detail of "breathe" mixed media wall sculpture © 2011, Lynne Medsker

Today? A new piece of art created as a commission!  Always a fun process with lots of questions and feedback to guide the piece to it’s finished state. So many things to ask – what materials are preferred, colors, shapes, design, textures, size? Where will it be located in the house? Does it need to be flat or dimensional? Once I get a basic feel for where we are going then I can play around with some layouts within those parameters. Here is the very “rough draft” of what I proposed the client:

work in progress, rough draft of design

(I always cross my fingers that they can “see” past what is presented, which was no problem in this instance. If not then I do some computer enhancements to help aid their imagination!) Once I’ve got approval then I move on to actually finishing all the pieces, with this piece we wanted a variety of surface textures so I started with a layer of glue on the background piece that would eventually dry clear and would add a bit of design to the flat, black background without overpowering the rest of the piece.

work in progress - glue design on background

Then on to the smaller pieces!

work in progress - adding surface finishes to detail pieces

The bottom/largest piece was painted black and then sprinkled with black sand when it was still wet. The center piece was painted with copper acrylic and the smallest/top piece was covered in aluminum and colored with inks for a bright splash of color. If you hadn’t figured it out yet, the large circular object attached to the background is an old LP record!

work in progress - starting to assemble finished pieces

I ended up covering it with a very rough texture of aluminum and coloring it with the main color of the piece (a burgundy hue) and some splashes of the apple green. The larger pieces of wood in the composition had more of the burgundy coloring blended onto them, plus I added a bit of green to the grey rock so it would blend with the piece. Here are those pieces drying after being colored:

work in progress - colored wood pieces, etc. drying

The small wood spacers used to vary the height on the different pieces were all painted black to blend into the background piece and finally it was time to put it all together!

"breathe" mixed media wall sculpture on wood, 12x22", SOLD © 2011, Lynne Medsker

After I had assembled all the original pieces I spied a couple of areas that need a little more detail. I found the five large, round, flat beads that seemed to fill in the middle area well and then covered another small wood piece with aluminum and green ink to add a pop of color at the top of the piece.

I’ve emailed an image of the finished piece to my client who replied “It’s perfect!” and is excited for it to arrive later this week so she can see it in person and get it hung in it’s proper place. Which is the exact response I was hoping for!

Happiness all around,


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?


Finished project for Earth Day show…

"signature required for processing" mixed media collage, 36x12" (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker

Last week I posted about a project I was working on for a show celebrating Earth Day. Yesterday’s blog post included an image of the metal wall sculpture that my husband, Mark, entered in the show along with the press release announcing all the details.  Today I thought I’d share a few of the step-by-step images, as well as the finished project (above), for my show entry. I began this collage by covering the entire canvas with a layer of junk mail. After that was dry I proceeded by layering on some semi-transparent glaze in different colors.

progress image #1 (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker
progress image #2 (c) Lynne Medsker

I pushed the colors around, blending them and removing them until I was content. (I had so much fun with the glaze & colors I also used them on another project that I’ll be showing you at a later date!) The following layer was more snippets junk mail, followed by a layer of white acrylic & glaze.

progress image #3 (c) Lynne Medsker
progress image #4 (c) Lynne Medsker

Although it’s hard to tell from a small blog image there were still many areas where the original layer was showing through the over-layers of colored glaze. Here’s a close-up shot showing some of the details:

detail, progress image #5 (c) Lynne Medsker

The final layer of junk mail clippings were added and then a few areas of black paint were applied with textured applicator. Finished!  Of course all these steps were spread out over a five day period with drying time (and some pauses to think about direction). I’ve enjoyed showing some of the step-by-step photos and instruction on how I have been creating art lately, I hope you have as well.  Now on to this week’s creative project…whatever that may end up being!



“The Art of Re-use in Celebration of Earth Day’s 40th Anniversary”

wall sculpture #26, recycled metal (c) 2010 Medsker Metal Art


Exhibit at Phi Gallery Celebrates Earth Day’s 40th Anniversary

Columbus, IN.  Broken toys, yesterday’s newspaper and china shards may seem like trash to most, but in the hands of professionals, they can be transformed into beautiful art and fine crafts.  Twelve professional artists have taken these re-used objects and created artwork that will be featured at Hotel Indigo’s Phi Gallery.

Presented by the Columbus Museum of Art and Design, this exhibit entitled “The Art of Re-use in Celebration of Earth Day’s 40th Anniversary” will be on display from April 1 through May 28th.  The public is invited to a special meet the artist reception, which is scheduled for Thursday, April 8 from 5:30 to 7pm.

