Working in mixed media, also called combined media, expands creative possibilities, and intrigues many artists. What materials can be used together in interesting and non-traditional ways? How can you approach the overwhelming number of potential combinations? Mixed media involves the joy of experimentation, the satisfaction of discovering new approaches, and new ways of creating meaning and personal voice in your work. In today’s episode, we will sum up some of the comments made on a recent Facebook post about the topic and talk about the reasons many artists love to work in mixed media.
I took the title for this episode from a description by the artist Sara Post about her own work in mixed media. It seems to describe well the mixed media work many artists create; "quirky" in the sense of being very personal, very inventive, and uniquely expressive. One of its attractions is that of play, the sense of freedom and exploration. Working in combined media almost always involves experimentation and the development of techniques. Unless you are following someone else’s process, you’re figuring it out as you go.
A pitfall of working in mixed media can be a lack of restraint or sensitivity to the various materials and ways of applying them. The result can be muddy or confusing, although an "everything but the kitchen sink" approach can work if intentional and appropriate for the idea an artist is working with. Expressing complexity or intense contrast might be well served by this approach.
Some effective combinations of media include ink, gouache, graphite, acrylics and acrylic mediums, gesso, colored pencil, powdered pigment, transfer paper, wall paint, and collage elements for water-based media. Oil based media that work together include oil, cold wax medium, additives such as sand or ash, collage elements, and pigment sticks. The substrates that an artist works on can also be an aspect of mixed media. The results may be surprising when you work on surfaces such as found wood, tar paper, or aluminum. Some artists use 3-D objects as a basis for their work, developing or embellishing with other materials.
Working in mixed media can be an intriguing sideline that informs other work in progress, or an artist's main way of working. It's a way of opening up new ideas and of working freely and experimentally and creating visual effects not possible with more traditional or straightforward uses of media.
Please check out the Messy Studio Facebook page to see an album of mixed media images sent in by liusterners. Thanks! https://www.facebook.com/MessyStudioPodcast/photos
Special thanks to Marian Sommers for setting up a monthly donation of $10. Check out her artwork at her website, http://mariansommers.com/. If you would like your own shoutout on the podcast donate here.
We would like our listeners to know about a big change coming to Squeegee Press, known for its award-winning book, videos, workshops, and tools - all created for artists working with cold wax medium. Rebecca and her partner Jerry McLaughlin have announced that later this month Squeegee Press will become Cold Wax Academy-- and will soon include some exciting new membership features.
As part of this change, their video, Cold Wax Medium: a Video Workshop will become available as streaming content for members only.
This comprehensive video, nearly 7 hours long, covers everything Rebecca and Jerry teach in a 5-day workshop and more. If you prefer to own the video, it's on sale at $250 off from now until the end of September when access will shift to streaming only. To purchase, and for more information, please visit www.squeegeepress.com and don't forget to join the mailing list for updates on all the new offerings from Cold Wax Academy.
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