“She found her inner artist” Mixed Media Canvas

Every since becoming a blogger – the side of me that you’ve known and seen has been my paper crafting side – card making, scrapbooking, and 3D projects.  I think that today, I’m finally ready to start sharing with you all an aspect of my art that up until now I’ve kept on the private side – and that’s my work in mixed media and art journalling (click on any of the pictures for a close-up view).

When Soph and I lauched our Artist in You online class this past fall, one of the things I shared was my lifelong yearning to be creative and artistic. One of my biggest personal struggles – in pretty much all areas of my life – has been this intense need for perfection. To the point of putting myself down, doubting my abilities, criticizing my accomplishments, and sometimes not even trying something I really wanted to do, for fear of failure, or simply because I felt as though I just wouldn’t be “good enough”.

Despite spending years involved in sewing and tole painting (folk art painting), scrapbooking and card making…despite dabbling in pottery and clay art, I was always reluctant to call myself an “artist” – for a lot of reasons, but I think the biggest being that I didn’t see my work as being up to the same caliber as the work of others that call themselves Artists. 

It wasn’t until I started getting involved in mixed media work that that perception of myself really started to change.  Over the last year and half to two years I’ve been reading books and taking traditional and online art and mixed media classes and just playing around with my stuff.  It’s been so fun, and so freeing – but at the same time, it’s been a very personal and very intense journey as well.  It’s really been about the evolution of my self-perception and finding my inner artist, so to speak.

Because it’s been so intensely personal, I’ve been really reluctant to put my work “out there”.  So I’m starting with baby steps. 

Today’s project is based on Christy Tomlinson’s She Art Girls.  The techniques I use to create the background are ones that I’ve learned from a variety of different sources (so not specific to one place), but the style of the girl is totally based on Christy’s She Art Girls – which I’m so in love with.  So you’ll probably see a few of these before I start showing you some of my mixed media work that is totally my own take (that’s why I told you I’m taking baby steps LOL).

I’ve put together a list of the supplies I’ve used and tried to be as comprehensive as possible – as you’ll see I used so many different things that it’s hard to remember them all:

Stamps: CL383 Antique Engravings, S4878 Old Letter Writing (Hero Arts); Pattern Pieces stamp, Nursery Letters Jumbo Wheel (Stampin’ Up!)
Color & Mediums: Jet Black Staz On ink (Tsukineko); Fluid Acrylics, Heavy body acrylics, Glaze, modeling paste (Golden); Tim Holtz Distress Stickles, Claudine Hellmuth Acrylic Paint, Claudine Hellmuth Multi-Medium Matte, Adirondack Paint dabbers, Matte Accents (Ranger), professional acrylic ink (Liquitex), Stampin’ Pastels (Stampin’ Up!), Pitt Brush Pens (Faber-Castell) Red Copic Marker (Copic)
Paper: heavy weight chipboard (Stampion’ Up! – from the specialty DP packs), Newsprint DP (Stampin’ Up!); vintage book pages, sewing pattern tissue paper (other); red patterned paper (Papertrey Ink); Lemonade collection DP (Basic Gray)

Accessories: Summer Love & Hidden Garden Rub-ons, White Pearls (Stampin’ Up!); brown wool felt (Giant Dwarf Etsy Shop); Lace, sequin flower center (Prima marketing), silver punchinella (Len’s Mills fabric store), shelf liner (dollar store); paint brushes


22 replies on ““She found her inner artist” Mixed Media Canvas”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this “other” side of yourself to all of us! While I can completely relate to not feeling that your work is “good enough”, please know that I, and I am confident that all who follow your blog(s), feel that you are awesome at what you do! Maybe if you did not have that perfectionist aspect to your personality you would not have found the success you have. I look forward to reading your future offerings and I am sure I will be as impressed as ever.

  2. I couldn’t agree more with Nancy! I also feel that as women, we always feel that there is a little bit of “extra” that we have to prove to the outside world, but as you said, we fear failure and don’t always put ourselves out there. Kudos to you (and your sister) for doing just that – putting yourself out there! You are a true inspiration to so many of us on so many different levels. And for that I say Thank You!

  3. Andrea….this mixed media canvas is WONDERFUL!!!
    Good for you. You have to work all your talents Girl!!!!

  4. Wow !! I feel very priviledged to be part of the “gang” you are sharing this side of yourself with. I know how intensely personal it can be. Your work is amazing.

