Wednesday Words from the Studio – January 5, 2011

My second day in the studio this week was just as much fun as I had anticipated! It was nice to have the company of another artist for the day. Although I’ve been talking about and dreaming of new creations I turned my focus onto some smaller pieces that have been hanging around waiting for some attention. One piece has been through so many variations and changes that it will get it’s own blog post at a later date, and I’m STILL not sure it’s to the finished stage! But it’s getting there! I had a couple of small (8×8″) canvases that had their surfaces painted quite a while ago and nothing else was ever done to them. It was time to take them somewhere new! I covered each of them with a layer of white gesso, leaving some of the underneath surface & design peeking through. After that dried I used pencils/charcoal to draw some geometric designs on each canvas.

(untitled #1) image 1, work in progress (c) 2011, Lynne Medsker
(untitled #2) image 1, work in progress (c) 2011, Lynne Medsker

The next step was to choose my colors and start adding layers of acrylic into each of the spaces.

(untitled #1) image 2, work in progress (c) 2011, Lynne Medsker

I added a few more lines to the composition of the first piece and continued to paint. It took a few layers of paint to get the colors as intense as I wanted them. This is how they look now.

(untitled #1) image 3, work in progress (c) 2011, Lynne Medsker
(untitled #2) image 2, work in progress (c) 2011, Lynne Medsker

I am not certain that they are finished, I’m going to spend some time with them and see if they give me any clues about their direction. ūüôā

The next project ended up being called the “Accidental Pizza” piece! I was having fun and didn’t take the amount of photos I normally do so you’ll have to imagine this triangle shaped canvas with lots of texture on it, painted with gray/greens, and some bits of black, white, blue & yellow. It almost reminded me of camouflage! It’s been around a while but was never a favorite piece so it had made it’s way back to the studio for some improvements. I added a new layer of acrylic gel and textured it with some swirling designs and also adhered three round pieces of cement on the surface. After that had all dried I took a thin, flexible palette knife and began scraping some red, yellow and eventually copper color paint across the surface.

"accidental pizza" image 1, work in progress (c) 2011, Lynne Medsker

I sprayed that with a mist of water to let in blend into the grooves. Meh. It was better than it had been but still needed something to make it “pop”. I remembered some iridescent gold ink that I had all but used up and thought that might just do the trick. Evidently I had used up more of the gold tone than I thought because what was left ended up looking more like an off-white, and not overly sparkly at that. Still it wasn’t looking too bad and I continued to drop more of it on the piece, watching it swirl & blend into the other colors. I was enjoying watching this process and it wasn’t until I was entirely finished adding all the ink that I backed away from the piece long enough to really get a good look at it. Holy COW! It looked just like a piece of pizza – melted cheese and all!

"accidental pizza" mixed media on canvas (c) 2011, Lynne Medsker

Now I do like pizza but I am pretty sure I hadn’t been thinking of it, we’d just finished a nice lunch and I’m positive I wasn’t hungry. After I let out a yell there was quite a bit of laughter about my creation and I’m sure I won’t live it down soon. One good note, I know a nice young couple that opened a pizza store last year so I think this may end up on the wall at their shop. At least it will have a happy home, isn’t that what all art wants?

All’s well that ends well,


One of the new “recycled” art projects…

(untitled) mixed media wall sculpture, 20x12" (c) 2010, Lynne & Mark Medsker

Mark & I have been creating artwork together to show this weekend at the “Deja Vu All Over Again” show in Columbus, Indiana (click here for more info). ¬†This is one of the first completed pieces – ¬†there are several others that are close to completion or in the “drying” stages. It’s been fun to work together & brainstorm a bit! I have been having a lot of fun with cement, grout & sand mixtures added to wood for texture and interest so I wanted to incorporate something like that into a few of the pieces we made together. This was a piece of scrap wood from my father-in-laws barn, I have no idea how long it had been out there but it was a great piece to “recycle” into some new art. Since I’ve been enjoying the texture on wood I had purchased some “crackle” paste a few weeks ago that I hadn’t played with – this seemed to be the perfect piece to give it a try on!

