Monday, 27 October 2008

MAMMA's Bling themed challenge-swap

I am not a lover of the subject of this weeks theme for Margarets swap (MAMMA) but as I like a challenge - or so I keep telling myself - I jumped in with both feet and looked out some sparklies for this weeks atc's. Yes, atc's; I finally made a set of three. Prepare for a revelation:-

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The first is a portrait of an african male figure, sporting a metal leaf from copper wire. The wire is threaded through holes either side of the head of the image, to give a sort of 3-D effect. I then went a little mad and started adding a "metallized ribbon, a fancy thread and a few sequins" to add a little bling to the card. Oh and the background is from a photo pool on Flickr, offering free to use collage images. My apologies to the person who posted this on the group. I will promise to make a note of names in the future in order to give due credit.
You may remember this image from the African Angel in a previous post.

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The second was of this sturdy fellow standing in front of a home-made background. A watercolour wash over-stamped with a stamp free with a magazine earlier this year. I used a couple of charms, lots of gems and a little bit of gold metallised ribbon, with a heart shaped gem as a buckle. No he is not a superhero, and he is not wearing a posing pouch on the outside of his trousers; as suggested by someone who shall remain nameless. She knows who she is!
Again I have used this image before.

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The last ( but not the least?) is this fine figure of a statue bedecked in faux gems and ribbons. And catch the shooting star !!! And yet again, this image has been used previously.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

more collages to get them interested

OK it is the last week, before I give my art group a class in collaging. I don't know how I got into this, I have only ever collaged on a small scale for ATC's and this was originally the idea however somewhere along the line the objective changed.

A couple of weeks ago, I started to prepare them for the shock of making images with something other than paint and I showed a collage which I called "the ghost of the vale" ; and then last week I posted a collage in the style of Matisse, both the sort of thing which you could expect to find in the Fine Art world.

This week I have done one very quick photo montage

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which I have called, "Indulgence", with apologies to ERIC. I simply took several photos from a sunday supplement and ran a craft knife around them to isolate the images which I wanted. I then layered a couple of text pages to a mountboard base. The photo elements were then positioned and when I was satisfied I glued them down. Twenty minutes tops to look thru the magazine, cut out the images, arrange and then glue. As an example I think it showed them that they could expect to complete something in the class/ workshop if they went for this sort of style. In its was not too different to the "Ghost of the Vale"

I also did a "scrapbooky" sort of collage to illustrate the idea of using different sorts of images and ephemera.

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It was based around a weekend in Prague that my wife and I enjoyed last May. At the time i saved underground tickets, receipts, tourist fact cards and in fact anything which I could use. I had in mind doing something like this at a later date. I have also included images from photographs of the holiday, coins, an image of Father Christmas (Wenceslas ??) and some stamped images of a watch. The over-riding issue was that there was not enough time to see everything that we wanted to see.

As usual, I took the receipts and tickets and arranged them in a pleasing manner to form a background. I then glued them down. The main elements were then aadded to give a pleasing and acceptable composition. I kept adding more small elements until I decided that there was enough and the piece was finished

It is now up to the class next week to see what they make of the exercise. The objectives are to have fun, be a lot freer making images than they usually are and feel satisfied with something that they can take home. watch this space!

Monday, 20 October 2008

ATC Challenges - still plugging away

Don't you find that a challenge gets the old creative juices flowing. But how do you choose?

I have settled on two regular ones, mostly because they both start weekly on a monday and I don't work on Monday or Tuesday. So I can mostly get stuff done early in the week.

The first challenge is from Maggies Monday Musings (MAMMA) on Flickr. Margaret Field has started from scratch and in a few short weeks has built the group up to 55 (at the last count) an incredibly friendly and mad collection of multi-media artists which make the group immense fun to be in. This weeks challenge from MAMMA was to make an ATC in Black & White. Simple, no problemo. So I started with a plain white card, got out one or two (or seven) stamps and selected a black ink pad and away we go.

