Saturday, March 24, 2018

Giant Mixed Media

We have been redoing our condo in Florida on Okaloosa Island for the past few months. 
As an upcycler,  I try to repurpose as much as possible and of course, gift the other stuff to Goodwill.
There was a very big print in a great frame hanging in the condo when we first bought it, but the print was not our style so I decided I could paint right over it and create a mixed media project.

 I have never taken on a mixed media project this large and I will tell you it took a lot for me to come back to it time and time again, until I made it feel cohesive and expressive of what I wanted. 

The size is 43" H x 53" W
This is the only before picture I could find . I know it's blurry but I wanted you to have a small idea of what it was before. In this picture I had already given the frame a coat of white paint.

This is the finished piece.
I started out with a piece of fabric that was printed with maps, a burlap scrap, some paints, the wooden  "fishing" cutout, stencils,vintage sheet music pages and a fish print.
This was a total craft destash. 

This is similar to what the fish print originally looked like, meaning it was black ink printed on brown paper. I mention this because it gave me the most grief and taught me the most about not giving up, walking away and thinking outside of my traditional thoughts. It challenged me to come back with fresh ideas. It was scary and thrilling all at the same time. 
       (Yes, I actually printed the fish and we did eat the fish.) 

Understand there is not much of a plan when doing mixed media. The only plan I had was to showcase my fish print.

I began by rolling on some white paint.
Next, I added some teals and gold acrylic paints using chip brushes. I randomly added sheet music,the map fabric and the burlap scrap with Mod Podge.
On top of all this I  began a series of stenciling abstract images , brush strokes, paint dripping, and speckling  to begin to tone everything down and bring them in to one another.

While I was standing back drying my clean hands and pondering my next move I had a flash of mixed media genius. I twisted my paper towel,(drying my hands), into a hook and added it to the picture with some Mod Podge.

I began to look for items to bring the piece together and decided on some seashells and this little scrap of wood I thought I could make into a sign. In the right corner you can see the "Beach " sign. 

After that , I stenciled "Shelling" and "Okaloosa Island" onto the piece. 

All the while, in the center is this fish print on the brown paper and I can't for the life of me think of how I can work this piece to bring it into the mix.
                               (Not the actual fish print)

I had been playing with clay molds and decided to hot glued some of these around the fish print , hoping to soften the hard edges of the print and then I dry brushed them as well.  I also played with the drizzled hot glue method. See right corner of fish print here.

That's when it got dangerous...I watered down some sand colored paint and washed right over the fish print. Whhhaaaaatttt?????
I love this fish print and I was worried that I would make the ink run and lose the image or who knows what happens now but I know inside me at this point, this moment is important. I needed to be dangerous, wild and harness a little Jackson Pollack madness and maybe make some mistakes. Maybe if I make a mistake I can also learn to work with it....which is what I ALWAYS teach my students down at the  Coastal Bohemian Studio. Picture me with big dramatic arms telling you that aha moment.
I want the students to be fearless or at least notice the fear but to push through it and here I am the Queen of Fear , right now.

Now that I have the washed out image I'm feeling  like I can get somewhere. As you can see above, I just began to highlight some of the print to bring it back a bit.I also added some funky stencil to the fins.

My final block was an open area in the image that seemed to separate the top from the bottom.

Hmmm...I hot glued a clay fish, stenciled Crab Island and 
finally I added lengths of stencil from top to bottom and it began to look like sea kelp to me,so I kept it up. 
Using the same stencil, I added a border around the painting and suddenly, it felt right. I actually love it.

Here's what is fascinating about creating mixed media for me, there was no real plan and yet it completely tells a story about our condo. The story I see is ...
 Artsy, Beach Bungalow Style Okaloosa Island Condo, where Coastal Bohemians walk outside to fish on the white sandy beaches, along the blue green waters of the Florida Panhandle. There's shelling and it's close to Crab Island.

How did that happen from a craft destash?

 Here's a link to our Okaloosa Condo . We are waiting to get some professional pics but you'll see it's a #CoastalBohemian paradise.

Thanks for coming along on my artful inner journey. 

Don't be afraid to get out your art journal and go on a journey. Who knows where it will take you?

With love and gratitude
Coastal Bohemian

Here's a link to where I party all week.
If you are in Myrtle Beach come on down and visit us at the Coastal Bohemian Studio or check us out on Facebook, Pinterest , Instagram, or  G+ .

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