When it comes to art, I learned a lot through trial and error. One thing I learned the hard way was that wood (not canvas or paper ) is the best foundation for a large multilayer-ed mixed media piece. Going out and buying a large piece of wood is not at all cost effective, so I used an old door that the previous owners of the house had left behind. That particular door payed our mortgage for two months!
The pictures bellow are examples of what I did with furniture that was discarded by others.