wood piece with crackle paste (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker

After I applied a thin coat it had to dry for several days before I could add anything to it. I sealed it and then began to use washes of acrylic, using both liquid acrylics and acrylic inks. After applying them I sprayed water to thin them further and let them drip/run around the wood and into the cracks on the surface.

first layers of acrylic - image 1 (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker
first layers of acrylic - image 2 (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker

Using the thinned paint is a bit deceiving because it looks quite bright but, since it’s such a thin layer, it dries in a much more muted tone. This is how it looked after the first two layers (shown above) dried.

work in progress, dried layers (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker

What a difference! I ended up going back and adding another (slightly thicker!) layer or two of color before I was satisfied with the saturation. The metal “frame” for the piece was welded from old parts that we keep in stock out in the workshop. It’s always fun to dig around and pull pieces out, arrange them, switch them and get them “just right” for whatever project we are working on. When we first started making metal artwork together we painted all the pieces in bright colors, lately if we do anything at all to them it’s just buff them to a shine & seal them with clear paint. For this piece the metal was left in it’s natural, semi-rust state since I wanted to give an old, weathered looked to the entire piece. I added the three accent pieces to the wood after it was dried & re-sealed. It’s new enough it’s not even been given a name yet but I wanted to give you a little preview of what we’ll be showing this weekend.

Whatcha think?


Wrapping things up…

Well, my time here at the Tin Shop is winding down, and I find myself facing the end of my residency time. ¬†Bittersweet to be sure…I’ve had such a wonderful experience being here and have loved the scenery and surroundings as well as the awesome people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. ¬† In a recent post I showed images of some work in progress, I now have both those pieces completed. ¬†Here are the finished products:

peak 7 mixed media (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
"peak 7" mixed media (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
(untitled) mixed media (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
(untitled) mixed media (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker

Not only have I finished work some of it has already left Colorado. ¬†I shipped out all the pieces for the “Art on Record” show and also sent a box full of completed artwork to the frame shop back home so they can get started with the framing. ¬†My studio space here is starting to look a bit “naked” as things slowly leave. ¬†

¬†I have continued working on the “junk journals” and finished some blank ones to leave here as gifts for Jenn & Gretchen, who have been so wonderful to work with. I also have the cover of the first journal finished now…I am keeping the first two for myself, for one reason they were very much “trial & error” projects and also just for sentimental reasons. ¬†Here are some samples of the completed journals:

finished cover, junk journal 1 (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
finished cover, junk journal 1 (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker


junk journal 3 (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
junk journal 3 (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
junk journal 4 (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
junk journal 4 (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker


junk journal 5 (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
junk journal 5 (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
junk journal 6 (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
junk journal 6 (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker

¬†I have some smaller (5×7″) mixed media pieces that I am finishing up that I think I can just pack & ship home with my art supplies. ¬† This is what they looked like when I was cutting out the shapes, I’ll get photos of the completed pieces tomorrow before I pack them…I ran out of daylight for photography by the time I had them completed this evening.

work in progress, 4-17-09
work in progress, 4-17-09
work in progress, 4-17-09
work in progress, 4-17-09
work in progress, 4-17-09
work in progress, 4-17-09
work in progress, 4-17-09
work in progress, 4-17-09

As I was preparing some of my supplies for the trip back home I took several photos of sheets of paper that I had brought with me, much of it handmade. ¬†I loved the texture & patterns and after taking photos of it laying flat I realized it would be even better to photograph against the window with the light illuminating it from behind. ¬†SO, once all my supplies have left on Saturday I will have those images to play with in Photoshop. ¬† I’m thinking of combining them with some of the images from my road trips…maybe something new to add to my “Art & Nature” series?

Until tomorrow…


More ATC’s from CO

After the Artist Trading Card workshop on Thursday I left open the table and supplies to make cards and anyone that stops in to visit while I am working is welcome to make one (or more!) while they are here. ¬†I’ve had some takers and gotten to trade cards with several visitors as well. ¬†Yeah for participation! ¬†Here are a couple of photos of the tables & materials (plus there are a few other boxes of goodies sitting around the room for people to root through).

