Saturday, January 24, 2009

Exploring the Latest Trends in Mixed Media Arts

Cynthia Powell, Sherre Hulbert, Lesley Venable, and Elizabeth Dawson, co-authors of Exploring the Latest Trends in Mixed Media Arts describe Mixed Media as “the blending of different types of materials, finding new uses for the unusual, bringing together anything that strikes our fancy, from fabric to paper, to embroidery and beading, to create harmony in the overall piece that we incorporate these various media into”. In the pages of this book, these four talented ladies bring to life the world of Mixed Media Arts.

The glossy cover is sure to catch your eye with the wonderful color photos of images that highlight some of the many projects found in this 91-page book. The book is divided into four main sections that is followed by a Manufacture’s Resource Guide which includes website addresses for each of the resources.

Since the book is sub-titled Projects & Techniques – Volume I, you are sure to know that there is a second book on its way. Volume II, Recycled Art”, is scheduled to be released in Fall ’09.

The four basic sections of the book are:

  • Section A: Bare Bones – The Basics led by Project Manager, Cynthia Powell
  • Section B: Artful Assemblages – Recycled Art led by Project Manager, Sherre Hulbert
  • Section C: Altered Canvas – Fabrics and Fiber led by Project Manager, Lesley Venable
  • Section D: Unique Embellishments and Jewelry led by Project Manager, Elizabeth Dawson

Each section begins with the Project Manager writing an overview of what you will learn and also what you will need to complete the projects found in that particular section. Each finished project is photographed in full color with a complete supply list located beside it. The step-by-step instructions are written clearly so that a beginner would easily understand how to complete each phase of the project. Helpful tips are given and extra photographs are shown throughout the book when needed for clarification.

After reading through the book Exploring the Latest Trends in Mixed Media Arts I found myself wanting to try many of the techniques but I didn’t know where to start first. I decided to work on a canvas and combine techniques shown in Section A and C. To begin my project I covered my canvas with White Gesso and let it dry completely before continuing. I loved the texture found in the “Beautiful Thoughts” journal by Sherre Hulbert. Using some Molding Paste and foam stamps I followed the instructions outlined in this project only I used my canvas as the base for my texture rather than the journal that Sherre used in her project. Once the texture was completely dry I used acrylic paint mixed with some Iridescent Medium to add a bit of shimmer to the project. Once my background was complete I used some inspiration by the canvas “Sitting Pretty” by Lesley Venable and “In Grandma’s Memory – A Stacked Canvas Shrine” by Sherre Hulbert to complete my canvas. I really liked the soft vintage feel of the “Sitting Pretty” canvas, yet the depth that was found in “In Grandma’s Memory” was also intriguing. In keeping with the soft vintage feel, I added some rhinestones to the textured flowers and the flourish to the top of the canvas. To add depth to the canvas I mounted my photograph and metal plate using foam tape. I was very pleased with how well all of the different techniques came together on this one canvas. 

Sneek-2 Sneek-3

Title: Family Canvas
Products used: Cardstock (Prism Prismatics)
Patterned Paper (Daisy D's)
Canvas (Coloron)
White Gesso (Liquitex)
Acrylic Medium (Galeria)
Iridescent Medium (Winsor & Newton)
Quinacridone Crimson Acrylic (Golden)
Yellow Pastel, Modern Red, Landscape Green, Blank Canvas Acrylic (Claudine Hellmuth)
Texture Magic (Delta)
Foam Stamps (Making Memories)
Crystals (Prima)
Metal Embellishment (Misc)
Foam Tape (3M)
Flourish Die Cut (Cutter Files)
Super Seal (Creative Imaginations)
Adhesive (Adhesive Tech, Permanent Bond Glue Runner)

I have dozens of glass jars sitting on a shelf, all collecting dust because “one day I’m going to use them for something”. After reading Section B: Artful Assemblages – Recycled Art, it was time to do something with at least one of those jars! Of course, I almost got side tracked by Cynthia Powell’s “Nature at it’s Finest” project which used a retired metal rabbit feeder.

It seems that lately I am using more and more paint in my scrapbooking and upon receiving some very nice artist brushes recently, I wanted a special place to keep them on my desk. Inspired by Sherre Hulbert’s “Tarnished Angels” project I decided to use a bottle cap as the focal point on my jar. I loved the lace found around the bottom of “The Bottle-and-Bead Place Cards” project, also by Sherre Hulbert along with the beautiful flowers that was placed inside each of the jars. Since my jar would be used for a different purpose I decided to use some drywall tape instead of lace around my jar. I then used the bottle cap as the center of my flower and placed it onto the front of my jar using a liquid adhesive. A few more embellishments and my once plain jar was transformed into a useful container that now has a home on my workdesk.   

Brush-Jar Jar
Title: Brush Jar
Products used: Glass Jar (Prima)
Flower (Paper Studio)
Paint (Claudine Hellmuth)
Gesso (Claudine Hellmuth)
Matte Multi Medium (Claudine Hellmuth)
Drywall Tape
Diamond Glaze (Judikins)

So much inspiration is found inside the pages of Exploring the Latest Trends in Mixed Media Arts” that it left my head spinning with ideas! Each of the projects outlined in the book were easy enough for a beginner to understand yet challenging enough for the experienced artist. And, if you find that this book “leaves you wanting more”, you will find details in the back of the book for joining a Yahoo group that is led by Cynthia Powell, Sherre Hulbert, Lesley Venable & Elizabeth Dawson which includes mini-workshops, more techniques, experimenting with products, book reviews and more up to the minute predictions of trends.

Keep up with latest trends in Mixed Media and grab your copy of Exploring the Latest Trends in Mixed Media Arts by Cynthia Powell, Sherre Hulbert, Lesley Venable and Elizabeth Dawson.

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