I work in my art studio and create almost daily. Some works are traditional paintings of landscapes, florals, and whatever commissions are currently on the easels. However, what has become quite popular is my mixed media (gemstone series). My gemstone series is quite different than traditional paintings. Contemporary, yes very. By definition, mixed media describes artwork in which more than one medium or material has been employed. Assemblages, collages, and sculpture are three common examples of art using different media. Materials used to create mixed media art include, but are not limited to, paint, cloth, paper, wood, and found objects.
The first modern artwork to be considered mixed media is Pablo Picasso‘s 1912 collage Still Life with Chair Caning, which used paper, cloth, paint and rope to create a pseudo-3D effect. The influence of movements like Cubism and Dada contributed to the mixed media’s growth in popularity throughout the 20th century with artists like Henri Matisse, Joseph Cornell, Jean Dubuffet, and Ellsworth Kelly adopting it. This led to further innovations like installations in the late 20th century. Mixed media continues to be a popular form for artists, with different forms like wet media and markings being explored.
My gemstone series would be considered an assemblage: By definition, an assemblage is a 3-dimensional variant of the collage with elements jutting in or out of a defined substrate, or an entirely 3-D arrangement of objects and/or sculptures. Reflections of the Forest is a good example as it incorporates a number of gemstones, copper leaf, acrylic and alcohol ink, and resin. The most difficult part… photos… they never capture the depth and sparkle.
Often times in shows or exhibits viewers ask if I’ve found my materials, quite honestly, no… this would take an incredible amount of time and many aren’t available in this area. I do occasionally find sea glass on the beach, or find an interesting piece on walks here on the farm. However, there’s an awesome rock shop in eastern Ohio where I source my materials. I also have a friend who works with obsidian and chert flint on another art form… and he shares his castoffs with me, and I am so grateful!
Sometimes I’m inspired to use particular gemstones and design the painting around them. Other times, I have to determine how to achieve the look and depth I’m going for with particular colors and shapes of stones. I use all sorts of gemstones – amethyst, peridot, pink quartz, obsidian, lapis, tiger eye, blue agate, jasper, and mica to name a few. Some people feel that certain gemstones have properties and benefits. For example, amethysts are said to promote serenity and calm and citrine is considered a happiness gemstone. Occasionally, I incorporate metal leaf (copper, silver, or gold leaf); copper is widely used to combat arthritis, rheumatism, and other forms of joint pain. I do try to compliment the feeling of the painting with the properties of the gemstones. Here is one of my gemstone storage areas:
The galleries I’m represented by request the gemstone series paintings. They feel the depth, sparkle, and texture really draw in the viewer and have become popular with collectors. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea and that’s okay. Art speaks to people differently! I continue to create both with and without the extra’s. Anytime you see ‘Gemstone Series’ in my descriptions, you will now know that it’s very textural and probably sparkly.
Thanks for reading –