Collage work and mixed media art in general intimidate me. Mixed media appeals to me for a litany of reasons, but I’ve never done much to explore it myself. The few times I’ve set out to emulate some of the methods in the work I admire so much, I’ve often found myself lost as to where to begin.
For this reason, I was so excited to see “The Fearless Artist” article by Brandie Butcher-Isley in the May/June 2011 issue of Somerset Studio magazine. Her colorful triptych leaped off the page and my little creative senses began to tingle. A woman from a black-and-white photo stands on each panel exhibiting such beauty, mystery and grace. She is surrounded by an incredible background of teal blues, lime greens and even a few magenta houses.
When I flipped through the article and saw that the artist shared the technique behind this exquisite piece, I was giddy. After scanning the recipe and starting to absorb what it takes to create a piece like this, I decided to go back and read the article from the beginning. To my delight, the artist provided wonderful insights into the inspiration behind her work.
To me, this added perspective is so much more valuable than any listing of steps. It turns out the woman in the painting is named Stella. The artist discovered a scrapbook full of images of Stella at an estate sale and she sometimes uses the images in her work and often for inspiration. There is something so beautiful and comforting about Stella having a new story told through Butcher-Isley’s work.
A woman whose scrapbook was sold off for $15 now lives on as the star of these incredible pieces of art. I’m proud for Stella and thankful to artist Brandie Butcher-Isley for rescuing the images and giving them this wonderful new life.