Thursday, 22 May 2014

Have to keep making those ATC's

Now with so much going on, I still seem to be making ATC cards. Not as many as I used to do but they still keep rolling off the line regularly. And the thing is I always feel so very happy with most of them. I still enjoy the sheer simplicity of a simple collaged ATC.

Yes, I use a background (several layers possibly) and not only a main image but also other images which extend the story. And most of my ATC's do tell a story. I have writen a few tutorials on creating simple ATC's which you can find on Squidoo. This page covers articles about ATC's (ACEO's), tutorials and some thoughts on various aspects of ATC's.

Today, I am posting 2 cards from another challenge on PDA, with the theme, RETRO







If you like a good read, then try this article, Simplicity in Art,  in which a try to explain why I feel so happy with this concept. It is based on quotes from many masters from the past and right up to the present time. I also include oone or two from other art forms which I feel may apply and add value to the discussion.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Exhibition Extra - how to use all those fun canvases

We held the exhibition this past weekend and what a success. It was a glorious holiday weekend and this bought out crowdss of people into the town centre, lots of them popping in to visit our exhibition. I have already written about this on my painting blog so I will not repeat myself here.

You didn't know I had a separate blog for painting? It has been active for some time now and in fact is one of SEVEN (yes 7 blogs) which I write to keep the posts limited to niche areas. The trouble is that I have to be careful about keeping to a schedule or I find myself missing posting to one or more of them.

The blogs can be accessed via the navigation bar just under the header image at the top of the page. If you did not realise I was writing so many blogs then why not browse over to find out what is happening. There are times when I do write across subjects but this is mainly because one of my interests has been keeping me busy and I have missed a post or two. For example, I have recently spent some time converting several e-books (on scribd) to a format which allows me to publish as a paperback on Amazon, I have excused a lack of posts for a few weeks on my blog, A Novel Appears, by mentioning these books, three of which are poetry collections. And now I have done the same on this blog. You can of course flit from one blog to another using the navigation bar. It is essentially the same on each blog.

But to the real point of this post, I mentioned the exhibition last time and slipped in a photo of my frames paintings. I also exhibited a collection of the miniature canvases I have been working on. Mostly acrylic landscapes, but they are the same size as the Artist Trading Cards and I think they are really dinky. Most of my colleagues in the group agree however I did not sell any. As for the exhibition, we all considered it a great success based on a 30% increase in footfall over our best previous visitor numbers. Sales however were very poor, a sign of the times perhaps?

 My miniatures displayed at the exhibition

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

More ATC's, 2014 Exhibition, New Web-site

I have several thing to cram into this week's post, as you can see from that badly formed title. Oh yes, a title is important!

First of all I have two ATC cards for the latest PDA challenge, the theme this month is Queens/Royalty, I could have come up with something a little more original but I was sitting working in front of the TV and my mind was sapped with the crap on the screen, I guess. 500 channels of Sh_t, now where have I heard that before? But here they are anyway:-

I have titled this card
MARIE ANTOINETTE

And the second
A TUDOR QUEEN

I feel that I have become too stuck with simple collages, and need to get awa from the TV (!!) and out of this aquired comfort zone to try some of the dozens of other techniques (if not hundreds) which used to keep me coming back for more with excitement and creativity.

Maybe I need to kick myself up the butt and stop procrastinating. But what else have I got for you? Oh yes my art groups annual exhibition will be held in two weeks time. With a larger group this year we have been limited to five paintings each - but I have framed 6 just in case. We always seem to be able to use a few extra when we have hung the items in the catalogue.


They are all pastel landscapes this year, no abstracts have got under the bar although the two on the lower right are very brightly coloured. Are they abstracts or possibly semi-abstracts or simply expressionistic interpretations?


And finally, I am creating a set of static web-sites (on WIX.COM) to stand as complimentary sites to my blogs. Have you seen any of my other blogs, they can accessed via the navigation bar just below the header. So far I have set up sites to feature myself as a poet/writer, a musician/songwriter and as a pastel artist. Please feel free to take a look at these although they are only a work-in-progress so far. There will also be more, for instance as a creator of artist trading cards, hopefully featuring many different techniques from my chequered past. See you there, then?

Monday, 31 March 2014

ATC's on a theme of MUSIC

I do seem to be getting into a rut with my ATC's. I am doing so much these days and it is keeping me from the wide range of art activities which I used to participate in. from writing (several blogs, poetry, articles mainly on Squidoo and now a novel) to art (only weeks away from my art groups annual exhibition) I am not getting enough time to experiment or play with the vast number of techniques available.

