Abstract Mixed Media Piece- “One Great Whole”

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

adding symbolism

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?

adding symbolism to my artwork

mixed media piece- black and white with a pop of color mixed media piece with calligraphy abstract mixed media piece mixed media piece mixed media piece with india ink

Thank you for reading, and especially for sharing your thoughts below!

Square Quilling in Mixed Media Art- “Building Blocks”

Boy, it’s been a long time since I finished a project!  Two weeks… that’s an eternity. My husband and I are both in a local musical- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and it is taking up A LOT of time.  (I’ll be making some gifts and scrapbook pages related to the show, so stay tuned!!)  However, I’ve been wanting to try square quilling shapes, and so I decided to put them to use on a piece in my “Colored Splashes” line of artwork, this time using square cookie cutters instead of circles.  (For my first in the series, visit this post.)

square quilling mixed media art

Square Quilling and Ink Splashes Video Tutorial

  • I used a set of square cookie cutters, brushed india ink onto the edge, “stamped” it onto the surface, and then spritzed the wet ink with a bit of water.
  • Don’t go too crazy with the water- you only want it to feather a little bit, and you should still be able to see the square shape.
  • I use multiple colors and stamp all the shapes I want while the ink is still wet.  You can let things dry in between applications if you wish, but this way the colors blend together a little and adds more interest to the piece.
  • After the ink dried, I used the same cookie cutters to cut out square holes in a scrap piece of paper.  These were my masks so that I could use stamps on the surface, but only in certain places- the paper caught the unwanted ink.
  • I had some leftover chipboard frames from some Scrapiniec chipboard pieces I had used in other projects (This chipboard is so awesome- the layered pieces especially!) I made sure all the edges were white by painting them with gesso, then adhered them to the surface.
  • Now, for my quilling pieces!!  I use Gel Medium matte to adhere them. I also stacked a few on top of others.  I’ve never done that before, but I love it!
  • The last step (which I should have done a few steps before… oops!) was to take my calligraphy pen and my ink, and sketch a few lines over the squares and around the piece.
  • Finished!!

square quilling abstract art square quilling art square quilling art with india ink square quilling abstract mixed media art

This piece is for sale here.

So, who else has fallen in love with square quilling shapes?  🙂  I thought so!  If you try any of these techniques, please leave a link for me.  I would love to see them!!

DecoArt Dimensional Effects in Abstract Art

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!  I have a couple awesome mini canvases for you today, one of them bright green in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.  🙂  I created them with DecoArt dimensional effects paste.  The consistency of this texture paste is so interesting- it’s like pudding.  For some reason, I just want to eat it out of the bottle.

decoart dimensional effects

It’s fascinating to me how brands of texture paste are so different from each other. I guess dimensional effects is not technically texture paste, but it’s similar.  However, the dimensional effects has an opaque, shimmery quality about it.

In this first piece, I’ve also added some green acrylic paint in various shades (also DecoArt) and some white india ink among my paper pieces.  I love the way the splatters of india ink and paint interact with the opaque quality of the texture paste.  It’s such a cool look!

DecoArt Dimensional Effects

decoart dimensional paste decoart paste in abstract art

This sunset colored one, however, looks just awesome.  I love the colors, obviously, but for this piece I used all india ink with the dimensional effects and quilling pieces.  The liquid ink clung to the edges of the paste, really highlighting those areas and making them pop!

decoart paste with india ink decoart with quilling

What do you think?  Have you tried different brands of texture paste?  Which brand is your favorite so far?  I will confess, I see so many possibilities with this dimensional effects paste.  The fact that it is opaque, with a rather elastic consistency, kind of blows my mind.  I can’t wait to try some other techniques to mix it with paint, ink, etc. and see how it reacts, not to mention using it through stencils, with stamps, and who knows what else!

