Friday, 30 December 2011

A slightly larger multimedia collage

Ok, christmas has come and gone and I am still not active at crafting. All my stuff is packed away in boxes and not available for short sessions. I have done a little painting, have been playing my guitar and of course with my computer. I have had a lovely new laptop as a present from my ever suffering spouse, so it must prove that she still loves me. Or maybe she thinks that at least with a laptop I can play on the computer and be in the same room.

One art piece that I have not yet posted on the blog ( it was posted on Flickr some time ago) is a piece I did for a challenge for the design team on PDA, and I wanted to do something a little different for me. In fact you would not know it from the photo but it is considerably larger than the ATC's I usually do.

Here it is:-

faded rose

Title: Faded Rose

The image of the young lady was one of a number of images on a collage sheet by Kim Newberg and this was the basis of the challenge. 
The background was a piece of matt board covered in torn craft papers. The flower was a gift from Jean Roman and the watch face also from Kim. The metal "frame" is actually a flattened kilner jar lid, an idea from Kim. In fact without Kim's unknowing input, I could not have made this piece. The other element is the butterfly; bought cheaply at a local store it has a spring loaded clip. I purchased three for potential use in future projects, this is the first.

I keep saying this but I do hope to get sorted out at home very soon, and getting back to some crafting. I am getting withdrawal symptoms and snapping at the people ( or person) that I should not be snapping at. The alternative is vallium! Not a good idea methinks.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Steam punk and other fancy ATC's

I have been making one or two heavily decorated ATC's lately. The majority of my collage work is created using paper images. But more and more frequently recently I have been adding 3-D embellishments of all sorts. A lot of this is because I keep getting small gifts, etc with traded cards and other art works. THis is actually fun and makes the epithet mixed media come to life for me.

This first pair of ATC cards were created for a challenge/swap on PDA, the theme of the challenge was colour(s), I was not sure what results this would bring but in the end a great collection of different interpretations was achieved by the entrants, you can see the results on ATC's of  PDA .

The first was called "Autumn" for hopefully obvious reasons and the second "Timeless" for maybe not so obvious reasons; actually the clockface spoke to me.

Autumn was always intended to be how it finished up, a use of a very familiar set of colours which most artists would recognise as belonging to a particular time of year. I simply built up the layers and utilised one or two bits and pieces I had in my stash, mostly gifts from trades with other artists.

Timeless was a different kettle of fish. I originally intended to make a statement by outlining a B&W image on a b&W background with a coloured slide mount.The slide mount was blue plastic covered in pink craft paper. However I was not quite satisfied and added the clock face ( brass, painted with a watery acrylic) and followed this with the large linen flower (Thanks Jean). The key was added for balance. It now seems that the flower is the most important part of the whole but this is because the central image is a little washed out in this photo.

A third ATC I want to look at here is a stab at steam punk. A gendre I often shy away from even tho' i do like the images I see from it.

I found a collage sheet with lots of engineering drawing images on and used this for the background. I edged this with a gree ink pad. The image of the girl is one that I like and decided to use right at the start. This left me to find a number of items which would look good on the piece. A watch face again (thanks Kim), a small key, a metal charm, and a bracket from a VHS machine sort of went together after a little playing around with the configuration. And a card arrow and sequin completed the "mechanism". The word NOW ( which I used for the title) was one of a number of acrylic buttons which I had and seemed to reflect the look in the young girls face, sort of expectancy or determination. Anyway, I enjoyed making this so much I went and ordered a bag of bits off Ebay so that I could experiment a little more with this gendre. Almost gwettingto the assemblage techniques I am determined to get to grips with.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

The Wonderland Tea Party: Table cloths on the tables

The Wonderland Tea Party: Table cloths on the tables

I wish I had land in my back garden to contemplate this sort of artwork - take a look, you will not be disappointed

5 year anniversary giveaway by Kim Newberg

Kim has magnanimously agreed to celebrate her 5 years of blogging by offering the chance ( or several chances) to win a wonderful collection of mixed media stuff. If you have ever see any of Kim's packages you will know that she is always very creative and very generous with the goodies. Pop along and get your own chance of winning. The giveaway runs until the 1st of January.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Making money from art and images on-line

Following on from the previous posts concerning Zazzle, I am toying with another way of making a little extra on the internet.

Have you heard of Redgage?

