The Warrior by Lisa L. Cyr , Mixed Media Painting 24″ x 12” x 2” (art) with 48″ x 25” x 6” (frame)

The three-dimensional landscape captivates an audience with its engaging constructs, intriguing enclosures, tactile surfaces and custom add-ons, where the sculptural projection adds not only depth and dimension but also meaning to the work. My mixed-media work entited The Warrior features many two-dimensional and three-dimensional painting techniques. Bas-relief and gold-infused details abound, working in tandem with the more painted areas of the figure. The entire collar and lower bodice are created using a series of custom textures that were built up in multiple layers using molding paste and gel medium.

This lower bodice area is created using matte gel medium and several debossing techniques.

This are of relief is built up in layers on Claybord using molding paste and custom die-cut stencils that I created.

Working in relief, I began by texturizing the working surface, using various relief techniques. The chest plate structure is created using a debossing technique, custom stencils that I create myself, gesso, molding paste and gel medium. Lots of layering is done on the surface of this Claybord panel!

The registration of relief elements is tight and critical to maintaining the overall symmetry of the piece. There is very little room for error! It is also quite a challenge to maintain the illusion of depth that is created by painting when areas of bas-relief thread throughout the piece. You don’t ever want a three-dimensional effect to cancel out a two-dimensional one. Check out just some of the details above.

The work also has an ornate framing structure. Because of the complexity, I worked with my husband, illustrator and animator Christopher Short, who came up with a 3D digital model to figure out how we would be able to incorporate the art with the design. The 3D environment not only allowed us to try different things but also assisted in the purchasing and cutting of the wood to the appropriate size and shape. Although we used parts of an existing construct, we had a lot of alterations, both aestheticaly and structurally, to do to make it work for the painting. Check out the finished framework in the video below!


I have been very busy working on a series of mixed-media paintings for my visual novel. In my mixed-media painting entitled The Warrior, I portray a female figure in a position of strength. She is a fighter of sorts and is wearing the armor of a fighter prepared for battle. Within the armor are details decorated with leaves and floral accents. Throughout my work, the aspect of nature, especially leaves, is always present, as the change of the leaves signifies different seasons within one’s life.

Throughout the piece, there is a lot of symbolism and metaphor. The golden headpiece is made of two wingless dragons. In Asian mythology, dragons without wings are seen as guardians and protectors of one’s treasure. In this particular piece, the treasure is oneself and the battle is internal. The two dragons are connected by a bridge at the top which straddles both the left and the right hemispheres of the brain. Creativity and intellect come together as a strong force, a superpower. Throughout history and mythology, bridges have become known as symbols for overcoming obstacles. In this circumstance, the warrior is using her full potential to fight her demons. At the foundation, the bridge boasts red ruby gems. The gem of all gems, rubies represent love, courage and a zest for the authentic life.

If you are interested in learning more about working in relief on the painted surface or working in experimental mixed-media techniques, check out my Masterclass on patreon!

A Unique Approach:

Masterclass is a unique approach to learning, where each artist works on their own projects, whether that be standalone works or works in a series. Unlike a workshop or an assignment-driven class, this online atelier supports each individual artist’s intent on creating works that they really want to pursue. 

There are approximately SEVEN Live Events every month. The Masterclass Saturday sessions (usually held on the first Saturday of the month) are from 11:00am to 1:00pm EST and the In the Studio sessions are from 2:00pm to 3:00pm on the same day. In addition, there is a monthly Paint, Draw + Create Together event (once a month) on Tuesday from 11:00am to 1:00pm EST and the weekly Sketchbook Meditation + Exploration Social events (3 to 4 times a month) are on Tuesday from 7:00pm to 8:30pm.

Patron Art Feedback sessions for Masterclass are conducted four times a year, giving each artist time to create their works. Artists that cannot attend live can submit up to 3 pieces for a live session review. Each review is recorded.

Experimental + Traditional Techniques:

The Masterclass online atelier covers a variety of topics from studio best practices to a vast array of experimental and traditional painting as well as expressive drawing techniques. The instructor provides monthly assistance and guidance through live  demonstrations, lectures and group chats. ​If you miss a class, you can watch the recording at a later date. 

