What is Mixedmedia Art?

What is Mixedmedia Art?

Mixedmedia Art can be defined as  “visual artwork in which more than one medium or material has been employed. Assemblages and collages are two common examples of art using different mediums that will make use of different materials including cloth, paper, and/or wood.

A History

One might think that Mixedmedia Art would strictly be a modern art style or form.  I certainly used to think that when I first stumbled upon it via tutorials on the Internet.  But it does have a history that goes back even before the twentieth century.

Little did I know that Pablo Picasso, among others, was considered a mixedmedia Artist.  In the early teens and twenties that with his Cubist collages, he created three specific pieces which fall into this area.  Mixedmedia Art is actually a larger umbrella term to cover a handful of styles.  Those pieces were “Still Life with Chair Caning” in 1912 in which he pasted paper and oil cloth to canvas and combined them with painted areas.  In 1914 he created another piece, an assemblage called the “Glass of Absynthe” - a vertical piece of many disparate objects brought together.  Another artwork in 1923 was “The Lovers” which he made using ink, watercolor paints and charcoal on paper.

From before the twentieth century we have the Byzantine empire through the Renaissance that while not referred to as mixedmedia artists, (330-1453 AD), often used gilded gold leaf on their paintings, mosaics, frescoes and manuscripts.  Tempura, an ancient Egyptian medium, and oil paintings were popular.  Vibrant skies and luminous halos on religious panels was captured through the application of gilded gold leaf.

Today mixedmedia Art is accessible to all artists, professional and amateur.  Assemblage and collage can be found mixed with acrylic and water color painting, rubber stamped art, sculpture and altered books.  Out of the world of scrapbooking comes many embellishments now used in mixedmedia art.  Those include fibers (such as strings and ribbons), torn papers, inks, glitter and beads finding their way into works of fine art and commercial pieces such as greeting cards and quilts.

Visit a plethora of videos on YouTube and you can learn and be inspired by various tutorials and examples of mixedmedia art on paper and canvas.  Another aspect of mixedmedia art is the idea of building or layering in this style of art.  A French word for it is echafouder (pronounced aa-sha-foo-dey) which means “to buildup.”  While I have a few pieces which are basically one medium, especially with Encaustic artworks, almost all my work I call mixedmedia because I have carried the basic ideas of scrapbooking into pieces of artwork on the canvas which traditionally would have been used solely in pages.

Basically when it comes to defining Mixedmedia Art, the sky is only as limited as the artist’s imagination.  Below I will show a few images of my scrapbooking pages as well as artworks on canvas.

So, what do you have in your arts and crafts stash you could use to make your next masterpiece?  Type in mixedmedia art or even scrapbooking mixedmedia and be inspired!



Here I have Mirror Mirror, Who R U?, Friends, and God Bless the Child from an earlier blog using scrapbooked pages. 




Here I have Bethullah, A Nations Hope, Altogether Beautiful and Golgotha.  These are canvas art.