Sandy Holden – mixed media

I was feeling a bit stuck and lacking inspiration on a rainy day so I decided to play around with some mixed media stuff to see where it would take me. I started by limiting my palette and instead of choosing my usual go to favourite mix (Blues, Greens, Pinks) I chose colours that I could see in a pressed leaf I had in my stash.

I used some fairly cheap A5 water colour paper from The Works and used a large brush to splodge on some clear water. I then loaded my brush with a really watery mix of some of the lighter colours of paint (yellow and light brown) and added it to the wet area of the paper. I left these to dry and repeated the process wetting the paper with splodges of water and adding drops of darker Reds and Browns . I used a straw to blow air at some of the splodges to create runs and drips.

Once everything was completely dry I set to work adding some detail using a small brush and a thicker mix of watercolour paint. I used simple botanical shapes using references from my sketch book and also added a few small dots and random marks.

Everything looked a bit flat so I used some cheap imitation gold leaf (big up The Works). II splodged on random shapes of PVA glue, left it to dry for a few minutes then placed a sheet of gold leaf on top. Once it was dry I brushed away the excess gold leaf using a dry paint brush.

On one of the dried pieces I have added some bits of netting fabric (glued them down with PVA ) and also some stitching using embroidery thread to add further texture and interest.

It’s fun to have a mess around with stuff and not feel the pressure of having to make a perfect finished piece of art. I will try to do more of this especially when I am lacking inspiration.

I will keep these small exploratory pieces in my sketch book and use them as a starting point for other pieces of work.

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