Posts in collage art
Collage artists' mixed media piece On the Straight and Narrow

Collage Painting Inspirations by a Collage Artist

“On the Straight and Narrow” speaks about falling into line, staying there, and not getting off track. It’s easy to veer off the beaten track and lose sight of where we are going. In this piece the dotted magenta lines show the way while large dark green “bushes” line the roadway.  There is no break in these bushes. All the more reason to stay on the straight and narrow.

Creating the mixed media imagery behind this collage artwork was an interesting experience. One of the questions I had to answer as a collage artist is how to incorporate abstract art lines while maintaining the perspective of a dotted line along the road.

I used circular lines contained within mixed media art materials to create the “bushes” and placed these “bushes” at intervals beginning in the front of the collage painting, working backward slowly, shrinking the “bushes” with each circle until I developed an perspective of retreat.

With this my collage painting had perspective and my dotted line keeps the viewer centered “on the straight and narrow”.

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Merging Heart and Soul - Collage artists' painting inspirations
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Using mixed media materials to create my collage art allows me to express feelings and how I seek to interact artwork with greater ideas of our existence.

Collage artists have the unique opportunity to use various materials to create their vision and statement on canvas. I limit myself to a handful of items that I like to incorporate into each mixed media collage. These include but are not limited to string, acrylic paint, twine, and paper.

“Merging Heart and Soul” is a blend of blue hearts and one pink heart amongst the blue spiral representing our soul.  The hearts appear to be drawn in by the soul because that is where they need to be. The heart and soul need to be together as one.  Why? It is the same as trying to separate the body from the mind. It can not be done. This painting gives permission for the heart and soul to combine.

I hope you enjoyed reading about the inspiration behind my collage art piece!

Collage artists' thoughts on a mixed media artwork
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Passages through life, through experiences, and through everyday tasks never go as planned. Wouldn’t it be nice if the way could be free and clear to pursue our desires and dreams. We could slip past all of our bad and unfortunate moments.

Being a collage artist allows me to construct artworks that speak to my desires and speak to my thoughts. Using mixed media art as my genre of collage art has enabled me to not only delve into thinking about the “greater things”. but it has also allowed me to have fun.

“Right of Way” shows a road passing by a circular path of multiple red colors. This blue-green road has the right of way and simply goes past all of the rest. In this collage artwork I chose to use string and contrasting colors to emphasis the “right of way”. This use of mixed media materials in my collage painting has allowed me to explore different avenues of expressing my thoughts on canvas.

All finished - Shortcut to the Party

A collage artists journey to creating a new artwork!

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The final steps of creating a collage painting is always interesting. As collage artists, this is when you place the finishing touches of mixed media materials. These tend to be the looser items that create the collage painting’s final texture and “feel”.

These can also be any mixed media materials that were left lying around the studio and were not used up during the earlier stages of the painting’s creation.

In this particular collage painting I wanted to add fringe to create a 2D/3D texture. To make the frilly fringe, a piece of kite string painted light purple is strung with strong, gold-colored thread. A crochet hook is used to loop the thread onto the purple string. The fringe is securely attached with gloss medium and varnish.  It is fun to swish this around with one’s hand, truly making this an interactive piece.

Another line of shorter fringe is added on the right side, by securely attaching it in the same manner as above. Short strands of orange string are scattered and glued down here and there.

Finally, a small party hat with diagonal, bright, yellow and blue stripes is attached to the surface. It is made with painted canvas and is trimmed at the bottom with a strip of blue painted canvas. This hat even has a small tassle on top.

It’s a Shortcut to the Party! This painting is ready to take you on a speedy shortcut to the party where confetti, fringe and hat create a festive mood. Have a party and please touch the fringe!

Collage artists have all the fun!

Now we start painting the mixed media collage. I always relish this stage in the process. As an collage artist that uses mixed media materials, once the foundational materials have been laid now I get to have fun playing with colors.

But don’t be dismayed! We are not finished adding materials! We’re simply using paint and materials together.

