Greg Thatcher on Mixed Media

I love to work in mixed media because I can be spontaneous, creative, and play with a wide range of materials. Mixed media encourages me and inspires me to stretch and combine seemingly disparate materials; to create new dynamic levels in my compositions. I try to incorporate local materials when I work with mixed media to create a link between my work and the location where I’m working. When I was working on a series of thatched cottages, I researched the materials used for thatch roofs. I learned that the thatchers’ first choice is Norfolk reed which grows in ponds, streams and waterways in the UK. We found a stream and cut some Norfolk reed. I began to use the reed as a border around my drawings and prints. See ‘Devon Thatch Cottage’ as an example.

Other mixed media materials I love to work with are local maps collaged and incorporated to mirror the design and flow within the composition. An example is ‘Heart Cottage” in the Thatch Cottage section of my website.

One of my favorite mixed media materials is gold leaf. Gold leaf is a difficult material to work with. It is so thin; one has to develop the technical expertise to create a seamless surface. Due to its brilliance, gold leaf pushes an art work into wonderful new possibilities, with many varied meanings, from ancient to spiritual. In a mixed media application, it is so strong and powerful that it requires the art work to match the same level of strength to be successful. I find that gold leaf works best when used with pen and ink. See examples: ‘Yew Trees #68’, ‘Yew Trees #90’.

Also look at ‘Yew Trees #115’, ‘Yew Trees #111’, and ‘Church Yard Yew Trees #2’, where I used pen and ink on vellum and covered the backside with gold leaf to soften the brilliance of the gold.

Greg Thatcher – Yew Trees Series

Greg Thatcher – Painswick Yews

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