Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Great painting instructors in mixed media, collage and acrylics

All We Need Is Love
© Deb Chaney 2006
Mixed Media, Acrylics, Collage on Canvas
36” x 36” ready to hang with 1” painted edges
Feng Shui Recommendation: (creativity/children) Hang this painting in the Children and Creativity section of your home if you intend to invite more creativity or children into your life. From the entrance of your room or home, walk to the middle of the room and then turn right, that wall space will be the Children and Creativiy region.

- $1,850.00 USD MasterCard/Visa accepted
(805) 403-9870
Prints available at http://www.cafepress.com/debchaney/

Recently I am in jury process for membership to the Society of Canadian Artists (SCA) with the intent to spread my wings and become more involved with the Canadian art scene. As part of the application process I was asked about my art education and teachers I’d had along the way.

I’ve had some fantastic teachers and many of them I call and email regularly as they continue to act as mentors to me. I am so grateful for these teachers and cheerleaders that have all been a part of helping me to where I am today with my art. Thank you!

In this week I will share with you some of my favorite mixed media, collage and acrylic painting teachers, what I liked most about their teaching, how they’ve influenced me, and if pertinent, what about their work has intrigued and inspired me.

Lana Grow

Lana is extremely organized as a teacher. She comes to class with a clear curriculum and gives each student a full binder with all the notes, materials, techniques, resources, quotes and more that she will teach in class and some things she may not get to but are helpful.
Her workshops are 5 days long which really give you time to get involved in your paintings and learn the various techniques she’s teaching.

Lana is easy going, supportive, compassionate, loving, and encouraging. She will, as needed, veer from her plan to meet her students needs. She knows a truck load of methods and techniques in mixed media, collage, and acrylic painting and never holds back in class. You ask and she will give you 100%. I call her every now and then with questions to which she always delightfully answers! Thank you Lana!

I would say Lana’s influenced me most via the finishing techniques she showed me at her Energizing and Experimental Media workshop I took with her in Door County, WI at the Peninsula Art School. She taught me various ways to look at a painting and see whether it’s finished and then if it’s not feeling complete, she showed me tons and tons of tricks to get it to that finished place.

What I love about her work are all the layers of intrigue and mystery. I took her workshops because I kept looking at her art thinking: “how did she do that?” I love the sense of wonder her work imparts and I wanted to learn this too.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Just home from Vancouver and settling back in, unpacking, cleaning house and ventured a peak into to the studio. First morning back and I wasn’t intending to do any work. Just take a look, see what I had in process. So one thing led to another and off I was painting again…just like that.

Well, there were a few things – tricks - in place that made it happen, I want to share those with you.

The first big trick is called “bridging”. The concept is that you leave your materials and project out in a way that allows you to come back in and start working again easily. For me I have a central place in my studio where all the basics are located and easily accessible.

Take a look at the photo at the bottom of this blog. I use a lot of stuff, so there is, well, a lot of stuff always out on the counter next to the sink in my studio. But the basics would apply to most painters – paper towels, water, garbage can, brushes, tools, current painting palette, gels and mediums ( if applicable), paper and notepad. They are on the counter and easily accessible purposefully, ready to go.

When all the tools are available the minute I get an idea for the next step of the painting, not much gets in the way between me reaching for paint, brush and water…so it’s easy to get started and back in the swing of things. I would say bridging is synonymous with ‘being organized’.

Another not so tricky trick is having good studio habits. I usually paint in the mornings, or at least go see what I’m doing to get ideas flowing. So, it’s no surprise really that even a day after getting back from vacation I’m back working because it’s my usual habit to go to the studio in the morning.

Lastly, I have a little framed reminder list in my studio about getting back into a project when we may be feeling a little resistant, slugging, unenthused, blocked, or out of touch with the work ..

Deb’s getting started shortlist

  1. Look what I’ve done already!

  2. Put materials that night before.

  3. Schedule 15 minutes the same time teach day for the project

  4. Set small goals or intention and write this on a sticky note next to the project materials. (ex. Glaze with green gold)

  5. Journal about what I’m working on and where I’m stuck and where I could use some help to move forward.

  6. Set low expectations for myself – today I’ll do a shitty rough draft, an imperfect under layer with lost of mistakes.

Supplies ready to go - buckets, soap, brushes, paints (current colour palette), mediums, pens, pencils, palette knives, garbage, folded paper towels, water spray, alcohol spray, sponse, sand, notebook.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Painting Inspiration from Quilting Books

Ice Blue
© Deb Chaney 2006
Mixed Media, Acrylics on Canvas
24” x 36” ready to hang with 1” painted edges

Feng Shui Recommendation: Place this piece in the back left hand corner as you enter a room or home to activate further self cultivation and knowledge.

