mixed media portrait of 1920's flapper

When you know the hours of frustration have paid off...

At last, frustrations can be forgotten as the painting is done.  It has felt like a rather long journey.

Painting "Flossie"


"I am on a journey...with my work, my explorations, and a few sad stories. I travel with a suitcase full of outrageous blessings. I am on a quest for truth, beauty, and quiet joy. I am an artist, a writer. an explorer." ~author unknown


The last few weeks have been busy ones. I have rarely been at home. But when I have had an hour to spare, and an hour where I had a bit of creative energy as well, my focus has been on this portrait. Painting "Flossie" has been a journey, an exploration of what might work, and the frustrations of discovering what definitely doesn't work. In the entire process, she went through more than a few transformations, and many times, I was almost at the point of giving up. But I didn't.

Eventually, I knew something wonderful (for me anyway) was happening, and I felt myself getting excited to return to the canvas and work on her a bit more. At last, I was certain about the next steps to take in order to finish her, and I was confident she would turn out just fine.

early stages of mixed media portrait

"Flossie" went through many ugly stages or what a good friend calls the "She-Devil look"...quite appropriate for the sometimes scary portraits that emerge at the very beginning of this whole process. I think I take a perverse pleasure in sending her these portraits just to see her reaction.

This portrait is slightly different than the previous ones because I did allow for a "graphic" look to her, leaving visible lines on "Flossie" whereas in earlier portraits, I had blended the colours into a more muted effect. This is most obvious in the eyes.

This look happened quite naturally, without any planning on my part. Remember that I am still searching for that elusive style as an artist. What will define my work is still to be seen. I don't think I have found it yet.

Below is a photo I found on Pinterest which served as the inspiration for this portrait.

I tried a new product which I have had in my art room for almost a year: I used a palette knife to add Pearl Mica Flakes (small) by Golden in Flossie’s hat.

The last photo is a close-up of the mica flakes but it doesn’t show the lovely sparkles and texture created with this product.

In the end, “Flossie” is the result of this particular journey, this one exploration. She is my first vintage portrait on canvas but she isn’t my last. As well, she is the first work of art I would actually hang on the wall in my home.

I am finally starting to think of myself as an artist, an explorer of sorts. I really feel that this is the best definition of an artist: an explorer.

mixed media vintage girl portrait
mixed media vintage girl portrait

2 Responses

  • I love seeing the progression of your art work, certainly helps us know just how much work you put into each piece.

    • I want to show that art work take time and patience and effort. People think it is a gift that some have and others don’t. Everyone has the gift of creativity if they only give it a chance.

      Your flowers are really coming along nicely. They will be stunning on the wall as a set.

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