I've been told by more than one person
that I try to see both sides of any issue. And my personal life aside, I can
attest that I also do the same for art--I like to see it from all sides, materially
speaking. That makes me a perfect match for mixed media art because you can
combine so many different kinds of materials and objects to make mixed media
Mixed media artists can't be faint of
heart. You have to be brave to try mixed media techniques that you've never
tried before, but I've discovered that you won't get anywhere--and you kind of
feel let down--if you don't push it enough to show that you are actually mixing
|Earth by Kiki Smith, 2011, ink, crayon, watercolor,
gold and silver leaf, glitter and pencil on paper, 108 x 72.
What I mean is that, sure--combining
pencil sketching and then oil painting is technically mixing media. But who's
going to really know? With mixed media, you have a chance to really push it.
Take Kiki Smith for example. In her works on paper, she not only creates line
drawings, she also embellishes the heck out of the surface of her pieces with
watercolor; she'll add shimmering mica and glitter for a bit of bling; she'll
coat her surface to alter its absorption characteristics.
There are also mixed media techniques
you can use to get unusual surface textures, and taking a razor or pair of
scissors to a piece to shred the edges or make cutouts is an interesting
practice. Mixed media collage can be combined with almost any kind of painting
practice for really astounding finished products, too.
|Year of the Dog #8 by Judy Pfaff, woodblock print with collage and hand coloring.
Seen in this light, I really think
that mixed media art is the art world's last undiscovered country. Or I guess I
should say "least discovered." It isn't a conventional form yet--and maybe it
won't ever be--but that is because artists are acting as explorers and pushing
their mixed media artwork new places every time they go into the studio.
To see how far I can push mixed media,
I look no farther than the Modern Mixed Media DVD and the Collage in Color eMag.
These two digital resources are perfect for me as I start brainstorming my next
mixed media artwork, and they give me so many options for materials to use and
combine. If ever there was an art practice that offers eye candy galore, mixed
media art is it. And these resources can't help but make
you want to delve in and create brand new ways of putting new paintings,
drawings, and collages together. Enjoy!