Tag Archives: collage

Artist Sandra Gea Featured On Art Wednesday

I am so happy to have my friend Sandra Gea featured today on Art Wednesday.  She is a Soul Collage facilitator, an archer, and one of the kindest people I know. I hope you enjoy her interview today!

Tell us about the moment you realized you were an artist.

Creativity has always been present in my life as far as I can remember.  I grew up in a modest family where upcycling, fixing, reusing was part of our lifestyle. I would spend hours crafting out of paper and fabric. During my teen years, I used to collage a lot. Even if I chose a different academic path and career, through my different corporate jobs,  I was always somehow involved with creativity and design.

The seed was always there waiting for me to make the choice. It is interesting to observe how collage and recycling have found again their place in my art.

Artist Sandra Gea Featured On Art Wednesday. Artwork by Sandra Gea: Structure and Flow. Copyright belongs to the artist.
Structure and Flow by Sandra Gea (copyright belongs to the artist).


What projects are you working on now?

Currently I am working on two painting projects. One entitled “Souls of Mongolia” and the other “Archery, Tai Chi and the art of Zen”.

The third project is called “The Earth is our Home” where I recreate places of the world out of recycled and handmade paper.

I just got a one year residence at the Art Hotel Cavalieri in Malta and I have committed to exhibit a different project every three months. It is both challenging and exciting. I have several ideas in mind that I will experiment with. This is what I love about art that I never know where an idea will lead me, what stories will be unraveled.

Does you work have a theme? Are you exploring a particular topic or subject?

I do. Themes either come through the work, I start one painting and then I decide to make it a series or a phrase will catch my attention. I trust spontaneity and serendipity, always prepared to welcome the muse!

The project “The Earth is our Home” began with my participation to  the Twitter Art Exhibit which this year will benefit the project Home Start Moss in Norway. My idea was to make a piece of art with  “Home” as a theme and message. The inspiration came spontaneously to create a theme exclusively with recycled materials as a message to take care of our environment and remember that we are guests on this earth. Once the card was made, I decided to extend this theme to a series. So far I have created  Paris, Barcelona, Istanbul, Regensburg and Delphos.

Artist Sandra Gea Featured On Art Wednesday: This Is Our Home.  Copyright belongs to the artist.
This Is Our Home By Sandra Gea (copyright belongs to the artist).


What type of art/ or artist do you most identify with?

I would say I identify most with the surrealist movement in art and literature. How the surrealists deconstructed and played with reality and language through art. As a linguist and polyglot, I love words and puns, exploring the different levels of meaning, as much as I can I incorporate it in my work. I am currently exploring the work Joan Miró, his paintings and collages have a simplicity and  (false) naiveté  that I are inspiring.

What inspires you?

My environment and nature are my main sources of inspiration. I observe and absorb the world around me, open for the muse to call by. My aim is to make every moment in my daily life a time for inspiration, creativity, spontaneity and play.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to become an artist? What is the best advice you have received?

The best advice I received was from a danish photographer that I met a few years ago when I was in the midst of change. He told me: “You go to university to study to become. To become a doctor, a lawyer…You don’t need to go and study to be an artist. You are already one.”

Though it took me a couple of years to step out of my comfort zone, to trust, dare and throw myself out in the world!

If I had to give an advice it will be the same I received: You are an artist! Just do, be you. Be inspired by others but do not imitate or copy, find your own style. Be authentic. Create from heart. Be one with your art. Give it all, it’s worth it!

What is your dream project?

I have many dream projects!

I dream to travel with my art, get invited to a place and paint on site. Since my painting process is intuitive I am curious to see and feel what each place will reveal on the canvas.

I am currently dreaming of an experimental photography project /performance,  an exploration of  femininity through my own exposure.

I dream to collect all my notes and writings : poetry, plays, fiction and make something out of them.

What medium do you like to work in most?

Paper, definitely! I am obsessed with recycling paper. It is the basic ingredient for most of my art. Any paper support that can fall into my hands has a potential: envelopes, stamps, magazines, newspaper, bus/underground tickets etc…Collage is a fabulous adventure and improvisation, I always work with the materials available. I never know from the beginning what will come out so I start cutting, playing, gluing and the stories unfold themselves. It feels like magic!

Artist Sandra Gea Featured On Art Wednesday : Rider At Sunset. Copyright Belongs To The Artist.
Rider At Sunset by Sandra Gea (copyright belongs to the artist).

Is there an art supply you couldn’t live without?

It is not really a supply but rather a tool. I could not live without my pair of scissors. It has been my faithful companions for nearly 28 years and it has a very special story. This scissors are handcrafted by an artisan from Burgundy, France,  where I grew up. There was an artisan fair in my village and his stall was just below the wall that surrounded the property where my family lived. I was sitting on that wall with my friends watching the fair. This man handled me a bottle of plastic and asked me for water. I had been told not to speak to strangers. But something in me told me to take the bottle and go fill it at home. Disobeying. As a thank you this man gave me this pair of scissors. It has been with me throughout my school and university years, in every country I have lived. Last year I got it sharpened and revamped for the first time in 28 years. I have to admit it got me emotional.

Why do you make art?

I make art because of the spontaneity that comes through me during the creative process: the curiosity, the experimentation, the joy, the play, the stories unfold. It is the space where my soul comes to full expression and through which the invisible becomes visible. To me art is the purest expression of my soul through which I connect with other souls.

What impact do you want your art to make on the world?

