The Art of Mixed Media Collage

The essence of my art…

Collage derives from the French word coller, which means to “glue” or “stick together”. It’s an art technique, which is a grouping of various forms, creating a whole new piece.

Collage work can include various papers, metals, unique materials, fabric, paint, glitter, photo clippings, wood, or anything else that you can throw together with glue, and adhere to canvas, board, or whatever surface, to create that perfect visual image.

The term mixed media is just that. It’s an artwork which more than one medium or material has been employed. Collage is one example of mixed media, but not the only example. Mixed media could be combining marker with pastel, acrylic with pencil, paper with glass, and so forth.

Mixed media collage is my preferred form of art, which my work has reflected for many years, and has only advanced in the embellishment of materials, techniques, and mediums, that I use now to create the work I do.

What I truly enjoy about mixed media collage, is the eclectic mass of layers, textures, and colors. The depth and intrinsic details are what makes each painting truly unique and beautiful. The light and dark reflect off those layers, resulting in the character and emotion of each finished work.

My work reflects how I view life, and the world around me. I’ve defined these values in my Artist Statement. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Beauty is what you choose to see. “Everything has beauty but not everyone sees it” – Confucius.”

Raspberry Jazz – Inner Child Series, Mixed Media Collage, Acrylic over Canvas

With each painting, I incorporate those layers of which I find flawed, yet stunning and unique. I strive to bring out the raw beauty in any of my subjects, no matter how imperfect. My hope is that those inspired by my work will take the time to view the world around them in a similar perspective.

Zara – Glitter Gals, Mixed Media Collage, Acrylic over Canvas

Over the past few years, I have created over 58 unique mixed media collage, acrylic paintings, and over 30 unique paint pour pieces. Although I have a full-time job, two websites, an ecommerce store, multiple social media platforms, and a family, I always find time for one of my biggest passions, and that is art. Always take time for those things that truly warm your heart, impact your soul, build your character, empower your independence, and make you whole.

Sunrise Mosaic, Mixed Media Collage, Acrylic over Canvas

The art of mixed media collage is the form of art I choose, and that brings out the best in me. Continue to be a part of my art community and allow me to share my passion and productions for years to come. I truly appreciate the love and support, as it inspires me to only do better. I hope that my work and journey inspire you too.

What’s your passion? Do you too, indulge in mixed media collage art? Share your love of art and life with me. Leave your comments below. Be sure to check back often, and to sign up for my emails to keep you informed.

Peace! 🙂

Summer Success

It’s been an exciting time for me as an artist, as I’ve had the opportunity to sell several paintings, both completed, and commissioned; and some of my work was recently selected to be showcased with other artists, based on two separate contests by the same virtual gallery, Fusion Art.

Commissioned Work | Dr. Rao and his wife | Mixed Media Collage, Acrylic on Wood | August 2020

My friend, and co-worker, Dr. Rao, commissioned me to create a painting of him and his wife. It was meant to be an anniversary gift, but COVID-19 quarantine delayed things. Regardless, I was able to get my studio set up in a smaller space, so I could continue my work, and complete the piece.

Using canvas paper, acrylics, fabric, metal, glitter and other materials, I created this mixed-media collage piece in a series of layers. The finish is done with resin, which gives it a nice touch. I used a wood frame box as my canvas, which provided a sturdy, and workable surface.

I use a variety of painting techniques, such as paint pouring, and sometimes I will even use modeling paste to build-up areas.

One of my favorite things about this technique that I created and use, is the discovery of how using different items and the layering can create such depth and character to a painting.

For this particular painting, I also chose to create the figures and faces in a series of layers. Usually, the full figure is the layer. The idea is to give the painting more dimension and depth.

Whether it’s to describe something or someone familiar, or to create something that’s more fantasy, this method really brings out the life in my paintings. It’s also quite therapeutic too.

Even before I seal the painting with resin, the layers are quite colorful and pleasing to the eye. Plus, every time I look at these paintings, I see things I missed. It’s just gives me such pleasure to create this way. If you like this style of painting, and would like to have a custom portrait made for yourself, feel free to contact me at debbieslivingcanvas@gmail.com, or complete the contact form at the bottom of the home page, we can discuss the opportunity.

Tree of Life | Mixed Media Collage, Acrylic on Wood | July 2020

This Summer I have also sold two completed paintings, once again, to my dearest friend, and biggest art fan, Karren. She has been such a great support to me and my work, and one of the reasons why I have taken my art more seriously.