Green and yellow-green are added to the remaining parts of the paths within the collage painting.  Then twine is carefully painted with a light purple, a color with little chroma. Now that we have some paint on the canvas lets add some more fun mixed media materials.

Confetti dots are made by punching holes in different colors of yellow, orange, and red-orange papers. Shiny gold and metallic red papers are cut into small pieces with scissors. To adhere these small pieces to the canvas, a coat of gloss medium and varnish is spread over the areas to be covered with the confetti. It is then sprinkled randomly around the canvas in the glued areas. The dots and pieces are gently pressed onto the surface to make sure they stick well.

We’re making progress and having fun! I love being a mixed media collage artist!

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Collage Painting adds color and starts to take shape
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Once we have set our foundation to the collage painting I feel as if the mixed media art is beginning to form into its own unique work of art. It is at this time that my collage artists instinct kicks in and I decide what and how this collage painting will be colored.

Creating mixed media art with collage is more than simply adding mixed media materials to canvas and calling it a day. Collage artists have to envision how untraditional materials will interact with traditional materials such as paint and canvas.

In the next two steps of creating a mixed media collage I begin the process of adding my color scheme. An analogous color scheme is planned of blue, green and yellow.  A dark blue is first painted in the areas marked with xxx’s. I use these x’s to demarcate areas that will receive particular paints.

Next I add the contrasting colors to the collage painting by mixing cadmium yellow with sun gold to dilute the intensity of the yellow. It is then painted on some areas of the pathways.

With these two steps I have began the process of paining the collage and creating a collage painting!

Collage Painting begins to take shape
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Collage painting starts to take shape as mixed media materials are added

As I begin the process of laying the mixed media materials on my collage painting, I can begin to see the painting take shape. One of my goals as a mixed media artist who paints collage painting is to ensure that the layers of materials are placed in such a way as to create a flow around which the viewers eyes can navigate the painting.

This flow and navigation is even more important as my themes surround highways and the ways in which we travel.

STEP #5 - Close-up

A close-up of the extra materials added to the canvas - burlap, twine, gel medium and rubber mat.  My purpose in adding these mixed media materials to my collage painting is to create a texture that protrudes from the canvas.

STEP #6 - White gesso

After the materials are placed I cover the entire canvas with white gesso so that paint can be applied with less difficulty.  The of applying gesso is to preserve the shapes and texture after I apply the paint.

We have now graduated from placing the foundational mixed media materials onto the canvas and have set a good base of gesso onto which we can apply paint.

Painting the collage is to come!

Collage Artist discusses next steps in my new painting
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The key to creating a collage piece is layering different textures to create a flowing movement. Creating collage art in the mixed media format is fun because I get to use different materials to create my collage artworks.

STEP #3   Close-up

This is a close-up of the burlap. When first applying burlap I am aware that the viewer has to find purpose in all the collage art pieces I have placed. The small pieces of burlap are glued to the path with gloss medium and varnish and the two spaces between the burlap are the deep tracks made by a car driving through damp soil. The car leaves tracks in the mud as it tries to make its way to the party event.

STEP #4  Other Textures Collaged

Other textures are added to several more pathways for the art viewer to follow. A white gel medium is added to one path with a palette knife. Then it is spread with a piece of cardboard to leave peaks of gel all over the area.

Another path on the far right is covered with a bumpy, rubbery material often used under throw rugs to keep them in place.  This material is measured and cut to fit the path and the excess is glued to the sides of the canvas. More twine is glued in place.

So far I have just started my media media artwork. As a collage artists I can’t wait to continue placing new materials and advancing the artwork to showcase the journey, both figuratively and literally.

Mixed Media Artist Creations - Shortcut to the Party
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Well - I’m back at it again - creating mixed media collages from scrap, sometimes with scrap!

I love sharing my creative process as I feel it connects art collectors with the artwork itself. To see the mixed media artwork evolve and come into being enhances the understanding of how collage and art mix together.

Over the next few weeks I will share my creative process as I create my newest mixed media collage artwork - Shortcut To The Party. Enjoy!