It is a site which pays for views of your on-line work. You can theoretically use work ( images, photos, documents, videos and links) that already exists to earn money. Some aspects ( eg import tool) of the site do not work yet although it has been going for a while but even uploading stuff manually can be profitable. It is obviously not a way to raise a quick buck but over time the income of some of the contributors appears to be very worthwhile. I have been uploading photographs, images and links to other sites. After a few days and only some dozen or so uploads, I have seen income eqivalent to pennies but as always, I will watch the totals with anticipation.

Another interesting development is that You Tube is starting to allow users to monetize their video contributions and will be paying a proportion of the advertising revenue earned from Adsense. I have started to register some of the videos that I have posted on there. Again I expect it to be mere pennies but it will be interesting to see just how many. My thought is that even a few pennies will help to pay for some of my art materials, and that can't be a bad thing.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Artist Trading Cards versus Pastel Paintings

Having returned from a short holiday, I realised how long it has been since my last post on here. But the plain truth is that I have not been doing much "crafting" recently. Lots of things happening at home and my crafting activities have been interupted. One reason is that I have not been able to use my "studio area" and I have had to get out boxes of stuff and put them away after me - not conducive to artistic endeavour. In fact, I have satisfied a need to be creative by getting out my pastels and painting, see some of the results on my other blog, Painting With John. Only one box! so much easier to set things up and put them away after me. By the way have I ever showed you my pastel box?

Just an old cheap plastic, multi-compartmented storage box. Full of chalks and pastels, I have collected over the years. I have done the colour charts that you can see so that I have some idea of what I have within each hue / colour range. I use this box for general purpose pastels and have a swoosh wooden box with a few more expensive chalks that need to be kept in foam to avoid powdering / breakage / etc.

But the real reason that I started this post was to put on a few ATC's that I have did before my hols, I seem to be getting into a rut with these at times but looking back I do use a number of techniques and of course the painting also puts some variation into my weekly art output. On the other hand simple collaged cards are something I enjoy and since I started art as a relaxation from the daily grind, it still works for me. I keep buying new toys and materials but usually end up with the original and for me the best. I did write an article on Understanding Simplicity In Art a little while back. It works for me! Anyway here finally are the ATC's:-

All were done for various challenges on PDA, the themes from the top were tickets, chocolates, feathers (title: Anton tickled her fancy), fish, mirror and school. Larger versions can be seen on my Flickr photostream. 
The top three cards have been used to design greeting cards, available on Zazzle. I am still adding to my Zazzle stores with my art and photography, which is the subject of another blog. In fact I am also blogging about new products on Zazzle. Just one more reason why the posts here are not as regular as I would like.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

More on making money on-line

While I am on the subject ( see my last couple of posts), I though I would also mention this new venture. Not something which will make anyone rich overnight, but then few things on the internet are. I have joined RedGage the idea of which is to promote your web content and earn money from the number of views of it ( via RedGage). For instance I have been linking photos and art on Flickr, links to my Squidoo lenses, links to my Zazzle stores and generally posting new photos on Redgage itself.

After only a few days I started to see views to my content which is earning money. So far with only 20 items uploaded (now increased to 40) I have seen an accrual of $0.22. As I said not a get rich quick scheme but if I keep uploading at 5 items per day over the next 12 months, I can see this increasing considerably. Much more than I am earning from Adsense on my several blogs. Difficult to calculate what it might be but even at no increase over 52 weeks this could be 52 x 0.22 = $11.44.

I aim to upload 5-10 items per day. There is an importing tool but older users have told me that it has never worked. Some aspects of the site appear to be in beta form, for instance the login page does not look very professional. So it is possible that more work is needed byt eh owners of the site.

A little crystal ball gazing and a few guesses would be needed to make any real estimates  of longer term income since there are obviously so many variables but I have seen total income figures for a few friends on RedGage as follows:

No. of uploads......time since registering......Total income ($)
        84                             6 months                 34
       114                            2 yrs                       43
       424                            2 yrs                       50
       404                            2yrs                       600
       689                            2yrs                      2328
       600                            2 yrs                     3346
      1835                           2 yrs                       208

very clear that it is not a direct relationship between uploads and income although I have no knowledge of wether the people concerned were uploading from day 1. It is also probable that SEO coumts for a lot as with all things on the internet. BUT it is clear that money can be made from using RedGage to monetise your web content.

I will certainly be giving it a try, and SEO is obviously an area where I need to concentrate a little effort.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Selling my art on-line (2)

Continued from the last post.

