What does mixed-media art mean to you?
First off, Cindy, Thank you so much for this opportunity to talk about art and connect with others!
I have so many interests in my life and saying I was only this or that, has always felt very “boxed in” and rigid. In the early years I was yearning for a sense of belonging in the art world and for some reason I translated that into identifying with a certain type of media.
I was always a “painter” who dabbled in other things until six or seven years ago when I started working more intensively with printmaking techniques. This has evolved further with the addition of collage and other mediums. Since finding more of my groove in mixed-media work, I feel like I have really blossomed and deepened my creative source.
Ultimately, I think my style and interest changes so much because I like to follow the flow of the work, rather than be “boxed in” to a particular media. For me it is the process than I am after and the experience of challenging and pushing myself to grow.
My style has evolved to mixed-media art and printmaking simply because it means so much to me to be able to create and follow the art rather than the “way things should be.” For me, mixed-media means an opening for the possibility to explore.
How long have you been a mixed-media artist?
Although my work has only evolved into mixed media work over the last few years, I would say that it has been an element for me for quite some time. I didn’t tag it “mixed-media” until I began connecting with other artists on-line and discovered the term mixed-media. It was like a connection that I had been looking for… “Oh, that’s what I have been doing….okay.”
How has your art impacted or enhanced your life?
Creativity is such a part of my life and my spirituality, that I am not sure I can even separate art from my “life.” There are two things I would like to share about the impact it has on my life. First, art helps me view the world, my experiences, and others through a different lens. It’s not just a line you see; but two contrasting colors meeting, a boundary, two images mixing. I see patterns of things melding together which read as harmonious, conflictual, exciting, or visually stimulating. Because art opens me up to various ways of looking at the world, I think it helps me be a more understanding, compassionate, and empathetic person.
Secondly, the act of creating is like putting a ‘big ole mirror’ in front of my face. It challenges me to face all those inner critics, demons, and negative voices about myself. It challenges me to work through them or become paralyzed creatively. I have had to face those fears, learn from them, and push myself through in order to keep creating and evolving as an artist and more importantly as a person.
What are a few of the mixed-media supplies you find yourself using most?
The list is long, so I’ll just say a few of my “must haves.” I use a lot of printmaking supplies mainly Akua inks and modifiers. I carve my own stamps and relief prints using linoleum, so I use a variety of carving tools. I have a medium size printing press and life would not be the same without that.
In addition, I use lots of different kinds of papers… from Japanese printing papers to Arches watercolor. I love, love, love Golden acrylics and am simply addicted to their fluid acrylics. I don’t think I could live without any of these supplies.
Who are some of your favorite mixed-media artists?
I am so inspired by other artists both classic and contemporary, especially those that wouldn’t necessarily be called mixed-media. Did you know Degas used to do pastel painting on top of monoprints? I love that one medium can evolve into another. Jasper Johns and Matisse are a few other classics who worked in mixing their media to push the limits.
Contemporary artist such as Louise Cadillac are inspiring for their various methods of mark-making. I am an avid blog reader and frequently find myself checking in to see what Kelly Rae Roberts, Alisa Burke, and more recently Juliette Crane are doing.
What makes your mixed-media art unique?
Hmm, that is a tough one. I would have to say that stylistically I use a lot of printmaking techniques especially repeating patterns and shapes. I carve my own stamps and relief prints as well as create my own stencils. I tend to use the same shapes repeatedly throughout several series of work. This repetition gives me an opportunity to provide a narrative in my work. If one were to look at a body of my work, they would see the progression of a story. A story of my spirituality, my reaction to my experiences, and how I make sense of all of it.
I think that all artists are unique, even when they have similar styles and techniques. Our personalities, temperaments, experiences, and beliefs shine through our work. I would hope that my art says the same about me.
Where can we find you?
I can mostly be found blogging and reflecting at my website/blog
You can also find me at
About Michelle Turbide: Michelle is a mixed media printmaker, artist, wife, mother, and psychotherapist living in the green mountain state of Vermont. She believes that art is healing and the act of creating provides a journey for finding your true authentic self. Her passion in life is helping herself and others use expressive arts to listen to their wise hearts, clear out their inner critics, and find peace, joy, and happiness in ‘the now’ of their lives.