Monday, May 27, 2013

Mixed Media Monday: The ABCs of ART

On Mondays I would like to focus on Mixed Media; this will include projects I've created, as well as techniques and projects I find in my adventures. (From now on, you can find posts in this particular series by clicking on the label at the bottom of my Home page or at the end of each individual post.)

This is a canvas I made for a Paper Pals Design Team Challenge:  Art Squares. You can read more about them by clicking on that link, and see some other projects created with them as well. For this project I used four of them on the bottom holding the title. It was my first experience working with Art Squares, and I enjoyed them.

Back to the process:  I tried to follow the steps that I learned last summer when I took my first (and so far only) mixed media canvas class at Paper Pals. It was called Home Is Where the Heart Is; it's now hanging in my art room. No matter the end result, the process is basically the same - it's all about the layers. This time, I started with a patterned paper collage background (I wish I had taken a picture of it!) I adhered the paper to the canvas using Claudine Hellmuth Studio Multi-Medium (basically a better version of Mod Podge). I've found it works best for me if I put a thin layer on the canvas as well as the back of the paper.

Next, I painted the edges of the canvas with green acrylic paint, coming up over the sides and onto the paper to blend it all together. To add more depth and texture to the background, I used alphabet stamps with Archival ink and stencils with acrylic paints, both by Dyan Reaveley, randomly stamping and painting parts and pieces, most of which you can still see. I then took a spiral stencil and randomly painted a few swirls. I wasn't sure how much would be seen when I finished adding layers.

For the top layer, I added the Art Squares with the title (for a description see the Design Team post), stamped the list along the right side, and created the tag embellishment. For the list of ABCs I cut pieces of cream cardstock to 3/4" and use small alpha stamps and brown Archival ink. I then adhered them to some orange patterned paper with ATG and trimmed it down before adhering it to the canvas with more Multi-Medium. For the tag embellishment, I covered a manila colored large shipping tag with music paper, then tore a piece of patterned paper and adhered it to the right side (inking the edges of everything as I went). I then stamped some grid lines going off the edges in a few spots, and adhered the swirl (which I had fussy cut from a piece of patterened paper for a different project but hadn't used yet).

For the bird, I took a pre-cut and embossed chipboard bird and darkened it slightly with Vintage Photo Distress Ink, then stamped on it with a script stamp. I adhered it to a tiny clothespin using Glossy Accents, and adhered the clothespin to the tag. The sentiment is from a Tim Holtz stamp set, stamped in Archival ink, edges torn and distressed, and held in place by the clothespin. I also put a dimensional square under the bottom of it to help keep it in the right spot. I also used Glossy Accents to adhere the buttons, and finally, I took three charms and attached them to a special safety pin that has loops on the bottom, then put the safety pin through the tag itself. The tag is adhered to the canvas using more dimensional squares. I used a scrap of ribbon in the top, as well as behind the "t" in art.

Overall, I would say I'm pleased with the end result. I'm not happy with how much of the stamping/stenciling layer on top of the paper is still visible, so in the future I'll have to experiment with that a little. I'd also like to try making some more 3-D tags as embellishments and/or stand-alone projects. I had fun trying to find the right combination of materials to achieve the look I was going for (although I'm not entirely sure what that look actually was).

Next week I'd like to have some photos to share of my end-of-year gifts for a few coworkers, most of them being canvases, so be watching for them in the next installment of Mixed Media Monday! And be sure to comment with questions and/or photos of our own projects.

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