~*~ Mixed Media May ~*~ Jane Coquillon ~*~

What does mixed-media mean to you?

There are absolutely no rules.
I can use absolutely anything I like to get the effect I’m after, and I love that!
– I love that there’s so much out there that I haven’t even thought about using yet.


How long have you been a mixed-media artist?
It’s only really this year that I’ve called myself an artist, and started using my real name online.
I still feel vaguely uncomfortable with the whole idea. I’m still such a beginner, and learning so much with each painting I do.
But to answer your question, it’s been about 18mths since I first picked up a brush and began making this kind of art.


How has art impacted or enhanced your life?
I’ve had CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) since I was 16 (I’m 40 now).

The only way I’ve stayed sane is by expressing my creativity, and I’ve tried lots of different things.

When I picked up a brush back in September 2011, it was the first time I’d done so since high school and it was like finding that “something-I’ve-been-looking-for-all-my-life”.

I don’t know how else to explain it, and I never felt this way about art in high school.

Since I began painting, I’m just so much better able to handle stress thank I ever was, and emotional stress has always been the thing that’s affected my health the most.

It’s like an open-eye meditation, and that calmness carries on into the rest of my life. Most of the time, anyway – I still scream at the kids at times 😉


What are a few of the mixed-media supplies that you find yourself using the most?
Number one is definitely acrylics. I prefer Chroma brand Atelier Interactives for thick, opaque colours & Golden Open’s for tinting and thin layers.

My black General’s Scribe-All pencil is a must-have – it draws on almost anything, doubles as an aquarelle, and gives a great outline for faces and figures.

Next on the list is papers of all kinds – patterned, textured, book pages, foreign text, vintage and found bits & pieces.

I just bought myself a bundle of old sheet music, and I’m so excited at the way it looks & feels!

My coloured aquarelle pencils are fantastic for soft shading, doodling and outlining.

I also use water-soluble crayons & oil pastels, but I think I need to start working bigger before I really enjoy using them. (most of my paintings this year have been 4×4” & 5×7”)


Who are some of your favorite mixed-media artists?
I absolutely love everything that Sunny Carvalho does, she’s so versatile & prolific!
I also love the work of Mindy Murphy Lacefield and Juliette Crane. The childlike, playful feel of their art is what I’m really working towards.


Tell us about your creative process.
I always use an unused canvas panel as a palette.
Before & during that, I paste paper on it, scribble, doodle designs in aquarelles or oil pastels.
Layer after layer goes on, until I look at it and think “Yum”, and my background is ready to go.
Then I start with a new canvas-panel-palette!

The shapes and colours in the backgrounds I’ve created have a big influence on what I paint as a subject.
I always start with a face shape first, and always end up turning the canvas upside down or sideways to make the most of something in the background.
That’s how I find my body shapes & the emotions that my girls are feeling.

I also carry my sketch journal with me everywhere (shopping, doctors’, the beach, to bed) and scribble ideas in there all the time – scenes, designs, ideas, poses.
Then when I’m ready to paint, I skim through until something grabs me.

The hardest part of each piece for me is that “ugly” stage. I know I need to just keep plugging away at it, but sometimes I just can’t stop myself from covering it all up with paper or paint and starting over again.


What inspires you?
Alone time is a must for me, to recharge my energy and creativity.
I especially love being alone with nature. Walking on the beach, through the bush, or just sitting in my backyard.


Where can we find you?

Blog – http://www.janecoquillon.com
Etsy – http://www.etsy.com/shop/JaneBlogsArt
Instagram – https://instagram.com/janecoquillon
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JaneBlogsArt (or friend me – I promise I don’t bite!)
Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/jane_blogs/

janecoquillon-headshot Jane Coquillon is a mixed media artist living in Sydney Australia, with her husband of 14 years and two children.
She has been creating mixed media art for just on 18 months and challenges herself to learn something new with each piece completed.
Much of her work autobiographical and very subconscious in nature.
Jane has a small but loyal following that is steadily growing as she develops further as an artist.

23 Responses to ~*~ Mixed Media May ~*~ Jane Coquillon ~*~

  1. Heidi says:

    I applaud your journey having read about your background. I was intrigued ad captured by your creativity and talent. Add to that now an appreciation for how you arrived there.

    There is a large piece that I can relate to having read about your journey.

    I became an Interior Designer with a BS Degree having never drawn a day in my life. I made a career for myself working my way up to the prestigious Roche Bonois. Bouts of health problems were a way of life albeit finding the wearwithall to carry on. Until I turned 38. I was faced with a choice a career, or a Mom and wife. Not enough stamina for it all. 22 years later I am a Type A person trapped in a disabled body that won’t cooperate!

