Creative Explorations in Mixed Media: 2D, 3D and Beyond!


by Lisa L. Cyr
In my latest Artists Network University online workshop called CREATIVE EXPLORATIONS IN MIXED MEDIA: 2D, 3D and Beyond , we explored alternative, innovative ways of conceptualizing and creating content-driven, mixed-media art. I would love to share with you just some of the three-dimensional work created in that workshop by artists from all over the globe!


V2 Assembalge JaneMcAulay small

Jane McAulay
Made in Shanghai
(inside view)

V2Outside JaneMcAulay - smaller

Jane McAulay
Made in Shanghai
(outside view)

Artist:  Jane McAulay
Location: Macau
Title: Made in Shanghai
Size:  8.5 x 5.5 x 28 cm (closed); 20 x 5.5 x 28 cm (open)
Media: acrylic, paper, print reproductions, plastic, acetate and assortment of objects
Surface: Chinese gift box with magnetic clasp


“I started by sanding a gift box to age it. Then, using a DeskJet printer, I copied pages of an old journal, a vintage piece of wallpaper and a photograph. I aged these as well as a made in China label using paint and gesso and then sanding. I further distressed the journal papers by burning the edges. Later, I made a faux stencil, covered the handle of an old paintbrush with a newspaper article about the bombing of Shanghai and copied an anatomical engraving of an ear using acetate and tissue paper. Lastly, I made a small photo frame by painting a plastic oval. There were quite a few objects and papers that I did not use in the final piece and probably spent as much time trying to work out how to juxtapose the various elements as I did in making them. The final arrangement allowed the box to be opened and closed,” says artist Jane McAulay. “I learned a lot in this class. Some teachers will often focus on technique while others concentrate on concept and content. Lisa did both and that, for me, was where the class was most valuable. I was also introduced to many new materials that have been extremely useful, especially the multiple uses of molding paste. I also discovered more about archival issues and how to protect printed papers with UV spray. In Lisa’s book, Art Revolution, which came with the course, she provided multiple examples as to how various mixed-media artists develop a work from their initial concept. Although this course was only four weeks long, I have taken away both new inspirations and knowledge that will guide me through many future projects.”



Karen Dickson
Tibetan Prayer Kit

Artist: Karen Dickson
Location: Sarnia, Ontario Canada
Title: Tibetan Prayer Kit
Size: 10″ x 10″
Media: encaustic, acrylic, polymer clay and oil pastel
Surface: rolling pin on birch panel


“I digitally scanned some prayer flags and a prayer scroll from inside a hand-held prayer wheel that I love and brought back from Tibet. These scans were printed on tissue paper and embedded onto a panel built up with layers of encaustic medium. Using a rolling pin that I cut to size, the prayer wheel was made to replicate the ones at Jokhang temple. The top and bottom lids as well as the spacer piece were constructed from Sculpey and the assembly was painted to give an aged metallic patina. The top and bottom brackets were cut from a 1″ x 2″ piece of wood. I covered the prayer wheel/rolling pin with an acrylic skin and attached to it the characters I made out of semi-gloss gel using templates cut from Mylar. Then, I assembled the whole thing and continued to work on it with paint and other techniques to give it the right look and feel,” says artist Karen Dickson. “I’d been playing a little with mixed media in a limited way for a few years. But, without any framework, it was kind of fun but directionless dabbling. Lisa’s class offered an inspirational forum to stoke my creative juices. Her succinct, constructive feedback gave me the guidance to take my work to new places. In addition, her reference materials were fantastic and covered such a breadth of techniques. They really helped me to expand my view.”


kitty3Dkaren kuntz

Karen F. Kuntz
His Domain

Artist:  Karen F. Kuntz
Location:  Lawton, Oklahoma, United States
Title:  His Domain
Size:  Width= 11 3/4″,   Height- Main section= 14 1/2″, Dangling elements add another 13-14″ to overall length, Depth= 1 1/2″
Media: wood, paper, photo paper, metal, polymer clay, yarn, painted glitter stickers (lettering), paint, oil pastel and various acrylic mediums
Surface: recycled wood kitchen cabinet door


“A recycled wood cabinet door was prepped, sealed and layered with various papers that had edges cut to resemble grass. The upper section of the background was painted with the addition of oil pastel on top. The lettering was made from glitter stickers that I painted, adhered to the surface and then sealed with several coats of acrylic medium. The cat and the hanging dangles were sculpted, sealed and painted. The kitty cave was part of a small wooden drawer that was sealed, painted and screwed onto the main surface. Screw eyes were used to hold the dangles. A painted and stained piece of carved molding trim was added on top. The dangles used copper wire handmade screw eyes which were attached to the main section with yarn,” says artist Karen F. Kuntz. “I learned a lot of different techniques that I had never tried before like letter and image transfer techniques, working with Plexiglas, building up layers to create unique and interesting backgrounds and being bold and creative in working with various materials. For me, the most important thing I learned was to be true to myself artistically. Lisa is such a fine artist in every since of the word and my work tends toward the cute or whimsical. At first, I was intimidated and somewhat nervous about showing Lisa my work because it is so very different from hers. However, in her book, all of the featured artists talk about how important it is to be your authentic self, to express your own art no matter what it may be and ultimately to be true to yourself in your art. So, I thought to myself, I may be an artist of cats with a wry sense of humor, but it is who and what I am, for better or worse. Lisa is a great and generous teacher. She had lots of suggestions for us to make our work better. Tips and techniques were shown with lots of references provided to guide us in our artistic journeys. She looks at all the work on an on-going basis so you don’t just get to the end for input. This is very valuable as a way to learn and so important when many of us were tackling new ways of working. Her encouragement and positivity were wonderful in creating a sense of artistic community within the class.”



