Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Pulse 2016: Week 1


Welcome to the 6th edition of The Pulse - 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, further your own artistic expression, and allow you access into the creative hearts and minds of a very talented crew of individuals. Stay tuned for a new post every Wednesday.

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What is the one technique or tool that you cannot live without?


My diluted Elmers glue solution applied with my simple chip brush. I like using Elmers diluted with just a little bit of water when I am working on my collage pieces. It stays wet for awhile so you have a little flexibility in moving bits around. You don't get any bubbles/creases/burps. And I love the fact that it is so affordable.

My wooden honey dipper. I love line work in my art and I also love a loose approach to the desired line work and my work in general. When dipped in paint and used as a drawing tool, the honey dipper will give me uncontrolled results which are so often exactly what I am looking for.

My dental tool set I bought from Harbor Freight for less than a dollar! I use them in every line of work I do. I pull bubbles out of resin with them. I ream beads with them. I use them to create textures in polymer clay. They are great for positioning and moving around tiny collage parts. And I use them for making marks in wet paint as well. 

Stencils. For years they have been my go-to-tool for adding pattern, texture, depth, dimension, and more to my work. I've used them for everything from creating simple patterned paper to to making the base for an armature for a sculpture. They can hide in the background and layers of my work so you don't even know they're there, or create a fantastic foreground or focal point. I love that you can stencil with all or part of them, use them with nearly any medium, or completely change the look by m,modifying the application method.

My stamp carving tool. I carve  - usually from erasers - quite rustic, simplistic designs that I often use in combination with other bits and pieces in my creative work. I love being able to use my hand carved stamps rather than always using stamps I have purchased as it puts more of "me" into the final piece. A package of erasers, a carving tool, and a bit of time is all that is needed to get started.

My X-acto knife. I have about 20 of them, one in every studio, room, car, a couple on my counter where I set the things from the day that I forgot to put away, right next to my collections of small tape measures that were left in my pocket. I use an X-acto knife in every medium I work in. To carve pencil, to weed vinyl, to trim a paper pattern, to open that box of art supplies that just arrived, it is endless! I have many different blade styles but I prefer the #16 for most things. 

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If you would like to be a participant in The Pulse, please email me (shap97@gmail.com) the following:

1. Your response (which I might need to edit to keep all answers relatively consistent in length)
2. ONE photo that somehow relates to your answer
3. A link to ONE of your online sites

If you would like more Pulse, check out my books from North Light Media: The Pulse of Mixed Media and The Mixed Media Artist.

18 comments:

Nathalie Nayer said...

Always love to read your blog posts! This is a really interesting topic. My absolutely favorite technique is to glue tissue paper on my journal pages to add texture.
My favorite tool is the ZIG black calligraphy pen (tip size 1.0). I am using it for every sketches on my current 'Al-Andalus' travel journal!

Sue Marrazzo said...

What a nice idea...I am INSPIRED by all these creative souls = )

amy of four corners design said...

what a surprise to find my picture staring back at me this morning - thanks for including me Seth! I can tell I'm going to love this series - already on the lookout for a honey dipper and dental tools!

Stephanie said...

Honey dipper - love!! Thanks.

Karenliz Henderson said...

Love this! Stencils are mine but a honey dipper! I must go get one now. Thanks Seth.

Pamela Gerard said...

The honey dipper!!!!!!

Debi Adams said...

I'm with Amy, I need the honey dipper but wait, I already have the dental tool but don't use it! Going to have to change that. And Amy, love your photo. Love everyone's tools :). Got some playing to do! Thanks.

elle said...

These are classics but the honey dipper is a revolutionary thought!

donna joy said...

As others have said-the honey dipper. All kinds of images come to mind for its use. Now i either need to clean mine off or get another one for art!
Hard question-the one thing i can't live without~will have to think on that.

Jo Murray said...

Fascinating how every artist has a different favourite. I have some dental tools too...they are handy for lots of stuff. The honey dipper is inspired.

Diana Caho said...

These are awesome tips. I, in fact, have all these that I use, EXCEPT I have never thought to try the Honey Dipper. My favorite go to is the Glossy accents. I use it as glue and to highlight areas of my projects, like make wet spots/rain/water, and to highlight faces or flowers. Well, now to go search my junk drawer in the kitchen for that Honey Dipper. Thank you so much Seth, for sharing this. Love this!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I'm delighted that you have started this series up again. I think these artists are inspiring in their own way because they use ordinary tools in unique ways.

cecile graven said...

was on the look-out for these new Pulse:) And what a nice start it is ! Tried a lot of manners to make wrigly lines and never have thought about the honey-dipper :) I have one and I do not like to eat honey, so..... :)

Peg Robinson said...

My favorite depends on the day. So many fun tools to play with makes picking favorites a hard task.

alteredbits said...

what awesome tips! i too love and use many xacto knives and a dental tool set from harbor freight, plus i just broke the handle on my honey dipper so set it in my studio (i had no idea others used them artfully too, though i shouldn't be surprised). i love the elmer's tip too (my husband calls elmer one of my not-so-secret boyfriends).

Missouri Bend Paper Works said...

What fun...and great to see what other artists find that they can't do without. I will never see a honey dipper in the same way again! Thanks!

Pawsitively Creative said...

What a way to start off the Pulse-with a bang and POW! Awesome sauce images and tools used in making art. Makes me think outside the box. Thanks for sharing!

Marit said...

I LOVE that you blew new life into the pulse Seth! And now I want dental tools.... :)