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mixed media

     I love mixing it up, but I also like order and coherence.

         there's a big difference between an integrative way of working and a purely eclectic one.  The former demands rigour and discipline; the latter is more intuitive and experimental. An eclectic approach derives its techniques from a random combination of styles. surfaces, media and tools.

         I  had a friend who once framed a painting done on a piece of corrugated cardboard by her son when he was three  

         Basically, the child had been allowed free rein with several boxes and tubes of paint . He'd splashed, dribbled, scrawled and spattered them across the surface. The result was an interesting and vivacious explosion of colour and texture.  

       My friend (who was not a fan of the abstract expressionists) asked me, in all seriousness, if I believed, as she did, that the work was "every bit as accomplished" (her words) as anything by Jackson Pollock". I had to tell her that my answer would have to be "no". Jackson Pollock's spatter paintings may look as if they are random accidents but. in reality they're highly disciplined works with a great deal of thought and control behind them. not to mention decades of hard work, struggle and experience.

       in my own mixed media work I aim for an integrative approach. I choose only those surfaces and media  capable of coming together to create a cohesive, unified image.        

      I start most of my canvas, for example, with an acrylic ground. Over this I may use oil, gouache, embroidery thread, collage, bricolage, ink or powder dye.

      I don't just grab the first medium or tool to hand. I want the finished work to look coherent and recognisable. That's what I mean when I talk about my work being "integrative". It integrates and unites the media rather than simply combining them.

      I think there's a subtle, but critical difference.


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