Thursday, February 26, 2015

"Paint Pictures with Words" Journal Series

The Paint Pictures with Words Journal Series  are 6" x 9"  journals with wraparound fantasy-inspired imagery by artist and author Lisa L. Cyr. The 120-page books are perfect bound and printed on cream uncoated 50lb paper. Painted textures throughout the journals serve as inspirational backgrounds from which to write on the lined interior pages. Let these journals inspire you to "Paint Pictures with Words!"  $19.95 US

Experimental Mixed-Media Techniques: Part One

When it comes to invention and experimentation, I believe the act of play holds an integral part in the creative process. Without set intention, just create, focusing on the journey not the destination. When you begin to play, you open the door for discovery to enter. I’d like to share with you some fun and playful techniques that I have discovered.

Tracing paper is spattered with purple acrylic paint, crinkled and dry brushed with metallic silver acrylic. Creating custom collage papers is a great way to infuse a signature look into your work.

A painted background is imprinted with a sprig coated with embossing ink. The wet ink is covered with embossing powder and a heating element is employed to raise the gold surface. Raised surfaces provide an intriguing tactile environment.

Synthetic mesh is dripped with liquid acrylic and sponged with gold. Utilizing alternative materials in your work will create intrigue

Self-leveling clear gel, liquid acrylic and metallic interference paints are swirled with a sharpened stick, then left to harden in a flat mold and later removed. You can also embed the clear gel with low relief add-ons for additional effects.

Acrylic paint is dropped into matte gel medium and marbled with a wide-tooth comb. You can also use a sharpened wooden stick to draw into the surface, creating a unique design.

Facial tissue is folded, manipulated and adhered to a surface using acrylic matte medium. Washes of acrylic paint are applied on top. Tissue paper and paper towels can also be used to create a similar texture.

For more demonstrations on making unique surfaces and creating custom papers, check out my book Experimental Painting (North Light Books).

I look forward to hearing from you and seeing what you have unearthed in your journey of experimentation and exploration!

copyright 2015 Lisa L. Cyr, Cyr Studio LLC

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Inside the Studio!

In preparation for a large series of paintings, I like to go on a cleaning spree, going through my entire studio. I purged the things that I no longer use, need or want to do. It is quite liberating! I found things that I had forgotten about and was able to restructure and reorganize so that I have a better system in place.

I am in the midst of redesigning the studio, again! But, this time it will be a slow work-in-process. I just painted my art table drawers and sponged them. I could not get the dark stains out when I was cleaning, so I went with they are black with gold patina!

In addition to the studio cleanup and makeover, I have also begun to contemplate a new direction for my work, developing ideas about where I would like to go in the years to come. It is very important every year to think  about your work as a whole and the direction it is moving.  I have lots of new products being launched and other ideas in the works so stay tuned!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Making Custom-Treated Paper

Often at the end of a long painting day, I have left over acrylic paint on my palette. I really hate to throw it out or try and save it, especially if there is really no special mixture that I will need the next day. So, I often use the leftover paint to make custom-treated papers.

The paper sample that you see in the detailed picture uses tracing paper that has been crinkled, laid flat and painted with washes of acrylic paint, using a spray bottle with water to mix the colors. I dry everything with a hairdryer and then dry-brush Gold paint on top. Now, I have no paint to throw out and a custom paper to use later on! For a step-by-step demonstration on making handmade paper, check out my book Art Revolution. For creating custom papers, check out a great demonstration from my book Experimental Painting (North Light Books).

Monday, February 16, 2015

Create an Inspiration Board!

Your artistic environment plays a role in your creative process. A studio that has an ongoing means for stimulating thought is much more conducive for producing creative momentum. One way to make an impact on your creative output is to restructure the environment in which you work.

Create an inspiration board or wall to post uplifting quotes, photos and artwork from contemporary and historic artists that influence your work. Every time that you look at your inspiration board, you will see something that uplifts your spirit and your creativity.

