Tag: assemblage

Art: Mixed Media Art Experiments

Mixed Media Art-Grouping

Over the summer I decided it was time to open my very own Etsy shop. I was apprehensive at first, a lot of my artwork is large and not shipping friendly. Plus it’s a very competitive market, and I had no idea what percentage Etsy would take from my sales.

Despite these considerations I went ahead, and finally did it. I put up my large artwork first, and slowly began adding more realistic items such as my jewelry display and stationary. I made my very first sale in Novemeber, and have made a few more since. It feels great to see that e-mail from Etsy waiting in my inbox, “Congratulations on your sale!”.

If you are considering opening a shop, but have some reservations, just do it! I’m not making thousands of dollars at the moment, but I am making a little extra money. And, as I found after my first sale, Etsy doesn’t take a large portion of your sale. It cost me $0.20 to post my product, and they took $1.50 from a $45 sale, which is nothing compared to boutiques and museums.

Although I am pleased with my recent jewelry and headband holder sales I am missing making art. I decided it was time to put up more realistic sized artwork I could actually ship across the United States, or to other countries; which brings me to today’s post, my recent mixed media spree.

Awhile ago I had my wonderful husband make me five wooden canvases, the plan was to play with encaustic wax the following weekend, and pump out a few paintings. Unfortunately work and life in general got in the way, and my wood canvases sat in the corner for months. I finally found spare time, and some encaustic themed Christmas presents motivated me to get to work.

I had three main goals in creating these mixed media pieces: 1. Use encaustic wax on the entire piece, 2: Use unusual materials like forks, spoons, leaves, and paper, and 3. Create pieces I could sell for under $100 on Etsy. I did list the ginkgo leaf piece for $125, but other than that I felt it was a successful mixed media art experiment. I love how I can apply my visual journaling skills to a piece that can hang on the wall.

I decided to hang them in my house until they sell, which will also be a good motivation tool. Whenever a piece sells I will have to produce another piece to fill the empty space.

Mixed Media Art-Grouping with Bench

The following are pictures of the individual pieces:

Mixed Media Art-Eat


This piece is made by layering strips of fabric, encaustic wax, letters and images cut from magazines, lace, ribbon, a fork, and a spoon.

Mixed Media Art-Fork and Spoon

“Fork and Spoon”

For this piece I wanted maintain the texture and pattern in the fabric, so I layered clear encaustic on top of the strips of fabric. I then took dried leaves, and  placed them on top, along with a section of the pattern cut out. I then put another layer of encaustic and added the fork and spoon.

Mixed Media Art-Ginkgo Leaves

“Ginkgo Leaves”

This piece was a long time in the making. It began with a visit from my Mom. She loved the bright yellow leaves falling from our ginkgo tree, and she began collecting them to take home and use in her artwork. Inspiration struck and I also began collecting leaves, and pressed them between books for a couple of months to help flatten them. For this piece I layered strips of neutral fabric in the background and glued the ginkgo leaves on top to create the circular pattern. I then put a layer of clear encaustic wax on top.

Mixed Media Art-Lock and Key Together

“Lock and Key”

This piece might be my favorite of the series, I love the composition and color. To create this piece I layered burlap with ripped up maps. I then added layers of clear, naples yellow, and white encaustic wax. Once everything cooled down I added an image transfer of a key and glued down the antique door handle mount.

Mixed Media Art-Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

“Eat, Drink, and Be Merry”

To create this piece I ripped up and glued down old maps, colored stripes, and words cut out of magazines. I then added layers of green, yellow, and brown encaustic wax and the fork and spoon.

If you love these pieces and want more information on them check them out at my Etsy shop here!

I hope you enjoyed today’s post! If you have questions or comments please e-mail me or comment below! As always please like, tweet, subscribe, etc. if you feel compelled! Thanks for stopping by!


Mixed Media Art: Alcoholic Haze

This is my most recent work of art, which has been a few years in the making. After I began experimenting with using fabric in my paintings, I thought it would be interesting to take it a step further and use non fabric material to create a dress. After thinking about what I could use it dawned upon me that bottle caps would create an interesting texture and design.

I liked the idea of exploring the concept, “you are what you eat”. Living in Athens for five years I often saw people in not so great states of mind. In between downtown Athens, football games, frat parties, and college life in general, it’s not difficult to find someone falling over themselves walking down the street. They might as well be wearing a big sign saying they were drinking that night. You can often tell what is going on inside of a person based on their exterior emotions and actions, similar to knowing their taste based on what they wear. So why not wear what you eat, drink, feel?

Once I had my concept ready I started collecting bottle caps from friends, family, and local restaurants. After three or four years collecting and procrastinating I finally sat down and got to work. Luckily I have a very handy husband who constructed three canvas like wood panels, each 24″x48″. I knew if I attempted to put the combined weight of all the bottle caps on something as flexible as canvas it wouldn’t work too  well, and the wood panels were a perfect alternative. I painted a gesso base on the panels, then began sketching.

After I had everything measured, which was very important for this since I had to construct a bar and needed it to remain uniform across three panels, I painted a layer of oil paint on the top section for the background. After I layered paint I melted modeling impasto, using a griddle and pan, dripped it over the paint, then spread it out using a heat gun. I added another layer of paint, and fused it using the heat gun. I continued this process until I was satisfied with the look and texture.

Once I completed the background I added image transfers of the lights, glasses, and bottles. I used images printed from a laser printer, heated the area I wanted them on, let it cool slightly, placed the image face down, burnished the back, then rubbed the paper off using water. To read more about this process visit the Mixed Media Art: Caged post.

After the background I moved onto the girl. I painted her using oil paint, and I focused on trying to make her look somewhat sad, a little haggard, looking directly at the viewer. I wanted this look because I doubt I have ever seen someone falling over themselves after drinking and still looking happy and put together.

After painting the girl I began putting together the bar. I wanted it to be three dimensional, so I built up sections of mat board. I drew the bar out first, and figured out how to layer each section, what needed to be the lowest and highest point. This was critical before I started to help me save on supplies from mistakes. I used hot glue to attach the layers of mat board, then painted it brown with oil paint.

I knew I needed a base to attach the bottle caps to, so I decided to use my traditional technique of hot gluing fabric, creating a lot of texture using folds. I attached the bottle caps to the fabric by bending the bottle caps around the folds and filling the back of the bottle cap with hot glue.

Alcoholic Haze Detail 4I wanted the bodice to stand out from the bottom of the dress, so I decided to create a fish scale look by cutting the bottle caps and overlapping them. I was actually able to cut the bottle caps with scissors, but wire cutters would work best. I cut the caps in half and in quarters, and hot glued the tips of the caps to the fabric.

I was very happy with the outcome of this mixed media painting, and am excited about exploring the concept of essentially wearing your insides. I already have plans for another bottle cap based painting, and have ideas for other pieces… coffee filters popped in my head the other day…

Thoughts? Suggestions? Please comment! Subsrcibe, like, tweet, digg, help me spread the word! As always, thanks for visiting!