Make your own abstract, mixed-media sculptures with Camp Contemporary instructor Perla Contreras
Camp-in-Place #AtHomeArt projects from Camp Contemporary instructors and Youth and Family staff. Sponsored by SONIC Drive-In.
Movement is everything. It's what artists use to guide the viewer from one part of their artwork to another. It creates interest and a “flow” to the art piece. In this week’s Camp-in-Place project, we’ll be taking inspiration from two contemporary artists — Heather Hansen and Monika Sosnowska — to harness the power of movement in creating your own mixed-media abstract sculpture, using everyday household items.
Hansen’s works are very large, movement-oriented charcoal drawings. In fact, the artist uses the movement of her body to create designs that flow on the canvas. Sosnowska uses industrial materials to create large-scale installations that use repetition of curved and straight lines to create the illusion of movement and entanglement. This project combines Sosnowska’s architectural qualities with Hansen’s use of movement and curves to create a mixed-media sculpture using newspaper and charcoal through a fun collaging process.
Let's get started!
- Newspaper (magazines work, too, but are harder to manipulate)
- White paper (copy or construction paper)
- Glue stick
- Masking tape
- Gel medium or Mod Podge
- 1 kabob skewer
- Hot glue
- Take your charcoal and start creating lines of movement — curved, wavy, dynamic — on your white paper. You want to fill up the page while still leaving negative space. You may also need to do this on a couple of sheets of paper, depending on how big you want your sculpture to be.
- Once your drawing is finished, take your gel medium or Mod Podge and apply it with a brush over the charcoal. Try to match the brush strokes to those of the charcoal. Set aside to dry.
- Get your newspaper and start rolling individual sheets into tight rolls. Start from a corner and work your way to the opposite corner; this will give you really long pieces. Secure with a bit of glue. Do this with several sheets.
- Once you have enough rolls, you can start manipulating some pieces to curve. This can be done by using your kabob skewer and wrapping the newspaper pieces around it, then releasing. You may also want to keep some straight. Reference Sosnowska for inspiration!
- Start attaching pieces together in a creative way! I like to start from one point and have several branch out in different directions. Focus on creating lines of movement. You can cut your rolls to be smaller, but be careful because they’ll unravel. Secure pieces together with tape. Keep going until your sculpture structure is complete.
- Now it’s time to add our charcoaled paper! Cut the paper in thin strip,s about ¼-½ inches long.
- Start collaging the charcoal strips around the newspaper rolls of the sculpture by wrapping them around tightly. Secure ends with glue. Continue doing this until the entire sculpture is covered. If your sculpture is really big, you may need to paint for paper to cut more strips.
- Do any touchups you may need.
- You’re done! Sit back and enjoy your abstract, mixed-media sculpture.
Perla Contreras has lived in Oklahoma City most of her life and considers it her home. Perla is an Oklahoma City University graduate whose favorite art style is ceramics, but she also practices mixed-media sculpture. She currently teaches Art 1 and Ceramics at Putnam City West High School and recently started her own photography business, in which she enjoys bringing traditional artistic style into a digital format. She will be teaching Light Clay Creations during Camp Contemporary, June 22-26. Aside from teaching and photography, Perla is a wife and mother to a beautiful 2-year-old girl named Luna, who keeps her on her toes!
Return to New Light.