Artful Adventures – Cheiron Brandon

  

Hello from the Creative Squad! Today we have a gorgeously colored art journal spread from Cheiron Brandon that uses my Beacon and Amsterdam stencils, and this month’s theme: Artful Adventures. Are you planning an Artful Adventure this summer? Whether it’s a day at the beach or a full blown International Vacation, don’t forget to take the time to soak up the uniqueness of your new surroundings and gather some inspiration for future artmaking. This month we’re turning to Nat’s new book Artful Adventures in Mixed Media, to help us find inspiration as we travel. We’ll be noticing color, shape, texture and more and then we’ll be taking that to the studio to help inspire some mixed media projects. Join us in the adventure!


Hi there. It’s Cheiron here with my monthly post, I haven’t had a lot of adventures this summer, but I did head down to a family wedding in Virginia with my siblings. Here’s a picture of us at the wedding (it was on a farm):

I was inspired to create a fun painty summer background on a page to add my “family” that used the Photo Manipulation technique in Nat’s book, Artful Adventures in Mixed Media. I used some Tim Holtz paper dolls and colored and doodled on them with some paint pens. Then I created a super fun painty background for them.

To begin my page, I put down some paints in turquoise, cheddar and medieval through the Amsterdam stencil. I also added texture paste in a layer to some spots.

I created lots of painty layers and marks. I kept adding and adding the layers until I was happy, I used the back of my paintbrush to add some sgraffito, revealing the layers underneath. I also added some white paint through the Amsterdam stencil on top of everything.

I added my Tim Holtz paper dolls that I had colored in with acrylic markers and pens. I love giving them fun clothing and details!

To make the page more cohesive and add extra pops of color, I used the Beacon stencil to create a pattern all over the blank page.

I also added some more stenciling with the beacon stencil around my focal image.

I hope you have enjoyed this fun, colorful page. Even if I haven’t had a real vacation yet this summer, I have sure enjoyed some fun times with my siblings!


Thank you Cheiron for this peek into your beautiful family! Cheiron used the following supplies (some are affiliate links):



Play along with us too: I love to see how you interpret our monthly themes. Email me how you used my stencils and stamps with the theme and email me an image – I would love to share your projects in my “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

Comments (1)

  • Karen Bearse

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    Love it!! Great use of the paper dolls and fun way to use family life as the inspiration. Really love all the layers!

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Creative Squad Team Call – Reminder

Don’t forget that we are looking for new Creative Squad! You still have until August 11th to submit- here is the original call with all the details and what we are looking for :)

Have a wonderful day!!

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What to Read this Summer: Art & Artist Fiction

In my book Artful Adventures in Mixed Media is a chapter called “Letting Books and Movies Speak to You” and while I def. recommend my book as a summer read ;) , I thought I would list some others. I love to read – besides painting, reading is my all time favorite thing to do. Sometimes I pick up fiction books about artists or with an art theme and they do often inspire me whether by the story itself and/or by digging deeper into the art and the time period of a certain artist. A lot of the research inspires me later in my artwork in one way or the other. Here are five books I enjoyed in the past couple months (in no particular order):

The Forest Lover by Susan Vreeland

This book was recommended to my by one of my students and it is a novel about the life of painter Emily Carr. Emily Carr was a Canadian painter who lived from 1871-1945. Emily Carr became known for her paintings and sketches about totemic carvings of the First Nations people of British Columbia and the rain forests of Vancouver Island. She took many trips with her canoe to reach remote aboriginal villages, very unusual for a woman in that time. The book gives a great insight of her life – the struggles of being a female modern artist, the landscape of her trips and the history of how Natives were forbidden to live their culture, beliefs, and speak their language. It is thought provoking and a great read!

The Muralist by B.A. Shapiro

Taking place in New York City in the 1940s and in the 2010s this book tells the story of Alizee Benoit, a fictional artist character, who was employed through the WPA Artist Program as a Muralist. The program (which is real) was created as a relief measure to employ artists and artisans to create murals, easel paintings, sculpture, graphic art, posters, photography, theatre scenic design, and arts and crafts. Many later famous artists were part of this program and one could argue that they wouldn’t have been famous if it wasn’t for this program that let them do art and earn their living while they developed. Alizee vanishes one day and “no one knows what happened to her. Not her Jewish family living in German-occupied France. Not her artistic patron and political compatriot, Eleanor Roosevelt. Not her close-knit group of friends, including Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Lee Krasner.” I enjoyed the fictional story of how being around those artists could have been, but it also made me research into the history of how the U.S. dealt with jewish refugees during WWII and the WPA program.

