Mixed media painting can mean different things to different people. To me, multimedia painting is a process that is based on a curious approach. "Unleash Your Heart Songs" was inspired by my Pug, Lola, and some of my favorite colors. Here's an inside look at the process of creating a mixed media painting:
1) The first photograph of the painting shows a quick laying down of the vibrant paint followed by a resist technique (taking some of the paint back off). I used a freeform application of paint with my hands followed by a spritz of water, blast of heat and a blotting of the entire surface.
2) The second photograph shows an application of papers: sheet music, yoga stick figure notes (I'm a yoga teacher:) and craft papers. The application of the papers is accomplished with a product much like the retro Mod Podge glue used in decoupage. This painting is now in the "what have I done" phase. Ugh.
3) So I press on! Layers of acrylic paint applied with fingers as well as some household items such as my trusty bubble wrap, drawer liner, a fork, the top of an old lamp, wine cork, and the lid of a Yankee candle-why I kept the lid of a used up candle, I don't know! The painting has gone from regret (of covering the initial deep purples) to regret AND chaos! "Move through the ugly" I tell myself.
4) For inspiration, I dig through a box of old sketches, papers, cards and choose a sketch to represent my subject, Lola! The sketch showcasing her Pug-attitude is carefully placed as I circle back to the acrylic paint texturing techniques - more dots and circles of paint applied along with smudges and drips of paint and ink. I'm feeling hopeful.
5) Now, it's time for words...but what words? ...and where are they going to go? I decide on more sheet music applied in the shape of a heart. I'm thinking...Dog, hearts, music..."Unleash Your Heart Songs!" I blurt out loudly... to no one. I give the painting a little more character with paint and gel pens, step back and call it DONE.
What has happened to those layers you saw at the outset? Some were covered up, or mostly covered and some are still evident in the composition of the finished painting. What I do know for sure is that they're all still there. Can you still see my yoga stick figures barely peeking out? ... the craft papers?... the vibrant colors from that initial layer of paint? What I've learned with this process is that there are no mistakes, no waste of time, energy or resources-it's all captured in the history of the painting.
Art can easily be all about the finished product, but the "Heart Songs" are unleashed in the process...the journey. This was an insight revealed by other paintings I've done, such as one appropriately entitled, "Embrace the Journey." Next time you look at a piece of art, consider its journey, its history...its "Heart Songs."
Linda Dias-the mindful painter
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