Experimenting in Mixed Media by Cathy Hegman

Experiment stage twoBeginning stage of the painting detail

A Balanced Peace by Cathy Hegman.  Using  mylar, wood, shellac, oil pigments, dry pigments,  dorland’s wax, ink,  and acrylic gel, I am taking mixed media to a new level.  I am always trying to find new ways to paint the figure and to enhance my repertoire of process in painting.  Here are a few of the steps in the ongoing process.  I did not take photos at every layer, simply because I get so caught up in the process that I forget to take photos and it also impedes my mental state to stop and get the camera.  

Experiment stage twofull shot oil an wax and liquin applied over the inked and shellaced surfaceBeginning stage of the painting in full 

I prepped my panel with Nova Flex Gel  on the front and the back,then applied two coats of gesso, sanding in between each coat. This is a 24 x 24 x 2 panel with a 22 x 22 sheet of mylar mounted on it.  I mounted the mylar with flex gel on the back of the mylar and on the front of the panel, then pressed it flat, put books on it and let it dry overnight. I drew with an ink mixture and let it dry.  I put one coat of shellac over the whole panel and let it dry.  Then I began layering on the oil and cold wax mixture paint.  I start the first several layers transparently  and then build it up to the more opaque layers.

experiment stage three adding more of the layers and scraping back with some opaques..the black from the ink is the dark values...I am beginning to add some opaque layers and some dry pigments in to the surface.  This is probably 3 days into the painting process.

experiment stage 4

Layer 16

More layers of paint,  on the above image,I think I noted in my notebook this is at layer 16.  I am scraping and making marks throughout the process, some will be covered; some will be enhanced with darker layers later in the process.

Experiment stage 7I am building up texture and pigment and redefining the structure of my figure.  The figure is central to the painting but I want more for this painting.  I have given it a bit of a landscape feel in the shapes surrounding the figure, all the while not being definitive in either the treatment of the figure or the background, making them appear to be integral to each other and homogeneous.

Experiment stage 9 small file wm

The painting now clearly is more than just a figure in a landscape.  The additions of the shapes, purposefully placed near the bottom gives this painting a new meaning, as well as,ties it to the current series that I have been working on.  It is clearly now about balance and the sense of peace, and the texture is soft and somewhat diffused, which adds a bit of the mystery that I so love.

Experiment painting stage 8 detailDetail to show how little definition is needed to portray your intent.  I hope these images are large enough to show the really interesting texture that is achieved with the oil and wax mixture.  It is a soft and velvety texture that responds well to mark making, digging and layering.  It has the mystery of watercolor paint in that it is unpredictable, but the forgiveness of oil and acrylic paint, with it’s easy ability of correction.


If you are new to cold wax here is a link to the Dorland’s wax that I use.  It is an informative link that describes the wax well.  http://jacquardproducts.com/forums/discussion/2588/using-dorlands-wax-medium

Nova Flex Gel is available from Nova paints in California. I use their acrylic paints and mediums and enjoy the quality of their products.Here is a link to their website http://novapaints.com/

Thank you for reading my blog, I am always grateful.

Take care,


*All artwork and text included in this blog is copyright protected by Cathy Hegman and should not be reproduced in any form or fashion or used without the written permission of Cathy Hegman. All text and artwork included in this blog are solely the thoughts and original art of the artist, Cathy Hegman, unless otherwise noted, and are meant only to be guidelines and thoughts for others to read.

About Cathy S. Hegman

Art, much like a road links people together both visually and mentally. One can attain a glimpse inside the artist’s soul by studying the artist’s work, and perhaps find something that links them to the artist and the art. A work of art has the ability to resonate and touch the emotions without regard to age, gender, race, or religion through the application of pigment to canvas or paper. Art can be the voice that cries out without limits, or sometimes whispers the thoughts of the creator. Art speaks silently, yet conjures up feelings and gives satisfaction that is undeniable, and yet intrinsic. It validates our need to learn about ourselves, and gives us freedom to search for our own identities. The road is long and often dusty, but always renewing the spirit with inspiration. It is my hope in this lifetime to give a part of what I have learned through and on my journey with others. The deepest form of us is revealed in our thoughts and my art is the translation of my thoughts to paper and canvas. I paint layers of color and line to create a history of marks that will guide the viewer into my world of thought and engage them in the process. I embed personal symbols throughout my art to give it deeper meaning. I encourage you to think about life in a visual way and to contemplate our connections with each other and the world we share.
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12 Responses to Experimenting in Mixed Media by Cathy Hegman

  1. Beautiful painting, Cathy… and a wonderful peek into your thoughtful process of painting.Someone lucky will own this one soon I know.

  2. Thank you Cheryl! I appreciate that!

  3. patty says:

    Always amazed by your insight and depth of feeling and understanding throughout your process. You rock, Cathy!!!!

  4. Cathy, thanks so much for sharing insight into your process. It sparks the creative spirit to see how the process allows the work to evolve into a beautiful piece of art.

    • Thank you for commenting and reading my blog Mark! I really appreciate your kind words, I am glad it was interesting and that you liked the finished painting! Thank you again!

  5. Cathy, love and appreciate your love and willingness to share your knowledge. Today I will be
    working on my self portrait with a renewed sense of energy and urgency to say exactly what
    I feel. Thanks for giving me that nudge.

    • That sounds super Patricia! I hope your self portrait turns out exactly as you want it to! Thank you for reading my blog and especially for taking the time to send me such a nice comment! I wish you much painting success and pleasure!
      Take care,

  6. Hi…so excited to tell you I just got home from seeing your work at Tew Gallery!!! It was so awesome to see it in person. I was so inspired!!!

    • That is great Patricia!!! I am so glad you went by to see it! I love Tew Gallery! They are the best!! Corky usually handles my work and he is stellar! Thank you for taking the time to go by. I am supposed to have a show in January…I hope we can meet in person…I will keep you posted on it! Post your portrait when you finish it! I would love to see it!
      Thank you again!!!

  7. Lauren says:

    Cathy the Nova flex gel says it is for fabrics, is this the one to order?

    • Yes I use that in the same manner it is simply to seal the panel on both sides and stabilize it, I put several layers of gesso over the front side before I start to paint….here is what it says on their site…I don’t see fabric listed but I might be missing it….the site has use to Thicken paint or to create impasto. Collage glue or canvas adhesion…. Hope that helps!!!

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