Mixed Media, Layers and Surfaces

When I create a collage mixed media piece I always start by gathering up what I need for the process including a bag of images that have already been cut out. I find that if I sort through a magazine it interrupts my creativity and is not fast enough to bypass the critic that is always waiting to divert me from my intuitive process. This is also very similar to Soul Collage. I have used an old book which is great because the paper is very sturdy and can be used for the layering that I do in my work plus they make wonderful art journals that you do not have to go and purchase.

I prepare my pages by using a glue stick to attach the pages together so that the one page is very thick. After that I apply either gesso or thick paint to cover my surface. Sometimes I have color for them in mind when I start. For instance, if I am using cool colors, blues greens and sometimes violet, I start there. I always layer color over color to create depth several layers thick so I do not worry about the first or even second layer.

I also play music in the background, but nothing with words or too much stimulation. Pandora has a great selection of meditation music that I listen to when I am creating. As I look through the image bag I do not think or censor when intuitively choosing. I try to go as fast as I can and often I do not worry even if I am tearing a part of the image because it softens the edges and the images blend more into the background. I stay as open as I can to my intuitive process without judgment even if I am questioning the images that I am choosing. I always trust my own process and that is the most important thing when creating an image collage, especially when it is telling a story. It is very similar to dream work and sitting down the next morning and interpreting the symbols. This of course comes later. You will not know what the story is nor what the final collage will be and that is the magic and the fun. It is like when you are meditating and receiving images and watching objectively. You are the observer in the creative process.

The next method I use is stamping, mostly for texture or added layers of pattern or to tone down an image so it is not taking over. It is the same with transparent tissue paper. Pattern tissue is the best to use, but now they have transparent tissue. You want to see the images underneath, but it also creates a another layer in your work. I do the same with oil pastels, watercolor crayon, watercolor, and metallic paint, using it as another layer on the surface and creating depth. You will also find as you create the layers your surface will gain depth and structure and solidity as well as interest. Keep pushing, revealing and covering up, even tearing off an image to reveal something underneath. It creates mystery and allows your audience to wonder what is going on and what is that in your piece. You do not want o make your story too simple or it will be flat and obvious which will not keep the eye moving nor the interest continuing. Add something in your collage, a color that is brighter, a touch of pattern. A spark of metallic or red is always good because when you add a piece of red it automatically becomes your focal point. That is where your eyes are drawn and it is a wonderful portal into your story like a gate into your collage where one enters.

The last layer is an embellishment, a small object that completes your story, but be careful of the size or thickness. For a rose petal always encase the petal between medium to preserve it and the color and the same for a leaf. A tiny jewel, a wire, small beads–anything can be an embellishment, but do not overdo because you do not want it to be your focal point.

This is one method for doing a journal page, but of course there are many. You just have to discover what works for you. Always think of yourself not as an artist creating something perfect that someone will like and purchase. That does not matter at this point; this is not another expectation or work. The process should be fun and magical play. This technique of collage is also a wonderful practice for developing and trusting your own intuitive process and an opportunity to have a piece of art that you can see in your art journal.

untitled2 enhanced sharp60If you really love what you’ve created, you can take digital photos and take it into Picasa and create amazing art cards to give to your friends.

Always take photos or scan your work because you can always use your clip art again in another collage. Once the images are gone, they are gone. Create a folder of the images and art that you create and build up your own clip art folder.

This is one technique of thousands that I will be sharing I hope that you will follow my blog. I also download tutorial videos here for you to enjoy. I teach creative so please follow and you will get what is happening and Monday Morning Mixed Media Medley right on your own page.

Artfully yours.


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