Tag Archives: The Pulse of Mixed Media

Buried Treasure: Surface Treatments Revisited!

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Today’s special Wednesday post is in honor of the treasure hunt that Seth Apter is hosting on his blog.  It’s called Buried Treasure, and he invites participating bloggers to share an older post on their site – one that newer readers might’ve missed, and that first-time visitors to the blog might enjoy.  So if you’re visiting my blog today for the first time, welcome!  I hope everyone enjoys seeing this post for the first or second time.

Here’s the original post, as published last year:

This blog post is a bit of a departure, since I usually share finished projects.  You know – cards, collages, paper butterflies, altered metal cans – things of that nature.  Today’s offering is an artistic experiment, and my sample grid is the “finished product”.  It will serve as a resource for me, and I’m hoping it will inform and inspire you as well, dear readers.

In the interest of keeping my muse on her toes I decided I needed some time to play, so I set up an artistic exploration zone in the kitchen.  I laid down some plastic to protect from spills, covered that with paper towels, and laid out a bunch of goodies – things like walnut ink, Schmincke dry metallic gouache, liquid acrylics, dried flower pollen, Twinkling H20’s, small plastic cups, brushes, and watercolor paper.

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I began by taping a 16-section grid onto a sheet of watercolor paper with 1/4″ masking tape.  I didn’t measure – just kind of eyeballed it. The taped lines helped keep my different concoctions from bleeding or slopping over into the next section, but they were only temporary.  (I pulled up the masking tape dividers after everything had dried.)  Next, I drew this same grid pattern onto a piece of scratch paper.  I made notes of what items I combined in each section so I’d be able to replicate that look in the future if desired.

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I moved through the grid, section by section.  Sometimes I just laid down one product – sometimes I combined two or more.  I took notes, enjoyed playing, and smiled when hubby came by and commented that I looked like a mad scientist working on an experiment in her laboratory.

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Once the grid lines had been pulled up, I used number stamps and black StazOn ink to stamp a number into the lower left corner of each section.  Finally, I wrote a numeric list of what I did in each section on the back of my experimental grid.  If I need a reminder of what products I used and/or how I applied them, I can simply flip over my grid and look at the number corresponding to that section on my grid!

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Here are some of my favorite sections/results/looks.  Please keep reading for a complete list of what I used on all sixteen sections, and how I applied it – below.

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#3 Walnut ink, brushed on in a circular motion, and gold & silver Schmincke powder.

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#4 Walnut ink, water, and pink liquid acrylic mixed and then brushed on.

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#7  Tiger lily pollen mixed in Diamond Glaze and brushed on.  I’d plucked the pollen off some tiger lilies years ago, thinking it might make an interesting look, but it didn’t knock my socks off.  It was worth trying, though!

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#8  Walnut ink, silver Schmincke, and water brushed on thickly – the lighter side was blotted with paper towel.

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#13  Acrylic ink with raw, undiluted walnut ink crystals – allowed to set a few minutes, then blotted with paper towel.

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#14  Acrylic ink brushed on, blotted, dotted with candle wax, and the right half brushed with walnut ink.

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#16  Acrylic ink with Schminke powder sprinkled on – not mixed or blended.

My notes for all 16 sections:
1.  Plain walnut ink, brushed on
2.  Walnut ink dabbed on with brush, blotted
3.  Walnut ink, brushed on circularly, and gold & silver Schmincke powder sprinkled on and blended
4.  Walnut ink, water, and pink liquid acrylic mixed and then brushed on
5.  Gold Schmincke in Golden Soft Gel Gloss, brushed on
6.  Tiger Lily pollen in Golden Soft Gel Gloss, brushed on
7.  Tiger lily pollen mixed in Diamond Glaze and brushed on
8.  Walnut ink, silver Schmincke, and water brushed on thickly – left side blotted with paper towel
9.  Green Twinkling H20’s brushed on
10.  Green Twinkling H20’s with walnut ink brushed on and blended
11.  Purple liquid acrylic
12.  Purple liquid acrylic with walnut in brushed on and blended
13.  Acrylic ink with raw, undiluted walnut ink crystals – allowed to set a few minutes, then blotted
14.  Acrylic ink brushed on, blotted, dotted with candle wax, and the right half brushed with walnut ink
15.  Acrylic ink brushed on and blotted – right half brushed with Golden Acrylic Ground for Pastels. When the right half dried, drawn on with pencil, gel pen, black ink pen, and colored pencil
16.  Acrylic ink with Schminke powder sprinkled on – not mixed or blended

I hope you’ve enjoyed taking a peek at my artistic experiment.  Please let me know if you have any questions, and please feel free to share some of your favorite products and/or surface treatments!  Also, please let me know if you’re interested in seeing additional experiments from time to time, or if you prefer “finished project” posts.

Warm regards,
Melody

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The Pulse of Mixed Media – Giveaway Winner!

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I’m pleased to announce the winner of my April Giveaway.  Congratulations, Denise Penn!  You’ve won a copy of Seth Apter’s book, The Pulse of Mixed Media!  I’ll mail your book out shortly, and hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did!

May is just around the corner, and so is my May giveaway!  Next month I’ll be participating in a blog tour for Marney Makridakis’ new book, Creating Time: Using Creativity to Reinvent the Clock and Reclaim Your Life.  I’ll be posting about Marney’s book and will be giving away the advance copy I received, so please keep an eye out…

Congrats again on winning The Pulse of Mixed Media, Denise!

Warm regards,
Melody

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The Pulse of Mixed Media: Blog Tour Post & Giveaway!

