Saturday, February 25, 2012


I completed these three mixed media paintings several months ago.  They are large....19 x 23 inches.  The base is heavy bristol paper and I've painted and collaged the surface.  There are some slightly dimensional elements too.  Here is the quandary..... how do I mount them for display?  I can't afford to frame them because they are so big.  They need a deep frame because of the dimensional elements.  I've been reading about mounting works on paper and the experts seem to think that gluing them down to a support devalues the work.  I don't even know if these are good enough to worry about devaluing them!  There is new art district developing in my neighborhood and they are putting out invitations for artists to display their work.  These three pieces are among my few finished works of art and I'd like to see if they would be accepted for display at one of the venues in our new art district but before I can do that I have to get them ready for display.  I'm considering gluing them to masonite but then I wonder if I should use some kind of varnish to protect them?  They have a few layers of gloss medium already but some of the collage elements are just plain printer paper which is not archival and I'd like to protect it as much as possible.  What is an affordable and reasonably professional way to finish these pieces?

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Here are my completed flower drawings from my earlier post.  As you can see I drew a few more flowers and then colored them.  You can't tell from the pictures but I used my Twinkling H2Os for the top page and in real life they have a lovely sparkle!  For the bottom picture I mostly used my new Intense blocks.  I got both the H2Os and the blocks for Christmas and I'm having fun playing with them.  I decided to draw flowers after seeing Alisa Burke demonstrate her fabric flower doodles on the video that came with her book Sew Wild.  Now I'll have to try doing that myself.  Stay tuned!  I was also really inspired by Jane LaFazio's sketchbook pages.  She makes simple things look so appealing! Drawing intimidates the heck out of me but I have to say that working on these pages was intensely pleasant.  I really got into the zen state while drawing and painting and for once I don't hate the results.  While looking through an older art journal for some image transfer experiments I did a while back I came across the following page:

These silly creatures were created after reading Carla Sonheim's book Drawing Lab.  After doodling around with paint I found these two creatures but they are going in somewhat different directions.  Nonetheless I decided to decorate them and add shadows.  The blue one has iridescent paint and ink on it which is kind of over exposed in the photo.  The wings are white and the spots are pink.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Artist Trading Cards

Last December I got together with a few friends to work on Artist Trading Cards (ATCs).  This is my first set!  A year or more ago I was playing with collaging in my art journal with colored tissue paper, some of which I had stamped with black acrylic paint.  I no longer recall why exactly, but I ended up tearing the pages out of my journal and cutting them into ATC sized pieces.  I also cut up the smaller bits into inchies that I have yet to use.  Sometimes it seems so insane to cut or tear up papers I've spent a long time working on but I so often find that the resulting bits are much more interesting than the whole.  Months after all that I came across these 18th C. images of women with these amazing (and frankly, really ugly!) hair styles.  Did you know that women actually wore things like live birds in their hair during this period?!!  Ping!  I had to use these images on those backgrounds.  The women are printed on cheap watercolor paper because I thought the texture was nice.  They took me forever to cut out and the whole project languished until my friend put together the ATC party.  The lovely damsel's are edged with gold pen and glued to the background with Collage Pauge.  There are three sparkly pink and gold stickers on each card.  After gluing some pretty scrapbook paper to the back I ran each edge through a puddle of gold acrylic paint to color and seal the edges.  Finally I coated the fronts with gloss medium to seal the ink jet ink and make sure it all stayed glued together.

Here's a picture of my work table covered with the tissue paper I stamped with acrylic paint.  It looks so cool when used in collage.

So here is a sticky, and probably tacky, question.  What to do with my ATCs?  Trade them, right?  I got to peruse my friends collections of trading cards and frankly most of them stunk.  Cheap color printouts and bad kitch that I don't want.  What do you do if you go to a ATC swap and someone wants to trade for one of your cards but they have nothing you want?  I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings by saying their work isn't good enough, but I do want to collect art that appeals to me.  Also, while my cards may not be the worlds greatest, they took me a lot of time and work and I want to trade for equal value.  From the collections of cards I've seen it seems like a lot of people get into it more for the social aspect than the art aspect.  After thinking about this for a long time I've more or less decided that the actual trading part of making ATCs is probably not for me.  I really enjoyed making them though!

I drew something!!!

I never draw.  It's one of those things I have immense resistance too, which is a good indication its something I should be doing!  Years of never being happy with with my drawing have left me with a huge fear of drawing at all.  Couple that with damage to my cervical vertebrae and fibromyalgia, both of which make drawing physically painful, and its a recipe for intense avoidance.  Lately I seem to be going through quite an artistic slump.  Its not that I lack ideas, its just that all my ideas seem to bog down somewhere in the process and turn into messy disappointments.  All my of projects  for over a year have fallen flat.  At them moment I'm looking at art books for exercises that are not intimidating and might yield something I'm happy with.  Last weekend I spent some time looking through Alisa Burke's book Sew Wild and was inspired to try drawing flowers.  I've been saving this old calendar with lovely photos of flowers for this very purpose so today I dug it out and tried to draw some.  I was not aiming for really lifelike renderings, so much as looking at the flowers with a doodler's eye.  I like that - Doodler's Eye - sounds like a disease or a strange desert island!  I think next time I sit down I will color these in and try to make more cohesive pages out of them.  But I feel oddly light and carefree about just having sat down to draw.  And I don't hate these pages!  Yea!