Three-Dimensional Art That Reveals a Quirky Sense of Beauty

Objects that lack meaning are sometimes nothing more than dust collectors. But when they carry symbols and represent memories, people, or feelings, their value is priceless. When it comes to making three-dimensional art that is special in this way, Karen Michel, a featured Art Lessons mixed-media artist, appreciates the symbolism that we can assign to our creations.

Three-dimensional mixed-media art by Karen Michel

“I love to think of small sculptural objects as totems-good luck charms infused with the artistic intentions of their creators,” Karen says in “Home is Where the Heart Is” (Art Lessons, Volume 12, 2013). In this lesson, she teaches you how to make mixed-media house totems for your abode (you can also share them as handmade gifts).

Regarding the materials, she says, “I enjoy working with wood, because it allows me to add three-dimensional elements to its surface, such as nails and tacks. Wood can also withstand serious surface distressing, like sanding, better than most other surfaces. Mixing wood with metal, paper, and paint creates fullness in the finished composition that, as an artist, I’m drawn to. I used these materials to create a collection of little house totems that resonate with my quirky sense of beauty for good luck in my home.”

And who couldn’t use a little good luck? Karen’s three-dimensional art is included with 11 other extraordinary projects in Art Lessons 2013: Paint and Collage Series (Collector’s Edition).

I especially like these totems because they give you a chance to dig deep and think about what symbolizes your home and family: the colors or numbers that are important, and the specific themes that symbolize favorite vacations or milestones. Tell me in our comments section what your totem will include!

Wishing you the best of luck,


3D Art and Assemblage, Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques


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