Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Prehistoric Cave Hunters ATC


Sticks and Stones—that was an interesting prompt for our April heARTist Trading ATC exchange. http://heartisttradingcards.blogspot.com/ I really had to put on my thinking cap. I googled internet images for all kinds of things made of stick or stone, mulling over crystals, all kinds of wooden items and even puttered with photos of the bands Styx and the Rolling Stones.

Then I remembered an old textile design I had painted with gouache on oatmeal paper. It had hunters and cattle, and was done in a style reminiscent of ancient cave drawings. I googled more images and reignited my love of cave paintings, so I decided to use the old design as my starting point.
I covered watercolor paper with recycled tea bags, and then printed ATC sized images from my inkjet printer onto the 8.5x11 paper. The texture was pretty good, but the tea bags absorbed a lot of color making the image less distinct and the color more muted. So, I punched it up by using one of my hand-carved stamps with Tim Holtz distress ink in olive and sepia. Better, but not great.
Next, I pounced gold acrylic onto them randomly with a round, flat top stenciling paintbrush, which helped give it some magic and mystery. It was still a little blah, so I tried adding color with markers, mostly because I was too lazy to pull out my paint! The markers absorbed into the teabag in some places, but not in others. I added some dark brown Portfolio water soluble oil pastels, and then finished the cards with white Portfolio water soluble oil pastel to make the colors pop as well as add depth and contrast. The sides were dipped in gold acrylic paint.
For comparison, here is the fabric I output from my inkjet printer directly onto cotton that shows the color and texture of the original design.

Monday, April 8, 2013

1940s Inspired Mother Tribute ATC

Flowers speak to me, and so do vintage photos, especially portraits. Typography, beautiful handwriting, and painterly techniques also call my name. So, what could be better than trying to combine these elements?
I started with three images—a vintage photo of my mother, one of those old photobooth pictures, that was taken when she was probably in her mid-twenties in the early 1940s; a giant flower head; and some antique handwriting, both from The Graphics Fairy. http://graphicsfairy.blogspot.com/
I combined them in Photoshop, and puttered around until I had an arrangement I liked. I made the flower oversized because that is what was popular in her day, and flipped it upside down for fun. I added a little soft color to my mother’s cheeks and eyes to give the effect of an antique hand-colored photo.

I liked the effect, so I printed it (sized down to fit a 2.5” x 3.5” ATC) out of a color laser printer onto white cardstock. I was able to fit 8 of the images onto my paper. Somehow, the design—although it was pretty—didn’t seem to have my personal touch, so I decided to try adding a little lacey white texture using white printmaking paint with a variety of stamps.
I tried about 10 different stamps so each ATC looks a little different. I laid trading paper over the face and, after drawing the outline, cut around it so and laid the cutout over the face during the printing to mask it out and prevent the face from getting white paint on it.
Adding the white paint over the flower enhanced the 1940s feeling, which was appropriate since that is when the photo was taken. To finish each card, I added Tim Holtz Distress Ink in crushed olive to the edges and smudged a little here and there on the ATCs to give them an aged look.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hocus Pocus ATCs: Maltese in a Hat

The Roses On My Table http://rosesonmytable.ning.com/ latest ATC trade had a theme called Hocus Pocus. Naturally I thought of a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat—but wait—what about pulling a Maltese out of a hat? And what better little doggie than my own wee boy, Coco? I mixed him up in a Photoshop collage with some Graphics Fairy vintage images that seemed magical: butterflies, insects and a moon, then added some beaded fringe, faux gems and gold edges. The background is my own painting, an image of my Favorite Abstract Modern Painters ATCs before I cut them down to ATC size. http://lindaedkinswyatt.blogspot.com/2012/02/favorite-abstract-modern-painters.html