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.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

ATC challenge with the theme, "Seeing Red"

I have had problems with timing of my ATC challenge on PDA, making up for some lost time I had to arrange to cram a couple of challenges to end in October. This is the second of those challenges.

In the first card, I built up a background using craft papers using small pieces in varying shades of red, from pink to dark red. After this I stamped a looped line in a terra cotta colour in several areas and then a few areas of silver. I added a main image, which was a portrait of a model in a red hat. Lastly, I added two pieces of holographic wrapping paper with heart shapes.

A very simple card. The background was a red wrapping paper with silver stars and the main image of a robin was layered over the background. A roughly torn entry from a dictionary for the word RED was added at an angle to the branch at the bottom of the card to create balance.

I should be doing more with collage and mixed media but I am spreading my artistic endeavours very thinly at the moment, my own fault but I can't seem to stop taking up more challenges : music, art, poetry and photography. I want to do it all. Something will probably give sooner or later.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

ATC Challenge; with a theme of Solitude

I am finding it difficult to create art by crafting at the moment, as opposed to painting. The major reason is that my stuff (stash) is packed away and I have to select materials before I start to work. And of course pack them away again afterwards. I do make a point of creating a couple of cards for an atc challenge/trade on PDA however. This current challenge has a theme of Solitude, I created two collaged art cards.

In this case I selected the main images/elements and then decided to work up a background by layering; four/five layers of coloured paper. craft papers, metallic candy wrappers and other bits and pieces.

I hope you like them:-

There is no rocket science involved, just basic techniques buut I still feel that it can work. I am not a fan of buying special materials to obtain new effects. I have been known to indulge but KISS has always been my motto as far as art is concerned. I even wrote an article based on quotes from artists of many persuasions. Take a look if you are interested, I would love to hear any comments you may have.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

The Magic Garden - artist trading cards

Still managing to fit in some trading cards to a very busy and full life. the latest pair from this challenge on PDA are shown in this post. I am still making simple collaged cards but then that is the technique which turned me onto trading cards in the first place. My more daring and experimental art work is happening in my painting at the moment.

Things happening in my life at home mean that all my craft "stash" is boxed and put safely away so that I can't get at it easily. Everything for painting is held in one bag. On a Tuesday night, I pick up the bag and head for my art group. I do then have at least a couple of hours once a week to "do my own thing" without worrying about interruption.

But I digress, here are the promised ATC's. Interestingly, I don't often use die-cuts shapes but they seemed to fit on this card. I did draw and shade the fence myself before cutting it out.

And here is a simple collaged card, lots of background elements, including the die cut paper in the lower left corner. The darker blue background is showing thru'. The red hearts are also die-cuts.

One of these days I willl get my studio/office back and begin paying with different techniques. In fact I am tempted to set a series of challenges on PDA to make sure that I do get down to it. I wonder how it would go down?

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Back again with more ATC's

I have been away from this blog for a long time. And in that period I have not been too busy with collage or mixed media art. I have been marking time with the one challenge swap which I run on PDA for Kim Newberg. For this challenge I usually create two cards - not sure why, but it has become traditional - so there it is.

I last published any craft work last February and this means I have between 10 and 12 ATC's which I have not posted on the blog. I will have to catch up slowly. For a number of reasons I am finding that collage is taking a back seat at the moment. I am doing more painting, see Painting with John and learning to play the ukelele, results on You Tube via Guitar Bashin'.

I have also been busy writing poetry, if you are still with me then try Poems and Poetry on Life on which I publish my poems and try to explain away the reasons for their concepetion.

Last of all, I have really developed a fondness for photography and the manipulation of the photographs, I have a great deal of fun with this (Photography for Fun) and so you can probably begin to understand why I find time a very difficult problem when I have to divide my FREE time between these interests. Oh yes, I also love to read and get through a number of novels every month.

But those ATC's, what have I been doing? Here is a quick attempt to catch up with challenges from March and April.

