By Lori Spencer

In the visual arts, a mixed media painting is a work of art that employs more than one medium. An example of mixed media might be a collage that contains paint, seashells, and bird feathers. A fairly common technique for painters is mixing oil, watercolor and acrylic paints into a single painting. Practically any combination can be used, limited only by the artists’ imagination and available materials.

The origins of mixed media painting are in the late Victorian years from approximately 1870 to 1914, known as “La Belle Epoque.” Translated from the French, this literally means “the beautiful age,” or “the gilded age.” Rapid advances in science, technology and loosening social mores inspired artists of the time to explore uncharted waters of creative expression. As a result, the arts underwent a radical transformation. New, progressive styles such as Impressionism and Art Nouveau began to cross over from the underground avant-garde into the mainstream.



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