Today’s post is all about art for art’s sake. It’s not for any purpose other than to be pretty. Because, even in these troubled times, if you look hard enough, “life is pretty.” Yes, it is. And this peachy floral mixed media canvas board even says so. See it down there in the lower left hand corner?
Yes, if you read the newspaper (are those a thing anymore?) or watch the news, it looks like the end of the world is near. And I know there are issues which need addressing. But regardless of where we stand on those issues, we don’t need to steep ourselves in them to the extent that we forget to see the beauty in the every day. And if we can’t see that beauty, then we as crafters have the power to create it.
That’s our gift. Let’s exercise it.
It takes a firm foundation to support these babies
A project like this needs muscle underneath, and a flimsy canvas won’t cut it. Because sure, we’re going to use paint here, but that’s only for the first layer. And only a little bit at that. Paint is the least of our creative elements on this project. So we need something with a little more oomph to support the major players.
How about a canvas board? This is a piece of primed canvas stretched over a piece of plywood (or stiff cardboard) and is much more suitable for this type of mixed media work. It’s cheaper than stretched canvas, and it’s much sturdier. And did I mention it’s cheaper?
There are a LOT of techniques and media used here, including painting with acrylics, stamping with Copics (the little checkerboards in the background), stenciling with molding paste, decoupage, lace (some new, some vintage), mica, shimmer/glitter (of course!) and plenty of die cuts, strings of mini pearls, punches and embellishments. And I kept the color scheme simple so as to not get out of control, using ice cream colors of pink, peach and soft yellow with accents of the softest green.
It's all about flowers in floral mixed media
I made the large rose using Emma Williams’ tutorial and the Tim Holtz Tattered Flowers die. (I’ll be coming out with my own tute soon.) It makes a whopper of a realistic-looking rose, which of course I had to dress up with chalk inks and Art Glitter. I also inked the edges with a bit of Vintage Photo Distress Ink (my favorite ink for distressing just about everything).
The rest of the flowers might look familiar – they’re Chelsea Roses, Cherry Blossoms and dainty Sweetheart Blossoms, all from Really Reasonable Ribbon, and ALL painted with my homemade shimmer paint. I just can’t leave paper flowers alone – they look so much better with a coat of pretty shimmer.
“Embellish the embellishments” is my motto.
In mixed media, there are no accidents - merely "creative opportunities"
This bird is a perfect example. Don’t ask me how, but she wanted to come through her birdcage bars. She insisted on this when I was trying to place her and the cage, so… I left her that way. Besides, her placement tells a much sweeter story than if she were forever caged, don’t you think?
Notice the edges of the bird – they’re inked. Gives her a bit more prominence. And her eye is a teensy pearl that I colored with a black Copic marker.
The girl behind her is a digital image which I printed on tissue paper. You can’t really tell, but I tore her edges and inked them, too.
This little tag… well, it’s grungeboard. I’ve tried to find it online so I could direct you, dear reader, to it, but… I can’t find exactly THESE little tags anymore. Grungeboard was all the rage for a while, and I’ve had it on hand for ages, but has it gone out of fashion? Who knows. I just know it fit the purpose. Or so I thought. It’s strange stuff. Not cardboard. Not paper. Not leather…
I colored this little tag with various shimmer paints. That’s a polite way of saying I colored it over and over until it finally looked halfway decent and like something I’d want to use. I then printed the sentiment in the teensiest font on my printer, cut the words out and glued them on, then edged each square with charcoal art pencil and smudged most of it off. THEN I edged each little piece with a gold Gelly Roll pen. I finished it off with two tiny brads.
Or so I thought.
That “white space,” the blank spaces on either side of those scraps of paper, kept bothering me, so I finally broke down and did a little doodling. I colored two teensy pearls with a soft blue Copic marker and doodled around them in a daisy pattern.
Because that’s all I know how to doodle. Daisy patterns.
HOW did I forget this?
I wanted to sneak the confession in here somewhere, but I couldn’t. There’s no sneaking in blogging.
I FORGOT to take a closeup of that marvelous triple whammy bow treatment. It was made with three kinds of hand-dyed seam binding, some scrunchy, and some smooth, and I hung a handmade charm from a bit of an old earring. It’s a rather in-your-face embellishment, so how on earth did it escape my camera?
Sometimes we get so excited about a project we just forget the followup details. Like photographing the bits that we’re going to write about. And this piece was sold almost as soon as I made it. So there was no second chance.
The triple whammy bow got the last laugh this time.
Now it’s your turn to create with whatever you’ve got on hand. Mixed media, that is. Doesn’t have to be with flowers, if that’s not your jam. Work with whatever trips your trigger, then post it in Facebook and let us in on it. Let’s share the love!