~*~ Mixed Media May ~*~ Tanya Cole Arts ~*~

What does mixed media mean to you?
MM to me means ‘anything goes…that goes’, anything that you enjoy the feel of or look of and wish to play and explore with. The concept of MM was really freeing for me. It took me back to my childhood love of cutting and pasting, sewing with mum, drawing, painting, threading and using my imagination. My mother-in-law once taught me how to make ragged quilts. I became an avid sewer of funky children’s wear, dolls, cot mobiles, quilts, bed runners & couch throws. Then I got into free form sewing and fabric painting. Once I started painting again I couldn’t stop and the sewing feel by the wayside. To invite myself back any time to fabric and stitching, MM Art became a natural transition. So now I ‘play’ with acrylic & fabric paints, ink, watercolours, pastels, art pens, fabric, thread, beads, paper, coloured pencils, wax, charcoals and I am sure there are other things I can’t recall right now. The exciting thing about MM is that the future of what you create is wide open. You have permission to play with new supplies and materials, so it never becomes mundane or boring.

beeswax 'Be brave' for MMM

How long have you been a mixed media artist?
Since kindy, but in a driven way,  almost 2 and a half years ago.

Commission 'Finding my Awesome' for MMM

How has art impacted or enhanced your life?
Just after I turned 40, my youngest son was almost 2. I was facing my work future and I knew I didn’t want to be employed by anyone again. I knew I needed flexible hours and although I could (and do) work in my own practice as I OT, I also wanted to bring creativity along with me. As mentioned, I had been sewing with my MIL and enjoying being crafty. I couldn’t bear the idea of working hours upon hours without there being an element of inherent joy in the mix as well. A family friend had gifted me a massive canvas as a birth gift for the arrival of my youngest. The intention was for me to do hand and finger prints of my 3 boys with their names and birth years & hang it in my living room or bedroom. I looked at that canvas where I had it stored for almost 2 years. Then one day I decided to start. However, I decided to paint a family portrait of my hubby and I and 3 kids instead…in the child-like, naïve style of painting. Once I put brush to paint I was hooked. {I did tertiary Art in years 11 and 12 and wanted to go to Uni to do Fine Arts, however my parents encouraged me down the Science path. I packed my art supplies away. They came out briefly when we were living in Broome and then again (in a big way & permanently) once we moved here to Dunsborough. I fully believe that the place, the community and the land can be a catalyst for inspiration.} To this day, the family portrait sits propped on a bookcase with my sons faces unpainted. I put that canvas aside and went on to prolifically explore, learn, paint and create right up until today. I have used my creativity to come up with ideas of how to use all my transferable skills to do what I love. My plan is to incorporate Art into my OT, running one-to-one therapy sessions with young girls and mums to help them gain insight, healing, possibility and personal growth. This is what I feel Mixed Media Art has gifted me, so I want to pay it forward. I am very passionate about this. I feel very blessed that it can be my work as well as my learning and my play.

Commission 'Bridge to stellar friends' for MMM

What are a few of the mixed media supplies you find yourself turning to the most?
Acrylic Paints, Graphite Pencil, Pen, Ink/Stencils & Water Soluble Crayons & Coloured Pencils for detailed shaded faces.

Commission 'The Sister I Never Had' for MMM

Who are some of your favorite mixed media artists?

Love ’em all!

