Featured Artist: Brigitte Marie
What is your craft and what is your process like?
I’ve been doing a lot of alcohol ink and resin crafts lately. On my days off, I start my mornings by playing some chill music, laying down cardboard and yupo paper and mixing inks. I spash the inks onto the paper, dilute the ink with rubbing alcohol and push the colors around on the paper using a hair dryer or heat gun. When I’m satisfied with the composition I cut the paper to fit the wood and use spray adhesive to bond the paper and wood. Then I use acrylic pens to add colorful lines throughout the piece. These lines really accentuate the vibe and movement of the piece. Some lucky pieces get gold leafing. Then I tape the edges and bottom of the piece to get it ready for a resin bath. I use Art Resin for all my pieces because I like that it is non-toxic and safe for indoor use. The resin takes 24 hours to cure. Then I take off the tape, paint the sides and the piece is complete!
I also enjoy making resin planters and pendants using silicone molds and all sorts of random ingredients including iridescent cellophane, sprinkles, glitter and confetti.
I frequently hit up the goodwill and find treasures to upcycle. I’ve upcycled a plethora of trinkets including lazy susans, vintage picture frames and serving trays.
Another popular item I make is glasses chains! I was inspired when a friend gave me a pair of glasses holders at a festival one year and I just loved the functionality and fashion of it, but knew I could make a more stylish version. I saw tassels and chandelier beads as a popular trend at festivals so I fused those ideas together to make my own lines of chains. My chains are also unique in that they attach via clips, not those loops that always end up sliding off your glasses. I have had some clever friends use the chains as drink holders and earplug accessories as well! Not to mention you can clip the chain onto itself and it functions as a cool necklace too.
What/who inspires you?
I’m often inspired by my travels. Recently I went scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef and I created some fun ocean inspired pieces. I also visited Joshua Tree National Park and created some pieces inspired by the orange desert juxtapose the green trees and blue skies.
What are the challenges you face with your craft and how do you overcome?
Resin is the worst and the best. The shiny finish really transforms the alcohol inks but the process of mixing and pouring can be so challenging. The first time I used resin I was using the cheapest stuff I could find off amazon and I broke out in a horrible rash. That has gotten better now that I only use Art Resin. No matter how hard I try to not make a mess, resin always finds its way on my feet or random body parts and gets tracked around my apartment. My floors are destroyed :( My advice is to watch youtube videos to see what tricks and tips other people use. Follow the instructions on the bottle for mixing the resin + hardener. I learned that I really like using foil tape to tape off the edges of my paintings. When the resin is dry I use a heat gun to remove the foil tape and I can achieve crisp edges on my paintings.
What advice can you give to aspiring/fellow artists?
Don’t be afraid to try new things! Chances are there’s someone on youtube who can walk you through whatever it is you’re feeling inspired to try. Allow yourself to make mistakes. One reason I love creating art is because I allow myself to be imperfect. Once you can accept imperfections you may find beauty in it! I learn so many life lessons through practicing different artistic skills. The process is messy, challenging, confusing, frustrating and but usually fun. The process is just as important, if not more important that the finished piece. Keep an open mind and let the creativity flow!