I must try to make time to go back over atc's from the past few years and rediscover those fun techniques which I found so attracted me to the world of ATC's. I have even written a very successful article on Squidoo, Making Art Trading Cards which attracts a number of readers (and a few dollars) everry month. In the article I give examples of many, many techniques and these don't even scratch the surface of what is out there.

I need to put a little time aside each week (where from I don't know) to get myself inspired again to make new and different cards. But for now, here are another two cards which I have created for the PDA monthly challenge/swap a small but lively challenge. The theme this month was Music:-



I usually give my cards a title as soon as they are done, but here for some reason I have not named either of these yet. Maybe I am afraid of being a little too "twee". You can see more of the cards from this challenge on the official PDA blog.

I hope that by next week, I shall be getting myself sorted out and scheduling a little time for more art in this genre.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Abstract Activity Cards

I have been designing a "card" game for artists who need help to create  non-representaional paintings, in other words Abstract Paintings.

This post fits in to this blog becase of the method I used to create my prototype card decks.






Here you can see four separate decks of cards. I used an old standard deck as a start point, and then printed out roughly ATC sized copies of original pastel paintings  / photographs.

I needed four decks to represent sets of cards which contain instructions to the artist which taken as a whole and used with creativity (I am afraid the artist still has to provide this) will provide a design for an original abstract painting. Whilst it is not intended to provide a masterpiece of abstract art every time, it does give the artist practice at creating non-representational abstracts.







The three images above show three of the decks; the background, the foreground and a style card. As well as the individual backs for each deck, the front is also colour-coded. I have made enough to show the idea to my artist colleagues and gauge their reactions. A workshop on abstract painting I ran for the group did not produce the results I had hoped for, many were bemused when asked to paint an abstract. they are all competent artists but could not grasp non-representational ideas.

If you are interested in this "game" / methodology then please see my Squidoo Article which is the third in a series describing the reason I designed this game and what it is designed to do.

I seem to have let this development take over my available spare time this past week or so; it is almost done now and I will be letting it rest for a while.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

ATC's on a theme of Illusion

There has definitely been a change in my output these days, I am painting and writing far more than I ever have since starting this blog. In the early days, I posted about many things her, including all aspects of pictorial art.

These days I write in separate blogs which cover: crafting, painting, photography, poetry and now writing my first novel. All of these are acccessible from the tabs at the top of this page.

I also maintain a blog about music and one of my Zazzle stores.

In a way they are all very closely linked, and often a story will appear in more than one blog slanted to reflect the subject of that blog. For example, A painting mentioned in my painting blog may well appear in my Zazzle store. Or a poem may be included in my novel, giving me ideas about the plot, etc. One thing is certain it all takes time out of my week.

The entry this week, however, is about more ATC's which I created for a challenge with a theme of "ILLUSION".


This first was a little tongue in the cheek but the other entrants seemed to like it. BTW, I have done something aabout that terrible question mark but not had time for a second photo. I did not notice it before posting.


The second alludes to the dreams we all have when young, many turn out to be illusions.

So there you have it, I do wish I had more time for all my arty interests but I have to ration time if I am to keep them all going. See you next time.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Steampunk ATC

OK so it is back to atc's again, but I do find them to be so relaxing. You cannot go wrong with them. It is always possible to see what they will look like before you appply the glue and finalise the composition. I explain how I go about creating ATC's in an article I wrote on Squidoo; select the background and the elements for the collage, move things around on the base until the composition loooks right and then use the glue. Easy as falling off a log.

In fact, I have a page highlighting all the ACEO/ATC based articles which I have written on Squiddoo, I called it Everything I have learnt about Artist Trading Cards. Why not take a peek and you might even learn something, even if it is only how little I really know about ATC's :)

This steampunk card was actually for a challenge in a new group on PDA (Paper Digital Art) which is all about Steampunk and related stuff. Although I am so busy with so many things at the moment, I couldn't refuse to learn a little more about this fascinating genre. You can read more about the steampunk movement on Wikipedia 

I should be making two but since I am not sure of completing the challenge here is the first anyway.


I called it, The key to my heart. As it is supposed to be about valentine's day.

In a few words, steampunk is probably best deined as a mixture of Sci-Fi using victorian technology. Lots of steam-driven stuff, cogs and gears and clocks. Oh yes and headwear which seems to have been inspired by diving helmets. A very strange genre, but one that is great to play with. 

Hope to have the second card available soon.