Another direction that I am exploring is to sell the images, rather than the art, which also includes photographic images. I take many, many photos with my digital camera and this boosts the number and scope of images I can use on my Zazzle stores. Zazzle ia "print-on-demand" site which means that you can buy anything from Tee-shirts to tote bags, mugs to mouse mats, and even posters and wraped canvasses. Mny more products are available. A Zazzler ( like me) can upload images and design any of the available products then put them up for sale. Each sale earns a royalty ( from 10 to 50%) and it is also possible to earn referral fees for linking buyers to the site. These are actualy higher than the royalty payments, a better way of earning money for those with an associate account. All free to set up, no selling fees - only royalties to you, and no hassle with posting or buyers. Sounds like heaven!
My latest sale is a Tee which I designed for a buyer who liked one of my ATC's on Bonanza. A humerous look at pole dancing lessons.

Just another taster, my latest product is a wrapped canvas designed using an old pastel painting which I have slightly modified in photoplus, my digital manipulation software of choice. It's cheaper than photoshop!

Down on the farm wrappedcanvas
Down on the farm by ArtyfaxProducts
Browse other Multicolor Canvas Prints

OK, that's it from me on selling, it hasn't changed my life style but every little helps; now where have I heard that before?

Selling my art on-line

I have not been active in this line for a couple of years, too many distractions and other things happening. In fact my last sale of a piece of art on Ebay was 2 or three years ago. I came to the conclusion that I was not getting a reasonable price for the work. You know how it goes, Ebay is an auction site (??) so you put someting on at a low start price and get ONE bid - aaarrrggg!!! What a catastrophe, and then there is the packaging and post; many people complain if you try to recover these costs fully. Always the possibility of items getting lost in the post - or that is what a minority of buyers claim. Do you believe them? Paypal certainly does! Well I had had enough, I packed it in and concentrated on trading my ATC's. No more items lost in the post, amazing!

However, recently I have been looking again at making a little cash from my hobby. I have been writing about my art on Squidoo, A site which shares advertising revenue with the top (few) web pages based on an on-site ranking procedure. These pages are called "lenses" the idea being that they are single pages which focus down on to a very tight niche. Squidoo provides lots of help in creating a lens and there is a very active community associated with the site. I will not become rich without learning a great deal more about SEO ( I do hate that subject) but I have been making a regular few dollars a month for the past 12 months or so. Many authors seem to make enough to live on doing it full time, with lots of SEO, LOL. But I am reasonably happy with a small income from a couple of hours per week, enough to buy the odd book and art materials to keep me busy. An example of one of these lenses is, Making Artist Trading Cards - 1001 Techniques

Just to keep things ticking over, I have started selling (or rather I have posted for sale) a few items on Bonanza. It has not been a very successful venture so far but again, it is all about getting buyers to your site. This is where Ebay scores of course since it has so many "users", and is often the first (possibly the only) site that prospective buyers go to. But Ebay no longer seems to cater for the small independent trader, fawning over the large (money earning) enterprises that can afford the high selling fees. see my next post for another way of earning cash on line with your art.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Free images for collage

I have been collecting old books for a while now, nothing exceptional just ephemera for my artwork and making use of the ocassional useful image. You can see some of these images which I have posted on my Flickr account. there are a number of sets on this page which contain the images. Last week I came across a book published in 1913 called, "Modern Musicians" which I thought was exceptional in that it had many B&W images of musicians of celebrities of the time. Some of them are still quite famous! I will be posting these on Flickr over the next few weeks but as a taster here are a couple of examples.

You can find larger, high resoloution versions of the images on Flickr and downloading from there - select ACTIONS - VIEW ALL SIZES. There will be many more in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

An Altered CD case

I have made another altered piece for the PDA Designer group, it is an altered CD case ( jewel case). Lots of altered CD's have been shown on pDA recently and I wondered what happened to all the cases. Hence this piece, "Lord Rosebey's Gentlemen's Club".

As always larger images may be seen on my Flickr account. All images are from collage sheets supplied by Kim Newberg.

The photos of the victorian (?) rooms and one or two game pieces that I had lying around were perfect with the challenge subject  - a sheet of cigar adverts which showed gentleman smoking... cigars, of course. The idea of a gentlemen's club was a no-brainer. The name of the club was from one of the adverts.

