What is Mixed Media?

Play, have fun and Create in Tuesday Morning’s Mixed Media Class.

Despite popular belief, many of the world’s most famous painters were mixed media artists. Mixed media art has been part of history since Roman times with Funerary Masks in Egypt  from 100 AD being painted on wood with tempera and wax.

Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and Henri Matisse used more than just paint to create their masterpieces.  Picasso’s 1912 work, “Still Life with Chair Caning” was a defining moment in the use of mixed media with his use of oil cloth, oil paint and a rope frame. At the same time, Braque was creating paintings which incorporated house paint, sand, stencils, and sand, amongst other things to create wood grain effects in his work. Matisse, on the other hand, created works from gouache and paper cut outs. The Fall of Icarus (1943) depicts the Greek myth of Icarus with blue paper cut-outs and gouache paint. These influential artists therefore went on to influence other great 20th century artists such as Kurt Switters, Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns.

Mixed media art therefore breaks boundaries between different art forms and techniques. It creates endless possibilities for artistic expression. Examples include drawing into your painting, sculpting into your drawing, and mono-printing on your sculpture. Watercolour, oil, wax, charcoal, acrylic and pencil are all combined to give some rich and interesting results. Canvas, paper, plastic, found objects, photographs, material, furniture and stone are some of the possible backdrops for your work.

Today, contemporary mixed media artists are proving the adage that ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ in their mixed media works. For English artist Martha Haversham, cigarette butts become pants, a used face mask creates a skirt, and leaves create dresses. Local artist, Julia Gutman embroiders found textiles into patchworks that create detailed and intricate images of people, places and things.

Endless opportunities await.  Come and explore where your creativity takes you in Mixed Media on Tuesdays at 10am. 

Play, have fun and create!

This post was written by Lauren Spero

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