We blog, we bake.
We craft, we create.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Bin Art!

Hello there, you know that saying, Creativity is making mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep? Well that certainly applied to my last art project...

I had watched a Limor Webber Tutorial, if you haven't seen any of her stuff, search Youtube for her work, wow, she can create. Anyway, feeling all inspired, I decided to copy directly from her tutorial. Only problem was, I had NONE of the items she used.

No problem, I thought to my furry self, I shall impawvise.... So off to the art box I padded.... I leant over to see what I could use.....

And promptly fell in!

Wilbear rescued me, and made me a nice big bowl of chocolate cereal to console me.

I really wanted to use our new Dylusions stamps, which we bought with Christmas money. Aren't they great?

Limor created her background with acrylic paints, I didn't have the colours she used, so chose the closest matches I could find.

Once I had applied my paint, I took a bearby wipe, and wiped it over the paint, to both spread and blend, and then wipe areas of paint off the page.

Next, I took a bright red paint

Splotched a little onto my foam brush

and applied it through a stencil.

Yikes, I was beginning to wonder what on earth was going on with this page. But thought I'd see where it took me (bad idea!)

My next mistake idea was to add some gesso to the page, to make a frame effect for my stamps.

Some of which I stamped, coloured then glued to the page, others which I stamped directly onto the page, in the bears' own inimitable way.

Yikes, what the heck? Limor's page was wonderfully arty, mine was a mess of grunge and, well, mess.

Despite really not liking my page, I left it overnight. Maybe I hoped it would marinade into something more pleasing to the eye?

But when I awoke, the art bearies had not visited to magically transform my pages

In fact. I disliked them intensely now.

On the advice of a friend, I gessoed over all but the Dylusions characters... But I could still see the mess underneath in my mind, so I finally ripped them out, and consigned them to the bin.

So, there it was, my experiment into mixed media was not successful this time, maybe I threw too much at the page, maybe It just wasn't my style, maybe it actually had so many styles that it ended up having no style, whatever, if you don't like what you've done, it preys on your furry mind until it's gone.

So, why am I posting this? Well a beary good friend of ours says she doesn't rate her own art work, and I thought that maybe it's because we all compare our own work to others' work, and as people (naturally) post what they consider to be their best work, we don't necessarily get to see the bin consignments. So, I thought I'd be brave and post mine!

Also, I have some beary honest friends, one of whom admitted they hated this, another who said they liked it. Proving that art is subjective. Isn't it funny, one bear's trash and all that.

Feel free to comment either way, especially with helpful hints of how we can manage a more pleasing mixed media page, is it that less is more, or that we needed to co ordinate our colours more? Answers on a comment form.....

With love from the bears.


  1. Hi Bears - its great to know I'm not the only one who doesn't always like what I do !
    Maybe the background was a bit busy to take the figures in a way you liked ?
    May be just the background with some words or the figures with less background stuff would have felt more you ? Good to see what you have been up to though ! Ali x

    1. Thank you, yes we think we're trying to achieve 50 effects in one page and achieving nothing! Our new mantra is definitely less is more, and don't mix 3 million styles! It's lovely to get some feedback though and we really appreciate your thoughts

  2. Hope you are feeling ok after your fall. I did that when trying to get something out of one of those big freezers in a supermarket - 2 members of staff had to haul me back out! I actually liked those pages. Shame they ended up in the bin after all your work. One advantage of doing my digital crafting is that I can always do some amendments and print it out again - or just delete and start again!

  3. Thank you for your comments, we thought it was funny that we had one strong like and one strong dislike before we posted it here. Digital crafting sounds good, but I wonder if we'd be forever deleting and redoing pages? Lol.

  4. I actually like the pages but then I like 'quirky' and grungy. You know that I've torn out journal pages this week - on this occasion though just because my stupid materials ruined the effect I wanted rather than not like them. A thought provoking post beary people. :)

    1. I think we were trying for quirky and grungy is definitely a style that seems to have adopted us lately, maybe this was just a step too far for us. Thank you for your comments.

  5. I think it's so brave to share this and all your doubts about it... and I agree with Ali H (rather than Ali W - so that makes three of us then!!) that it absolutely happens to all of us. I've got a canvas at the moment that I've just gesso'd all the way over ready to start again (it was hideous), and it took three different goes to get even the right start for the project I'm posting for DT on Friday (which I now love) so...

    On the tips front... well, I don't know, I think the overall life and movement of the pages was great, actually. My little twinge happened when you said you were trying to match someone else's colours... whenever I'm trying a new technique, I try it with colours I already know I really like (blue and brown anyone?!) so at least there's something that feels like me in it... then if I get comfy with the technique, I'll be ready to branch out - don't know, what do you reckon?

    No way you should quit on playing though, I think your experiments will start pleasing you sooner than you think...
    Alison xx

    1. Thank you, I'm loving all these thoughtful honest and constructive replies, totally agree about trying to match someone else's colours (and styles in fact) and it seems when we try and 'copy' someone else's work we're least happy with what we do, whereas say, the grow up page we did for the Alice challenge was all our own creation, and we loved it.

      The lesson may be to do your own thing, and that it's totally impossible to create someone else's art, as that's what it is, someone else's art, not ours. Not meaning sketches, which are there for inspiration, but to love someone else's page and go for a direct copy is not going to work in art journals.

      Thanks for your support, we definitely won't be stopping playing, we're addicted now. :)

  6. I sort of like the right hand one, but the left hand one is a bit dark around the head. And maybe the gesso was a step too far? My Dad always used to say that art was knowing when to put the pencil down. And I do suffer from 'tweaking' rather too often.

    I keep my mistakes (and I make quite a few) because when I do something good I can compare them and I feel a lot better. I suppose blogging about this one is similar. The next thing you do will be loads better - you see.

  7. Thank you for your honest and constructive comments, it really helps to read others' thoughts. I did think after that I should have maybe kept the results to compare to future projects, You're right though, blogging it will be my reminder.


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