“Break it to Make it!” May’s Expressive Challenge

Hi and welcome back to the Chrissie Murphy Designs Blog. I’m going to share what I did for the Expressive Challenge for May (called “Break it to Make it!”) with you today.

How are you going with your challenge? Don’t forget to use the hashtag #CMDExpressiveChallenge so we can support and encourage you. I can’t wait to see what you’ve made! Let’s look at what I was trying to express as I was making mine.

May’s Expressive Challenge “Break it to Make it”

The Expressive Bits

What inspired me with this “Break it to Make it!” piece?

There has been a couple of times where I’ve shared about buying a gel plate to create prints. And I have been having so much fun with it! But just like any new technique you explore, you’re never an expert at it instantly. You have heaps of failed attempts at things as the learning process unfolds.

I had this green and gold print that never turned out as I’d hoped, so I thought there must be some way I can improve it to transform it. Surely I didn’t have to throw it away, I was hoping I could save it.

The breaking begins

When I think of the Lord as the Great Creator, I think of his ability to transform. He can take coal and transform it into a diamond or a caterpillar into a butterfly. He can take something that we think is done and dusted and destined for the scrap heap and transform it into something beautiful. Ultimately, He saves!

Cutting up my gel print

The Holy Spirit regularly impresses on me that I am made in His image. And if I am, I must believe that I am capable too. As a creator, I am capable of transforming and saving! I just need to believe it!

What techniques did I use for “Break it to Make it!” and why?

As you all know, my main movement of expression is Zentangle art, although I won’t be limited to it. For this challenge, I wanted to stick with it because I was going to transform something. I needed to be confident in what I was doing.

My gel print completely cut up and glued to another tile to make a new piece

I used a stanley knife to cut pieces from the gel print in random order. In my mind, I could see a mosaic and I wanted the pieces to come together to act like one.

A mosaic is traditionally made from using pieces of broken pottery. They are glued to a surface and then grouted to become a new surface that’s intricate and beautiful. Something that was once destined for the scrap heap, is transformed into something truly beautiful.

This is how thought I’d transform my gel print. The pieces were glued to a 6in x 6in artist tile so I could shade and tangle around them. I used Derwent Inktense to apply a first layer of colour and then kept adding layers with ink and traditional coloured pencil.

Before shading with coloured pencils

What does it mean in terms of my artistic work as a whole?

Creative freedom can only be found after all blockages, limits, fears, doubts and obstructions are removed. Once one of these things is identified, the process of removing or overcoming it can begin.

We need to be broken before we can be transformed. We need to break because when we do the blockages, limits, fears, doubt and obstructions to lose their power.

You can’t overcome addiction until you go through a withdrawal process. Withdrawal feels like you’re breaking, but on the other side is transformation.

My whole purpose for the Home for the Expressive is to lead people into creative freedom, so this piece is particularly symbolic.

May’s Expressive Challenge “Break it to Make it”

How can you take this idea and be more Expressive?

As you “break it to make it” this month, is there an area that creatively you feel blocked, limited, fearful, doubtful or obstructed by?

Perhaps you’re fearful of trying watercolor because you’ve mastered markers and you doubt you can create anything that’ll be any good. Or maybe you just can’t work out how to get a pattern to curl the way you need it to and so you’ve given up trying.

Embrace this breaking and making process. Really take to heart the transformation that happens when something breaks so that something else can be born.

The Factual Bits

What materials were used?

  • 2 x Strathmore Artist Tiles 6in x 6in.
  • Jo Sonja’s Fine Artists’ Matte Flow Acrylic Paints 75ml
  • Artline 200 Fineliner 0.4mm in sepia
  • Grey Copic Markers (W5 and W7)
  • Derwent Inktense Pencils
  • Prismacolor Coloured Pencils
  • Uniball Signo white gel pen for highlights
Close up of May’s Expressive Challenge “Break it to Make it”

How big is the “Break it to Make it!” Expressive Challenge tile?

It measures 6 inches x 6 inches.

Want to be more Expressive?

Join the Expressive’s List to begin to learn ways you can start to express yourself creatively. With the Lord there are no moulds or limits, just possibilities, and the promise of unearthing who you were created to be.

Expressive Subscribers receive an email each month that contains creative inspiration and ideas, links to helpful resources and a month’s worth of journal prompts to stimulate creative expression. These prompts are a great way of learning to express yourself when you’ve never really tried it before. Fill in your details below to sign up.

Until next time, listen to your heart and sharpen your coloured pencils. A masterpiece awaits!

Bless you my friend

Chrissie xx

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