Sun Face the Moon | Mixed Media Collage, Acrylic on Wood | July 2020

One of the two paintings I created, that Karren purchased, is my Tree of Life. This is a mixed-media collage, acrylic on wood, layered painting. The second painting is Sun Faced The Moon. Both paintings are similar in style and methodology. The techniques are mostly of paint pour on various canvas papers, glitter, and metallic paint, with a resin finish. This painting goes perfectly with the second painting I created, and a mosaic styled collage painting, that she purchased last year.

contests. Two of the contests that I was most eager and excited to participate in was the 6th Annual Figures & Faces Art Exhibition – September 2020. two of my paintings were selected for inclusion in the online juried art exhibition through September. To be featured with so many talented, and professional artists is such an honor for me.

The two paintings that were selected were from my 2019 Glitter Gals Series. Zara, which is my Indian Bride, and Yasmine, one of my figurative nudes, were the two selected, and were the two of five that I actually entered with.

Zara | Glitter Gals | Mixed Media Collage, Acrylic on Canvas | 2019
Yasmine | Glitter Gals | Mixed Media Collage on Canvas | 2019

If you are interested in viewing more paintings from this selection, please visit my Glitter Gals gallery page of my website. These paintings are also available for purchase in my gift shop.

The other contest through Fusion Art is the 3rd Annual Women Artists. This is also a juried online exhibition, which I will know more about on September 15th. I just know that one or more of my paintings have been selected. I’ll share more once I know more.

For now, just grateful I’m here and able to share my work and inspiration with you. Please be sure to sign-up for blog and site notifications, and check back often. Till next time!

Debbie 🙂

Drawing the line in Art

Next to color, lines and shapes play a very important part in expressing a work of art. Lines can be used to suggest shape, pattern, structure, the depth or distance, and even the movement or range of motion and emotions of a piece. For instance, curved lines are more conducive of ease and comfort. While straight lines can be viewed upon as more precise, rigid, or firm.

An artist will use all kinds of shapes, from precise squares and triangles to irregular unsymmetrical ovals or broken circles. If you look around you, everything that we can touch and see has a shape, a line, a color, whether neutral, solid, or broken and vague. We are able to identify it as something.

Lines, for instance, can be thick, thin, curvy, up or down, and so forth. Lines can be used emphasize shapes and colors. They can be very expressive. Lines are the basic tools an artist uses to create a piece of art.

Shapes come in two basic types: geometric and free-form. Geometric are the precise shapes such as circles, squares as mentioned above. Free-form shapes are just that, a loose interpretation of the geometric shape.

In the visual arts, shape is a flat, enclosed area which is created through a variety of lines, but sometimes colors, textures, and even other shapes. Three-dimensional artwork, such as with sculpture, is basically an object within a multi-dimensional composition.

When reviewing my work from the Painted Ladies Collection, it’s easy to see the numerous lines, shapes, textures, and colors that are used to create these beautiful colored sketches. For the most part the lines are defined and simple as they outline the subject of each piece. Additional lines are used to form texture and emphasis. Lines are also used to help emphasize the colors within the various shapes.

For a good example of the simple lines used, take a look at the Painted Ladies Collection’s Bathe. Notice when broken down how the lines are quite simple and yet it still defines the picture? It’s the series of lines, shapes, and color that brings these sketches to life!

The Painted Ladies Collection’s Clean is another good example. Notice the shape of the subject by just using line texture. Just like the example above.

The Painted Ladies Collection would not be as credible without the use of lines, shapes, colors and textures.

Recommended Reading:
LINE DRAWING: A GUIDE FOR ART STUDENTS, Updated on JANUARY 12, 2018 by AMIRIA GALE, STUDENT ART GUIDE, Helping Art Students Excel

Light, Shade and Shadow (Dover Art Instruction) Paperback – August 8, 2008, by E. L. Koller

#Drawing #Painted-Ladies #Technique

Color is the Essence of Art

The Painted Ladies Collection would not have the same impact if my color choices had been different.

The use of color influences what the artist wants to express. Color is the essence of art. How the light strikes an object and reflects provides character to a painting, sculpture, or even our surroundings. Color is used to evoke a certain mood or response. There are three properties to color: hue, intensity, and value.

Hue is simply what we call a color, such as red, yellow, blue, green, and so forth.
Intensity, also called saturation, or vividness of color, refers to the purity of the color.
Value refers to the relative lightness or darkness of a color.

When using color to express or describe a feeling or mood of a painting or art piece, the artist can be bold, subtle, or even confused just by the selection and combination of color used. Color has a language all its own. For instance, red is often used to express strength, seduction, and even anger. Blue is often used to express wisdom, steadiness, and calmness.

Color can influence the way we feel or react. That’s why color can be the most exciting aspect about a work of art, or the most disappointing.