$1,275.00 USD MasterCard/Visa accepted
Ph (805) 403-9870 deb@debcreative.com
Prints soon available at http://www.cafepress.com/debchaney/

I met another artist at the First Thursday Art night downtown Santa Barbara several weeks ago who asked me how I got my painting inspiration. Well, I get inspiration from a zillion places but I thought I’d share some books with you that I’ve found particularly inspiring and supportive to abstract mixed media and collage painting lately.

Check out these quilting books, they have phenomenal images! It seems that quilting and painting have more in common that I would have guessed….

Creative Quilts by Sandra Meech

Creative Quilting: The journal quilt Project By Karey Patterson Bresenhan, ED

Ok, well this book is not a quilting book but it’s got such wonderful images and collage ideas I had to share it with you: 1000 Artist Trading Cards Patricia Bolton

What books have you come across that inspires your art? I'd love to hear from you in the comments section in this blog. Thank you.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Create Anywhere – painting while traveling

Follow Your Heart
(c) Deb Chaney 2006

Mixed Media, Acrylics on Canvas

24” x 24” ready to hang with 1” painted edges

Feng Shui Recommendation: The piece can enhance Love & Relationships by placing it in the back right hand corner of your house or of the room you are decorating.

$850 USD MasterCard/Visa accepted
(805) 403-9870 deb@debcreative.com

Prints soon to be available at http://www.cafepress.com/debchaney/3492432

The hardest thing for me about being away (I am writing from Vancouver, Canada) is being away from my studio. Sometimes I wish I had a studio here so when I visited I could go to my space keep working on my paintings. But there is a little part of me that relishes the break from working on big pieces and uses the time to read books, sleep, go for long walks, see friends and do small creative projects while I’m here. The smaller projects keep me in my creative flow….

So I don’t completely disengage from my painting when I travel, and I do this by bringing my “create anywhere” kit with me. This kit is a large size MEC wash bag with the following items; Caran D’Ache water soluble and non water-soluble wax oil pastels, 2 oz Golden soft gel and extra heavy gel medium, scotch tape, pens and pencils – I like to bring those Derwent water soluble pencils, and small blunt end child scissors ( they won’t take those away from you at the airport if you put the kit on your carry on), small paint brush, and a palette knife. Here’s a photo from a previous blog. I didn’t bring any little 1 oz Golden liquid paints this trip but next time I think I will. I also forgot to bring a small jar of Murphey’s Oil Soap, mum had some in her cleaning supplies so it worked out, but this is essential for cleaning up acrylic paints while preserving the integrity of the brush. I didn’t pack them this time, but next trip I might also bring a few 1 oz bottles of Golden liquid acrylics paint along with some polymer gloss medium.

In the gesture of creative automation, pioneered by Robert Motherwell, my daughter Ruth and I took seven blank sheets of paper each, and using our newly purchased children’s tempera paints, stencils, pencils and whatever else I could find around the house to make markings and textures and we dug in and each painted solidly for a good amount of time. They weren’t pretty or beautiful but the action reminded my being of the motions of painting, and I felt like I had brought my virtual studio here to Vancouver!

The concept of creative automation is very similar to a martial artist practicing basic kicks and punches in the air hundreds of times so that his body intuitively knows the move, when he gets to the fight he no longer has to think. The moves become automatic and intuitive. That’s the goal with painting. It doesn’t really matter what we work on and we can even do it in our minds – mind sculpture of imagining painting has the same effect in our bodies ( our bodies doesn’t know the difference) painters can do the same thing. Kinesthetically ingrain in our bodies how to paint. Practice, repetition, process is the way.

Funny thing is all those dried up paintings became great cut and paste collage material a few days later ( totally unplanned!) and we both had another evening of fun cutting up the paintings and making collage on other blank sheets of paper. I did the collage and spiced up my journal with decorate collage images. I’ll see if I can get a few photos.

I’d love to hear from you and I’m curious how you stay in your creative groove when you’re away from home.? Please leave a comment at the bottom of this blog in the comment section. Keep creating!

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Little Magic Moments of Creativity

Opening Up
Deb Chaney 2006
Mixed Media, Acrylics on Canvas
30” x 40” ready to hang with 1” painted edges
Feng Shui Recommendation: Intention is for Health and Vitality, place in the center of your home or office to enrich your Health and Vitality. $ 1,775.00 USD MasterCard/Visa accepted
(805) 403-9870
Prints soon to be available at http://www.cafepress.com/debchaney/3492432

Yesterday, before traveling up to Vancouver with my daughter to visit family, I had a small amount of time in the morning in between packing the car, getting myself ready and getting my family up and ready to go.

