I work primarily in acrylic, with some mixed media, including vinyl lettering and paper bead accents. I also produce embellished canvas prints of my work, and do some pen&ink drawings. I wanted to take a moment to walk you through the creation of one of my paintings, because it is a pretty cool process!
First of all, I work with high quality art supplies. I use gallery wrapped canvases and professional acrylic paints. Utrecht is by far my favorite, but I don't mind using Liquitex in a pinch. I use the best quality brushes I can afford... but I do have a huge soft spot for big house painter brushes from the local hardware store. They make painting backgrounds a little extra fun!
Second, I use a Cricut cutting machine. I know, I know... it is a fine line between craft and art, but in truth I detest painting letters! I'd rather spend my time on the image and the design, and I LOVE the contrast between the rough canvas and the smooth vinyl. I use permanent vinyl and seal it into the painting with a coat of acrylic medium.
On some of my pieces, I like to add paper bead accents. I adore the work of Amazima Ministries, a group who works with beading circles in Uganda. The beads are absolutely beautiful, and I knew I needed to find a way to add them to my art. I am able to do this by sewing them directly to the canvas, adding a unique 3D effect to flower petals.
I'm proud of my process for creating prints, too. I didn't want to just have a photo of my painting printed onto canvas; I wanted to keep it a unique creation. Or as much as I could, without recreating the whole thing. For canvas prints, I work with Re:Image Printing, a small woman-owned business in Winter Garden, FL. Kathy is a very talented printer who I stumbled across on Facebook and just knew I wanted to work with her! She takes the time to make a print look the way that it should, to the point where my boys have accused her of plagiarizing my paintings! She makes giclée prints of my pictures using a fine art printer and hand stretches them on canvas. She makes sure to continue the image around the gallery wrap, to give it a completed look and remove the need to frame it. She also seals the canvas so that they are water and fade resistant. Seriously, these are the next best thing to an original acrylic painting!
One I receive the canvas, I add embellishments with acrylic paint to add more of the "life" of the original piece to the print, as well as make each print unique. I also add vinyl lettering or accent paper beads, if the original had these features. Then the print is sealed and sent to you!