Monday, August 26, 2013

3 out

Yes, I do *all* my blogging at the end of my Sunday-Monday weekend. Mostly because that's when I make a lot of art. Gotta blog about it before I forget if I did or not. These run the gamut from dark and sedate to wild and crazy to pastel and geometric.
The dark grim girls are a gel medium transfer from a demo day. The background is a sheet of  Tim Holtz Kraft Glassine. Not entirely sure what you're supposed to do with it but I won it in a drawing and I like the color so decided to use it. The two strips of town building are from a big picture book on the old villas of Venice Italy. Bits of old book paper, a strip of semi-appropriate text.

Rhonda, you ought to recognize the background paper. This started out as a note sent to me by a friend. I added lots of blown ink cause I was still in the mood after making the tree postcards earlier in the day. The odd text is a phrase from an old book that appealed to me.

The background is from a December 1944 Popular Science magazine, one of several old magazines I mine for useful stuff. All the stamps are from a big baggie that Rhonda gifted me with. The text is from a large print book by Kate Atkinson. I bought it simply to use the large type on larger pieces but ended up reading it first. Love her writing. Couple pieces of washi tape finished it off. 

MMSA swap - trees

Just trees, in any way, shape or form. I instantly thought of blown ink cause I think I saw some recently that made me think of trees.

Anyway, while cleaning up the studio yesterday, I came across a partial sheet of watercolor paper. I cut it into two postcard size pcs, then sprayed them with turquoise and blue dyelusions ink. That stuff sure is vibrant. They were laying on the work table when I decided to work on trees, so I got out some sepia acrylic ink, dribbled some along the bottom edge and blew with a straw. I helped it get started by dragging the pointy shaft end of a feather here and there.

What? You've never heard of the special feather technique???

(I only used a feather because it was laying on the table from when I picked it up in the back yard a couple days ago. A toothpick would have done the trick but I didn't have one handy.)

When that was dry, I went back and added more ink along the bottom to make grass bushes undergrowth.

The 3rd one started life as a gelli print with some misc papers and dress pattern tissue collaged onto it. I used Liquitex acrylic ink in turquoise first, then went over some of it with Dr. Ph. Martin's Bombay Black India ink.

Lettered "trees" onto each card and I'm done. Trying to get a few swaps ahead so that I'm not always mailing on the last possible day. Karen is in Massachusetts, clear across the blasted country, and I suspect she's had to wait for me a time or two. (Sorry, Karen. Today I mailed off purple and Currie's collage cards.)

If you haven't yet joined in any MMSA swaps, you really should give it a go. I pretty much always get good cards back, and, as I've mentioned before, the weekly nature of her swaps keeps me constantly making art.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

MMSA collage sheet swap cards

Another swap at MMSA where we must use only the elements on the provided collage sheets. You can cut them up, add doodles and whatever, but no extra collage pieces. I like these challenges where the parameters are quite narrow (altho there's quite a bit to work with on those three sheets).

I printed out two of the pages and went to work, eventually ending up with these three cards. They're all done on plain brown cardboard that comes on either side of CDs that we receive at work regularly. Nothing like a steady supply of free materials that would otherwise go in the trash. And I like the brown background. Reminds me of Kraft paper or brown paper bags.

I made the center one first, then the bottom one, and the top card last, using up many of the words on the collage sheet.

The red hearts on the 3rd card are actually the cut out holes left from the two hearts on the center card. I glued red paper underneath so they'd stand out.

I tried some dangling doodles on the last card and like the idea. Just need to get more inventive with my dangles.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

purple postcards

Karen at MMSA is back from vacation, which means swaps are going again - yay! First up is purple. Any subject, just so it's mostly purple. I was surprised at how little purple there is in magazines - until I opened an Oprah! mag, that is. She (or maybe her design team) likes purple! I tore out any bit of purple I could find, grabbed some purple background cards, white gel pen, black gel pen, all my purple gel pens and went to work.

See that background? Those sort of rose-looking shapes? You'll never guess what made those marks. Go ahead, guess. Nope. They were made by the cut off stem end of a cabbage, dabbed onto a purple ink pad. A red cabbage from my garden, in fact. Very cool stamp. There are a few on the bottom card also. Reminiscent of the celery heart rose my S.D. friend Julie showed me one time. 

Gelli print background using a floral stencil. Various magazine elements. Love the question. It was part of some article about what 'normal' means and that it's pretty much different for everyone so don't worry if your normal doesn't quite line up with your sister's or your BFF's. It's *your* normal, embrace it! Unless, you know, it's actually weird disguised as normal. But how would you know? So... maybe it *is* normal. Whatever. Whew...

Same background as above. Lots of purple and silver lipstick tubes, some washi tape, some doodling.

