I belong to a London women’s group and last night had the opportunity to attend an art night at a local art gallery. It was so much fun!!! It was advertized as a night to go and learn how to make a mixed media collage/painted piece. I already do a lot of that kind of work myself but I figured that if nothing else, I would have fun getting to make some art with other people for a change instead of working alone in my studio like I usually do. I also know that many mixed media artists have quite different ways of doing things and figured it was quite likely that I would learn something new from the award winning artist, Robin Baratta, leading the group. I was right on both counts.
First off, here are some of the beautiful pieces of art on display at the gallery. Most of these are by Vivian Tserotas.
You can’t really tell from these photos but many of these are quite dimensional and are created from textiles and free motion sewing.
Now for the class itself – we were asked to bring copies of photographs that we could use. Our instructor also had old magazines on hand so that we could use images from them if we wanted. I pulled some images out of my art files and took those with me, ultimately settling on a Frida Kahlo image as the central one for my artwork.
She had us working on a canvas board. We began by gluing down pieces that were punched out with basic craft punches – the butterfly and flower shapes you see here. I used both the positive and negative shapes.
After that, we took gesso that was in a squirt bottle (like the kind you use for ketchup and mustard) and squirted it out into random designs to create more texture.
Once it dried, the next stage was to dry brush on a metallic paint – the idea was to “catch” the gesso and punched out shapes so that the metallic paint would highlight the raised parts. It added a reflective quality to the piece.
We followed up with layers of colour washes. She asked us to pick a colour that would go well with the picture we were using and then to pick complementary colours (as in complementary on the colour wheel) colours for the subsequent layers. In some cases, we pulled off some areas of the colour with a rag to allow other layers to peek through.
Here I have begun to add my images- Frida, an old door, and some flowers from the magazines. This is as far as I got while in the class and there is more embellishment I plan to do on this piece to finish it up.
It was a great class and Robin provided us with excellent support and guidance as we went along. It was a very reasonable $25 each for two hours and well worth that! We are all already talking about going back again for more classes.
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