Apr 18 2009

Mixed Media Inspirations

My blog entries have been a bit sparse lately.  I went through a period of being overly busy with creating websites, then with planning classes, now I’m building walls in my basement studio, and won’t be getting much done in there until the building and re-organization is through.  When I find myself overwhelmed with clutter, it’s time to make some drastic changes, and Spring is a good time for this.

I’ve decided to share some images of mixed media artists whom I find inspiring.  I look to other artists when I’m needing a little jump-start on ideas, so I hope my students and web visitors might find some inspiration in these as well.  I’ve included the website links so that you can feast your eyes on more. (You can also click on images for a larger view):

Teesha Moore: www.teeshamoore.com, teeshascircus.blogspot.com

I just can’t get enough of Teesha Moore’s art!  She creates her collages primarily within the pages of her journals.  She details her process on her website.  To simplify, she first lays down a wash of either watercolor or acrylic, then adds collage elements, then uses water soluble artist crayons. Finally, she draws and writes with markers and gel pens.  I personally love the way the words become a visually important part of the work.

Anahata Katkin: www.anahata.typepad.com, http://www.anahataart.com

Anahata is the creator of my favorite note card company, PaPaYa!.  She explores painting, collage, and digital media in her personal artworks.  I love what she says within her statement on her bio page, so I’ll include it here:

“To me the beauty of so much of the mixed media and journal arts movement is the personal quality of it. How it is often born out of necessity in ones life and continues through a series of impulses, triumphs and challenges. My own artwork is gritty and often unripe. And I like it this way. I like that what I want to do feels just out of reach. That there isn’t a pressure to perform and yet there is great satisfaction in the making of things…and the sharing of things. I guess that’s my own little irony. I try very hard to create artwork for myself and nothing more. And when I succeed in getting out of my own way- I share it with the rest of the world. That’s my formula.”

Cheri Lee Charlton: www.cherileecharlton.com

I “met” Cheri Lee on MySpace, and was immediately taken by her seductive use of materials in her mixed media artworks.  In particular, she has a series of paintings created on doileys (using watercolor, acrylic ink, graphite, charcoal and markers), which integrate fairy-tale like images with slightly erotic connotations. Of her work, Cheri says, “The surface of a painting has the capacity to seduce.  I seek to make art that addresses that very human desire to be seduced; art that provokes the viewer to acknowledge that sensual place between desire and fulfillment”.

Erica Steiner: www.ericasteiner.com

Erica Steiner is another artist who seduces viewers with the surfaces of her work.  She uses her painting to explore her “affinity for beauty, for ornamentation, for excess, and the more turbulent psychic territory that lies beneath”.  She is influenced by a wide range of contemporary, folk, textile and religious art, including “traditional Indian and aboriginal painting, psychedelic art, graphic design, Japanese landscape painting, medieval Catholic illuminated manuscripts, Victorian imagery, art nouveau and more. The work is rendered primarily in oil and gold leaf on canvas, in series of thirty to forty paintings, painted in many layers, over time”.

Patti Brady: www.pattibrady.com

Speaking of rich surfaces, Patti Brady wrote the book (literally) for creating surfaces with acrylic paint and polymers.  Patti is the Working Artist Program Director for Golden Artist Colors. As such, she has had the opportunity to thoroughly explore all of the gels, pastes, and mediums that the company offers, and she’s developed curriculum for acrylic classes for artists and art educators world-wide.

Patti’s book, Rethinking Acrylic: Radical Solutions For Exploiting The World’s Most Versatile Medium covers contemporary uses of acrylic.  It’s richly illustrated with her own and other artists works, and includes much technical info which should be helpful for the experimental artist.

Darleen Olivia McElroy: darleneoliviamcelroy.com

Darlene was also featured in my previous blog entry Acrylic Image Transfers, where I included a video of her demo of how to create a gel transfer.  Also check out her blog, The Queen of Glue!  She has recently posted about her inspirations with rust, background surfaces, and links where you can find vintage images to use in collages.

Darlene states that, “creating an art piece is like reading Turkish coffee grounds – a story becomes revealed as one looks at the surface, texture and color. Moving around the canvas, one can see the past, present and future of the creation.”

Heads up: Darlene (and co-writer Sandra Duran Wilson) is currently writing a book, Image Transfer Workshop, that will be published by Northlight Books. It is suppose to hit the shelves in July 2009.

