Local artist creates unique mixed media

Currently her love is mixed media, which combines painting, drawing, pen and ink, and collage for unique results.

“The beauty of mixed media is it’s imperfect,” Argo said. Mixed media and collage allow for the artistic mind to create far outside what is normally acceptable by most artistic standards. That is perhaps why it is enjoying a renaissance by artists like Argo.

Argo does her work on large canvases with bits and pieces of things she has collected, such as antique buttons. A collector by nature, her studio is filled with all kinds of discarded treasures she has located in antique stores. Things most people throw out, Argo recycles, adding them to her whimsical, colorful and bold art works.

“I always loved the idea of working on canvas but couldn’t draw on it,” she said. “But using scraps of paper and layering, then painting, was the alternative. I use a variety of things, like old books, which I use to create the backgrounds.” She uses scrapbook paper, old books, and much more for an under layer and then uses gel medium, Modge Podge, or a mixture of glue and water or paint. She adds more layers until the finished piece is smooth and flawless, looking like one distinctive acrylic painting.

Some of her commissioned pieces are memory themes of places people love or lived in like Charlottesville. Argo combines symbols and wording to create Charlottesville in another form in pen and ink. She recently completed a similar one depicting Palmyra.

“Pen and ink is less forgiving and one mistake can ruin a piece, but that flaw might be what makes the piece unique,” she said. It’s clear when talking with Argo that her carefree, artistic flair shines through and anyone talking with her can feel it and become inspired too.

When she needs to step away from the inks and paints in her studio, Argo grabs her camera and heads outside.

“I take photos of people in their daily routines or old buildings,” she said, adding that she often wonders what stories these buildings could tell through their weathered siding, aging floorboards or broken windows. “I don’t like posed photos of people but prefer candid shots. It adds authenticity to the captured moment.”

Argo has been showing her work at crafts shows and will return to Sts. Peter and Paul this year. She is excited about the two-day arts festival in Waynesboro. Argo can be found online at www.argodzines.com, which leads to her Etsy shop. More of her original work and photography can be viewed on her site. For more information, contact Sharon Argo at 434-825-5683 or email her at argodzines@hotmail.com.

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