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.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Time To Submerge Myself In New Waters

Since christmas I have been very busy and my blogs have slipped but coming back I realise that I have fallen into a sort of rut. I have been creating art cards and painting but the subjects and techniques seem to have become very samey, almost stale. I feel that I have to open up a little and try some new things to "get my mojo" back again. I need the change to recover creativity. To some extent writing on-line and writing poetry has kept me going but I am an artist first and foremost so I need to induce a little variation in my work to keep it exciting.

I will be tackling this issue on all my blogs (have you noticed the tabs below the banner, above) but the different subjects require different approaches and I am thinking hard about all seven blogs and the subject matter.

This is really just a very quick note to say that I will be developing the blogs to accomodate these changes. BUT I can say that I have at least made some small changes, for instance, I have joined a number of groups on PDA, here I am concerned with one which is aimed at Doodling or Zentangles. I have just posted the first drawing in this style which I have done for a very long time.

Maybe not a brilliant example of the genre, but at least it is not a mixed media collage. Oh, I will still be doing these and many of them but at least the die is set to make those changes.

Two older attempts at this art form are:-

These next three sketches are examples of doodles where I was trying to sketch an "idea". The first is to illustrate a "story that tells itself".
 A "story without an end"
 The idea of "structures"

More examples of different genres,  etc, to follow in the near future - I hope!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

ATC's to end 2013

Yes I know it's only the beginning of December but already my time is being eaten up with preparations for christmas as well as the 1001 things which have kept me almost to busy to do anything (I exagerate a little) for the past couple of years.

I know that I will not be creating any more of this art genre (or should that be format) for the next few weeks. I do enjoy it but without feedback from friends and colleagues I do find this to be a solitary pastime. I have dropped out of almost all the groups and trading sites which I used to belong to and which kept me busily creating and stretching myself in this field (now that sounds better). Look back over the past couple of years and all my art/craft work has been simple collage. And even that term is decried by a number of professional artists who have been to give demonstrations at my art group.

A montage, they insist on calling it. To me this smacks of simply sticking photos down to form a story board and perhaps even a scrap book. I have written about the use of collage in fine art but still can't find it in my heart to lump painting and collage/crafting together. I enjoy both but still see painting as "real" art. I don't mean to knock any friends who create art by any means but I cannot get over this difference deep down, especially when the art depends upon following specific instruction on how to use materials/etc bought from a specific retailer. I see the latter as simply construction. I don't mean to be derogatory but as a definition I struggle to think of it as art.

But my ATC's this month were for an open theme challenge. I asked contributors to try something new this month and here I am stuck in the past. I do feel a fraud but ...

Still I musn't be maudlin, here are the ATC's

Madame Butterfly  - a reprise


Behind The Locked Door

I have even titled the first, the oriental lady and butterfly, with a title I must have used many time before; hence the aditional wording.

I am determined to start being original next year in the techniques which I employ in my art cards. This will be my number 1 new year's resolution; hopefully stating it here will make it easier for me to break. Oohh, that was a freudian slip. Of course I should have said easier for me to keep. Nnow I will have to make sure I stick to it.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Creating A Photo-montage To Use As A Subject For Painting

I guess this could have gone on my art blog, it would seem to be a logical place but then this blog is all about collage and for me both these terms can be used in a similar manner.

It seems to depend upon where you are coming from, artists (that is painters) seem to call the sort of thing I am posting on this site a montage. But crafters (is that a real term?) seem to call a constructed image a collage. In the end does it really matter - I don't think so, but there does seem to be an element of exclusivity about collage versus montage from some artists.

The post is really about using photographs to create a new image from several original images anad then to use this as a subject for a painting. We all know and have been told time and time again that when painting a scene, we do not need to include every single element. And we can add things for interest and also move trees, lamposts and even buildings. All in the name of good composition. But what if we cut out some interesting images and moved them around to create a great compostion. Seeing it done at a recent demonstration at my art group  bought this very simple and straightforward idea home to me. It seemed obvious once we had seen the artist do it. And of course crafters do it all the time.

Here are three images collaged (montaged?) into one. I did this very quickly so the resulting new image could have been better scaled, i.e I think the fort should have been larger compared to the boat but it serves as an example.

 the boat

 the distant hills

the foreground
and the resulting montage

I will be taking a little time to find a few usable images and crating my own landscapes for future painting projects. BTW all photos are my own from a reecent holiday in Lanzarote.

Note I used Photoshhop for this (enables things like altering colour/tone and scaling) but with suitable images it can obviously be done by cutting and gluing paper images. Which is what I do of course for most of my craft projects.