Monday, November 23, 2009

Mixed Media Art of My Artist Friends

I'm participating in the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway December 2nd. I've chosen an awesome prize; so check back Tuesday for details.

Here are photos of the artwork from the other artists in the two-day workshop that I attended. A few of these pieces were done by the instructor, Mary Wilbanks. It was very inspiring working in the same room with these ladies. I loved the creative atmosphere. I picked up several ideas from them as well. Three of the pieces have stamping on them. One with a black background, one with red and one was a brown paper bag back ground. The stamp was the rubber heel from the bottom of an old tennis shoe. She painted black paint on it and stamped it on. I thought that was such a neat idea. I thought, "Even I can do that."


Here is a work of art my son did. He wrapped some wire with stars on it around a landscape lava rock.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Budding Artist

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Watch out world. This little guy is amazing. This is his first creation, and I'll tell you what. I would say it's pretty darn good. A lot of work went into this masterpiece. Can't you just see his little mind working? He sure had a blast. Keep an eye on him. He is going to come onto the scene in a big way.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

American Beauty Berry

"Nature is the art of God."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

"All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

The American Beauty Berry forms the shape of the cross. It reminds me of the completed work that Christ performed on the cross for us.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Collage of Leaves

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."
- George Eliot

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wild and Crazy Collages

These are the collages I made in the two-day collage workshop I attended. For the most part, I guess you can say that they are abstract collages and the viewer can read into them what he or she wishes. You may want to see if anything stands out to you. What do you see, an angel, a tree, a bunny rabbit, anything? Do any of these pieces speak to you in any way? Do you sense a meaning or message coming through? They may speak different things to different people. I did kind of have a theme and/or meaning in mind in the triptych, but I am leaving it up to the viewer to see if it speaks to them in any way. Do you notice a dominant element within the three panels? Does it flow from one piece to another? Does your eye travel throughout the pieces, taking you from one to the other?

In each collage, see if can recognize the dominant element. It can be a dominant color, shape, or materials being used. Now don't fret if you don't pick up on any "hidden shapes" or "pictures" or meaning because like I said, it is abstract. Many people will only see a bunch of colors and shapes here and there, and that's okay. There doesn't have to be a meaning. Some people see something in other's work; some never notice anything at all. But is it pleasing to the eye? Is there something you like about it? Because to be honest with you, with all of the collages I did here, with the exception of the triptych, there was no plan of design or hidden meaning when I made them. I made decisions on where to place the pieces of torn paper and other materials as I went along.

Now go easy on me because these are the first collages I've ever made. I learned a lot in those two days, and I have many ideas floating around in my head that I want to try. There are several things that I will do differently the next time around. Sorry about that last picture, but I just couldn't get it to turn the right way. I'm still trying to figure out these silly little computers. They have a mind of their own.

The first collage is my personal favorite. Okay. Now don't be shy. Do you have a favorite? Can you tell what materials I used in these collages? Please tell me what they are. Remember. I blog for comments. If you click on the photos, you can see a close-up view.

In my next post, I'll share with you some of the paintings and collages that were done by the others members of the workshop. And post after that, I will give you a tutorial of how I sandwiched the cord and leaves between rice paper.

The three panels of collages below are a triptych.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Painted Papers for Collage

I recently had the great privilege and honor of attending a two-day mixed media collage workshop with a wonderful artist and friend Mary Wilbanks. I love her method of collage. It is one that she developed herself. Her technique is very different from anything I have seen.

In a nutshell, she paints different colors and shapes with acrylic with no specific design in mind on heavy weight watercolor paper or canvas. After it dries. Then she puts a layer of torn painted papers papers from newspaper, paper bags, basically any kind of papers, still with no design in mind. She uses matte medium to get the papers to adhere. After that dries, she then tears off whatever will come up. She then sands the whole thing with sand paper to make texture. She comes in and paints the whole thing again. Lets it dry. At this point she starts thinking about design as she puts on yet another layer of torn papers and other interesting materials, like cheese cloth, for instance. She may continue this way or stop if she likes what she sees. Her work is incredible.

Below you will see pictures of some of the papers I painted in preparation for this workshop. I also gathered other materials, postage stamps, old letters, photos, bits of string, foil, corrugated cardboard, sandpaper, and so forth. You get the idea, anything!

It was a really fun day because I did this with my children. I set up two 5-foot tables and one 6-foot table and laid down drop cloths, and we spent the whole day painting together. Every technique I did, they did as well. In preparation for our painting day before painted, we watched a dvd together to learn the different techniques that we tried. It is called Water Media Collage Workshop by Carrie Burns Brown, NWS, put out by Creative Catalyst Productions. I highly recommend it. She is an excellent artist and teacher.

In my next post, I will be showing you the collages that I made in the workshop. Then in another post I will show you some tutorials I put together on how to do some of the papers that we did, one being sandwiching the string in between either rice paper or art tissue paper. Then in yet another post I will share with you photos of art work that other students at the workshop created. Their work is incredible. They have been artists for quite sometime. Some are with the Conroe Art League and some with the Art League of Houston.

In the photos you will that I sandwiched cotton cording between rice paper, leaves between rice paper. I painted on newspaper and brown paper bags, cheese cloth, sandpaper, light bulb cartons, shredded paper, tissue paper. I mixed coffee grounds in with paint and spread on paper for texture. I made texture by dribbling gesso and then painted over that. Just so many different things. I enjoyed every minute of it.

One thing to keep in mind when you are looking at these painted papers is that only bits and pieces are used. You just tear off a piece to use in a collage. That's why I have many different colors on a paper so that I have a variety of colors available to me when I am creating a collage.

Here is Mary's bio:


Mary has received over 40 awards in National Shows. She is a signature Member of the National Watercolor Society and the Watercolor USA Honor Society. Her work is acrylic with Mixed Media on canvas and on paper. It can be seen at Envision Gallery in Taos, N.M. Paintings can be seen in several publications: The Best of Watercolor Two and Three; best of Watercolor Painting Texture; and Collage Techniques by Gerald Brommer.; and The Treasures of Arizona; "The Gift" appears on the cover of Random House publication Art and Healing.

Mary taught painting for 4 years at the Phoenix Art Museum, and for 3 years at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, and at the Juvenile Justice System in Houston and has juried local and national exhibits. For the past 12 years she has taught workshops In Costa Rica, Peru, Mexico. Canada, and the U.S. Currently she teaches 2 workshops a year at her studio, and at the Watercolor Art Society Houston.


Who's Who of American Women 2009

Selected Solo Exhibits

Envision Gallery El Prado (Taos) N.M. 2005
Goldesberry Gallery, Houston 2004, 2003, 2002
The Jung Center, Houston 2001
The Preusser Gallery, Taos, N.M. 2000, 1999
Cynthia Woody Gallery , Scottsdale, Az, 1998
Art League of Houston. 1994

Selected Museum Exhibits

Albuquerque N.M. Museum Society of Layerists in Multi-Media 25th Anniversary Show, Exploring Multiple Dimensions 2007
Springfield Art Museum , Mo. Watercolor USA Honor Society 2006,1997, 1995, 1994,1991
TWS Mc Nay Art Museum, San Antonio 1997
Northern Arizona Art Museum Invitational Contemporary Art 1993

Signature Memberships: National Watercolor Society; Watercolor USA Honor Society: National Society of Artists in Casein and Acrylic; Watercolor Art Society Houston: Society of Layerists in Multimedia; Art League of Houston, Texas Watercolor Society."


Look at these designs! Have you ever thought to build with dice? Kids are so creative. Their minds are so freed up to think and not bogged down with the cares of life. Oh to be a child again.

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