Last Monday two mother/daughter groups and two ladies gathered at the local library for a morning of mixed media art with Jodene Shaw. I have participated in two of Jodene’s classes and changed hats this go around; I was host and assistant to Jodene.
Jodene started the class out by sharing her story and how she got started making mixed media art. She moved on to giving foundational instruction about art supplies and materials. Participants made “cheat sheets” to see what different types of mediums are like and got a feel for gesso, decoupage, acrylic paint, ink and textures before starting their personal projects.
Jodene shared two types of “quilt pattern” techniques. The girls decoupaged rough cut pieces of paper onto the blocks. Paper is a loose term as it includes, but is not limited to, old greeting cards, card stock, wrapping paper, tissue paper, book pages, musical pages, wallpaper/boarder samples, envelopes, and more. The next step was painting over the paper and wiping away excess paint with baby wipes. Damp paper towels are good too, just in case the baby wipe phase of your life has past. Paint fills in spaces between paper pieces and adds color to the edges.
After the paint was dry inspirational thoughts, quotes, verses or words were added to the blocks.
Textures add another dimension to art and can be found everywhere. Cardboard tubes, corrugated cardboard, bubble wrap, netting (don’t toss those onion bags just yet) or wire mesh all have an individual look.
Ink can be used on the edges and corners of the block. Ink pads are good for coloring the edges. Alcohol ink is more liquid and uncontrollable adding a wispy dimension to the piece. Rubber stamps are a great way to add shapes and texture too.
Embellishments are a fun way to bring out individual personalities and add the finishing touch to a project. These additions are as unique as the artists themselves. Buttons, rocks, glitter, beads, lace, or ribbon, the options are endless.
One of the blocks was used to make a paint + crackle + words piece. The first decision the ladies made was to choose two colors of paint. Then they free hand painted a small to medium square in the middle of the block with color A. With color B they painted around the square of color A. The block edges were painted alternately with the chosen colors.
To make an antique look they rubbed the pieces with sandpaper and painted crackle over the square in the middle of the block. A word or saying was decoupaged onto the block and embellishments added to complete the project.
Tissue paper was the base built upon for the third block. Worded tissue paper was decoupaged onto the block. Again, the ladies came up with creative pieces by layering paint, ink, quotes and adding embellishments.
Jodene encourages her class participants to be brave and have fun. It’s important for our youth to be encouraged to acknowledge their creativity. I also learned that it’s just as important for adults to take time out of the busyness of life and do something out of their comfort zone. They too need to share ideas and recognize the unique styles they have. The artistic results can be amazing!
Thank You, Jodene, for creating an inspirational, learning environment and for sharing your artistic technique in our community. Also, thank you Stacy, our local Librarian, for allowing us to use the library for this class.