10 x 8 mixed media on canvas
by Miki Willa
While I was doing some waiting a couple of weeks ago, I started to think about a new painting I wanted to try. I wanted to work in acrylics on canvas with some collage elements added. I wanted to create depth and texture with the paints. I used techniques that were very new and experimental to me. This is the result.
I started with a canvas I had been adding gesso to over a period of several months. I think there were four or five coats, at least. I started with a basic premise and sketch. From there, the painting took over and decided what was going to happen. I used a sponge to apply the first several coats of acrylic to get the colors mixed and feathered the way I wanted. Then I used a piece of plastic mesh as a stencil for the outside texture. On top of that, I used the inside of a Seattle's Best coffee cup protector sleeve as a stamp. I used my fingers and acrylics to create light shadows around the edge of the "netting." While I was waiting for the layers to dry, my muse went wild with ideas for the rest. I have made notes for future pieces as I knew I couldn't use all the ideas on this one small piece.
During the week that I worked on this piece, I found several small metal pieces on the ground as I walked in several different places. I knew I would use one of them on this painting (the circle with star bottom right). The papers for the collage part basically chose themselves. The gold mesh ribbon practically jumped out of a drawer to be included. Of all the paintings and collages I have done over the years, this one is one of the most exciting to me because I allowed the joy and passion of the process come first.
What is it like for you when you let go of the original idea and let the piece itself take the lead?