About Us

Col Mitchell 

Paper Artist, Designer, Mixed Media Addict & Collaborator

I love that feeling of wonder infused in every first time experience, of seeing something I have never seen before, or a new twist on something familiar. As an artist I strive for a little of that magic within my art. 
I imagine it is what also makes me a mixed media addict. Different mediums and materials bring so much to the picture; they have their own story, and can contribute to make a new story. 
At any given time (aside from professional quality paints, specialty pigments, powders & papers), the nooks and crannies of my studio also host carving tools, heat guns, tree bark, mosses, stones, twigs, sculpting clay, chalk and charcoal powder, glass and vintage beads, charms, feathers, twine, paper string, yarn, glue gun, resin, stamps, stencils, cling wrap, and even play-doh. 
A variety of materials fuels the imagination, but clumsily or inexpertly utilized and the outcome can exceed disappointing (kindly said). Collaborating allows me to nourish inventiveness while chasing mastery of my own technique. Partnering with the skills of others more expert in their medium of choice expands creative achievement. 
Wild Blackbird allows me to build off of my expertise with my own original technique of pen and ink on sculpted paper, express and expand my creativity, support my art practice, and offer a greater variety of ways to enjoy my art in a way that I hope can also further and support your own original style. 

 

Meet My Collaborators

 
Christa Benedict / Jibe Jewellery
Jibe Jewellery Studio and Gift Boutique is home to Christa Benedict's distinctive, handmade jewellery shop and studio. This quaint boutique has all the charm of Muskoka but with New York City vibe! Christa combines her nature inspired jewellery designing with my nature inspired art. Together we are TwoNatures Jewellery.
Daniel Gallant /  Sail La Vie Studio
Sail La Vie Studio gives driftwood a second wind. Each sailboat structure is a Muskoka original made from driftwood with chewed beaver sticks for masts. The driftwood is hand painted and finished to enhance the natural beauty.

 

Why "Wild Blackbird?
At the core of my inspiration is my memories and experiences of the summers I spent immersed in the magnificent natural surroundings of Algonquin Park. Where the too few amenities of the cottage my grandfather built on Smoke Lake in 1931 meant nature was a strong presence, very much “in my face.” No electricity, and therefore no television, Gameboys or iPhones meant imagination was King. My siblings and I planned our entertainment, invented games played on both land and water. We spent time still and enveloped in lush expansive views, or crouched in intense contemplation of tiny life forms or fauna; tickled or bitten by insects, entranced or startled by sound, buffeted or soothed by wind, warmed or burned by sun.

A half hour paddle up the lake led to a landing where Algonquin Park's popular printed newsletter, The Raven, could be found. I don’t recall if fetching this newsletter was the primary goal, but it was a takeaway and gave a tiny bit of justification for escaping chores . . . or siblings!

The Raven represents the source of my core inspiration. Get your feather from it by clicking here