What does mixed-media art mean to you?
It means “permission to create”. Since there are no “official” definitions or specific rules guiding us as mixed media artists, we can create our own rules and experiment with processes and materials and techniques with great freedom. This suits me perfectly and I encourage all my students to embrace the serendipity of mixed media!
How long have you been a mixed-media artist?
I try not to define myself. I’ve always loved art materials, and collage and experimentation has been a part of my work for a very long time. Officially I’ve been calling myself an artist since 2000. That was the year I decided that art must play a central role in my life rather than hover in the periphery of my vision.
How has your art impacted or enhanced your life?
Art makes me happy. And it has created a network of artful relationships that I value. It’s work but not “work” in that I’m not a slave to art. Art fills me up with enthusiasm and energy, especially when I am teaching. There is something so wonderful about seeing people embrace art.
What are a few of the mixed-media supplies you find yourself using most?
Acrylic paint and products, of course. Being a part of the Golden Artist Colors, Inc Working Artist Team I have the privilege of working with the best materials possible and getting in on the ground floor when something new comes available. But then I have a love for decorative papers and most other materials as well so I’m happy to mix things up and see what can happen.
Who are some of your favorite mixed-media artists?
My first inspiration was Joseph Cornell. For years I made these little assemblages that were filled with treasures and told stories about my experiences. I also love Robert Rauschenberg for his absolute abandon when it comes to collage and assemblage. When it comes to color and line I love Jawlensky’s work. He struggled with Rheumatoid Arthritis all of his life and I have RA too. He always found a way to adapt and continued to paint. I love to know the stories behind artists and why they chose collage or mixed media. Many times the transitions from painting to collage happened out of necessity like with Matisse.
What makes your mixed-media art unique?
I think my love of color and experimentation is my niche. Most people don’t realize that it may take up to 50 layers to make the magic happen on a canvas. I sometimes worry that I don’t have a particular “look” to my work as it is always changing depending on my favorite technique of the moment. As a teacher I’m always pushing myself to be ahead of the trends so that I can teach what is possible and incorporate the new ideas into classes.
Where can we find you?
- my Chris Cozen, Artist page on FB
- my blog at http://chriscozenartist.typepad.com/
- for all my classes check out http://www.goldenpaints.com/artist/wap/artist.php?uid=39 .
About Chris Cozen: I am a “self-taught” artist with an extensive background in education. Art has always played a role in my life and when I retired from my life as an educator I decided to put art front and center. I found I really missed teaching and quickly began doing workshops. I love color, line, & pattern and use them to express myself in my work. I am always amazed and surprised by my life as an artist. It seems a bit like a dream and yet I work really hard at it! I’m convinced that art keeps my brain growing and changing in a really positive way. I live in a beautiful city in California and my studio looks out into my amazing garden. The colors there inspire me every day.