    Over the years I taught myself to paint but geometric in style. I never thought I was good enough despite praise from others. Your writings have helped me reflect on the positive self-esteem that followed. That being said I don’t think I am physically able to try again. Although I am desperate to create something permanent and lasting I have gone from pushing through exercise to walking with a cane to needing a walker waiting and wondering when it will be a wheelchair. Although I am much older than you 59 I feel I am too young to accept this lifestyle,

    This was not meant to be about me per se just a way to frame the resons for my questions.

    What made you pick up a ain’t Bri’s? How did you learn techniques and/or ways to create your pieces of
    art? Why the girls? Have you taken any classes? Do you have a schedule or
    deadline you set for yourself? Do you make yourself create regardless of how
    you feel?

    Keep your work coming… It is thought-provoking at times, inspiring, positive , cheery and I congratulate you,

    Best regards,

    Washington, DC Metro area

    • I think it would be difficult in a very different way to go from being an active & productive person, to dealing with a debilitating illness. I agree, 59 is much too young.
      I’m glad you shared your situation, a conversation goes both ways 🙂

      About your questions…

      I’ve done all sorts of creative things over the years, and early on in 2011, I discovered zentangles & began visiting artsy blogs & discovered etsy.
      I was initially inspired by Danita, her girls are so fun and she makes it look so easy!
      By September I was itching to try it myself – even though I found the idea totally scary and overwhelming, because I’d never done any painting before.

      A lot of my techniques I’ve developed by just studying art that I love & trying to figure out how the artist got that effect. A lot of trial and plenty of error, in other words 😉

      I think the reason I do mainly girls is the emotional connection with drawing/painting a face. I have done owls & cats and want to again, it’s just a matter of being in the mood. And my memory is terrible so I keep forgetting that I want to do some..

      In the first week of January this year, I did Mindy Lacefield’s “Paint Your Story” online course & finally felt happy with my girls’ faces.
      One of my goals for 2013 is to do at least two little courses online, because they’re self-paced and I can fit them in when I’m having a good day. I’m not sure what else I’ll choose, but I’m leaning towards Juliette Crane’s courses at the moment.

      I definitely don’t have a schedule or deadlines, they stress me out and I dry up! The one time I painted something for someone on request, I couldn’t paint anything for about two weeks and had to force myself to not think about what was asked for to finish – luckily the buyer loved it 🙂

      Because of that, I do make sure I do something creative every day. Even if it’s a doodle in a notebook between naps or slapping some paint or paper on a canvas for a background. It just keeps me in the habit.

      I hope this all made sense, thank you so much for your lovely words and questions. They really made me think!

      Hugs, Jane 🙂

  2. Sue Carey says:

    I am SO proud to say I know this awesome Artist!
    I own several of her pieces, which are a joy to live with. They look and feel incredible.
    Much of what Jane paints relates to my own life, and her work touches me greatly.
    It is wonderful to read this article about such a lovely, talented Artist and friend xx

  3. Sue says:

    Great interview Jane! Love the fact you shared how you do your creative pieces.

  4. Thanks Sue! I had to really sit and think it throught, because my brain really isn’t engaged when I’m actually doing it!

  5. Jane! What a great interview. I just love looking at your creations on Instagram. You really have a very unique style. I love it! So happy you found art!

    Love and Light to you Jane!!

  6. Gina says:

    Totally loving your style and personality 😀 My fave piece is the one with music script dress with the word “cheeks” on it…gave me a big cheesey grin lol Never thought of using a blank canvas as a palette…great tip 😀 XXX

    • I love that one too Gina, and I didn’t notice the word cheeks until I’d already glued the piece of music onto the canvas – serendipity 🙂

      I first started using a blank canvas as a palette to build up texture, but when I saw how good the unplanned effect looked it became my background technique!

      Hugs, Jane xx

  7. Lynda Metcalf says:

    Congrats, Jane! I love your “paint palette is a canvas panel idea”! I may have to borrow that one!

  8. I absolutely love your style and determination. Your girls make me smile.

  9. RitaJC says:

    Nice interview! Thank you so much!
    40? Jane looks around 20 in this photo! 🙂

    • omg, really? Thank you so much, Rita!
      I’ll have to tell my kids that – my 9yo will laugh his head off, he thinks I’m soooo old 😀

      Seriously, I’m glad you enjoyed the interview 🙂

  10. I love your sweet people! They look so whimsical, and I think you sold me on that pencil. Thank you for sharing, and I yay to picking up that paintbrush again.

  11. kristin says:

    great interview!! congrats Jane!

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  13. […] the day!  My interview is live now on the MMM site, and I’d love it if you’d go take a gander! (after you’ve read my utterly […]

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