(Note from Paula, the original Mixed Media Manic: ) I'll just quickly introduce my guest blogster and then get out of the way! I "met" her on LinkedIn, where she is an enormously supportive and encouraging presence.
Chris Marshall is mad about color (or, as Chris puts
it, "colour") and texture. She lives in , with her artist/photographer husband and
teammate, Steve, with whom she partners in their business, Marshall Arts. In addition, she coordinates an art centre and gallery! Chris
works in acrylics, watercolors, pen, mixed media and the digital arts and
maintains a sensational website at www.marshallarts.com.au Now here's Chris! Perth, Western Australia
Hi, everyone! I’m a mixed media / collage and digital artist and I have fun with my art. I work totally intuitively, love to experiment and let my art come from deep within me so every artwork has something of me in it. I love looking at all types of art but when it comes to my own art, I'm happy in my own skin. That is, I don't aspire to be like anyone else and I don't like being labelled or put in a box.
|Blue Mountains Odyssey, by Chris Marshall, features|
texture made from tickets, brochures and other info collected on holiday.
I just LOVE mixing my media and creating something intriguing out of often unrelated materials and objects. I work on paper (heavy watercolour paper, 638gsm with a rough surface), canvas or board. I work totally intuitively, sometimes starting with an artwork in mind (eg Blue Mountains Odyssey, above); sometimes inspired by something I find (eg Out of the Blues, below); sometimes I just play with materials and/or a technique and see what happens (eg Absorbed and a Hint of Autumn); and other times I’m totally inspired by the feel of a place that I have been, like Intriguing Wetlands and my Ningaloo series.
|Out of the Blues, which began on an impulse when I picked up a second-hand scarf for $2. |
because I was so taken with the beautiful colors.
As watercolours was the first medium that I used, I like washy looking backgrounds and the magic that happens when the wet liquids of different viscosities combine; I often start that way, mixing watercolours, acrylic paints and inks, sometimes also using a light modelling compound in the background. I also often use fabrics of different textures in my surface treatment.
I don't have a plan for the finished work but I do go rather zen and let the artwork lead me where it wants to go. I often turn the work in all four directions and work on it from all four angles. Sometimes I work on the painting thinking that it will be that way up, but then turn it around and it heads off in a completely different direction! I find this way of working wonderfully exciting and very creative. Sometimes I am amazed by the finished artwork, wondering where on earth that came from.
|A Hint of Autumn, started by blowing watercolours |
around with a straw! Again it uses Japanes papers then wooden
buttons, dyed fish scales, threads and other bits and bobs.
I do like the finished piece to have unity. I personally don’t like the sort of stuck- on look, so wherever the journey of my artwork takes me, I bring it all back together either with colour, with my penwork or with painted marks and repeated patterns so that everything looks as though it belongs.
Intriguing Wetlands, below, is inspired by the reflections, the stillness, the birdlife of the wetlands....the washy acrylic and ink background with twigs and leaves, coloured wool, combed out staples of wool that Spinners use (here representing bird life), a bit of jewellery, some paua shell, some green netting. Throughout I try to match and echo the colours so that you have to look really closely to work out what is part of the background and what is foreground, what is painted and what is a collaged. I'm trying to capture the look and feel of the wetlands when you stare into the water and can't work out what is above the water, what is under the water and what is a reflection.
|Intriguing Wetlands by Chris Marshall|
|Ningaloo IX, Hidden Depths, the latest in a series.|
Detail of Ningaloo IX, below, shows the dyed fish scales, bits of orange bag
(the white bits are where gesso has been dribbled through the orange bag and allowed to find its own path). There is also some shredded japanese paper which has fantastic fibery threads. As you can tell, I often use different japanese papers, especially those with long fibres. Some of them go quite transparent when you stick them on so that all you see afterwards are the individual fibres. Fantastic!
|Detail of Chris Marshall's Ningaloo IX|
Thanks to Paula for giving me this opportunity to share my passion for mixed media/collage with you. - Cheers, Chris M.