The Making of Blue Blossom Symphony

by Leslie Miller in Painting Techniques

 After years of plain-old painting, I’ve recently ventured into collage and mono-printing. Both are fun and exciting; not only have they really energized my creative process but that wonderful, fresh energy is seeping into my regular painting style as well!

Blue Blossom Symphony is the fourth piece in my series of  “acrylic skin” collage.

What is an acrylic skin, you ask?

Acrylics are a fast drying medium; one of my favorite things about them. When you mix colors on your palette, eventually the unused portion dries there, forming a thin, pliable “skin.” I use a special type of plastic for my palette which allows me to simply peel the dried paint off.

Imagine my surprise when I heard another artist say he uses the dried, peeled off paint for collage! “Wait, what?” I gasped. Lightbulb moment!!! I immediately decided to try it.

The first time I tried this process, I took a fresh canvas, painted a dark background and began attaching my pieces of dry, peeled, “acrylic skin” fairly randomly. Some of the paint peels off in big blobs, others in small strips or chunks, depending on how thick the puddle was when wet. Some of it is only one color, some peels off several layers of paint at a time and has multiple colors in it for a nuanced and interesting look.


Since I’ve been working mostly on florals, I looked at all the shapes once glued to the canvas, grabbed my white Posca marker, and turned it into abstract flowers in a vase.

Check out the very first acrylic skin collage I did, titled Dancing Queen. After finishing this one, I thought the process was so unique and challenging that I continued on with the series. Check out the entire series of collages (as of this writing, of course).

As I mentioned, Blue Blossom Symphony is the fourth in the series. When the flowers and vase were done, there was almost nothing at the bottom third of the canvas which made it look unfinished and unbalanced. Since the overall look reminded me of stained glass, I decided to play with that idea further and painted on the random blue shapes that form the “table.”

When that part was finished, I stepped back to asses what I’d done and thought, “Yep, love it!” That’s usually the sign for me that a piece is finished.

Blue Blossom Symphony is for sale! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this particular piece or the whole collage concept; any feedback much appreciated.

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