I really love the term "mixed media" because it can literally mean anything. By my personal definition, for an artwork to be called mixed media, it needs to include at least two different art mediums. And for me, the guidelines end right there.
This particular self-portrait began with the same vellum that I've been using for the past couple days. I had always heard about this type of paper, but had never actually used it - so when I was in an art store this past weekend, I decided to buy a small tablet and see how it worked. Once I discovered, among other things, that it is a semi-transparent paper, several possibilities emerged.
Originally, this portrait was just going to include the "mask" and nothing more. I started with an inkjet print of a photo of me, and placed the vellum on top just long enough to get the basic size of my face. Next I drew new features, ripped out the face, and pasted it onto the printed image.
It was at this time that I decided the self-portrait needed more. So as one might expect, I added a bird. Then one bird quickly became 14 birds. I personally like the ambiguity of what the one bird might be whispering in my ear, as well as the mystery of whether the bird on the right is landing or taking flight. And if it is taking off, will all of the other birds follow along as is often the case?
A final interesting note: I did not particularly care for this artwork initially. I decided to use it simply because of two reasons: I have made it a personal policy to try to avoid eliminating artworks just because I don't like them, and also because it is late and I would really like to go to bed! But I love how serendipity strikes sometimes: after I scanned this image, it took on a different appearance . . . and now I really dig it!
#166 April 4, 2011, Mixed media