Through the different exhibitions that have put me directly in touch with the public, I have observed different interesting responses. People being moved by my paintings telling me how much they soothed them and inspired them calmness. I have seen people bursting out of laughter when I was telling them the name of my collages, how they connected with the words and the pictures. It is interesting to see how I can touch people in different ways. My wish is that my art leaves them with a positive feeling: peace, harmony, joy. Specially joy. That through art we experience this special connection from soul to soul, that they felt connected to the story I told and that it touched them deeply.

I’m Sandra Gea, linguist, wanderer, self-taught artist. The passion for languages and the desire to experience different cultures have taken me on a voyage to create myself and bring my soul to full expression. My lifestyle, art and writing are reflections of this voyage – flowing, multicultural, exciting.

Please visit these links to learn more about Sandra Gea and her artwork:

Website: www.soulsnavigator.com

Twitter: @soulsnavigator

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SoulsNavigator

Valentine Bird Collage Day 19 of 30 Paintings In 30 Days

Valentine Bird Collage Mixed Media Art Day 19 of 30 Paintings In 30 Days.
Valentine Bird Collage in Mixed Media, 11×14 on canvas board.

I’m working on designing a new card or postcard for Valentine’s Day to put into my gift wrapping bags for jewelry sales. I want to have a card with art on one side and directions on how to care for the jewelry on the other. I made this Valentine Bird Collage using paper I created with my new Gelli Printing Plate. You can check it out here:



The Gelli plate is so easy to use, even Tiny-Small was designing monoprints. We used stencils, leaves, and paint brushes to make prints with. It was really fun! I highly recommend getting one. If you do mixed media art it’s a wonderful tool. You won’t need to buy scrapbook paper and worry about copyrights anymore because you can make your own paper in any color or design your imagination can come up with. It’s also really fun to do with kids. Tiny-Small and I stayed up way past her bedtime because we were having so much fun. We completely lost track of time!

Tiny-Small painting on the Gelli print plate.
Tiny-Small painting on the Gelli print plate.


I prefer making my own paper for mixed media projects and art journaling. Sometimes scrapbook paper is just too uniform or patterned. I like the nuances the printing creates. Not to mention, some of the scrapbook paper companies have a lot of rules about whether or not you can sell art you create using their papers. It’s complicated and confusing and hard to keep track of.

Leaf prints for mixed media art by Lillian Connelly
Leaf prints

After creating some prints and letting them dry I cut the paper up and created a collage with it. I drew and painted the birds on cardstock, cut them out, and glued them down on top of the background. I really like the way the doilies came out during the printing process. I used quite a few of those prints in this piece.

I really liked making the leaf prints too. I collected leaves the last time we were in California. Some of the leaves I printed came from Jim’s parents home, and specifically, from a tree his mom planted many years ago. That makes the leaf prints extra special.

Have you ever used a Gelli Printing Plate? What was your experience like?


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Two Blue Birds In Mixed Media Day 14 Of 30 Paintings In 30 Days

Two Blue Birds mixed media art collage Day 14 of 30 Paintings In 30 Days
8×10 Two Blue Birds mixed media collage on Watercolor paper.

I decided to do some work in mixed media today. I needed to work in a way that brought stress relief and mixed media work always has a therapeutic quality for me, even when what I am doing turns out to be terrible. I came up with Two Blue Birds pretty quickly, and luckily, it wasn’t terrible!

Mixed media is a medium in which I have been trying to improve my skills. If you Google “Mixed Media” you will see a variety of styles. I seem to be drawn to artists who know how to layer well like Chellestein from Journal 52 and to artists like Catherine who seem to be able to put people, words, and textures together in fun and sassy ways. I stare at their work in awe and I love it, but I can’t seem to create that way. I’ve heard other artists say, “we are drawn to what we cannot do” and I am starting to believe that is true.

When I attempt a mixed media piece I seem to do better when I keep it fairly simple. I think I just get overwhelmed by too many possibilities when I try to add several elements into a piece. Somehow it just ends up looking cluttered. A few too many layers and my eyes no longer know where to look. My work gets too busy too fast and then I don’t know what to do with it.

The other day someone commented on one of my art journal entries. She said, “I love your pages because they are simple and that makes them powerful.” Her comment really made me stop and think. First of all, I was grateful because my word for the year is “simplify” so maybe I am sticking to it! I was also caught off guard because I’ve always felt awkward about my simple and somewhat plain mixed media pieces. I’ve been disappointed in them because I wasn’t able to pull off what I thought was a “real” mixed media piece. And by “real” I mean one with lots of details and layers under gorgeous images and words placed in just the right spot. To hear someone call one of my pieces powerful gave me new courage and confidence. Maybe it wasn’t so much that I was doing this whole mixed media thing the wrong way, it was just that I had a different style than the artists I admired most. Not to mention, it is always humbling to discover that someone loves something you feel insecure about. It makes you realize you should have more gratitude for what you can do and for what you are doing.

With my new found courage and confidence I started putting together Two Blue Birds. I thought maybe I would start embracing my simple approach and see where that path takes me. I can tell you for sure that I am much less frustrated by letting go of what I wish I was doing and enjoying more of what I am doing. I’m really happy with how Two Blue Birds turned out. I’m looking forward to doing another mixed media piece with my new “embracing my strengths” and having more gratitude approach!

Have you ever tried to paint or work in a style that you admired, but never really managed to pull it off? Did you feel more joy, or even relief, once you finally gave in to doing something your own way?


I want to remind you that I am on day 14 of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. If you would like to see all of the artwork other artists in the challenge have been creating please click over to Leslie Saeta’s blog and take a look. You’ll be amazed by what you see.