Painted Passages: This series of posts and videos on how to employ freeform painting techniques to create magical backgrounds and environments in mixed media.

Collage Techniques: This series of posts and videos on using collage techniques in mixed-media works of art.

Working in Relief: This series of posts and videos focuses on working in relief in mixed media, exploring self-expression through texture-building and bas-relief techniques onto the painted surface.

Studio Basics: This series of posts and videos on artistic best practices for the studio artist, from working surfaces, grounds, painting mediums, varnishes, drawing and painting media to brushes, tools and equipment.

Expressive Drawing Series: This series of posts and videos explores alternative mark-making using drawing materials to create expressive works of art. 

Conceptual Development: This series of posts and videos focuses on developing concepts for visually expressive works of art.

Masks, Props + Costuming: This series of posts and videos focuses on how I create unique masks, props and costumes for my figurative subjects.

Insights from the Natural World: This series of posts and videos explores using nature as an inspirational muse for creating artistic works

Just Imagine: This series of posts and videos explore working in a sketchbook as well as creating custom made books. Tactile surfaces, unique designs and engaging presentations stimulate brain activity, allowing artists to drift back to a playful state of mind.

Paint Pictures with Words Writing Club: This series of posts and videos explore writing about our works, creating poetry and prose and using the power of words to assist in the creative process!

Mixed Media Artist Series: This series of posts and videos includes insightful and thought-provoking profiles of leading artists, working in unique techniques and innovative approaches in art.

The Art of Promotion: This series of posts and videos cover artistic promotional strategies and practices.

Check out the complete Collection of Content already on the Navigating the Labyrinth of the Creative Mind site!

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The artist brings you into her studio through live behind-the-scenes access and weekly posts and videos to current projects and creative endeavors.​

In addition, you have early access to the artist’s upcoming Shows and Exhibitions.

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Discussions regarding artistic growth and development, nurturing the creative spirit, developing personal content, embracing a multidisciplinary mindset and creating message-driven art are also explored as ways to assist artists on their own creative path.

Throughout this online workshop experience, artists discover a multitude of ways to ignite creativity, opening the door for the artistic spirit to shine! Check out the testimonials above from artists around the globe!

Get weekly access to the Rediscovering Your Creative Self weekly podcast which focuses on developing a relationship with the creative spirit that resides within and making daily lifestyle changes that enhance creativity, building a more creative and playful mindset.

Throughout the audio program, topics such as battling the inner critic, handling creative block, working through anxiety and self-doubt and interrupting the patterns that bind are explored. Managing fears, seeing mistakes as rites of passage, knowing when to open and close doors, riding the wave of triumphs and tribulations, avoiding distractions and coping with naysayers that keep one from seeing the light that resides within are covered.

Every month on the Navigating the Labyrinth of the Creative Mind site, there is new Sketchbook Challenge prompt and directive, allowing artists to discover alternative ways in which to practice art that is more personal. Art created from this endeavor is shared on the private Community Chat with other artists.

Sketchbook Meditation + Exploration Weekly Social

Every Tuesday night from 7:00pm to 8:30pm EST, you can attend an open sketchbook night social event called Sketchbook Meditation + Exploration. We discuss the Rediscovering Your Creative Self podcast episode of the week, setting an intention for our work and making daily lifestyle changes that enhance creativity.

Artists use the Sketchbook Meditation + Exploration weekly get-together as a time to commit to working in their sketchbook, experimenting and discussing with other artists topics that will help in developing a relationship with the creative spirit that resides within. Recordings are available for Masterclass artists if they miss a session!

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Your membership also includes private access to the  Community Group, where patrons share art and works-in-progress, post the monthly Sketchbook Challenges as well as the weekly Sketchbook Meditation + Exploration Social art and work from the Paint Pictures with Words Writing Club. They also share inspiration, discuss new artistic tools, products and equipment as well as interesting and informative books on art and so much more!

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