I have been quite busy recently with a number of projects including adding products to my Zazzle Store and my Bonanza Booth, why not check out some of the items I have for sale.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

ATC's and Book pages

Seems to have been a little while since my last post and there are a few things which I have been doing in the art/craft line. First of all, I entered a couple of ATC's into the PDA ATC challenge swap. The theme was fantasy / magic / etc and I made one cared based on something I did a couple of years ago. At the time i liked it very much and made a second very similar card, I thought, "magic, why not use the same idea again?". So here is the "Magician & the Spell".

The fun part is thinking up nonsense words for the spell which seem to be in a "latinate" language.

The second card was made using an image I have also used mmore than once before. It is a statue of an angel from a tombstone. I think it is just great.

You've  just gotta like the child's image as well!

the other thing that I want to show you in this post is a couple of pages which I have done for a hand-made book which is another project on PDA. ten artists are creating pages and swapping with each other over this year ( one page a month to swap and one on the same theme to keep). The first here was on the theme, Stained For Life. I call it, After That Incident, Her Character Was marked With A Very Dark Stain. Don't ask!! And note the second appearance of the statue in this post.

The second page for the same project ( I was catching up, LOL) was called,  "Although ripped apart at an early age, the girls kept in touch by the magic of the automatic telephone, to talk about thteir favourite things". A loose interpreetation of the theme, Ripped.

I have also been busy with other things but I will leave them for anothertime, but there are new posts on my blogs which deal with painting and photography. Why not have a look and see if there is anything to interest you.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Collaged Row Houses - Home Tweet Home

Here we are again, another challenge from PDA. A set of five little row houses with a theme of "Home Tweet Home".

I was stumped by this at first, of course it had to be about birds - didn't it? Animals in  general and birds in particular are not something that I would use as a main subject for my collages. I am far more at home with people. I like to be able to tell a story based on their actions or facial expressions. So the theme gave me lots to think about and not a few sleepless nights ( well OK I am exaggerating a little for litterary effect, LOL). I was unsure how to go with this theme until I had the idea of using a window. I would view the birds thru a window and put people in front of the window as if they were carrying on their real life. In fact I turned this idea on its head for one of the pieces for humerous effect, I have a strange sense of humour at times. Here is a shot of the little row houses lined up on my stairs at home.

The stairs forms a great background for this as the carpet is a darg green, but that's another story, as they say.

each little row house was to be within a particular size, no more than 7.5 inches tall and 5.5 inches wide and no less than 5 inches tall and 3.5 inches wide. I made my set a mixture of sizes between these limits. The basic shape of each house was cut out from matt board to give a good rigid basis for the piece. I selected some backing paper/card which I had been sent by a fellow member of PDA with a swap and covered the boards with this with a turn-around at each edge to give a neat appearance. The back of each row house was also layered with a different paper to the front for contrast.

"Buy My Flowers"

I found some creative commons licenced pictures of windows on Flickr, and printed them from my PC, enough for all the row houses. I also downloaded images of birds from the free images available on PDA, and printed them also. The other images are mostly from free collage sheets which I have collected from those offered by Kim Newberg on the PDA site or other sites and blogs by Kim.

"I Did Pay The Rent"

Most of the set had birds layered between the window frames and a backing paper for contrast. However the above piece was different. The birds were "outside" and the person was "inside" the house.

"Yes, I Will Phone"

Most of the titles are chosen to reflect the people in ront of the window frames. As I said I like to tell a story and to this effect, I select elements which are in some way ( often tenuously) connected and then arrange them in a way which I find pleasing and taking note of composition. The geometry of the space I had for placing the images below and around the windows made this a little more difficult than usual for me here.

"Hello Beautiful"

I also used a little stamping here and there to fill in a few little spaces inconspicuously. A pity this image is spoilt by the effect of the flash on the young girl's face, it was a glossy image.

"The Farmer"

You will notice that all of the set have a metal charm at the apex of the roof line which is itself emphasised by various complementary ribbons / papers.

I said I had a few problems with this theme but at the same time as it took me at least a little out of my comfort zone I really enjoyed the challenge. Of course most of my mixed media stuff is around ATC's so the much larger size also gave me a little more scope than usual. Thanks for the challenge Kim!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

A shadow box assemblage

I was given a (for me) very hard challenge by Kim in the PDA Designer's group last month. We had to create an artwork using a collage sheet which depicted lots of small flower images. Not my cup of tea at all. Straightaway, I knew I would be using some of the images as decoration, but not as a main image for my piece.

