Tahlequah Daily Press

August 5, 2013

Mixed media allows freedom

Special Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Many art forms have rules, but local residents learned recently that mixed media has none, and getting messy is part of the fun.

The Tahlequah Public Library hosted a mixed media gift tags class recently, and instructor Brittany Burris explained the genre involves using two or more types of media on one project, and that rules do not apply.

“I like how mixed media has no rules,” said Burris. “You can just create and not worry about it. It’s great therapy.”

Crafts made in mixed media are varied and go beyond gift tags. According to Burris, creative projects can be home decor pieces, canvases, mini books, scrapbook pages, cards and gift bags.

For those who don’t believe they are artsy, Burris said it wasn’t a worry and didn’t apply in this situation.

“Just let your imagination run wild,” she said.

According to Burris, getting started with mixed media is easy. For a starter kit, she recommends buying craft paint, a heat gun, rubber stamps and “anything that sparks your creativity.”

Burris said that the reason a heat gun is needed is “because you’ll use it constantly. You need to have paint dry before you can continue your decorating.”

There are all kinds of things to add to your mixed media kit. If you’re not sure, Burris said, “Just go down a crafts aisle. If it inspires you and is in your price range, get it.”

According to Burris just about anything can be used in mixed media.

“I never throw anything away,” said Burris. Examples she gave was using old CDs and cereal boxes.

Letting the imagination flow was what the students took to heart and one of the reasons they took the class. Samantha Galentine loves the arts.

“I’m making something for fun,” Galentine said. “I want to see what I can do. [I want] to experiment.”

Galentine plans on making gift tags to put on gifts to make them more customized and special.

Roxanna Ritchie is involved with scrapbooking and making cards. She’d attended another of Burris’ classes and thought mixed media would be fun.

“[Burris] is a good teacher,” said Ritchie.

Ritchie said creating mixed media projects was something new for her and that she’d like to learn how to do it. She was making bookmarks and plans to put quotes on them.

Brittani Hill likes exercising her creativity, and enjoys the no-holds-barred format of mixed media.

“I’m making gift tags for my two best friends who are pregnant,” said Hill.

Paula Hefley considers herself a crafter. Her neighbor told her about the class.

“I like all kinds of stuff like this,” Hefley said.

Besides the opportunity to be creative, Hefley attended the art class because she’s new in town and wanted to meet people and this was a way to do just that.

Meeting new people is a plus to a free class at the library. It is also a way to spend time with friends and family.

Kathy and Ronny Rider were in class so they could do something together. Kathy said they started going to the library and attending classes to get involved, especially with each other because “you don’t know what will happen.”

“To stay in love,” Kathy said. “We’ve been married 33 years. We’re not going to sit at home. We want to get out to do things together.”

The Riders moved to Tahlequah in February from Tulsa

 “We wouldn’t be doing stuff like this in Tulsa,” Kathy said.