Lynne Mizera is an self-taught, mixed media artist living in Creston, British Columbia.

This is her third installment in a 4-part series as Artist Strong’s Artist in Residence. You can enjoy more of her art over on instagram @Lynnemizera.

Visit her website at

Last week I shared how I took my mixed media art from inside my art journals out onto canvas.  I was beginning to really explore my own art vision and voice and to develop some confidence in my own work. But then Covid hit us and like many other people it sent me and my creativity into a tailspin.  I spent the next 12 months completely and utterly blocked in all areas of my art.  But at the 12-month mark I decided I had to do something to get out of this funk and I made the decision to start to use some of the many art courses I had downloaded onto my computer to jump start my art journey and through this process I discovered again my love of drawing and painting women’s faces.

Mixed Media Portraits… Learning To Do It My Way

I used lessons from many different artists to help me work through my creative block… I found following their instruction and using different products a lot easier than trying to create something from my own imagination. Some of the artists who really helped my along my journey learning to paint and draw faces are Tamara LaPorte, Effy Wild and Amanda Trought.  The one thing all three have in common is a gift for helping students to feel like they can do it, and each played a big part in my journey.

I took many classes from many different artists to learn how to paint the female face


Watching Amanda Trought (Barbados) on YOUtube paint a face gave me the courage to just go for it, I loved  her style of painting! I had not allowed myself paint faces as I thought they would have to look “real”.  Amanda showed me that you can just paint!

My first paintings after watching Amanda Trought on YOUtube

This painting was inspired by Amanda Trought’s technqiues

Tamara Laporte, (UK) of LifeBook fame, has a gentle, supportive teaching style that lays out step by step how to draw and paint a whimsical face and she offers many collaborative courses where multiple artists each teach a different lesson.  This way I was exposed to  many different teaching styles, techniques and mediums, discovering what I liked and did not like.

Created after watching Tamara Laporte’s lesson on creating a Whimsical Face


And Effy Wild (Canada) is a mixed media arts whose Lip Up Girl portraits helped me to find a style of painted faces that I still love today.

Inspired by Effy Wild’s Lip Up Girls in the course “A Year With Mary Oliver”

But eventually, after following along with these artists and emulating their styles I felt a strong desire to just paint some faces from my own imagination.  I remember very well the first time I just sat down and created a face from my soul, without using a reference photo or after watching a class…

This piece is one of my first painted in my own style

I was finding my voice and discovering that I had a style all of my own.  I realized I wanted to paint impressionistic faces that had an air of  mystery and made you want to keep looking at them to discover what was behind those eyes.  And I wanted to use color to represent light and shadow, rather than realistic shading.

These piece show how I began finding my way using color

And I just kept painting women’s faces in my own style, becoming more comfortable with the different mediums and incorporating many of the mixed media techniques I had learned along the way.  I discovered I liked painting with acrylics and loved using acrylic glazes over mixed media pieces.

But even though I was loving what I was creating, I was still trying to find my lane.  I felt like I was still all over the place and being self taught I was really starting to feel that I had some very large holes in my knowledge base.  I discovered Carrie at Artist Strong about then and it was so refreshing to learn from her that a self-taught artist is still an artist and she helped me with the beginning of my journey of information gathering as I went looking to find  somewhere I could go to get honest evaluations of my work and help with all the questions I had.  In August of 2021 I discovered the Mastrius mentorship program and in a very short time began being mentored by not one, not two but six different artists!  Come back next week where I share how this incredible amount of knowledge knocked me off my base for a while but then created a momentum that I am just beginning to learn how to harness!


Every couple of months artists show up in our Artist Strong community to share their artistic process, journey, explorations with us over the course of a month.

The goal is to normalize the MANY, VARIED experiences of being an artist.

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