After lots of deliberation I had some ideas and in a spare moment started a rough sketch of what it might look like, and how it would go together. To be different I was going to use a sardine tin ( used!) to form a shadow box, or at least that is what I think it is. For my regular readers, you may remember the first use of a sardine tin. The top cover, forming a frame around the tin, would be in matt board and I would use collage to complete the artwork. My initial sketch, looked something like:-

I.e. it was to be a wall hanging, with lots of danglies including beads and charms However, the best laid plans "gang aft awry". Also, I had intended that the flower images would be layered to a stiff baking (?) and would be placed on the frame to overlap the edges and break up the lines. I later decided that this would mean the images would be difficult to cut out and leave unsightly edges which would spoil the clean effect I usually search for.

The first step was to cut out the shape of the frame and remove the opening behind which the tin would be placed to form the shadow box. Secondly, I cut out a board to fit inside the tin and which would be collaged to form the interior image. I layered a backing paper to this to this in the usual way, and then added the images of the child, butterfly wings, a clock and one of the flower images. The whole board was then inserted into the tin and a black, woven, fabric edging strip was bonded around the sides to (1) prevent a viewer from seeing the shiny sides of the tin and (2) hold the decorated baseboard in place.

The frame was covered with a craft paper backing and images were added, including two more of the flower images. As an aside, the backing paper had been sent to me as a gift with a trade but I cannot remember the name of the friend who sent it. I file images/papers under several different headings but but often forget where they come from, so need to keep making apologies. Does anybody know how to crossfile source with colour / topic / theme / size / etc. If so I would love to know.

Back to the shadow box...

The two parts were then bonded together, using a strong rubber cement to give an instant adhesion, the piece then looked like this from the back:-

The last step was to paint the whole back with black acrylic, before adding a lable with a title, and other details, from an angle the front then looks like this:-

And I had arranged the bottom of the frame so that piece would be stable when standing up right. In a position on a window sill, I think it looks quite attractive and am very pleased with it.

Just to finish this post, here is a closer view of the finished piece from the front. I have not yet come up with a title for it, this is unusual for me as I do not often find any difficulty because I work to a theme. However I think my only issue with this is that I concentrated too much on using the flower images to the detriment of an overall theme. Any suggestions for a name would be very welcome, thanks in advance. So here is the promised close-up :-

Monday, 27 June 2011

Getting back to some ATC trading

Seems to have been ages since I last made an ATC trade; the group that I did most of my trading in on Flickr seems to have come to a full stop. A little sad but I guess that is the way of the world, people move on and make new interests or join other groups - or the ubiquitous FACEBOOK, as it marches forward. Personally I do have a F/B presence but I don't really spend a lot of time on their, and it seems that I am using it mainly to promote my Squidoo web-pages.

Anyway, tonight I have posted an ATC in the PDA challenge / swap. This month is the 21st challenge and to celebrate I have chosen an "open theme". We have some great cards already - looks like it may be a good month. My entry is:-

The images are mainly from collage sheets by Kim Newberg and the text is from a link on my Squidoo page, Making Artist Trading Cards. You can see other cards entered into this and past challenges in the offical PDA ATC blog.

Here's hoping that this is the first of many to come in the future, I would really hate to not be trading. It has opened a whole world of alternative art for me and has made me many friends and contacts around the world via the internet.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

An ATC Triptych

Made this mixed media collage piece to illustrate a page on "Ultra ATC's". This is a term I first came across in Berni Berlin's ATC workshop book, gives an artist a little more room for creativity, don't you think. I have never been one for adding lots of frippery, tending to keep my stuff simplistic and to have each item adding to the story. Sometimes I think that I ought to change but it's just "doing what comes naturally" there is a larger version on my Flickr photostream.

What do you think?

The main images are from a collage sheet, called daunting darlings from Kim Newberg and the backgrounds are basically black and white images of the eiffel tower. My history was never much good! The other text was simply found serendipitously ( is that a real word?) in my stash or from magazines. The coloured borders at the top of each atc are downloaded from the Flickr free images group, my apologies to the artist whose name I have not got at my fingertips.

I guess many of you died in the wool ATC'ers will already have this book, but if you haven't why not? It has become something of a standard text for many artists. I am continually dipping back into it for inspiration and new ideas.

I guess that one of the issues for me is that I get into a rut with techniques. I make something, it works, and then I make something else along the same lines. A book like this helps to remind me that there are many ways of skinning a cat. (Whoops, is this a politically correct thing to say these days.)

