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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!!

Mixed Media Snowflake Commission

I was approached by a friend of mine a couple weeks ago about doing a commission for her wedding anniversary.  She asked for two things- shades of blue in her wedding colors, and snowflakes.  I drew up a few sketches, and once we decided on a the basic idea, I got to work this mixed media snowflake piece.

mixed media snowflake canvas art

Boy, this piece is just bursting with texture!

mixed media snowflake art

  • Creative Embellishments has snowflake chippy’s in various sizes.  I placed several of them on the surface of my blank canvas, then used watered down acrylics to spray some color all over.
  • Once the paint had dried nearly all the way, I removed the chipboard.  The paint had dried underneath with a super cool print of the snowflake, marking a pattern on the surface.
  • I added some variation by daubing some more paint onto the surface with a sponge.
  • The background still needed some sparkle mistiness, so I spread some silver metallic paint on some plastic wrap, and used that to apply the paint to the canvas.
  • The chipboard was splashed with color from the first steps, but I added some of the metallic paint to give them more shimmer, then splashed them with a bit more blue.
  • Now for some modeling paste!  I knew the basic look I wanted to achieve with the texture I would add, so I used a palette knife and my fingers to apply the paste.
  • I added my chipboard snowflakes to the wet paste, and made sure they were embedded solidly.
  • After the paste dried, I splashed it with some more fluid acrylic to blend it into the background.
  • Once everything was dry, I took some Snowflake Effects paste and added it in certain areas over the snowflakes and texture paste.
  • As the finishing touch, I added silver paint over the snow effect to give it a bit of shimmer, and a bit more to the surface of the canvas over the spots of texture I added.

mixed media snowflake commission IMG_2645-compressor

Finished!  I love that the piece looks like gusts of wind and snow.  There’s so much movement, it’s awesome.  I hope the new owner loves it as much as I do!!

 

Symbolic Mixed Media Collage- “Windows & Doors”

abstract mixed media collage

This mixed media collage is literally a huge mess.  🙂  I wasn’t sure what I was doing when I began, I just started working, hoping for it to take on a life of it’s own.

Do you ever finish a piece that you don’t really like, but you love all the individual elements and parts that make up the whole?  I don’t even know if that statement makes any sense, but that’s how I feel about this piece.  I confess- I am not in love with my finished work here.  And yet, I see so much symbolism shouting at me and there are things about it that I just love.

I love how every layer is peeking through.  I love how the chipboard and texture paste on top of the chipboard look like new layers added over layers of age and decay, as if they’re trying to make up for or cover what has happened in the past.  I love how the text is peeking through the gunky texture paste and colors, as if there are things written or done in the past that someone is trying to hide.

Of course, the chipboard is the namesake element- some are solid squares and some are open and filled with paste and ink while still allowing a bit of the background to show.  Those squares are like focal points, highlighting certain ideas and opinions while ignoring or blocking others.

mixed media collage with chipboard

I know it’s my personal beliefs coming through, but every collage I create represents universal truth.  All these elements- text, texture, chipboard squares, colors- they all represent what is true, what is not, and how human beings try to cover or reinterpret what is true for their own benefit.

mixed media collage with text

So it’s true… I struggle with this piece.  It is not beautiful or neat- in fact, it’s dark, dreary and, well… ugly.  But every time I look at it I see something new that reminds me that understanding what is true and what is not is a struggle.

Wow, what is it about collage that makes me try to be philosophical all the time? Even when I don’t know what form my mixed media collage will take, it always ends up being symbolic in nature.

mixed media collage with muslin

I’d love to know what each of you see when you look at this collage.  Do any of the elements have meaning for you?  Perhaps the way it’s assembled strikes you in a certain way?  I’m always so inspired by your answers, so I hope you’ll share them!

Let’s Scrap Sketches Scrapbooking Design Team layout- 7-15-15

scrapbooking design team 2 page layout by Anjuli Johnson

Time for another Design Team layout!  Boy, the time sure seems to fly when you have layouts to work on… 🙂

scrapbooking design team sketch for 7-15-15

I feel like I took a lot of liberties with this sketch.  The placement of pictures, especially.  I had so much fun doing the backgrounds for these pages that I almost got too carried away- but the sketch did keep me grounded, and I really like the circles along the bottom.

