Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mixed Media Workshop

Yesterday in Barbara Moody's mixed media workshop we received her entire lesson plan booklet that outlined the way she teaches her semester long mixed media course and she made it clear to me that mixed media painting really has limitless potential. After she reviewed (briefly) all the different mediums she introduces to her students, she demonstrated special effects used with wax - incising, powdered pigments, direct drawing, transfer drawing, and collage techniques to name a few. We were then let loose to use an array of mediums and tools that were set up all around the studio. The class was a combination of experienced encaustic artists as well as beginners (yours truly being a newbie) and I found for me, the process of learning was way better than my end results.

Barbara had a slide presentation after our lunch break which allowed us to see some incredible artworks done by mixed media artists.

Below, my work (still in progress) using a napkin pattern and joint tape (my new favorite thing) fused into layers of wax medium. I may add a layer of circular shapes with pastel transfers, creating another layer of depth. I just have to remind myself of my ongoing battle that "less is more". I need to practice transferring drawings into encaustic medium because that is what I will want to do when I am ready to start a landscape painting.

This was my attempt to understand abstraction by contrasting the black, textured collage on the right with the lighter, simpler piece on the left. Barbara helped me to see that by showing a dichotomy between the 2 pieces there was more interest (contrast/comparison). I used fused wax medium, then added tar and shellac. I LOVED playing with the thick textures of the tar.
Post conference workshops are over now and I can't believe how much I learned, it really is overwhelming. I am anxious to get started with new creations but today I am volunteering at the Salem Art Association and the Farmer's Market opens @ 3pm so it should be very busy.

The conference was a wonderful way to kick off a summer season filled with art events and shows. The next painting event for me is the day of "plein air" painting, a 1 day event that is part of the Marblehead Festival of Arts. I am not experienced enough to take the encaustics outdoors so I will stick with my watercolors, but next year who knows! I have a watercolor in the juried painting exhibit, and this year I submitted and was accepted into the photography exhibit. If you are local you really should make a point of participating in some of the festival activities. There is something to see for everyone and every age.


  1. Wow, what an exciting way to start your summer! Don't you just love learning new things? I do. Just fires up those creative energies.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. ooh I envy you! I love playing with mixed media, although I don't do it very often. And i agree with your instructor... there are endless (too many!) possibilities. Your 2 light and dark pieces really do go so well together.

  3. Kathleen, it was an exciting and exhausting way to start the summer. My head has been filled with so many ways of creating new art that I am looking forward to down time.

    Deborah, I started using beeswax by incorporating it in watercolor color collages, and I think learning technical skills is always good practice. I may try and finish the edges on my abstract diptych because it's the first time I felt good about making abstract art. Better late than never!