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All of the cards, layouts, handmade items and art work displayed on this website are copyright to me, Lynne Mizera. Of course I hope to inspire and encourage you and would be morethan happy for you to use any of my work to that end; however, please respect me and my work and do not directly copy any of my projects without crediting me or enter any of my work into any magazines or competitions without my express written permission. All my cards, layouts, projects and art work are not to be used by any commercial enterprise for any financial, marketing or commercial gain.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Going Back to My Childhood... A Mixed Media Tutorial

Hello Blog Land Peeps... I am BACK!  Our Big move is completed and I am in my new studio space and ready to share with you the first new project I created in that space!  Today my term ends for the Susan K. Weckesser design team, and for my last project  I wanted  to create something really special and share with you my creative process in the creation of this Mixed-media canvas:
Picasso once said:
"All Children are artists.
The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."

Well, have you ever watched children create? They just do it! They don't over think it, over analyze it or over process it, they just DO IT.  They have absolute confidence in their own inner voice and never question their own intuition...that is until we correct them, or until societal opinions start to become more important than their own... sigh.  So now here I am on the other side of 50 trying to access that inner child and her absolute confidence in her own abilities and I have found mixed media to be a wonderful place to do this because you have to just do it and trust the process!  So after four years of learning the process and then trusting the process here is what I have to share to maybe help you fast forward Your process:
1. Just DO It... Just start with something that you can add to, and if it's not perfect or you don't like it don't worry, you will have many opportunities to change it!
2. Trust Your Inner Voice... Not your inner critic, but that tiny excited child's voice that says..."Oh, do this!", you know, that first thought that springs into your head fully formed before the critic beats it out.  Whatever it says, Do It.  The more pieces you create that you love the easier it is to listen to that voice, so give yourself a chance to show You what YOU can do.
3. If You Don't Like it, You're Not Done Yet... Best advice I have ever received, because we give up on ourselves way too soon.  If you don't like your piece it's because it is not finished yet.  Just keep layering and adding and taking away, letting yourself play until all of a sudden the canvas in your hands transforms into a piece you Love, a piece you are proud of.  And if layering and adding doesn't work remember, there is always Gesso!  Just paint the entire thing white, you get to start again on a blank slate but with the texture already there!  (This took all the pressure off me to make a masterpiece, I could just play)
4. Every Step Adds a Layer... Even if you can't really see it, that layer is still there adding a depth and dimension to your canvas that it couldn't have without that step...Which is why I LOVE Mixed Media so much!

Smile... so here is my photo heavy tutorial with comments in the the captions to show you how I went from THIS:

To THIS in 20 or so photos - ENJOY!
THE PROCESS: Beginning is the hardest part... "What if I suck?!" "What if it's ugly?"  I take all the pressure off myself first by allowing myself to NOT make a masterpiece, and by using dollar store board canvas (3 for $2) and garbage - inky paper towels, napkins, scraps of paper, which I will glue in random bits all over the board canvas for a background.  This way (in my mind) it doesn't count right?  Pick colors and patterns that appeal to you and don't try to  match stuff, just go where your hand takes you. And do not spend too much time over this bit or worse... fall in love with your background... 'cuz in the end you won't even see it!
Start by Using scraps - here is the stash I started with - rip off pieces and adhere them at random using a matte medium- let it dry.
I like to start my mixed media canvases with a stamped image. I pick a spot on my canvas where I like the colors and patterns and stamp my image there (to use as a guide), then the real fun begins...

Use a waterproof ink like StazOn when stamping on your canvas.  Don't worry about being perfect, the stamped image is only a guide.
My new favorite thing is to stamp my main image onto book paper and cut out bits to use as accents.  Again, I don't really think about it a lot but try to tap into my childhood instincts.

