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Mixed Media Art Project

I have a confession to make.  I’m a wanna-be-artist.  I’m the first one to admit, I have zero artistic talent.  I took a drawing class in high school, because I truly wanted to learn to draw.  I learned how to shade an apple, but that was about it.  I work with two talented, artistic, teachers.  Jennifer and Angela are my mentors when it comes to art.  I strive to be more like them.

I really enjoy the artistic process and I’m constantly trying to find ways to instill a love for art in my classroom, school, and home.  Even though I’m not “good” at art, I still have a true appreciation for the beauty artists bring to their spaces.

When I think of “art” I automatically think of drawing, sculpting, and painting.  I am horrible at all of those things, which makes me say that I’m not a good artist.  I try to remind myself that their are many other ways to enjoy art.  I absolutely love to sew.  I make quilts, pillows, home accessories, drapes, valances, and recover furniture.  I could easily get lost in the kaleidoscope of colors and textures in a fabric store.

 I also have a passion for photography, another form of art in which I have to remind myself, “This really is art.”  It takes an artistic eye and talent to compose beautiful images the way professional photographers do.

 There you have it, two things that I love to do, that bring me a little closer to being artistic and a little further away from wanna-be.

Over the break, my kids and I tried a new mixed media quilting project.  I’m not sure I love the way the finished products turned out, but we all enjoyed the process and IT’S ART!

We started with a piece of felt.  Mine was 12×12.  The kids both wanted 12×18.

We used spray adhesive to hold down the strips of cut up fabric.

Next, we added pieces of scrapbook paper, with the same spray adhesive.  It’s important to be careful to only get the spray adhesive UNDER the pieces of fabric and paper.  My son got a little carried away with the spray and some got on top of the art work.  That made the sewing step very challenging.  Once the fabric and paper are secured to the felt with spray adhesive, you’re ready for the sewing step.

I was really excited for my daughter to try this step.  She’s been wanting to try out different stitches on her sewing machine, but isn’t so interested in just practicing on a piece of scrap fabric.

I choose to do lots of straight lines all over my piece.  I made the lines a little crooked.  I didn’t want my piece to be as precise as I make my quilts.

When my kids were ready to sew, I showed them that mine wasn’t perfect.  The lines went every-which-way.  My kids loved trying different stitches all over their pieces.  This was a great way to try out the sewing machine without feeling the pressure to make things perfect with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Then, we were ready for the gel medium.  I bought a jar of glossy gel medium at the craft store.  We brushed the gel over the whole art project and let it dry overnight.

Finally, the last step was adding acrylic paint over the top.  I told the kids they could do anything they wanted.

My daughter added little dots and swirls, while my son added black lines and quick brush strokes.

We just used the plain-old acrylic paint, from Michael’s, that we had in the kids’ craft cupboard.

The kids’ project turned out great!

I like the way the paint brought out the stitches in my project.

As finished products go, the kids’ were great.  My project looked a little poopy, if you ask me. (It’s been a long time since I’ve used the word poopy in a sentence.) My project is the one on the left, with the brown paint on it.  I was going for a neutral look, but poopy brown paint didn’t work out the way I had envisioned.

Well, there you have it.  As I said before, I’m not artistic when it comes to painting.  I’d say the project idea was really fun, even though I didn’t like my finished product.  It gave the kids the chance to do some collage in a mixed media fashion and I was really excited about the practice they had with the sewing machine too.

Happy art time!  (I hope your project turns out less poopy than mine!) 

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The Comments

  • CAS
    January 4, 2012

    You truly do have so many talents, Becca, both artistic and otherwise! I so enjoy the wonderful projects you come up with to do with your children.

  • Free Cash Taking Surveys
    January 5, 2012

    those are some great paintings you have there, I hope to see more children paintings soon.