Here at Anything But Cute we love to see all the seasoned and expert mixed media artists, but we also want to encourage those who are just getting their feet wet. Our design team will always be on the lookout for these exceptional artists, and you just never know when we might be giving out something special to a talented mixed media newcomer.
Make sure to put 'newbie' after your name in the linky so we know who you are.
(new refers to 'new to mixed media' NOT 'new to our challenge')

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Feature Artist for Summer Romance - Welcome Libby!

Hello Everyone!

Branka here and I am so excited to finally get the chance to introduce you to our Feature Artist for July. She was the winner of my "Vintage Garden" challenge in May.  Welcome Libby of Sweetest Earth!!!

Ahoy to All and Thank You for having me! I am honored.
I go by the nickname of Libby and I am, by profession, a Critical Care nurse but my spirit longs to create. I am in my mid 50's and can't remember a time when the urge to create did not exist. I , like so many, am self taught and over the past few years gravitated from painting in oils and photography to mixed medium arts. I am trial by error learning all of the new mediums and techniques out there and always experimenting with my own ideas, (some not so bright). Every day's a school day and there is no shame in experimenting with art!

Libby is an amazing crafter. She brings a wide range of different creations in art - from oil paintings and making jewelry to mixed media art. Her style is original and unique full of vibrant colours and great textures. You should take a look at her altered art makes and you would see how many clever ideas she has.

I think you will all agree that Libby is a creative force to be reckoned with and I am so proud of the project she put together especially for Samra's current challenge "Summer Romance"! Feast your eyes on this!!

For this month's challenge, I created The Mermaids Cove using a vintage serving bowl from the secondhand store.

The floral images reminded me of wildflowers I had seen near the beach. Mermaids evoke a spirit of romance to me so I chose it as my primary focus. I began with alcohol inks and after allowing them to naturally blend and mesh to form the blurs of color I wanted....

I began to brush paint coral and seaweeds while attempting to maintain the bowls original images. Looking back, I feel I over painted and lost most of the lovely florals. Next time I'll know better.

I originally stamped the mermaid image onto a plastic baggie, thinking the archival ink would dry and allow the alcohol inks natural, water-like flow to show through but alas, the ink would not dry on plastic so I moved to stamping on a thin layer of white tissue paper, (the kind used for gift wrap). It was necessary to do this because the bottom of the bowl was curved and my flat, block stamp would not work.

I cut around my image, leaving a fair amount of tissue paper border. A very fine layer of slightly watered down glue was gently applied to the back of my archival ink stamped image. Once dry, I lightly spritzed the tissue paper image with water and this allowed the dried alcohol inks beneath to show through without blurring the mermaid image.

I should have left well enough alone at this point but my lust for more color won and I added more inks in an attempt to achieve more depth. I'm a color addict and the white of the bowl bothered me at the time. I wanted it to appear as if it were underwater therefore added more blue and green inks.

I sprayed my completed bowl with clear gloss acrylic spray, added natural shells and coral to give it more depth and then applied another layer of the clear gloss spray. There are quite a few errors in this piece and although it did not meet my minds standards for it, I will hang it for the lovely, positive qualities it does possess and as a colorful reminder of "what-not-to-do" next time. Fearless creating is what gives birth to beauty so, get out there and go!

WOW, is about all I can muster! My vocabulary escapes me ... What a gorgeous summery mixed media piece you have created out of a vintage serving bowl! It's full of fabulous vibrant colours, awesome natural elements and great techniques! I am sure everyone will have enjoyed reading and seeing how you created your beautiful art!
Thank you so much, Libby, for joining us as a very well deserved Feature Artist and we do hope you will join us again soon!

I hope that seeing Libby's wonderful creation will inspire you to join us for Samra's wonderful challenge...
Summer Romance.

You have until the 4th of August to play - and you'll find all the challenge details as well as lots of inspiration from the brilliant Anything But Cute design team by clicking on the challenge link.

Happy Crafting


  1. WOW!!! This is gorgeous! Libby your project is amazing! Thank you so much for joining us as a feature artist :)

  2. I don't think you overdid the colour at all, I think you have created a wonderful scene that really does look as if it is under water! It is beautiful! Anne x

  3. Big welcome to you Libby! Thank you for being our featured artist this month! What a wonderful creation you have designed dearie. Your use of alcohol inks is astounding and it does look like an underwater scene. Fantabulous and stunning! ~Niki

  4. Great to meet you, Libby, and thank you for being our featured artist! And what a treat it is to see this lovely altered bowl and read about your process! I really love the depth you have created with the inks and stamped image layered on the original blossoms! So pretty! Hugs! Sara Emily

  5. How beautiful.....a gorgeous work of art x

  6. welcome to you Libby :-) wonderful creation !

  7. So glad you got to be our featured artist Libby, you create some truly inspiring projects xx