Sunday, November 9, 2008

More Mixed-Media Ideas

After experimenting recently with bits of leather, suede, and velvet, I was in a resale/vintage store Friday looking at the clothing in a different light. Some leather and suede skirts could be re-purposed as a journal cover, key chain fob, or eyeglass holder. Similar thoughts occurred when I looked at purses. It was exciting to imagine the already-broken-in leather recycled in some new art form.

But, I refrained from buying anything since I lack skills, knowledge, and tools for working extensively in leather. It seems when mixed-media calls to me, I often have to turn a deaf ear!

Since I don’t know how to sew and don’t plan to learn, I only use fabric remnants in paintings and books. Recycling some painted fragments onto watercolor pages evolved into a book called “Touch”.

"Touch" cover
7 1/2" x 6 1/2"
screw post book
painted fabric pieces on watercolor paper
One page in "Touch"
6" x 6"
2-page spread in "Touch"
12" x 6"
A single page in "Touch"
6" x 6"
I love the texture elements as well as tactile interaction in mixed-media pieces, though. That’s a big appeal in creating books, shrines, 3-D calendars, and dream boxes because how often can you or do you run your hand over texture in a painting?

As I said in my last post, I greatly admire mixed-media artist that have the techniques, tools, time, and tenacity to turn out a successful project using more than one medium. I’ve had this discussion before with my art friend Nancy, especially with all the tempting things to learn out there—precious metal clay, fiber arts, jewelry-making, etc. But since we both have full-time jobs and so little free time, it seems wiser to limit our energy and focus.

Until we can’t resist just trying something!


  1. I have a secret.....I have been cutting up old leather bags and just recently an old suede coat to use in my art. I'm a bit nervous about revealing my secret in case a few people hit the roof.

    Touch (double spread) really appeals to me. As usual your colours are amazing.

  2. Your secret is safe with me Robyn! Doesn't it seem that we have to shake up our art with different materials, sometimes?