mixed media

Blogger, author, artist Traci Bautista is conducting a free online mixed media class (4 sessions over 4 weeks) for Strathmore.  Here's my first efforts on lesson 1.  As many artists do now, she works in extreme layers - layers and layers of color and mark making with any tool or household item at hand.

She talks about always having a secondary paper or journal available so that as she uses a stencil or any tool, she will 'clean' it by pressing or using a brayer to print onto the second sheet so she doesn't waste any paint.  I started the work on a 12x12 canvas, cleaned my brushes/stencils, etc on a second, then a third piece of watercolor paper.  So my progress will track 3 different designs:


Started with lots of mark making with paints, spritzed paint on a stencil cut from needlepoint plastic, some inked lids, some random writing with oil pastels, bubble wrap dots and red dots made with a bingo marker from the $1 store - a jumbled mess and I'm not liking it.  But I keep working it....

As Traci suggested, I painted a light wash over most of it which diffused the chaos of the marks and covered up those pinkish colors in the middle (didn't like that at all)

Went back in and reinforced some of the circle and added different marks in the center.

This final is after adding black paint to define some of the areas and the final step is white with a BIC white out pen.  I didn't have the black india ink she recommended so just used my acrylics and a small brush. I thought that part was fun - the white pen was easy to use, flowed readily and really brightened what I thought was a totally dull painting.  While I still don't love it (looks like some freaky sun/wind thing), I see the possibilities and liked the process after I softened the parts I didn't like.

Paper #1:

You can see the multitude of marks I made and I REALLY wasn't liking this one; it just felt scribbled and not in a good way.  I covered most of the top scribbles with a wash of liquid acrylic buff color to knock back all that......creativity.  Traci's sample used lots of circle and feather motifs so I found myself returning again and again to the circles she demonstrated.

My final - after the addition of a little more calm structure and the addition of black and white, I actually kind of like this one.

Clean off paper #2:

You can see I used some of the same elements - the spritzed paint, the plastic circle stencil, the bingo dots.

Then it got a little out of control.  Good grief!  I used the oil pastels and my fingers here and like the technique but not this particular result. (think it's the yellowy green color)

Unified the whole piece with a wash in shades of greens and blues.  For some reason that little grid in the upper right stayed.

I broke the circle mode with this one and tried a grid effect instead.  Ugly at this stage but interesting after the black and white below.

Check out Traci's videos; they're informative, interesting, and inspiring to try something new.  Her second video is about free form watercolor as a background for a painting so that will be my next experiment.  Join in?


  1. Thanks so much for sharing, Terrie. I started on a background last night (without spray paint and stencils). I'm not loving it either...thanks for the motivation to keep on pushing through. I think I actually like your first piece the most! Keep having fun!!

  2. Beautiful work, very interesting to see the progression! Valerie

  3. Terrie I LOVE them all!! Even the clean off papers!
    I follow Tracie but thought this workshop was in February! You know I am a mess as of late. Too many things to count waiting, and I am very slow going. Not my best year so far!!!
    AND, don't kill me. I LOST THE LINK for the A-Z tangle patterns again! new computer. AND I LOST your email address. Does this explain how abnormal I am???
    You are an awesome artist!

  4. These are great Terrie, and I love your blog too. Wonderful to see the evolution through a project.

  5. I have watched the videos but haven't jumped in yet... my excuse is that I am waiting for the new school year to start so I can spread out a bit and not be interrupted, but thinking that the messiness and randomness is so foreign that it may be doing my head in before I start.... love what you have come up with Terri.... giving me the inspiration to go give it a go...xx


Thanks so much for taking the time to add a comment. I value what you think!