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Caren Canier

Mixed Media Art, with Caren Canier

An Interview with Caren Canier on SavvyPainter.com
Caren Canier, photo by Joel Cohen

Mixed media art refers to a work of art where more than one medium has been employed. “Mixed media” tends to refer to a work of visual art that combines various traditionally distinct visual art media. For example, a work on canvas that combines paint, ink, and collage could properly be called a “mixed media” work. I had the privilege of sitting down with premier mixed media artist, Caren Canier on this episode of Savvy Painter. Caren brings years of experience and profound insight to our conversation about the art world. Hear about her experience as an artist, Rome Prize Fellowship recipient, and much more!

Establishing a “Commitment” to art

As an artist, you have to decide who you are making art for. If you are constantly looking for approval and checking “Which way the wind blows” your career is going to be very difficult. Caren Canier is an artist and teacher. She emphasizes the need to connect with your motivation for art. She believes that every artist needs to establish a commitment that comes from the inside out.

The artist’s role in American society

What is the artist’s role in 21st century American society? In today’s context artists are largely divorced from culture. There seems to be a tension between commercial art and the “Art world.” Some believe the true role of an artist is to reflect back to people ideas about living and what it’s like to be human. Caren Canier shares this view, she also believes that the artist’s role is to express through art what it’s like to live in the times we live in and make sense out of things. It’s a rarified form of communication that is extremely important.

Mixed media art and the creative process

Each artist’s journey is unique. Just as each piece of art reflects something that connected deep within the artist that created it. In hearing someone share their story and their heart, you get to discover a piece of your own. On this episode of Savvy Painter, I ask artist Caren Canier about her creative process and how she found her way using mixed media art. Caren’s story is fascinating and elaborate. You’ll love hearing about her experimentations with collage work and figure painting.

Finding value in setbacks and challenges

How do you respond when you encounter setbacks or failures? Is it even possible to rise from those experiences and grow from it? Accomplished artist Caren Canier encourages artists to remain patient. It has been her experience that even though you can’t see the way forward in times of difficulty, clarity will come. From her vantage point as an experienced artist, she has learned to take a longer view of setbacks and failures. Nothing she has experienced in her career has defeated her. She has remained true to her “Commitment to art” and she advises others going to through difficulty to do the same. Learn more from Caren’s wealth of wisdom on this episode of Savvy Painter.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:38] Background of guest: Caren Canier.
  • [2:21] I introduce Caren Canier.
  • [3:02] How Caren started her journey as an artist.
  • [8:20] Caren’s definition of a “Commitment to art.”
  • [11:15] The artist’s role in American society.
  • [14:25] What connections does Caren see between painting and “New media?”
  • [20:35] Caren’s creative process. How she chooses her motifs.
  • [25:41] Technical questions about preparing a collage.
  • [33:30] Caren talks about a powerful moment in her early art career.
  • [43:02] A time when Caren faced a setback.
  • [47:47] The value of setbacks and challenges.
  • [50:23] Caren talks about what it was like to work with Philip Guston

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