You may be more familiar with collage, assemblage and card making, but if we take all three and mix them up with acrylics, oils, pastels, ink and found objects the result is a mixed media piece. Mixed media art is relatively new in the art world, a product of postmodernism when artists started to bend even more the rules of traditional art. As a consequence, they started to incorporate into the artwork more than one material to express themselves, their ideas and aesthetic values.

Statue IV by Simon Kirk
Statue IV by Simon Kirk

One of the most common techniques in mixed media art today is a mixture of collage and paint, whereby artists use paper and acrylic, oil or ink paints. Layering is very important in creating such artworks as each layer has to be carefully planned and executed before applying the next one for a spectacular result. Mixed media art allow artists to express their creativity and intuition in various forms to create original pieces.

Fishing Harbour by Philip Wilson
Fishing Harbour by Philip Wilson

Although there still are some questions regarding the merits of such artwork – will it stand the test of time or is it executed at a high enough standard so it won’t fall apart – we can’t deny the popularity of mixed media art on the contemporary art scene. From abstract art created with paper cuts and paint to render a feeling, to landscapes and still life pieces created with layers upon layers for a unique image, mixed media art appears more and more often in exhibitions, galleries and gift shops.

Talking to Angels by Carolynne Coulson
Talking to Angels by Carolynne Coulson

If you want to acquire a mixed media artwork for your home, such a piece will look great in a variety of interior styles. A landscape artwork or a still life composition will complement a traditional and rustic interior but it will look equally beautiful in a modern one. An abstract composition will add personality to a contemporary décor. A mixed media artwork created with vintage paper and painted roses or any flowers will complement a Shabby Chic interior style.

Spider in a Web of Leaves by Cyndy Cmyth
Spider in a Web of Leaves by Cyndy Cmyth

No matter what your interior décor or what your taste in art is, you can start your art collection with a mixed media piece as a focal point in any room. Thanks to the layers that give the artwork texture, the complex techniques and various materials within it, a mixed media artwork can be admired day after day without losing its mystery. Fancy giving it a try?