So…I went into my studio to say good bye and have one last little studio visit. Every night closing up my studio is somewhat of a heart ache and often hard for me to do. I hate to close the door and really acknowledge I’m done for the day. It makes me feel sad. I’ve never done it yet – only for naps during the day – but one night I think I’m going to sleep over with my paintings in the studio all night and see how that goes. Then I won’t have to close up and say good night!

So, to relish my last moments in the studio, I put on some creative mind music (Creative Mind System – free you artistic expression, by Dr. Jeffrey Thompson) and jumped on the re-bounder and just looked around at all the pieces in progress and projects on the go. For a while now I’ve been taken in with those Pure Abstraction pieces and they have been a predominant focus. I finished two of the three and when I’m home will have them photographed for you to see – check back around the end of October. But as well as working on those I’ve been working on a few layered Adolfo style pieces that remind me of watermarks and layers of water and that have really captured me.

But today, in this little magic moment of time, before jetting off to Portland and then Vancouver, what caught my eye were the paper pieces I have had hanging on the studio wall for weeks. You May be able to catch glimpses of these mid-process pieces in the video Peter and I did as we move around the studio and work on our joint piece.

These long left paper pieces, the beginning of a body of work entitled “Vitality” have analogous earth tone colors – naples yellow and iron oxide yellows, iridescent golds and copper, burn umbers, iron oxide reds as their grounds and are similar in color tone and also have the same *Feng Shui Recommendation to the painting shown today at the top of this blog ‘Opening Up’ as well as my last post ‘Leaping into the Unknown’ .

These paper works are specifically about Vitality – what is it to be truly alive? That is the question I have been pondering with these. But they’ve been hanging around the studio, untouched for a while, until this small crack in time when I knew I was leaving, and suddenly these paintings called my name and looked more appealing then ever.

I ended up grabbing my squirt bottle full of black gesso and, like icing a cake, carefully drew a line of little rings along the bottom of one of the painting called; “No mistakes”. Ahhh…it was such a little magic moment of creativity to make that little change, that small step, and move forward on this painting. A true delight. Felt so good.

I relished that small moment all day while entertaining – more like placating - my four year old on two airplanes trips and in waiting rooms at the airport. I kept thinking back to that little moment in time working on my painting. So, maybe it was two minutes, but sometimes that’s all we need.

Keep creating. Notice the magic. The gifts are in the process and the practice.

*Feng Shui Recommendation- I will write more about Feng Shui and using this ancient space decorating concept to art. For now, If you’d like more information about this you can visit my website at http://www.debcreative.com/fengshui.htm.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

News Flash - Painting Video & Art Opening

Leaping Into the Unknown

Deb Chaney 2006

Mixed Media, Acrylics on Canvas
30” x 40” ready to hang with 1” painted edges
$1,775.00 MasterCard/Visa accepted

(805) 403-9870 deb@debcreative.com

Prints soon to be available at http://www.cafepress.com/debchaney/3492432

First off, Peter finished the video of us painting with his digital magic it's got music and special effects and makes me want to climb into the video and start painting with us again! Want to do something like this yourself? Contact Peter at: peter moraites [petermoraites@yahoo.com].

Went downtown Santa Barbara to the First Thursday Art walk this evening and made my way to Artamo, my favorite contemporary abstract gallery. Here is a photo of the owner, my friend Jack Mohr and his wife Monica. They are standing in front of a magnificent, and my current favorite painting by Michelle Williams. The gallery was showing an exhibition of Michelle Y. Williams and Ray Philips (can’t find his website but his art is shown on the Artamo website).

Well, all I can say is I am Michelle's biggest fan. I absolutely love her work. It enthralls me, moves me, inspires me, and awes me. It makes me want to go back to my studio and paint and throw sand at my painting and buy a bigger palette knife and then go back and ogle some more at her work. She is brilliant!

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Fringe Benefits of Creativity

Vermont in a Snowstorm
24” x 36” Mixed Media, Acrylics on canvas
Ready to hang, no frame required, 1” thick painted edges. Deb Chaney 2006
$1,275 USD Visa/MasterCard Accepted
(805) 403-9870 deb@debcreative.com
Prints Available at www.cafepress.com/debchaney

The other night I came in from my studio to use the *loo and peered into the mirror to see my eyes glowing like two green lanterns – alight with the glow of creative bliss. They say that he eyes are the doorway to the spirit and in that vein I think being in creative process really helps open those doors up.

