Sunday, April 27, 2014

RR folio for Peggy

Four of us are doing a round robin (RR) where we make one another one folio on whatever theme we've each chosen. Peggy's theme was Nature, which is wide open to all sorts of interpretations. It took me a while to get going on this but I just left it out on my art table and it came about over a week or so.
Front page - used a bunch of stamps (thanks, Rhonda!) that featured animals, insects or flowers, all elements of the natural world. It's amazing how many sizes postage stamps come in. Took me a while to lay them all out so that there weren't any big gaps. Doodled a bit and added a couple words.

This is the center spread. It looks smaller here but it's as tall as the other two pics and twice as wide. It's the top layer of a paper napkin that I got at the dollar store. They had a bunch of cool paper napkins the other day and I came home with 7 or 8 packs. Spent a fiddly hour taking apart all the layers of two each of the designs so I'd have some to work with and not have to stop each time I needed one. The quote is Ralph Waldo Emerson and I thought it was perfect for this. 

And this is the back. I was very pleased with this one. I knew I wanted to incorporate Mother Nature somehow and when I came across this model in her flowery dress in a Vogue or something, I knew I'd found her. I gave her a headband of flowers, cut various elements from a couple National Geos and glued it all down. Did a lot of gel pen work to liven things up. The background is acrylic and the shading was done with gelatos. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

DIY foam stamps

Thanks to Terrie's post, I got fired up and made some foam stamps. Waaay quicker than carving, altho you can't get the finer detail that you can with harder material and a blade, Still, they're quite fun and will see some use.

For a sense of scale, the bird is about 1 1/4" tall. I had no idea how Terrie had gotten the feather and eye details on her bird, but I drew them in kind of firmly with a ball point pen and it left just enough indentation.

I like scallop borders and made the one at the bottom first. It's fine but a bit heavy and dark. It's difficult to cut out small interior areas, so I knew I'd make a mess of trying to cut out the insides of each scallop. Then I got smarter and made the one at top right. I cut a U several times into a strip of foam, then added just a straight piece for the base. I made no attempt to have the scallops connect with the base and like how airy it is.

The little black dots were make by dumping out the 1/8" punch I'd been using to make all those small holes in other stamps and using the teeny weeny punched out part. Very futzy to pick up an 1/8" circle of foam, remove the paper backing, then stick it inside a fairly small loop.

Thanks for the motivation, Terrie!

MMSA the letter S

Postcards needed to portray at least 10 items that started with the letter S. Interesting swap but not one of my favorites because you had so many oddball images that it was tough to make a cohesive, pleasing card with them. All part of the challenge, I suppose.

I paged thru magazines, naming each item on the page by as many names as I could think of trying to find ones that started with S. Rhonda was here and we'd look at a page of a beach scene. I'd say "water" and "ocean". She'd say "sea" and "sand". How differently our minds work.

skull (background), sockets (eye), shutters, sheep, stamp, squares,
shrub, suitcase, statue, silverware, spectacles, scallop border

swatches (background), stars, stripes, swan, statue,
sailboat, sea, skyline, soldier, sisters

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

MMSA blue & brown

A color combo theme at MMSA this time. My art buddy Rhonda has about a billion postage stamps and she's been sharing the wealth with me lately. When she was down a couple weeks ago, we sorted thru a big box, loosely separating them into a dozen or so categories with the non-starters going back in the box. We sorted blues and browns out while we were at it, knowing this swap was coming up.

I made a loose symmetrical grid on each of my two cards, then filled in the background with gel sticks smeared in with my fingertips. Added a few faux cancellation stamps to the ones already on the postage stamps and called them done. (my spell check doesn't like "faux", wants it to be "fax". seriously, whatever dictionary they loaded didn't include faux??)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

from Linda G

Somewhere along the mail art trail I crossed paths with Linda Gibbons and we've been very informally swapping postcards back and forth for a while now. These are two recent ones from her. Thanks, Linda and I'm sure I owe you one now so it'll be going out this week!

The three images are packing tape transfers over a painted background. I love transfers cause the transparency of them allows the background to lend its own color and texture to the transferred image. I really like the minimalist black of the drawings made all the more insubstantial by being transfers.

Another neat painted background with a collaged image in the same colors. I like how the woman is easily visible but very much in tune with the paint scheme. Both cards have stitching which adds to their appeal. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

misc postcards

Just using up various painted papers from projects that didn't pan out. The first one is spoken for but if you have a hankering for one of the others, reply to this post and we'll swap!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

MMSA found poetry

I enjoy doing found poetry when I'm in the mood. For this one, you could either cut out words, as I did, or use a page from a book and black out all but the words you want to show as your poetry. I find that pretty difficult, so I did it the easy way and made nonsense haiku.

All the words and phrases are from a large print book I bought solely for the larger type, but then ended up reading and loving, and then reading a few more by the same author. It was Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson, a British writer. She definitely has a unique quirky style and some reviewers didn't care for it at all but I found her delightful. I also read Case Histories and Behind the Scenes At The Museum. Need to find a couple more.

The first one is a paste paper background, the second is watercolor, and the third gelli print. Didn't especially mean to use such varied backgrounds but they're what appealed to me when I flipped thru my pile of ready-to-go-background postcards.

MMSA transparent layers

Two of mine have a gelli print background, the third is a page from an old magazine. Then an overlay of gelli printed deli paper, and a final strip of a packing tape transfer of a phone book page. Added a little bit of doodling.

On the first one, the leaves were the only thing printed on the deli paper, so the turquoise background is showing thru.

On the second one, I cut around the hand before I glued it down, so you're seeing the background as is and also thru the unpainted areas of the hand.

On the third one, the silhouette of the girl was masked off when I gelli printed the page, so you see the old book page thru her.

I was surprised at how difficult the phone book paper was to rub off the tape. I do packing tape transfers a lot and by far the easiest to get really clean are glossy magazine images. They practically slide right off after they've been soaked a few minutes. Even after 10 minutes in water, I had to scrape with my fingernail just to get the phone book paper started, then rub like crazy for several minutes to get it all off. I like the way it looks but it was a pain.

MMSA maps outgoing

Make a postcard on the theme "maps". That was a recent call on MMSA, so I did. I just grabbed the first couple maps I came to in my map file folder. One of them was a map of the US, the other a rental car guide to Denver from a decade ago.

They're pretty self explanatory. On the last one I added in all sorts of places from books, movies, history - whatever I could think of. Each has a map related saying on the back, such as "East, West, home is best" and "No matter where you go, there you are".