Two matching "Irish ATC's" on the theme of Spring

The next theme was to use the alphabet or text,. this produced the following two cards

Duriing this period I have been almost exclusivly using collage with perhaps a little more than paper on occasion for a little change, but only a little. I need to start creating some more cards with the array of techniques that I used for challenges when I was actively trading in groups and creating several every week. I look forward to having mmore free time and getting back to playing around with these techniques. Maybe I should set a them based on some of these techniques rather than subjects. I will think about it.

OK that's all for this post. I hope i will be posting regularly again and keeping you abreast of my crafting/art. I will also be finding more to say than just presenting my newest works.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

PDA atc challenge, theme = valentine

Well it is February, and February in the crafting community (largely female) February seems to mean Valetines day. So taking this as the theme for this months ATC challenge, here I go:-

Two very similar but very different ATC's. Simple collage using one main image on a complementary background with a few well-chosen words to add meaning to the theme.

I am still not able to do more than paper-crafting because my geat/stash is all packed away due to the upheavals of last year. I will however be starting to sort out a more artistic approach (do I mean that?) during the next few months and hope to be creating far more adventurous items.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

PDA ATC challenge, theme = obsession

I don't know wether this theme was too "hard" for the usual participants, it certainly caused me a few false starts. Of course it may just have been that it was run over the christmas and imediate post-christmas period.

I decided to play it in a humerous way, after at least a couple of those false starts. I had looked up the technical terms for various manias, which my dictionary suggested I look up when I flipped thru the listing to find "obsession". Bibliomania was one of the first I tried but in the end I decided that that way forward just wasn't for me.

A search through my "stash" of photos/images led me to come up with the following ATC's:-

The first was titled, "She was an angel .... but she took so long deciding which shoes to wear." 

The second card was titled, "She was determined to kick the habit"

Both are simple collages, as I am still having a few issues accessing my craft supplies. Most still boxed up and packed away. I am missing some of my stuff which enabled the extra touches to my ATC's. Just hoping to sort out things as soon as possible. Still in the meantime, collage without the mixed media aspect will have to suffice.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Collaged Row Houses and 365 journaling prompts

Do you remember my attempts at Little row houses?

Well these are a few of them. But I have written a Squidoo lens about using this idea as a project for kids during rainy days and holidays. A bit of card and a magazine or two, and simply answering the question who lives here. A wonderful art project to get them thinking and using their creativity. Or maybe you want to check it out for yourselves, be my guest.

Collage Project For Kids, Little Row Houses

SECONDLY FOR TODAY:- Do you have problems with new ideas to keep up a flow of craft ideas for your projects. Then you need this free e-book,

to be found at Cynthia's Blog, but be warned it is 15.6 MB so you will need broadband. It is well worth the effort and I know I shall be using this often.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Collaged art on I-phone 5 cases

Mmmm, I was going to post a couple of things from my new Red Bubble account. I have added two designs from collaged atc's to products. In fact i-phone 5 cases (also available on others). I have posted these on here before a little while ago but I think it is worth illustrating the designs again as there are subtle differences, especially in the second. I have digitally copied and pasted the text several times to make it more relevant to the product.

I haven't yet got the hang of the finer points of Red bubble but this is what they look like on the products.

See them on the Red Bubble site they are £20.60 if you are interested. I find the combination of new technology and an old and low tech art form quite interesting. I am going to rifle my old images of ATC's and ACEO's to create a whole slew of these things. Of course, it involves a little work but all in the hunt for a passive income when I retire; ha-ha, what a laugh. I spend more time on the PC than I used to spend when I worked full time. At least I had the evenings free.

I woiuld love to know what you think about the combination of rough 'n' ready and high tech.

Monday, 14 January 2013

A quick interim post - mixed media work

Christmas has been a very busy period and I have found little time for art work of any kind but I have been reviewiing some of my older work and hoping for inspiration.

I have also been posting mixed media work on Redgage, a great site which pays for your content by number of views, There is a great social side to this site and one can earn a little extra by sharing photos of anything, blogs and links to the web. Why not take a look, it is not a get-rich-quick scheme but can add up. I have seen members with $4.5K total after 4 years. Not bad for an internet, passive income stream.