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What is mixed media?

I paint lots of mixed media pieces but often get asked "What exactly is mixed media? " If you look it up in the dictionary it says " the use of a variety of media in an entertainment or work of art, also sometimes termed multi media". I personally really like the process and end results as well of mixed media. When using more than one medium like just watercolour or just acrylic, the piece has more depth and character, especially for abstract or contemporary art. Sometimes a mixed media painting might only have 2 mediums and sometimes several.

A collage with just papers sometimes needs something to unify the piece with perhaps some stamped on images or lines like my piece "Nature's Window". Another example you will see in several of my paintings is the use of pens on top of acrylic in patterned lines. I really enjoy the pen work and find it very zen like and relaxing to do to finish the painting off. This not only unifies the paintings but also gives depth and character to the piece. I've used this style in Nature's Song, West Coast and Morning Crane.

When combining some of the mediums, you must spray a fixative between the layers to ensure that the pens for example don't bleed when you put your final coat of varnish on the piece. I recently experimented with combining alcohol ink, pouring medium and acrylic paint. This is when the fixative was very important to seal the alcohol ink as the ink blurs when painted over with acrylic. I then sprayed with a final UV protectant as alcohol ink isn't very lightfast. Blowing in the Wind is the end result.

My favourite paintings are mixed media and seem to be the most popular in my sales as well as getting accepted in shows and getting awards. You must love what you do and then it will show in your work.

Here are a few examples of mixed media paintings of mine. The iguana was acrylic with gel pens. The red flowers used alcohol ink and acrylic. The blue and yellow flowers was a collage of hand painted papers, napkins, alcohol ink, acrylic paint, gel pens and drawing pens. The fish was acrylic, gel pens with a resin finish. The blue abstract has papers, netting, acrylic and acrylic inks.

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