12 Guiding Principles for Your Art Journey | Mixed-Media Art Techniques

Miniature accordion book | Cherie Haas, ClothPaperScissors.com
After sewing the heart shape, I loosely filled it in with a complementary color. This made the heart more obvious and less, well, meh. 😉

Recently I began using some of the mixed-media art techniques that I’ve learned to make miniature accordion books. My latest one included sewing shapes into the front and back covers, and wow, did I learn a lot from this experience!

Each stitch taught me something new, but by the time I had tied off the final stitch and looked at my results, I thought, meh. Although I loved the process and plan on repeating the concept, this attempt was just okay.

But it was my first time. And when I read Annie O’Brien Gonzales’s list of tips and advice for artists (specifically #10), I knew I was on the right track. When I was initially finished sewing designs on the paper, I set it down for a day or so, knowing that I could always come back to it and make improvements.

Annie’s words of wisdom can be found in her new book, Bold, Expressive Painting: Painting Techniques for Still Lifes, Florals and Landscapes in Mixed Media. Read this list, and see which piece of advice hits home for you.

Get your copy of Bold, Expressive Painting to learn mixed-media art techniques
Artwork by Annie O’Brien Gonzales

For Mixed-Media Artists: Things To Remember On Your Journey Annie O’Brien Gonzales

1. Create a schedule and paint a lot.

2. Stop repeating negative messages in your head, now.

3. Take risks–keep trying something new, look for subject matter that is meaningful to you.

4. Don’t be afraid to show your true colors–literally.

5. Strive for fresh, not repeating what everyone else is doing.

6. Paint to your favorite music. Music keeps a certain part of your brain engaged, releases endorphins, and creates a sense of rhythm.

Monoprinting technique | Annie O'Brien Gonzales, ClothPaperScissors.com
“Beware! Gelli Plate monoprinting (shown here) is highly addictive! It’s so much fun and yields surprising results, which appeals to those of us who lean toward the intuitive approach to painting.” ~Annie
Learn monoprinting and more with
Bold, Expressive Painting.

7. Forget the rules you learned in grade school, art school or any school. Art doesn’t have rules, only guides.

8. Decide what emotion you want to convey in each painting and repeat this to yourself as a mantra while you paint.

9. Try painting faster than you normally would, especially at the beginning.

10. Don’t mentally trash each painting and quit. Critique it, learn at least one thing from it, and do another.

11. Acknowledge that you will be making hundreds of paintings, so this one doesn’t have to be perfect. Think of each one as practicing scales on the piano–you need to do it a lot.

12. Trust the process; you will learn from each painting, you will improve and you will develop your own style. ~Annie

Imagine an entire book filled with great information, including 22 mixed-media art techniques and 10 projects for you to try out. It can be yours when you get your copy of Bold, Expressive Painting.

Stay tuned–to celebrate our new look for the Cloth Paper Scissors website, I’m going to announce a fun contest in an upcoming newsletter!

“See” you online,


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