"Conversion" mixed media (repurposed metal on wood) © Lynne Medsker
“Conversion” mixed media (repurposed metal on wood) © Lynne Medsker

During the next few blog posts I’ll be sharing artwork created from reclaimed metal from a large file cabinet that had been discarded. The first step was to cut apart the cabinet into managable pieces! Once that was done then I drew the design and cut out each of the smaller pieces with a plasma cutter.

After cleaning them up a bit they were spray painted in various colors and then re-assembled & glued onto wood panels.  Decorative nails were used to help secure the piece and add extra detail.

The three circles were mounted on different thicknesses of wood pieces to add depth to the overall image. This piece and the upcoming “Pathway” are both the same size piece, approximately 12 x 36″ each. Currently they are on display at Artistic Designs Gallery in Brownsburg, Indiana.

Spiral Tree – download & share!

It’s true, everyone LOVES something free! And, since I’m just nice like that, I happen to have one for you today! You are welcome to download this line drawing to use for coloring, painting, zentangles, digital artwork, collage, whatever strikes your fancy. Of course there IS a catch…

"Spiral Tree" - how will you get creative with it? Click image for full size downloadable file!
“Spiral Tree” – how will you get creative with it? Click image for full size downloadable file!

The only thing I ask is that once you are finished having fun with it, please take a moment to snap a picture of your creation and post it on my Facebook Page so I can see it.  I’m excited to see what everyone ends up doing with it!

Fun, fun, fun!



I think with this post I will finally have all the art I created in February on the blog. Gee, that only took three months!

concealed, mixed media on wood, 24x36. $425
“concealed” mixed media on wood panel, 24 x 36″, $425 © Lynne Medsker

This is another piece that started with a layer of concrete on a wood panel. I really, really (really!) enjoyed applying the concrete layer….it was mixed pretty thin and I had a long time to work with it. Much like finger painting I ran my hands through the fluid concrete, swirling it around and playing like a kindergartner. It was a very good form of therapy!

work in progress, concealed
blank panel, waiting for a layer of concrete (along with some smaller pieces)

Once I finally quit playing with the texture it needed to dry for a day or two before I could proceed. I began by smoothing a layer of black acrylic paint all over the top of the surface, with a heavy amount around the edges.

work in progress, concealed © lynne medsker
Concealed – work in progress, black acrylic added © lynne medsker

When that layer had dried then I added some liquid layers of acrylic inks that I blended across the entire piece. Using a purple and green hues seems to create a shade deep turquoise that I always love!

concealed, work in progress © lynne medsker
concealed, work in progress © lynne medsker

I continued to add layers of purple & green until I was happy with the depth of color. To highlight the piece I added some metallic paints (silver, gold, copper) on top of the black in certain areas. It was *almost* there!

detail image, concealed © lynne medsker
“concealed” detail image © lynne medsker

It took me a while to figure out what else I needed to add before I could feel like it was finished. What it ended up being was lots and lots of tiny details in black ink. Although the image above was taken before the ink was added basically I put small little circle-type details on top of the larger areas of metallic paint. It ended up look much like the patterns on a wild animal, perhaps a leopard? They aren’t apparent at once and I really like that – it really does feel like there is something a little wild concealed within the image, waiting for you to discover it! Of course if you want to see those details you’ll need to come see it in person – I’d love to show it to you!

Watercolor Experiments!

student work, abstract watercolor technique class, 1/11/12

We had a great time yesterday playing with watercolors! After some talk about composition and the different types of watercolor papers & surfaces we started to play.

student artwork, watercolor class 1/11/12

Color, texture and fun was going on everywhere!

student artwork, watercolor class 1/11/12
student artwork, watercolor class 1/11/12

As a matter of fact we had so much fun playing there’s a class scheduled for NEXT Wednesday, January 18th from noon to 3 p.m.!  We’ll be switching it up for that class and playing with acrylic paints and texturing materials. I’ve got three openings left, want to join in?  Send me an email!

work in progress, watercolor class 1/11/12

Wednesday Words from the Studio – January 19, 2011

"concerto" acrylic on illustration board, 10x20" (c) 2011, Lynne Medsker

I had a fairly productive day again today, even with a bit of a late start. Word of advice: Snooze alarms don’t work when you press the off button instead! I tested the paint on the three-piece mixed media art that I worked on yesterday and it seemed fairly dry but I was still a bit leery since it was so thick so I put it aside for another day of drying. No sense in messing it up because I’m in a big hurry. And, to be honest, I’m suddenly a bit intimidated by all the open space that needs work.

work in progress, 3-piece mixed media (c) 2011, Lynne Medsker

I know once I start laying down color that feeling will disappear, so my plan is to MAKE myself do something to the piece tomorrow, no matter what! Since I didn’t work on that today I went back to working on the two pieces I started yesterday on illustration board.I think I mentioned yesterday that I planned to add copper paint to the pieces and so that was my first step.

work in progress, "congregate" (c) 2011, Lynne Medsker

I painted in random areas around each piece until I was pleased with the amount of copper color.

work in progress, "concerto" (c) 2011, Lynne Medsker

It still needed a little something else but I really didn’t want to add any other colors to the pieces so I went back in with black acrylic and filled in more “selectively random” areas on each piece until I was happy with the way they looked.

work in progress, "congregate" (c) 2011, Lynne Medsker

The final step was to peel off the masking tape that I had used to block out a border around each piece. Unfortunately some of the illustration board peeled up with the tape in a few areas, and there was one spot where some paint seeped under the tape and into the white space. Poop. Oh well, they can be matted, I was just trying to save that step (and expense) when I was ready to frame them. It’s possible I could try painting the border, I’m still debating on that. Anyhow, the first piece is at the top of the blog and here is the second.

