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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!

A fun Disney layout with a little magic

I have a fun layout for you today!!  I’ve been organizing some of my old photos recently, and I found this gem from a trip my mom and sisters and I took a few years ago.  The Christmas lights on Cinderella’s castle are simply amazing; perfect for a fun Disney layout.

Disney layout with stamping, texture paste and india ink

Now, I do have a confession to make.  I was disappointed with how the colors turned out.  I used white texture paste through a stencil, and splashed colored inks onto those areas while the paste was still wet.  I did not take into account how the inks would absorb together as things dried, and what the splashes looked like at first was very different to what they looked like after everything had dried.

I needed to do 2 things differently- first, I needed to be a lot lighter with my ink splashes.  It doesn’t take a whole lot, but I have a hard time knowing when to stop.  Second, I needed to let the ink and paste dry between each color I added so they wouldn’t blend together like they did.  If too many colors blend together, they start to look brownish and dirty.

I am pleased with the white stamps and splashes, though, and the crystal gems add a nice sparkly touch.  🙂

disney layout showcasing cinderella's castle disney layout with texture paste disney layout with white stamping

All in all, though, it’s not too bad for a Disney layout.  🙂  What do you guys think?  Do you have any more suggestions for how I could have done better with the colors and composition?  I would love to hear your ideas and know-how.

Thanks for visiting today!!

Supply list

Ranger white texture paste

liquitex white acrylic paint

Ph Martin’s Bombay India Inks

DCWV patterned paper

Tim Holtz tissue wrap

Umwow Studio Harlequin stencil and dream flair

Adhesive Crystal Gems and Pearls

 

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?

Mixed Media Splatter Collage- “Organized Chaos”

Happy New Year!  Who’s up for a steampunk splatter collage?  🙂  I had such an amazing Christmas holiday, but I have to say that I’m glad the time has come to refocus and get back to work.  I have so many goals to accomplish this year, and I can’t wait to get started!  One of the biggest goals I have for myself is to create more consistently.  To be more specific, to spend at least an hour in my studio every day, no matter what else I have going on.  This splatter collage was a perfect start to accomplishing that goal. It only took an hour (at the most) to create, and I love everything about it!

splatter collage with chipboard

  • I began with a tiny script Finnibair stamp, and lightly stamped the surface with small parts of the stamp.
  • A clay brush tool was the tool I used to try a new splatter technique- dipping the brush in ink and using my finger to pull back the bristles to flick the ink onto the surface.
  • Creative Embellishments clock and gear chipboard was perfect to create the centerpiece elements.  I painted each piece with white gesso, then splattered them with black ink in the same way I did the surface of the canvas.
  • I adhered the main clock chipboard piece to the center of the canvas, then used 2 more stamps around the clock face.
  • Adding the chipboard gears around the clock was the last step.

That’s it!  So simple, yet stunning.  The splatters really give this piece a vibrant energy that’s hard not to love.

Using that brush to splatter the ink was pretty tricky- you can go in different directions or achieve different coverage depending on how you hold the brush, how you flick it, etc.  The effect, though, is something you can’t achieve any other way.  I’ll have to see how different types of brushes work to achieve different splatter effects.

splatter collage mixed media with ink steampunk splatter collage splatter collage with steampunk elementssplatter collage with stamped images

What do you think?  Should I have added more elements?  Did I add too many?  Is there too much ink?  I’d love to hear your critiques and thoughts!!

Scrapbook Layout with Stitching for Prima BAP Challenge

prima bap challenge page

Good morning!  I don’t usually participate in challenges, usually because I’m so caught up in whatever I’m doing that I don’t even think about doing anything until I find out the challenges are over.  This time, I caught the early train for the  Prima BAP challenge.  It’s fun sometimes to create something from a particular set of guidelines, and challenging in a different way from how I normally create.  I’ve uploaded a video of the process- check it out below!

I actually rotated the sketch for my layout, and based everything around the stitching I added.   I thought it would be fun and different to stitch the top and bottom of the layout with lots of messy lines and chunks, then use the tail ends of all the threads and tie them together all over to form a kind of web.   It was rather labor intensive, but so fun, and I love the way it turned out!

I used Prima’s Archivist line of paper for most everything you see- I just love the steampunk/vintage look to that line, and all the maps and text on every page. Since the stitching is the star here, I didn’t really add much else besides the paper- just some texture paste and a few tiny metal charms.

prima bap challenge layout with stitching prima bap challenge scrapbook page layout for prima bap challenge prima bap challenge layout

This layout is rather simple at first glance, and I really like that the simplicity of the layout itself allows the complexity of the stitching to be the shining star.  I even love how I ended up with a few lines of threads on top of my photos.  Like I’m caught in the web that is Los Angeles.  🙂  My husband should be happy!  It is a pretty cool city.  So big!!

Does anyone else use their sewing machine when they create layouts?  Are you participating in the Prima BAP challenge this month?  I can’t wait to see what you create if you are!

Don’t forget to check out the video of my process!  I’d love your feedback on what you think of this layout and the techniques I used.

“Shrouded Trials”- abstract calligraphy art

Shrouded Trials, abstract calligraphy art This new series of abstract calligraphy art that I’ve been working on has been so fun.  I love the focus and the inspiration it’s brought so far, and I’m excited to see where else it goes…

This piece I based on the idea of a mountain.  Since I knew I would be using purple as my highlight color, I felt using a mountain as my symbol was appropriate.abstract calligraphy art close up, using quilling stripsabstract calligraphy art text close upabstract calligraphy art, symbolizing a mountain

The whole idea behind the Recorded Histories series was to use text to symbolize ways we understand truth.  The mountain in this piece represents, as the title suggests, trials and suffering.  We all experience trials- they are an inevitable part of the human condition, to one extent or another.  What we learn from them, however, depends on how we react.  This is what the text represents- the things we learn and the understanding that comes when we pass through adversity.  Through the things that I have gone through (and I will freely confess, I have been very lucky compared to many people, even most people) I have learned that sometimes the most good can come from the most trying of circumstances.

The mountain of trial in this piece is jagged, and looks impossible to overcome. Feathered india ink has added shrouds of mist all through the crags, making their passage even more treacherous.  Yet, the view from the top is spectacular and peaceful, and the strength acquired after the struggle to the summit cannot be acquired in any other way.

These are some of the thoughts I had as I created this piece.  I have been tackling some heavier themes as I’ve been working on this series.  When I use my art to explore themes like this, I find that my own understanding deepens.  It’s my hope that the same will happen to those who view this series.

Please check out my process video, and subscribe to my youtube channel.  I’ll be uploading videos of the rest of the series as I complete them.  And don’t forget to add your comments!  I’d love to hear what you think of this piece and it’s symbolism.Shrouded Trials, close up on quilling pieces: abstract calligraphy art

Supply list-  This list contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through these links I will receive a commission.  I put them here mostly to give you an idea of the supplies I’ve used.

Tim Holtz tissue wrap (the exact kind I used has been discontinued, unfortunately.  I need to be really careful so I don’t run out too fast!)

Liquitex gel medium (my adhesive)

DecoArt black modeling paste

black and purple India Ink

various quilling strips and slotted tool for rolling