Everyone wants to get to the party on time or even earlier if possible - not wanting to miss out on the fun. This painting takes one on a shortcut to the party where there are frills and flashy confetti and a party hat for those who dare to wear it. This mixed media painting allows participation in the party by encouraging one’s interaction with it.

STEP #1  Charcoal Drawing on Canvas

This first step is to show multiple pathways in and around the painting. I enjoy using multiple mixed media art materials to accomplish this and as I develop this collage painting these will come out in greater and greater numbers. One pathway may be a shortcut or perhaps all of the pathways can direct a party goer quickly.

As I start to lay out the patterns of my new collage painting, these paths are drawn with a charcoal pencil. The background areas are marked with triple xxx’s.

STEP #2   Collaging Begins

Now the fun starts as I being using mixed media materials to lay down the foundations of my new collage. The first pathway is completed with pieces of burlap. It defines this road with tracks following the curve up and around.  Twine is also placed parallel to another path.

That’s it for now! Be sure to follow my social media and check back in with my blog to see how this new mixed media collage painting evolves!

Mixed Media Artist Inspiration - Collision
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Collage painting involves planning, vision, and methodology. Placing the right mixed media pieces together at the right time determines the final product and how that product relates to an artists’ original inspiration. In sharing the inspirations behind my mixed media artworks I hope to shed light on how these pieces became a final work of mixed media art!

“Collision” is a colossal impact of three orbs of different sizes and strengths.  The jute which defines the centers of these orbs tries to keep the impact from happening.  But it is to be. The impact takes place. These orbs are so strong that none split apart nor absorb the other ones.  They remain whole and do not lose their shape. None of them are compromised. Yet this is what is necessary when forces or opinions or cultures collide.  There needs to be some compromise, some way of coming together and softly molding each other to fit the others’ shapes and desires.

Mixed Media Artist Inspiration - Darting To and Fro #2
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I consider being a mixed media artist a blessing. Visualizing artworks that only I see is an incredible experience. And putting these visions on paper is even better! I have many inspirations for my mixed media collage artworks. Many of my current acrylics revolve around pathways and journeys.

“Darting To and Fro #2” has four pathways darting about the picture plane. They all point inward because the reachable goal is the same for all the arrowed paths. Each way can dart about the field searching. Interesting collage work decorate each one with textures of circles, spirals and crescent shapes. It is colorless in order to show no favoritism for any one of the arrows - no color becomes more important than another.

Come see my art during the Annual Moab Artists' Studio Tour
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Dates: Sat. Sept. 1st; Sun. Sept. 2nd and Sat. Sept. 8th, 2018
Times: 10 am to 4 pm Each day
Artists participating: 12 in Moab and Castle Valley, Utah
Our 15th Annual Studio Tour
For maps of locations of studios go to moabstudiotour.com.

Come see my latest mixed media collage paintings during the three days of the Moab Artists' Studio Tour.

Adding more collage pieces, but not finished yet - mixed media artist
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Collage painting as a mixed media artist means sometimes adding, adding, and adding more!

One of the perks of being a mixed media artist is that when I am creating my mixed media collage paintings there is a definite step-by-step process - a layering of material that alters the piece. In the next 2 steps of my newest creation - Languorous I delve into the nuanced touches that I place on the collage painting.

In the next 2 steps of the creation of my mixed media collage, I start adding new collage pieces and try to see how they fit - like an imperfect puzzle. First I rotate the painting clockwise 90 degrees. I do this after experimenting with various angles rotating 90 degrees is most satisfying to me. After I rotate my mixed media collage painting I now see things from a different perspective so I add more collage pieces to give it even more texture than it previously had. In addition to adding more collage pieces to my painting, three dimensional white pieces in crescent shapes were also glued down.  Once I take a step back I take a look at the evolution of my collage painting and add netting and other materials to solidify the texture. I am finally becoming pleased with my painting.

Even though I think I am finished, I am not.  I return to my original black and white sketch. Here I can see evidence of an irregular square shape superimposed on the canvas. I want to include that and continue the corners of the square onto the sides of the canvas.  With a 4 foot long ruler, I measure the boundaries of the square and mark with a pencil, then I begin to paint. After painting 2 corners I stop to see how I am progressing and I like the initial work.

