Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

Art Edition

Today I’m sharing a little about stepping outside of my comfort zone in regards to my Mixed Media Art. My usual styles of creating are using darker hues, vintage grudge, steampunk, doodling, fluid art and abstracts. A few months ago, I made the decision to step out of my zone and explore different ways of creating mixed media art and my journals. The piece below is a prime example of what I’m talking about.

A Sweet Mixed Media Art Page I

I had created these two pages on one example of a background for a friend to see. I had put it aside for a while knowing I would come back to it eventually.

Last week I opened the book to complete these pages without any thought as to where they would take me. As I got to what I thought the final layer would be, I was discontented with it. There wasn’t balance. I was completely unsettled.

I shared photos of the pages to my friend and she told me to keep what I had-in so many words… Normally I would but I just couldn’t let these pages stay as they were. I decided to step away from my work desk and went in the kitchen to fix a glass sparkling water. I stood in the kitchen for a bit and started having a conversation with myself. Yep. I talk to myself.

My thoughts included: Why are you not happy with these pages? What is your problem today? -laughing. What do you want to express? What do you want? Then it hit me. I wanted to go all out and get girly with it. Yes, girly.

A Sweet Mixed Media Art Page

I marched back to my desk, sat down with determination and grabbed a box with embellishments and chose the “Sweet” embellishment to cover up the word, “Love” and proceeded to add a few other mediums-including more doodles. These pages are completely out of my comfort zone but I’m glad I created it and the story it tells is a good lesson learned.

What are ways you step out of your comfort zone when creating art? Or do you ever step out of that zone? How have you grown as an artist?

Stephanie

The Art of Mixed Media

 

A Mini Pocket I

Paper Crafting and Mixed Media Art are my two favorite mediums in creating my Art Collages, Bookmarks, Cards, Tags and Journals. More times than not, I am combining both mediums in my art projects. The last few days I’ve been creating mini pockets for journals out of pages from a book and using different craft mediums to complete the pockets. Let’s take a look at the two mediums and their usage. You’ll find they go hand in hand.

Paper Crafting: When it comes to Paper Crafting, I think of scrapbooking, journaling, cardmaking, paper cutting for patterns, decoupage, collaging, creating backgrounds, quilling and the many other craft projects.

Mixed Media: Mixed Media is taking different materials and combining them to create a whole piece-if you will. The medium tells a story and gives the eye many different details to explore.

When you begin using this form of art, you’ll begin to see your surroundings in a new light and discover many ways you can use materials around you.

Stephanie Hopkins

(Images may be subjected to copyright. All book reviews, interviews, guest posts, art work and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

The Road Less Traveled

The road less traveledLast night I created this piece for a journal page and thought to put it in my Smash Book. I was super tired and it had been a long day. I thought to myself that I just need to go to bed but instead I sat at my desk and created. This piece is a reflection on how I felt yesterday. The windows are crooked and the doors look like they have seen better days. I was frustrated, tired, unsteady and had so many different thoughts running through my mind. I wanted to cover the page up and start over again. I posted this art page in The Paper Outpost Facebook Group I’m a member of and have had all sorts of different reactions from it. I wanted to their opinions before making a final decision. I needed some clarity one might say.

The members of the group are amazing and so encouraging. They lift each other up and all share the same passion of Junk Journaling. Many people don’t understand the term or premise to Junk Journaling and I’ve seen people criticize the past time. Not this group. I feel at home with them and our fearless leader, Pam is an extraordinary lady. The group also reminds me that art isn’t about being perfect all the time. Its a self-reflection, expression and that not everyday goes the according to plan, just like our creations. That is a big part of what makes creating so special. We learn, we grow and we inspire. My decision to share to the group was the right one and I’m glad I did.

 

Judy, one of the members, made a comment saying, “If you want my humble opinion, this turned out really well. It reminds me of a street in St. John’s Newfoundland (brightly coloured houses.) And the woman in the foreground is remembering…” I quickly googled search St. John Newfoundland and wow, wow! She was right and she opened the door for more inspiration! I want to go there and explore! I’m adding St. John Newfoundland to my bucket list. Meanwhile, I’m going to be doing some features and inspirational art based on this discovery.

Judy also said, “The woman in your picture was such a contrast. Newfoundlanders are resilient people. She could represent their stamina and determination.”

Other inspirational comments about the piece:

“Keep it. it’s cool. Plus, if you look at any museum, they have all kinds of art that isn’t perfect. That’s the beauty of it. I like it. I vote to keep.”

“It’s abstract.”

“I think your houses have charm. Get some rest and start fresh tomorrow.”

“I think you should add it. It’s a reflection of how you got your daily art in despite being tired, thereby winning. And besides, I think it’s quite charming.”

“Keep it! Shows you don’t have to be perfect to do beautiful work. By the way, I think it’s fab!!!!”

“I like how the figure stands out in the foreground as though she represents that she is bigger than all of it!”

*********

To further add, there are a couple lines in The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost that reminded me last night of what I was working on.

“Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way…”

A big thank you to Judy and to everyone who commented about the picture. Your take on the piece and compliment put me back in the right frame of mind. Love to you all.