  5. WOW!!! I would be so proud of myself if I had done something like this. It’s awesome, I have to do a little reading on mixed media art. I LOVE it!!!

  6. Wonderful! I too have trouble seeing myself as an artist, and am pretty much hung up on perfection… Thanks for being so courageous! You’re a great example for all of us “closet artists”!

  7. You not an artist? Even if you only did papercrafting you have to know that you are an extremely talented artist. You should be proud to hang this latest piece of art on your wall. Great job.

  8. This mixed media canvas is terrific. I love the look and feel you can only get with the mixed media. The textures, layers of designs, and colors makes this amazing to look at. I’ve just recently gotten started with mixed media after loving the look for so long. Congratulations on expanding your possibilities outside of traditional paper crafting that you’re so terrific at. I love the fact that you’re free to show and list non-SU stuff now. Makes your work even more wonderful.

  9. This is fabulous! Everything I have seen of your work is very professional and a grade above! Would you ever consider running your “Artist in you” class again? I think there are many, such as myself, who would benefit from your experience. I have joined the library and am thankful that you decided to creat such a thing…. it is so very helpful!

  10. i know what you mean by comparing yourself. so easy to dismiss ourselves. glad you’re finding your artistic self. i’m on my search. great job. love it.

  11. Andrea,
    Wow!!! This is just great — please share more!! You are so generous to share this personal adventure with us.

  12. I love your inner artist. I have stalked your sight for 2 years and this one seems to be the most real to me. Not only a great business women, but a gifted artist. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Andrea I am so impressed with your mixed media! I hope you realize how many people you inspire with your creative talent. When I took a water colour class the teacher asked each student what we wanted to accomplish and I answered that I would like to be able to combine all of my various interests in different mediums into one expression of art and that is exactly what you have accomplished. I can only imagine how much fun that was to create, so please know that you are the Artrist that has inspired me to work towards accomplishing my dream. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and your creative expression through mixed media is beautifully well done. Congratulations!

  14. Andrea,

    First of all, I just want you to know that I’ve considered you an Artist (even if the only side I’ve seen until now was Paper Crafting) ever since I came across your blog 2+ years ago! 🙂 I have always been in awe of your talents!!

    I know no one deals with perfectionism the exact same way, but I can honestly say I struggle with it also! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve let things “pass on by” because I didn’t think I could do it “perfect” so I didn’t even take the chance. And that chance could have been the chance of a lifetime. Perfectionism can really get in the way of a LOT of things in life!

    I’m also taking Christy Tomlinson’s She Art Workshop. Your Girl is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!! ♥ her!! I have yet to complete my first She Art Girl. Perfectionism getting in the way?? Hmmm… Ya think? LOL Sometimes all I can do is laugh at myself, otherwise I’d just be in tears!! I’m sure you can relate at times! Here’s CHEERS to getting over that ugly word… pErFeCtIoN!! We can do it!!! 🙂


  15. Andrea, I’m so happy to read this post and to see your very first mixed-media creation photos.

    I admire your courage for posting something different than your usual style; it’s bold and scary. But you need not worry. I started dabbling into art journaling and the wonderful world of mandalas and zentangles and dooling and I’m struck with the same fear of being different and not being accepted.

    Undeniably, YOU ARE AN ARTIST! This project is insanely beautiful and I really you’ll share more of your wonderful mixed-media creations.


  16. such beautiful and courageous art, andrea. please keep sharing your “inner artist” with us. i am inspired and blessed by it.


  17. Dear Andrea,

    I want to tell you how happy I am to see this “other side” of your artistic personality. Honestly, I also relate to that feeling of “not good enough”, but let me say this “YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH! YOU ARE TALENTED! YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES!” Kudos to you, and to Sophia, for sharing your talents with all of us. Forgive me, but I thought you were talented before you left SU, but I think because of it you have truly blossomed. You seem more free and it is shining through by leaps and bounds.

    Please keep setting your artistic spirit free and sharing your awesome talents with all of us.

    Big hugs to you!


  18. I love your mixed media art and am soooo glad that you shared it with us. I too have similar fears. My sister was always the celebrated artist in our family so it really wasn’t something I ever felt I could do or be. I now take summer CE courses at Emily Carr University and my sister is my biggest fan and supporter of my art : )

    Thank you so much for sharing.
    luv nt

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