Color is described as either being cool, warm, or neutral. Cool colors are based on blue and green colors. Warm colors are based on yellows and oranges. A good way to remember is, those colors closest to how we describe the sun are warm. Colors closest to how we describe water and ice are cool colors.

Advertisers use colors to enhance mood all the time. When thinking about color and products, green is identified with products that are earth friendly, safe, and natural.

  • Red and yellow are usually colors identified with urgency and overpowering emotion. Red is also used to entice or seduce, such as with red lipstick.
  • Green and white are common color identifiers for grocery stores that are targeting natural products consumers.
  • Blue is a color most associated with water and air, like the ocean and the sky.

Color is truly important for communicating a message, whatever that message may be.
Part of understanding color is knowing the differences among primary colors, secondary colors, and tertiary colors, which all make up the standard color wheel.

  • Primary colors – colors that cannot be created by mixing other colors together. Primary colors are the three base colors: red, yellow, blue.
Primary Colors: Red, Yellow, and Blue
  • Secondary colors – colors that are created from immediately mixing two of the primary colors together. There are three combinations: purple (red and blue), orange (red and yellow), green (yellow and blue).
  • Tertiary colors – colors made from mixing one primary with one secondary color. There are six combinations: purple + red, red + orange, orange + yellow, yellow + green, green + blue, blue + purple.

There needs to be an understanding of how colors are intensified, and how we go about giving color value.

For instance, tints and shades of color are how we lighten or darken a color. White mixed with any color will lighten that color to create the tint, while black mixed with any color will darken it to create the shade.

How we compliment colors and create color harmony is based on what colors we use next to one another. Complimentary colors are those colors that are directly opposite each other on the color wheel. This includes red + green, blue + orange, yellow + purple. Creating color harmony is when we use colors that rest alongside each other on the color wheel, such as yellow + orange, blue + purple, purple + red, red + orange, and so forth.

Painted Ladies Collection, Salsa: Example of Complimentary Colors at work.

Colors that aren’t included in the standard color wheel are considered neutral colors. They include white, black, gray, brown, and beige. Technically, black and white are not colors. Basically, black is formed by absorbing all the colors, whereas white reflects all the colors. Gray is basically a color without color since it’s created from mixing black and white. Brown is considered a neutral color as brown is created from mixing a primary with its complementary color. Beige is basically the same thing as brown, but adding white helps create more light to the color. It’s quite scientific in its explanation, so I recommend studying more on this topic if you are interested. (Suggested readings are listed at the end of this article.)

Now that we have a clear understanding of color and color theory, it’s easy to understand how the language of color can work for a painting, or even work against it.
When I analyze my Painted Ladies Collection, what I see most of is: excitement, passion, beauty, somewhat seductive, elegant, and fun. Color is one of the top selling points of the Painted Ladies. Without the use of color in the way that I chose, these colored sketches would not have had the same impact on the viewing audience.

Painted Ladies Collection, Trio: Passion, Embrace, and Shadow

The role of color in art is as significant as the role of color in our everyday lives. We associate color with the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, the places we live, and so forth. Since normally what we see is the first thing we are confronted with when making decisions, then of course, color greatly influences our immediate decisions.

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Suggested Reading:

Color by Betty Edwards: A Course in Mastering the Art of Mixing Colors, by Betty Edwards
Color Choices: Making Color Sense Out of Color Theory, by Stephen Quiller
Joann Eckstut: The Secret Language of Color : Science, Nature, History, Culture, Beauty of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, & Violet (Hardcover); 2013 Edition, by Joann Eckstut and Arielle Eckstut

Art-Essence #Color #Painted-Ladies #Technique

The Painted Ladies Collection: The 5 Hidden Elements

What makes the Painted Ladies collection so alluring?

The bold bright colors, the sensuous female forms, the exaggerated features, and the fluid flow of strokes on paper.

That’s what makes these 20 original and unique art pieces so alluring!

Painted Ladies Collection Trio: Passion, Embrace, and Shadow, by Deborah Marsh
The Painted Ladies started out as a study of forms. My plan was to create about five to six over-sized canvas paintings – which I did. Little did I know that the 20 full-colored sketches I created would be perceived as great works of art, far more appealing than the over-sized paintings.

What makes these sketches such great works of art? We can break it down to 5 hidden elements. These elements include:

  1. Medium and Materials
  2. Style and Subject Focus
  3. Color Selection and Combination
  4. Inner Feelings and Desires
  5. Fluid Strokes and Techniques
  6. Medium and Materials
  1. Medium and Materials

I chose standard 9 X 12 Vellum art paper, medium weight, from my favorite paper brand Strathmore. Instead of using graphite pencil or charcoal to draw the subjects, I chose to use a standard ballpoint ink pen. For the color enhancement of the pieces, I chose water color markers with varying tips and hues. Prismacolor is always my first choice for both markers and for colored pencils.

