What does mixed media mean to you?
Mixed Media reaches a depth traditional paintings just can’t reach. Watercolors, oils, acrylic, when they are pure in their media, have limitations, and while purists love this, I don’t get excited when I see it. But a painting with layers, with unsuspected textures, however subtle, and something deep inside of me screams, “YES!” Art needs to be a reflection of the time, or else it’s just old art being rehashed, not applicable to today. Today is anything but a pure, straight painting. Today is chaos, today is global, today is the information highway, and SO MUCH INFORMATION such that data and text are everywhere. Random facts, passwords, websites, it’s in our food and in our blood. We are worried about terrorism, about global warming and killing the planet, about the economy and being the first genera?on to not do as well as our parents. All of this chaos makes modern day humans extremely complicated, and in mixed media, this translates into layers. Art of today is not the straight forward art of our past. Art of today is emotional.
How long have you been a mixed media artist?
I started mixed media shortly after learning how to draw. I never was interested in traditional painting. It seemed natural to me to want to at least put text into my work. I started to do this when I went back to college to study art. I realized after awhile that a traditional schooling was not right for me, and although I continued, I experimented on my own. As of this interview, I have been an alchemist of art supplies, mixing them together to create new formulas, since 1998.
How has art impacted or enhanced your life?
I can’t imagine what I would be like without art. Yes, I can – an emotional mess. Although I have always journaled and written, it is art that saves me. Getting thoughts on paper, while important for releasing pent up emotions and figuring out my life, for me, is not enough expression. I am more visual than cerebral. I need to feel the art materials, push around paint. I am very grateful that I allowed myself this outlet to begin with. Without it, I would be lost.
What are a few of the mixed media supplies you find yourself turning to the most?
Tricky ques?on for an artist for whom every supply is fair game! But two materials are used most often in my work: Prismacolor Pencils and Golden Fluid Acrylics. Both have vibrant colors from which I can expect excellent results time and time again.
Who are some of your favorite mixed media artists?
Zom Osborne is an artist from New South Wales, Australia. Her portrait drawing skills are flawless and her quiet colors and painterly mixed media washes add a penetrating atmosphere that would not be there with the drawing alone.
Lisa G. (that’s the name she goes by), is another portrait artist I admire. I believe she lives in France. Like Zom, she has incredible rendering skills, but her palette is more vivid and textured.
Tell us about your creative process.
My ideas first start with a loose graphite sketch in a notebook in which I work out the composition of what I would like to do. I do not add much detail but may make notes about colors and embellishments that I want to add. From there, I go directly to working on the piece, which often incorporates painted pieces that I create on paper and then glue down. With materials easily within my reach, I do not think too much or plan. I will work on a part of it, step back, and decide what is next, until the work is done. Even with a large piece, I will finish it usually within a week. I cannot stand to have unfinished work around.
What makes your mixed-media art unique?
Many people who see my work for the first time describe it as having a “soul” they say can be felt whenever they look into the subject’s eyes, and which others say enables them to differentiate my own art from that of my students. Since Shakespeare, in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, said that the eyes are the window to the soul, I am flattered and humbled by that description. All I know is that I paint and create with passion and emotion, and I hope that ultimately that shows up in my work. Every piece I create definitely has a part of me inside it.
Where can we find you?
|I’m a mixed media artist documenting life in a girly-girl, romantic, winsome style. In my art, I embrace not only pretty but flawed…distressed, dirty, worn, stained, disheveled, and broken. Girly Grunge. I am the author of Mixed Media Girls… Drawing, Painting, and Fanciful Adornments from Start to Finish published by Quarry Books. I have appeared in the pages of Somerset Studio Magazine, Angela Cartwright’s Pasticcio Quartz art zine, Pam Carriker’s Art at the Speed of Life, and Jenny Doh’s Art Saves. I currently reside in Salt Lake City, Utah.|