A guest post by Nancy Anderson
What I love most about mixed media is its flexibility, which allows one to work intuitively with minimal preplanning. When I’m not overly concerned about technique I am able to paint more enthusiastically. Many people have asked me how I create my mixed media paintings, so here is a guest post about the painting, “A Lifetime,” which represents the life of my great grandmother, Katherine Brown Beckerleg. It was completed after I had collected digitally archived family photos and letters, pondered everything I found and felt like I had gotten to know her.
Before beginning this type of mixed-media painting, decide on a subject matter that has special meaning to you. Next, look for images and ephemera that relate to the subject. Scan the photos and ephemera into your computer. (I rarely use originals in case I have to cover them up with paint or reposition them.) I like to arrange the scanned imagery in a Microsoft Publisher document in various sizes and coloration. Print out what you wish to use on regular copy paper, which will then be cut up. I create my mixed media painting on 140 lb. stretched watercolor paper.
collaging papers: various photocopies of photos and ephemera such as maps, letters, stamps, receipts, and so on (I make sure that any images taken off the Internet are in the public domain.)
watercolor paper (I use 140 lb. prestretched)
Process for “A Lifetime”
Advice to readers: If you paint something that has meaning to you and you paint it just to please yourself, others will recognize the passion that you’ve put into the painting and cannot help but respond to it. This will help lead you on a journey to finding your artistic voice and style.
Nancy Anderson is a full-time artist in Southern California who works in a variety of media. Her mixed-media paintings have won several top awards in art competitions. Her work “A Lifetime” was published in the 2015 North Light art book Incite 3 The Art of Storytelling and she has had three pieces selected for inclusion in the 2016 edition, Incite 4 Relax /Restore /Renew. Nancy has taught art both to elementary school students and to teachers. She currently offers art workshops at her home studio and will be offering a workshop on mixed media for the Huntington Beach Art League, April 2016.