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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!

Mixed Media Jewelry- Emerald Quilling Pendant

I am so excited to show you this mixed media jewelry piece I’ve finished!  I’ve been inspired by, and hoping to create, some jewelry pieces for quite a long time.  Though I do have a lot of ideas for pieces in the future, I love that I have been able to start with some necklaces inspired by my signature quilling style.

Mixed Media Jewelry- Emerald Green Quilling Pendant

Each of these pendants will have a paper background, then my quilled paper pieces will be added.  I noticed in my earlier trials that once i add the resin, the background become fairly translucent, so I started adding a layer of white gesso to the metal pendant before adding any of the paper, and it helps to keep the paper from appearing too clear.

One of the biggest issues (I say issue for lack of a better term- it’s not really an issue per se) is that my quilled paper pieces are higher than the depth of the pendant, and so I add resin to the top of each paper piece first, allowing it to cover the paper from top to bottom, before I add resin to the entire piece.  Gravity works against me a little bit, but the resin takes a while to set, and so I’m able to work for a while to make sure every bit of paper is sealed.

What do you think?  I love how abstract and unique it is, and all of the pendants I’ve been working on.  I know they will lead to the creation of new and awesome ideas in the future, as well.

This piece is available to purchase- if you’re interested, head over to my online store.

mixed media jewelry- pendant with quilled paper strips

mixed media jewelry- quilling necklace

Have you created any mixed media jewelry?  Do you have any suggestions for me as I continue to work on this series?  I would love to hear your ideas and see your creations!

Mixed Media Jewelry with Quilled Paper Pieces

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!

“Forces of Nature”- using a make-up dauber to create abstract pieces

I’ve been experimenting with different tools and mediums lately because I’m setting up some workshops and I want to find the best tools to create easily understood and mimicked techniques.  This is one of the best canvases from these experiments, using a make-up dauber with acrylic paint and india ink to create awesome layered, cloudy backgrounds.

using a make-up dauber to create- "Forces of Nature"

At first I didn’t like the using a make-up dauber.  It’s has a tapered end, but the bottom, where it’s the widest, is rectangular and when I would use it to add paint to the surface, I would get a rectangular, or corner imprint.  It wasn’t a huge deal because I would just spritz it with some water or smear it with my finger to blend it into the background.  Despite this, I’ve come to really like them and now I use them all the time.

They’re cheap, first of all- you can get a whole pack of them for just a dollar or two. The material is good for either daubing or brushing, they’re absorbent so they will hold a lot of water to help dilute the paint if you need it.  They’re still not perfect, but it’s fun to get messy!  I can spread the paint super fast with these babies, and then load them up with water and wring them out in certain spots that need it.

They are also great for layering- once your main background is dry, you add a small amount of paint to the end and daub straight up and down.  Especially if the paint your using is a bit lighter, but the same shade as the background, it will blend wonderfully and add more texture and depth to the colors.

Using a Make-up Dauber

One more thing about using a make-up dauber to paint – if you mess up and use too much ink or paint, the dauber is great at soaking it up (if you using a lot of water, like I do), and then you have it to use somewhere else.

using a make-up dauber to create using a make-up dauber to create abstract pieces using a make-up dauber to create mixed media backgrounds using a make-up dauber to paint

I hope this has been helpful!  I’d love to hear your feedback- what are your favorite painting tools?  I’ve always on the lookout for some awesome new techniques.  🙂

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?