Happy Friday everyone! I hope all of your holiday plans are coming together. I am super behind this year- I haven’t even finished decorating my tree yet! And we won’t even talk about the fact that I have no idea what to give my husband… sigh. Part of the reason I’m so behind is because I’ve been working so hard on my new line of mixed media jewelry I’m selling in my Etsy shop. I’ve done a reboot and now, I’m using the Etsy platform to sell only my new line of mixed media charms. What do you think?!
Getting Specific about my Etsy Shop
I opened my Etsy shop in 2012 as a way to sell my mixed media art, but I never managed to make it work. I was too scared of everything, I suppose- shipping especially. Shipping can be confusing anyway, but add in so many different sizes, the cost of packing materials, and constant anxiety that my pieces were going to arrive in pieces (see what I did there? I’m hilarious, right?), I ended up paralyzed and as a consequence never had any sales. So, I decided to give up on Etsy. There were lots of other ways to sell my work, right? I showcase in a local art store in Wilmington (Going Local), I’ve recently started doing art fairs (another post that will becoming soon), and I’ve done a few commissions.
It wasn’t until I began making mixed media jewelry that I started thinking about Etsy again. I knew that if I wanted to be successful on Etsy, I needed to simplify my shop. The jewelry I’ve been making was the perfect solution! They’re small and light (which makes shipping so easy and inexpensive!), I can complete each charm quickly, and selling only my jewelry keeps my shop clean, neat, and specific.
I have a lot of awesome plans in the works, plans that I hope will be as exciting for you as they are for me! First of all, I’m working on a line of in depth projects and tutorials that are project based and filled with basic instruction, money saving tips, and fear-blasting encouragement. Youtube tutorials are necessarily short- around 15 minutes in my case. I speed things up to fit them in this time frame,but in doing so there are a lot of details you might miss, and consequently, there are still a lot of unanswered questions. I will still be posting those videos to youtube, but now I will also be slowing things down and adding a lot of instructions and tips within the videos, as well as having some kind of printable guide for you to use and refer back to when you need it. Awesome, huh? Stay tuned for those coming in the future!
I will also be teaching mixed media classes at Aberdeen Beads and Brushes in Aberdeen, NC. If you live anywhere near Aberdeen, Southern Pines, or the Triangle, I would love to see you in my classes! I’ll be posting details as the classes are scheduled.
Abstract Encaustic Maps
There are so many artistic possibilities that are unique to encaustic painting. Achieving these kinds of transparent layers would be difficult, if not impossible, with any other painting medium. It’s the main reason I love encaustic painting so much. These encaustic maps have grids that are layered on top of one another. They appear to be floating almost, and are noticeably at different levels within the painting. Love it!
By the way, if you’re interested in purchasing this set, it’s listed here.
If you read my last post (also about abstract maps) you’ll know that I love the idea of the history behind the streets and grids that maps display. How each city developed into what it is today fascinates me- the changing neighborhoods, the forgotten infrastructure, and all the hidden stories that these lines represent were constantly in my thoughts as I created these pieces.
Have any of you ever seen those shows that take you underneath the streets of a city? They show you catacombs and sewers, modern infrastructure and historic, hidden places. I love watching those shows, and I always wish that I was there with them. The idea of touring beneath the streets of some of the most historic and famous cities in the world, learning the history and imagining the lives of the people who once stood where I would be standing, is so fascinating to me.
Although these small 6×6 encaustic maps are not representative of any specific city, I imagine those hidden streets and sewers each time I see these pieces. I created them organically, drawing the lines and shaping the grids quickly without references. They really just represent possibility- how everything is created a piece at a time, and is constantly evolving. Once thriving places will decay and be forgotten over time. Maybe in the next life I’ll be able to understand the truth of what happened in so many of these places. That would truly be awesome.
Interested in purchasing this set? Click here!
Mixed Media Maps- “City of Oaks”
We use maps pretty much every day. Whether they’re printed on paper or interactive on our smart phones, they help us understand the direction were traveling. Try as we might, it’s pretty much impossible to keep track of our direction by ourselves.
More than that, though- an up to date map is a culmination of years of history, and represents the stories of thousands of families and individuals who, through their struggles with the topography and use of resources, their industry, politics and beliefs, have all influenced the shape, size, and surroundings of each block.
I wanted to capture some of this symbolism in these mixed media maps. I focus on the big picture, but the variations in the layers of paint and ink, the outline of the streets, and the feathered ink and paint splatters bring to mind all the individuals who, recognized or not, have made each city what it is. Each layer is like a generation, which stacked together makes the city richer, fuller, and fascinating.
Mixed Media Maps- “The Bull City”
I began with the cities where I live. It’s so interesting to me that after living here for a few short years, and meeting a tiny percentage of the people who live here, that I can feel so connected to these cities. There is good and bad here, dark history and history to be proud of, but it all makes these cities what they are. They aren’t perfect, but they are beautiful, and the maps of these cities (and of every place around the globe) represents that truth.
