Mixed media and the driving me mad phase…

In a previous blog, I explained some of the approaches I am taking to my mixed media collage works. You can read it here. Recently I’ve been working on two new mixed media collage pieces. They are based on a series of Oldham sketches.  It’s proving to be a bit of a challenge to say the least! 


These have been my main issues:

  • I’ve started the pieces with collage.  Not a problem in itself but I incorporated collage papers that set me off with a literal scene rather than a more abstract, interpreted approach.  This has resulted in an ongoing wrestling match to create a less literal piece.
  • The location sketches have an energy and a looseness that I have trouble reflecting in the studio pieces.
  • Instead of loosening up and being spontaneous in my painting and mark making, I’ve been tightening up and being too constrained. I think its to do with pre-judgement, old habits and not going with the process!
  • I’ve been too judgemental. Rather than observing, analysing and reacting accordingly. The judgements don’t work, because they don’t enable me to move forward positively and in an informed way.
mixed media collage textures Liz Ackerley Art

Although I don’t think I have all the answers, I now feel like I am moving through and into a more productive phase with these works. There are even some textural details that I am feeling happy about (that’s not to say they won’t be covered over or changed as things progress!!).

Here are a few things I’ve done to help me progress with my mixed media collage:

  • I’ve used my orbital sander and some neutral paint. I have started changing things rapidly (not at the same time!!)-letting rip a bit!
  • I have revisited my site sketches. I’ve been thinking about feelings and the approaches I used. Then I’ve started incorporating these approaches into my studio work
  • I’ve picked up some very different tools (eg squeegee; roller;rubber comb) and then started creating different marks, trying to be more experimental.
  • I am creating a list of questions for myself about the work. I hope that these will enable me to understand my patterns and challenge me to try alternative approaches.
Mixed media collage_oldhammumps_lizAckerley

Please watch this space to see how these pieces progress!

One thought on “Mixed media and the driving me mad phase…

  1. Good update. I understand the problems you’ve described and recognise the tendency to use collage in a descriptive way rather than as an aid to producing unexpected ways forward. I may never break out of that, but will watch your progress with interest.

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