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“Angel Wings”- Mixed Media Art with Negative Space

Art with Negative Space

Mixed Media Art with Negative Space

It always amazes me how the simplest, quickest of projects are often the most beautiful and meaningful of all.  I created this in just a few hours for a friend of mine. She is going through a terrible loss.  The colors are a perfect reflection of her personality, talents, and the way she always makes the people around her feel special.  The chipboard wings are angel wings. I wanted to convey the idea that the ones we love never truly leave us for long.  We’ll see them again someday.

The negative space is also meaningful. Art with negative space not only catches the eye, but it can draw attention and give deep meaning to symbolic aspects of art that otherwise wouldn’t be as noticeable.  The pop of color against the white in this piece highlights the short amount of things we are really able to do and accomplish while were here on the earth. Yet, how brightly one life can shine!

 

mixed media art with negative space

My Process

I don’t usually use alcohol inks to color my pieces, but these colors were just what I needed to represent my friend.  The thread was leftover remnants from some muslin I’ve used in other pieces.  I couldn’t bring myself to throw the end threads away, and I was so glad I kept them!  The wings and the thread were the only things I added color to.  The rest I simply glued to the surface with gel medium.

I painted the chipboard pieces with white gesso, then I used a cotton ball soaked with ispropyl alcohol and ink to dab the color onto the surface.  I soaked the threads with alcohol as well to allow the ink to spread and really soak in.

Once I glued everything to the surface, I tipped the flower petals with some messy strokes of gesso and added microbeads for a bit more color and texture.

Such a simple piece, but hopefully a very meaningful one.

 

 

canvas art with negative space

 

 

Design Team Projects for Scrapiniec

Hi!  I’ve missed you!  Now that our show is over, I have all this free time again and I thought I’d share some of my latest projects with you, these ones all done for Scrapiniec.  They are a Polish chipboard company, and they have some of the most unique designs I’ve seen in chipboard.  There are some amazing artists on our team, and I am so lucky to be able to count myself among them.  Are you on any design teams?  I would love to check out your projects!!  Drop a link below.

Design Team Projects

I have 3 design team projects to share with you.  The first is an altered box that I created as a thank you gift for a friend.  The chipboard and flowers really dress it up and make it look super classy.

design team projects for Scrapiniec

I created this layout with various types of chipboard from their collection.  My favorite part, though, are the frames over the photos.  The chipboard comes packaged securely, laser cut but still clinging to frames and sheets that allow them to travel without getting bent or ripped apart.  Once I had taken the chipboard out of its’ frame, I was left with quite a few extra pieces of square shaped frames.  So, I decided to use them!  And what a great effect it turned out to be.

design team projects with Scrapiniec chipboard design team projects- layouts side view design team projects layout

The last of my recent design team projects I’ll share with you is my scrapbook canvas from this week.  I made this, along with several others (stay tuned for those!) as thank you gifts for the directors of and producers of the show we just finished.  I love being able to give meaningful gifts that will last forever.  If they love them half as much as I had fun making them, then they will be cherished for years to come.  🙂

design team projects on canvas design team projects canvas design team projects canvas with lots of elements

Thanks for visiting!  I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas- what inspires you the most?  What is your favorite type of mixed media art?  Let me know!

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!!

What I Learned from Teaching My First Mixed Media Workshop

So, I taught my first mixed media workshop last weekend!  I was pretty nervous, even though everyone that came was a friend of mine who I knew would be kind to me.  🙂  I had chosen an older canvas I created last year as the focus for the workshop, and I was a little worried that the class would last too long, because of drying time especially.  I use a lot of water when I’m creating my pieces, and I made sure to have my heat gun and hair dryer in easy reach to help the canvases dry so we wouldn’t be sitting there all night.

mixed media workshop

I was pleasantly surprised when the drying time ended up being negligible, especially since a couple of the women used quite a lot on their pieces.  I may need to get more heat guns if I’m going to teach more people at a time, but the whole night lasted about an hour and a half, which was a perfect amount of time!

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Surprise Lessons from Teaching a Mixed Media Workshop

I’ve been wanting to start teaching art classes and workshops for several months, but I’ve been putting it off and making excuses every time I got close to scheduling one.  I was scared I wouldn’t be prepared, that no one would come, that no one would really get anything out of the classes I would teach.  Now that I’ve finally started teaching, I can say that I have learned several things, some quite surprising.

