I have always enjoyed mixed media work, but last night at our art group, I had an opportunity to see this type of art demonstrated. It really made me want to have a go for myself. It is quite a small group (23 members as of now) and we try to ring the changes with our demos to try and please the largest number of members. This usually means that although subject matter is widely varied, the media are typically the main contenders; water-colour, acrylic and coloured pencils.
This year we have a new organiser for our program and she has taken some different directions. A portrait in oils and this mixed media work are the very different demos that she has arranged.
Fiona Payne was last nights demonstrator, a very active local artist. After starting with a lively white wax layer, she used water colour paints to prepare a background on a heavyweight cartridge paper. And she worked in size A1, I think (A0 is too large - I guess I should have asked) working on 2 paintings at once to give time for drying between layers. She said that she often worked on several pieces at once in her studio, when time was not limited although after cropping and selection the number coming thru the process was limited.
She added details with media including acrylic inks and solid, water-soluble "acrylic ink sticks" (Inktense) continuing with the layering process layering. All the way thru the process she liberally used a water spray to induce mixing and runs. Of course the resulting abstracts are not completely repeatable but the immediacy can lead to stunning results.
Final details are added using soft pastels, here is an example of her work, titled "Ragley Flowers".
See this and more of Fiona's work on her web site. When she showed us a print of this piece, she was showing how two paintings could be selected from the one work by cropping into approximately two halves; the upper and lower halves of the original, in effect. Selecting the final composition is the final act in the process. In a piece created with such a free process, there are bound to be some areas which you like and some that do not seem so "happy". Make sure that the cropped work meets your highest expectations of good composition and imagery.
Finally, It should be noted that Fional seldom uses brushes ( she claims she only has three) but uses almost anything else that is capable of making a mark. Adding colour direct from the glass droppers from the ink bottles, spreading and making marks with "your flexible friend" (- credit card, etc), she also uses a roller, the wrong end of the brush,etc and more.
I am inspired to "have-a-go" at the next art group meeting, I don't have the acrylic inks but will find a substitute. After all rules are made to be broken. Hope to have something to show you next time.