“Promise of Spring” Mixed Media Canvas by Andrea & “Playing Catch” Mixed Media Canvas by Julia Walford (Age 8)

For months now, my just-turned-8 year old daughter Julia has been begging and pleading with me to teach her how I create my Mixed Media pieces.  Now don’t get me wrong – Julia  has pretty free access to many of the supplies in my studio and already really enjoys making cards. In fact she’s been crafting with me and making cards for years.  Just to give you an example of her enthusiasm – at age 4 she was already teaching one of her little classmates how to use the Big Shot (I had no idea at the time she knew how to use it – she told me later she had learned by watching me LOL).  But mixed media is a bit of a different ballgame. 

An average 6″ x12″ or 8″ x 8″ mixed media canvas usually takes me about 5 hours to complete – and it can be really hard to teach, since a lot of the time, I’m just going with the flow and letting the creative process lead me.  I do a little of this, and try a little of that.  While I start with a general idea in mind, I don’t really plan it out, and a lot of the time, by the time I’m finished, I’ve incorporated so many different techniques and materials and products, that it’s hard to remember exactly what I did or what I used.

At the same time, I knew I had to try – because it was important to her.  She’s a very artistic child – she loves to draw, paint, color, sew, cook, do pottery etc.

So, a few weeks ago, I brought her down to my studio one Saturday evening, and set us both up with an 8″ x 8″ canvase, some paint and a variety of other materials.  Initially she was insistent that she wanted to do exactly what I was going to do (even though I didn’t really know what I was going to do LOL) – so I showed her my basic process of putting together the foundation of a mixed-media piece. 

By the time we had finished with the base and the stamping on the base, she suddenly decided that she wanted to have a dog on hers. So with a little encouragement to follow her own muse, she started branching out – she used some of the techniques and products I was using, but did it totally in her own way. 

The fun and spring-y project you see above is the one that I created, the project you see below is her masterpiece.

When I started mine I had originally planned on creating a birdhouse sitting on a tree branch.  By the time I got my tree branch finished, I didn’t feel like making a birdhouse anymore – instead I felt like making a little bird. To create the branch – I hand-sketched the main trunk, and then collaged on some branches which I had die cut with the Birds and Branches Sizzix die. I then used acrylic paints over the branches and leaves.

The flowers were cut out of a piece of patterned paper by My Mind’s Eye: Stella Rose Gertie collection. 

“Playing Catch” Mixed Media Canvas by Julia Walford, Age 8

13 replies on ““Promise of Spring” Mixed Media Canvas by Andrea & “Playing Catch” Mixed Media Canvas by Julia Walford (Age 8)”

  1. I LOVE Julia’s work and enthusiasm !!! My 3 year old follows me to my studio and I anxiously await the days she and I will (and my 4 month old) will spend in there creating and making memories ! Cheers to you for inspiring and encouraging your kids to develop to their potential ! I lool forward to seeing more from Miss Julia !

  2. Julia’s work is lovely. Well worth framing. Dont you just love it when the kids get involved. I have five grandchildren and they all love to get into my craft room and make little projects. I come in later and find things taped to my cupboards which read To Grandma, I love you etc. Its so cute.
    Keep up the good work Julia. You will soon be teaching mum new projects and ideas.

  3. That’s wonderful Andrea. To be able to craft with your daughter like that is truly great. She did a fabulous job on her project (and so did you, lol!)

  4. These are just lovely! Julia is very talented — just like her Mom and Aunt. Thank you so much for showing us her work alongside yours.

  5. I love both pieces. You did surprise me tho with your style — a lot more modern than I would have thought for you, but very unique. This is so different than my style and I am so surprised how much I love your color choices. I am a great fan of mixed media, although I have never tried using a canvas. I think I would love trying one on canvas. I keep going back up the page to look at both your creations — they are so beautiful. I always knew you were an artist, but how wonderful that your daughter has this natural talent. Her canvas is really very good, and I know you are a proud mama for sure. I love how she mixed her colors for the grass and sky. Thank you so very much for sharing these — it really makes me want to go to the store tomorrow to get some canvas.

  6. Andrea, That “playing catch” piece of artwork is the most adorable thing I have ever seen! It put a smile on my face. Very hard to do lately! I miss my daughter…. You have quite a budding artist on your hands. So precious! Your canvases have been so beautiful! I am quite impressed with your courage in sharing your talent. I know at first it was hard but I’m sure now you’re probably wondering what you were afraid of. I love them all. Keep creating from the heart and you can’t go wrong.

  7. WOW! She IS an artist as well! No wonder, growing up with such inspiration around her. God bless your family Andrea.

  8. wow – they are both gorgeous and I really want to have a go with my DD who is 12, I know she would love to try something like that. Thanks for sharing and well done to Julia! Sue

  9. Wow what a little artist–this is art indeed–we will someday see her work in galleries–great work Mom–she has a great teacher–have a very Happy Mother’s Day–and my thoughts for your husband and all the family.

  10. you can tell this artist is on her way to something big; I recently found a silhouette paper craft I had done, in Gr.1 & my mom had entered it in a local competition. I won 1st. place & $2.00! BIG stuff for me, for many yr. from that day on. My mom was my inspriation & to this day I’m still using my hands for so many crafts I enjoy to make. Thank you for sharing Julia’s passion & yes, yours, too!

  11. Dear Andrea,
    Absolutely glorious mix of blues & greens in your daughter’s canvas.
    After nearly 40 years of teaching English etc, I now teach cardmaking to Senior ladies, who are only now having the courage to follow their own creative paths, instead of copying some design of mine. This gives me so much pleasure & I sure you’ve felt this with your own daughter. It’s great that she’s caught the ‘bug’ now. God alone knows what she will achieve from this early start.
    BTW, love yours too, especially the little poem. I really should use the computer more in my creations. Many thanks for all the inspiration.
    Anne M. Peil

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