Sunday, January 31, 2010

Secret Sunday 11

Do you want to know a secret?


Welcome to the fourth edition of The Pulse -- The State of the Art -- a survey in words and pictures of the online artist community. The Pulse is a collaborative project that aims to introduce you to new artists, help you get to know familiar faces even more, and allow you access into the creative hearts and minds of a very talented crew of individuals.


Over 150 (!) artists have answered a series of questions which make up The Pulse. Their responses will be presented as a series of online and print projects. And the first continues right now!

Join The Altered Page every Sunday for "Secret Sunday." Here the secrets of all your favorite artists will be revealed. It could be a technique, a product, a secret source, a little-known website, a hidden shop, an inspiration, just about anything! If you missed any, no worries. You can find links to all the secrets on the sidebar of my blog.

Today's secret.......Open House!

Today is YOUR day. I hope everybody reading this will add their very own secret to the comment section of this post. And remember to come back often to read all the secrets as they are added. Now...it is time to spill!

58 comments:

Harnett-Hargrove said...

Starch can be a surprisingly interesting tool. -J

Jude said...

Stopping in the middle of the creative process, and just sitting in silence with the paper or canvas or image, and looking at it, really looking...

paperqueen said...

Sometimes the most interesting things to add to a collage are the bits discarded from yesterday's work. And NEVER throw away the scrap paper you work on.
Eileen

Martin said...

Watch your favourite movie(s) with the sound off. Put your favourite (classical?) music on.
Make video stills with the remote control or mouse. Imagine the stills are paintings.

Marit said...

Use pages of old dictionaries or encyclopedias in your art. The things you can do with all those words....

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

When making background pages for a project, make lots. You already have your art supplies out, why not use them?

No matter how cluttered your work surface gets, if you start the next morning with a clean slate, you will also start with a clean attitude.

Photos of my art secrets are in today's post on my blog.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Annie said...

Take the minimum of materials and an apple in your pocket and go and work on a hill, or a beach, or under a tree in the park, or on the steps in front of the harbour, or with your feet dangling in the river, or on the back seat of the bus on a long trip out of town.

neva gagliano said...

people...
friday "play date"/art afternoon when my friend comes over to my one worktable in the utility room and we paint. she doesn't have space, and it gets me down there: on schedule.

Angie in AZ said...

One of my favorite collage materials are used tea bags! Let them dry then cut open and take out the tea leaves. The bags are ready to use. Rooibas is my favorite to use because of the gorgeous rusty color it stains the bags!

And always keep your eyes on the ground! One of my most recent collections was busted car window glass! :)

Dollar stores and thrist stores are always artist's favorites, I'm sure. But keeping the mind open while looking is really key. You must look beyond what you are really seeing to the potential of possibilies. View items in "parts". How you could take it apart and reuse the pieces for something else. Bamboo place mats and trivets are a favorite of mine to take apart.
Angie

Becky New said...

Absolutely positively listen to yourself as you create.... go with your gut!

Sherry said...

TRUST YOURSELF!

it's great to develop new skills (or old ones for that matter);
it's great to look at what everyone else is doing;
it's great to be inspired by the fantastic ____ someone else makes.

but only YOU can create what's in you so focus on that

jgr said...

Some of my favorite artwork comes from a "failed" piece that didn't turn out as I envisioned. I walk away for a day, a week, a month and then 'rediscover' the piece and work on it again with no fears of ruining it. The freedom is powerful and I always learn from something.

Stephanie said...

Just do it...each and every day...do it.

Crystal said...

There is a reason you are attracted to certain materials over others. A reason certain things wind up in your possession. Don't get caught up in thinking thoughts of what materials you "should" use or what your art "should" look like. Trust that voice that is prompting from within. It is your own voice looking for a way to be heard.

Diane said...

I always like to add a little dimension to my collages, so I like to take the gallery-wrapped canvases and flip them over and use that side for an instant shadowbox and frame!

