Mixed media is a way of talking about art that is created from the combination of different artistic media. In art circles, it sometimes indicates a mindset of seeing anything and everything as having the potential to create art.
Mixed media paintings frequently take the form of integrated collages, where objects, photos, and words are integrated into the painting. These kinds of paintings can trick the eye in some cases, using texturing and collage to create interesting values and shades. In many cases the mixed media approach helps to draw attention to how very different parts come together to create a complex representation.
It can also combine forms to include 3D and relief sculpture into the collage and painting. This allows the art to reinterpret and expand on traditional media. Furthermore, mixed media helps to expand the possibilities of the canvas, allowing water or oil-based media to express alongside acrylics, marbling, pour art, and prints.
There are so many amazing mixed media artists creating expressive and interesting works of art that we wish we could share them all. Here are a few famous artists who have caught our interest with the way that they combine different media into strong whole compositions.
1. Pablo Picasso and Cubist Collage
To find mixed inspiration, we started at its beginning, Cubist art of the 20th century, represented by Picasso among other modern painters, often depicted three-dimensional objects from different points of view at once, by fragmenting and redefining the different viewpoints.
Not only did this alter expectations of perspective, but cubist collage also used a variety of media including paint, pasted paper, oilcloth, and even chair caning. This would help to incorporate small parts of the actual object into the cubist reinterpretation of the object.
2. Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Textured Photo Collage
A Nigerian-born artist, Akunyili Crosby uses collage as a media that can help bridge the culture of her native Nigeria with her adopted culture in America. She uses photos, paint, colored pencils and charcoals, and even textiles to create strong textures that incorporate the different parts of the painting. Ultimately, the contrasts create distinct tones in the same painting with an overall significant and evocative design.
3. Anna Dubrowska (Finnabair) Art Journal
Finnabair is an art journaler who uses prominent collage in her art to interpret mood and tone. Her art employs strong texturing and an eye for overall design and composition. This style has its roots in crafting and compiling a whole from individual elements. The collage-style does not hold back on using any media that will help to shape and convey the piece, including paints, metallics, waxes, and objects.
4. Martha Haversham and Found Fashion Collage
Martha Haversham is an artist from the UK who creates fashion pieces out of found objects. In some cases, this includes making a real flower into a skirt and painting legs beneath, however, this can also include garbage objects, such as cigarette butts and discarded candy wrappers. The style offers a more minimalistic side to collage. Each painting would look at home in a fashion ad but with a little trickery of the mind involved.
5. David Fullarton Mixed Media Journaling
David Fullarton reports to have once despised the classic well-made notebook. In his art, he gets his revenge by filling the notebook with comedic mixed media art and journaling. The style is reminiscent of teenage chaotic doodling and writing as the journaler learns to self-interpret and make sense of the world.
6. Erik Wahlstrom Music Collages
Erik Wahlstrom's mixed media paintings are album artwork visions crafted for the experimental Swedish band Familjen. The images represent deconstructed men, who are fragments and mostly featureless. To achieve the collage effect, Erik Wahlstrom uses his photography in addition to design principles.
7. Nikki Farquharson and Photo-Ink Collages
London-based Nikki Farquharson uses bold colors and print-like designs for the inked collage effects of her artwork. The style uses photography and clean line-art in a combination of colors and textures. In this case, the girl who is at the center of each pattern gives context to the patterns around her, and not the other way around.