MIXED MEDIA - or using anything available to create art

Mixed media, in visual art, refers to an artwork in the making of which more than one medium has been employed.  As a visual artist, I  use pastel, acrylic paint, tape and Mylar, palm frons, material & ribbon and even hair - as in the pillow I made for my friend Ann Marie.

I love working with mixed media and encourage my grandchildren to do this.  Find whatever you can - in the yard, on a nature walk, in your paint box, etc. and make your design on a table top.  Then find the backing - you can use a board from the yard, a piece of cardboard, strong construcion paper - anything that is around the house.  Be sure you have some glue and paints.  Play with the things you have collected until you find a shape that pleases you.  Then start layering.  Put on the bottom layer first and then build to the top layer.  You can paint or colour as you go or you can do it as the final step.  Remember to experiment.  In art there are no real "wrongs".  There are just experimental steps to take until you get a result that pleases you.  Don't worry about "messing up"  Just keep playing until you get something you like.  I did lots of "Mess-ups" before I achieved these.

Most importantly - as in all artistic endeavors - - - HAVE FUN!!!

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Above are several types of cloth mixed media.  The pillows are made, as patchwork with crewel, in various designs.  Embroidery is also used.  Under that is a pillow made with hair, ribbons and lace.  The hair was collected from Ann Marie's brush and woven into a plait before lacing with ribbon.  Above is a quilt cover I designed and made as a bedspread for a friend. I love working with fabrics and lace. 

The pieces here are all different styles of Mixed Media.  On the left is a drawing that I made using silver foil, stamps, water colors and felt pens.  I call it my Silver Box.  It was done on Janapese Rice paper, which is very thin so I had to be careful.  

The mountains above are made of torn and shredded pieces of colored tissue paper that are put into place with liquid starch to hold it and make it stiff.  I love using liquid starch as it is inexpensive and works.

To the side is a child's design that is mostly created with straight lines and boxes.  It was so much fun to make.  I used school crayons, colored pencils, felt tip pens and pastel markers.  Below is a piece that I did using the ticking from palm trees.  I just peeled it off of the bark of a dead piece of bark.   When I first made it the colors were really bright.

 Now don't be afraid - just get your materials and begin.

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