Diane McFerrin - Mixed Media Collage Artist
The process of creativity is my lifeline to connecting with beauty. I enjoy the natural beauty of a walk in the woods gathering mica, flowers or seeds. I love the treasure hunt of discovering old photos, letters, or vintage fabric hidden away in antique stores or forgotten attics. The story and history behind the natural and man-made items speak to me and invite me to repurpose creatively by incorporating them into mixed media art. Nest Egg Studio is a place of gathering to prayerfully create stories through mixed media.
In the past three years I have hosted many art and prayer workshops. From one day events to seasons of gathering with a specific group these artistic workshops have become critical times of collaborating with other artists, both friends and family. I have discovered that art truly is a universal language, and when given an opportunity most people enjoy the process of exploring what their hearts love. Using simple materials such as cardboard, fabric, paint, ribbon, glue, and found objects, people are surprised by what they discover when they take time to pray, listen, and create. Leading groups in art and craft exploration has become an increasingly joyful part of my life as an artist.
My mixed media paintings usually begin with a palette knife and oil or acrylic paint. Layers of paint are applied to the canvas using broad strokes, often a razor is used to add depth by removing or drawing into the layers of paint. The process of scraping uncovers hidden forms of color and texture in the abstract paintings. It is a methodical and prayerful exploration of ideas as I wait, watch, and listen for the next step to be revealed. At times words are incorporated using ephemera, and collage elements are used to give the paintings more dimension.
When creating assemblage or found object sculpture, I use found objects and throwaway ephemera to communicate ideas and provoke questions. Working intuitively, I start by choosing an object for its unique history, shape, color, texture, or organic nature, and allow the assemblage sculpture to evolve into its final state. One of my favorite parts of the process is finding new meaning as the objects begin to speak to each other. As the objects converse a story is told, a question is answered, or an idea is presented. Encountering one of these pieces invites the viewer into a museum of memories created in three dimensional form.
Creating mixed media art on a daily basis is critical to my creative process. Just showing up and making small marks or gluing two pieces of paper together are often enough to send me on the next mixed media adventure. Whether I’m art journaling, creating a found object collage, or using cardboard and fabric to make a mixed media book, this daily place of creating encourages bigger ideas to come forward. The process of problem solving, through prayer becomes a tangible creation composed of paper, charcoal, wax, paint, cardboard, fabric, and ephemera.