What does mixed media mean to you?
Mixed Media, as with all art forms, is a way to express myself. Even when I don’t think I have anything to say–I begin to paint and the canvas tells the story. It is a way to work things out in my heart and in my mind. It is a healing, soothing, and therapeutic process. When I am creating, the world around me disappears and I am immersed in my art. I wish I could say that I sit down and plan out my work, however that isn’t how it works for me. The need to create pops up at any given moment and then I have a NEED to sit and let the creativity flow. I am usually quite surprised at the outcome!
How long have you been a mixed media artist?
I have been creating mixed media art for more than 30 years–long before it even really had a name or was the trend. I was a big fan of collage in the 70’s and once I discovered the concept of mixing different elements, I grew as an artist! I didn’t even know back then that it was called “art.”
How has art impacted or enhanced your life?
Creating art has always been on the back burner for me as I followed a more traditional way to make a living. I had a job that paid the bills, but I was making something or painting in every free moment. It wasn’t until my first child started college that I was able to devote more time to my craft and now I find it consumes me and has become my profession instead of my hobby. It is as if the floodgates opened! I can’t imagine my life without spending hours each day in my studio and when I can’t be home, I always have a sketchbook and watercolors in my bag!
What are a few of the mixed media supplies you find yourself turning to the most?
I could answer this question differently any given day. I am always trying new product and experimenting with ways to combine different mediums. At the moment, I am enjoying colored pencils, odorless mineral spirits and oil sticks. I love the building up of layers and textures.
Who are some of your favorite mixed media artists?
The four artists who make up the rest of the creative collaborative of Art to the 5th. I am so fortunate to be a part of this amazing group!
Tell us about your creative process.
I am always working on several pieces at once, sometimes as many as six pieces are in progress in my studio! I am impatient and don’t like to wait for things to dry, so I begin something new while I wait! I find I am most creative late at night, when the house is quiet and I can totally immerse myself in my art without interruption. I usually begin with backgrounds that I have created previously, then with a pencil or charcoal, I just trust and let go. I never sit down and say, “I think I’ll paint a flower,” I just let my hand and my heart run free and the most unexpected things appear. Sometimes I love it and sometimes I hate it, but I know it is authentically me!
What makes your mixed-media art unique?
People seem to like my faces. I study faces and expressions constantly. I have filled entire sketchbooks with just noses and lips and eyes. I love the eyes. I think you can tell so much about a person by staring into their eyes. It is probably my favorite thing to draw – even if it is a person that I have made up in my head, their eyes always tell their story.