While I was taking these photos I took some close-up shots of the alphabet stickers and of the tiny pieces in this scrapbooking box…I’ve been having fun playing with them in Photoshop, but that’s for another post! ¬†During our workshop on Thursday I had time to create a few new ATC’s as well. ¬†Here is a sampling:

thawing ATC (c) 2009 Lynne Medsker
"thawing" ATC (c) 2009 Lynne Medsker
grow ATC (c) 2009 Lynne Medsker
"grow" ATC (c) 2009 Lynne Medsker
blossom ATC (c) Lynne Medsker
"blossom" ATC (c) Lynne Medsker
dance ATC (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
"dance" ATC (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
pocketful of blessings (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
"pocketful of blessings" (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker

I must be ready for spring! ¬†I didn’t notice how many flowers I had used until I just put these images on here. ūüôā ¬†It is that time of year so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that flowers are sprouting in my imagination. ¬†Happy spring to you!


Re-altered Altered Art

As I mentioned in my post a few days ago, I was curious to define the difference between mixed media art and altered art. ¬†Although I’m not certain this is the definitive answer it seems that almost all altered art can be mixed media but not all mixed media can be altered art. ¬†Altered art includes paper, objects, etc. that were made for or previously used for another purpose. ¬†While incorporating those items into your artwork you might use various other techniques such as painting, collage, stamping, etc. (i.e. mixed media). ¬†Mixed media is simply using more than one media to create your art. ¬†Having found a reasonable explaination to define one from the other I decided that the piece I created for the altered art swap was actually a mixed media piece since it did not have any items that were used or made for another purpose. ¬†SO, I did a little bit of reworking and added some upolstery tacks to the piece. ¬†Honestly I kept thinking it needed something but I couldn’t decide what…I think it made it feel more “finished” as well as qualifying it to be altered art! ¬†Here is an image of it, I took this photo with the tag turned backwards…I think I prefer it that way as opposed to the compass image but that will be up to it’s new owner to decide!


updated Travel 4x4 altered art on canvas, (c) 2009 Lynne Medsker
updated “Travel” 4×4″ altered art on canvas, (c) 2009 Lynne Medsker

Altered Art

Yesterday I took time to let my creative side loose and worked on a few new mixed media pieces and also created an altered art piece for an upcoming swap.¬† I joined a local altered art group through yahoo last year after a couple of my students recommended it to me.¬†You can visit their site at¬†¬† ¬†My original interest in the group was that they had a monthly artist trading card swap and I had just begun exploring ATC’s.¬† Although I’ve only been able to participate in a few of the swaps it’s been nice to meet others that are interested in mixed media.¬† They have monthly meetings, normally at the Nora Library, and also hold workshops from time to time. ¬†They have expanded their monthly swaps to include more items than ATC’s, this month everyone is supposed to create a small piece on canvas, no larger than 4×6 inches.¬† Here is an image of my piece:

"Travel" 4x4" mixed media/altered art (c) Lynne Medsker


The medallion is attached at the top but hangs loose over the canvas to add a little “movement” to the piece. I also created another piece with a postcard from the early 1900’s…I had fun creating the textured background with clear acrylic gel:

"July 3rd, 1913" 6x6" mixed media/altered art (c) Lynne Medsker


The title refers to the postmark date on the postcard. I have been holding on to¬†this card¬†for a couple of years trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with it.¬† I finally pushed myself to just do SOMETHING.¬† I’ve got so much material around that I am saving for “someday” that it’s always a breakthrough when I can make myself use some of it! ¬†Mental note to self – next time take an image of the back of the card!¬†I regret not doing that before I attached it to the canvas. ¬†Although I jotted down the postmark date there was writing, a signature & an address on there that showed it’s “history”. ¬†I feel like I was a bit disrespectful by loosing that information. ¬†Sigh.¬†

Working with this group makes me want to do some research on the exact definitions of altered art vs. mixed media, I think I use them interchangeably for the most part. ¬†I’ll let you know if I find out anything definitive! ¬†

More news soon, until then be safe & happy!