What an Artist Goes Through to Create a Mixed-Media Piece

What an Artist Goes Through to Create a Mixed-Media Piece


"What if You Fly?" is a great example of what a mixed media artist goes through to create a piece.

Sometimes the magic happens, and sometimes I paint over it and start over! There's definitely an element of "magic" when it comes to art.


"What if You Fly?" is on a 16" x 20" x .75" birch board.

The first step was to apply a primer to the blank wood. The primer is called "gesso." Then I added a collage layer. If you zoom in, you can see in the lower right quadrant that there are collage elements under the text. All of the collage elements in this piece were from vintage books and magazines. (I have vintage stamps going back to the 1800's.)

The butterflies and dragonflies are 3D. They are made by slathering a layer of matte medium (like a glue) through a stencil and letting them dry overnight. Then I painted them.

The papers on top were made from using a gelli plate. Basically, it is an 8x10x1 inch "thing" with the consistency of Jell-O. I put paint down, then put different papers down and peel them up to get the effect you see on the butterflies and dragonflies. I've found that rice paper works the best.

Then I used the same stencil and cut the papers to fit the 3D piece, then used matte medium to glue the papers to the 3D piece.

I used more stencils and matte medium to create the 3D flowers, and a stencil with paint on a sponge to add the 1D flowers.

I used a technique of dripping paint down the canvas and splattering paint, which you can see under the words in the lower right quadrant.

I used stamps and ink and stuck 1 letter at a time to a plate to create a word then stamped it in ink, then stamped the words onto more gelli papers.

And somewhere in there, I added acrylic paint and did a lot of blending with glazing liquid.

And that is how magic happens.

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