The Art of Using Mixed Media

Mixed Media.png

Vivian Maier was a great street photographer who took many photos of children (and homeless people and socialites) just going about their day to day business

Her photos are truly fascinating and weren’t really discovered until she passed away. Some lucky person bought a storage locker full of her negatives and photos

Unfortunately these days, there are much more strict model release guidelines and you can’t just take random pictures without model releases from parents being signed and you need written permission to sell art or reprints if the person is recognizable

It’s too much of a hassle and I just don’t have the time for it

But I still love photographing kids being kids, wild and free and spontaneous at play, when they are not ‘posing’ for a picture

If their face is recognizable you generally can’t use the photos for resale

So in order to be in compliance with these guidelines on selling platforms, I have eliminated the whole identity crisis from all of my imagery and had to come up with creative ways to sell my art with kids on them, disguising them so they can’t be recognized

One way of doing this is to use mixed media and mixed processes digitally

You can create negatives, but they don’t always turn out great, you can spend hours photo-shopping & editing, but I just don’t have the time

I have found that using different Art processes and techniques together with my Photography can get some pretty decent results

I like these for notecards & Stationery

(yep for us old timers who still like a hand-written cards in the mail, there are still some of us around, though we are a dying breed)

They still capture the essence of kids being carefree, wild and crazy and are something ‘different’





“A Quiet Moment” ©2012 Kathy Duff

Aesthetic – Daily Prompt

What is aesthetically beautiful to one person, may not be so to another.  My husband & I have very different aesthetics, he likes old, traditional, familiar things, I prefer abstract, modern, alternative things, something that’s “different” and new and makes you see things in a new way


Image ©2012-2017 KDArtStudio

I have been selling my art online for many years and I remember showing my husband some of my more abstract works over the years and remember him saying “I don’t get it”…it didn’t make sense to him…he couldn’t visualize what I was seeing.  His “literal” vantage point didn’t allow him to think or see outside the box

I think for the most part “life” is the same way.  We only see things from our limited perspective and viewpoint.  What is beautiful and endearing to one, is chaotic and a mess to someone else

I always loved Abstract artists like Kandinsky growing up, his work fascinated me from a very young age…I loved trying to see things from his viewpoint, what was going on in his mind when he created certain pieces

By Jordiventura96 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

I always felt I never fit ‘in the box’ whether it comes to life in general or to my artwork.

I prefer to think there is no box…One of my favorite sayings is


Photo Challenge: Shadow



©2017 KDArtStudio

Shadow Art is one thing that I wish I had more time to explore

I love using organic shadows with digital art

These are very rough around the edges, the shadows are authentic not manufactured, but I have darkened them with photo editing software and the photo editing is just rough

I know I have more somewhere, I have one of someone jumping in the air, but I have no clue where it is right now.  If I ever find it, I will upload it

I know others have done ‘shadow’ as daily prompts etc but it is still one of my favorite subjects

Digital Fantasy Art

Fairy Series#1-9©2010 KDArtStudio

I hand-drew & hand-painted these gals separately
when I first started experimenting with fantasy art
then added the Digital Backgrounds

I am pretty hopeless when it comes to doing backgrounds
I never know where to start or what to do

Also being a lazy artist doesn’t help my cause either

It was a fun exercise
but we can check that box and move on to something else

Neon Illuminated Photo Art

5773 Neon


More of My Photography Mixed Media Art

Digital Neon Glow can make old Photographs look new again

0280 Neon

This is the first one I ever did,

it’s a little different than the first two

It’s of a School Bus

0950 Neon

Most times it’s not adding to a picture that enhances it,

it’s subtracting from it

Flower Bon-Bons


Combining my Flower Photography with

Digital Art Processes get some amazing results

They almost look like glass Bon-Bons

0996 Glass Bon Bon.png

I love this one too, love the movement in it

It uses the same process but not with photography,

creating a kind of  Fractal Art

#7997-1 Fractal.jpg

30 Photo Challenges


Metal Art Prints

These were done using a combination of my Photography & Digital Art

I am making them available as Metal Art Prints in my Art Store on Zazzle

Some i like better than others,
but I think they’d make great Wall Art for a downtown Loft Apartment 
or on an exposed brick wall inside an old building


