I am a self taught mixed media artist. I began with painting canvases with oils and acrylics. I also loved collecting ephemera and found objects, and needed a way to incorporate all my treasures into my artwork.
A while ago, I saw the popularity of ATCs and LFBs. I decided to see if my art would translate to this smaller size. I love doing the smaller size pieces. I try to take one vintage image, and add a few collage elements. I am experimenting with different transfers and transparencies. I also love to layer a lot of color with paint, glazes, inks, chalks, pencil and markers. My goal is to give each piece a soft glow of color.
With my assemblages, I use vintage images and try to build a story around it with collage items and found objects.
How I create on a canvas
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When I begin to work on small (4x4) wrapped canvases, I like to prepare 3 or 4 bases at a time. Creating several at a time, I can carry over the colors and themes. If the base is canvas I will always prime with gesso. Then I will select several vintage images for the focal points, and begin arranging them on the canvases. When I have the ones I want to work with, I will decide on a dominant color to work with. I will paint a base coat of the dominant color, including the sides, if it is a stretched canvas, and while it is still wet, I will paint random areas of the base with complimentary or lighter/darker colors, blending each layer. I try to keep my colors clear and not let them get muddy from blending. I found using a good quality acrylic paint is very important at this step. I like the colors to have a soft glow. It can always be aged in a later step. At this point, I will refer to the focal images I have selected, and their placement. If the image is on the light side, I will select a darker color to use behind it. And if it is darker, I will select or paint something lighter behind it. The area behind the image may take several thin layers of a darker/lighter color. When the base is dried, I lay the image on the canvas and select additional old papers, ephemera, old postage stamps, or even found objects that can be glued. If it needs more weight, I will tear a piece of text or decorative scrap to put behind the image. I try to balance the colors keeping in mind the dark and light areas. When the arrangement looks balanced, I will age all of the edges of the paper pieces with brown pigment ink using a stencil brush. I will then use a soft gel medium to glue all the pieces. I will also use a thinned coat of gel medium over the collaged pieces and the entire canvas. When dry, I will age all the sides and edges of the canvas, with brown acrylic glazes and pigment inks. If the piece still looks too "new" I may splatter the piece with thinned brown acrylic paint using a toothbrush. When I feel the piece is finished, I will spray with a light coat of sealer. Rande Hanson 08 06.