Gary Reef: www.garyreef.com

Gary Reef is an Australian contemporary artist, who explores mixed media to learn about textures, patterns and layering, and the exploration of his own symbology.  The images above were created primarily through the use of multiple stencils.  “Scratching, carving, digging, sanding, hammering, multi-layering, rubbing, dropping, burning, splattering would be some words used to describe my art practice….the rest, well it comes from the Heart!”

Click here to see a video of Gary working on one of his stencil paintings.

(To view some more artists who work with stencils, please visit my post, Stencils, Stencils, Stencils!)

Kathryn Kendrick: www.katiekendrick.com

Kathryn considers herself to be intuitive/folk artist. She combines painting, collage, and assemblage in her mixed media artworks.  Of her process, Katie says, “I don’t have any clear ideas where I’m going when I begin a painting or project and I feel most comfortable with that. Doing projects that have a theme are challenging for me as they come less naturally. I feel most connected to higher self when I am in the process of creating, and am more interested in the process that the product.” There’s lots more inspiration to see and read on her blog.  Looking back through her pages, it reminded me that I could not complete this post without including Jesse Reno!

Jesse Reno: www.jessereno.com

Jesse Reno’s is a very prolific Portland artist.  His many-layered artworks combine acrylic, oil pastels, charcoal, and pencil on wood or canvas.  Entirely self-taught, Reno decided early in his career to forego formal training. “He generally works on five to ten canvases at once, apportioning equal time to each, in the interest of allowing the thematic content to germinate organically. Open as the artist is to the unfolding of subconscious content, his paintings emerge as pieces of a dreamlike mythic narrative.”

Paula Snyder: http://paulasnyder.com

I discovered Paula Snyder when she commented on my last blog post, On Being an Artist in a Bad Economy.  Of her process of working with mixed media, Paula says, “I jokingly think of myself as a multiple personality.  If I had to use the same materials and the same techniques with every piece of art I create, then I feel I might as well be making sandwiches at the local fast food place.”

Anastassia Elias: www.anastassia-elias.com

Her site is in French, so I confess that I don’t know much about this artist.  She several series of paintings and collages, but I was particularly impressed with the way that she is able to create pictures from torn pieces of colored paper and text (click images to enlarge them so that you can see the text in these collages). To view more of these, go to her website, linked above, and visit the “collages dechires” section of her Portfolio.

Susan Tuttle:

Susan Tuttle recently published a book on mixed media called, Exhibition 36: Mixed Media Demonstrations and Explorations (Amazon link).  “Within the pages of Exhibition 36, readers will enter a virtual art exhibit featuring thirty-six mixed-media artists whose collage, digital, assemblage, altered and repurposed art adorn the walls and pedestals of this unique gallery. The artists are “present” throughout the exhibit, answering questions, sharing their thoughts, talking about their work and offering instruction.”

Sara Renae Jones: sararenaejones.com//drawings.php

I was particularly interested in Sara Jones’ series, “Outwitting Our Nerves”, which incorporate watercolor and graphite on vintage psychology book pages printed 1921 (if you click to enlarge the images, you can read the text, which is well-paired with the somewhat eerie imagery).

Please respect the copyright of the artists.  These images are provided for inspiration only.  I’ve asked for permission from all of the artists (a few haven’t replied yet, but I’ll remove their images if not allowed).  If you borrow an image for your own site or blog, please also ask the artist for permission.

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Mixed Media Inspirations”

  1. Anastassia Elias’ pieces stood out most to me. They have a very distinct look to them that caught my eye when scrolling through the page. The text is something that is not immediately recognizable but adds additional flavor when the image is enlarged.

  2. Mary Geller says:

    Really inspiring post and website! I wish I lived closer so I could take your classes. Thanks for sharing. Mary

  3. Pat Frank says:

    Was browsing through your very art-spiritual site and discovered Paula Snyder’s site is now “paulasnyder.com” not dot-biz. Thought you might like to update the link.

    Your pictures of the Oregon coast are very evocative. Their strength speaks of the Pacific. I can almost smell the fog and the iodine.

  4. Justa Bibel says:

    Amazing work. As Michael in the comment above says this is really art that needs to be framed and exhibeted in spacious gallery. Hope to see this work in Germany once.

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