Friday, January 29, 2016

Finding a Balance

I sooooo love beautiful layered textures and mixed media. Some of my favorite artists work this way- check out the amazing Pamela Zagarenski for example! I've been trying for years to find my own way of combining printmaking with other media and lots layered color. It's been a challenge but I think I've worked out ways to balance watercolor, ink, stamps, collage, and drawing. Just in case you think it was easy, let me show some of the steps I went through to get the final 5 images. Each progress photo shows the original sketchbook idea (or two!) and then some not-successful attempts.

It helped this one a lot when I went back to the warm yellow background, more like the original sketchbook painting.

Above is the final sweet blue bird, happy in her nest.

I was anxious to get this one right because it's a special image for my daughter. It wasn't working for me with the traditional colors but I went crazy and tried a dark purple/blue/maroon background with white ink, kind of like my original sketchbook painting and that was the winner!

Off she goes into Dreamland.

Part of my struggle with this one was that the paper I was using didn't take water very well. If I used too much watercolor or gouache the paper got too wrinkly. But a layer of ink with a little water media on top is a neat effect and the paper stayed pretty flat. I actually used a cut-out and glued tree and heart for the final one instead of trying to paint white around where I wanted them to be like in the image above.

The Love Birds in their Love Tree!

This one I did so many times I was starting to hate it. But I'm glad I stayed with it. And you notice, my daughter also got to do her own interpretation of a starry tree.

I love stars and star stamps. Obviously!

I tried collaging the trees on this one like I did for The Love Tree, but they didn't look good with the dogs and moon stamps. So I cut the trees out of thin cardboard and printed them. It gave them a look that matched with the carved stamps better.

There they are- the first cards in my new series! I'm having them printed and I can't wait to hold them in my hands. There will be a line of text inside each also, but you have to wait to find out what the insides say!


  1. Beauties - esp fond of the dogs on the bench!

  2. These look so professionally beautiful! I agree with you about the textured/layered look. I'm also trying to get that in my work! And it's working so well for you!