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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, March 20, 2017

Spring Snow - a tutorial

Spring Snow
Cyndi Lavin, 2017


1. Apply tissue paper to watercolor paper with gloss medium.  Spray paper to wet it, and add India ink drips from near the top (piece shown upside down from the way it was worked).  Smudge crimson and turquoise acrylics near top and use white gesso on a foam brush to smear it down the page.  Add yellow with fingers to any white areas and to highlight the tissue paper.



2. Mist with water and allow colors to mingle.  Dig circle shapes through the upper layers of paint with biscuit cutters.  Add some smears of interference violet paint.  Add magenta paint to what is now the bottom of the piece.



3. Stamp with bubble wrap.  Use masking tape to create plant shapes.  



4. Use a foam roller to lightly roll white gesso over plant shapes.  When dry, remove them.



5. Cut out pieces from the whole, and mount them on large piece of paper covered by a mix of black gesso and dark turquoise.

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

Monday, March 13, 2017

Experiments with gesso masks


Instead of using just acrylics and gesso, I wanted to try Inktense acrylic ink pencils to see what gesso masks would look like with them as the background.  My recommendations from these experiments is that whether you want your colors to blend or to stay put, you will have quite a bit of control with the pencils.


I grabbed some of the brightest colors and scribbled all over a small piece of watercolor paper.  Then I misted them with a spray bottle of water and moved them around slightly to blend some of the edges.


For my first experiment, I cut out some leaf shapes from card stock and rolled over them with white gesso, applying it heavily enough to obscure the background, but not entirely.


I added the vine after the fact :-)




On a second smaller piece, cut from the end of the first, I rearranged the leaves into petals.  This time, I added some opaque magenta to the white gesso before the first rolling.

  
After rolling with white, I left the petals in place, and added some painter's tape around the edges.  I rolled the center portion a second time, using black gesso this time.


To finish, I outlined the petals with a black permopaque pen.


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

Monday, March 06, 2017

Justice - a mixed media painting

Justice
Cyndi Lavin, 2017
A few weeks ago, I got to hear a recording of Martin Luther King's wonderful speech that is commonly known as the "I have a dream" speech.  It always stirs me.  Although I didn't have this in mind specifically when I painted the background, I soon decided to add the lettering for the portion of the speech that King paraphrased from Amos 5:24:
No, no, we are not satisfied and will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.

The technique for painting this is basically the same as Firefly's Dance from a few weeks ago.  The major difference is that I first adhered a layer of wrinkled tissue paper to my substrate before painting.  



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

Monday, February 27, 2017

Psalm journal - an altered book journal project

I decided at the end of last year that I wanted to do one long-term project this year.  More or less this year.  I'm not going to stress about the time frame at all, just enjoy the process.  This is my Psalm journal.  In it, I'm devoting one page to each Psalm (150 of them), writing out the lines that particularly strike me, adding the Hebrew words and definitions when they seem important, and illustrating them as I choose.  Or as I don't choose :-)


One of the simplest types of altered books that you can make involves cutting out all the pages from a book, leaving a tab of an inch or so.  These tabs can then be used in pairs to glue in whatever pages you wish, whether you use the original pages or create new ones from other papers.  I picked an old atlas with beautiful, but out-of-date maps for my journal.  I will end up with approximately half the number of pages as there were originally, which should leave some room for any collaged inclusions.


A number of years ago, I wrote a beginner's guide to doing altered books, so if you'd like more info, start here :-)






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

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Book review: Digital Fiber Art


Wen Redmond's book, Digital Fiber Art, published by C&T Publishing, is packed full of more information than you can possibly believe.  And throughout, each technique, tip, and idea is decorated by Wen's photos and digital pieces.  It's a complete visual feast.


The book begins with inspirational chapters that help you get your images and backgrounds ready for printing and combining.  Using digital filters, digital and physical collage, painting papers and fabrics, Wen shows you how to combine these for truly unique results in your art quilts.  Though she focuses throughout on quilts, so many of these techniques can also be used for paper-based collages.

The technical information covers using your printer in some unique ways, pre-coats for your fabrics and papers, making carrier sheets for printing, underpainting and overpainting the substrate, using sheers, recycled fabrics and papers, and various specialty products (like Lutradur).  Wen shows you how to include transparent and translucent overlays in your work, plain, printed, and/or painted. She also covers acrylic mediums, especially the specialty ones, and how to add natural materials like tea leaves and sand to your medium.  Oh, and don't forget the molding paste and paint skins!


Finally, finishing your work is not neglected either, with a chapter on post-coats, sealers, wax, metallic and luster powders.  And last, mounting and displaying work rounds out this jam-packed volume.  

Monday, February 20, 2017

Firefly's Dance - a mixed media painting

Firefly's Dance
Cyndi Lavin, 2017

I've got a couple of step-out photos for you, but no real tutorial.  Quinacridone gold, cobalt teal, black India ink, and white gesso:




More color added in, permopaque black and white markers, acrylic glaze:




Colors adjusted, more lines:


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

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Book review: Abstracts in Acrylic and Ink


Jodi Ohl's new book, Abstracts in Acrylic and Ink, published by North Light Books, is a great kickstarter for anyone who's wanted to try, but is afraid.  Painting is a dialog, Jodi explains between you and your materials.  It can be marked by love and happiness, but also by frustration...it's all part of the relationship.  Jodi's advice?  Get going!  Dive in with an open mind and a fearless heart.  

The entire book is filled with demonstrations, which is very very helpful to someone just getting their feet wet.  The first three chapters contain quick and small scale demos.  In the first chapter, Warm Up Exercises, Jodi stresses working fast and small to allay your fears, getting past a blank canvas, and using yupo paper as well as watercolor paper.  She then turns to understanding painting mediums, including crackle and glazing medium, and making acrylic skins.  Next, Jodi briefly covers the elements and principles of design, in preparation for making larger works.


The second half of the book consists of larger works and longer demos, where Jodi steps you through creating landscapes, citiscapes, geometrics, and other completed abstract forms.  She includes adding inks to your work, adding collage elements, and the all-important task of finishing your pieces.


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