Lucia K. Wolfer

Artist:   Lucia K. Wolfer
Location:  Hemet, California USA
Title: Technobody
Size: 36” x 24”
Media: mixed media, acrylic paints, gesso, acrylic matte medium
Surface: Styrofoam on canvas over Masonite panel, Masonite box with wooden frame, plastic, rubber and sheet aluminum


“On a concrete level, I learned how to create a three-dimensional assemblage piece which requires going beyond the traditional approach. A few things I learned were the importance of accurate measuring, the selection of appropriate and stable substrates, the correct selection of fasteners such as screws and glues and other spatial relationship considerations that have to be made while constructing a three-dimensional piece. I also became more aware of the shadows and reflections created by three-dimensional objects and how these affect a piece overall. A side benefit of the class was that I learned how to operate an electric saw! To create the piece entitled Technobody, collage, assemblage, clay sculpture, lifting, digging, stamping, debossing, dry-brushing, drawing and cutting were used,” says artist Lucia K. Wolfer. “For me, this course was about two-dimensional and three-dimensional inspiration, limited only by one’s imagination! Lisa inspires us by demonstrating innovative techniques and uses of unconventional materials, including those of the digital realm. She also introduced us to a plethora of relevant resources such as videos, articles and blog posts. Adding to this inspirational mix is the fact that the online students came from several different countries, offering an interesting multicultural perspective. An important component of the class is that Lisa showed us how to provide an inviting and beautiful place to begin our own inspired creations by making a personalized sketchbook/art journal. She also encouraged us to keep an inspirational board in our workspace. I would highly recommend Lisa L. Cyr’s books, courses and webinars for anyone who is interested in pushing themselves beyond their current thinking about art.”


AssemplabeAccentsIf you are excited by working in the third dimension. Join us on June 4th at 1:00EDT for my live webinar entitled Assemblage Accents: Employing Faux Finishes & Patinas

This live webinar will cover creatively customizing found objects, assemblage accents and sculptural creations with unique finishes and patinas. To enliven the mixed-media landscape, a diverse array of techniques and materials from repurposed and custom treated natural and man-made elements will be explored. With the addition of faux finishes and decorative techniques, the everyday object can be transformed into a one-of-a-kind accent, communicating a concept or illuminating a subject in a unique way.  Working in bas-relief and dealing with the structural issues of assemblage accents and three-dimensional work will also be discussed.     


More Artist Network Webinars & Online Courses by Lisa L. Cyr:

CollageTechniques     Collage Techniques for the Mixed Media Artist

This video covers an array of exciting techniques for collage from gluing, sealing, tearing, scoring, punching, die-cutting and custom inlays to wrinkling, creasing, burning, peeling-back, stitching, weaving, embossing and debossing handmade, custom treated and machine-made papers, foils and ephemera. If you love working in collage this lecture by artist Lisa L. Cyr is for you!



PaintingTechniques Transforming the Surface with Mixed Media Painting Techniques Webinar
This video covers a striking array of creative approaches in which to alter and transform the mixed-media painting surface. Lushly painted passages and rich transitions employing resist, blotting, lift-off, dissolve, marbling, sponging, distressing, aging and printmaking techniques will be shown in inventive combinations. Utilizing both traditional and unconventional tools and techniques, this video will certainly ignite the creative juices.



Within the Layers: Inspirational Mixed Media Art Techniques

July 23, 2013, 4 weeks

This online workshop will investigate exploratory methodologies, techniques and approaches in mixed-media art. Throughout the workshop, exciting in-depth demonstrations will be shown, providing an extensive array of visually-stimulating possibilities for artists to explore. Both two-dimensional and three-dimensional techniques will be covered. For artists that are looking to push their work to a new level, this workshop will be a valuable resource and an ongoing source for creative inspiration. Course registration comes with a digital download of Experimental Painting by artist and author Lisa L. Cyr.

Experimental Painting







Creative Explorations in Mixed Media: 2D, 3D and Beyond!

January 7, 2014, 4 weeks

This online workshop will explore alternative, innovative ways of conceptualizing and creating content-driven mixed-media art that is on the cutting-edge. Throughout the workshop, insightful and thought-provoking profiles of leading artists and illustrators accompany exciting in-depth, step-by-step demonstrations, shedding light on signature processes and techniques. The workshop also provides insight into the historical influences behind contemporary thinking and approaches, investigating the origins of alternative, unconventional picture making throughout the decades. Offering a wide range of possibilities for exploration and experimentation, this workshop will reveal how alternative, mixed media aesthetics is uniting the disciplines of two-dimensional, three-dimensional, digital and new media art in inventive combinations. For those wanting to venture outside the norm, this workshop will be a valuable resource and an ongoing source for creative inspiration. Course registration comes with a digital download of Art Revolution by artist and author Lisa L. Cyr.









Lisa L. Cyr  ( is an accomplished multidisciplinary artist and author with a content-driven approach. Her highly imaginative, fantasy-inspired works use layers of metaphor and allegory to stimulate curiosity, provoke thought and encourage further inspection. A poetic, rhythmic synthesis of drawing, painting, collage and assemblage, Cyr’s visually tactile, mixed-media work is composed to collectively create a new reality with a more expressive, symbolic arrangement. An artist member of the Society of Illustrators NYC and the International Society of Experimental Artists, Cyr’s work has been featured in numerous magazines, books and online. She has authored seven books on art and design and writes for many of the creative industry’s leading art publications. In addition, Cyr gives workshops across the country and teaches in several of the top MFA graduate programs.


Go to the Create Mixed Media Interview on the Artist:


copyright 2013 Lisa L. Cyr, Cyr Studio LLC

You may also like these articles:

This entry was posted in Guest Posts, Mixed Media Blogs and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.