Are you a trend follower? I’m a little obsessed when it comes to keeping up with trends in mixed-media art, and I consider it one of the most fun aspects of my job. I see trends as more than just mindless fads; there’s usually something interesting behind a shift toward one thing or another. For the past year or so I’ve noticed that many of you are discovering mixed-media abstract art, and that’s why we put abstracts front and center in the March/April issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine. You’ll discover abstracts in all forms: art journal designs, collage, painting, and even textiles.
Mixed-media abstract art is captivating and the process is intuitive, and both of those things contribute to its growing popularity. I think mixed-media artists are becoming more daring and seeking new adventures, and abstracts fulfill that desire. The work of artists like Jodi Ohl, Laly Mille, and Dawn Emerson shows that when it comes to abstracts, all styles and techniques are welcome.
When an abstract piece speaks to me, I consider what I find fascinating about it. But when it comes to creating abstract art, I’m often confounded by where to start. Without a realistic subject or focal point, how does a piece evolve and come together? How do you relate a narrative? If you find yourself with the same dilemmas, or are simply intrigued by mixed-media abstract art, this issue has everything you need to get started, and to explore fantastic techniques and discover new materials.
Jodi Ohl lays out a great foundation for getting started in abstracts, including basic design principles and step-by-step instructions for creating an abstract on watercolor paper.
After that you’ll no doubt feel confident about trying Laly Mille’s collage and paint techniques to create beautiful, romantic abstract florals in your art journal. Laly’s artwork is featured on the cover of the book Incite 4: Relax, Restore, Renew from North Light Books. When I saw that stunning artwork, I knew I wanted her to be part of the issue. As a bonus, Laly’s home studio in the Loire Valley in France is featured in Studio Spotlight in this issue.
Dawn Emerson introduces you to a captivating printing method using an easy carving technique to make a monoprint plate; her approach also incorporates vivid pastels for a piece that bridges realism and abstracts. And Tansy Hargan takes fabric scraps and turns them into a mixed-media abstract spring landscape filled with amazing color and texture.
There’s another trend I’ve been seeing: artists using art apps for sketching, creating digital artwork, and as a starting point for physical art as well. In this issue, Lisa Thorpe shows how to take digital images you create and transform them into physical collages, pillows, and great embellishments for clothing. There are so many possibilities!
Talk about a packed issue—don’t miss Karen O’Brien’s adorable stuffies that use paintings as inspiration. We’ve also got Barbara Roth’s mixed-media drawing buffet techniques for creating cohesive compositions, Jill McDowell’s charming painted flexagon, and Becky Nunn’s incredible method for turning plain resin into faux pressed glass pendants.
In our Artist Profile you’ll meet Dean Nimmer, who shares his eye-opening views on abstract art, discusses his love of teaching, and talks about making 1,000 drawings in a year. And Carrie Bloomston shows how to pack a little creativity into every day in her column, The Spark.
It’s going to be a busy couple of months, and I can’t wait to get started!
Did you miss our January/February 2018 issue, which is all about how to become a more confident artist? This blog post tells you about the great articles you’ll find!