Tuesday, 29 July 2008

ATC backgrounds from tissue paper

Just treading water again really. I have already added these to my Flickr photostream . But I thought that I would try to keep up the momentum here on the old blog.

I have been playing with making backgrounds from torn up, collaged tissue paper. I have seen similar techniques in tutorials from several places including Margaret Field in her blog Mop Heads Unite. I did several using complementary colours, the first two here using red and green and black.

Oh It's You!
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A nice and simple atc, using just one of the backgrounds and a downloaded picture (must keep records of where I get these from). I completed it by stamping the title and a couple of flowers (?) in silver. As an afterthought decided that I should have embossed these but embossing is not a thing I do regularly even now. Judging by other ATC's I see on the net I should make a point of using it more often. It would certainly have made these stampings stand out more.

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The text here is from a little old poetry book by Margaret Broughton, I believe. and I originally intended to use this and the lady on the right on their own. But I was mooching thro' my box of off-cuts and came across the other photo (which was actually of an aunt from the 1920's). I thought it fitted well.; the contrast between the two images and an underlying meaning in the text. I think the real contrast in the printed images also amplified this theme.

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I have put a title on the Flickr post which I think reflects the wry smile on her face, but I have not really settled on a title. Here, the absence of embossing is a real drag. The silver stampings are just about visible but the gold ones (bottom left and top right) are nearly invisible on the screen. they show up much better in real life. I must strat to think about the use of eembossing whenever I stamp, rather than wishing that I had done it when it is too late. Or perhaps I shhould buy some of these pens designed for embossing, which would allow for such afterthoughts.

Anyway, the image was transferred from a magazine picture using an acrylic medium. I paint the medium onto both surfaces and rub them together and allow to dry before wetting the back of the picture and rubbing off the paper. The glaze on the card seems to protect it from getting wet. This system seems to work quite well for me, the images have quite a matte, aged appearance. The transferred image was done first here and then the background was added using the tissue paper again. I hoped it would look like the face was peering thro' a hole in the background. Not honestly sure that it works that way.

Off to make a couple of challenge cards now.................

Saturday, 26 July 2008

My very first watercolour

I have been a little longer posting here than is usual due to problems with my PC. Everything seems to be back to normal now and so I thought I would just make a very quick post so that you all know that I am still alive.

I tried for years to learn to paint from books and suchlike, it wasn't until I actually attended a class that I found the spark that set me off on a path to becoming an artist, if I may call myself that. I have just recounted this story to a friend who is running her attempts at painting down because they are not as good as she would like them to be. So I thought this would make a very nice quick post since I have already done most of the typing.

Here is my story:-
When I went to my first art class (happened to be watercolour) I very nearly gave it all up and called it a day. I'll tell you what happened.

The class watched the tutor demonstrating a painting, and we went back to our desks to try it for ourselves. Oh what a mess I was making of my first painting! I was very nearly ready to throw my paints into the bin with frustration when the tutor came round to see how we were doing. He picked up my wet and I thought messy attempt and must have seen something in it. He washed out the shape of a small yacht in the distance (it was supposed to be a seascape) and wow, the whole thing gelled on that small focal point.

He held up the painting to the class and everybody exclaimed how good it was. Well. maybe, but from that day to this I never look down at a painting because its author hasn't seen the good things in their work. OK it may not be a masterpiece everytime but, it takes practice, and lots of it to use any art medium to its full advantage.

If you have the ability to make art with anything then the same principals for a great image apply no matter what medium you use. It is just a matter of time and practice until the things you are attempting start to come out as you want them to.

Here is the picture:-

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The left hand yacht was his, the right hand one mine. I think mine looks stilted and wooden next to his but hey! it was my first real painting. Of course the sky should have been blue NOT green. I had not allowed the yellow undercoat to dry sufficiently before adding a wash of blue over the top. The top of the hills on the other side of the bay are a little "iffy" and the beach on the RHS is almost invisible but from a distance, which is how the class saw it, it looks quite passsable. I had this up on my living room wall for years, until my wife got tired of it, but I always come back to this when I have not painted for a while and remember the lesson that it taught me.

Always look at your paintings to discover what is good about them NOT what is bad. Use the good bits again! You will soon find that all the bits are coming out good............. if you are lucky!

Monday, 14 July 2008

New Venture

I have recently been posting many of my artworks to Flickr, and I have found it to be a very useable and friendly experience. I have now taken out a pro account (which involves money being passed across!) as I have found that the free account has been limiting what I can do there.

I am now starting to post photos of many of my archived paintings on Flickr and joining in with many of the groups there. It is quite exhilerating, if time consuming. You can see my paintings and craft work on Flickr, and I will contiue to post more of my older stuff there until I tire of the new toy, but new stuff will be posted as it is created.

Also I have started a set of ATC's for trade I will be keeping this up to-date. If you are interested in making a swap, please contact me via Flickr mail or by leaving a comment here. I am interested in all types of ATC's.

