Merging Arts: Mixed Media As Thought Bubble And Mind Pictures

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This article is written by Leeanne Oschmanns

A strange title? Perhaps, but this is the way that Mixed Media Art found a place in my heart. For many years I dabbled with painting and drawing in singular mediums, usually acrylic or coloured pencil. Sometimes I played around with water colour too. There was always a problem for me though. I am a writer and most particularly, a poet. Poetry has always been my soul escape.

My way of shedding light on the things that seemed darkest or most beautiful. Those small things that make every day a unique event to grasp and run with. So a craving for harmony and balance in my creativity led me to a need to express my poetry in more than words. Merely drawing or painting a picture didn’t work. It was too stifling and usually limited the expressive elements to one aspect of the poem. It also tended to intrude on the imagination of the reader. The beauty of poetry is that it is many things and something different to each person. The same can be said of mixed media. A single piece can be interpreted in ways that are meaningful to the beholder and their unique experience.

The power of symbols and the beauty of texture and medium render a flexibility that is more difficult to achieve in styles of singular medium and subject. That is not to say that a mixed media piece can’t also be specific to a subject, because it can. A single image or many symbols, all have their place in this beautiful art form. Mixed media then,is versatile and diverse. It can be metaphor, craft and soul expression. Sometimes a thought so profound that it should not pass can be symbolised and articulated with visual richness and subtle suggestion.

Recently in Britain, the public were encouraged to contemplate the 100th anniversary of The Great War by burning only a single light, preferably a candle, in the darkness. I felt moved to express my thoughts around this in a poem. From the poem, a series of images emerged in my mind, and I set about bringing together some specific symbols that represented my perspective on this very profound historical event which complemented the poem.

Creating “A Light To Remember”

The piece I wanted to create for this article was an expression of a poem I wrote in commemoration of the Anniversary of World War One. The central image of a woman from a local family (their great grandmother who served) is quite haunting, so that became my initial focal point. After finding a few appropriate pics, I made photocopies and  then created transfers of the soldier and the cross, and the candle as symbols of remembrance. For the transfers, I used the simple technique of burnishing the copy onto clear contact, soaking and then rubbing off the paper. This allowed me to merge the elements. I also made a transfer of some poignant lines from my poem,  A Light To Remember

Leeanne Oschmanns creates a mixed media piece

After covering the canvas board in a muted wash, I set about composition and placement. Due to this piece being a visual representation of a poem, I wanted to integrate and overlay the elements. Each element was a powerful symbol of war, as can be seen. Once I was happy with placement, I then used gel medium to stick them in place. In many ways, remembrance of our war dead and wounded has powerful spiritual and religious connotation. I chose to reinforce this with the symbolism of the cross for which I used ribbon of poppy red  (of the red poppy fields), and which was also echoed in the image of the soldier. I added texture to the piece with a border using relief paste which I stippled with a brush.

Leeanne Oschmanns creates a mixed media collage

This is beautiful to work with and is quite forgiving of reworking.  Once the border was done, I applied a clear glaze in readiness for an antiquing wash. The border framed the piece as though looking through a window in a dream. I decided to put a smoky night-time wash over it to give the impression of looking through the ‘mists of time’.



About Leeanne – I write about life and ponder a lot. I see stories and poetry in many things. Personal growth and understanding are my passion, but people and animals complete my experience of what it is to be human. This world is beautiful. Only people make it ugly. I am a tamer of teenagers, freelance writer, and I make my art as an expression of my writing and the little montages of life that confront me on my journey




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Packing Tips from a Creative Journey Traveler

This article is written by Tamara Dinius

My husband and I are leaving for a short two-day trip and I will spend considerable time planning out the details so that we have an enjoyable time.  I think planning is an important key to achieving your goals. So why is it that most of us fail to plan for our own creative journeys?

When I set out on my creative journey this past year I failed to prepare for success. I signed up for online classes with a number of different artists. I watched all their videos and read the accompanying files. I soaked up each artists instructions and was fascinated by the different techniques and styles that they shared. I purchased the supplies they recommended and set-up a work space. I was set to have the creative juices flow and make earth-shattering art. But then reality set in.

Original artwork by Tamara Dinius

The brush sat frozen in my hand. Who was I to think I could create art? What would family and friends think of my efforts? How would I compare with other artists and students posting their work on Facebook? Is the time and money I have put into this journey going to be worth it? The insecurity that I started to experience was unlike anything I had gone through before.  I struggled more than I care to admit, but I eventually found my way.  I would like to share with you a few things I learned along the road to creative freedom.