The metallic elements in the pictures should show up well on Metal Art Prints


It’s something different, not for everyone
but I am always looking for new techniques and processes
that aren’t run of the mill chain store art


I always buy Artisan Art & Craft for friends and family for presents
and I think these would appeal to people who are sick of boring art


I love that you can customize the size to fit your wall space


 There’s about 20 of them I have just listed in my Art Store

Art Abstracted from Music

All images & Artwork © 2017 KDArtStudio

Via  Abstract

I write Lyrics, have hired musicians online to put music to my lyrics, and together we have created some pretty cool Demo’s

Because I am also an Artist and love graphic design, Abstract Art & Digital Art, I often play music on my computer while creating my artwork

These remarkable images, I created while I was listening to my own songs online, and I didn’t just listen to the music, I created digital art from my music by using the soundwaves of my music as digital art images, pretty cool, right?

So I am particularly proud of these as they are not only my own original digital artworks, but because they were created from my own music as well


DAILY PROMPT_ Abstract © 2017 KDArtStudio


Abstract is from a Latin word meaning “pulled away, detached”

The basic idea is of something detached from physical, or concrete, reality

Abstract art uses shape, form, color and line to create a composition  independent from reality

In writing, an abstract is an abbreviated version of the final report, usually 250 words that contain

  • Introduction
  • Problem
  • Procedure
  • Result
  • Conclusion

If you abstract something from a situation, you Take away a part of it, leaving a different version of it behind

When we did high school art one of our major works was to create an abstract piece of art in any form or style, by taking an image of something real in your world, and changing it to form an abstract

I drew a picture of two teddy bears, sitting on a bed, I cut the picture up into several random shapes with scissors, rearranged them, forming a completely abstract picture that was unrecognizable. I then painted what i saw on a huge canvas, I made the frame for the canvas, stretched calico fabric over the frame, made the canvas myself, it was the size of a large rectangle dining table, sketched the design and painted it in bright neon colors, I wish I still had it, I loved it, it was the best thing I had done and looked amazing.  I was so proud of it. I loved Art class, it was my favorite subject, I loved my Art teacher, she was my favorite teacher in high school.

Kandinsky, ironically, an Abstract Artist, was my favorite Artist that we studied, and we did them all, all the masters and classics, (I hated art history, but loved the practical, hands on side of art)

I was devastated when my art teacher gave me a failing grade on my Abstract Art Project.  She wrote and i quote: “This is not real art”


Are you kidding me?

Art is supposed to be ‘an expression of your imagination’, it was an abstract idea from something in reality, it was exactly what abstract art was.  She was an Art teacher, how did she not ‘get it’?  I could see it so clearly…

I was too upset to ever ask her about the grade, it shattered my world for weeks…some 40 years later, it still makes me annoyed that she couldn’t see what I saw in it

Maybe my abstraction wasn’t abstract enough, I don’t know, all I know is “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, because I still love that major work (in my head ) as much as I did back then when I created it from nothing.  I also thought I was clever because we didn’t have much money at all (in fact, we were quite poor, though I never really knew it) and it was the most economical thing I could think of at the time, I didn’t have many resources to work with. I was also thrilled at my craftsmanship making a frame that was straight and a gallery wrapped canvas from scratch that I had made with my own two hands from scrap wood I found lying around, no brownie points for that either

I remember thinking at the ripe old age of 18, ‘if she can’t see it for what it is, the problem lies with her & her lack of imagination, not with me’..  (wow, a little arrogant / narcissistic there)

So the morale of this story is to always believe in yourself and your own abilities, no matter how abstract the idea or finished product is, stand behind your work

Just because someone else doesn’t see or share your vision, doesn’t mean it’s not good

You only have to look at Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, JK Rowling, Walt Disney, all their ideas were rejected numerous times before someone finally ‘got it’

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