The End of the Journey

"you see things" mixed media on 5x7 wood panel (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker

It seems like some pieces of art know exactly where they are going and I just follow them along. Others, however, I feel like I have to push along a twisted path until we get to our destination.  The pieces of art I’m showing you today are from the later group.  I started them many months ago and right off the bat, hit a road block.  They began easily enough, with a layer of paper added – along with some acrylic gel for texture.  Next I layered of some acrylic “paint skins” in a couple of tones.

step 1, adding paper
adding "paint skins"

Hmmmm….now what? How about some threads running through it?  Why not!

adding threads & more clear (when it dries!) acrylic

And right there, is where I got stuck! I sat them aside, keeping them visible enough that I would see them from time to time, waiting for inspiration to strike and I would suddenly know where they wanted to go.  They sat. And sat. And sat some more.  Nothing ever came flashing through my brain but the longer I looked at them I decided we were just at a dead end and needed to turn around and proceed in a different direction.  Last week we finally continued our journey. I began layering on different color paints and then, when those layers were dry, mixed up a batch of paint with some “course texture” medium added in. It felt like there was sand in the mixture as I spread it on and, when it dried, it kind of felt like the surface of a rough stucco building.

adding paint
layering on texture & color

After I put the layer on I went back and scraped away some areas to make the surface color & texture varied.

after some of the new texture & color had been scraped away

That needed to dry for quite a while! After it was dry I returned to layering on different colors.

putting on blue paint
adding black & white paint

As you can image the surface was getting really textured after all these layers being added – which is just what I wanted! I still felt it was missing something and then thought back to the very first layer that was added under all that paint.  Words!  It needed some words! So I clipped some small pieces of text, along with some textured, transparent, fiber paper and added those next.

adding some squares of see-through blue paper & words to each piece

Almost there now!  I really liked the look of the words but also wanted them to be partially hidden to where each viewer would feel like they were discovering a secret message tucked within the color & texture of the piece.  One more session of mixing paints to get just the color I wanted and it was time for the final layer! After it covered most of the surface I returned to scrap it away in certain spots.

final layer of color & texture
finished pieces (see a close up at beginning of this post!)

DONE! Although I felt like we wrestled to get here I am pleased with the finished pieces.

What kind of journeys do you enjoy? The easy road with no detours or the ones that wind into places you didn’t expect to discover? I think I aim for the first but enjoy the second when it accidently happens. The detours make the best stories! 🙂

Winding along,


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