Saturday, March 29, 2014

MMSA grid postcards

A recent theme was grids, any way you wanted to interpret them. Love the cards I got back, two very different ways to create a grid. Cool theme, Karen!
This one is from Adrienne in BC Canada. Her grid is quite free form,
made with collaged papers in various sizes and shapes.
I like the bit of red she added with the stamped circles.

This one is from Kaprice (great name!) in nearby Sacramento CA.
It uses my fave color combo of turq and rust, and those black circles
really set it off. A more formal grid on a casual background.

circles, blue, one word

That was the theme for my latest postcard swap with Connie. As always, 
I'm intrigued with the differences between two cards made to the same parameters. We didn't use any techniques in common and our colors aren't particularly similar. Very fun.

Next we're doing 'neutrals'. Stay tuned...

This is the one Connie sent me. Torn, collaged blue papers
with a few punched circles and the single word "graphic'.
The post office kindly added the black smudges in the center. 

I sent this one to her. Scraped paint background with various
white stamped circles and the lettered word 'concentric'.

Monday, March 24, 2014

incoming ATCs

 Stamp heads have taken over! Postcards, ATCs, journal pages - they're everywhere!! Including here, where I received one from Connie and two from an MMSA swap.

Also received a lovely bird themed ATC in a trade with Carolyn (IG name @cfalbro). She does a lot of swaps on Instagram, a thing I had not thought of until I ran across her.

This one is Connie's. She posted a bunch of ATCs on her blog
and the Sun-Maid guy just grabbed me.
I commented how cool I thought he was
and he showed up in the mail a few days later.
Thanks, Connie!

These two are from the MMSA swap - Michele in VA's on top,
Pamela's on the bottom, along with the cute little envelope it came in.
Both of them are great examples of the genre.
A serene bird ATC from Carolyn.
Love the frayed cheesecloth. 

Peggy's purple and green

When Karen announced the purple and green postcard swap, I thought to myself "eh" and didn't make any cards for it. Then she began posting the incoming cards and of course there were several that looked great and so I briefly regretted not entering.

Then what should arrive in the mail but a close cousin to one of the cards I'd admired - a doodled and colored flower card from Peggy, a member of the art journal round robin that wrapped up not long ago. (That I still haven't posted about yet. I'm not sure when I developed such a lazy blogging habit but I think that two weeks I spent at the kitchen table making art and watching the Olympics broke my habit of sitting down at the computer every day. I'm on the puter constantly at work and sometimes when I get home, it's the last thing I feel like doing. I finally cleaned the kitchen table off but then junked it up again with new projects. Thank God we rarely eat at the table.)

Anyway, back to Peggy's lovely card. She used a mint green with the purple and it's so pretty. It makes for a softer feel than grass or lime green. She also used silver, and left lots of white, which gives it a light airy feel. I love intricate doodles, something I rarely have the patience for, so it was a pleasant surprise to receive her card. Thanks, Peggy!

MMSA cats postcard swap

Got my cat cards back. Well, two of them. I sent in 3 and so far two have arrived. Possibly a malcontent sorting machine at the USPS did away with one of them. Wouldn't be the first time.
The bottom three are the ones I sent out, included here because I can't remember if I blogged about them already and am too lazy to go look. Seems like I did cause I think I remember talking about Mabel.
This cool shadowed cat is from Ellen in VA. I never thought to do this before
but I really like the effect and may have to borrow the idea!
Love the colorful cat against the subtle patterned background.
Feels like a spring garden in cat shape.

This hand drawn Siamese is from Joanne in MN.
I love how it perfectly captures the wonky gaze of a cross-eyed Siamese!
She used chalk pastels for the base, then added colored pencils and pen.
I think it's amazing. I have very little drawing skill
so am always pleased to receive hand drawn work.

Friday, March 14, 2014

MMSA zentangles

An upcoming swap at MMSA is zentangles, on a postcard, an ATC, or a traditional zentangle tile of 3.5" square. I chose to use tiles for this one and made three that went off in the mail to Karen this morning.

Karen comments in a recent blog post that they are 'meditative'. I don't find them the least bit so, instead I end up with a cramped hand and a crick in my neck from hunching over the paper to make sure my lines go where I want them to. They're torture. Definitely not my cup of tea, art-wise. So I'm glad they're done and gone!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

a few more postcards

I finished up a few more cards yesterday. I tend to work in batches. One evening I'll collage a bunch of backgrounds, then days later find an image that inspires me, then make some more backgrounds, then have a day where I sit down and try to find images that seem to go with backgrounds, etc. So I always have half-done cards laying on the table, waiting for further inspiration to strike or finishing touches to be added.

I like using gelli prints for backgrounds so the first two are from a batch of those. I found the image of the woman painted on brick before I found the postage stamp of the Roman fresco guy. Since they were facing opposite directions, they seemed to go together, even tho they're from vastly different eras in time. Looking at it now, it needs a bit more pen work, maybe some white, to perk it up a bit.

The one with the pens stamp has been laying around for months with only the pens stamped on it. Got that far and got completely stuck on what else to do. Then found 'many pens labored' in a book and glued that on. Then it sat for another couple months until the mail art creed 'send good mail' came to mind and seemed to fit. This one needs more work also.

I made another batch of backgrounds with various book pages on them, and had this picture of a girl ripped from a photo album. I thought about cutting her out from the scruffy edges but then decided I liked her just like that.

