Wednesday, May 8, 2013

4” x 4” Mixed Media Digital Collages

 Themes for art trades are a double-edged sword—they can spark creativity or they can squelch it. For me, they are often too narrow and specific and make me feel boxed in. When the idea of doing 4” square art pieces with no theme was posted to heARTist Trading, I felt like I had been released from the box. I toyed with the ideas of needle-felting, “scrappy” fabric, watercolor, collage and even a small paper doll sized to fit a 4” square. At the moment, I have some serious space and time constraints, and my sewing machine is packed up, so I decided to go with my latest loves—layering vintage photos in Photoshop and combining the Photoshop work with stamping, stenciling, chalk, inks and/or colored pencil.
Thanks to the abundance of Graphics Fairy free digital vintage images available, I had a great time puttering and tweaking in Photoshop, trying out different layers, brushes and filters. For “Helen” (otherwise known as my mother) I used a pink mum, decoratively scrolled sheet music, an aged promissory note, and a photo booth snapshot of Helen from the 1940s. After laser printing my Photoshop creation on cardstock, I applied an assortment of stamps with white printmaking ink, and then aged it with Ranger Distress ink and spots of chalk for color accent.

The second piece, “Soap,” shows my love of vintage typography and romantic flowers. I layered both sides of an advertising card (one side with a rose and the other with the typography) in Photoshop and laser printed the finished work on cardstock. I was particularly drawn to the advertising card because the soap manufacturer was in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, where, in the 1980s, I spend many hours as a textile print stylist “striking-off” new designs for Leon B. Rosenblatt Textiles.
I used white paint on a variety of stamps—among them two of my favorite: a paisley and a fish—purchased at a Tibetan store in New York’s East Village. After the paint dried, I aged it with a brown liquid chalk ink and Ranger Distress ink. The finishing touch was a strip of my favorite sheer lace from M and J Trim.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Winged Children ATCs for The Trodden Path

Well, I joined a new cyber art group. It was kind of accidental…an artist I know posted a photo of friend’s work to Facebook, which led me to The Trodden Path. Mostly it is a place to share and learn by taking classes, but it is also social. They recently had an ATC trade called “Winged Children.” I couldn’t resist that. I gathered up my old photos, paper scraps, paints, markers and file of Graphics Fairy and got to work.

The top one is a Graphic Fairy angel.
I changed the face in Photoshop, printed it, cut it out, added color and paint and glued it to a background made from recycled teabags that were stamped and painted. The middle card has Graphic Fairy butterfly wings, the stamped background, and words I try to live by: Love what you do; do what you love. Any guess as to who the little blonde-headed girl is?

The bottom card uses yet more Graphic Fairy images for the wings and little girl. I added color to the wings, cut my own dress out of one of my fabric designs and added an OM stamp.