Mixed-Media Tree of Life

I'm really into paper-working and collage, but I love art of all sorts. I've always wished I had more talent in other areas, especially painting and drawing, but at least photography and collage allow me some semblance of an artistic outlet.

Recently I decided to use my limited creative skills to make a larger-scale art piece than my usual cards. I love the tree of life image, so I set out to create a mixed-media tree of life. I sought inspiration from images found online, but few of them really embodied what it was I hoped to create. I guess that was a good thing, though, because it forced me to reach to a more creative place than I had originally intended. My inspiration was purely of my own imagining.

This was the final product. With a bright turquoise background painted onto my canvas, the rest of the "media" used was pretty much Modge Podge, magazine cut-outs, and cardstock. I searched through the acrylic paints I had on hand and fell in love with the bright blue color. I thought of how well it would pop next to the brown of the tree and the bright fall colors of the leaves I decided upon - bright reds and oranges and yellows. Then I went through countless old magazines in search of wood tones and browns, and at first wasn't sure how I would ultimately layer my various browns to achieve a tree-like look. Since so many of my cut-outs were narrow strips, I thought about what it would look like to lay them one next to the other, and in my mind's eye it looked like bark. This was sort of just a serendipitous accident of sorts, and in the final product it achieved just the look I was going for.

Though there are plenty of small details I would change about this (ie. the fact that my Modge Podge failed and caused many of my papers to wrinkle and curl), I feel like this is probably the first time I set out to create something one a slightly bigger scale than usual and followed it through to the end. It's not that I'm a quitter so much as I have trouble achieving my visions and bringing them to fruition as they appear in my head. I have very limited training in more traditional art processes and thus, when I get an idea in my head of what I want to create, I am often unsure of how to actually achieve that on a canvas. And though I give it a shot nonetheless, I usually end up not quite satisfied with my progress, and abandon my work for the final vision in my mind has become essentially irretrievable. But for once, things feel into place and I found that the work taking shape before my very eyes was resembling more and more what I had in mind as I progressed. In this way it was the ultimate artistic success for me!


  1. Thank you everyone for your kind comments! It's kind of a big and unusual thing for me to put a creation like this out there - I'm glad to see some positive responses! Thanks again!

  2. i love this! you are so talented. don't ever second guess yourself! you are great!


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