What Makes a Mixed Media Artist?

What Makes a Mixed Media Artist?

On October 3, I received an email from Cloth Paper Scissors with an article about, ” What Makes A Mixed Media Artist.”  As I read through the first page it came to me!  How true, and dead on those words were! It described me to a tee! What do you think makes up a mixed media artist, and how many of you consider yourselves that kind of artist? I always describe myself as a mixed media/abstract artist. Sometimes they are entirely two different things, and sometimes they clearly intertwine. I’m never sure exactly what to call myself, so mixed media seems to pretty much cover it. A friend of mine once said, “If you don’t call yourself a Mixed Media artist, you won’t have to save all that stuff!” Well that’s probably true, but what would I do if I didn’t have my stash to pull from in the name of creating art?

Here are the five things that describe a Mixed Media Artist from the email I received from Cloth Paper Scissors:

1. A love of variety. Most mixed-media artists I know find it almost impossible to stick with two or three tried-and-true media or techniques exclusively. A shiny new technique or product always catches their attention and if you ask them to name one medium that’s their favorite, they’ll say, “All of them.”

2. A willingness to get messy. It’s not that they don’t clean their paintbrushes or organize their stamp pads. It’s just that mixed-media artists on the whole don’t create art at arm’s length. They often use their fingertips to apply paint and gel medium, and you can tell what colors they’ve been using by looking at their sleeves.

3. As Dumbledore once said of Harry Potter, a certain disregard for the rules. You know the little voice inside most people’s heads that whispers, “You’re not supposed to do that”? Mixed-media artists don’t have one.

4. A passion for the sensory. Mixed-media artists love to touch, smell, and practically eat with their eyes. Even artwork that looks monochromatic on the surface, will, when scratched, usually reveal layers of paint, papers, and applied textures that work together to achieve a visual serenity.

5. An open mind. Mixed-media artists take all comers. No one is going to close the circle and say, “You’re not like us. You don’t make art the way we do.” Instead, mixed-media artists are more likely to throw open the studio doors and say, “Come join the party! Let’s teach each other.”

I’ve seen members of the mixed-media community reach out and help each other in many ways, from bucking up an artist whose muse has taken a powder to supporting a cause they feel passionate about.

What do you think? Does this pretty much describe you? I think it describes me to a tee!

Frequently I create journal pages that eventually work their way into a piece of art.  Sometimes, they turn out exactly like  envisioned, sometimes not!  Pre-sketches don’t  work for me, I always think of ideas, and the minute I start, whatever I’m working on takes on a life of its own, doing  its own thing, dragging me along in astonishment!    It starts with intention, & from there I haven’t any idea where it’s going, nor do I  have a clue as to what it will become!

This piece started with a few scraps of a torn painting, we can’t be throwing that away!  Once I started the weaving of trees, how could there not be a bird house, with  a funky bird on top?  This is another example of something that took on a life of its own!  I don’t think I’ve ever sketched a funky bird in anything!

A Penny for Your Thoughts...

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