Monday, January 30, 2012

Art x 4: Red ATCs

One day a few months ago I was home sick in bed, so I decided to entertain myself by drawing. I drew some ATC sized boxes and started doodling. In my day job, I am a writer and graphic artist, so naturally I love letters, fonts and design. So, I played with the word ART. One of the designs I came up with was the start of this card for my ATC group Arts in the Cards.

I scanned the design, tweaked it in photoshop, made it a nice cherry red, and did a positive/negative, then flipped them around so there would be a mirror effect. I added some solid orange and pink accent. I am also a textile designer, so I couldn't resist adding a scaled down version of a pink monoprint that is one of my fabric designs [available on spoonflower, listed under edzellinni]. The orange design under the red letters is from my lunchtime mandala group, a series of circular stream-of-consciousness doodles that I did a couple years ago. The original design of my swirly, doodly word ART is visible in the top left corner of the card.

We have also started, thanks to Marie Z. Johansen, a spinoff of the group. We will be doing 8.5" x 11" art quilts related to the ATCs every other month. I am doing a variation on this design for my first art quilt for the new group.

Be on the lookout for our new projects at:

Sunday, January 29, 2012

MADD About Annie

My sister-in-law commissioned me to do this 8" x 11" art quilt of her daughter, Annie. She gave me a tiny photo, about 2" x 3" to work from. I scanned the photo, played with the color in photoshop, adjusting the lights and darks and adding a sepia tone, then output it on Avery printable cotton.

I knew it needed some soft lace at the edges, but didn't have anything on hand that was quite right. I love lace, but the wrong one can be either tacky or garish, and cheapen a piece. The right one can be magic. So, I paid a visit to M&J Trim after work to see what they might have. I hadn't been in the store in a few years--I remembered that it was wonderful, but had forgotten just how wonderful. I nearly cried when I saw the incredible trims and laces in there, one more beautiful than the next. I bought 4 or 5 and took them home to try out. I also got little rosettes for the corners. Possibly schmaltzy, but still--so sweet.

I was a little afraid of the actual quilting. I am not a super skillful quilter, and don't have a high-tech machine. So, I pretty much left the face alone and accentuated the dress and curtains with stitch. I added chalk pastels and watercolor pencils to enhance some of the details and set it with fixative.

So why am I MADD about Annie? Well, she was killed by a drunk driver in 1993, just after her 12th birthday. She was on her way to a small birthday celebration with a couple of good friends when the drunk driver blew through a red light. My brother and sister-in-law worked to get the laws changed in Maryland to get stiffer punishment for drunk drivers. Not much has changed. The driver only served a few months in jail, and Annie's remaining family is sentenced to a lifetime of sadness and loss.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Steampunk Paper Dolls

I can't believe how happy I am puttering with paper dolls. I did love them as a kid, so its not a huge surprise. But I really didn't realize that making art paperdolls would combine the art therapy of collage with my inner fashion designer wannabe and my love of drawing crazy faces.

Here is what I did for the Roses On My Table group's January exchange with a theme of Steampunk. The one on the top right is the face from my piece "Broken Chakra Girl." She has gone all sci-fi punk, cut her hair and is living on the edge. The one on the bottom with a large head and square eye is a face I doodled one day when a very old friend of my husband's called from Australia. The woman, who I have never met and is a psychic, talked on and on and on. When she hung up, this is the face that emerged.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Photoshop Addiction

I had three art exchanges in January, and I used Photoshop for all of them. I must be least it has no calories, and really doesn't cost anything once you buy the program.

For Roses On My Table's January ATCs, the theme was "Cowboy's Sweetheart" so I chose my personal favorite, Miss Kitty from Gunsmoke (Amanda Blake). I used a vintage TV guide cover and took out the background leaving only Kitty. Next, I manipulated the Kitty image, adding a photoshop image filter to make it more graphic, and making the color more in the purple family. I then mixed it up with some Graphics Fairy vintage clipart textures in the backgroud and a cowboy silhouette. I used chalk pastels to enhance and accent the card after it was printed.

There is a new group on Roses, a postcard exchange group. With the theme of Valentine's Day, I went romantic with some Graphics Fairy vintage clipart of teacups, roses and French vintage advertising graphics.

The Roses Tag trade had a crazy theme..."I see London, I see France" so I again used Graphics Fairy images of English tea and roses and French chocolate and advertising written in French.

Last, but certainly not least, were the ATCS for Arts in the Cards, my own ATC trade group, that is celebrating its 2 year anniversary. Our theme was, naturally, TWO, so I chose my two hands. I traced my hand on paper, then filled in the hand shape with a turquoise doodle and used a deep purple for the background. I scanned the design, reduced it in Photoshop, duplicated and flipped, the arranged the hands to be on top of each other.