Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Virgin A Day-- mixed media Annunciation collage

In my cruisings through blogland the earlier this morning, I came across a truly fascinating event being hosted at the blog Recuerda Mi Corazon. It's called "A Virgin a Day" and it's an invitation to all for an artistic celebration of the Virgin Mary (idea, symbol, or reality it seems, I'm loving the variety I'm finding on participating blogs) for the first 12 days of December. The blog's author describes the meaning and intention of the event in terms much more eloquent and graced than I ever could, so I would urge you all to make your way over there and visit. You will likely return feeling as intrigued and enchanted as I am. It's not about religion; it's about inspiration and sharing. This may end up being my only contribution, but I know I will enthusiastically continue reading along and following the links from the project.

Anyway, when I came across this this morning my mind almost immediately began suggesting an idea for a mixed media collage of the Annunciation, which predictably took off on it's own once I started working on it. I enjoyed doing this. I mixed together more elements and media than I have before, including book paper, fabric, tissue paper, an image from an old art book, caran d'ache neocolor pastels, acrylic paint, and an assortment of paint pens.

Some may look at this and say, "But Leah, it can't be an Annunciation, because your Mary is holding baby Jesus and that doesn't happen until after."

Well, I am a postmodernist (er, somewhat), and today that means it is the elements of the story that matter, not getting the order right.

But enough chatter, here are some pics. I took a lot this time.

First I pasted in some pieces of book paper and doodled over the page with swirls in red and orange neocolors.

Then I added some coloring with yellow and ochre neocolors and painted with water.

Added collage elements, angel wings drawn with a brown paint pen, and black acrylic paint.

And, finally, here it is with a lot more "stuff" added-- lots more drawing and outlining with paint pens, more neocolors, more water, and some relevant words from Scripture in gold, "You have found favor with God," "Behold the handmaid of the Lord," "Do not fear, Mary," "Rejoice," and "All will call me blessed," (I coudn't fit "generations" in, this was a regret).

A close up of the angel:

A close up of Mary (unfortunately I got some white paint on the Christ Child's face).

I'm entering this one in a few challenges, just for the heck of it.

Artists in Blogland's Fall Fearless and Fly Challenge has the following prompts to choose from:

Headline Prompt:  Lifelong Fan:  What or who have you consistently valued or looked up to in your life?  What lessons have you learned from people you admire?
Color Prompt:  Your favorite color now or from childhood or both!
Quote Prompt: "Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator; but among those whom I love, I can:  all of them make me laugh."  W.H.Auden

This fits the first two prompts. I think it's fair to say I value and look up to Mary :) and have since I was a child, so I suppose that makes me a "lifelong fan"! Additionally, I find value in mulling on the Nativity and surrounding events during this time of year, and paintings of the Annunciation have always been among my favorites-- this could be considered a very humble tribute. 
My favorite color-- orange-- also plays a star role here, and fitting two out of three prompts is not bad! But next time around I may try for all three. I can be obsessive like that and it would feel more complete. :) 

I'm also entering in Frilly and Funkie's A Light in Darkness Challenge. I think this collage fits that theme both symbolically and literally, and I hope my image of Mary counts a vintage element, in keeping with the spirit of their blog. 

Also using this as as second entry in Simon Says Stamp and Show's Project With Heart Challenge. 
 My angel, you may have noticed, is sporting a turquoise heart, and there is a tissue paper heart pasted behind Mary as well, forming her "wings".


  1. Hi Leah. Stopping by to visit from Rebecca's. Love your journal pages and I do love that angels turquoise heart. This is very creative. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thank you for showing us the Annunciation from start to finish!

    Virgin of the Bath

  3. dear leah,

    welcome to recuerda mi corazon and a virgin a day. so glad you found us all and joined in too. it is wonderful to see your work and to meet you!

  4. Beautiful!!! Thanks so much for joining us at Simon says stamp and show this week! -Ashli :)

  5. Very nice mixed media creation! Thank you for joining us at Frilly and Funkie!

  6. Love the angel Leah.......and your journal pages!


  7. I like this - it's fun and lively. Plus I always find it interesting to see how others build a page. Thanks!

  8. Beautiful tribute to a very brave woman. Thank you for joining Fall Fearless & FLy!

  9. Beautiful and expressive creation to 12 Days of Mary ~ blessings to you ~ (A Creative Harbor) ^_^

  10. Gorgeous piece of art, I love how you've built up the layers. Thanks for joining us at Frilly and Funky. Sue C x

  11. Your Art is fabulous! From scribbles to many fabulous colors and the texture I am sure is wonderful! Love the halo'd light!!! Thank you so much for playing along with us at Frilly & Funkie this fortnight!!!

  12. What a wonderful piece.... it's full of JOY and I love it.


  13. A wonderfully creative piece!! Amazing where some scribbles can lead! So glad you joined us at Frilly and Funky!

  14. I've been following the "12 Mary's" blog, too, but have only begun a few sketches so far. Love what you did with them. Came over from FFF.

  15. Great to see your process!! Love the page!

  16. Love how you did this - from the first layer to the last! The lines and drawings around your images give it such movement! So glad you shared this with Fall Fearless and Fly!

  17. What a perfect piece for the Light in the Darkness challenge. Wonderful job building up the layers - love the way you added in the Bible verses. Very creative interpretation. So happy you have shared this with us this week at Frilly and Funkie.

  18. This is a beautiful piece for Fall Fearless. Your golds and layers are just sumptuous and your words are lovely. Thanks for visiting me too! xox

  19. Very creative! I love your ideas. :)