~Stephanie

(Images may be subjected to copyright. All book reviews, interviews, guest posts, art work and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

Art of The Restful Collage

Nightly Art III

I added a bottle cap and metal from a tin can for the flower..

There are times my collages aren’t ready to tell their story and they need a rest. I patiently and gently put this piece aside and would often look the design, not knowing what story lay ahead. What is it, I asked myself? What story will be told?

On Saturday February 1st, in the late afternoon, I was looking at a gauzy textile scrap with strings attached to the fabric that had a familiar shape. A kite, I thought. Then the memories came flooding back and I knew what story this collage was to tell.

In the 1980’s-early 90’s, my parents were on staff at Clearwater Baptist Church in Clearwater Florida. My parent’s ministry there was memorable and my mother was the Children’s Director and held many events for the children. There have been many changes to the church over the course of its history and the original building is no longer there. I felt deep sorrow when I heard the Old Building was torn down. Anyhow, my mother would contact the city to use Coachman Park that was near the church down by the water front for events. One of the events was, “Come Fly with Me”. We made our own kites and would fly them down at the park and have picnics.

Those were the best times and I remember the feeling of much joy and carefree. How the air smelled of salt from the ocean, the breeze carrying our kites up and up in the sky, soaring to and from. The sounds of laughter and happy chatter from everyone. The kids running around back and forth to their parents and friends, sharing their adventures. Happy times, indeed.

Kite Textile Collage

This textile collage represents that amazing time in my childhood. All is left for the finishing touches are to sew thread through the buttons and to bond the fabrics together with fabric adhesive and cotton thread. -Stephanie

Cover Crush & Collage: The Camera Never Lies by David Rawlings

Tha Camera Never Lies

Book Collage by Stephanie Hopkins

I spotted this book on Facebook  and the title, colors of the background and the premise intrigued me. I have an older mix media art piece I created on Canvas that I thought would be perfect for a collage of this book. I took my image and the book cover and made digital art with them. I did sharpen and added a few little mediums to really make it pop. I think it turned out pretty cool.

 

 

 

The Camera Never LiesThe Camera Never Lies

by David Rawlings

Daniel, Kelly, and Milly appear to be the perfect family. But an old camera will expose secrets no one wants developed.

Daniel Whitely is a successful marriage counselor and bestselling author, yet his own marriage is in crisis and his daughter is drifting further away each day. To make matters worse, the deadline for his second book has come and gone, and he still hasn’t written a single word.

When Daniel inherits an old camera from his grandfather, he notices an inscription on the bottom: “No matter what you think you might see, the camera never lies.”

Daniel begins using the camera, but every time he develops his photos, they threaten to reveal secrets that could sabotage both his marriage and his career—exposing him as a fraud and destroying the life he has worked so hard to build.

He’s faced with a choice: keep his secrets and save his career or come clean and possibly save his family. Which will he choose? Which would you choose?

*****

Cover Crush banner

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated by Erin at Historical Fiction Reader 

Other book bloggers who participated in the great cover crushes series. 

Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Colleen at A Literary Vacation
Heather at The Maiden’s Court
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired

(All book reviews, interviews, guest posts and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

A Weekend Of R&R

MeGood morning and happy Monday! I hope you all had two days of rest and renewal to start off the new week right.

The last few days I’ve had a bad cold and I rested in my recliner all weekend while working on my projects, exploring new ideas, stitch doodling, prepping upcoming projects, reflecting and being in the present. I thought a lot about blending the old with the new and the re-purpose ones clothes, and what it means for the environment. For a deep appreciation of keeping the old ways of mending and sewing alive. I also reflected on my creations and how I express them. For me, there is no wrong way in doing so.

January CollageSaturday I was working on my secret project pretty much all day then decided to take a break from it and prep scraps for a Sashiko/Boro influence/ mix media art collage project I’m starting in January. I haven’t sewed any of the fabrics down yet. I’m still in the process of placing the fabrics. Anyhow, it’s going to be about a 12×12 collage. I’ll probably frame it once its completed or if I change my mind, use the collage in another project. There is no pressure in making a final decision. I did go ahead and slow stitched on denim square.

I would really like to stress that your stitches don’t have to be perfectly straight. Make your creations your own. That is unless you’re working on a art piece for someone who is paying for straight stitches, if its something you prefer or working with patterns. Please keep in mind that slow stitching is forgiving and if you are not satisfied with what you stitched, you can go back and change it. Enjoy the process. Slow down and breath.

Sunday was another day of resting and a bit of planning for the pattern of my Denim Rag Quilt. I arranged my Grandmother’s scraps the way I want them-for the most part. I need to put a lighter denim square in the upper right corner. I did play around with some visible stitching on one of the quilt squares. The process was so relaxing! I won’t be doing stitching patterns on all of them. However, I’m slow stitching on the scrap patches. I’m sewing this quilt by hand as much as possible.

I’ve been jumping around on projects this weekend. That’s how I roll!

Follow my closet @artsycouture42 and use my code: ARTSYCOUTURE42 to get a free $10 credit when signing up for Poshmark! www.poshmark.

See you next time! Bye for now.

Stephanie