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I have recently had several new stamps and started off with two of these, the text (which became the title) was stamped first and then masked and the figure stamped over it. I am using this without thinking now - this old dog is definitely learning some new tricks. I used a selection of stamps to fill in the background. I then made a corrugated black border ( my wife bought me a little machine to help with the christmas cards, see previous post) and attached it with two white brads. Finishing touches were the two coils of wire (useful things screwdrivers) attached utilising two black brads. Must admit I was very pleased with it.
I then made another for the same challenge:-

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I had found a site on the web which generates an index card, based on text you supply ( it actually gives you a yellowing card to simulate an aged and distressed item but I converted to B&W for this exercise) and I decided that I had to create something with it. The images were not chosen for any particular reason but just because they seemed to fit the bill, i.e. they were B&W. I quite like it and you have to admit it is different, but I got cold feet and haven't entered it into the swap.

Last but not least for today, is my entry for the Lisa Vollrath, Make It Mondays challenge. Lisa's site Go make something is a mine of information for the budding multi-media artist and I have found some great tutorials. The theme for this week is House & Home, I have cheekily treated this a little light-heartedly:-

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I have called this, "Location isn't everything, this house is too small". It is a simple collage using a house template from Dan (see the logo on the right hand side), I used white card and stamped a pattern on to it. The face at the window was similar to a card I made recently, and gave rise to the title. The background was a handpainted card with torn blue paper layered on to it. I then added die-cut tulips and birds to finish off the piece. Strangely, I like it!
Well that's me finished for another post - if you have enjoyed it, please visit again. I am always glad of the company.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

An art tag, atc size for MAMMA's challenge swap

Well it has been a few days again. Apart from the garden tidying, my wife has me making Christmas cards - for "special friends". Every craft shop we visit seems to be geared towareds card makers and she can't believe that I am not really into this area. I have however managed one small art work this week. It is a vintage themed tag for MAMMA's challenge swap. Margarets group on Flickr is going from strength to strength, and now has some 53 members. getting to be quite a job listing the swaps at the end of the week for her I should imagine.

Well this week because of other things, espaaecially that damn nice weather which kept me in the garden, cutting down hedges, I did not manage to post the tag in time to take part in the swap. Still, it was all good experience.

Here is the tag:-

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First of all the tree shapes above the tag are in a box which I had used to stand the tag against for the photo.
I used a vintage style paper and layered this to a piece of mountboard to give the whole thing rigidity. The white pattern was on this paper as well as the stripes. I put a hole at one end and applied an eyelet. I then edged the tag with gold embossing powder using a glue stick to adhere the powder. I love the pattern this creates. The portrait was printed onto acetate paper so that the background showwed thru. I embellished the tag with a metal charm ( angel) and used a light blue ribbon and silver cord tied thru the eyelet.
I have to say that my wife saw this and decided it was just what she needed for wrapping a friends birthday present. I did not have a say in the matter. I am now in the process of making several; more for christmas, to go with the cards. Oh well, could be worse I suppose......

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

A collage in the style of Matisse

Here it is:-

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My interpretation of the Dancers by Matisse; I call it the Prancers!
This is approximately 8 x 12 inches and is executed in tissue paper on mountboard. I used a template from an art doll and cut four layers of tissue at once. Hence they are a little ragged in places but this was the only way I could have completed it in the 90 minutes whch I had.
As with the last large collage this was done whilst at my art group to try and get the members interested in collage before I run a workshop for them in two weeks time. Again I had a lot of quizzical looks but nothing else when I announced that I was going to do "a Matisse", but before the end of the evening, I again had people asking about the process. So I guess it is working.
One thing I learned whilst doing this is that if you intend to collage with tissue paper, do not rely on glue-sticks to lay on the adhesive. A wet glue would have been far kinder to the small tissue paper shapes.
Have to find another artist and another style for next week - any suggestions welcome.

oodles of atc's

Can't keep away from this subject but I am not going to say much here. I am simply going to post a number of atc's which I have made over the past few days. I have been adding a description of the techniques and the why's and wherefore's of these art cards on my Flickr photo stream. I don't want to duplicate so if you would like to read more about them follow the links. Here they are:-

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Remember, if you would like to trade/swap any of my available cards contact me via my Flickr photostream

In future I think that I shall be putting less on the description in Flickr and adding definitive comments on here which is the way I started to do things - just seemed to have got carried away.

Off to my art group tonight, I shall be attempting to produce a collage in the style of Matisse - I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Friday, 10 October 2008

How to get them interested?

By them I refer to the members of my art group..... I am running a workshop in three weeks time on the subject of collage, and I want to make sure that I have wetted their appetites for this art form.

