Alibi V.24 No.3 • Jan 15-21, 2015 

How to Do Literally Everything

How to Construct Mixed Media Masterpieces

Most folks remember that feeling of elation—that all-encompassing signal that life is full of endless possibilities—whenever they learn something new. I remember being in an art class my junior year of high school, when my art teacher Mr. Armadillo (pronounced armadee-yo) taught us how to make a mixed media magazine painting. Sure, when you read those words, you might ask yourself, “What the crap is a mixed media magazine painting?” I'm about to get to that. Since this is the Alibi's first How To Do Literally Everything issue, I thought I'd share this lovely art-making technique. 'Cause why not make a collage-like painting of multiple colors and textures?

Step 1: Gather your materials. You'll need lots of magazines, one bottle of Elmer's glue (the clear kind), one pair of scissors, paints of various hues, car wax (I use the Eagle One Nevr-Dull wadding polish) and a canvas/poster board/painting paper (aka whatever you want to use to glue the magazine pieces on).

Step 2: Cut out a bunch of pieces of magazine paper. You can choose which colors and designs you want. To be honest, it doesn't really matter what colors your choose because you're most likely going to paint over them. Once you cut out all your pieces, arrange them on your canvas or poster board and glue them down. A nice trick would be to put glue on the edges and smooth it out before placing them on your surface of choice. The reason being that you don't want to have ripples in the paper.

“What the crap is a mixed media magazine painting?” I'm about to get to that.

Step 3: Grab that bottle of Elmer's and start placing glue on the surfaces of the magazine paper where you're going to want to keep the color of the pages. The reason being that once that glue dries, you won't be able to get rid of that color. Once you've made your design with the glue, wait for it to completely dry, and it won't look much different. You'll seriously ask yourself, “Like ... what was the point of that?” Patience, kind friend.

Step 4: After the glue has dried, grab a nice swath of that car wax and start rubbing the magazine pieces. Watch as the colors fade away. (Note: Don't use pieces of magazine covers because the paper is thicker and doesn't rub off.) You'll notice that the parts that have been glued retain the vibrant hues of the magazine pages, while the car wax completely eliminates the rest of the color from your magnificent canvas. To be honest, you might not even want to paint over it once you've seen your cool Elmer's design emitting bold pigments amidst a sea of gray and white (’cause that's what the magazine paper looks like once you've shamelessly waxed everything off).

Step 5: From here, you can pretty much take complete control. You can paint a portrait of your mama. You can try your hand at landscaping. The possibilities are literally endless. That is, unless you have no imagination whatsoever. But even then, you can always paint a picture of your cat or a flower or a cup sitting idly on a book. The choice is yours. But that's the gist of it. You've now made yourself a mixed media magazine painting.