I love mixed media art.
When I sit down to do something creative, it is, usually, related to the mixed media arts. I find tremendous joy in playing with paint, textures, papers and moving them around on the canvas to create a harmonious work.
I love the challenge of discerning what colors, photographs, and lines best communicate the feel I am attempting to communicate.
I love the challenge of researching the history of an event, person, relationship, or idea and waiting for a revelation of how it should be depicted.
I love being able to add in personalized elements into a piece of art.
And, more than anything I LOVE the look in the person’s eyes who receives it. Oh man! There is nothing better.
|A Sign I made Showing how you could display photos in creative way in your home.|
I remember the first time someone suggested I do a mixed media piece of art. It was a friend of mine, and she wanted to have her wedding vows displayed on her wall in an artistic way. I had never done something like that before. I had drawn a lot and painted a lot of flowers. I have a good eye for balance and loved color theory. Beyond that, I had no idea what I was doing. This was also before the days of Pinterest. So I went for it. I printed out the wedding vows on printer paper and then aged the paper. The handwriting I did do on the piece is not at all high quality. I was a total beginner and did my best, but they loved it. They still love it. It is still hanging on their wall. Here it is.
The thing with mixed media art is that, in a way, it isolates playing with only a handful of elements at a time. This makes it a wonderful art to play with if you are just beginning to develop your skills in painting.
Some consider this kind of art more like a craft, and maybe it is, I do not know, and I do not wish to argue about that. I do agree with Katerina and her post about art and painting. Therefore, my concern is whether I am embodying truth, goodness, and beauty in my art. The way I can know if I am is by determining my source. Am I reaching in and imposing my emotional state on someone else or am I inviting them to participate in the truth, in goodness, and in beauty? You do not have to be Da Vinci in order to do this. Quite the contrary. All it takes is a heart abiding in Christ and a will that chooses to respond to revelation. When we are submitted to Christ, who is truth, goodness, and beauty those things will come through. God wants to make Himself known. I have personally experienced that art is one way God does this. I think that is also why the perversion of art to embody our fleshly state or lies about reality is so harmful. So pray, wait, and create. Along the way, we will grow in our knowledge of specific forms and in our skill. By far, the more important thing is to attend to the one thing needful. Jesus Christ.
By attending to the “power and purpose” of painting and by beginning with prayer we can enter in and also “reveal the soul of a people” in our own way. (quotes from ‘Playing with Painting ~ a Classical View’, by Katerina Kern.)
If you are reading this, you will fall into one of two categories. First, you may already have experience creating mixed media art and are looking for ideas in how to integrate some creating into your life. Second, you may have no experience creating this kind of art but are very interested in giving it a try. You may also be some combination of the two.
Here are some ways I have integrated creating into my life
: : Gift Giving
This is the best way I know how to integrate creating into an already busy life. Instead of spending hours shopping for a gift, looking for a deal, and sitting in traffic I make one trip to the craft store and make Christmas gifts. This year I am planning on making a mixed media cookbook for one of my family members using hand written recipes my grandmother wrote out.
I also apply the idea of the custom photo art, picture above, for special birthdays and wedding gifts. Here is one I did for my son Josiah. I even looked up the Hebrew and wrote his name in the original language. I also included John 3:16 in the Greek and hid throughout the meaning of his name. The painting is big blocks of color using acrylic paint and tissue paper recycles from gift wrap. This was one of the first ones I did, so I traced the letters on tissue paper and decoupaged them to the top of the work.
As my skills developed further, I began experimenting with more techniques, textures, and materials. Like, integrating the flowers I had painted before into my collages and p
racticing hand lettering. Here is a piece I did for my daughter on her birthday.
Another way you can play with mixed media gift giving is by making your own cards. Just get some sturdy blank cards like these on the left and paint or collage right onto the card.
Worship is another way you can integrate creating through mixed media art into your life. One of my favorite ways to spend an evening is by putting the lids to bed putting on the worship music and painting. I may be working on a larger piece, or I may be working on, what I called a ‘Poured Out’ journal entry. My heart poured out to Jesus on the page with paint and textures. It helps me process; it helps me submit it a way to work the truth of God’s word into my heart. Since we are humans with a body, a soul, and a spirit anything I can do with my body that supports the truths my soul is wrestling with can only help the process along. That is why counselors will tell clients to move their body when they are speaking truth to themselves, why teacher tell their students to cross their body when reciting memory work, and what the brain gym exercises are based on. We have a real body-soul-spirit integration to our being. I am going to worship anyway, I am going to spend time contemplating truths anyway. Why not create while doing so from time to time.
If you were in the second category, then you are probably wondering where to begin.
Gather your Materials
Grab a canvas, some paper, or some support (the word artists use for the thing you do your painting on) Other common supports are pieces of wood, thick watercolor or mixed media paper, or even sturdy chipboard or cardboard. You can also buy canvas panels from an art & crafts store. Michael’s Art & Crafts Store gives homeschool teachers a discount. You just need proof. You can use that on top of coupons they have in the Sunday paper.
Begin learning by imitation
Grab a book, look through pinterest, or find some online tutorials. You are looking for a step-by-step tutorial and well done mixed media art to imitate. We learn by imitation. As you imitate a few pieces, you will begin feeling comfortable with the materials and techniques. Then whenever you are comfortable try something of your own. Begin with a prayer and then paint. Never stop imitating though. This is how we continue to grow. I have a Pinterest board (Playing with Art ~ Inspiration) where I have pinned tutorials, inspiration, and examples. Feel free to browse through it to find ideas for beginning. I will also say; the book Creative Paint Workshop for Mixed-Media Artists by Ann Baldwin is my favorite step-by-step mixed media book yet. It is worth checking out.
Pray and Create
You were made to. I can’t wait to see what you create. Share on our Facebook page! We would love to celebrate with you.
Expanding wisdom, extending grace,