Along thse lines, I have recenly "unearthed" some early paintings of mine whilst searching my loft/storage area for some frames for a project I am starting. The first is a small oil painting of an apple - talk about simplistic! The second is a very early pastel. Judging by the blue of the sky, this was before I had aquired a complete set of colours. These days I would definitely have toned down the blue.

In fact to be honest, these days I would probably have laid down an underpainting with an orange sky before layering with the sky colours that I wanted to be seen. Then when leaving small patches of the underpainting showing thru the top coat, the complementary colour adds a real zing. In the same way, I would have put a red undercoat over the grassed areas.

I started using this technique when painting abstracts but found that it worked equally well with other types and gendres od paintings. But this is something I should be discussing on another blog.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

An ATC created using mainly metal components.

So we are all used to making artist trading cards from card and paper with embellishments and charms which can range from metal to plastic, fibre to textile, clay to ... well, you name it! Almost anything and everything can be utilised to serve our artistic whims.

However, in this post I am going to show a card which I have made specifically from mainly metal components. I came across an article in an ezine by Lisa Vollrath, "The Monthly Muse" which showed how to use soft drink cans to obtain metal sheet. Of course I have used a beer can, but the principle is just the same. They are mostly made from aluminium these days but there should be no problem from an older steel type, although it might be slightly harder to cut. Pierce the can and use a normal pair of scissors to cut around the top and bottom of the can and then slit vertically to provide a small sheet of thin metal. It is not particularly dangerous and probably no more likely to cut your fingers than a new sheet of paper. It will however have a coating on both sides so this must be taken into account when assessing what to use it for.

I was making a card for a challenge on Kim Newberg's PDA site  and the theme was to use a word from a newspaper headline. I cheated and used two. It was a story about scrap metal dealers and the phrase, " Metal Men" caught my attention, hence the idea for this card.

I actually wrapped the metal sheet around an atc card former, I thought this would add some stability to the creation. I used a rubber solution, which you apply to both sides to be adhered, and leave to get tacky before positioning and fixing. This gives an instant bond, no need to wait for glue to dry. So my background was easily sorted. I was at first going to colour it with alcohol inks but as I formed a design idea, I decided to leave it as it was. I had of course washed the last remnants of beer from the sheet before starting.

I tore the phrase from the newspaper, and started to search for ideas. I soon decided to use (beer) bottle tops to frame a couple of images. To make these, I cut a card backing for the images and glued the images down to this card. To raise the images further in the tops, I used a double-sided foam adhesive tape.

I had a slightly rusty key which seemed ideal for this project, and some copper-coloured wire. After playing with the positioning, I used the rubber-based glue to bond the main elements to the backing, again letting the glue become tacky before fixing into postion. I wrapped the wire around the card, and through the key to best effect.

To complete the card, I decided to add a little texture with some silver glitter. I used a liquid glue and tipped the glitter on to the glue whilst it was still wet. The outcome was, The Metal Men:-

I like this one, as with all my mixed media collages it seems to be quite a simple design but should I be worried. After all wasn't it Da Vinci who said, "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication".

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

My new Zazzle store and blog

I have started selling products on Zazzle, a print on demand company, with images of my art. Paintings and collages. To promote the store and write about my experiences on Zazzle I have also started a new blog, Artyfax on Zazzle.

Please pay a visit to either, and comments would be greatly appreciated especially if letting me know what you think about the products. So far I have two stores. The first is the one I started with and I have been learning. To put some of this learning into effect I will be opening more "niche" stores to make it easier for the customers to find what they want - hopefully.

The second store is ArtyfaxCards - using my art and photographic images with my strange brand of humour to make unique and individual greeting cards and postcards.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

A craft doll from my chequered past

I have been ruminating (yes it is legal) on my artwork from the past few years. One of the reasons is the desire to do more three dimensional art work, and I have realised that to meet various challenges that I have made more 3-D stuff than I realised. A doll (although male), a small assemblage from a tin and using mainly paper images were the first two items which I tried in this gendre. The doll was made for a challenge on a private group on Yahoo ( my first group on the internet), which is now unused since most of the members migrated to Flickr. It was my first attempt at anything other than a simple collage, and at that time I don't  think that I even used 3-D embellishments, etc. So it was a big step toward becoming a mixed media artist. Not a very inspiring piece but as it was the first, I still have it hanging on my studio (?) wall. Here it is:-

It was made according to instructions given in an article I came across on-line. I seem to remember that I declined to enter into the on-going challenge but when I found this I made it just to show the ladies in the group that I could make a doll. I was the only male and it seems that the ratio has been very similar ever since, whatever group I find myself in. The face by the way is an image from a magazine stuck to a wine cork.

