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