Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Mixed Media Metamorphosis

Mixed Media art | butterfly art |
At last week's art retreat ( see blog post Let's go on an Art Retreat) I created a grungy multi-layered mixed media original artwork. Today, I want to share with you a behind the scene's view how the art emerged step-by-step.
Mixed Media art | butterfly art |

The roller coaster ride

The interesting, scary and thrilling part of taking an art class such as this is that you have no idea where you are going. It is kind of like riding a roller coaster for the first time.. you don't know where the falls and dips will come.

Don't over think it... 

What I mean is a step will be explained and you may second guess why you are doing it and make choices based on those assumptions, only to find out that your guesses were completely off base. As a result, you end up with some unexpected yet pleasing results.

 Surrender Dorothy

As you learn to relax with the process, the best way is to surrender and not think about what your art looks like at any stage as the next stage will completely upend your assumptions. Kind of like life. This is why I love art-- it is such good therapy. You can plan and plan but then life will take you on an unexpected turn.

Mixed Media art  |
This step is thoroughly my own. Since I knew we were at the end of the art adventure, I could add my own style to the art. This scallop effect is a technique I add often to my art journal pages and sometimes also to my original mixed media pieces. I love using Faber-Castel pens to fill in the negative spaces. The India ink in these pens are permanent yet transparent allowing the glorious layers to peek through from underneath..

Mixed Media art | butterfly art |
At this stage, I was not happy with the butterfly. I didn't like the way he wasn't integrated with the piece. So I began layering over the butterfly with gesso and paint just as I did on the background. I was doing this while the rest of the class was trying to self-organize for a group photo and they were yelling at me to hurry up. It wasn't that I wanted to have a "perfect" butterfly for the photo, I just wanted to get my ideas on canvas while the inspiration was still fresh so the canvas wouldn't join my pile of "half-finished changelings."

Happy Accidents

My table-mate commented that she liked the way I chose the placement of the patterns on the wings but I actually hadn't paid any attention to that at all. I had a line behind me of other students waiting to use the popular butterfly stencil and I was just rushed to get on with it. ( I also wasn't convinced I'd be happy with the butterfly)

 If you want to be a better teacher, become a student

When I am working at home, I like to use a piece of my own watercolor art for the main imagery on top of the mixed media background, but I can see how allowing students to use stencils simplifies the learning process. I definitely will start offering stencils to my students for use in their own artwork. See, being a student makes you a better teacher!

Mixed Media art | butterfly art |
If you want to learn more about my adventure 
at the art retreat, then check out this blog post!
Here is the finished painting, Harmony Butterfly, 12x12" on wood cradled canvas frame. 

Would you like to bring this design home with you?