Well time to decide what my next project is going to be, and of course i will post it here what ever it looks like, success or failure.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

The Front of the Assemblage from my last post

Just thought that I should have posted the image of the front of the box in my last post, so as not to leave you wanting here it is:-

The tin box ( which originally contained a brace of whisky miniatures) was painted black with acrylic paint and then a gold metallic acryllic was wiped down across the front to achieve the desired look.

You can see this ( soon I hope ) and other art from the PDA design team on a new blog, check it out.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Assemblage for PDA Designer Challenge

OK a preview of the assemblage which I created from the bits and pieces which I showed in my last post.

I call it, Neffertiti's Trinkets and Treasures. I shall be posting a description and more images very soon.

This is a new challenge for me, I have been made a designer for PDA and every month we are given a collage sheet from which we have to create a piece of art.

I must have posted previously about a new interest for me, I found a book by Michael De Meng and this has proved to be a fabulous inspiration. Read it if you can! I do not think I will be making art creations like his to start with but I will be learning as I create.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Artist Trading Cards - My Pages On Squidoo have now posted 9 pages on Squidoo on the subject of Artist Trading Cards, and I wanted to take a step back and list them here. This blog is of course about ny new art works but because of things being busy at home I have been back pedalling on new artworks at the moment.

Of course this has meant that I have not posted here for over a month. So I am taking the opportunity to put in this list of articles I have been adding to Squidoo.

I also want to take this opportunity to give you a tantalising view of a new project. I have finally started on another assemblage project (see The Mermaids Garden), which has come about because of a new challenge on Paper, Digital Art and Images; I have been appointed as a designer on this site and one of the tasks is to complete an artwork based on a challenge given to us. I have decided to do this assemblage because it is outside my normal comfort zone although I do want to do many more of them in the future. Here is a partial view of some of the bits and pieces and how they are coming together.

You will see a tin box which I have started to paint; it has a black basecoat at the moment. A digitally produced image using one of the images which we had to use. A small glass jar filled with faux precious items, and its lid which has been topped with an image. A brass yale lock bezel with another of the set images. A "dangly" earing. More bits and pieces will be utilised and which are not included in this photo. The yellow hessian will be used. I hope that you will pop back in the next few days to see how this turns out.

But to get back to the purpose of this post, the Squidoo pages are:-

Making, Collecting and Selling Artist Trading Cards
Making Artist Trading Cards

Collecting and Displaying Artsist Trading Cards
Selling and Trading Artist Trading Cards
Ideas on Framing Artist Trading Cards
Ready Made and Easy ATC Backgrounds
Simple Collaged ATC's for Beginners- 1
Simple Collaged ATC's for Beginners- 1
Simple Collaged ATC's 

I am also part way through an article on using collographic techniques for ATC backgrounds, to be completed soon.

I hope tghat you can find something useful in these articles, thanks for staying with me this far anyway. See you next time.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

A hand made book to display ATC / ACEO art cards

Recently I won a "winner takes all" competition in a group on Flickr. What to do with the artist trading cards, on the theme of birds, which flew in through the letter box over the following couple of weeks. Aha!! Eureka!. I thought about my recent glue book projects and decided that I would bravely stick the ATC's into a hand-made book. Sacrilige, I hear you say? Well no I don't think so, I will always want to keep them as a set and so this seemed like a great idea.

This is the cover, One of my entries. The pages for this book were plain brown card, with green covers which had been stamped all over to give a background pattern. the lettering was cut from a newspaper and stuck down, Artful Ideas is the name of the group.

I added a ripped piece of craft paper to run across each page and stamped "twirly" designs on the page prior to glueing down the  ATC on each page. the following images are more of the completed pages.

I am quite proud of the result and will, I am sure, cherish the book as a momento into my old age. Who am I kidding, into my old age? I start to draw my Old Age Pension in a few months, I am there already, LOL

I have included this as one of the techniques for displaying artist trading cards in your collection on my Squidoo lens ( lens = a single page web site focusing on a niche topic), Collecting and Displaying Artist Trading Cards. Check out the lens for more ideas, some of them garnered from around the web.