Friday, April 2, 2010

About Mixed Media

Mixed Media can mean anything, depending on who is doing the mixing. Wikipedia says: “Mixed media tends to refer to a work of visual art that combines various traditionally distinct visual art media. For example, a work on canvas that combines paint, ink, and collage could properly be called a "mixed media" work."

That definition needs amending: Mixed Media now can include some of the technology I spoke of in Art and Technology. And the materials artists choose to use often include a great many that could not be referred to in the same sentence as "traditional". These days all kinds of debris is recycled in astonishing ways. Robert Chamberlain pioneered using car crash remains into powerful sculpture starting in the fifties. In addition to paints, pastels and such, some materials commonly used are found objects, photos, fibers, buttons, sticks, leaves and fabric.

The advantage of mixed media is, of course, that each of the substances used imparts some of its distinct characteristics which gives the painter a greater gamut of choice and ability to realize her vision. Or to experiment as many of us do — just to see what will happen. The collage process is of wonderful service when color juxtaposition is critical. The term "mixed media" is new but combining materials to realize the maker's intentions is not.

Another thought: While some of my friends are artists, many are not. I used to be a teacher and now I've discovered that I like to write about those aspects of art that I am familiar with or have some opinion about. My original intention was to exhibit here the miniatures I make and now I am building another site for that purpose. One of these days my computer is going to open up and suck me in as the whale swallowed Jonah.

The image above is Structures ©2009, Mixed Media on Paper 8.5 x 11" each. For information about any of the paintings on this site, please email Joan.

1 comment:

  1. I don't want you to completely get digested by your computer (you still need some time to be mixing media in the studio after all), but I am glad you're writing these insightful columns. I like how this blog is evolving! I look forward each week's installment, and often find that it gives me something to think about. Please keep at it.