Archive for March, 2013

The Urge to Dissect

green postcard, dark painted foliage layer

I got a handsome postcard from Terrie in the mail today (thank you!) and have had some fun trying to fathom the layers. At first I thought there was green patterned paper under the green and blue overpainting. Now I’m inclined to think that all of the background is handpainted paper.

Then I got noodling over the little bubbles of lighter green across the top and in the lower right. I don’t know any way to make little bubbles just like that, so I hope Terrie is going to tell me.

The dark plant forms are very opaque and smooth. Done in what medium?? And with so much control…. The two stems on the right are outlined in metallic bronze. Aha! That, I know how to do. The outlining doesn’t show clearly in the scan but picks up the light in a lovely subtle way when you shift the card back and forth.

Whoops, almost forgot to mention the spatter. It looks just like snow.

Finally, I picked up that this card is part of a set made from one larger piece of art. I should do that more often.

This was fun. Probably you’ll see me imitate this some time in the near future.


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Winter Be Gone

spring-themed page in blue, green and red-brown

For the longest time, I didn’t think I could make one art-journal page of these two facing pages, because the page backgrounds are very different: scrapbook paper in jaundiced shades of gold, green and maroon on the left and Caribbean greens and blues painted over an old book page on the right.

I think in the end I did that, though, by aggressively hauling the bright blue to the left and using some very strong rust brown on both sides. An ancient blue highlighter pen helped a lot with that. The page is very busy but has little threads of coherence. And I really like the mauve-pink butterfly-like object on the left, which came from a reply card in an issue of American Craft; I think it is a brooch made of wire.

While I was working on this page, a musician on local radio was singing, “Under the snow, seeds start to grow … under the snow, seeds start to say ‘hello.'” We have had two snows in March and might get one more, yet the daffodils don’t seem to care.

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Outbound envelope


An outbound envelope for the Liberate Your Art swap. I wanted to record it before heading to the PO to calculate the postage. It’s not brilliant, but it marks the moment I recognized I needn’t save my old road atlas for some hypothetical higher use because I need envelopes all the time, and the atlas pages are a great size.

I also got a smile out of the three towns whose names I circled. You can’t read them: they are Lockwood, Streetsboro, and Homeworth. Loosely related.

Finally, I am pleased to have found a use for the warp brush tool in Paintshop Pro. It makes the addresses unreadable in the scan.

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With this card, I began to apply techniques from the Marvel art journaling course I have been working on. There is a focal image, and I have used hand-drawn marks to draw parts of the collage together. For additional art-journal style, there would be a lot of handwriting over and under the elements, not intended to be completely readable.

Now that I have some good digital images of the original, I might add some writing to the original. I can see making this image the base of an art journal page. I seem to have mislaid my art journal, but by not looking for it, I hope to induce it to stick its nose out … then I’ll catch it unawares.

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orange toned card with distinct individual elements
two infants at play, a bear, some obsure background
The orange-toned postcard is an old one from the summer of 2006 when I had just moved into a farmhouse in West Virginia and had half the attic for a studio. I wasn’t very well organized but I couldn’t say I didn’t have space. As autumn wore on, dead wasps dropped out of the rafters onto my work surface. I don’t regard this card very highly, but I do remember how nice it felt to get back down to art after being in transit for a while.

And the infants at play are very new, from yesterday, in fact, when I sat down to do something else entirely and found things on my desk that seemed to want to join hands. I really like it.

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