Tag Archives: mixed media

Artistic Endeavors – Marilyn Henrion

Now 80 years old, mixed-media artist Marilyn Henrion is a native of Brooklyn who has spent time in the New York artistic and literary world.  Her aesthetic vision has always been deeply rooted in the urban geometry of her surroundings. You can see this in her earlier works of geometric abstraction as well as in more recent architecturally-based mixed media works, which feature New Orleans and Europe.

Some of her works are quilts, for all practical purposes, with piecing and quilting. Many of Henrion’s quilted pieces are featured here.

Disturbances 1
Byzantium II

Other works consist of hand quilted digitally edited and printed photographs.

North Phillip, New Orleans

Still others are edited photographs cut up, sewn together, and digitally printed with no quilting.

Patchwork City series

Then, some defy categorization, though I think the piece below is very modern.

Vanishing Point series

And this piece has elegant curves and lovely hand dyed looking fabrics.

Byzantium IX

Henrion works in series so you can see how she plays with an idea. Her website has many examples of her work, nicely grouped by theme. I’m glad to see how her techniques have simplified over time as I’ve been looking for less complex ways to create work. Her latest work uses digitally edited and printed photographs. I don’t know if that’s the direction for me, but it’s one path to try.


Filed under Commentary

Mixed Media Roundup, Part 2

Compilations of techniques are popular for mixed media books. I looked over The Cloth Paper Scissors Book by Barbara Delaney, and The Mixed-Media Artist by Seth Apter. They expose you to many different artistic styles and show possibilities you may never come up with on your own. On the negative side, they skim the surface of techniques. Four pages just isn’t enough explanation if you’re totally new to a technique.

The Cloth Paper Scissors Book contains articles previously published in Cloth Paper Scissors magazine, so if you subscribe to that, you may already have the articles. Contents cover printmaking and surface design, journals and bookmaking, collage and assemblage, mixed-media stitching, and encaustic, metal and jewelry. Many of the articles focus on paper, but I think some could be done on fabric as well.

I concentrated on the stitching and surface design articles, as journaling, book making, etc., hold no appeal for me. In fact, the journal/book making aspects of mixed media often raise my hackles. The creations seem so self-absorbed, and require so many pricey stencils, stamps, inks, spray paints, etc.

Here’s an example of what I dislike in mixed media. Badly drawn face, a few big stitches, a button that doesn’t relate to anything else, and a piece of wretched “poetry” that references angels. It needs only flowers, and heart and key charms to complete its twee-ness.

twee art example

I liked Dorit Elisha’s use of stitch in this collage based on a screen print of an old photo. I believe the base is heavy paper, with fabric raw edge stitched on top. The zigzag stitch adds variety.

stitched collage Dorit ElishaThis book is best for browsing. Once I found some artists of interest, I went to their websites for further information. I also put a library hold on the latest issue of the magazine.

The Mixed-Media Artist by Seth Apter features several artists’ responses to prompts such as below the surface, imaginary worlds, and the face I show the world. One section focuses on 30 artists and their self-portraits. Each was asked to list 3 things they’re inspired by and 4 things on their studio table. Most responses were material objects, with a few surprises such as “the caramel aroma of fallen leaves in October” as an inspiration; and “uncertainty” as one of the items on a studio table.

In A Portrait Or The Likeness of a Man Will Ashford

Interleaved with photos of work (and there are lots) are responses to an online artist survey and some descriptions of specific artistic processes. The survey responses didn’t do much for me. I saw them as padding, and would have preferred more “how I made this” information.

The Chairman Trudi Sissonss

The best parts of The Mixed-Media Artist are the artists’ explanations of what inspired their work. Trudi Sissons created The Chairman (above) in response to the prompt long-term memory. As she explains, she was deeply affected by reading “Wherever You Go, There You Are.” The author of that book encouraged readers to pick a board of directors to serve as their internal advisors, and Trudi named Vincent van Gogh as chair of her internal board. Through photo imaging software, she melded parts of van Gogh’s paintings with a graphite drawing. I’ve talked before about copying famous art, but this piece samples it to create something new.

Like the Cloth Paper Scissors Book, The Mixed-Media Artist is good for browsing, but it’s less helpful for techniques. I had no doubt I was looking at the work of serious artists rather than crafters. It’s worth looking for at your library, but I wouldn’t purchase it just for myself.




Filed under Books, Inspiration, Project Ideas, Techniques

Getting Mixed Up

I’ve taken up mixed media to help expand my repertoire of ways to work with fabric. In this instance I’m coloring tissue papers with ink dyes, sealing them with matte gel medium, fusing them to interfacing or fabric, and using the resulting product as fabric.  It’s part of an online course I’m taking. Here’s an example of a piece that’s ready to use.


Along the way I began applying the colored tissue directly to fabric with gel medium or Yes Paste. A while back I colored fabric with bleeding tissue paper so I had a stock of those papers. I tore up strips and glued them onto drill cloth with the following results.

MackJoannaBleedingTissuePastedSince I had made more organza leaves I decided to sew them onto my collaged fabric, along with some ribbon. I also sandwiched the top with a piece of felt and fabric backing and did some rudimentary quilting.

MackJoannaAllFallDownWell, the instructor didn’t much like this (the ribbon looked like ribbon, the tissue paper looked like tissue paper, etc.) so I began to paint over areas. I also glued on more tissue that I had spray painted. At present the piece looks like this.

MackJoannaAllFallDownFinalI haven’t done any painting (besides walls) since before many of you were born. It’s been fun to get back to it, even if the results aren’t what I had hoped.



Filed under Art quilts, Fabric Printing, In Process, Techniques