Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Before last weekend's total collage immersion, I was working slowly and steadily on two different round robin books.

Carroll's book is a spiral-bound weekly planner from 1976.
The original owner kept incredibly detailed notes about her life, and the pages are covered in her handwriting.
On the page below, she had written an appointment with Dr. Southall, then circled it and written "no!" next to it.  I adapted my page around that.

I didn't do much to this next page other than glue down and old library pocket and slip an ATC inside. I'm the fourth person to work in this book.  Gina is the last stop before it goes back home to Carroll.  I'm pretty sure we've all agreed to give the books another go around the circle since we all have plenty of blank pages and spaces left for additions.


The book is a collaborative effort, where we are encouraged to add to each other's pages.  The page below came to me with the yellow paint.  I added the architectural image transfer.  It's nothing close to a "finished" page.  It will be fun to see what others add.

This rather busy two-page spread is all me.  If these were postcards I'd consider them done and mail them off, but one of my talented friends might see a way to take this to a whole new level.

 Talk about minimalist...
This page came to me with the two scraps of painted paper.  I added the big letters. (and cracked myself up.)

OH, and speaking of cracking myself up...
The voice balloon says "I don't know if you're my role model, per se, but I have long wanted to be a member of the pants-wearing elite."

 Carroll drew this marvelous bunny, and left an inviting smear of blue on the opposite page.  All I did was add the invitation to come out an play.

Another minimal contribution from me - all I added was the voice balloon.  (many thanks to Max for sacrificing some old comic books.)
"Why'd you bring me to this boring, stinky old swamp?"

Then there's this hot mess.  There was a some purple and white on the pages when I started, and it seems everything I added made it worse.  The one thing I like about this spread is that the dark squiggly lines are done on a transparency that has been taped into the book as a separate page.  (see the tiny polka dots on the right side of the spine?  it's a wash-tape hinge.)  this way the transparency flips back and forth and you can incorporate the lines into either page.

Finally, I got to use four different elements that have been hanging around my collage folder for ages.

At the same time I was working on Carroll's book, I was also working on Amy's book for my other round robin.  The disadvantage of working in books is that you have to leave them open to dry so you can't start working on another page right away.  It was nice to have two books going at once so that I could work in one while the other was drying.  I didn't do as much in Amy's book because it's smaller and fuller and I wanted to make sure there were plenty of pages for the remaining two artists to work on.

My typical silliness was in high-gear for these pages.

Peggy left a comment recently asking for more info regarding altered books, because she's considering doing a round robin of her own.
I'll be back soon with some more thoughts, links and pictures.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Got my groove back

You know that huge list of bookmarks you've got stored on your computer?  All those links to tutorials and inspiring techniques that you'll "try someday"? The list that is way easier to add to than to go back and use?
Of course you know that list.
We all have that list.

Last week, I actually picked something on my list, watched all sixteen videos on the tutorial page, and then (lo and behold) sat down to do some work!

And just like that, I seemed to have snapped out of my months-long art funk.  I devoted most of my weekend to art, and came away with 20 collages over a 3 day period.

And maybe, just maybe, this will also get me out of my blogging funk since I have such a back-log of things to share.

Today I share this.
Inspired by the fabulous collage art of Laura Lein-Svencer and the techniques she generously shares on her tutorials page.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Book in progress

After an extremely busy back-to-school period at work, I finally found some time and energy for art.

You may recall I'm participating in two different collaborative art journal round-robins. I've had Mandy's book for a month, and was supposed to mail it out by September 1st,  but I just couldn't get out of my own way.
Finally, here it is, a week late.

Since this is a collaborative project, some of these pages are things I'd consider invitations for my partners to work on.  Other pages were already started when I received the book, and I added to them.  Mandy chose a 1962 math text book as her journal.  You can see equations in the background on most of these pages.

This first one arrived with a painted background and random reptile limb.  I added the vacuum cleaner.

Here's a page I started from scratch. The face is "found art" from my blotter paper that I cut out and glued here.
How well can you compute?

Lynn made the background on this one:

A strange invitation for Gina or Carroll to alter.

A simple scrap collage.  I suppose it could stand on its own, but additional elements are welcomed and encouraged in this group.

 Cracking myself up with this one:
(the text says "do not bother with names")

The more I look at this one, the more I like it.

I already have Carroll's journal in my possession, with three weeks to work in it.  I feel like the past few days with Mandy's book has built a momentum - perhaps Carroll's will go out in the mail early!
(those of you who know me, can all stop laughing now.)

I don't think I ever posted the work I did in Lynn's book back in July.  I'll save that for another day.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Every day but the 4th of July

And so another year of ICAD draws to a close.
I remembered to make art 60 of the 61 days, (curse you national holiday for throwing me off my game!) and ended with a stack of 86 cards.

Here are the last of them for your viewing pleasure....

