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

This is her second 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 the beginning of my art journey and how I worked in my art journals to really learn about materials and to hone my skills, being guided by many on-line classes and mixed media artists along the way.  But eventually working in my art journals was not enough and I started feeling like I wanted to get my art our of all my art journals and on to a canvas.

My Next Step – From Art Journals to Canvas

Fear is a funny thing, you would think it would be easy to go from creating in an art journal to creating on a canvas but my artist’s mind was terrified of that canvas. In my art journal there was no pressure to “be good” and using stamps and stencils was also another way to avoid having to draw anything (something only a “real” artist would do).

As I started pulling out details from the backgrounds in my art journal, and I began using outlines of my own basic images instead of other people’s stamped images, I grew in confidence in my own basic drawing abilities.  Flowers were my starting point because even I could draw a flower, and those first flowers were very basic circle shapes.  This is one of the first canvases I painted using my own images and my confidence soared when someone I didn’t even know wanted to buy it!

Mixed Media Flower Garden – 12 x 36 – My first canvas

So that was the start of the next stage of my art journey as I moved out of my journals and on to canvas.  I continued using the method of starting with a colorful, mixed media background, with no particular outcome in mind because this always took all the pressure off for me and had the added benefit of getting me into the creative zone.  After I had created a background I liked I would then pull out an image using negative painting to get the form, and then using paints and mediums to bring out the details.  I continued in this lane for a while…

Various canvases using collage and negative panting

My Breakthrough – Discovering I had a Voice

At this point in my journey I felt like there was still something missing, I wanted more, but did not know what “more” was.  Art is such a personal thing and I felt like something continued to block me from moving forward to create and paint the way I longed to.  So one day I sat down and wrote out all my feelings of anxiety and fear and where I thought these feelings were coming from, creating 14 pages of very personal journaling.

I don’t know where the thought came from but I felt moved to take these pages and paint and stamp all over them, using the words to guide my color and pattern choices, and creating some beautiful collage papers.  And after looking at these papers for a while I tore them all up and began my biggest canvas to date, using the pieces to collage a basic layout for a mountain scene.

I lived by the Rocky Mountains for years and saw this scene almost every day and was inspired to try and create from memory the way these mountains made me feel.  I added a morning sun because sunrise always makes me feel like we are starting new with a brand new day and that was how I was feeling… A Brand New Day In My Art Journey.

After collaging the basic scene I used acrylic paints and inks to pull out the details, but it was adding my own painted flowers to the foreground that really made this painting my own.  When I was finished I felt like I had created something completely new, in a style I had not seen before, using my own artist’s voice!

Freedom – 20 x 24 – My first canvas in this new style of creating from my own voice

I was on fire! I created three more canvases in this style, and they all sold!  My confidence in my artistic abilities was soaring and I began to allow myself to think… “I am an artist”.  Here are some other canvases I created using this technique, and I am sharing process photos of my favorite one so you can see how the painting emerges.

Mountain Sunrise #2 – 16 x 20

Mountain Morning Sunrise – 20 x 24 – The finished painting, I love how the mountains turned out in this one,


The First stage of Collage only for Mountain Morning Sunrise

The Middle Stage after using paint to pull out the details of the landscape

It was at this point in my art journey when Covid hit us.  It put me into a tail spin and I could not create anything for the next 12 months… I was completely blocked and in a very dark place.  Come back next week when I share about how I not only pulled myself out of that place but also finally allowed my love affair with faces to have an outlet and began using my talents in a way I had never foreseen.

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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