In my studio, I am constantly posting new things up to look at. Everywhere I go, I find something inspirational and include it on my inspiration board as well as the wall of the studio. Featured here is an inspiration board I made out of layered, carved and debossed foam. For a step-by-step demonstration on how to make this project, check out my book Experimental Painting.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Inspirational Quotes

“Until one is committed there is always hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. The moment that one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events and issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic. Begin it NOW!
- Goethe

“Nothing in the world can take away the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not. The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
- Calvin Coolidge

“Everything comes if a man will only wait. I have brought myself by long meditation (to the belief) that a human being with a subtle purpose must accomplish it, and that nothing can resist a will that will stay in existence for its fulfillment.”
- Disraeli

“A man is what he thinks about all day long.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitude of mind. We need only to act as if the thing in question were real and it will become infallibly real by growing in such connection with life that it will become real. It will become so knit with habit and emotion that our interest in it be that which characterizes belief. If you only care enough for a result you will almost certainly attain it. If you wish to be rich, you will be rich. If you wish to be learned, you will be learned. If you wish to be good, you will be good. Only then you must really wish them and wish them exclusively and not wish, at the same time, one-hundred other incompatible things just as strong.”
-William James

“If you can believe all things are possible to him who believes.”
- The Bible (Mark 9:23)

“Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good We might often win by not
fearing to attempt.”- William Shakespeare

"The more extensive a man's knowledge of what has been done, the greater
will be his power of knowing what to do."
- Benjamin Disraeli

"And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the spirit."- King James Bible

"We know what we are, but know not what we may be."
- William Shakespeare

"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts..."
- William Shakespeare, "As You Like It", Act 2 scene 7

"Arise, Go Forth, and Conquer."
- Lord Alfred Tennyson

"We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are."
- Confusious

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Exploring Automatism!

Automatism is a term coined by the Surrealist movement. It is a way of painting and drawing that responds to some source of stimuli. Whether it is music, poetry, literature, a dream or a memory, automatism in drawing and painting has helped artists to free themselves, creating imaginative work of the artistic subconscious.                                                                                   
In this process picture, I am painting with a branch from a pine tree. The entire piece was inspired from a nature walk and many of the tools I used to create the work were from natural elements, including tree bark, pine cones, leaves and the like.

When you are creatively blocked, it is important to change up your process and approach. It is incredibly refreshing to create without intent. To work in in an automatic way, start with some kind of stimulus: something inspirational or emotionally moving. Allow your brush or drawing instrument to move and respond to the sounds, sights, smells or tactile stimuli. To read more about automatism, research the surrealist movement and the art of Andre Brenton. For a full step-by-step demonstration featuring the mixed-media painting above entitled Serenity, check out my book Experimental Painting!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Journey of Experimentation

When working outside the norm, it is important to begin with the right mindset and attitude. To start your journey of experimentation and exploration, I’d like to share with you an excerpt I wrote as an introduction to my book Experimental Painting.

Work as Play
“Creativity is a gift that we are given and express instinctively as children. Without self-doubt or fear of rejection the inner spirit soars, embracing new experiences wholeheartedly. Eager to learn and always willing to try, children approach everything like it was for the first time. Sensually aware and stimulated by even the most inconsequential things, the untempered mind explores the world in a way that is awe-inspiring to witness.

“Oftentimes, as we move into adulthood, the inner realm gets overshadowed by the constant pressures, demands and distractions of the external world. We lose sight and no longer trust in the spirit of play that makes our unique gifts and talents shine. Easily bamboozled into thinking that doing something for the pure joy of it has no apparent purpose, we no longer see play as a relevant part of our process. In time, we become stagnant and creatively blocked.

“To break free from the chains of self-induced boundaries, we must again dare to give ourselves the freedom to play, transcending to a time where the creative spirit reigned in a vast and seemingly limitless field of dreams. We need to remind ourselves what it feels like to be inquisitive, bursting with imaginative faculties. A pilgrimage back to a child-like, playful state of mind reunites us with the soul of our work: a bright, flickering flame that has always been present within. Without fear of mistakes or pressure to perform, we begin again, challenging ourselves to reach for new heights in our work.

“As artists, our legacy lies in the ability to approach aesthetic endeavors with an authentic voice and vision, maintaining an intimate connection with the divine spirit that resides within. The expression of our gifts and talents is our unique contribution to world. To make an everlasting impact, an extraordinary mindset that is genuine at heart is needed to persevere, triumph and succeed with great rewards. The more we approach our work with insight, vigor and passion—continually cultivating creative play, exploration, experimentation—the more we are able to see and reach our full potential and inner greatness as creative beings.”