"congregate" acrylic on illustration board, 10x20" (c) 2011, Lynne Medsker

Once those were finished I started a couple of new pieces. I like having several works going in different stages so I don’t have any down time when I finally have the time & inspiration to work. These are smaller pieces on 6 x 12″ cradled art boards. I rarely sketch before I paint so this was a bit different for me, I’m rather curious to see if I like working this way or not. I’ve been reading (again, some more!) several art books lately and am inspired to try lots of different things. This project was to go through old magazines and look at the photos upside down to find some interesting abstract compositions to jump start a project. I found a few different ones but these two seemed to be the ones I was drawn to the most. The end result may or may not look like the original sketch, it’s more for inspiration than it is to be copied exactly – unless that’s what I really want to do! Here are a few of the steps during the sketching of the first piece:

work in progress "columns" (c) 2011, Lynne Medsker
work in progress "columns" (c) 2011, Lynne Medsker
work in progress "columns" (c) 2011, Lynne Medsker

This is the end result of the second sketch, as well as the end result of my hand after I smudged and smeared the charcoal around until I was happy with it.

work in progress "waves" (c) 2011, Lynne Medsker
work in progress! (c) 2011, Lynne Medsker

I tried different ways of applying the color to the canvases. The first piece I used a brush, spray bottle of water and lots of blending to start off.

work in progress "columns" (c) 2011, Lynne Medsker

After it had sat for a bit I went back in with a paper towel and blotted/blended the colors again.

work in progress "columns" (c) 2011, Lynne Medsker

For the second piece I used a palette knife and applied the paint with the side of the blade as well as the flat backside of the knife.

work in progress "waves" (c) 2011, Lynne Medsker

The final step for both these pieces was a layer of clear acrylic gel to add different amounts of texture to the pieces.

work in progress "waves" (c) 2011, Lynne Medsker
work in progress "columns" (c) 2011, Lynne Medsker

They are both waiting on my work table to continue adding colors and layers. The forecast is still including snow & cold for tomorrow and I decided it sounded like an excellent day to just stay in, stay warm & work in the studio. I re-scheduled a few of my errands and went out a took care of some others this evening. It wasn’t such a hard decision really, anytime I can stay in and make art that’s going to be my choice!

More news & updates tomorrow…


While the paint dries…

Yes, I get ever so excited when I get to spend the day in the studio.  But some days just seem to be scattered, no matter my amount of enthusiasm! (Does that ever happen to you?) I usually just jump right in a get started, the art begins to flow and I’m lost in creativity for the day.  To help with the “jumping in” I’ve laid out my project(s) for today during my last studio session. Having something ready to go is helpful, I don’t have to make any decisions about what I’ll do. (I don’t want to spend half the day just thinking about it!) Today I had two groups of small pieces that had previously had layers of texture added and this was the day to start adding the acrylic paint.  I had the paint colors selected already so there wasn’t anything to slow me. Turn on the music and let the art begin!

Layering one color, adding another, spreading the paint left, right, up & down until I was happy with the coverage and colors on the first group of six tiny square pieces. Then I did some more texturing/designing by scraping away paint.  Time for it to dry so I moved on to the second set of  three pieces and began the process again with a few different colors. Time for those pieces to dry too. I jumped over to the recent mixed media collage I had created and did some finish painting on the edges of the canvas so it would be ready to hang when the opportunity presented itself.  Well, that was fun…but now what? I could start another new piece but I don’t have an enormous amount of workspace and it was pretty full with all the small pieces laying on it. Of course I could always set up a folding table. Hmmm. Well, I guess it’s time for some coffee. Then I wandered to the bathroom & decided it was time to do some personal maintanence. Eyebrow plucked, other stray hairs removed or trimmed, moisturized and I was good to go. So now what?

I’ve been wanting to make some changes to the blog (check out the sidebar for updates, new info and a new look!).  Cool…done with that.  Might as well put up a blog post while I’m here, right? Then the phone rang and I talked to someone about possibly teaching some photography classes.  Time to check the paint again…nope. Wash the paint off my hands (again). Swept up some of the crazy asian beetle/ladybugs that are coming out of hibernation. It seems like a lot of them come out just to roll over and die on my carpet…ewww! I also got a few of the live ones in the “swirling vortex of death” while I was at it. It makes me feel victorious when I sweep them out of my art space but I know within a few hours more will appear. Happens every spring.

Oooh, the UPS man is bringing me a package! FedEx was here yesterday…it’s been a package delivering frenzy.  (Probably related to an online shopping frenzy for art supplies earlier in the week!) It was an order of photo/art papers for printing so I got them arranged in their proper place. Yesterday’s delivery included six new canvases, 12 large sheets of paper and some other fun things to do.  I love getting new art supplies! I guess now it’s time for lunch (the clock and my stomach both say that’s true).  I’m hoping that by the time I’m finished with lunch the paint will finally be dry. If not I’ll either get desperate and take the blow drying to it or I’ll start another project!

This is starting to sound more like an entry in my journal than a blog post so, grabbing a bite to eat and then…back to the studio, wet or dry paint, I go!

Hop, Skip, Jump –


UPDATE: The paint finally dried! Now everything has an entirely new coat drying. 🙂 I also started working on a new paper piece…details coming in the following days!