I used texture paste, stencils, stamps and embossing powder to add interest and texture to the backgrounds.  Walnut ink and some green tattered angels shimmer mist really added depth of color and made the pages really come together, since I had used different paper for each page.  These pages have such a natural, masculine feel.  Perfect!

Our sponsor for this week is Lacy Sunshine Stamps, and the prize for playing along with us and winning the sketch challenge is 3 digi stamps from Lacy’s handdrawn collection of digital stamps!  She has some really beautiful and fun designs.  So get scrappin and show us your layouts!!  Post them on the Let’s Scrap Sketches blog, and don’t forget to check out what the rest of our scrapbooking Design Team has done, especially if you need some extra inspiration.  There will be something there to spark your creativity!

scrapbooking design team layout for Let's Scrap Sketches scrapbooking design team layout close up stamping

Silent Message- abstract calligraphy collage

abstract calligraphy collage "Silent Message"

What a relaxing week this last one has been!  My husband and I had the last week off from work, and instead of going anywhere, we had a “staycation” and did very little besides staying home and vegging out.  We may have slept in and watched a bit too much tv, but in the midst of all the relaxing, I was able to do some creating.  I just can’t turn it off!

abstract calligraphy collage close up

I don’t think it’s a big secret that I love incorporating text into my artwork, and this calligraphy collage has so much I just love looking at it, especially since much of it is obscured.  The reason I’ve entitled this piece “Silent Message” is because the words are difficult to read, yet we know the meaning is there, because we can see the words peeking from beneath the surface.  The message may be “silent” because it is muted, but it can still be understood through careful examination and study.

calligraphy collage close up- white text

Much of the text I added to the surface with white india ink, which you can see in this shot, but is not readily visible at a glance.  I love the subtle way it enhances this piece.

Don’t forget to check out my video tutorial of this process- and I’d love for you to subscribe to my channel.  I have many more pieces and videos in the works.

Supply list- (this list contains affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission for any purchases that are made through these links.)

Tim Holtz tissue wrap

patterned paper

white gesso

Liquitex gel medium

Liquitex modeling paste

Tim Holtz bubbles stencil

oil pastels

linseed oil

walnut ink

india ink

Mixed Media Canvas Collage with video- “Home”

mixed media canvas collage with um wow studio chipboard

Happy Friday everyone!  I wanted to share my latest mixed media canvas collage with you today.  I created it for UmWow Studios Creative Team call, and I’m using their chipboard confetti as the basis for the theme of the piece- Home.

I will confess, I love adding symbols to my artwork.  I do it on purpose a lot, but sometimes as I go back over a piece I’ve just finished, I’ll see some new ideas or elements that I didn’t mean to be symbolic, but somehow have taken on new meaning.  The clocks and gears I added with modeling paste and some stencils represent the time and work it takes to create a happy home and build lasting relationships.  The text symbolizes communication, and the blocks of cardstock are our priorities, lined up in a way that they all fit together and help balance and support us and our families.  One more thing to share- I love the microbeads in this piece- when I think of symbols of home and family in this artwork, they stand out above the others, as the many, many ways we can serve each other every day.  I believe it is so important for us to be serving our families, without keeping score or expecting anything in return.

Of course,  I know that many will look at this piece and see different things.  It will not have the same meaning for others that it does for me, and yet even that dynamic is fascinating.  What symbols do you see that I may have missed?  What do these elements represent for you, if anything at all?

Mixed Media Canvas Collage

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpnUVHOFvFg

Thank you for letting me share these thoughts today.  I’ve included a supply list with some affiliate links so you will know what tools and supplies I used.  (Affiliate links mean that if you make a purchase through a link I’ve provided, I will be paid a commission.  Don’t worry, you won’t be charged more.)

Don’t forget to check out my video to see the whole process, and let me know what you think in the comments!

mixed media canvas collage chipboard closeupmixed media canvas collage side view

mixed media canvas collage flower closeup

Supply list and links-

Liquitex Matte Gel Medium

Liquitex Modeling Paste

White Gesso

Tim Holtz Tissue Wrap “Terminology”- retired

Crafter’s Workshop Stencils

Prima’s Archivist paper line

India Ink

Cheesecloth

Elmer’s foam tape

Black twine

UmWow Studios chipboard confetti

PearlEx powders

glass microbeads

acrylic paint

Petaloo flowers