Small & Messy Mixed Media Quilling Art

I don’t usually have time to make 2 videos in one week, but I’ve been trying recently to come up with some quick, simple projects that can be completed in just a few hours (including drying time).  This one is super simple and small, but such a fun messy mixed media piece!!

messy mixed media canvas with quilling and texture paste

  • I started with a small 5*5 white canvas, and added Ranger brand texture paste to the surface, in a diagonal from one corner to the other.
  • Some splashes of black india ink doused with a bit of water added just the right amount of messiness to the surface.
  • While the paste was still wet, I embedded my quilled paper pieces into the surface.
  • A few more splashes were needed to mess up the paper pieces a bit.  Plus, a bit of red was needed, too.
  • After everything dried completely, I mixed a small amount of ice resin.  I poured it over the quilling pieces, and it adds such a fun watery look to the whole piece.

messy mixed media piece with quilling

So as you can see, this was a pretty simple, messy mixed media piece.  The part the takes the longest is rolling the paper pieces, but for a small canvas like this, you won’t need very many.

messy mixed media piece side view messy mixed media piece close up

I’m trying to decide what this piece reminds me of… stones in a brook?  A mountain range?  Growths in the skin?  Gross, but I could see that.  What do you see?

Creating an Abstract Quilling Piece

mixed media quilling piece

It’s been a while since I’ve completed a quilling piece.  I’m still working on my Recorded Histories series, but rolling all my paper pieces does take a lot of time. Unless I spend several hours every day rolling paper, I can’t finish very many pieces in a short amount of time, especially if they’re larger pieces.  So when I finish a larger piece, it’s so satisfying!

This quilling piece is 18*18 inches and is a mixture of acrylic paint, india ink and quilled paper pieces.

  • I began with the lighter colors, using a makeup sponge to paint the areas and shapes I wanted.
  • I used a spray bottle to help blend the colors and remove any obvious sponge marks.
  • I applied large drops of paint inc certain areas, using my fingers to add colors on top of each other to create really cool color blends.
  • Once everything was dry, I began to add my paper pieces, using the color of the paint to dictate the color of the pieces and where they would be place.
  • There were a few splashes on the white parts that I needed to cover up, so I added a few layers of white gesso in between the main arms of blue.

abstract quilling piece blue and white quilling piece quilling piece using acrylic paint and india ink

This was really such a simple piece, and so fun to work on.  Again, the part that takes so long is creating these paper pieces, but once I have enough, the super fun part begins!

I’m still thinking of a name for this one, so I need your help.  I would love to hear your ideas!  Please share them in the comments and I’ll update you once it’s been named.  Thank you so much!

Speech Bubbles- mixed media quilling art

speech bubbles with india ink mixed media art

Man, this piece was so much fun!  I hope you guys don’t mind the overload of pictures, because I love every angle of each canvas.  I’ve also added the video I made of the whole process.  Watching how the ink feathers and spreads when it’s hit with sprays of water is just awesome.  Can you tell how much I love this stuff?

speech bubbles mixed media art with india ink

speech bubbles with quilling piecesWhat I love about this piece is how simple it is.

  •  I used the lids of various gels and pastes and ink as a template, brushed the ink onto the edges, and stamped them onto the surface.
  • I used my waterbottle to spritz the circles with a small amount of water.
  • Once the surface was dry, I used a circle stencil I had cut as a mask, so that the stamps I added to the surface would show as circles.
  • I did get a little lazy, and didn’t cut a smaller one when I should have…  sigh… sometimes I try to work too fast.
  • I added quilled paper pieces in matching colors and various shapes and sizes.
  • The final touch was to use my calligraphy pen to add lines and words around the circles.  I should have done that before adding the paper pieces- it would have made the process easier, but sometimes I get good ideas later in a piece.

So, not a difficult process.  The longest part is waiting for the ink to dry.  Well, that and adding the individual paper pieces.  There aren’t too many on this piece so it didn’t take long.

The name Speech Bubbles seemed appropriate, especially after adding the script stamps.

speech bubbles mixed media art with quilling pieces

speech bubbles ink splashes

speech bubbles mixed media art

So, what do you think?  I’d love to hear your comments!  And don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss any future posts or projects.

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