bodied paint color. Eeek. It's a pale pink but looks white in the photos.
- Painted away everything but the word and left a border because I really like the stuff underneath.
- Came back in with the skewer and wrote in the wet paint. Also went over the black lines with the Cray-Pas for emphasis.
I hope your 2022 is full of DOING!