And so a few more cards get made, each with its own little story.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

MMSA file folder swap

This was a fun one. You decorate a regular old manila file folder front and back, put some fun stuff inside, seal it shut somehow (I sewed mine), and send it off to Karen in an envelope. She's going to mail them back out. Luckily I have a wide mailbox so it'll fit no problem.

I started with a blue folder and a green one that I liberated from work. Collaged them with book text and various other old papers, then stenciled, collaged and doodled until I was happy with them. The stenciled sides are the reverse of each other cause I took my inky stencil and used it backwards on the other folder to use up the ink. Waste not, want not. Took me decades to understand what that meant. All those old expressions mystified me until I had enough life experience for them to make sense.

This is the one with the backward stencils. Used Dyelusions spray inks in blue, turq and purple.
Doodled a lot with a Scarlet Lime pen. Best pens in the world.
The solid black circles are a Bingo marker from the dollar store.

Other side of the one above. The stamp head person was a transfer failure that I couldn't bring myself to pitch, and thank goodness cause it fits the grungy feel of this project perfectly.
Gesso, gellied deli paper bits, silly bird stamp, doodles.

The original stenciled side. Bought all 3 of those in Niles last time I spent a day playing at Maria's studio.

And the back of the one just above.
Flower collaged from gelli print papers, gesso, misc bits stuck down here and there, doodles.

Friday, March 7, 2014

I finally finished a few things

Seems like I've been endlessly working on things but never finishing anything. This is partly due to having a couple ongoing projects on my work table - my Documented Life journal and another one I can't remember right now - and partly due to the fact that I do indeed start more than I finish, being a confirmed "works in progress" girl. 

But I did get a few postcards done the other day. For those of you who signed up to follow me recently and are rethinking that decision, DON'T LEAVE! I do post original art more often than not. Just not lately, it seems.

These are up for swaps so if one of them grabs you, let me know by email or in the comments and we'll do it.

This one and the one below are done on a background that I no longer remember how I did it. The surface is very smooth, like maybe it was paint on a magazine page rubbed in well with a baby wipe. (?)  But I kinda like the result. Too bad I can't replicate it...
Doodled paisley and ribbon because I was in doodle mode and had no other ideas.

Doodled flowers for same reason as above. Plus I'm trying to learn to doodle. It comes naturally to most people, I think, judging by the endlessly filled pages that people come out of boring meetings with, but I just sit there and take notes. <sigh>

Large card with collaged gelli printed background and a pic of a kid eating snow. Good advice for you folks back in the new Siberia that is the eastern 2/3 of the USA.

Another collaged gelli background and same kid in the snow. Looking at this on the screen, I really like the gelli printed phone book page. The very small type just becomes scribbles when you put some paint on it and makes great backgrounds. If you're not using your old phone books in your art, you're missing a great paper resource.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

incoming, batch 3 horses

More MMSA cards. What in the world would I do for fun mail if it weren't for her great swaps??

The blue horse is cut from sparkly embossed paper and glued to the painted card and it's all just lovely. The horse is so fanciful and the color contrasts are great. Thanks, Carroll! 

The black and white image of two wind blown horses looks like it's from an old book, and the contrast against the colorful hand painted card is cool. Thanks, Dawn!

This one is very Byzantine with its gold flecked curlicue background paper, knightly stamps, and baroque horse image. The horse and the card are edged in gold, altho it doesn't show in the scan. I like the subdued palette. A very pretty card from Rose. Thanks!

incoming, batch 2 turq & org

MMSA turquoise and orange swap - my favorite color combo so I was excited to see what I'd get back in this swap. MMSA artists did not disappoint!

A gorgeous card from Carlene in Tennessee. Love the big bold patches of color that just bounce off the page. She did some sgraffito into the orange paint too - those small lighter squares are scratched into the paint. Very cool.

This one is from Dawn, also from TN. It looks like blown acrylic ink to me and I like the crazy randomness of it, especially with the fancy little LOVE stamped across the center.

From Lynn in MA, I think. (on the back of her card she wrote Go Red Sox, so I'm guessing here) It took me a few days to notice that the bird was stamped not just in black, but also in aqua beg=hind the black. Love the bright colors and bit of text.

incoming mail art, batch 1

Man, all that Olympics watching really put me behind, but it's all over for another two years so I'm back at the keyboard again. Lots of fun incoming mail art to show you, plus some of my own work. First up are misc cards sent to me for reasons other than a swap of some sort.

Terrie, another mail art pal, and I swap cards regularly, and I recently got one of her lettered cards in exchange for, um..., I guess I don't remember exactly what it was for. Maybe a stamp head ATC. I'd not heard this saying before and I quite like it. Thanks, Terrie!

When Connie posted a bunch of stamp head ATCs, I admired the Sun-Maid Raisin ones and the next thing you know, one shows up in the mail. Thanks, Connie!
I always used to think it said 'puffed seeded muscrats' when I was a kid. 

The gorgeous envelope that matches the ATC. Too fun. I'm going to tear it up and collage with it. Never used to be much of a purple person but like it much more the past several years.

A charming card sent to me by Pamela while she was at Ex Postal Facto, the mail art event held in San Francisco in the middle of Feb. Look at that ornate mail box, and his little basket of mail is too cute.

The back of Pamela's card is every bit as fun as the front. All sorts of stamps and stickers. I really enjoyed this card. Thanks, Pamela!