Owl in Birdhouse for MMM

Tell us about your creative process.
I have a cat and mouse type creative process. It goes like this: the cat wants some cream (a creative visceral urge to create something), the cat thinks (intermittently whilst going about it’s paw licking day) about how to get the cream, it peers over at it’s bowl several times throughout the day but can’t be bothered getting off it’s comfy lounge. But it REALLY wants some cream. Eventually the cat listens to the desire, pestering at it to do something to get the cream. The cat finally walks across to the bowl, sits, lets everyone know its at the bowl, paws the bowl and patiently persists at pawing the bowl until the muse saunters over to the fridge, pulls out the cream and pours it into the bowl. The cat drinks from the bowl…and goes into a meditative, blissful zone (flow). When the cream runs out the cat goes back to where it was, sleeps and then chases mice (distractions other than creating art) all day. I am working on my cat and mouse approach to my art and trying to throw some discipline into the mix, however I am a libran and I have to feel free. I let my mood, energy levels and menstrual cycle lead my creative flow. Yet the conundrum is that I very clear that I create my best works when I am self nurturing and getting adequate, sleep, food, relaxation, navel gazing time and meditate/do yoga to connect and say hello to my spirit, heart and soul. In my fertile window of my cycle, I will find that I might be showering or on the toilet and a healing phrase or message will jump into my mind. I will feel a compulsion to create a whimsical girl or animal (or both), that will express the message or phrase effectively so viewers can gain some emotional healing or uplifting positivity from it. In this incubating of ideas phase I am constantly battling life reality constraints of a day job and busy household of children and juggling these to carve out time in the studio. When it looks like I can’t find time, muse takes over and snatches a window of time, usually between 11pm and 2am in the morning. I put some music on that intuitively feels like the right thing to listen to at the time and then my conscious reality disappears and I am ‘there’. I remain in the flow or zone until such time as the piece is finished, my eyes are closing or I am stressing that my hubby will work out what time I finally slipped into bed next to him. Other times, I will have fun playtime with my boys and we will all draw and paint and I will create something that I will then finish later on. I certainly go through many periods of angst over a piece, whereby we stalk each other for a while until we come to some understanding. My inspiration largely comes from my own sufferings and personal growth experiences over the years and ongoing learnings and insights, from my patients (mainly women…who if I could I would take away their pain for them with a magic wand), beauty in nature, other artists excitement and enthusiasm for their craft, art supply websites, little intuitive taps from my soul and from my boys. I love editing close up photo’s of my art, when I am moved by a blend or surge in colour or texture and I love new perspectives gained, when I view my pieces on the monitor and images suddenly pop out at me, begging to paint in. I’M still learning what my creative process is but one thing I am very clear on is that it is not linear and not something that I feel I am entirely in control of…which keeps it pretty exciting really…you can NEVER get bored or stop learning!

'Nourished & Nurtured' for MMM

What makes your mixed-media art unique?
Hmmm, I’m not sure. I think I am still finding my unique style. It is emerging. It is bright, bold colourful, uplifting, deep in content oftentimes, lots of soul oftentimes… It’s pretty eclectic. I feel a bit panicky that I am getting older and I am running out of time to learn all the different mixed media possibilities that are out there to be explored lol! I fear I might always be a jack of all trades and master of none lol! I know I am awesome at coming up with ideas and I am really evangelistic and excited over them at the time and can get others fired up (I have been told I have a gift at inspiring others and giving them a sense of hope), but then I am not so awesome at following through afterwards as I lose momentum and get distracted by the next shiny thing that my soul is nudging me towards. Anyhoo, I think you can see some of my influencers on my artwork from some of the goddesses I mentioned above, whom I have been inspired by and feel forever indebted to for shining the way to me opening up my playpen again.

Mother natures beauty dwindling' for MMM

Where can we find you?
Website (still a work in progress)
Facebook (which I spend WAY too much time on but I am disenchanted with)
My like a needle-in-a-haystack Etsy Shop
Instagram (love it)
Flicker (which I keep forgetting to update)
and Pinterest (which I also love)

Tanya Cole Profile pic I am married with 3 boys (4, 6 & 17) who make my head spin (but lovingly so) and my heart sing. They are gorgeous and FULL of energy! We live in Dunsborough, in the Southwest of Western Australia. This place inspires me and is full of artistic people which helps. I have my own practice treating body (think ~ head, neck, back, shoulder, leg pain), minds and souls in a fairly intuitive, healing way; with some technical approaches and modalities thrown in. I am PASSIONATE about helping people, I can’t bear to see others suffer and am drawn to help where I can. I am an avid believer that there is always hope. Having experienced domestic violence and living life as a single mother, I am a passionate championer of women and children and I want nothing else than to see other women (and girls and boys) find their happy and unwavering belief in themselves, their self worth and their sense of personal power and possibility. I am VERY excited that I am on a path of bringing more of my art into my therapy work. I have been and am currently studying art therapy approaches and incorporating them into my counselling with people. I see teaching women and children art processes and techniques in the context of healing, counselling as a facilitator of personal growth…becoming very much a part of my future. I also practice Intuitive painting and women circles and paint splashing and liberation and joy is also on the horizon…exciting times ahead = me feeling very blessed! Oh, and lots of time spent in my playpen studio…playing.

17 Responses to ~*~ Mixed Media May ~*~ Tanya Cole Arts ~*~

  1. Lynn Kopas says:

    Beautiful works of art! I love your pencil work and fun bright colors! Glad to know you better!!

  2. […] You can read my interview here http://www.mixedmediamay.com/mixed-media-may-tanya-cole-arts […]

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