Water color markers are fluid and transparent, which is why I used them to layer color. The ink pen was used like a pencil as I sketched out the subjects, paying no mind to clean edges or rounded corners.

  1. Style and Subject Focus

My style is a mix of Patrick Nagel, Art Deco, and Pablo Picasso’s Cubism and Blue periods; however, none were a deliberate or direct influence over my style!

I’ve always admired the female form for high fashion and celebrity influence, so it’s no surprise that my focus would be the same.

  1. Color Selection and Combination

The use of color in an artist’s work tells a lot about what the mood should be. An artist intentionally chooses colors in order to create either a negative or positive emotion for the viewer to feel.

As an artist, I tend to want to create a feeling of excitement, beauty, passion, mystery, and liberation, yet sophistication and assurance. To create this type of mood, there needs to be a palette of contrasting, but complimentary, colors of varying tones.

Colors should compliment one another, forming warmth or coolness, light or shade, depending on the mood the artist wants to portray. Contrasting colors offer excitement and mystery. Much like the infamous Victorian and Edwardian styled homes in San Francisco, best known as the Painted Ladies, my Painted Ladies are a mixture of cool and warm contrasting colors.

Many of the famous houses in San Francisco are painted red or blue, but with yellow, orange, and brown trim. Some are even painted with greens, reds, and purple for a more modernistic style.

The color selection and combination that I used for my Painted Ladies is similar. In some ways, several of the pieces within the 20-sketch collection are reminiscent of Latin and European colors and culture.

Most of my sketches within the series are of women, with thick purple colored hair; yellow or light-tan skin tones; red, orange, or yellow clothing; with backgrounds of contrasting red, blue, yellow, green, and purple shapes. These colors together create the sophisticated, yet exciting, passionate, beautiful and alluring images I call my Painted Ladies.

  1. Inner Feelings and Desires

The work of an artist is usually a reflection of their inner soul, their inner most desires, or of things they truly admire. My paintings have always been influenced by those things which I love, feel, and or desire. The Painted Ladies are no exception.

Selecting the subjects for my sketches was based on several criteria. A single female was the subject for each painting. Each subject had to have an intriguing pose or action. They needed strong reflections of light and shade, as if under a spotlight. Lastly, each subject provided an opportunity to highlight various shapes through color.

As a woman, I have an inner desire to be viewed upon as beautiful, sensual, alluring. The Painted Ladies collection displays this passion and influence over its visual captures.

The bold contrasting colors and shapes draw you in to the mood of the paintings, and act as a form of stimuli which is pleasing and somewhat exciting. The poses of my subjects appear to be somewhat staged, like models in a photograph.

My inner childhood dream was to someday be well known for my creative endeavors, whether those be in art, performance, cooking, or something else – wherever my talent would take me. More reason for my art to imitate my most inner aspirations!

Painted Ladies Collection: Island, by Deborah Marsh
  1. Fluid Strokes and Techniques

The truth of the matter is, I have no real rhyme or reason for the strokes I used to create these beautiful, full-colored sketches.

What I did was outline the areas of my subjects where I wanted light or shade to hit. These areas were then painted in as solid colors, making them appear more linear instead of blended. This gave the pieces personality, uniqueness, and standout.

In some ways this style is reminiscent of the Art Deco style from years past. The paintings are sleek, symmetrical, geometric, and somewhat simple in design yet very pleasing to the eye. Just like Art Deco, my Painted Ladies symbolize elegance, sophistication, and glamour.

When you look closely at my work you can see where I possibly made a change to the perspective of my subject and painted over it or where I worked the area into another sketched piece within the painting.

These works are basically a study of paint strokes, linear strokes, cross hatches, and layers of colors. Simple and fluid. Natural and accidental. Yet it all perfectly gels together to create these beautiful, originally designed pieces I call the Painted Ladies.

In Closing…

The Painted Ladies is a study of color, shape, and emotion. Emotions and desires that I, as a young woman at that time, felt and experienced. I used paper and marker to share my passion through these expressions of my art. The Painted Ladies Collection will forever be for me, one of my most personal and successful works ever produced to date.

If you’re interested in owning part of the Painted Ladies Collection, please visit the Store.

To learn more about my Painted Ladies Collection, check out future posts from Debbie’s Living Canvas. You also learn more about me, by visiting my About page.