On your creative journey be sure to pack the following:

Self confidence

Know that you have an artistic point of view that is all your own. Don’t try to emulate what others are doing if it doesn’t inspire or speak to you. Only when you are true to yourself can you begin to find your own style. Copying techniques and lessons are fine, but remember to add your own character to your art.

A can-do attitude

Make art. And then make more art. You CAN do this.  As Yoda says, “Do, or do not, there is no try”.


Allow yourself the freedom of self-expression. I create my best work when I don’t set boundaries or limitations on my creative process. Give yourself the freedom to post your work within the classroom Facebook pages, or on your own Facebook page. With freedom comes self-acceptance.


Remember to be as kind to yourself as you are to others. Appreciate the efforts you are making and congratulate yourself when you reach a milestone.


Don’t try and compare your first painting to someone else’s twenty-first. It takes time to develop your own style. You didn’t learn to walk without first learning to crawl. Embrace your imperfections and continue to practice your art. It’s not how many times you fall that matters, it’s how many times you get back up.

Original artwork by Tamara Dinius


Seek out others who are sharing a similar creative journey. Join groups with similar interests on Facebook. Follow blogs, twitter feeds, or Facebook pages of other mixed media artists or companies that support mixed media. Appreciate the hard work of other artists who post their work and leave kind, encouraging comments. I have been in awe of the support that the mixed media art groups give one another.

Your wings

Last, but not least, remember your wings. My wings were no bigger than that of a butterfly’s when I first started my journey. But I have grown, and my wings have expanded to keep up with me. They are a beautiful metaphor for my growth and the changes I have gone through creatively. Find your wings and get ready to soar.

Original artwork by Tamara Dinius


Author bio:

Tamara Dinius lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and chocolate lab. She was creative from a very young age (her love of markers started in the second grade) and has been taking classes throughout her adult life. Her love for mixed media has taken over most aspects of her creative journey. She believes mixed media allows for a broad range of styles and anyone can find success in this form of artistic expression. Tamara seeks to inspire and encourage others in their own creative journey.

You can find more of Tamara’s work, and her blog, on her website Country Crafters USA or via her Facebook




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Creativity and Inspiration throughout 2013

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What an amazing year 2013 has been! As I run back through all of our tutorials, guest artists and projects, I just continue to marvel at the wonders and joy that mixed media art has brought us! This year also saw the start of the Mixed Media Tips videos, along with two Online Tutorials and ONE book published! Just amazing!

So, to put all of this wonderment into one place, I present to you…

The Creativity and Inspiration of 2013

Here is the best and the most inspiring events and articles on Mixed Media Art throughout 2013!

Online Tutorials and Videos

A summary of our Mixed Media Art Online Tutorials

  • In April we featured our Creating Layers in Mixed Media Art tutorial and gave away the three canvass featured on the tutorial
  • Our 4th birthday celebrations featured the Postcard Art Tutorial, where we created easy-to-post pieces of art and 16 of them were posted to members of our community, around the globe. You are still welcome to share the postcards you have created at the bottom of the tutorial.
  • We attacked our “Art Envy” with the Wish Art Journal Layout tutorial
  • Kate Palmer also joined us to share one of her Layering Mediums Art Journal Technique

Mixed Media Artists

Our Famous mixed media artists

We had a wonderful collection of mixed media artist with is across the last 12 months, including:

If you would like to see your story and artwork featured on Mixed Media Art, we are always looking for artists and crafters to share your work, so send a quick email to Michelle and let her know!
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2013 has seen the continuation of product and book reviews, and it has been our delight to bring you:

Mixed Media Art Tips Videos

Michelle has had lots of fun this year, bringing you the start of the Mixed Media Art Tips Videos – there is just something about video that brings Michelle’s tips to life! And while it takes a lot more work than just taking photos, the effort that goes into editing and uploading videos is certainly worth it.

The Tips Videos include:

Projects and Inspiration

We have features so many projects and tutorials from a range of artists and crafters, across the spectrum of the mixed media genre. It has taken ages just to pull them together, all in one place for you to have a look through!

Art Journaling

Our art journaling has certainly reached new levels across 2013 – it is such a great way to create small, portable pieces of art and it a place for trying new techniques or reflecting on your own thoughts and creative process.

Guest Artist Projects

Handmade & Altered Books

Other Mixed Media Gems



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So there you have it! 2013 in review – all 46 articles!

We would LOVE to hear about your favourite project or artist – please leave a comment below!


The photo collages here were created with Shape Collage

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