The show’s purpose is to demonstrate that such work is just as interesting and equal in quality to that made of new materials. “Recycled art is becoming collectible, and it’s often exhibited in fine galleries and shows across the nation,” said Columbus artist Marilyn Brackney, organizer of this exhibit.  Twelve central Indiana artists were invited to display their work, which includes mosaics, metal sculpture, fiber arts, collage and mixed media.

Besides Brackney, who will exhibit a relief sculpture, the show will include Bloomington artists Glenn Carter, metal sculpture, Cappi Phillips, mosaic/assemblage and Kelly Tate, mixed media.  Among the participating artists from Columbus are Linda Peterson, mixed media, Jan Wantz, fiber arts, and Chad Shock, woodturning.

One of the more unusual entries is that of another Bloomington artist Nick McGill who transforms old machine parts into unusual candlesticks. Also from Bloomington, Martina Celerin, whose work was featured on HGTV, will show one of her spectacular weavings.

A Brownsburg husband and wife team of Mark and Lynne Medsker will display metal sculpture and collage, and many who have toured the “Back Roads of Brown County” will recognize Chris Gustin’s weaving.

Hotel Indigo is located at 400 Brown Street in downtown Columbus, Indiana. For additional information about this exhibit or future exhibits at Phi Gallery, call 812.376.2534.

This Week’s Project

first layer of a "junk mail" collage, 12x36" (c) Lynne Medsker

So what are you up to this week? Do you have exciting plans or are you just “getting through it” until the weekend?  I’ve been known to do either of those things (especially just “getting through it” to the weekend!), but this week I’ve got a project planned to work on.  Mark & I were invited to display our artwork in a show that will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of “Earth Day”.  Cool! Of course the requirement for the art we submit is that it needs to be created with scraps or recycled or repurposed items. That won’t be a problem for Mark’s art, he has a shop full of used parts with which to create.  I decided I would raid my recycling box and make a collage piece from junk mail & catalogs. The first layer (pictured above) is mostly text, charts and other black & white type imagery, with the exception of a few splashes of color.  I’ve had fun cutting out different words, phrases and objects to be included in future layers. I’ve got today on the schedule as an “unplugged day” so I will probably start by adding some paint and more items from the catalogs and advertising. Then we’ll just see where creativity leads me!

Stay tuned for more progress reports…


Time for a little metal!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any images of the metal art that my husband, Mark, and I create together.  This time I’m going to feature a few projects that he’s done on his own.  These were items he created as gifts for some of his friends.  I love the fact that he’s gone from standing there just waiting for me to arrange pieces and point where he needs to weld to coming up with his own ideas and designs! He had talked about clocks for quite some time so it was fun to see what the final pieces looked like.

metal clock, approximately 14x14" (c) 2009, Mark Medsker
metal clock, approximately 11x11" (c) 2009, Mark Medsker

I think they turned out pretty awesome! If I were a little more familiar with used parts from heavy equipment I might even be able to tell you exactly what these are made from. 🙂 The lamp is a slightly shorter version of two matching lamps he made a few years ago.

cam shaft lamp, approximately 24" tall (c) 2009, Mark Medsker

I do know what part of it is – a cam shaft!  I kept one of the originals, it sits by my computer desk in my studio. How much fun is it to see these items recycled into art instead of being tossed out? Posting these photos makes me want to collaborate on some new metal art with him soon!

Brainstorming already,


Abstract & Mixed

Last month I posted the first image of a new series I had started working on, musing at that point how the rest would turn out.  Well, I’m done musing and done with the other pieces as well!  Here are images of the other four:

abstract #2, mixed media, 12x14", $225 (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
abstract #3, mixed media, 12x14", $225 (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
abstract #4, mixed media, 12x14", $225 (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
abstract #5, mixed media, 12x14", $225 (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker

It was fun incorporating the used parts and recycled materials into these compositions!

All five of these pieces will be for sale at the Holiday Art Show, TOMORROW, Friday, December 11th. Be sure and come visit me there between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. at the ArtsGarden in Circle Center Mall!  There will be about 20 local artists all displaying their work for your holiday shopping enjoyment. Remember, it is one day only (and you’ll be sorry if you miss it)! For more information you can CLICK HERE.

Happy shopping!



Somehow during the posting of all the new mini art a few weeks ago I never posted this image of a new, full size art piece.

(untitled) mixed media, 21x12, $395 (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker

I picked it up from the frame shop today and realized it had never made it on the blog. I’m in the process of readying lots of small items that will be used to make larger art pieces with.  Seems like it is take FOREVER but once they are finished I know the assembly of the larger pieces will go quickly.  I’m excited to try some new media as well as some familiar techniques on new objects!  Look for updates and new images soon.  In the meantime have a wonderful weekend!

Full steam ahead,