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Welcome to my post on Seth Apter’s new book, The Pulse of Mixed Media: Secrets and Passions of 100 Artists Revealed !  It’s a pleasure to be a part of Seth’s blog tour, and I’m happy to share a bit about his wonderful new book with both my long-time readers and new readers.  Welcome, new visitors!

I received an advance copy of this book last month, and really enjoyed pouring over the pages in order to get better acquainted with the book.  And though I’d love to keep this advance copy for my personal library ‘tis better to give than to receive, so please keep reading for details on how to enter my giveaway!

An Overview

One of the things I love about this book is it’s filled to bursting with two of my favorite things: artwork and insight.  Not only are readers treated to the visual creations of many of the quoted artists, we get to peek inside their hearts, minds, and creative processes as well!  The creative process is often a solitary one, and this book gives us a chance to hear what other artists are thinking and feeling about the art experience.  Another great thing about this book is that it’s really thought-provoking.  Sure, you’re reading the responses of others, but it also helps the reader to think about their own answers to the very same questions the author asks.

Another plus?  Exposure to interesting new artists and their mediums!  For example, after reading “The Pulse” I’d like to try using plaster for the first time.  I’d also like to give encaustic work another try, and add some more dimension to my work.  We never know what seeds of creativity will take hold in our hearts and minds, and this book is chock full of “creative seeds”.

144 pages long and full of both text and original artwork, this book is a treat for anyone who’s interested in the creative process and life as an artist.  Whether you’re just dipping a toe in the lake of creativity or have jumped in and submerged yourself completely, you’re sure to find quotes, artwork and/or questions that resonate with you.

MY answers to 3 of Seth’s Questions

Seth asked those of us participating in the blog tour to answer three questions from the book ourselves.  Here are my responses to three of his questions…

What do you think your preferred art medium says about your personality?

Well, given that my preferred art medium actually includes multiple mediums, I think it says I have varied interests and enjoy the challenge of working in different formats while still staying true to my aesthetic.  I’m most drawn to mixed media, photography, collage, writing, and card design.  And though I love vintage elements, and often incorporate them into my work, I tend to think of my art as “modern vintage”.  Not only do I mix modern elements in with pieces from the past, my work is usually clean and uncluttered, and I believe this can be said about all my work – whether it’s a photo, a collage, or a short story.

How has the internet changed your artistic practice?

I suppose the biggest change the internet has had on my artistic practice is this blog.  I launched it in August of 2010, and life hasn’t been the same since!  Blogs weren’t really on my radar prior to MY blog’s launch, truth be told, so I was a bit late to the party.  Since then, my horizons have definitely expanded.  I still don’t follow a ton of blogs, simply because I don’t have a lot of free time, but I have started following some blogs organically.  They’re mostly the blogs of creative friends/peers – folks I’ve networked with and/or come to know along the way in my own blog journey.

One benefit of the internet and blogging is the wonderful connections I’ve made with folks in my ever-growing network.  I’ve made so many new in-person and online friends, and it’s been great fun! From teaming up with folks like Catherine Ryan HydeDawn DeVries Sokol, and Seth Apter on giveaways featuring their books, to receiving donations for my art journaling program for disadvantaged public school children from some of my wonderful readers, it’s all been a blessing. The more the merrier, I say, and blogging has definitely brought more wonderful people, laughter, kindness, and creativity into my life.  For that, I’m very thankful. 

As for my own blog, it’s been such an incredible experience!  When you’re committed to posting new content twice weekly, you have to keep making/doing/creating.  Artistically, I’ve created so many things that might not have been brought into existence if I wasn’t blogging.  And though some might find it scary to commit to producing new content on a regular basis, it’s been my experience that creating and sharing begets more ideas.  The more I create and brainstorm the more I come up with ideas because I’m exercising my creative muscles, so to speak.
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Is creativity built-in, learned or both?

I think creativity is both built-in and learned.  Some people are driven by a need to create – the “obviously” creative people.  The ones destined to become artists, writers, musicians, and so on – regardless of what life throws at them.  They embrace and relish their creativity.  Just about everyone else is on a sliding scale of sorts, ranging from those who enjoy creating but are reluctant or afraid to call themselves artists in their respective medium to those who don’t think they’re creative at all.  I believe that every one of us has the ability to thrive creatively, particularly if we devote the time, make the effort to find our niche, and make creating a regular practice instead of an “every once in a while” endeavor.  This applies to art, cooking, interior design – the works!

How to Enter the Giveaway

One lucky winner will win a copy of The Pulse of Mixed Media. To enter, please complete all three of the steps below:

  1. Subscribe to my blog (via the email feed).
  2. Leave a comment on this post.
  3. “Like” my website’s Facebook Fan Page.

The winner will be drawn at random and will be announced on Thursday, April 19th, so please complete all three steps by Wednesday, April 18th.

Blog Tour Schedule

Here is the complete blog tour schedule, including blog tour “stops” before mine, for those of you who might be interesting in hearing what other bloggers have to say about Seth’s “baby”.

April  2  Rice Freeman-Zachery   
April  3  Stephanie Lee               
April  4  Ali Edwards                  
April  5  Ro Bruhn                      
April  6  Roben-Marie Smith        
April  7  Nancy Lefko                 
April  8  Kelly Kilmer                  
April  9  Trudi Sissons               
April 10 Melody Nunez               
April 11 Dina Wakley
April 12 Stephanie Hilvitz

Thank you for including me in your blog tour, Seth – what a treat!  Good luck with the giveaway, everyone!

Warm regards,
Melody

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