Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mixed Media Canvas - Tonya Gibbs

Hi everyone, today I want to share a piece of art that I created to inspire a group of friends.  For those who have followed me for a while know that I'm in Weight Watchers.  Last week we had an awesome meeting where we shared our  group's success stories.  The three who shared lost a combined weight of over 160lbs.  WOW!  That in itself is encouraging to me!  We discussed the power in believing in yourself.  I was inspired in that meeting to create a canvas that I gave away at our meeting last Monday night.

Showcased at the bottom of the frame is Marion's Rolled Roses.  I love how the black in the roses pulls in the black from the chalkboard.  I also used scraps from her other digital journal lines to create the butterflies.  The butterflies were then dipped into melted UTEE to give them a glass like texture.

I wanted the frame to have a weathered inconsistent look.  The frame is one of the ornate wood frames with an inside opening of 5x7.  I painted a base coat with bronze distress paint, then crackled small portions.  I used an  Off-White linen acrylic paint to white wash over the top.  Once it was dry, I then sanded some areas to further disstress the wood. I used an Unity Stamp that says "If You Can Imagine It, You Can Achieve It!"  repeated all over the top  of the frame's surface.   I like that you are unable to see it printed clearly anywhere.  This makes you really focus on the words, and not just the quote.

For the background, I chose the Mad Tea Party paper "Roses 'R' Red".   I loved the repeated rose and clock patterns.  So I ripped it into irregular pieces, and combined it with some vintage recipes from a low-calorie cookbook.  I then covered it in gesso and recolored it with pink and gold gelatos.   A TCW damask stencil and molding paste were then added and the entire piece was colored again with gesso, gelatos, and finished off  with the bronze distress paint.  When you look at this canvas, the background stays in the background, but a closer look reveals the subtle hints of the patterned below the layers of paint!
For the quote, I used a saying from another Unity Stamp "Trust in your potential, enjoy the process, try something new, explore possibilities, but most of all BELIEVE!"   The stamp was ATC size, so I had to hand write it on the 5x7 cardstock.  Hidden inside the spray at the bottom, I have a clock - to remind you to take time for yourself.  A token that says "courage"  so you remember to have the courage to change your habits. And one that says "Believe" To reinforce belief in yourself!  

To me - this piece looks like a Tuscan kitchen.   The strong terracotta colors, combined with the rich roses and the chalkboard draw me in, and take me to another place. 

Thanks for stopping in today,

Tonya Gibbs


Marion Smith Designs  Roses R Red, Rolled Roses
Faber Castle Design Memory Craft:   Gelatos - Pink, Hot Pink, Gold
Liquitex -  Gesso & Surface Prep Matt Medium
Ashley Home Decor - Vine
Martha Stewart Crafts - Butterfly Punch
Ranger - Utee, Distress Paint in Bronze. Coffee & Jet Black Archival Ink
Idea-ology - Tokens
Gely Roll - White Gel Pen
Prima - Clock
Unity -  Stamps


  1. WOW! Tonya this is absolutely beautiful! I love all the messages you have scattered through out your project. Such an inspirational piece that we need to be reminded to just believe in ourselves. TFS

  2. This is such an amazing project, love it!

  3. I love the texture, background technique & thank u for such an inspirational piece.

  4. Beautiful. Very inspiring. Johanne L.