Mixed Media: Let the Magic of Creativity Replace the Mundane

Oh, irony. You funny little thing. As I began working on today’s newsletter and blog post, I had to step away from the images and descriptions in the new book we’re featuring today, Incite 4: The Best of Mixed Media. The theme for this edition is Relax Restore Renew. I was enjoying editor Tonia Jenny’s eloquent words about flow when I was suddenly pulled away to handle a mundanely repetitive task that had to be done. I’m sure you can relate.

When that task was handled I came back to the chapter below, “Art Relaxes,” and after smiling to myself, quickly remembered that creativity is always there, waiting for us to welcome it to our minds, so it can replace the humdrum with its magic. Thank goodness! I invite you to do the same–chances are anything else can wait while you enjoy this moment of inspiration from Tonia and our featured mixed-media artists. You’re welcome. 😉 ~Cherie

Mixed media art by Trudi Sissons | ClothPaperScissors.com
Journey (digital and mixed media, 12×20; images permission of Tumble Fish Studio) by Trudi Sissons

Art Relaxes by Tonia Jenny (from Incite 4: The Best of Mixed Media)

The current adult-coloring-book craze has introduced the idea to the general public that bringing an image to life with color is a very relaxing way to spend some time. Obviously this is not ground-breaking news to artists who have always looked to art-making at one point or another as an effective way to relax.

Mixed media by Stacey Hogue | ClothPaperScissors.com
Sailing For Home (collage and acrylic on canvas, 30×40) by Stacey Hogue, in the “Art Restores” chapter: “This painting is about our journey through life. This boat and the figures in it represent my family. My husband, with his compass in hand, is looking ahead as he makes plans for the future while I look back, dreaming about what has been and what might be. Only our son with his beautiful child’s eye is able to engage completely with the present as he folds and launches his paper boats. The time will come for him to put the paper boats away and take up the helm of his own life, but for now his only work is to play and learn and grow.”

Sometimes an artist wishes to bring about a relaxed sensation in the body of the beholder through the artwork itself, but I’d say for the majority of artists in this section, such as Angelique Wight, relaxation comes through the act of creation. “When I paint, I journey to a place of deep relaxation,” she says. “In the silence that follows, I feel a sense of clarity manifesting initially as feelings or emotions. It is only when I begin to apply layers of paint and other media that these feelings begin to take shape on the canvas.”

What we’ve come to refer to as “flow” (thanks to the pioneering work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi), that state of engagement with activities that bring us spontaneous joy, where time seems to stand still, is perhaps more relaxing to the artist’s soul than an Epsom bath. As Nancy Anderson explains, “When I feel like I want to just relax and work intuitively, I head to my journal.”

I hope that thumbing through these pages, perhaps while curled up in your favorite armchair with a comforting drink by your side instills its own type of relaxation while simultaneously awakening your muse.

Throughout Incite, you’ll find plenty of inspiring pieces to awaken your own creative spirit. It’s my hope that by reading what the contributing artists have to share, you’ll gain a new appreciation for the role art plays in your own life–and that the next time you’re feeling artistically dead in the water, you’ll take heart knowing new inspiration is as sure to arrive as the next spring. ~Tonia


Above: An ArtistsNetworkTV interview with Annie O’Brien Gonzales, whose work is featured in Incite 4: The Best of Mixed Media.


Blog, Mixed-Media Painting Techniques, Mixed-Media Techniques


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