Creating a Mixed-Media Work of Art with your Photos

Lisa Frost
What better imagery for a piece of art than your photos that hold personal meaning? I recently went to New Orleans. I felt so inspired by the people, architecture, music, the street cars, the live oak trees, and the vibe of the city.  I promised to create something with the photos that were taken upon my return. And this is what I came up with!!! It was so easy and I believe anyone can do it…and I’ll tell you how. Ready, set, let’s get FROSTY!!! Step 1 Find a block of wood. I found a 30×30?piece with a 2? depth. Brush a coat of primer on your block of wood (this will help the photos better adhere to the surface). Step 2 I used 49 photos trimmed from a 4×6? size to a 4×4? size. (You could use any size.) I used doubles and triples of the photos to create repetition. (Very important !!!) I measured my inside space leaving a little border around the entire image. Step 3 I started the lay-out of the composition by positioning the photos. I grouped them by similar color, shape, design.  I played with the images by turning them upside down, sideways, next to each other, etc.  I believe it is important to allow yourself to look at the photo differently and create new imagery with the shapes. Let yourself go with this process! Oh, I also positioned them with a little thought as well, for instance, I used the images of the trees at the bottom of the piece to give it “roots” and many of the other photos were arranged according to the city map. Step 4 Once I had all the pictures in position, I attached them to the wood block by brushing a coat of ModPodge to the back and adhering them into place. Step 5 I used acrylic paints to paint the edges and I used water color and a sponge to distress the surface .  I brushed paint randomly and wiped it off with a paper towel so that in many cases a little was left behind. I brushed paint onto a sheet of bubble wrap and imprinted it like a  stamp onto the photo surface.  I took thin paint brushes and lined between the photos. I added patterned to the edges with markers. I felt satisfied when I achieved many layers of paint and texture.  Stand back from your work to evaluate the process and squint your eyes…sound weird, I know, but it works every time. Step 6 Once the piece was dry I coated the entire piece with ModPodge and varnished the edges. Ta-da!

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