This week we have a blog from Lisa Jones, the MAVA Inc secretary. Lisa is sharing her story about her art journey. We hope you enjoy it.
Am I in the minority? I'm not sure. I've not had any formal art training, apart from some workshops and community courses along the way.
I've always drawn and painted since I was little. In high school in year 11 I got A’s in French and Art - both subjects that would surely help me get a job in the big wide world...🙄
In my teens, I painted tee shirts for friends. When I became a mum I was 'crafty' - though I hate that term – why are we scared to call ourselves artists? Why does craft have to be a dirty word? That’s probably another blog post...! I cross-stitched a sampler for my new bub, then one for my sister-in-law, cousin, friend, another cousin, etc etc... My kids wore tee shirts painted by me, and I started making placemats with the kids' names on them. Then made these for every birthday party they went to for many years... I started painting ceramic tiles and made lots of coasters and trivets. I spent huge amounts of time creating photo scrapbooks using Creative Memories albums.
In 2014, when my kids were a bit older, I discovered a thing called art journaling! What a wondrous discovery this was, and it gave me the impetus and enthusiasm to get back into art.
In 2015 I discovered the FB group entitled 52 Week Illustration Challenge, set up by Tania McCartney. Each week we were given a theme, and I am so pleased to say that I participated in the challenges without fail every week for 3 years, until the challenge sadly closed. Many participants went on to become successful children's book illustrators, and I'm still friends with many of these talented peeps on FB. While illustration wasn't my path, I loved the challenge of creating something every week and experimented with many mediums. It was always a thrill when your piece was chosen for the pics of the week on the blog page! Click here to see one of mine. This group gave me the confidence to keep creating and eventually be comfortable calling myself an artist.
One of the girls in the Challenge group whose art always intrigued me was Melissa Johns of Misscycled Art - she was my introduction to using recycled teabags in art! Miss is now a children's book illustrator and I've always appreciated her sharing her techniques with me!
My art now is a mix of watercolours - my first love, acrylic pieces, recycled teabag collages, and digital artwork via Procreate!
Using recycled teabags always intrigues people; most can't work out exactly what this means. A lot of people actually paint on the teabag, but I use it like a collage piece: basically, I dry out used teabags, then discard the tea leaves (though keep some - great texture) and glue the teabags onto cartridge paper using matt medium. The beauty of porous teabags is that you can apply your glue over the top! These can then be watercoloured, used au natural, or even coloured with alcohol inks. Shapes are then collaged onto paper or canvas! I love this medium because of the beautiful earthy colours of the teabags, and the way that watercolours react with them. I also love coming up with different ways of using the teabags - though these pieces take a lot of time to complete, the effects are always worth it.
My current art practice is to try and create something every day - be it a watercolour; some greeting cards; the acrylic piece I've been working on for months; or a quick digital piece in Procreate.
If it sells, bonus. So happy that someone else loves my art enough to want it in their home. If it doesn't, that's okay. I'll still keep creating because that's what I love!
If you have a story to share or something else, please let us know.