I am pleased to report that I have sold another watercolour aceo on ebay. I tend to sell my paintings (only swapping ocassionally) whilst trading my craft creations. You should not read anything into this except that I feel I am a better painter that I am at crafting. There is no great wealth to be aquired by selling on ebay, buyers are too attuned to getting "something for nothing" but it helps to replenish my paintbox supplies and I am going to paint anyway, so why not? Anyway here is the painting, titled, "A Walk On The Wild Side"

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Tuesday, 8 July 2008

it's monday its green

I am still managing to keep up with the Make it Mondays challenge, I find it easier to make two or three when I am doing these. The reason I like doing challenges is because I have to think outside my usual comfort zone. Green for instance is a colour I would never normally use, no reason but perhaps I use it too much in my landscape paintings.

Here are my offerings for the theme this week - Green:-

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Title:- "The wrong kind of green". I like in the UK where we have train companies making excuses like, "the wrong kind of snow or the wrong kind of leaves" and as I put this collage together it just seemed to fit. Quite a busy collage but I think I like it. the background was done using a technique of painting with a credit card (in my case a spatula) from the Go Make Something site. I have shown results of this technique in previous posts.

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Titled: "Sshh! What are they saying?" The background this time was a sort of tie-dyed blotting paper which I had in a free trial pack (sorry the name of the supplier escapes me at the moment) and which I am trying to make use of. The theme is again superceeded by a humerous theme. I am now going back to my roots in collaging, where all my original work had this humerous side. This is my favourite of the three.

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Title,: "I said he had a large plinth". Another attempt at humour! This one I feel is unfinished and I only include it here for completeness, having made a set of three. the couple are standing out too much and probably need knocking back and some connection between them and the statue needs to be added, especially as their picture isn't complete on the LHS - the man is cropped and seems unsatisfactory. This picture is from the ARTchix Studio and their laser printed collage images are much stronger than my ink-jet printed downloads. I will edit this post when I have finished this to my satisfaction.

Well there you have it. see you next time.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

A new ATC: Chinese girl

Just been playing around with some acrylic texture paste which I bought to use on my watercolours about 12-15 months ago. Never really used it at all - another waste of money. However, I have started to experiment with it on some ATC's and wanted to post this as it is one of the first using this material. Called The Chines Girl (- LOL my titles are as creative as my ATC's)

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The photo is a little soft (focus) as I scanned it and the 3-D elements lifted the image of the girl off the glass. I heavily layered the ATC backing with the paste - about 1-1.5 mm thick and before it dried imprinted a large circle with a rubber stamp. the paste was too soft to leave an impression of the stamp but gave a wonderful texture reminiscent of 'artex' ceiling effects. I coloured the whole piece with a lilac paint and then painted outside the circle with black acrylic which left some of the background due to the heavy texture to give a great effect.
I had a couple of chinese coins which I felt matched the circle, so decided to use the image of the chinese girl and a little chinese text. The faux gems, buttons, wire, wool and fabric flower were all chosen to complement the colours and composition.
All in all I think I like this one, it is a little busy compared to my usual style but seems to work. The texture paste did not after all play a significant part in the final design but the textured circle directly led to the whole coming together.

Maggies Monday Musings

Here it is my first entry for the new challenge blog set up by Margaret, Maggies Monday Musings:-

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I am a little unsure of this as when the challenge is so specific, my lack of "craft Stuff" often shows. I found a couple of images on the Flickr pool, collage images, and played around with these. I also added ribbon, a metal thingy (off a bead stall) and stamped images of a bird - don't ask why but I often use stamping in this way to add a little detail.
I hope to be having at least one more go during the week. Margaret has set a very high standard to follow. Hope it becomes successful Margaret!

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Awards for my blog

Well my head is expanding!

I have just been given two awards, one of them for the second time. Several weeks ago I was awarded the Art-y-Pico award by Wendy but I never found the time to pass on the award to the 5 sites as I should have done, so I let it slide - naughty me. I now find that Linda has awarded me the same honour. I will have to try and sort out passing this on.

I have also received a second award from Joey, the Premio Brillante weblog - 2008. I have placed both award images on the RH sidebar and now have no excuse for not complying with the work involved in passing these on.

One of the reasons for my intransigence is that I am landscaping my rear garden. The accompanying photo shows a pebble path running down one side of a lawn which has been used as a depository for pots of pots and other paraphenalia.

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it was taken a little while ago but last year our neighbours cut down the hedge and put in a stark brown fence. I am now in the process of digging up the pebbles, and planting the shrubs from the pots ( not an easy job!). I am having to dig up and sift out the pebbles so that I can reuse the earth. Dig a number of very large holes for planting and afterwards intend to reuse the pebbles around the shrubs. Ouch - it is back-breaking! But will I hope be worthwhile. So please bear with me ladies, she-who-has-to-be-obeyed has different priorities to me and the digging and planting has to be done and finished this summer.

Once again thanks for the recognition,