Usually when I’m not sure where I’m at, or where I’m going, or just in a very stopped place artistically, I turn to mixed medias to free the stream.
Mixed media means more than one medium – such as papers, paints, gold leaf, found objects, threads and yarns, mirrors, buttons, etc. I used to use bones from owl pellets and found things from the desert including shed snake skins, and other very amazing things – but I have since lost my appreciation for working with such things, choosing to work with non-animal items. So it’s not only just oil paint or watercolor, it can be anything. Sometimes you begin with a spot on a canvas or board and just expand from there, sometimes you have at least part of an idea in mind.
Some of the mixed medias I have done leaned toward despair at world events, or sad places. They were not edifying, so I had a big fire before we moved from the farm and didn’t bring them with me. History or not, they were tragic.
However, I do have a few pieces still, that speak from the heart, taking me places I did not expect.
“Shoot for the Moon” was a joint effort, my friend having made the moon remembering a lunar eclipse. I added to the background a bit, made the woman (at the time I felt quite chubby and middle aged), and wrote the poem inscribed upon the papers in a gold ink. It says, “I got old once when my heart died…… but it was only an eclipse…” Worth reading I think. A resurrection piece, still in hope, and trying too hard. Acrylic paint, various papers, matte medium, marker.
“Over the Hill” obviously is a tribute to the stunning shock of the beginning of realizing we are mortal…. that we are no longer young, that we are not thinking about growing a family anymore or moving up to much in the world. It is an acceptance of a realization we will die, and to live well but preparing for the day when we do. Our kids are growing families now, finding love, moving on. “Over the Hill” shows the black hill you go over, into the fiery valley. But then, we come into the lushness of the Tree of Life. The leaves are on the earth, the roots are in the heavens. Although it is the “Bird of Paradise” pulling me through the foliage to the heavens, we all know we cannot live without Jesus’ life living through us. We are in great need continually of His grace and life, His living in us. So I’m being carried by this Bird… through the heavens into the third heavens and the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
This is made from various papers, sparkling paper, embroidery threads, mirrors (to help suggest a transfer out of this time and space), Sharpee pens, matte medium.
“But We Have This Treasure in Earthen Vessels” is made from a weathered box with a make-shift door, sea shells, spark plugs, springs, cow vertebrate, carved wooden birds, gold leaf, glass, mirrors, acrylic paint, wheat and wheat kernels, glass baubles, etc. There is a story about this piece on another post of this site, worth the reading.
“His Fruit is Sweet Unto My Taste”… A verse from the Song of Solomon about the relationship between the Lord and His beloved… she sat down under His tree, eating His fruit, and His fruit is sweet… the rest and comfort of being in His presence. This piece was made from paper, cork paper, embroidery thread, matte medium, metallic acrylic paints, acrylic paints, plastic “water droplets”, glue.
So you can see mixed media, in my experience, leads to adventures you may not normally take. They seem to come spontaneously from your spirit, and you just have to follow where it leads…. of course, I believe any creativity is a reflection of God’s life and nature, we artists reflect our God.
You might find other mixed medias on this site, such as a mural and other works here and there. Feel free to look.