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith

This story is again about a fictional artist called Sara de Vos who lives in Amsterdam and becomes the first woman to be admitted as a master painter to the city’s Guild of St. Luke in 1631. The story also plays in the 50s in NYC and in the 2000s in Sydney. I liked how this book took my to a different time period and of course I was curios to find out if there were indeed women in the painters guild in 1631. This lead me to discover painter Judith Leyster who lived from 1609-1660 – some of you might have seen one of her paintings in my book. If you like historic fiction, this is a great book including an art theme.

A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline

Christina is the subject of Andrew Wyeth‘s famous painting “Christina’s World” and the novel tells her story. Her sickness, where she lived and how Wyeth become part of her and her brother’s live and painted her. It actually made me see the painting in a different way and I feel it touches me now more even though the feelings and thoughts of Christina in the book are pure fiction.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Not a book about an artist but about a painting  The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius which indeed exists. The story about what happens to the painting is fiction but it is more the story of Theodore Decker who, at the age of 13, survives a terrorist bombing at an art museum in which his beloved mother dies. Staggering out of the museum he takes The Goldfinch with him and the story encompasses the story of Theodore’s live. I have to admit that I bought the book two years ago, started it and somehow totally hated it (yes- hated it) I put it down after 50 pages and thought “nope” – which rarely happens. But I gave it another chance this year and I do not know what rubbed me the wrong way back then but this time I loved it. The story is amazing and it is a great summer read about gangsters, teenagers, the art black market and more. If you are a late bloomer on this one like I am…read it ;)


I hope you enjoyed reading list. Do you have a fiction book about art / artists you would recommend for me to read?

Comments (1)

  • Deb

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    Natalie,
    What a fun idea for a blog post! Love to get new book ideas.
    I love reading your daily blog. It is inspiring and something I look forward to. I like the variety. I have really enjoyed your gallery and museum posts. It’s also been fun to see you having so much fun with the paints you made in your class at Kremer pigment.
    The new Finnabair impasto paints are fun too.
    Keep up the great life of Art itself as adventure.
    Glad you are now part of my life!
    Deb

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Art Stroll: Medrie MacPhee at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery

Natalya Aikens and I did a little gallery tour a couple weeks ago and we also stopped by to see Medrie MacPhee at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery in NYC.

Her artwork were Collages made out of pieces of clothes and oil paint.

I liked how the collages seemed like maps of some sort and how the flatness is interrupted with pieces of cloths which you start to diessect and try to read.

 

Buttons, pockets, seams and zippers.

Medrie McPhee also uses dried acrylic skins and applies them as elements into her work. She calls those acrylic transfers.

I find the collages intriguing, at first glance it feels as if they invite you to linger and to try to make sense of these maps.

And then I start to feel annoyed because there seems to be not enough to get a grip on it. I need the code:)

It was definitely great to go on an art stroll with Natalya again. It also reminded me that I should visit galleries more often :) Thanks Natalya – cannot wait for our next outing!

Comments (2)

  • Karen Bearse

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    Interesting my creative wheels started spinning right away!

    Reply

  • Jean Goza

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    Fascinating. As a sewist and fabric lover, I really enjoyed seeing the “components” of fashion broken down in a very simple form. With the addition of paint, it changed the form to collage. It did indeed look like a road map. For me, the map led me to bounce between what was and what is. I love the unique vision of this artist.

    Thanks Nat for another fun art stroll.

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That’s the Way I like it – Art Journal

“I have no idea what I’m doing and that’s kind of how I love it” – True for a lot of areas in my life ;)

I painted with my new Art Alchemy Acrylic Paint, which Finnabair has sent me to try. I like that they are a bit on the thicker side and the colors are beautiful. I used my Batik Mini foam stamps and love how much texture they created. For the circles I used a round sponge which I had laying around and then stamped inside of it in white with the back end of a brush.

Using a more grey-ish ink I added some texture using my Cardboard rubberstamp set.

I traced some of the patterns with a black pen.

What about you , are you a total planner and know exactly what you are doing or are you also a bit of a “let’s try it” person?

