The mixed-media world’s latest and greatest products were unveiled at the recent Creativation 2017 show Phoenix, AZ, and I’m happy to report that there’s a lot of great stuff headed your way. I thought I would take this Studio Saturday to let you know what will be landing in your studio very soon.
At the show, major manufacturers, small entrepreneurial businesses, and everything in between showed off new paints, texture mediums, stamps, paper, tools, color mediums, and more—the stuff artists love playing and experimenting with. Booths were set up in the Phoenix Convention Center, as store buyers, press, and designers perused what will be hitting stores soon.
Some trends I spotted: The world of paints, inks, and texture mediums is expanding with products that are easy to use, can be applied on an array of surfaces, and offer head-turning results. Standouts included Plaid Enterprise’s FolkArt Color Shift paints, which are water-based and contain metallic pigments. The colors change as the light does, showing undertones of other hues. Think of what that can do for your art journal pages, canvases, assemblages, and altered books.
Prima Marketing Inc.’s Art Extravagance Stone Effects Pastes in Limestone, Pumice, and Concrete give the look of actual stone with opaque coverage. The pastes dry matte, but stay flexible, making them applicable to various types of projects.
Ranger’s new line of Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inkpads are a dye-pigment ink hybrid that take on a different look when spritzed with water. At a demonstration, Tim stamped tags with the inks, and as more water was misted on them and the color spread, they took on the look of an oxidized patina. This game-changing ink can be used on its own to create backgrounds, and used in conjunction with regular Distress Inks.
Metallic paints and finishes are still favorites among artists. The Imagination International Inc. booth at Creativation showed off their new line of Tommy Art paints, which feature rich metallics, in addition to chalk-based mineral paints, and specialty paints and finishes. The metallics are especially luxurious and thick, go on most surfaces without any prep, and can be mixed with water to create a glaze.
Planners are still a big category, with companies rolling out embellishments, stamps, stickers, and more that can be used in any way, shape, or form. If you haven’t jumped on the planner bandwagon, Ranger’s new Dylusions Creative Dyary and related items may convince you; these products were created with mixed-media artists in mind. Designed by Dyan Reaveley, the planner includes plain agenda pages opposite gorgeous backgrounds created by Dyan herself, leaving you to add your own spin. The line includes colorful clips, signature stamps, stencils, stickers, and more, all guaranteeing you’ll be on your way to a very creative year.
Artist signature lines are still going strong, offering a variety of products with distinctive colors and designs. I had previously spied the new Jane Davenport line at Michaels, but seeing it at the American Crafts booth emphasized how much this line really reflects Jane’s style and aesthetic. Products include acrylic paints, watercolor palettes, collage papers, stamps, washi tape, and much more (See what Jane does with them in the March/April issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine.). Seth Apter has new die designs with Spellbinders and stamps with Impression Obsession and PaperArtsy, all with his bold, abstract look that can be used in so many different ways. PaperArtsy also debuted Seth’s Wood Chips, which are ready-to-use die-cut wood shapes that perfectly fit his stamps.
Rebekah Meier’s new Mixed Media program with Therm O Web includes Art Papers, Art Tape, Foam Sheets, Adhesive Sheets, and Foil Transfer Papers. Her stunning sample artwork on display showed the versatility of these products that were obviously designed with mixed-media artists in mind.
Christine Adolph has expanded her line for Prima, adding stamps, a Watercolor Resist Pen, and more. And Dina Wakley added to her merchandise with Ranger, adding new stamps and stencils, water-soluble Scribble Sticks, and a Media Journal that has watercolor paper, burlap, and canvas pages.
Weaving continues to grow in popularity, offering new creative opportunities for mixed-media artists. (Spoiler alert: The March/April issue of Cloth Paper Scissors, currently available in the North Light Shop, includes a mixed-media weaving project from the talented Rachel Denbow, author of DIY Woven Art.) Small looms dominated the category; they’re perfect for quick projects that provide great results. The Clover booth featured new Mini Weaving Looms, in single and double styles, that are easy to use and include all the accessories needed to create a weaving (minus the fibers).
Bucilla’s new contemporary Weaving and Rya Tie lines include Weave It N’ Leave it Looms, where the frame becomes part of the piece. Weaving Loom Kits take the guesswork out of projects.
Other standout new items at the show included a series of embossed gel monoprinting plates from Gel Press called Impressables. Available in several designs, they can be used alone or in conjunction with the brand’s regular gel monoprinting plates. Faber-Castell introduced Tea Stain Dyes, a combination of real tea and various colors of dye that are packaged in tea bags. These can be used to color cotton fabrics and watercolor papers via spraying, dipping, tie-dyeing, or other methods.
One of the best things about Creativation is seeing the artwork samples that are everywhere. I feel so awed and inspired by the talent that all I want to do is rush back to my studio and start creating. With that in mind, here is some gorgeous artwork from the Ranger booth; each year the company hosts a Designer Challenge, and this year’s theme was The Evolution of Distress, highlighting that line of products. I was blown away by the incredible range of styles and interpretations. Take a look!
Stay tuned to Cloth Paper Scissors magazine for more information on these great new products and ways to use them!