Tag Archives: mixed media

Staying in the Moment: Loving Collage

Collage and mixed media

Anima: Collage and mixed media by Kartika

A dinged up piece of cardboard that’s been discolored by the elements can ignite a creative spark in me as easily as looking at another artist’s work or hearing a song that sends chills up my spine.
Quote by Baby Smith from Masters of Collage – collage, mixed media artist

It’s Saturday morning – Joy! I will soon be on my way to the “Flying Leap Art Studio.” This is my routine – at the end of my work week, the rejuvenation of my artist begins with a day making collage and allowing myself to relax into the energizing spaciousness of the right side of my brain. I will work with others, usually a group of like minded women who “get it”, who are on the same page and whose sanity and sense of being right with the word depends on being able to be in the present moment – being in the space of creativity.

Creativity is really about being in the moment with the process. It’s about allowing ourselves to become submerged, willing to be present, fine with spontaneity, flexible, open to change, able to take risks, be silly sometimes, and have fun while being serious.

I found a wonderful book on collage, “Masters of Collage” by Lark Crafts. It’s a visual delight and inspiration to artists of all mediums. Perusing this book makes me fall even more in love with collage art. This medium has unlimited possibilities, offering us an immense arena in which to play, explore, and discover what we love. Mixed media artists are engaged in the world of objects, always looking for interesting, sometimes old and rusty things, things to recycle in order to create the new and beautiful. Collage and mixed media is all about arranging and rearranging objects and images, training ourselves to see things differently, urging us to experiment with shape and color, inviting us to explore and play with simple and mundane objects.
Master of Collage by Lark Crafts

Compared to other art forms, collage seems a democratic and unthreatening medium. It requires few tools or supplies and practically anyone with an appreciation for found objects and a love a composition can do it. And yet, the process of creating a collage is not quite as simple as it seems.
– Randel Plowman, Curator

Mixed media collage by Kartika

Mixed media collage by Kartika

Collage like other art forms helps us discover ourselves, our inner landscape, what we love, what we fear, and what we find important. We are inspired to discover our archetypes and symbols. We begin to find our thumbprint, or unique signature. What colors do we consistently choose to be a part of our palette? Do we plan ahead or follow our instincts in the moment? Do we like to work alone or with others? Do we find ourselves blocked by fear of failure? The process of self-discovery is endless.

Collage and mixed media by Kartika

Collage and mixed media by Kartika

Learning to see – to become observant – is the greatest lesson an artist can learn. Working in the collage form has sharpened my perceptions of the world outside my studio.
Quote by Mitzi Trachtenberg from Masters of Collage – collage, mixed media artist


Filed under Archetypes and Symbols, Collage, Mixed Media Art, Topics I Love

Creating Art Assemblages Using Mask Forms

Mixed Media Art Assemblag


Assemblages using simple and inexpensive mask forms

During my mask-making period, I began integrating my decorated mask forms onto boards using collage, paint, found objects, shells, beads, feathers, fabric, etc.This project was spontaneous and unfolded in a magical way.


  • Mask forms (I found nice paper forms at Dick Blick).
  • Any kind of strong supports for your assemblage, such as: pieces of wood or Masonite (Masonite can be purchased at hardware stores and cut to your desired sizes).
  • Mat medium for adhering papers.
  • Gesso for prepping your support boards.
  • Glue-gun for adding three dimensional objects.
  • Paint, paper, and ephemera—this is where you can get really creative—the list is endless.
  • Hangers for your support—you can find simple kits that make this an easy process.

The most important material in art making, of course, is your imagination.

“If you want to really hurt you parents, and you don’t have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”
Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

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Am I an Artist Wannabe?

I am a fraud in a field where absolute truth and honesty are required for any modicum of success. And so, I often stay up past ten or eleven and sitting on a chair in front of the easel purchased on e-bay even before my decision to embark on formal but actually informal training, I stare at my board, gesso-ed and painted, with scraps of cut paper, faces of skulls, photos of tubes of lipstick, words, lightly glued (still in process). I stare, worrying that I suck and that I am a wanna-be, and fuck the “process only” preachers who are adamant that product is not where it’s at, while they stick cool looking product on the pages of their books that claim process is the only thing that matters. And sometimes when in process, I feel that flow, that sugary rush of time suspended, and that light headed no-fly zone when I know that picture of the Goth girl is perfect for that spot directly underneath the orange torn paper in the right corner. I just know it and all is well.

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Exausted by Art Continued…

It started out simply, when two years ago while waling past a local art gallery, a friend pulled me in to the art studio and asked me to sit down and start decorating paper mask molds to be auctioned as an art gallery fund-raiser. I had not glued much since kindergarten, when I typically threw my own attempts at making flowers look like flowers across rooms. Yet while mask-making, it seemed the gluing and painting process became instantly addictive, and the right brainwave activity leading to suspension of time and space, had the profound effect of creating a yearning for a repeat experience of the out-of-the-box mode of operating, leading to a discussion with the fully-credentialed- art-gallery-owner-and-art-instructor-par-excellence, who recommended continuing art education at his gallery/studio on a regular basis to enliven that field where the creative so easily go and, in some cases, never return. And now, just a few weeks into the exploration of this new terrain, with a few collages under my belt, and lots of time spent with Dick Blick and a designated art studio on my premises, I am exhausted by the demands of the creative life and the expectations I have put upon myself to be “an artist.” There – I have finally uttered the A-word and now must suffer under the mantle of expectation, realization that I know nothing about art, and do not know anything about making it other than cutting out magazine pictures and pasting them on Masonite.

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Exhausted by Art

Wrote this in 2009 when I started collaging! Can anyone relate?

I’m exhausted from trying to be artistic – in my art studio past the comfort zone of bedtime – an already challenged time when reading or television always compete to keep me from much needed rest, but my art teacher, guru of sorts – a creative director and wizard of artistic transcendence – directed me to set up a designated space in my house allocated to art only, where paints, paper, brushes, glitter, glue, markers, magazines, gesso, and all manner of artsy material are arranged in baskets on the table, strewn across the guest bed, poke from under the guest bed in plastic containers. I am now officially obligated to create that illusive product – art. Art – that category of mystic and mythic proportions that cannot be defined, and continues to be the subject of argument, awe, fear, and reverence. I am now on permanent assignment to be creative, in tune with the right hemisphere of my brain, and on alert to notice all opportunities to move spirit into matter. I, who cannot draw a straight line or anything that remotely resembles subject matter, am suddenly required to produce the true and the beautiful. I am overwhelmed by the magnitude of this spiritual assignment springing from the depths of my being and progressing under the guidance of my mentor.

More in the next blog…


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