I like using pages from this old dictionary because the paper is thin (like bible paper) but tough and stands up to getting wet.
Use a black Sharpie marker to outline your bits to make them pop.  Sharpies are waterproof - this is important.
Now this next step is when you just trust the process... Using a mask to cover off what you don't want to touch, paint or texture your background all around your stamped image. (A mask is your image stamped on a scrap of stiff paper or cardboard and cut out to lay overtop and protect the image.)
I used Dreamweaver White Crackle Embossing Paste and my Tim Holtz "Shatter" stencil, and dried it with my heat gun.
At this point I used my Lumin Arte Primary Elements powder to add more color, dropping the powder where I wanted it using a soft paint brush and activating it with water so the colour flowed into my crackles.  I used my heat gun to dry it all quickly. (Can you see my Mask in the background?)
It's usually at about this point where I start to "not really like my thing", but I have learned to trust the process, stay with the program and LISTEN to that inner child's voice... which said to me "you need to add something shiney and bumpy."  So I Did...
I made my own "Roof stencil" so I could add texture to the roof of my house.  I used Dreamweaver Copper Embossing Paste and my Tim Holtz "Burlap" stencil.
I liked it so much I added more bits of Copper embossing paste through my burlap stencil at random all over the canvas... again, not really thinking about it too much.
Close up of the background.. needs some more color
I used my Lunin Arte Silks to add pops of color to where ever I wanted it... I used a brush to add the color and a baby wipe to take it away... This is now the base of my canvas...
 Now my favorite part in the entire process... Decorating! (or pulling out the details using gel pens and stickles)
Stamping words or images onto a bumpy canvas is not ideal, so I stamp onto white tissue paper with Ranger's waterproof Archival Ink and adhere to my canvas using a matte gel medium.
I am using Susan K. Weckesser/Unity Stamp Sets: "Little Haven" and "Painted Sentiments"
I like to color and cut out my stamped images (I use 100lbs card stock) and glue them to the top of my canvas base for extra pops of color.  I didn't like the black words so I used Ranger Liquid Pearl to color them in.
I then go to town using my Rangers Stickles, Liquid Pearls, Lumin Arte Silks and Gel pens to color and highlight everything...
Can you see how outlining my words in gel pen really make them pop.
Now you would think I was finished at this point, but nope, I wasn't done yet... I thought my background needed some lightening up, so I added a wash of watered down Zinc White Golden fluid acrylic paint and wiped off the exess with a baby wipe, and then added white gesso around the edges...

And one last step... using my finger I added gold here and there to tone down the white and re-outlined anything that I wanted popped.  At this point the little voice said... Stop, you are done!
 So That's It!  You just keep adding stuff, and rubbing it off, and adding more and staying with it until you think you are done!
I am so proud of this piece, the first created in my brand new studio space, in our brand new home, and I hope it helps to inspire you to try your hand a bit of mixed media.  Find your Child Artist Voice!
New Studio-Side 1: This is where I did all the messy, inky stencily stuff on my canvas

New Studio-Side 2: This is where I did all the decorating part of my canvas... SWOON!

As always, thank you for popping in to see what I am up to and please do leave me a comment if you like what you see!
Lynne Mizera

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  1. This looks wonderful, Lynne! Love the crackle! A happy piece with lots of colour. Thanks for the step-by-step description! This will look great on the wall of your new studio!

  2. It's beautiful Lynne! What a special project to make to break in the new studio. I love all the bright colours and different textures. I can tell you are back in your happy place zone and loving your new home!

  3. Your new space being used. Happy Dance! Really like the light, whimsical feel of this piece. Way to go! I'm so happy you followed your heart to the Rockies! Your contentedness shows vividly!

  4. Wow! what a fabulous New space!! I love it Lynne . And I cannot wait to see it in person!

  5. Gorgeous. My problem with my backgrounds is often I like them so much I don't want to cover them up. Studio envy. Hugz

  6. What a beauty!! I loooove the colours and the pattern.... okey, all of it! ☺
    Hugs, Anita


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