Autumn Layout

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This article is written by Sandra Parés

Although in my land these days are still sunny and seems that Autumn resists arriving,  I felt like making a layout with Autumn colors. I love the forest on this season, trees are wonderful with intense colors and a lot of contrast, ideal for shaping it with mixed media!

The supplies I have used to make this Autumn Layout are:

  • 12″x12″ watercolor paper
  • Gesso
  • An old credit card
  • A brush
  • A sponge
  • Some scrap paper with script
  • Some Dylusions inks spray: ground coffee, melted chocolate, lemon zest and pure sunshine
  • Paper towel
  • 12″x12″ Cosmic Swirl Template, The Crafter’s Workshop
  • Big shot and the Thinlit Sizzix Die – Doily by Rachael Bright
  • A cardstock
  • Autumn Leaves drawn in a cardstock (you could print it)
  • Primary Elements by ColoruArte: burnt amber, gold dust, hot cinnamon, sunburst
  • Silks Acrylic Glaze by ColoruArte: love struck, pretty peridot
  • Some stencils to make texture like punchinella
  • Gel medium
  • One photo

First of all I have pasted some scrap paper with gel medium over watercolor paper to add some texture (picture 1). Then, with the credit card, I have put a very thin layer of gesso, without covering the scrap paper and leaving without gesso some parts of the watercolor paper.

Then I have added a little color in the background with Lemon zest and Pure sunshine (Dylusions ink spray). I have used these colors to have a light background. Before the ink was dry, I have rinsed it with a piece of paper to clarify the color (picture 2).

As you can see in the 3rd and 4th step, I have put the template in a part of the paper, and the rest I have protected it. Then with the brown ink spray I have sprayed the template.

Making the background with collage, gesso and inks

Then, also with the brown ink spray, I have made an irregular frame around the watercolor paper (picture 5). And in the picture number 6 you can see a detail of the background texture.

After I have drawn some autumn leaves on cardstock and I have cut them. And with the big shot and a cardstock I have cut the shape with the doily die.

I have painted all these figures with Silks Acrylic Glaze and Primary Elements. I have directly used the powders with a wet brush (picture 7).

And finally I have added more texture in the background. With a sponge and Silks Acrylic Glaze I have stencilled different templates with punchinella.

As you can see in the 8th picture, one of these textures was too intense and it did not like me. For this reason I have changed the focus of the LO and I have put my photo over this point.

Painting the shapes and adding more texture

As a last step I have stuck with gel medium all missing elements: doily shape, photography and leaves.

And this is the result: an Autumn Layout with a lot of texture and contrast.

Autumn LO with mixed media techniques

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Sandra Parés loves working with mixed media. The colors and textures leave her amazed and she enjoys creating and getting their hands dirty with paint and gesso. She lives near Barcelona and works in her art workshop. On her site My mixed media you can find a mixed media online store, art and craft products, mixed media workshops in Spanish, tutorials, ideas and mixed media techniques.

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Four Seasons

This article is written by Gloria Malouf-Marsh

In this painting, I have used the ‘Four Seasons’ in explaining how they are interpreted and cultivated  in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

In the three months of spring, all things on the earth begin to grow.  The natural world is resuscitating and all things are flourishing. This is a time to activate and promote the positive side of nature, which in turn is the principle for cultivation of health.

In the three months of summer, it is a time of prosperity. Nature is blossoming, and an attitude towards life is a manifestation of a cheerful state of mental equilibrium. This is also a time for gratitude and appreciating all our gifts and the overall positive mental approach to life as a result.

The three months of autumn is the season of ripening.  In autumn it is cool, the wind blows fast and the atmosphere appears clear.  Our minds should be peaceful to alleviate the soughing effect of autumn. Experiencing moderation of mental activity for balance is very important. This is a time of cultivation of moderation and harmony and prevents outward signs of agitation.

The three months of winter is the season for storage.  This is a time of hibernating, having quiet mental times, providing extra rest, warmth, taking care of our bodily organs and preserving our energy for the following seasons. This is a time to keep out of drafts and the cold and enjoying the glorious radiant sunshine in its splendour.

My favourite months of the year are May and October.

Mixed media painting to express oneself

My study of Taoism has greatly influenced my lifestyle and thinking.  I enjoy the rhythms of nature, walking, meditating, and spending time in the sunshine and fresh air.  In Chinese philosophy the yin and yang symbols are used and their meanings provide the intellectual framework of Chinese scientific thinking, especially in the field of medicine. Maintaining optimum health plays an integral part in this science.  Illness and emotions are seen as disturbances in the balance of yin and yang. This occurs when one’s balance in life is exaggerated as being too excessive. One could overwork, or one could be the opposite and not be motivated – the need for balance is of paramount importance, blending the strong and the soft. The yang being the heavens and the yin being the earth. Yin is passive and yang is strong.

My canvas is rectangular in shape, and I halved and marked it vertically and horizontally. I then painted the top part being spring, summer, and the bottom autumn and winter, and being cyclical.  The colours in the painting are vibrant.

I painted the top part first and followed with the bottom. Each season told a story. The variety of colours – warm, hot, and happy greatly affected my mood. Cyclic rhythms of nature contribute to weather and environmental changes. I went on a journey with nature and was in awe of its magnificence. It’s a natural phenomenon how the seasons take form.

It’s important to challenge oneself and work ‘out of the box’ as this expresses our personal creativity.  I could have covered the branches in spring and summer with foliage, but I said no – this is how I interpret the seasons – working from the inside out.  Surprise yourself! You may be amazed at the end result!

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My name is Gloria Malouf-Marsh. I live in Brisbane, Australia, in a very leafy suburb called Indooroopilly.  I live with my husband Greg and my daughter Salwa.

Among my many interest are, singing, playing the piano, cooking, doing voluntary work and studying Ayurveda and Taoism.  I’m a Yoga Chi Gung Teacher.

The weather in Brisbane is glorious in winter.  We are experiencing some very cold weather at present.  I’m looking forward to springtime.  The atmosphere is very clear and fresh and spring is preparing itself with celebration.

My art class is on Wednesdays and I so eagerly look forward to going. The group of ladies is so friendly, interested and caring.  Our teacher is very supportive also. I enjoy variety of mediums very much – collage, acrylic, etc.  I believe, the recipe to maintaining momentum with my brush is to keep on practicing and creating at home and making this a habit that I love. It’s amazing how much confidence we acquire after daily practice. No excuses Gloria, to do other things, practice and practice puts one in the mood and motivates one. It does wonders to my self-esteem and creativity.  This is so beneficial generally.

I have enjoyed painting this art contribution of the Four Seasons very much.

Enjoy and create something from nothing.

Emails are welcome- My email is: gloria@radiantpathways.com.au

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