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Make Successful Mixed Media Art

Posted on Jun 7, 2014 by in Mixed Media Painting |

What is  Mixed Media Art?

The common explanation for mixed media art is simply to use more than one medium to create a finished piece of non-traditional artwork. That is to say, not just paint is used; finished artwork is created by using canvas, paper, clay, cloth, fibre, inks, etc. in non-traditional ways. Rather than using only a brush to apply paint, to paper, wood or canvas, other tools and techniques also come into play and the creative possibilities are endless.

Mixed Media Online Art Classes at the Art Apprentice Online

Is Mixed Media the LSD of the Art World?    

So what are the possibilities for mixed media? Honestly, one is only limited by their imaginations! On a recent business trip to the Crafts and Hobby Association Convention in Anaheim, California, I often felt like I was standing in the middle of a pin-ball machine – during play! Ideas and inspiration were flying at me from all sides. Textures, materials, mediums, stencils, inks, glues, sprays, layers, transparencies, wax, paints, finishes, illusions, colors, glazes, materials, and a partridge in a pear tree! Whoa! That’s what it felt like in my head – a pin ball machine in over drive!

In the late evenings, feet swollen and hurtling…it was no different…laying in bed,  spinning in a world of color, and unconventional ideas. Swept up by visions of swirling paint, stacked layers of paper, wrapped in cloth, string, leather and textural clay, layer upon layer of creativity poured in from all sides…Numbers, words, cut shapes, three dimensional forms making intangible ideas come alive on two dimensional canvas surfaces, it was all there! A confetti of possibilities! A kaleidoscope of abstract ingenious ideas! Then and there I decided… Mixed Media art is an opportunity for creative mind play, to experiment, and imagine the unimaginable. A time for FUN!

Mixed Media and Creativity – How can the two come together for artistic success?

Speaking only as an art teacher and from the technical side of making mixed media artwork. Yes the possibilities are endless, not to mention the mediums… BUT…and I say BUT cautiously…and with tongue in cheek! There are still the elements of art and the principles of design that will certainly help artists create  successful works of Mixed Media Art. It’s not JUST about what you can use for your mediums, but rather how they are used to make our vision come to life. One can use sticks and mud, rocks and rice for that matter, but if piled together without any thought to color relationships, composition, texture, balance, line etc…it might not be as pleasing as we envisioned.

Make Mixed Media artwork that begs to be appreciated

In the last few months, having spent many long hours researching mixed media on the internet and in art collections and books, it was easy to make few observations. Trying to find common threads, yet searching for what makes one art work more visually appealing than another…I have drawn a few conclusions. The ones that seem to work really well, either consciously or unconsciously, the artists are applying subliminal design principles to make artwork that begs to be appreciated. The key to success is still in the design elements.

Speaking only as an artist who loves to experiment and play, I can see where one can get carried away with mediums…it’s not only exciting but refreshing to use more than just paint… Wanting to pile it on high…resisting the urge to use everything in sight and build a mixed media masterpiece is hard to fight…but I fear we playful artists will have to be reined in and use some restraint…We can stop to think about what we have learned regarding composition, and design principles. The road to artistic creativity and successful mixed media is paved with the principles of design…that said…if we know the rules…breaking them is where the real fun begins! Am I right?

Many more Mixed Media Online Classes coming to the Art Apprentice Online This Spring!