Kris Henderson said...

sometimes when I am painting, blending and mixing colors and am liking the colors but not the blending (hey I am no expert) I have
found that if I spray it with water it helps produce a nice blend....maybe drips, maybe splats, maybe I don't know what to call it.
I often change the spray to a hard stream (which is messy but fun) or a fine mist. At any rate my spray bottle is a great tool that helps me say *There!!* instead of oops..or worse. So go spray...try it on anything you are working on.

Renee Howell said...

Wandering about the internet searching for connections: I recently discovered the peaceful, sensual, flowing "word" art of Andrew van der Merwe, African Beach Calligraphy: http://www.behance.net/Gallery/African-beach-calligraphy-2009/387615

And - always keep a camera in your pocket, purse, backpack, briefcase... you get the idea.

Renee Howell said...

Add on: Not only do you need a camera with you ALL the time - you have to be brave enough to pull it out and take the photo.

Encourage courage.

rebeca said...

Last week, I received a box full of discontinued frame corners from my neighborhood framer.

I sat and looked at them, and had no idea what to do with them, bu I could not throw them away, they are so beautiful. I was stumped.

After a couple of hours of playing with them, my inspiration appeared and I knew exactly what to do with them, and worked happily, late into the day.

Glenda T. said...

i don't throw away papers that I have used to spray or paint on, i keep them and then glue them into my art journal as a cool background for a page.

Deborah said...

I've been weaving strips of fabric and paper.

Lenna Andrews said...

"gather and jump" -this secret saves me every time. i like to gather whatever i think i may use, or what i've been wanting to use, and then make myself jump in and play. i do this time and time again. i don't know if it's really a 'secret' -but it gets me going creative-wise. Once i get going, i try to listen to myself as far as what is working and what isn't. i usually have lots of gathered stuff left over and often pick up more stuff along the way as i am working, but this process works for me.
thanks seth, for your exceptional blog and artwork, and your kindness. -lenna in florida

Laura said...

Finding yourself in that creative slump? Want to give yourself a shot of artistic adrenalin? Don't have time to get away from the family or your job for a workshop? Try an online workshop/course. They are great for jump starting your creativity in whatever field of mixed media you delve. And you don't have to spend that much money or leave the comfort of your own home to learn!

lynne h said...

pencils. and mechanical pencils never have to be sharpened...

Bill Evertson said...

Never be afraid of an unfamiliar media. Painting helps my sculpture, which helps my video, which helps my...you get the idea. Essentially learning to be a good artist is different than learning a technique.

Leslie said...

Don't be afraid to try something new... a new material, a new technique, a new use for an old thing. Play and try things out. Enjoy creativity for creativity's sake. Be open to all the inspirations around you, and recognize that anything can be an inspiration. Keep a small notebook with you all times to capture ideas, thoughts, quotes and other inspirations.

ArtSnark said...

Some furniture restoration secrets which I use in my art:

Use markers, watercolor pencil & spray lacquer to touch up just about anything. Or "scratch remover" markers (basically a wood stain marker) which are more expensive but work great

Mix bondo with pigment powders before using to fill cracks or to make a mold. Makes a final color match a lot easier

Sant Angelo Designs said...

Brown shoe polish will age anything!

herhimnbryn said...

Carry a camera, a pencil, a small notebook. ALWAYS.

Linda Germain said...

I say - "Use what you have." So often I can get stopped by thinking that I need something else, the right tool, or time or inspiration, but when I remember that I have all that I need and to just use what I have, then amazing things do happen Enjoy!

Jill Z said...

If I have a small enough artwork that I've made and really love, I will make a colored copy of it on a heavy textured water color or thick fiber paper. I can then use this new copy as the base for another artwork- with the ability to paint over any and all sections I like and let what ever part from the old painting I want to be visible. It's great for making series of works - carrying over a favorite element from one piece to another.

Midwestie Lady - Linda said...

