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Abstract Painting of Charlotte, NC

I hope everyone’s fall has been spectacular so far!  I’ve been so busy bouncing from one project to the next that I’m stoked if I even finish anything at all!  Is anyone else like that sometimes?  I really hope I’m not the only one, and since I finally finished one project- this abstract painting of Charlotte, NC. And it turned out so incredibly well, I’m stoked to tell you all about it!

The tough part about this painting is that photos do not do it justice.  No matter how many settings I switch, or how much light I add or take away, I just cannot seem to capture the colors in their true form.  The greens and turquoises I used in this painting of Charlotte, NC blended so well, I almost can’t even believe it.  This map is so bright, so colorful, and it’s almost a shame to write about it at all since these pictures are only about a tenth as brilliant as the painting is in real life.  But, I love it too much not to share it.

Abstract Painting of Charlotte

This map was a bit hard to free hand.  The freeways make a giant circle, but the scale made it almost impossible for me to add any grids to the center like I usually do with my abstract maps.  However, once I finished adding the ink and acrylic paint, I decided it didn’t need any other streets or outlines. Definitely not a dark spot to represent downtown.  The only thing I added was a bit of pearlex powders to give it a little shimmer.

Since this is a painting you need to see in context, here is picture of my table set up for an art market I participated in recently-

If you’re interested in seeing more photos or purchasing this piece, just comment below or email me at classicanj@gmail.com.

Abstract Painting of Charlotte, NC

  

abstract painting of Charlotte, close up

Thanks for reading!!

My Mixed Media Maps- Representing History

Mixed Media Maps- “City of Oaks”

mixed media maps Raleigh

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.

What a symbol a map is!mixed media maps, Raleigh NC

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”

mixed media maps DurhamI 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.

mixed media maps, Durham NCMaps, 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.

Scrapbook Pages on Canvas

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.

scrapbook pages on canvas with paper flowers

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… 🙂

side view of one of my scrapbook pages on canvas

Scrapbook Pages on Canvas

close up of one of my 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.  🙂

modern scrapbook pages on canvas scrapbook pages on canvas using different styles

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!

 

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!