As a working artist, one who paints and sells her work, much of the time I am considering the end product that may be hanging on the wall in your home. But let me tell you the real juice is in the process – the making of the art.

Being in the creative process is a tap into the other side, into the unconscious, into bliss, into a place where no time exists at all. And if I only had one goal, it would be to practice, practice, practice and stay in that place that keeps my spirit aglow.

In Jill Badonsky’s most recent Kaizen Muse Creativity Coaching Training class she spent a class talking about the fringe benefits of creativity. How when we create it will elevate our mood, we tend to feel better and tap into places of delight and joy. Studies have shown that being creative improves eyesight and overall health. Doing a creative project enables us to become more focused, create and achieve goals – no matter how small- teaching us focus. The list goes on, bottom line is when we get out of her heads and into the process the benefits are food for the soul.

Have you fed your spirit lately? Go make something – make a mess, just practice. Have fun.

(*British slang for toilet)

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Featured Artist - October Muse Newsletter

Exploring 10" x 10"
Mixed Media, Arylics on Canvas
$150 each. 1" thick finished edges, ready to hang.
Visa/Mstc Accepted.

This month I am the featured artist for the Muse Is In monthly newsletter. You can get the newletter by subscribing on the Muse Is In homepage. Jill Badonsky is the founder of the Muse is in and her book The Nine Modern Day Muses and Bodygurad along with the Kaizen Muse Creativity Coaching Program were all designed to support mortals in creative process. Here is the longer un-cut version of the interview.
Did you receive your formal art training?
Not really. I didn’t go to ‘proper’ art school, more like I went to the “art school of life”. Six years ago I saw the art of LA artist Adolfo Girala at an outdoor art fair. Adolfo’s art intrigued me, drew me in, and I was hooked. I was lucky in that he very kindly took me under his wing. Several studio visits and several years of practice later – and still a life time more to go – I am painting at the level which I’m at today. I’ve also taken workshops with Bob Burridge, Anne Baldwin, Nancy Reyner and Lana Grow.

Creative time of the day for you:
Morning, first thing! Yeah, I’m one of those morning people. J I jump out of bed, can’t wait to tackle my current project. Especially when every one is sleeping. Sometimes I wake up at 4 am and start paintings.

Do you have a mantra or motto?
Currently it’s; “The more I trust, the better life gets” (subject to change). “Breathe” is another one I like.

Key to your perseverance
mmmmm….Holding the vision that via my success I empower other artists to make it as well. I love the challenge of being a working professional artist and figuring it out along the way – how do you apply to galleries and get submitted? how to sell your art on your own? Where to sell? These things inspire me and keep me persevering – a relishing of the challenge, but most of all a love of ht e process. I absolutely fricken’ love painting.

Best advice received
Do what you love, the money will follow.

Next book?
I am currently working with a graphic artist creating a new brochure exhibiting my Raw Expression pieces as well as describing their Feng Shui meaning and giving tips to placing the art in your home/office.

Most favorite achievement
Cycle touring around Iceland with myself one summer. Great trip. Lots of magic moments and the experience of a lifetime. There are a few trip photos and stories about this trip in The Little Inspiration Book, Ideas to Empower Women.

How you get ideas for paintings?
Other artists, online, shadows on the side walk, scenes in movies, scenes in life, from my unconscious, from my previous paintings, art books….
Favorite studio music.
Currently I’m enjoying “The Proclaimers” Sunshine on Leith album. (always changing)
Next big goal
I would like to create a body of work to exhibit with the intention of raising awareness of the fringe benefits of creativity, how simply being creative makes us happier, healthier, more focused, improves eye sight, may enable us to live longer, keep goals, and so much more. I would love to have an artists talk and demonstration as part of the exhibition. I would also like to give some of the proceeds to a charity that is in line with the premise that being creative helps people be happier. If you know of a nonprofit out there, please do let me know – deb@debcreative.com – thank you.
Where people can see your work?
3 places right now – to see work fresh out of the studio, best place is to visit my blog http://debchaney.blogspot.com/, as I will make a point of posting new pieces at the top of each entry. For work existing and sold see my website http://www.debcreative.com/ and for prints, posters, mugs, magnets all with my art images on them you can visit http://www.cafepress.com/debchaney.

And coming soon in art galleries in Vancouver, Montreal, Scottsdale, LA, NY, Santa Fe, Seattle…