The Artist’s Palate

“Rise & Shine” Mixed Media on Canvas

I used to look forward to my first cup of morning coffee. I would breathe in the smell of the ground beans, sipping the rich, burnt umber brew. Breakfast included sweet violet blueberries over cinnamon scented oatmeal.  A splash of white milk blended with the violet berries, created a lavender hue. Breakfast used to be aromatic and sensual and not just flavorless sustenance.  Then Covid struck. And while I am quite grateful to be recovering quickly, I am dismayed to find sense of smell and taste to be lost. Thankfully, my vision is not impaired, and I can still enjoy my color palette if my tasting palate is temporarily out of order.   I find myself searching through my paints, mixing vibrant colors that visually satiate. Can I create colors that I will be able to taste, smell and even touch using my remaining senses?

I am relying on my three remaining senses as I dive into my painting entitled, “Rise and Shine,” inspired by my summers in Virginia Beach. Like most beach lovers, my most favorite part of the seaside moments is the sunrise and sunsets. The rich rays of colors illuminating the sky fulfill all my senses. I can breathe in the sunrise, smell the ocean, and sand melding with the morning heat. I can feel the light breeze and the sun rays simultaneously warming and cooling. And as I drink in the colors with my eyes and listen to the rhythms of waves, I can almost taste the sweet and salty air. More than ever, art is a precious gift.

To get back into the teaching groove, I am going to offer a FREE Make Your Mark Monday on February 15th. Everyone is invited to join me. Please RSVP at juliamalakoffart@gmail.com and I will send out a link with supplies. We will explore Heart Art and use prompts to give our creative souls some love.

“Peace & Love Mini 1” Mixed Media on gesso board

We are still at the beginning of the new year. Learn how to create an art habit and make a mark every day. My first video series, Make Your Mark -For Mixed Media Artists. These classes take you step by step through my art process. You will be inspired to develop your own visual imagery, creating a variety of unique hand painted papers which you will then use in grid-based collage composition of your own design. You can register for this class by clicking HERE. Get 20% off all my classes by using the coupon code “GIFT” good through the end of March.

“Castles in the Sky” Mixed Media on paper

For those of you interested in art printing, I have a recorded class, Make Your Mark: Monoprinting and More! This class introduces you to a variety of ways to make printed marks using some very interesting, but less familiar techniques in addition to the ever popular gelli plate. This class demonstrates each method in detail and features a printing method which I learned from a fascinating British artist, Dan TirelI encourage you to read his interview HERE and then watch his videos at his website dantirels.co.uk.

You can explore a variety of my own monoprinting techniques in my online class by clicking HERE.

Stay tuned on the next Make Your Mark series where we will celebrate spring!

REJUVENATE!

“Moments in Time #5 Mixed Media 4″x4” (1/9)

Here in Virginia, January has brought us gray skies, low temps and we have entered what some call, the “winter blues,” as we continue to deal with Covid. What can we do to rejuvenate our spirits? We can consider ways to warm up our creative soul, for if we can’t change the chilly weather, we can at least paint away the gray skies and add heat to our palette! We can light up our world with markers, crayons, colored papers and more! For me, I have found that by staying creative, I am refueling and preserving my own inner spark. Just like daily exercise, it’s important to stay in routine keeping your creative spirit flexible, relaxed and open to learning new ideas.

There is something about stepping into a playful mode that allows your mind to relax. Your senses become awakened with the possibilities of color, texture, and even a quiet rhythm. By giving yourself the gift of time to explore, you will find yourself on a new and private adventure taking you to places that only you can build.  

This reminds me of the children’s book, “Howard and the Purple Crayon,” by Crickett Johnson, where Howard draws his imagined world. Howard doesn’t take time to think about his process. He just picks up his purple crayon and goes! This winter, let’s learn how to play again. Just pick your favorite colors and warm up your creative soul!

Connect with your creative self and let yourself play again! To help you with this, I have three recorded mixed media classes available as self-paced studies. These classes are really fun, no matter what level of artist you are. You can register for those courses HERE. Use coupon code “GIFT” to get 20% off through the end of January 2021.

The Workhouse in Lorton Virginia has asked me to teach this winter via Zoom. The class is called, “Introduction to Mixed Media”. It starts next Wednesday evening and runs four weeks (January 13 through February 3 on Wednesdays, 6pm-8pm). Please register by clicking HERE.

I am also starting my drop-in classes again called Make Your Mark, Monday! This class is ongoing, and you can pay as you go. Make Your Mark, Monday! offers motivational exercises to help ignite your creative practice. This class is livestream through Zoom where I demo an exercise or two. You will then have time to continue to take the exercise further or work on your own art. We take time to share and discuss our work and I want to stress that this class is for ALL levels of artists. It is a positive and encouraging environment and I hope that you will consider joining us. Register HERE.

In other news, I have just completed a commission for a client who has a home in DC.

“City Stripes” Mixed Media 30″x30″

The idea was to create a piece of work that captured the essence of Mid-century Modern but also conveyed a sense of urban culture. Hence, “City Stripes” was born and is the first in my new Urban Pop collection. I was inspired by my personal photo collection where I have hundreds of images capturing both DC and NYC. Two summers ago, I focused on collecting graffiti and urban art found on concrete walls, telephone poles and boarded up buildings. “City Stripes” contains layer upon layer of hand painted papers including old books, magazines, deli and water color papers and marks using hand crafted stamps.

Please consider joining our Make Your Mark community to explore the mixed media process. All levels of artists are welcome. Let’s begin to color our year one layer at a time! And don’t forget to check out my webstore for great art prints and gifts by clicking this link: ART STORE.