I am a left brain individual. In fact, I may be a tiny bit anal (OK, maybe a lot anal!). I have a set routine to get myself off to a rolling start in the morning. I use the same streets to go to and from work. At work, I like my work space to be kept in a certain way. My files are kept in a certain order, so if I happen to need to search for a document, I know just where to look (most of the time anyway). Each year, as I have aged, that anal characteristic has become more and more dominant.
That is why occasionally it is very therapeutic to throw a punch into my daily life and connect with the creativity of my right brain. Recently, I spent two days at a mixed media workshop. From 9 am to 4 pm each day, I challenged my right brain to be taught and to express creatively through numerous techniques of mixed media.
The workshop was taught by Win Dinn a talented mixed media artist from Creston, BC. Win is an excellent instructor. She demonstrates the various techniques used in mixed media and challenges you to have fun and playfully create. Win knows her craft and is very adept in the use of color theory. She encourages you step outside of your comfort zone and adapt the techniques of mixed media and create your own style.
Mixed media is the use of different mediums and techniques to create a unique piece of artwork. To create storyboards, acrylic paints, thin and thick gel mediums, plastic wrap, frog tape, photographs, magazine pictures and works, and all kinds of found objects from egg shells, threads, dryer sheets, various types of paper, dried materials like leaves, flowers, fish fins and even bizarre and unusual items like crushed rock, glass, pottery, pull tabs, wood shavings and animal bones are used to tell your story in a creative way.
Over the two days, Win demonstrated eighteen different mixed media techniques one could use to create a storyboard. Using artist tissue paper, I learned to make crystalline paper, brayer paper and using wet tissue paper to create definition and/or designs on my storyboard. Win illustrated a variety of techniques from using drywall compound, plastic wrap, alcohol, sponges, rags, paper towels, sanding and frog tape to create various designs and dimensions on a storyboard. I learned how to use paraffin wax, warm oil pastels, wax crayon and Vaseline to create resists in my art creations.
Each workshop participant was given a recycled book from the Creston library and Win encouraged us to use mixed media to make the pages into an altered book.
The book I was given was The Canadian Poetry Book used in Creston schools in the 1920’s. At the present time, I am enjoying reading the poems and short stories. Maybe later it will become an altered book.
Be sure to visit Win’s blog and be inspired by her artwork. “Like” Win Dinn on Facebook.
Every once in a while, step out of your comfort zone, break a few creative rules and give your right brain a stretch. I will definitely exercise my right brain as I create on my storyboards and on the pages of the altered book.