These two were "oh crap, I'm so busy packing for vacation I almost forgot to make art" cards.
Thankful, yet again, for the stack of gelli-printed index cards on my table.


The first of the vacation cards came after a full day of packing, driving, unpacking, grocery shopping, and hugging family members as they arrived in shifts.  It also used the last of my pre-painted index cards.

Monday's was a quick scrap-bag collage sandwiched between swimming, card games, jigsaw puzzles and trashy novels.

These next four are part of the great "UVA" experiment. (My niece is headed off to the University of Virginia in a few weeks and is commissioning a piece of art for a customized iPhone case that will look "UVA-ish")  I pulled out the gelli plate and paints and stamps and such and had an extended art session experimenting with appropriate shades of blue and orange.
7-29-14 (1)

7-29-14 (2)

7-29-14 (3)

7-29-14 (4)

 Those experiments will continue, but in the meantime I was happy to return to my usual palette on Wednesday:

Last night's card resorted to the quick scrap collage once more, as all nine of us were sitting down to watch "Tim's Vermeer" and I might have been voted off the island if I'd kept up the snipping, rustling and crinkling.  
(The movie was wonderful and fascinating and I highly recommend it)
My hope, now that ICAD is over, is that I will use my remaining 9 days of vacation to make and send some mail art to the dozens of people on my "respond" list.
Perhaps I can find a few minutes in between the pie-eating and nap-taking.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

This week's theme? Too hot for art.

Well, not literally too hot for art since I still managed to make an index card every day, but the last several days have been uncomfortably hot and sticky in my studio, and my cards reflect it.
Four of the seven cards were made on pre-printed backgrounds. Most relied heavily on the scrap basket.
The annual ICAD challenge completely validates my compulsive saving of every pretty little scrap.
It's also put me in the habit of wiping (scraping, rolling, printing) all leftover blobs of paint onto index cards, because you never know when it will come in handy. Without these strategies, I would probably give up on the challenge in the first week every year.

Here are my cards from the past few days.
This one features a gelli printed background (bonus prints from a session of envelope-printing last weekend), a scrap of text, and some scribbles with a pen.

This next one was made around 12:30 AM, after a 5 1/2 hour reading session, in which I finally f-ing finished the last 250 pages of "The Goldfinch" just in the nick of time for book group. I was bleary eyed, and a little resentful.

Tuesday brought another gelli printed postcard, with stickers from Gina, and a cool stamp cut from an envelope that had gotten wet in the mail, and made the ink all smudgy. For the text, I grabbed a large-print book, closed my eyes, opened a page at random and pointed my figure to the page.  When I opened my eyes I was pointing to the word "good."
7-22-14 (1)
 And since I had out my box of random stickers, I decided to make a whole index card using only stickers from Gina.  (Thanks, G!)
7-22-14 (2)

Yesterday was the worst of the heat.  I took the scrap basket down to the air conditioned living room and pushed bits of paper around in ways that pleased me, then glue-sticked them into place.  (or would that be glue-stuck?)
7-23-14 (1)

7-23-14 (2)

Tonight:  another gelli-printed background and some stamped tissue paper from my stash.  Done in 2 minutes.
Two more days until I am lakeside in Maine.
I expect it will be cooler there.
It will definitely be more relaxed.
I wonder how much of the car will be taken up with art supplies this year?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

This time I meant it

Unlike my purple, red, black and white string of index cards, this latest group of cards was intentionally developed as a series.

I'm hosting an "asemic writing" postcard swap and it inspired me to practice this form of wordless writing on a bunch of blank index cards and transparency scraps.  Those practice pieces have shaped my ICAD compositions for the last few days.  Each day built upon the previous day's work.

Here's the whole bunch.  I made 7 cards over 4 days.

7-16-14 (#1)

7-16-14 (#2)

7-17-14 (#1)

7-17-14 (#2)

7-18-14 (#1)

7-18-14 (#2)

Perhaps there will be more.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

of fish, birds, circles and scraps...

Faced with a clean desk and an absence of red & purple, I sat down to make Saturday's index card and had zero ideas.

There was some random smearing of paint and half-hearted stamping of circles, but then the littlest circles started looking like bubbles, and I went scurrying off for suitable imagery.  Mandy is right, everything does look better with a fish on it.


This one started out as the card where I 'd removed the extra paint from my circle stamps the day before.   I pulled out some markers and colored in all the little intersecting spaces.  It pleases me more than I thought it would. 

A corollary to the above fish theory involves birds...

Thank goodness for a well-stocked scrap basket.  I got home late last night from an evening of art, wine and conversation and nearly forgot to make my card.
A pre-painted background and some pleasing scraps had me done and in bed within 5 minutes.
It's been really hot and sticky in the art room, and if not for ICAD I probably wouldn't be in there at all.  As always, I am eternally grateful to Tammy for leading this challenge every summer and fueling my creativity in all kinds of weather.