Welcome (back) to Mixed Media Artist!

Hi, I'm Cyndi, and I've been writing and updating  Mixed Media Artist since 2005.  If you're a new visitor, welcome! Come tr...

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Book review: Art Quilt Collage

Would you like to try art quilting, but you're not sure where to start?  Art Quilt Collage by Deborah Boschert shows you how to make works of art from bits of cloth, stitched motifs, and painted details.   Deborah shares mixed-media techniques, practice exercises, checklists, and work-along projects that will help you unlock your own artistic vision as you quilt in a series, finish small art pieces, and incorporate meaningful symbols into your work.  Published by C&T Publishing, the book is now ready for pre-order.

A really awesome part of this book if you have not designed for yourself are the 8 design guides that Deborah suggests.  She calls them Landscape, Grid, Third Plus, Symmetrical, Magic Three, One Amazing Line, Dancing Grid, and Modular.  She then also shows you how to create variations on each!  No more fumbling with composition!

In addition, you will find chapters on adding personal symbols to your work, playing with surface design techniques, and of course, construction, stitching, and finishing!

Monday, August 22, 2016

California Coast - mixed media

I used a couple of gesso resist painted papers that I made a long time ago, scanning them to create some of the layers in this digital piece.  I love mixing physical painting and collage with digital.

California Coast
Cyndi Lavin, 2016

Copyright 2016 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Book review: Double Vision Quilts

Did you know that there is a way to make circles and ovals from squares and rectangles without having to do any curved piecing?  I am totally in love with Louisa L. Smith's techniques for layering and creating amazing patterns in Double Vision Quilts.  Her mind-blowing colors don't hurt either!  Published by C&T Publishing.

There are three methods that Louisa teaches in this awesome book: basting, fusing, and piecing.  So if you are truly a piecing fanatic, don't worry, you won't be left out.  But seriously, why don't you just try fusing?  You'll be able to make a lot more quilts :-)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Digging Deep - a collage painting

Acrylics, India ink, tissue paper collage, gesso.

Digging Deep
Cyndi Lavin, 2016

Copyright 2016 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Book review: Acrylic Expressions

North Light Books, publisher of beautiful art books, has another winner.  Are you interested in learning how to paint more intuitively?  Do you enjoy abstract designs, but haven't a clue how to approach painting them yourself?  Staci Swider has written Acrylic Expressions to do just this: "This book is a collection of methods for working intuitively and organically in order to let paintings evolve rather than push a preconceived idea," states Staci in her introduction.

To do this, Staci takes you through a series of demonstrations on how she works.  Rather than trying to duplicate her pieces exactly, you are encouraged to think about your own favorite items, symbols, phrases, and such.  A typical project will have you laying down texture and color somewhat randomly, looking for what emerges and sketch-painting it in, and then filling in the background with colors that will make the showcased colors pop.  It's an interesting approach, and can definitely be paired with planning rather than done completely randomly if that is your preference.

Later on in the book, Staci tackles power tools and using unusually shaped pieces of wood as substrates.  She also teaches you how to edge your piece with copper tape, which is a really nifty trick for giving the piece an "important" finished look.  Even the first chapter is fun, covering tools, materials, color palettes, and texture-making products.


Monday, August 08, 2016

Melted Options - a collage painting

Acrylic paint mixed with dressmaker tissue, inks, and gesso.

Melted Options
Cyndi Lavin, 2016

Copyright 2016 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Book review: Creative Strength Training


Who doesn't like Jane Dunnewold's work?  If you don't, I'm sorry but you're just plain wrong!  Jane has authored so many lessons, articles, and books on creating wonderful mixed media art, but Creative Strength Training, published by North Light Books, is like no other.  In this book, Jane gives you her step-by-step strategy for unleashing the creative potential that resides within you.

Feeling stuck?  Feeling uninspired?  Feeling like nothing you do is quite good enough?  Jane has a cure for that!  As you work your way through the book, and I do recommend doing it sequentially, you will do a series of exercises that ultimately will help you figure out how to make your work truly your own, not a copy of someone else's.  These exercises most often include journaling, making lists, and exploring avenues that you might not have thought of before.

As Jane says, you will learn first of all how to engage your inner art rebel and how to dismantle the destructive committee that keeps you second guessing yourself and your abilities.  This is not a book that teaches you a lot of new art techniques...it teaches you how to take the ones you know and love even further into uncharted territory!  And the strategy works too.  The proof is in the "Artists Respond" section of each chapter, where participants in Jane's workshops tell about some of the breakthroughs they achieved.

So get ready for some strength training of a different sort...Creative Strength Training!!
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