Tuesday, 25 October 2016

"Identity" The evolution of a mixed media painting

Hello my friends!  I have been MIA for a little while, I know.  I have been busy working on my latest mixed media creation, which I am excited to report, has made it into the Annual PRAC Juried Art Show!  My first real juried show! (I have done some juried events within our ACA group, but not an actual juried show).  
, I have been thinking of you all while I was working away and took several photos during my journey to the completion of this work, in order to share my process with you.
In this painting, my objective was to explore the female psyche.  We are strong, but fragile, real and complicated.  There are many other words I could have added into this painting if I had the room.  We are definitely a host of contradictions!  I did the eyes in blue, because my daughter has beautiful blue eyes and is just embarking on her journey as a woman, a time when I think our identities are the most complicated.  I wanted the juxtaposition of the flourishes and fanciful with the practicality and industriousness of the gears.  The mask represents our search for our own identity behind the veil of our other identities, mother, wife, daughter. My intention with this painting, was to embrace self-discovery.
I will give you a little insight into how my creative process works.  When I start a painting, any painting, whether mixed media, abstract or landscape, I have a general idea in my mind of composition and the elements i want to incorporate into my work, but I  don't know exactly what my finished work will look like.  All of my paintings evolve, as I'm sure they do with a lot of artists.  I am not a planner, I don't do detailed sketches or drawings, which I can't do anyways with my vision impairment.  I may know that I want a tree and wonderful clouds in a landscape, and I may know where I want the tree and an idea of the cloud formation, but I don't really know what those clouds are going to look like until I have reached a point where I feel they are done and I am pleased with them.  I don't even know what kind of tree my imagination is going to release at the end of my brush.  It amazes me how the creative process works.  Laying down one colour inspires me to lay down another..  I cannot stand back and take a look at my painting, because then I can't see it.  But, if I stand back just a bit, I can see a form and some colour and some contrast.  Some of my artist friends liken it to the artist's "squint", without actually squinting.  I think it actually helps me, in a way, to be able to just get an overall impression without being distracted by the details..
Now I will share the creation of "Identity" with you through photos and some of my thoughts, I hope you enjoy it.

An inspiration

I did a light layout in watercolour pencil on a 15 x 30" gallery style canvas

I did some stencilling

I painted in the eyes, fairly shadowed as they would be under the mask.  I also added some more texture with some impasto gel and some micro beads and crylstal beads

I added my words and built up a protective barrier with the impasto gel to protect the eyes from the ink

I painted over the entire canvas, except for the eyes, with a few different colours of acrylic paint

I used one of the gears that I created for my other painting "Inner Workings".  These gears have been "aged" but the one I used on this painting was not.

I adhered the mask and some other elements to the painting.  I really liked the way it was looking at this point, so it was difficult to start the next step because the inking is quite unpredictable.  You can control it to a certain extent by adding it where you want it and choosing what colours you want to use, but once you start moving it around it takes on a life of it's own and you don't really know what it will look like until it dries.

I added some more stencilling with gold paste and added more colour in layers, waiting for it to dry in between. Adding and fine-tuning values and contrasts. I also adjusted the "quiet space" to a level I was happy with.

And finally..."Identity"

Thank you so much for taking the time to let me share my art with you.  I would love to hear what you think.
Have an amazing and artful day!


  1. So very,very beautiful Kimberley!!Congratulations and best of luck with the show- this is a fabulous canvas! thanks for sharing your process!
    Jackie ")

    1. Thank you so much, Jackie! I'm glad you enjoyed my process and it's so kind of you to take the time to comment. I am very excited!

  2. absolutely GORGEOUS!!!!! wow!!! thanks for sharing this beautiful piece! hugs, patty

    1. Thank you so much, Patty! You are always so kind and supportive, which is always so appreciated and motivating. I'm so glad you like it!

  3. What a knockout this piece is, Kimberley - beautifully done. I'm sure it's going to be a star in that juried show, and congrats for your entry! Love, love, LOVE this! xo

    1. Thank you so much! I was pretty excited. I'm so glad you like it!

  4. Oh wow, this is truly amazing! Thanks so much for the step out - placing those eyes behind the mask is genius! Congrats on being featured - I can see why they chose your work!

    1. Thank you, Zsuzsa! I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. I have been trying to remember to take process photos, but sometimes I get so engrossed in what i'm doing, I forget. I'm glad you like the eyes, that was the most difficult part for me, because with the eyes I've got, it's hard to paint any detail, lol!

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Belinda, for taking the time to visit and for your lovely comment! I'm so glad you like it!

  6. Beautiful piece. Best of luck with your show.


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