#Elements-of-Style #Painted-Ladies #Painting #Techniques

The Painted Ladies Collection: Artful Comparisons

At the time I completed the Painted Ladies collection, specifically the over-sized painted canvases, my work often reminded people of Patrick Nagel’s. If you are not familiar with Patrick Nagel’s work, he is probably most well-known for Duran Duran’s Rio Album cover.

Painted Ladies Collection: Over-sized Canvas Painting of Beauty. Art by Deborah Marsh

Patrick Nagel was an American artist who created popular illustrations on board, paper, and canvas. His work emphasized the female form in a distinctive style descended from Art Deco. He is best known for his illustrations for Playboy and, of course, the album cover for Duran Duran.

What specifically is similar in our styles?

We both emphasize the female form in somewhat of a distinctive style. Although Nagel’s style is much more reminiscent of Art Deco than mine, we both like to use paper and canvas. We also produce more illustrative and less traditionally structured subjects. We both love bold colors; however, I tend to mix a lot more color variations than Nagel’s work portrays.

The other difference too is in the perspective of the subjects.

Nagel tends to have more proportionate forms, whereas mine tend to be more exaggerated. For instance, the faces I draw tend to be bigger, longer, and more pronounced. Nagel’s proportions are more realistic despite the lack of shading or defined features. This holds true for the full form of my subjects versus Nagel’s.

Sometimes, I feel my shapes are descended from Pablo Picasso’s Cubism period mixed with his Blue period.

All in all, my style is unique and one-of-a-kind. It is a makeup of all the direct and indirect influences in my life.

If you are interested in having a piece from the Painted Ladies Collection, please visit the Store .

To learn more about my Painted Ladies Collection, check out future posts from Debbie’s Living Canvas. You also learn more about me, by visiting my About page.

Painting #Style #Painted-Ladies

The Painted Ladies Collection: Style Influence

I’ve always drawn inspiration from high fashion, celebrities, and the female figure. In art, this type of influential style provides admiration for those who are infatuated by its sensuality, sexiness, and beauty. You find yourself living within the fantasy of the various subjects illustrated throughout the Painted Ladies collection.

Growing up, I would cut out various images from magazines such as Vogue, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and others. I kept several scrapbooks and files for art subject references. I loved to illustrate the images I collected and turn them in to works of art.

So of course, my Painted Ladies collection was no different!

At the time I was working on the Painted Ladies collection, I was into creating over-sized works of art. I wanted to develop a series of about five to six over-sized paintings in hopes to have a showing at the local gallery. I produced the 20 full-colored sketches to determine which pieces would make it to canvas.

Whoever would have thought these sketches would become the collection most sought after, even over the actual large paintings?

Now I know why.

When I look back to when I originally created the series, and compare the sketches to the paintings, the vibrancy, fluidity, and naturalness of the sketches are far more appealing and mesmerizing than the paintings could ever expect to be. It’s amazing it took me till a few years ago to realize just how incredible these sketches really were.

Painted Ladies Collection: Beauty, Canvas versus Paper

While the paintings were well received and now belong to several art-collecting enthusiasts throughout the country, the sketches continue to be sought after today.

I didn’t realize how well received my sketches were till a colleague of mine was looking through my portfolio, searching for pieces to purchase, and was drawn to the sketches. She not only purchased about half of the sketch collection, but she also encouraged me to share these sketches with the rest of the world…

Which brings me to present day, and the beautiful products displaying my wonderful Painted Ladies, available for sale at the Debbie’s Living Canvas Store!

To learn more about my Painted Ladies Collection, check out future posts from Debbie’s Living Canvas. You can also learn more about me, by visiting my About page.

Painted-Ladies #Influence #Style

The Painted Ladies Collection: Where did the Name Originate?

People ask me how I named my most popular collection so far, the Painted Ladies. Well, I can’t exactly pinpoint the reason or how, but I do know what influenced me to do so. There is a famous block of houses in San Francisco that are named and known as the Painted Ladies. These houses remind me of Victorian homes but painted in bold and bright colors of varying grades and hues. They are spectacular and fill my heart with a ray of sunshine when I look at them.

As I’m sure you have noticed, my Painted Ladies are bright, bold, and very colorful. Painting this way is my release and makes my soul smile. From the time I was a small child to even now as an older adult, I love to be surrounded by a palette of color every chance I get.

Painted Ladies, Water Color Marker, Ink Pen on Art Paper

If you are interested in having a Painted Ladies piece of your own, visit the Store. To learn more about my Painted Ladies Collection, check out future posts from Debbie’s Living Canvas.
#paintedladies#originalart #