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/