A more restrained application of the cabbage roses, more of those purple-nail-polish-fingers (they were a real find!), some washi tape, more of the little bracelets from #2 above, doodles. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

mixed media art journal round robin kick-off

A while back, I put out a call for participants in an art journal round robin, thanks to the kindness of Karen at MMSA. I used her blog figuring I'd get people who were timely, artistic, prolific and pleasant, since that's the only kind of people I run into there. I ended up with 5 women from around the country, and we're about to send our journals out for the first leg of their journey. 

We were to make or buy a journal, do a couple spreads to set the tone for our theme/color/style, and be ready to mail by the 3rd Monday in August. I made a journal using 300lb watercolor paper for the covers and 90lb watercolor paper for the signatures. 

I bound it using some upholstery fabric (from a dumpster diving expedition my friend Moneka made a decade ago. I've been hauling boxes of fabric around all these years using it here and there) and the diamond X stitch. 

The covers were collaged with random papers, stamped a bit, painted with acrylics, collaged with a few layers of crinkled dress pattern tissue, then painted and stamped again. They look a bit leather-like in person and I'm very pleased with them. The inside covers - not so much, so I'm going to do more with them when it comes home 6 months from now.

I did this spread in the art journal class I'm teaching, working from an Oprah magazine, trying to get them to see the way a crazy batch of unrelated stuff can come together in a collage. I like it but it's sooo different from the next one that it's hard to believe I made both of them. And it's weird to look at them together like this. Makes me think maybe I'm a bit schizo LOL. 

I struggled trying to settle on a theme and eventually decided that I just want people to cut loose and make good art in whatever mode they're in the mood for, just like I did with my two wildly disparate spreads. I'll post the journals and my work in them as they come thru. Should be interesting.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

today's output

Once I got done with the farmer's market, a quick stop by work, a wonderful hour in Barnes & Noble, and a quick shopping spree in Michaels, I came home and made 4 more postcards and an ATC. 
Gelli print phone book page background, stamps, torn book page arrows,
stamped gesso circles, doodles, and a couple words.
The 3 stamped words and the pen nibs have been stamped on this card
for months but then I got stuck on what else to do so it sat.
When I was choosing backgrounds to work on, I saw it and
decided to figure it out.
And I just realized that's Martha Stewart's phrase. Ah, well.

Paint over gesso over cereal box. The strip of color is the edge left over
when I did the packing tape gelli plate thing. Worked good, just haven't
blogged about it yet. The picture is from a cruise brochure.
And I put white circles on everything today.

This is a bathing beauties postcard for the swap on creative souls.
Image and text from the January 7, 1946 issue of LIFE mag.
They used fake tan even back then. But in a black and white magazine,
some of the effectiveness of the ad is lost.

Gel medium transfer of a cabinet card printed onto a
gelli printed book page, then glued to this
gelli print postcard. A few white circles,
a couple postage stamps, an apropos quote.
Love the colors in this one.

This is actually an ATC, 2.5" x 3.5". The creative souls
swap theme was... circles. I kept it simple,
doing some (more) white circles, a few cut from book
pages and a few words.
The background was made using the Vaseline
resist technique and is a bit more interesting
in person than it scanned.

1 out, 5 outs

Actually, I have more than one going out but you've seen the others already.
This one was made on the package from a set of foam insoles.
Any cardboard is fair game in my house. Gelli prints background
(what else!! gotta use up those 300 papers somehow)
magazine images and letters, some doodling.

Cute little hand drawn and painted chickadee card from Dawn.
I always love book text backgrounds, and her shaded writing is cool.

Marvelous collage from Connie Rose. I was crazy about her
 ICAD series and this card is sort of in that style -
few elements, minimal color palette.
And the motto was written just for me, I'm sure of it, because
I could eat Mex every day of the week!

Another hand drawn, hand painted card, this time from Peggy.
Because my drawing skills are, um, *poor*, I always appreciate
hand drawn cards. The colors in this one are lovely,
and the sentiment is a good one.
Love the little border. It's a small detail but really
makes a difference to the final look.

A fun collaged card from Trula.
I love the mix of color and b/w elements
on this card, something I shy away from
cause I think they don't 'go' together.
Well, obviously they do!
Also love the ransom note message.
This is a heavily collaged card from Lynn.
It started life as a huge collage that she then cut into postcards.
I love this card for the same reason I love scrap quilts -
there's just so much to look at.
And Mr Saturday Afternoon cracks me up.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

outbound mailart

My husband looked at this one and said 'why the ha ha?'
It seems so obvious to me that she's not soft and fluffy.
She looks like the badass radical feminist mamas from the 60s.
To me at least.
Postcards going out in the next few days to private swappers. I get home from work an hour or two earlier than my husband and I use that time to make art. These were last night's production. The gelli print backgrounds were already done. I have a box with a big stack of postcards with backgrounds that are ready for collage or whatever. Makes it real handy to sit down and get a few cards done fairly quickly.

Gel medium transfer of my mom's family from a  1944 Christmas card.
She's at bottom right in the striped top.

Wild and crazy girls at the lake around 1942.
from left - aunt Carolyn, my mom, cousin Barbara, cousin Kaye
(I think)