I've been a collector all my life. My shoeboxes of buttons, jewelry, rocks, sticks, old game pieces, old family photos, vintage lace, fabrics, sea shells, yarns and trims are now more than my collections. They are fun pieces to add to my art! If in doubt, pick it up, take it home and start your collection!

Debrina said...

I love it when I make a mistake. It almost always means an improvement in my work, either because I have taken the opportunity to cover the mistake (which adds more layering to my piece) or by playing up on the mistake...exaggerating it.

joyfulploys said...

I found a new artist the other day...new to me...Manon Doyle...her website is:
http://manondoyle.com/
Maybe she is new to you and some of your readers.
Cheers,
Mary

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

My secrets are hidden in plain view...
calm quiet movements
calm quiet moments
my guardians of all artists
standing still is essential for my journey
use the best materials I have available
listen with my heart...
share my quiet moments with others...children and volunteering
carry my camera daily...
even to the grocery to photograph
fresh flowers and vegetables I may not be able to afford to buy today.
support my Goodwills and St.Vincent de Paul and thrift stores .... magic can happen here.
junk boxes and trash bins in framing and hardware shops...
attempt to use bits and pieces into my small works...zero trash...
revisit my travel journals...I have been so blessed...
a new box of crayons or colors...
practice gratitude -seek balance in my own body and soul's energies
say YES... and believe it
See with a child's heart and eyes...
Imagine and Live in Peace...Art saves lives...it has saved mine.
Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Candace said...

I laugh a lot. I sit outside and watch nature. Sometimes I cry and then I go back outside and let nature watch _me_.
Coffee helps. Music, a must. Rushing headlong into a new technique or medium is also extraordinarily helpful. Viewing others' work is a joy and sometimes, an AHA moment.
Remember to breathe.

Little Brown Sparrow said...

Look through your materials and select a few random things that really speak about what you want to make. Put them in a little pile and sit and look at them. Just look at them, and try to envision them as one piece. Things will come to you that you'd never thought of!

Also- if you can't afford to work with a certain material (PMC for example) study something made of it that you like and try to think of how you might replicate it using different materials.

one more- I have a tray of things that don't end up getting used, but don't quite get put away either. Sometimes I 'force' myself to make something just out of these things- restricting yourself like this is a great way to flex the imagination.

Holly Dean said...

Don't be afraid to play and not care what happens. Enjoy the process!

Lucy said...

If you prep your canvas with gesso, try using black gesso for a different sort of color intensity achieved from using the black base. Creates richer, lusher colors in most cases!

Chart Pak markers write over paint better than probably any marker I've found. Love em! Great for graffiti like writing :)

Ginny Gaskill said...

Set time aside. My time now is 10-4 on Friday. More is better but at least to gets me started.

My camera is with me most of the time. It fits in my pocket so I don't have to think about it.

Watch what others are doing. Learn balance, color, etc. It never stops.

Never stop learning, classes, reading, online, something. always.

ECLECTICMIXUP said...

imagination awakens creativity,....sometimes it needs to be woken up..... when I feel that way I love looking at the way old masters painted, go visit a art gallery.....nature's has lots of wonderful examples.color, textures.light. hue.tint.balance.....on and on, never stop opening your mind to new things.

whyte said...

I love mini pieces of art, inchies, ACEOs, tags so I keep blank stock on my worktable and while working on another piece, I blot up overflow paint and inks, glue(grap paper scraps or small fabric bits and ribbon), glitter, punched shapes......anything I'm using in my main piece can end up on several mini pieces. By the time I'm finished I've created mulitple collages and mixed media art with little or no waste (and less cleanup,yayyyyy)!

Found art blog said...

Surprise shops.... in Paris, La Droguerie (Bead and yarn and fittings, has website) and Sennelier on Quai Voltaire, sells pigments to make paint with.