The creative process of a mixed media artist is one of trial and error and adjustments. As Languorous evolves into a finished pieces this process of collage creation once again repeats itself!

Taking my mixed media art piece "Languorous" in a new direction - steps 11 and 12
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Sometimes a mixed media artist finds inspiration in unusual places, after a supernatural dream I decide to take my abstract collage piece in a new direction

I had a dream last night. My mixed media collage painting saw a ghost and turned white. I was led into a discussion with myself about the pros and cons of doing something I had never done before as a mixed media artist. What did I have to lose? Why not? Oh, go ahead and do it. If I ask the question, then why not answer affirmatively? Like it or not, the ghost painter was on a mission - to reinterpret what this mixed media artist had already done. So, I mixed some heavy gesso with lots of water to make a thin white paint. Then I white washed the entire abstract collage painting from top to bottom, by carefully painting over the mixed media art piece in sections, sometimes blotting up excess paint with a paper towel. I quickly finished my ghostly deed. I liked it. Subtle and expressive, the details showed more than ever before. My original concept for this mixed media collage had changed, but I didn’t care. I liked the new concept of slowness.

I add circles with thick white paint. Some have well defined edges and others have edges which blend into the background of the abstract collage. I enjoy making these circles and filling them in with white. I rotate the collage painting 180 degrees to see how that orientation might look.

My Mixed Media Collage Painting - “Darting To and Fro #2”

As a mixed media artist there is a story behind every abstract collage.

Darting To and Fro #2,  2018 ,  acrylic with combined media on canvas, 36” x 24”

Darting To and Fro #2, 2018, acrylic with combined media on canvas, 36” x 24”

In the next installment of my mixed media artist blog series about the inspiration behind specific collage art pieces I describe my interpretation as the mixed media artist of the abstract collage art piece “Darting To and Fro #2". While the overall theme behind my mixed media collage is highways and how they mirror moments we encounter in our lives each specific collage art piece has its own meaning that I tried to capture as a mixed media artist.

This next mixed media collage painting, “Darting To and Fro #2” has four pathways darting about the picture plane. They all point inward because the reachable goal is the same for all the arrowed paths. Each way can dart about the field searching. Interesting collage work decorate each one with textures of circles, spirals and crescent shapes using varies mixed media. I made the decision as a mixed media artist for it to be colorless in order to show no favoritism for any one of the arrows. No color becomes more important than another in this abstract collage piece.

Adding acrylic color to my newest Mixed Media Painting
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As a mixed media artist there are many steps in painting a mixed media collage. In the following I discuss adding color to my abstract mixed media painting as well as determining the next steps to take. Enjoy!

In creating this mixed media collage painting I added additional blues and orange/yellows. I wanted to create an abstract collage impression by adding less of the orange colors in the outlying areas.  I then added lighter yellows and peach colors are added to the three large orbs to bring the viewers eyes into a concentrated area. As with many abstract collages it is important to direct the viewers eyes to segments of the painting to create a flow of the artwork.  

In the outlying areas of the mixed media collage I added more blues and blue-greens to intensify the outlying areas. As I add these colors I am beginning to hunt for some direction to take this mixed media collage painting - I cover up more of the oranges in the outlying areas, but bits of that color can still be seen.

As the painting begins to develop the line around the three circles or orbs is painted dark purple. Then a blue is dabbed over this in order to make it more pronounced.  The colors in the orbs are lightened a bit and a circular motion is developed in each of those spaces. I sit in my studio late at night and ponder what I have painted and become quite dissatisfied with the results I see. Where am I going?  I ask.

A Mixed Media Artist's Inspiration - The Meaning of “Around About”

The Story Behind my Mixed Media Art Piece “Around About”

Around About,  2017 ,  acrylic with combined media on canvas, 48” x 24”

Around About, 2017, acrylic with combined media on canvas, 48” x 24”

In the next installment of my mixed media artist blog series about the inspiration behind specific collage art pieces I describe my interpretation as the mixed media artist of the abstract collage art piece "Around About". While the overall theme behind my mixed media collage is highways and how they mirror moments we encounter in our lives each specific collage art piece has its own meaning that I tried to capture as a mixed media artist.

