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!!

Christmas mixed media canvas

christmas mixed media paper art

It’s December!!  I’m so excited for Christmas, I’ve been decorating and diy-ing like crazy!  Not to mention, playing Christmas music 24-7.  🙂

Amidst all my decorating, I found this amazing set of tissue paper at Tuesday Morning- red and black and white with Christmas text.  It’s perfect for the decor that I have going in my basement, so I decided to create a christmas mixed media canvas as an artsy touch to match my theme.

I am in the midst of creating a video for this, but I’ve run into technical difficulties. Hopefully I’ll be able to restore some corrupted files.  But I wanted to share this with you anyway.  I was so worried in the early stages that it wasn’t going to turn out well, but it did and I’m so happy I have to share!

christmas mixed media artwork

  • I added several layers of tissue paper with gel medium
  • Tim Holtz has an amazing line of washi tape- using 3 0r 4 of his designs, I added them outward from the middle of the canvas.
  • Stencils and texture paste were next- adding some texture to the surface in the shape of clocks and calligraphy.
  • I added ink in several places- distress ink and india ink to dirty things up a bit and highlight some of the stenciled bits.
  • Several christmas papers, mixed with a bit more tissue paper, formed the layers of paper in the middle.  I used gel medium and foam tape to adhere them together.
  • Chipboard!!!  I painted the bigger pieces with white gesso and then highlighted them in red.  For the smaller stars, I adhered them to the canvas first and then painted them.
  • I used snow effects paste to add more texture the the chipboard and various places on the paper.
  • A few splatters of some fluid acrylic paint, and it’s finished!

christmas mixed media art

I have never done any christmas mixed media pieces, or any holiday themed art pieces for that matter, but I love it!  Have any of you created any pieces for Christmas?  I’d love to see them!

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!

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


quilled abstract art work- "Chronologically"

I look at a lot of art every day.  It helps inspire me to see how other artists create and the vast variety of work that is out there.  However, it can be difficult not to compare my work with theirs.  I struggle sometimes in finding the value in my own work, especially when I compare it to the work of established, educated, immensely talented artists.  Taken in the right way, though, comparing my work with others can help me find perspective and guidance.

One thing I have noticed is that so many artists, especially abstract artists, work within a specific niche.  They have series of work where the pieces are all very similar as they work with the same techniques and mediums.  For example, one of my favorite abstract artists is L. C. Bailey.  You can see how his body of work is practiced and obviously all the same artist.  This is something that I have never done- all of my work is very different, even my quilled abstract art.  There are so many different art forms that I love and want to learn that my work seems ever evolving- not a bad thing, necessarily, but I’ve always wanted to create a series of artwork that is very similar from one piece to the next, ironically enough simply because it’s something new that I haven’t tried to do before.  quilled abstract art close up

With my piece, Scars, I knew I had found a combination of art forms that really worked together and that I could use to create a series of artworks.  Here is the second in my newly created series Recorded Histories.  

quilled abstract art side calligraphyThis piece is entitled Chronologically.  The blocks of black paste and quilled paper pieces connected by lines of ink bring to mind histories connected by time, and rolling forward in a way that shapes the future.

quilled abstract art red ink

The rest of this series will all include the same elements- black and white, with maybe a pop of one color.  Ink lines and text highlighting the edges of each shape, with some typed text peeking through.  Each in some way will symbolize our individual lives and the way that language plays a part in our understanding of truth- things as they were, things as they are, and things as they will be.

quilled abstract art close up sections

I’ve included a video of my process and I would love to hear your thoughts on it as well as on the piece and it’s meaning, and suggestions for additional pieces as I continue this series.  Thanks so much for reading and commenting!!

Quilled Abstract Art

“Hope” mixed media canvas


mixed media canvas using paper, modeling paste, ink, chipboard, glass beads


I’m pretty excited about my latest piece… I feel that it is tangible proof that I am developing as an artist and designer- I could never have made something like this a year ago.

All the best mixed media work that I see has something more than just a list of supplies and an outline of steps taken and techniques used.  Though I love watching videos and reading tutorials from these artists, each of them succeeds in infusing their work with something less tangible, something almost impossible to describe, that brings everything to life.

I’ve been chasing that intangible something since I began scrapbooking 15 years ago, but especially since I began working seriously with mixed media in 2012, when I started my blog.  At times I have achieved it; other times, I have utterly failed.  What excites me is not that I’m nailing it every time now- I still experiment and I am still learning and that means that I will always be failing- but that I see progress in myself and my art.

close up on mixed media canvas with raised elements


With this piece, I began layering and tried to not be too heavy-handed with anything, especially the purple ink.  When it comes to adding color, I usually go pretty crazy, but here I really held myself back, letting the white of the canvas and the black text be the main parts, using the purple to highlight and just add a few splashes of color.


microbeads on chipboard


Don’t you just love the chipboard stars?  Check out Umwow Studios– they have some pretty awesome chipboard embellishments I love using in my work.