Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Latest Artist Trading Card (ATC) Series: Dare to...

Gosh. It is the last day of August, almost the last hour, and this is only my second post. Lucky for me tho' -- I have spent LOTS of time in the studio this summer month!

Every month I make a series of ATCs to mail to my mother, Jeanette, for a ATC swap. She got hooked making ATCs about the same time I did, in August 2009 (that is another good story/post). The thing about getting hooked is once you make so many cards, you have to do something with them. Hence, Jeanette started a monthly ATC swap via the mail. The way it currently works is: the participants each send six ATCs to her; she sorts them into seven bundles so the participants each get six cards from six different artists; and, then she mails them back to us. WHAT FUN! And - it gets us making new cards every month.

This month I created a series of nine ATCs entitled "Dare to. . . ". which featured an old photograph of a woman which I hand-tinted. Ahhh - it was so much fun! I went to an antique paper show in San Francisco earlier in the month and bought many old, sepia colored photographs of people for about $1 a piece. For this series, I chose nine different women's photo, scanned them, reduced them and printed them on my laser printer. Then I cut them out, chose a 7gypsies® background paper to paste them on, hand-tinted them with watercolor and Derwent Inktense pencils. Then I rounded the corners, mounted that piece onto a backing paper from Soul Expression's vast selection of precut ATC paper, and inked the edges with Tim Holtz's Distress Ink. I then typed on my old antique Underwood typewriter a word (which completes the phrase "I Dare . . .) on vellum paper & pasted the word onto the ATC. And, for the final touch, I used a gel metallic pen to accent some of the card images. Below are some of the cards.

I like how the words typed on the vellum appear faded and don't stand out too much; especially on some of the others. "Vintage Photo" is my favorite Distress Ink which I applied on the edges with cosmetic sponges that I buy at the local dollar store.

I tried not to get too carried away with using the metallic gel pens  (Sakura Gel Pens are my favorite).  I drew with watercolor pencils and by taking a slightly wet brush to the colors, I was able to get the color density I wanted. The quality laser paper which I printed on was very tolerant of wiping and getting wet (a few times).

This is probably the oldest photo I found. Gosh!isn't it great! 

Cutting small objects are tricky with either an exacto knife or small scissors. Yet I think more detailed cutting makes for a more interesting image.            

Derwent  Inktense pencils are like watercolor pencils - yet they are much brighter and when dry are no longer watersoluble. Notice how bright the yellow cloth is with an Inktense pencil.

ATCs are great fun
and great for experimenting with different materials to discover their unique qualities.
I dare you . . .

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

About Artist Trading Cards (ATC)

Artist Trading Cards (ATC) are miniature pieces of art measuring 3 ½ by 2 ½ inches. They are a growing movement all over the world which started in Europe in 1997. They simply are what their name implies: cards which artists made and trade. These ATCs reflect the artist’s individual creative work and are traded with other artists. In complying with the original intent of ATCs, they are NOT sold by the artist – they are traded for another artist’s work.

"The March wind is calling" by Carol

"Spring" by Jeanette

Absolutely anything goes!!! In my collection, I have cards made with fabric, sequins, watercolor pencils, copper foil, acrylics, pastels, stickers, buttons, toothpicks, tags, brads, tissue paper, eyelets, postage stamps, rubber stamping, acrylic ink, crayons, photographs, dried flowers, book pages, paper towels, fuzzy dingley-things, sandwich wrappers, beads, ribbon, glitterm, thread, colored pencils, markers, die-cuts, origami paper, rub-ons, jewelry do-dads, tin cans, and more. . .
by Carol   

"Cherries" by Jeanette

I have a bias for the card being able to fit into clear or plastic sleeve made for 2 ½ x 3 ½ inch trading cards; not too thick or oversized with trinkets. Also I prefer my cards to be sturdy, not flimsy. As a collage-artist, I am aware how easily paper can warp and curl without the proper substrate. So since I prefer a sturdy card, love paper and color, and want durable substrates, I have created an entire line of ATC papers for sale by Soul ExpressionTM. But – more on these products later in another post.

by Carol
ATCs are great maquettes or “samples” for larger art projects. I experiment with different and new combinations of mediums, techniques, materials, or methods on ATCs before I commit myself to a larger canvas. Since the size of an ATC is pretty small, there is great satisfaction in finishing a piece of art in a short amount of time. Though, I have spent weeks working on a series of 20 or 30 of these little things refining or getting lost in the process. In essence though, the “soul” purpose of ATCs are for fun. And, they make for great greeting card-gifts too.
by Jeanette

The first time I ever heard of ATCs was in 2008 at a SoulCollage® Facilitator’s Workshop. At that time, basically the only information I could find on the internet was posted by Europeans, some Canadians and Strathmore® paper. If you search the web now, there is an abundance of examples and information. Examples of my ATCs are at: donnalynn's ATC gallery and my May 31, 2011 blog post. 

by Carol
The featured ATCs were made by my mother, Jeanette, and her best friend, Carol. Neither were very enthusiastic about ATCs at first. Both of them had plenty of art & craft materials (in fact, too much) and didn’t want to start another “thing”. Then they discovered they could use all their existing materials and tools – now they are hooked!

by Jeanette