Mixing it up...


 The  key to my progress and success as a working artist lies in my constant experimentation. A fear of marketing my work had to be put aside in order to grow. I never lose sight of my collectors' desires yet I do not let others dictate my work. I am motivated by a sense of discovery, a questioning of what is known and study of those who have come before me and found answers.
It is important to note that with each deliberate change of medium I was able to build on past skills, not abandoning what came before. Watercolor progressed into Mixed Media, as I stated in my last blog, because of my need to find a way to better express the form of a rock. A humbling moment when my skills were not able to satisfy what in my mind's eye was needed to elevate my work to the next step . I struggled.
Two years later I found my way. I gave myself permission to "fail" to stumble, and to simply play. I reached a point that I was creatively satisfied in the joy of puzzling together various papers. I created textures that became new surfaces in which my watercolors could spontaneously blossom.  Unexpected landscapes, seascapes and vegetations washed across these textures as I played with layering torn papers, rice papers, papyrus and barks. I adhered each to the surface with archival gels.  My experimentation with my work became joyous and free of angst because there was no such thing as a failed painting. Tiny pieces of color, a misplaced mark, too saturated tone all became another part of a painting, ripped and stored away until just the right moment when I reached for it like a prized jewel to complete my idea.
Mixed Media was for me a giant step of exploring a full range of creativity from realism to abstracts and met success with my collectors.  I remained in mixed media for many years.....and yet I knew that there was something tantalizingly in the back of my mind, guiding my hand ever so slowly in a new direction. What was it? I could see and feel my work becoming "the same" and less satisfying... uh oh...change was on its way!
Until next week ...Acrylic!

 helenharrispaintings.com

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