The mixed media collage “Around About” shows a very prominent blue-green spiral dashing through an intensely thick, dark red and blue field. This shows how it feels to be flung into the round-about and to not know where and when the road that is desired will appear on the perimeter of the circular road. The thin white line (I used string on this collage painting) exaggerates the feeling of being tossed into the air and the dizzying effect on the eyes and mind.

How a Mixed Media Artist Creates: My Mixed Media Art Piece "Languorous"

The Creation of my Mixed Media Collage "Languorous" Steps 7 and 8

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Focal colors are added. The colors that I chose as a mixed media artist are yellow/orange for the focal area and violet/blue for the dominant areas of the collage painting. I try to paint as much of the focal colors as I can in the central areas of the big orbs and keep the paint transparent so that some collage materials show through. Putting some of the orange paint in outlying parts of the abstract collage painting are merely to distribute more of this color in the dominant areas. Very little of it will show through when my mixed media collage is finished, but there still will be enough to add some texture and bring unity in color.

Dominant colors are added to the abstract collage painting. The different blues are added to the background areas of the mixed media art piece. Directions on the flow of the different colors of blue are indicated here. The line that wraps around the large circles is outlined in a blue so that it is more visible against the collage painting. Some drips come down, later to be covered with more paint. I put hot fluorescent orange/cadmium red in the two small areas in the center of the mixed media art piece which are outlined in blue. Some of the collage papers can still be seen.

Thank you for taking the time to read the fourth installment of my mixed media artist blog on the creation of my collage painting, "Languorous". Keep reading to find out how this mixed media art piece progresses.  

How a Mixed Media Artist Creates: My Mixed Media Art Piece "Languorous"

The Creation of my Mixed Media Collage "Languorous" Steps 5 and 6

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Sawdust is gessoed. After the sawdust dries on the mixed media art piece completely I gesso it. Gesso is like a white house paint. It is used as a primer for collage art canvases in preparation for oil or acrylic painting. I try not to cover up any of my guide lines and marks. At this point I am ready to start the collage part of my mixed media art creation process.

Collage material is glued down to my mixed media art piece. To glue down all my collage materials and papers, I use my go-to-glue — gloss medium and varnish. It works quickly and efficiently on the collage painting. One interesting material I discovered over the course of my mixed media artist career is gesso skins. This is dried gesso stuck to the inside of the gallon can. I peel it off and it becomes three-dimensional, hard pieces of white paint. What fun to use in the collage painting. I call it skins, because it peels off like a section of skin would. Often paint skins make the same sort of thing and using them in a mixed media collage is fun.

Thank you for taking the time to read the third installment of my mixed media artist blog on the creation of my collage painting, "Languorous". Keep reading to find out how this mixed media art piece progresses.  

My Inspiration as a Mixed Media Artist - The Story behind "Straight Street"

The inspiration behind my mixed media art piece "Straight Street"

Straight Street,  2017 ,  acrylic with combined media on canvas, 36" x 36"

Straight Street, 2017, acrylic with combined media on canvas, 36" x 36"

In the sixth installment of my mixed media artist blog series about the inspiration behind specific collage art pieces I will attempt to describe the inspiration behind my abstract collage art piece "Straight Street". While the overall theme behind my mixed media collage is highways and how they mirror moments we encounter in our lives each specific collage art piece has its own meaning that I tried to capture as a mixed media artist.

My mixed media art piece “Straight Street” is titled after a jazz instrumental by John Coltrane. As a mixed media artist I find that travel is sometimes needed along a straight course with little interruption or change. It is less confusing and distracting if the  goal or destination is easily and quickly obtained or arrived at. In this mixed media collage I try to convey that no matter how many distractions of circular paths and circular reasonings, the straight path is the way to go. Even the yellow orb in the lower part of the collage painting tries to disrupt the straight path, but definite and solid lines through the layers of this orb chase it away and make it less influential. The Straight Street is preserved!