Hello lovely Messians and creative curious people. I am so glad you are here to help me usher in the Season of Contrasts. Well, I can tell you right away that this is totally my type of theme. I love to dig deep and explore so Contrast appeals to me. I also love that our guest artist is the lovely Amy Maricle from Mindful Art Studios.

If you have seen my post on the private blog, you have seen how I built this spread. It is one of my favourite ones ever. I am using my giant A3 Moleskine for this Season and already I can feel myself really exploring the space available to me.

The spread above (and my tutorial) is all about exploring negative space as well as the relationship between Light and Dark. I revisited Swan Lake (which I explored during the Season of Introspection) and that is how the idea of the swan mask came to me. I wanted to explore this idea again, this time playing mostly with the idea of Light and Dark and Fragile and Strong.

The idea that came to mind when doing this was that I wanted to explore Amy’s idea of repeating patterns but also wanted texture and tactile elements. So I machine stitched some strings. I left the ends of the thread loose so you can touch them and change their position. They almost look like blind contour drawings.

This lead me to the idea of heart strings, being both strong and fragile.

The heart takes flight just like the swans do. So I threw caution to the wind and re-used my mask with white spray paint. Before doing this, though, I had used my fingers to add some white paint, a focal point on the left side.

This was the best spot for my anatomical sacred heart. I added the roses because they are a strong and meaningful symbol for me. 

The last spread I want to share with you also makes use of the negative space. I created a few different masks, shaped like plants and flowers. I also made a mask of my hand. The idea I had was of people coming into your secret garden and picking your flowers.

 Flowers in my work are metaphors for my blessings, the happy elements in my life, the things I hold dear. When someone destroys or pulls out these flowers, it is quite hurtful.

To create this layered effect, I sometimes used the mask and I sometimes used the negative of the mask. I used four different colors of spray paint. Some didn’t turn out how I thought they would, others were even better.

Once everything was dry, I added some line work in white or black pen to add details and to define certain areas. 

Sometimes you see the flowers through the hands, sometimes the hands obscure them.

 I love the depth that this helped to create. When using spray paint you have to be unafraid of losing control and of the spread becoming something other than what you had envisioned.

 I believe this is a good thing (and it seems that Amy also thinks this is a good thing!)

I mentioned Riopelle’s masterpiece ‘Hommage à Rosa Luxemburg’ on my Instagram. If you have a minute, check it out here. This huge piece was so big (it is comprised of 40 panels), they built a museum room just for it. It is the single most inspiring piece of art I have ever seen. So layered and deep, the colors, the images. I remember being speechless in front of some of the panels.

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