I recently took part in the Art Fair which was part of the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in Portsoy. The weather was fantastic all weekend, hot and sunny, which made for a great time down at the harbour for all the boat-related events. Inspired by the boating theme, I developed some new pieces of work, using mixed media for a change from my usual watercolours. This year I have been keen to recycle old work; repurposing, upcycling, whatever you like to call it. Not using new materials, wherever possible. So I gathered some paintings which I felt hadn't "worked" - or did not stand alone - bright acrylics and some small watercolour studies. Added to the materials pile were an old book of sheet music (classical music, as it happens), sheets torn from magazines and also the coloured nets which I've bought fruit in (mainly oranges). Last but not least, I cut out some of my little lino-print boats, some of which had been printed on watercolour studies. I simply gathered what I had to hand.
And then the fun began; it took longer than I thought to find pleasing compositions. Perhaps they are not even that. Patterns, shapes, colours which complement each other. Little pictures. I am calling the series "Songs from the Sea" as they reflect my love of the sea and all things marine, including boats, and also my love of music, both listening to it and playing it. Each composition has a little fragment of sheet music within it. The first six works will be on show during North East Open Studios (NEOS) in September (8th - 16th) - I am exhibiting at the Phoenix Centre at Newton Dee again this year. In the meantime, they are also available for sale here on my website.
I have been experimenting with collage this week. I saw quite a few examples of this technique, using all sorts of different materials, during my tour of North East Open Studios last month. Perhaps some of the pieces I saw could be classed as mixed media; I'm sure there are specific definitions somewhere. I stuck (pardon the pun) to paper and glue for my playtime. A pile of old magazines, some newspapers, my pot of PVA glue (which temporarily went missing), a pair of scissors and some pieces of cardboard for bases, and I was off! It is a surprisingly absorbing occupation, I found. I did not consciously look for patterns or themes. I also did not aim for an overall picture or image (such as a landscape) as the end result. In fact I am not even sure that these are end results! I am tempted to add some paint (acrylic, or gouache perhaps) to some of them. I will be revisiting collage very soon, I think. The Orange and Blue effort above, based on the sheet music of the tune with that name, inspired a painting I did today. It's fascinating how different types of creativity feed each other. Fascinating, and fun!