Maps, and the meaning behind them, are works of art that are functional, but also emotional. They evoke memories of people as well as places, and those places and the history behind them influence us in ways we can’t begin to understand. And I love them for that.
What city should I paint next?!
Here’s a link to my project video Master Plan– this will give you an idea of the process behind these pieces.
So, I’m kind of a noob. I realized that I made these canvases over a month ago, and I have yet to share them with you here! I’m so proud of them, too. I really pushed myself and my ideas to create these scrapbook pages on canvas. I think they turned out really well, and so different from each other.
This one is obviously more a shabby chic/heavily embellished page. There are so many elements on this page- chipboard, paper flowers, texture paste, cheesecloth, stamping, ink, paint, gesso, and more. It’s so fun to build the layers of texture in pieces like this, though it is a struggle sometimes because inevitably I end up covering up some element I really love with something else. You can never get too attached to any one layer in this line of work… 🙂
Scrapbook Pages on Canvas
This canvas is a completely different style from the one above. Simplified, more modern, and very clean, this piece has some texture paste, ink, and a chipboard piece with the photo on top. That’s it!
I used a compass to sketch these circles out in pencil, then drew over them with my calligraphy pen and different colors of india ink. A spritz of water, and you get that awesome splattered/feathery quality that makes the surface so yummy looking. 🙂
Thanks for checking these out!! Have you made any scrapbook pages on canvas? Leave a link to your blog- I would love to see them!
I have had such a difficult time writing this post. I don’t know what it is, but every time I try to type out the meaning, or the process of this particular mixed media piece, every word that pops up on the screen is terrible, and I hate it. It’s taken me a week to get to this point, and I can truthfully say I have never had such a hard time sharing a piece of my art, which is funny because the artwork itself was so easy to create- my ideas were flowing, I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and the materials cooperated (for the most part). Yet now when I want to share what I’ve created, how I did it, and the meaning behind it, I can’t seem to do it.
So, I won’t go into detail on the meaning behind my piece, as I was originally intending to do. I’ll share with you the process, and listen to your ideas and questions on its’ meaning in the comments. (hint, hint!)
Abstract Mixed Media Piece with India Ink and Quilling
My initial idea with this piece was do make it completely black and white. I began by taking my compass and drawing a variety of different sized circles on the surface of my 20*20 canvas. I used my calligraphy pen to draw over the circles with black india ink, then spritzed the wet lines with water from my water bottle to feather the ink.
It was at this point that I had a flash of inspiration. If I outlined one of the smaller, central circles with colored ink, it would really pop against the black and white. In that moment of inspiration, I knew what this entire piece was supposed to represent, and from there it affected every choice that I made- elements, colors, words, my paper pieces- everything.
Here’s the full process outline-
- I began by drawing circles with my compass, being careful not to punch any holes in the canvas.
- I outlined the outside circles with black india ink, then while the ink was wet, I spritzed them with water.
- I did the same with the colored circle, though I used 3 colors- purple, turquoise and teal india ink.
- Once the surface was completely dry, I went over the circles again with the same colors, adding a rough, sketchy outline to the edge of each circle.
- Lines of “lightning” from the main circle reach out to colorize former gray areas. I used some fast and messy calligraphy along those lines, adding specific words.
- Quilling pieces next!! Just a few black and white ones.
Everyone responds to art differently, and even when you add specific ideas into your work, others will see different things. I would love to hear anything that comes to your mind. What does this mixed media piece mean to you?
Thank you for reading, and especially for sharing your thoughts below!
I am so excited to show you this mixed media jewelry piece I’ve finished! I’ve been inspired by, and hoping to create, some jewelry pieces for quite a long time. Though I do have a lot of ideas for pieces in the future, I love that I have been able to start with some necklaces inspired by my signature quilling style.
Each of these pendants will have a paper background, then my quilled paper pieces will be added. I noticed in my earlier trials that once i add the resin, the background become fairly translucent, so I started adding a layer of white gesso to the metal pendant before adding any of the paper, and it helps to keep the paper from appearing too clear.
One of the biggest issues (I say issue for lack of a better term- it’s not really an issue per se) is that my quilled paper pieces are higher than the depth of the pendant, and so I add resin to the top of each paper piece first, allowing it to cover the paper from top to bottom, before I add resin to the entire piece. Gravity works against me a little bit, but the resin takes a while to set, and so I’m able to work for a while to make sure every bit of paper is sealed.
What do you think? I love how abstract and unique it is, and all of the pendants I’ve been working on. I know they will lead to the creation of new and awesome ideas in the future, as well.
This piece is available to purchase- if you’re interested, head over to my online store.
Have you created any mixed media jewelry? Do you have any suggestions for me as I continue to work on this series? I would love to hear your ideas and see your creations!