*jean* said...

my secret is layers...the more the merrier...i am inspired by digital art but am terrible at photoshop but i get the layers! and i'm constantly amazed by what i can produce by using them in my small works...

and i don't think of the "inner critic" as a bad thing to be exorcised but a gentle, guiding voice saying maybe it's time to take a break or maybe that belongs in another piece...i rewind the negative tapes and speak gently to myself...

Gaby Bee said...

I collect far too many things, but I love it to pick up things from the street. Stones, feathers, washers, bottle caps and similar things, but I am especially drawn to rusty and grungy stuff. I'm always looking at the ground wherever I go, hoping to see something interesting to incorporate in my art work.

AeFondKis said...

the secret of great art is just keep it true....that's my secret.
The power of the word and visual combined can move mountains!

Roberta said...

I use my digital camera to take photos of places I travel to, and also photos of my art, and use photo editing software www.ACDsee.com to create digital art. I am constantly surprised with the effects that come from layering images, changing colors, saturation and hue.

Commuter's Journal said...

My secret is plain, old waxed paper. I put it between my art journal pages to protect from leaks. There are several ways I use the "spilled" paint.
1. Burnish the wet paint back onto the page.
2. Burnish, then wait for a few minutes to lift so it will pull off paint previously left on the paper.
3. Apply gel medium, allow to get tacky, then burnish waxed paper with dried paint onto the spot. Lift to deposit.
4. Use waxed paper as collage element.
It supplies amazing texture and depth.

Robert Stockton said...

My secret is the concept of "bricolage": using whatever is immediately at hand to create a piece of artwork. This doesn't mean that once I have selected a certain piece of paper to use in a collage or mixed-media piece, that I don't make any further decisions about how to use it. It's actually where the fun begins! Once selected, I then decide what portion of it to use, whether I am going to cut, tear, sand, or otherwise alter the paper, etc. So. . .the way in which I frequently use bricolage, is to choose a number of very different materials with a wide variety of textures, patterns, colors, patinas, etc., fairly quickly; and then, with my "stack-of-stuff" in front of me, begin the somewhat slower selection/relationship process of deciding exactly how these various pieces that I have found can enhance each other, and work together to, somehow, unite as a whole. I am often quite intrigued, amused, surprised, and, even delighted, by the results! Try it! It is a lovely way to work!!!

merci33 said...

I buy huge white paper in rolls at the restaurant supply it's great for endless uses in the studio and a $36.00 roll lasts forever.

layers said...

I sometimes take the time to read and write down notes and make pencil sketches and make my lists-- sort of 'filling up the tank' before I begin work in my studio

sf said...

Challenge yourself to use only the scraps left on the table, or bits of paint, or whatever is the "leftovers" from the last piece you worked on...
Be grateful that you are here, now...
Listen to your heart...
Relax...
Go to it...

deb said...

I'm exhausted from all those ideas!!For me this year its, stop reading, and do it!!

Jacky said...

I did a journal a few years back using prompts from Sarah Fishburne's blog and one of the things I loved the most was to write down personal feelings, vent (if need be) and then paint over the top with gesso/paints/collage.

I love those hidden secrets in my journal that only I know are there.

Try it, its fun! (Thanks Sarah).

Jacky xox

Sunny -- aka Matriarch said...

Listen.

Chris said...

Seth. I know I'm horribly late. But I've been reading. And I wanted to add something. Who knows? Maybe someone will come by who's later than I am?

My secret is: wipe off. wipe off some paint. wipe off gel medium. if you stamp with a big background texture stamp, rub across it before the ink dries. drip thick pigment, wait until it's half dry, then wipe it. put gesso over paint, and immediately wipe it off. And of course, blot wet surfaces a bit with paper towels before they can dry.

Dee / Cloth Company said...

depart from favorite palettes, scale, and media, but be okay with having and working within favorite parameters...

try looking at something up-side-down -- it should work in any direction. or, gaze through binoculars the wrong way to get more distance.