A few weekends ago I had my mom over and I wanted to spend a few hours on a Sunday afternoon showing them how to do some mixed media art on canvas. Typically Isabella is my "painting partner" and she will ALWAYS get out the paints with me and PLAY. But I wanted to show her some techniques and I wanted to get my mom and the other girls involved too.
So I got out all kinds of paints, some canvases, stencils, modeling paste, stamps, ink, papers, lace, magazines and proceeded to teach them some layering techniques for a mixed media canvas. Part of my desire was to get my mom and the girls to just HAVE FUN. Not to "think" about how it's "SUPPOSED" to be, but to let it come from within. Let me explain...
So many times I think they (and maybe everyone) WANTS to be creative but limit themselves because they have a vision in their mind and if it doesn't look how they imagine it "SHOULD" they give up or think they just don't have "it". Well that's NOT TRUE. Part of why I love Art and especially creating Mixed Media and Altered Art is because this art form is free from the confines of EXACTS. It should just flow from you and in order for that to happen, you have to LET GO. I know that's hard and it's where you have to meet your "fear" of Art and face it head on! Let go of what you THINK and just FEEL. With Mixed Media you don't have to paint a landscape or a bowl of fruit and have the confines of that photo or still life you are copying. In Mixed Media you are free to CREATE. Truly letting go and FEELING what makes YOU HAPPY in the process.
With that being said, I was excited to show them some steps to take to do this. We all have our own "styles" and my mom had an idea of what she wanted to do as did Victoria and I shared with them how to layer pieces of paper first on the canvas. Once they had that done, I gave them some ideas on how to layer on top of the papers with paint and some modeling paste and some stencils. This was a bit much for my "perfectionist" mom and daughter and it was funny to see them not want to do this step. But, I got them to go outside their comfort zone and "sort of" get their artwork MESSY! (in their opinion) Victoria did some stenciling and added some metal, canvas and wood pieces to her canvas and my mom added some stenciling and lace to her canvas. So overall I think it was a GREAT time and they were able to see that they can step out of their comfort zones and actually CREATE something that was FUN and made them HAPPY.
Here's a look at some of the fun that day:
Here we are starting the process
Love all the CREATIVITY going on...
This is my mom's canvas and she wanting a Tea Theme. She wanted to cut out pictures from a magazine instead of using any papers and stamps, but I still think I got her to move outside of her comfort zone and strech her a bit.
Here's Victoria's Canvas and she wanted a Italia Theme. I'm so proud of her too b/c she's usually the one that comes and plays with us when we're painting for maybe 10 minutes at the MOST before she's decided what she made looks terrible and she's not creative and she leaves. I really was proud of her for staying and even though this was hard for her, she kept with it, she wanted to create something and she finished it and was HAPPY with it. Victory!
This is Isabella's! She's so FUN to paint with because she has no inhibitions. She just GOES FOR IT. She started with covering her canvas with all sorts of papers. When she was done, she didn't like it so she started just painting over the whole thing. My mom thought it was ruined but absolutely NOT. Art is a process and if Isabella didn't like all the papers I thought she was actually pretty CREATIVE to paint over it all. It actually looks great up close because you can see some of the papers and textures below the layer of paint and it gives it dimension. Then she had a blast just mixing colors of paint, taking a glob of it and adding it on top! So all these paint drops are actually mixed/swirled paint drops. She really just goes for it and I can't tell you how many pieces of paper, canvas, plaster and wood pieces I have that she's had fun creating over the years!
This is my canvas and I have to say that I even streched myself this time! I LOVE doing mixed media on canvas and I have no problem adding papers, stamps, dimension, lace, etc. etc... But I have NOT felt ready to actually sketch and paint a PERSON. I never too art classes, I'm NOT an artist in the sense of painting or sketching a landscape of person. But I just wanted to try it and feel SO good about it now! No, the girl is not some fine art drawing I created, but she's not too bad for my 1st time and I'm SO happy I got past that fear and just went for it!! I will continue to try now and it's even inspired me to really take some classes on sketching and painting real life art!
Here's a few close-ups:
I wanted to create something that represented by DREAM of doing Creative Retreats in Italy. The papers, lacem metal piece from the Bergamo Flea Market and the colors reflect that but I also wanted it to go deeper than that. So I typed out a saying I came up with that reflected my feelings when I FIRST came up with this DREAM and added where it was when this idea came to me. The saying says: "The music made her dream of the things she could do." At the bottom right I used some small letters to say "The Music Room." Being in Bellagio is inspiring enough belive me, but music is such a big part of my life and when we are in Bellagio, we spend almost every night in the music room after dinner. It's a place of beauty and art and music and it's really where this idea was born. So this piece is really "me" and my dream on canvas... and I love having it.
So don't be afraid to create YOUR dream in a Mixed Media piece of ART!