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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...

Monday, January 15, 2018

Anti-Doesn't Matter

 
Anti-Doesn't Matter
Cyndi Lavin, 2017

Anti-matter was first detected in a cloud chamber, the forerunner to the bubble chamber.  It's amazing how much our understanding of elementary particles and how the universe works has changed in the last 70 to 80 years!  If you want to know more about anti-matter, there's a nice easy-to-follow chapter from a physics textbook at the link. 


Tutorial information is found at the link!

Copyright 2018 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. The tutorial only may be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Charmed Particles - a mixed media painting

 
 Charmed Particles
Cyndi Lavin, 2017

I've always had a difficult time keeping the different types of particles straight, especially the elementary particles.  Searching through Wikipedia brought me to a wonderful chart that has helped me to visualize the relationships.  My husband studied anti-electron neutrinos in grad school, and I seriously thought he was making up some of the stuff he told me.  Quarks, such as charm and strange, are quarks, whereas all types of neutrinos are leptons.  There!  Clear??

Anyway, I found some cloud chamber and bubble chamber images from CERN, Brookhaven, and Fermi Lab (widely available online) and allowed them to inspire this piece as well as some that follow.  I didn't yet know that this was going to become a series.  When I say that the images inspired my pieces, I mean to say that they are not accurate representations, merely my feelings and interpretations of things that I don't even pretend to understand. 

Isn't science fun?

There is a materials and tools list, and brief directions, on the post for Sacred Geometry.

Copyright 2018 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. The tutorial only may be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Sacred Geometry

Sacred Geometry
Cyndi Lavin, 2017


Ever since I started dating my husband, I have found the shapes, patterns, and fantasy illustrations that are used to represent particle physics concepts fascinating. I wasn't completely aware that's what my new series was going to be about in the very beginning...I was just trying something new, and found it enjoyable.  The first one didn't really even have a lot to do with physics.  I just kept stumbling across the triad and its association with the sacred.  So I played with it one afternoon.

That afternoon's enjoyment morphed into a larger series that are representations of elementary particles in bubble chambers, electric currents, gravity and black holes, and magnetic fields.

I can't give you exact step-by-steps for these, but I can certainly give you the general idea if for some reason you wanted to try your hand at something similar:

Heavy watercolor paper cut to size
Foam brushes and rollers

Paper towels from previous projects, covered in acrylic paints (used to mop up)
Matte medium

White gesso
Waterproof black India ink
Razor blade

Faber-Castell Pitt Pen, brush style, black
Spray bottles
Gloss medium

Krylon clear acrylic spray, satin


I used old paper towels from previous projects that were covered in Dick Blick acrylic paints (and dried) to collage the background with matte medium.  After it dried, I used a foam roller to very lightly hit the high spots on the towels with white gesso.  I used a combination of India ink and Pitt pens to add the design lines, and increased the white "frame" around the design.  



This post contains affiliate links: Dick Blick

Copyright 2018 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. The tutorial only may be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains
intact.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I will see you all again in 2018!  Hope your holiday season is wonderful :-)

Nate, Lizzie, Cyndi, Mike (back)
Katherine, Dani, Julianna (front)

Monday, December 18, 2017

Jennifer, My Love - a mixed media collage painting tutorial

Jennifer, My Love
Cyndi Lavin, 2017

The western juniper is actually considered an invasive species in Oregon, which seems terribly sad to me since they are so interesting looking.  I spent some time taking pictures of them, along with other Northern California and Oregon trees.  I decided upon a juniper for this piece, not just because I love the gnarly way they look, but also because the song Jennifer Juniper kept running through my mind!

This is a pretty simple piece when you get down to it.  Draw a tree or something else that you love.  Chose the colors that remind you of the place.  Assemble!

1. I used a lightbox to trace my drawing onto dressmaker's pattern paper with medium and extra small Pitt pens.  Spray the tracing with an acrylic fixative.  

2. On a wet piece of heavy watercolor paper, use foam brushes to paint around the outer edges with Phthalo blue acrylic paint. All of the paints that I used were diluted with quite a bit of water in order to get some binder separation.  Texture the blue before it dries with a paper towel. Let it dry before proceeding.


 
3. I used the following colors, mostly mixed to get the subdued saturations:
Green gold, Sap green, Dioxazine purple, Titan buff, Yellow ochre, Red oxide, Quinacridone burnt orange, Burnt sienna.  Mix and dilute until you get what you want, and use a spray bottle to moisten the surface.  I used foam brushes to spread and blend them.  Let the colors dry and top them with Polymer medium.  Let it dry.  

4. Rip out the pattern paper tree.  Iron it in place, using parchment paper to protect your iron and board.  Do any final color adjustments.  Spray again with acrylic spray, and top the entire piece with Matte medium



This post contains affiliate links

Copyright 2017 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. The tutorial only may be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Aspen Afternoon - a mixed media painting tutorial

Aspen Afternoon
Cyndi Lavin, 2017

For this piece, I started with a very limited palette that I wanted to experiment with.  For the sky, I used a Phthalo blue gradient, and for the trees, I used Hansa yellow medium, Pyrrole orange, Green gold, and waterproof white ink



1. Using a large foam brush, paint a blue gradient onto a wet piece of watercolor paper for the sky.  Use a paper towel to wipe off an area for the mountain background. 


 

2. Working from the bottom of the piece, alternate blobs of your yellow, orange, and green paints.  Use White gesso on a foam brush to pull the colors upward. 


 

3. Use white ink to drip trees from the bottom with a pipette.  Use a skewer to add some skinny branches.  Also use the skewer to add bark markings with diluted Phthalo blue. 

4. Cover the tree area with Polymer medium and the sky area with Matte medium.  Let it dry.


 

5. Use a ratty brush to stipple in "leaves", making sure the tops are uneven across the horizon.  I used 2 parts of the Hansa yellow medium to 1 part of the Green gold.  I topped all of it with a bit of Iridescent gold, and once everything was dry, I gave it all a final coat of Matte medium and a few coats of Krylon spray.     


This post contains affiliate links

Copyright 2017 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. The tutorial only may be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

A new series coming soon!

  

One of the best parts about abstract painting and mixed media work is that you just never know what's going to pop up next! I'll be starting to post a series of work like this in the new year, based on particle physics, geometry, electricity, and anything else sciencey that happens to catch my fancy. You can blame it on my being married to a particle physicist if you'd like...



Copyright 2017 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved.
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