Now those of you who know my work, will realise that I normally work on a 2.5 X 3.5 inch format (ATC / ACEO) when I am collaging. I have done one larger collage before now but I tend to discount that as a one-off, so having got the group to agree to an evening workshop on collage, I thought that I should at least make some effort to raise their awareness of it in fine art.

The ghost of the vale

So this week, I took along a magazine ( actually a National Trust Magazine) and announced that I was going to do a collage. I started ripping pages out of the magazine and then ripping up the pages to give me some "stuff" to work with. In fact because of what the magazine was the pictures and images were fairly well themed especially the long article on the location for filming Jane Eyre.

I lay the scraps out onto a card base and arranged them to give what I thought was a pleasing background. There were one or wo enquiring glances but I was mostly left to my own devices. Once the layout seemed OK I got out my gluestick and started to stick everything down with gusto ( and lots of glue), still not a lot of attention....mmmm

Once the background was complete I started arranging the images I had selected. Buildings, a tree, Jane and Heathcliffe, the graveyard , etc. Then again a session with the glue sticks. One or two people actually came across now and wanted to see how (or what) I was doing. The drawing over the graveyard was a late addition to push it into the background, but as this left too much focus on the foreground ( and around the edges) I found a couple of vintage looking adverts and added these in the top centre of the picture.

Lastly, and on standing back, I decided upon the title; and added that across the top left to offset the still too busy foreground. A few touches with some crayons to push back the title and add colour to the drawing completed the picture. All finished by time to clean up and people were now going out of their way to see the completed article.

Next week I hope to add another collage art work and do something along the lines of a Matisse.
Art student may recognise the above work as typical of the style of Richard Hamilton. Many other artists in this field can be found in the Wiki paedia article.

Monday, 6 October 2008

I have been tagged!

I don't usually go for this sort of thing but I am going to start playing this game. Linda from "Just my little bit" has tagged me with the task to tell you six random things about myself; so here they are:-

  1. When I was four I was run over by a tricycle at nursery, I still have the scar on my knee
  2. I learnt to programme computers when they were still as big as a room, and needed another room to hold all the cooling equipment. You had to programme them using punched cards or paper tape - the idea of using a keyboard was still years away.
  3. I married my lovely wife before going back to do a masters degree and she was in the hospital labour ward whilst I was doing a metallurgy exam. Cool as a cucumber; especially since when I phoned up before going in to the examination room, I was told she had been taken to the intensive care ward.
  4. My other great love (apart from art) is music. I play the guitar and write my own songs. you can see some of them on my YouTube videos
  5. My favourite english food is stew. I cook a very mean stew and always make enough to last me for two or three days. Don't you think it just keeps on getting better the more it is heated up. My wife doesn't agree!
  6. Number six....mmmmm.... That reminds me of The Prisoner and the location of the Village, Portmeirion in North Wales. This was one of my favourite holiday locations when my family was young. More likely to go abroad now to search for a little sun. Can't stand the English weather with my arthritic knees.

The rules are as follows:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know your entry is up.

Here are the six people I have tagged

  1. Jan of Jan's Journal
  2. Margaret at Mop Heads Unite
  3. Maureen at Maureen's Mixture
  4. Sherry of Sherry's simple blog
  5. Viv of Viv's Visuals
  6. Wendy at Wendy's Art and Craft Journey

Happy Tagging!

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Worth the wait?

Well it has been a week since my last post, still getting back to normal after all the hassle of the last few weeks.

I have been playing with my new stamps (purchased from ebid) I have bought several specific stamps and a few small collections from this seller, they have all been very good.

I did a small series using a stamp of a geisha, and intend to do several more but will get more complex as I progress thru this series. Unless they start to get too busy. I liked the first three because of their simplicity, but too many could be boring. See what you think:-

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The first here (blue) was created by stamping the image of the geisha on a light blue card and layering onto a darker blue background. The japanese character was embossed and treated in the same manner. The ribbon was added in actual fact as an afterthought, but does pull the whole thing together. I often start atc's without a clear idea of where I am going with a particular piece.
The greencard was actually the third. It shows an example of stamping using a masking technique to make it appear that the geisha is in front of the other stampings. the card is edged with a blue chalk although it does not show up well here and I used a crumpled tissue to put silver acrylic paint "splodges" over the surface around the main image.
The yellow card also uses a masking technique and the edge chalking shows up much better here.
I have used this geisha stamp once before, again a quite simple atc to complement the image but covered the whole card with a voile material, held on with brads.