Here are some of the supplies I used for this spread;



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Artful Adventures – Tina Walker

  

Hello again from the Creative Squad! Today we have a gorgeous art journal spread from Tina Walker that uses my Beacon stencil, the Stroll Through the Hood #1 and #2 stamp sets, and this month’s theme: Artful Adventures. Are you planning an Artful Adventure this summer? Whether it’s a day at the beach or a full blown International Vacation, don’t forget to take the time to soak up the uniqueness of your new surroundings and gather some inspiration for future artmaking. This month we’re turning to Nat’s new book Artful Adventures in Mixed Media, to help us find inspiration as we travel. We’ll be noticing color, shape, texture and more and then we’ll be taking that to the studio to help inspire some mixed media projects. Join us in the adventure!


Hi! Tina Walker here today with a new month and a new theme. August’s theme is Artful Adventures and we are continuing the celebration of Nat’s new book ‘Artful Adventures in Mixed Media’. We will be using inspiration from our summer travels to create a mixed media project. I was super excited when I saw this month’s theme as I had recently took a short trip to Washington DC. And Nat’s stencil and stamps collections are perfect for the project I had in mind. Let’s get to it!

During my mini vacation to Washington, I took many pictures of the government buildings and historic sites. One particular photo, of the Capital building, inspired me to create. Here’s my inspiration photo.

Using the image of the Capital, I sketched the general shape into my journal. (for this spread, I choose to work in my large, 8x11in journal. I wanted plenty of room to work). Not being a sketch artist, I took liberal direction on specific building designs and shapes. Once I had the rough shape of the capital, I began working on the background of my page.

Apply Texture Paste with the Beacon stencil over the entire background. Let dry completely.

Add watercolors over the entire background, working around the sketched and stenciled areas. I graduated deep blues to light tans on my page. I love how the watercolors pool and blend, especially around the stenciled shapes.

To create a representation of all Americans, past, present, and future, stamp several building images from both the Stroll through the Hood 1 and 2 stamp sets. Since I was using multiple stamps, I wanted to ensure proper placement before stamping. I stamped them onto a transparency first, so I could move them around the page before committing to the stamp.

In order to create a cohesive look across all sketched, stenciled, and stamped images, paint with watercolors, then doodle over the images with a white pen.

The finished page had such a powerful and graphic image, no words were needed. 😊

Do you ever use photographs as inspire for your art? I would love to see what you create.

I hope you enjoyed my project today. Have a great day!


Thank you Tina for this beautiful page and for showing us how your Artful Adventures helped inspire it! Tina used the following supplies (some are affiliate links):



Play along with us too: I love to see how you interpret our monthly themes. Email me how you used my stencils and stamps with the theme and email me an image – I would love to share your projects in my “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

Comments (4)

  • Karen Bearse

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    Really love the drawing of the capital building. Lots of inspiration here!

    Reply

  • Karen Bearse

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    Cool ideas!! Love your page. I need to start drawing!

    Reply

  • Yvonne Garner

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    Love this! Is the domed building a new stamp?Thanks! Yvinne

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Chosen Friends -Art Journaling Spread

“Friends are the family we choose for ourselves” – I love this! I was just talking to a friend how amazing it is nowadays that distance is not the biggest obstacle in friendships anymore as there are so many ways to stay connected. I love when I get a text message out of nowhere from one of my friends in Germany with just a picture because something they saw made them think of me.

For this journal spread I used the acrylic paints I made in my workshop at Kremer Pigment- I am still so much in love with them especially the copper and the yellow. I used some blue paint with my Mini Toledo Foam Stamp – I love that stamp.

I stamped with the Embroidery Stamp Set  and a white pigment ink pad as well as with a darker archival ink pad -love how the textures pops off the page.

Hug a friend today – even if just virtually – will you? It will make their day – promised ;)

Here are some of the supplies I used for this spread


Comments (1)

  • Jackie P Neal

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    Happy National Girlfriends Day Nat!!
    What a perfect post for this day!!
    Gorgeous color play -stunning brights!
    hugs,Jackie “)

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Artful Adventures in Mixed Media around the world

Every time someone tags me with my book Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – I get super excited – look it is now being shipped in Germany and in The Netherlands- wohoo. Thank you for sharing!!!

If you happen to have gotten my book, send me a pic or tag me on instagram or FB :) Maybe you take it on vacation with you or it is in your studio while you are creating – I would love to see :)

Lots of Love!

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