Tag: mixed-media


I have admired altered books for several years. I tried my hand at it once, but I didn’t get far due to lack of knowledge and skill.

Last week I picked up the how-to book I bought umpteen years ago and learned that I don’t need a rocket science degree to get started altering a book.

Now I’m on my way. I hope to have a meaningful experience as I create something new from this old crime book.

Maybe I can make it a true crime themed piece. We’ll see what happens.

Book and art supplies Paint on book pagePaint on book pagePaint on book page

Paint on book page

Paint on book page


When art goes bad

I was trying a drip technique with fluid acrylics. I kept adding paint until my little bottles were empty. I was happy with how it turned out, but I decided the sides of the canvas needed some color. That’s when I messed it up. I ended up with a fuzzy band of pink across the bottom.

I should have stopped here.
Image 2018-08-16_22-00-46-088
Now I hate it

The next time I try this method, I’ll use a thicker canvas to make it easier to paint the sides. I’ll also begin with the end in mind instead of deciding to try something new halfway into the process.

I was about to throw the painting away when it occurred to me that I might be able to tear it apart and use the pieces as collage elements.

I stared these tonight.

Hopefully, I’ll know when to say when with these. So far, I like them.


I signed up for a free online workshop hosted by Karen Abend, called Sketchbook Revival.

I did this because I have a habit of signing up for things that I don’t have time for. I’m lucky to have remembered about this one at all.

Today I watched the first video of the series while using cardio equipment at Planet Fitness.

The session was given by Kiala Givehand who is one of the few African Americans I’ve come across in the mixed-media, art journaling world. The field is dominated by white women and I sure there’s a sociology paper that needs to be written about that. I’m no Sociology major, so I’ll move on.

Anyway, Kaila demonstrated some simple paper folding bookmaking techniques that I want to try. At the end of the class, she talked about the value of repetition in making art. She mentioned a poet who sat down every morning for a year and wrote a new poem about the view from his kitchen window. That is a great idea. What if I adapt it to fiction writing. I could write about a character doing the same actions every day for a month. Maybe he/she has a goal in mind, and I try different ways to get there. Now that sounds like an exercise guaranteed to improve my writing.

People say there are no guarantees in life. Let’s listen less to people for a change. Let’s just be us.

Some repetition:

Digitally painted abstract flowerDigitally painted abstract flowerDigitally painted abstract flower

Two Canvases from 7/4/16

It occurred to me that while the paint is drying on one canvas, I could begin another. That is what I have done.

These two pieces have a relationship.

Canvas 1
Canvas 1
Canvas 2. This one was a black canvas.
Canvas 2. This one was a black canvas.

They look better to me in real life than they do in the photos. As I look at them, a story is beginning to suggest itself. Something about morning, night, and water. I’m not sure what will happen next, but I’m looking forward to finishing them and moving to a completely different palette. I’m thinking reds and yellows.

I’m also getting closer to doing jewelry again. This sketch came up on Timehop from two years ago. I’m inspired to sketch some jewelry and then make it. That is progress.

Necklace sketches.
Necklace sketches.

I Found the Answer from 7/24/16


I worked on this one over the course of about three days. I used Sargent Art White, Grumbacher Red, Liquitex Basics Mars Black, and Liquitex Basics Cerulean Blue.  I added torn pages from a philosophy encyclopedia and a title from a book of sheet music. I used stencils that I bought at Michaels.

There were many iterations, and I was usually patient enough to let one layer dry before adding something new.  I find that if I walk away from something I like it better upon a second viewing.

My idea is to try a 10 x 10 canvas based on this palette.




Making Things – Beautiful or Messy from 2/29/16

I’m diving in to mixed media this year! I’ve signed up for two online learning experiences: Donna Downey’s “Inspiration Wednesdays” and Tamara Laporte’s” Lifebook 2016.” I spent a small amount of money on both of these series of workshops/demos, and I can consume them in my own way and at my own pace. They are a lot more convenient than attending in-person classes, so I’m more likely to participate. And I am participating. Inspiration Wednesdays videos are posted every two weeks. They are quick and not terribly involved, so I find the time to watch and then try out the technique Donna shows. I even went a step further and purchased one of Donna’s journals. The journal is nice because its binding allows room for your thick mixed media pages. Before getting the journal I used paper and canvases. Here are some of the pieces I created.


imageWhen I make these pages I try and remind myself that nothing has to be perfect, and I should be having fun. If I think too much in terms of wanting to eventually sell my work, I get self-conscious and worried. It’s not fun when you worry.

Here’s something I made  that is indeed a mess. I just kept slapping on layer after layer. It was like being a kid playing in the mud. Fun!!!

Layers of acrylic paint on paper.
A big blue mess.

I guess the moral of this story is this.  Make art and have fun!  And if you want to get better at your art, take some sort of class.