  • People really do mean it when they tell you they aren’t creative and can’t do what you do.  I always thought people were just trying to be polite when they would say things like that to me, but I’ve finally realized that they really believe that they can’t create.
  • Everyone can create.  Some may need a bit more practice, but everyone can become an artist if they put in the time and the effort.  It really is true!
  • We all want to create- whether it’s a canvas, a career, a child, or all of the above- we all have something we want to build and establish, and a simple art class can help people on their creative journey, whatever it is they may be trying to build.
  • Be prepared.  I am glad that I had prepared myself to work more with the drying time during class, because that preparation is why the class didn’t go too long and no one was just sitting around waiting for things to dry.  It is important to be prepared, but if you forget something, or something doesn’t quite work the way you planned, things can still work out great!  So relax, have fun, and help your students build their creative confidence, and you’ll know how to make your class even better for the next time.
  • Don’t take steps for granted.  Just because something seems obvious to you, doesn’t mean it will be obvious to everyone.  So go into lots of detail!  Show them the best way to apply paint and glue, how to splatter ink, how much water to use, etc.
  • With that being said, you also need to stand back and allow them the freedom to express their own ideas.  Their work will not be a replica of yours, and that’s great because that’s how others are inspired in your class- by seeing how they can find their own style within a guided piece.
  • Ask people for feedback.  You will get some great tips!

If you’ve been thinking of taking, or teaching, a mixed media workshop, or any other kind of art class, I would encourage you to go for it!  I have never regretted putting myself out there and trying something new, even when I was completely terrified.  You will learn so much, and whether as a student or a teacher, you will be helping those around you, as well.

 

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I’m so excited to start teaching more mixed media workshops.  I know that there are so many people out there who have the same false beliefs about themselves and their talent, and to be able to help them find that creative side in their own nature would make any fear I needed to overcome worth it.

 

Altered Covers for Journals from the Dollar Bin

I was recently asked to serve with the Young Women in my church.  It’s a big job, but I’m so excited to see them progress in their testimonies!  It has become a tradition in our congregation for the leaders to bake a super awesome, individual sized cake for each of the young women on their birthdays.  This tradition has lasted for years, but as new leaders, we did not want to have to continue doing something that wasn’t really necessary.  And yet, we couldn’t not do anything, either.  So, what did I do?  I volunteered to do some altered covers on some dollar bin journals, so that each young woman can have an altered journal on her birthday.  I have to say, it’s a lot more fun for me than baking a cake, if still a bit time consuming…  🙂

altered covers with texture paste and embellishments

Since I’m going to be doing so many of these, I’ve come up with a quick step-by-step formula so that I can create unique, colorful, beautiful journals quickly and not spend hours on each one.  The part that takes the longest is the drying time for any texture paste or ink.

I created a free printable so you can quickly refer back to these steps if you want or need a blueprint for a quick project.  Click the button below to subscribe and download the sheet, then tack it up to your wall while you work.

Click to download

Essentially, you work from flat to raised elements to build up the surface bit by bit.

  • Sand and gesso the surface to prepare it for all the stuff you’ll be adding, and to help cover any crazy printing on the original surface.
  • The first elements to add would be patterned paper/tissue wrap.  Use gel medium to adhere it to the surface. (You can also use modge podge, but I don’t like modge podge.  It’s too sticky. Gel medium is waaaaay better, and worth the extra expense.)
  • Add some texture to the surface by taking some texture or modeling paste and applying it to the surface with a palette knife or through a stencil.  You can also adhere some fabric, cheesecloth, or even paper towels, napkins, or tulle to the surface for some fun texture.
  • This is where I usually add some stamped images, especially script stamps.  I stamp lightly in certain random areas so the stamped image doesn’t show up completely, but compliments the surrounding texture and elements.
  • Time for some color!!  I am such a fan of india ink splatters misted with water.  The ink spreads in such a fun, organic way, and the colors blend in variegated, awesome ways.  Of course, there are so many types of colors and ink out there- anything goes!!  The techniques are literally endless.
  • Time to embellish!  Metal pieces, chipboard, flowers, paper, etc.  Go crazy.  I use gel medium to adhere my pieces.  It’s firm, dries clear, and I don’t worry about anything falling off, even metal.  Be generous.
  • Finishing touches- go over your cover one more time and decide if it needs anything else- more color?  microbeads? a bit more stamping?

And that’s my process!  The longest part is waiting for things to dry, which is fine because I can start the same process on a few of the other journals while I’m waiting.

altered covers with flair altered covers- chipboard altered covers- paper flowers

I hope you’ve enjoyed this altered covers project and tutorial today!!  I’d love to know how you use the process to create some altered covers and if you alter the steps, what steps you add, etc.  Let’s keep inspiring each other!!

Don’t forget to subscribe so you can download the printable!

Click Here to Download

altered covers- back cover

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!!