Michelle G Brown | Mixed Media Art

Joy Bathie’s Little Fat Books

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This article is written by Joy Bathie

I have always loved books and my interest was expanded after attending a workshop at the State Library of NSW in Sydney some years ago, where I learned how to construct a basic hard cover codex book.  Since then I have experimented further and my repertoire now covers “handmade artist’s books” of various types and sizes, filled with colour and texture.  I’m now creating smaller books and enjoy making ‘LFB’s” (Little Fat Books) which are generally 10.5cm x 10.5cm (4” x 4”) square; I love this size, which sits so nicely in the hand.

making Little Fat Books

This page from an LFB looks through the central circular  cut-out to the following page

making Little Fat Books

Here is a the page beneath

making Little Fat Books

and the close-up view.

Altogether there are five layers of colour and texture, plus clear and printed acrylic windows. Amongst other recycled materials these pages incorporate painted curtain rings and other circular metallic pieces, soft drink bottle caps cut, rusted, and patinaed, and also pulcinella (sequin waste).

making Little Fat Books

Here is another LFB, called “Twigs”, with two of its pages.  Again, each page in this book has a central cut-out section to view adjacent pages.

making Little Fat Books

making Little Fat Books

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Joy Bathie lives in Port Stephens, NSW, Australia. You can see what Joy is up to over on her Facebook page.

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Stencilling onto a Mixed Media Canvas

Michelle Brown is back in the Mixed Media Art Studio for the New Year and is having fun painting and stencilling mixed media canvases.

Ready to stencil with sequin scrap

Now that the base layers are complete, it’s time to add some stenciling and other interesting features. Michelle runs through her thinking process for adding this layer, covering colors, placement of stenciling and the key to getting it right!

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Resources:

  • Paints – Dylusions and Dina Wakely
  • Paint Brushes - Dina Wakely
  • Sequence scrap – medium circles, small circles and squares
  • Stencil – designed by Rebekah Meier, The Crafters Workshop TCW495S
  • Canvas – 10″x 16″ Xpress Graphx

stencilling with acrylic paints~ * ~

We’d love to hear from you – please leave a comment and tell us how YOU like to add stencilling to your mixed media canvases and other art work. What works for you? What are your biggest challenges? What are some of the mistakes you take care to avoid?

Happy creating,
Michelle

 

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Creating Seamless Transitions

Bringing a variety of elements together is what mixed media art is all about. The challenge is how we do this so that our finished artwork looks cohesive and pleasing to look at. The ability to do this is a skill we develop over time and through practice. Here we will look at the three main elements to be considered when putting your mixed media piece together.

1. Layering

Creating a background that has lots of interest and visual texture is done through adding many layers. The use of collage elements, paints, markers and images can be blended in many ways. Using areas with darker colours will provide contrast. Using text and shapes will create interest as our brains try to recognise and make connections with familiar elements. Drawing words or images into texture pastes or Gesso will creates shapes that can show through layers. As each layer is added, consider if you need to allow it to dry or whether blending while wet is preferable.

2. Blending

As the background layering is being added, some blending may also be needed. When paint is applied more thickly, it can cover up parts of the underlying elements. In other areas, removing some paint with a damp cloth will allow bits to show through.

Tissue paper is great for adding images when the background is too hard to stamp on but you want the image and background to blend seamlessly. Stamp directly onto the tissue paper with permanent ink (like StazOn Ink Pads- Jet Black), tear around the outline and use gel medium (Golden Matte Medium) or varnish to stick it to your piece. Coat all surfaces with lots of gel medium, gently remove any bubbles from under the tissue paper and allow to air dry.

Using torn, natural lines will make blending the images into the background easier. Hard straight lines will stand out and break up the seamless transition we are trying to create.

The paint colours also need to be blended. Considering the colour pallet you have chosen, it is easier to blend similar colours. Blending the paints directly onto your artwork, using a little water, will help the transitions come together.

3. Arrangement

The arrangement of each element will influence the final balance and transitions of your work. Having images and text overlapping with the elements in the background will help to blend the edges of each element. If you are sticking many heavy embellishments, you need to consider if the backing piece will be strong enough to support these layers.

And remember, as with any mixed media work, there are no rules, only guidelines, so give yourself permission to play and experiment. Try not to over-think your work.

Happy creating!
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Don’t Forget the Embellishments!

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This article is written by Laura Shelton

Hello all! It is wonderful to be back here writing articles for Mixed Media Arts again! Hope you have been being super creative, and I really hope that this new articles gives you some new inspiration to make a lot more neat things! Today I am going to talk about embellishments. We all love them, buy them, and even stockpile them. At least I was, and spending way more money than I wanted on them!

 

Embellishments

Embellishments can run into quite a bit of money, at least mine did, until I made a decision – I decided that any embellishments I wanted, I was going to make myself…no small undertaking, and needless to say, my embellishments fell off a bit, lol! That was, until I just made up my mind, and really got serious about it… Now I would rather have my own, handmade embellishments than anyone elses!

Embellishments

The first embellishments were a bit primitive as you can guess, but as I went I picked my battles, and then things started coming together. Above is an extra large journal page using modeling paste for the lighter sections of the piece. Below you will see an album that I made, where I utilized what I call a “bead tail” coming off of the back of the album, and attached with a handmade bead I made recently

Embellishments

Toward the front, you can see that the closure is made of a vintage bead earring attached to a pendant jewelry finding…on the other side of the album, for the second part of the closure, I have another handmade bead mounted, and it is all held together with a reddish/purple leather cord. The closure alone really dressed up the album a lot!

Embellishments

Other embellishments I have made are more suited for your art journal. There are many, many times that I will use an ATC (Artist Trading Card) embellishment for an embellishment to dress up an art journal page or maybe a mixed median art piece I am working on. These are some of my really old ATC examples, and they have been used at some time for an embellishment.

Embellishments

There are so many things you can make from paper and paint.

Embellishments

What I also enjoy is making embellishments out of beads and old jewelry findings! I have a ton of old beads and fittings from all of the broken necklaces, bracelets and earrings down through the years. I am so glad that I held onto all of them because they are perfect for making your own unique embellishments! Some that I make regularly are what I call my “bead tails”.

These are basically just strings of glass beads, faux pearls, and other stones that I thread onto a heavy string, and then place a charm at the bottom of the string. These end up being the decorative touch that I add at the back spine of my prayer and scripture books that I make, as well as any other type of book, album or anything that is made that way.

A perfect example is the bead tail at the back of above album. These bead tails seem to add so much to a project! I wouldn’t know how to finish out the albums without adding them! Seriously though-embellishments can make or break a project, at least in my mind. Even if you just string a few beads together and maybe add a little fancier clasp to your project, you will be amazed at the difference just a little addition can make!

Embellishments

This is Hester, the Court Jester –  she is just one of several art pieces I have made. I can write about them next time!

Laura Shelton

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