Monday, November 28, 2011

Layers: 24 Works Artist Michelle Junkin

Interview by Katlyn Roberts, OVAC Intern
Michelle Phillip Junkin, Oklahoma Treasure:
A little bit modern & a little bit vintage, 
Mixed Media, 22” x 22”

What made you begin using the paint layering technique exhibited in the piece?
I read the book, “Rethinking Acrylics” by Patti Brady and was intrigued by the variety of effects that one could achieve with gel mediums and pastes. Soon after, I purchased a sample kit of Golden Mediums and Pastes. I spent days playing in the studio. I started making a batch of modern abstract Oklahoma landscapes. At some point along the way, I started adding words cut out from magazines. The process slowly developed from there.

Do you plan out the colors and concept of the layering before you begin or does the process evolve naturally? Please explain.
I always know my palette going into the creation of a piece.  I do not necessarily know the color that will be used to age / patina a section as the layers develop on the piece. I have found that the properties of liquid fluid acrylics are great for staining and often I apply glazes to give a “weathered” feel to the piece. This piece in 24 works is from the very early stages of the series.

In many ways, I was still adjusting to the learning curve of using the acrylic additives. Thus, the layering of acrylic paint and various mediums over the collage magazine scraps are an intentional decision within the design and layout of the piece. But, equally important, I try to keep an open mind as the medium layers interplay and build up amid the painted hues on the paper. Both then and now, I strive to let the piece have some freedom in finding its own direction while also staying on course with my own artistic compass intended for the artwork. 

The question is tricky because I find that I have to answer ‘yes’ to both. Yes, I know the general design, feel, layout, color combinations, and inspiration going into a piece. At the same time parts of the process evolves naturally because the layers within this piece are built around the unique traits of the gel mediums / pastes (such as absorbency or water repelling properties) and how they react to each other with the paint on paper.

This interview features an artist from the 24 Works on Paper exhibition, which is on display at Rose State College in Midwest City through December 14. A collaborative exhibition from the Individual Artists of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition, this exhibition tours until September 2012. See more in the catalog and at

No comments: