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Mixed Media Collage with Stephanie

One of the treats I bought myself this year was a year-long Art Journaling Class called Wanderlust. I have learned so much and have really enjoyed each lesson. 
For today's project, I incorporated several of the things I have learned so far as I have stretched myself beyond my creative comfort zone. I started with a piece of chipboard that I had saved from some packaging to use as my project base.
I chose some gorgeous paper from the Pepin Marbled Paper Gift and Creative Paper Book to be the focal point of my collage ... look at all of those amazing patterns and colors you get in this collection.
I chose this gorgeous paper together with vintage papers, maps, colored index cards and a few library cards from my collection.
Since I really wanted the marbled paper to be the focal point of my collage design, I started with large pieces of it and then added some vintage ledger.
One of the things I learned from my classes is to add things in threes (or other odd numbers).  I also learned that when I use papers with text or numbers, I like to rotate them different directions vs. always right-side-up.
I used the rest of the papers to completely cover my chipboard piece. It sort of felt like a bit of a hot mess at this point, but another thing I've learned from my classes is not to grow too attached to the first layer (or be too freaked out by it either), because often it gets almost completely covered in the process (this is a harder lesson for me because I often really love how my first layer looks all on its own). Next I chose my color palette of acrylic paints based on the colors from my piece of the Pepin Marbled Paper.  Several of them are from the Dina Wakley Media Acrylic Paint line, which are some of my favorites to use.
I used my finger to apply the paint (something else I've learned from my classes ... sometimes the finger really is the best artist's tool). Next I used my Michelle Ward Downtown NYC Map Stencil (you can see it is well used and loved) and sponged through some darker rust colored paint for contrast.

Next I wanted to pull in the beautiful teal color from the marbled paper, so I used the Michelle Ward's Manhole Cover StencilI don't always know exactly what my theme is going to be when I start a mixed media piece, but clearly this one is about my longing to travel to NYC again.
Next I used a soft taupe mushroom-colored paint to add the arrows to the background ... they are subtle, but I love them. Can you see the three arrows?
For the finishing touches I layered on some gold embossed images from the Michelle Ward Mini Manhole Cover Stamp SetThen I came in with a Colored Pencil made for mixed media surfaces and colored around the stamped images and around the edge of my entire design for a bit more contrast. The final pieces I added were some fun Everyday Explorers Postal Stickers (again, keeping with the triad arrangement I've used for the rest of my design).  
See what I meant about not falling in love with your background?  Because I really wanted the Pepin Marbled Paper to be the true focal point of my design, I went back and added a few more pieces of that paper on top of the stenciled designs. I finished with a coat of Clear Gesso to seal everything a bit. Here is one more picture of my finished piece - my Ode to NYC.
Thanks so much for joining me on my mixed media journey today.

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