Inspired by…artist trading cards

My December ATC’s are finished and in the mail. With the busy holiday season there were many moments of  concern as to whether they would be finished in time. They were…just barely.

mountain, acrylic painting, artist trading cards, atc's

jasmine, acrylic painting, artist trading cards, atc's

acrylic painting, artist trading cards, atc's

They are very…blue. Blue seems to be popping up a lot in my work these days. Not sure why?

I have to admit I had a bit of a hard time departing with my mountain scene. I am thinking  hoping if I did it once, I can do it again.

My  approach with these cards was  to paint a 9 1/2″ by 11 1/2 piece of paper in all shades of blue combined with different marks and textures. I then cut out a small frame 3 1/2″ by 5 1/2 ‘ (ATC size) and used it as a view finder to pick out smaller sections that intrigued me within the larger piece of paper.

atc, artist trading card, abstract, acrylic

ATC size view finder

Paper for February ATC’s….can you guess the theme? I feel like I am back in grade school making Valentines for all of my favorite friends.

atc, artist trading cards, abstract

I am really enjoying this process. I picked it up from Nathalie Kalbach’s Creative Jumpstart. A month-long program (free!)  showcasing different artists all giving their advice on how to jump-start your creativity. A little video each day with tidbits of information and advice on how they kickstart their creativity…such a nice way to start the morning.  Will miss it in February. If you are interested I bet you can still sign up….

Dina Wakely taught us about creative calisthenics – painting, making marks,no rhyme, no reason, no care of the outcome – freestyling art.

It works! It always boils down to just starting.

Before I paint now, I mix a few colors I would not normally use, grab a piece of watercolor paper and go for it. I have ended up with some really beautiful pages all ready now for ATC’s , a little art journaling or possibly some mixed media for another painting.

Have a great week!


Inspired by…my local paint store

I feel like I just won the lottery.

I just dropped by my favorite local Benjamin Moore.I needed to pick up some paint chips to help choose colors to paint my husbands new office. In passing  I decided to ask them if they had any discontinued wallpaper books. I like to pick them up every once in a while for the kid’s classroom art projects.

Wink Wink..

..who is kidding who…they  are for me! Well, I do share them with the kids. I just get first pick.

Anyhow today the girl pulled out  a huge box. My eyes grew large and my heart started racing. You know that feeling you get when you walk into a large art supply store or an art studio? It felt like Christmas all over again.

All thoughts of painting my husbands office flew out the window….

Not only were there a few wallpaper books ,but swatch upon swatch  of beautiful, deep, richly colored fabric. Beautifully patterned fabric. Suede and leather too..

Fabric swatches...large and small

Swoooonnnnn. I have been sewing a lot of paper lately, but no fabric.

wallpaper books

Page upon page of hand painted all colors!

wallpaper books, handpainted paper

Did I mention the inner sleeves of ATC size samples of handmade paper? Jackpot!

After a long inner battle…

No you are not sewing, remember your goal is to paint this year. ( but look at all this beautiful fabric, deep rich colors, how can you resist…and its free..) made a goal to finish the projects you have already started. ( but it will be going to the dump if I don’t rescue it. I thought I was supposed to be embracing my artistically afflicted ways) No… you are supposed to be engaging them in a structured way besides the poor children need it more than you. ( but maybe I could incorporate it into my art journals..mixed media right??) No….

I did take a few pieces and begrudgingly left behind the rest. I will report back to  the teacher that it is there. Lucky kids….

natural shades

Window shade samples in wood, reed and grass...what am I going to do with these?

Is this abnormal behaviour? I know if you are reading this that you are probably a little afflicted in your own way. Please tell me that it is so…. and while you are at it…please offer any suggestions as to what to do with this mother load?

A few things I have done in the past ~

handmade paper collage

Hand made paper collage

A large size collage of my hand-made paper collection. I was tired of it all sitting in a box. I have great plans for creating something on this …for now I call it my” log pile”. Another work in progress…

mix media~ paint chip, wall paper and scrapbook paper

I havent looked at this piece in a while. It was the first mixed media piece I made years ago. Funny as I was very limited in supplies so most of this also came from my favorite local paint store…again!

Look around….there is lots of cool paper to be found.

Old envelopes, postcards, old books, dictionaries, music sheets, wallpaper, magazines, paper bags,ticket stubs,wrapping paper, drafting paper,maps, old artwork…..

envelopes, mix media

....inner sleeve of envelopes..

chocolate bar wrappers, mix media

... candy wrappers..

I think I must do a separate post all about found papers….so much to tell. Keep an eye out for it next week!

Until then…

I have to go and find a hiding space for all of this. My husband has forbidden any more wallpaper books in the front hall closet…

P.S. left the store without any paint chips…when in doubt go with “cloud white”

Inspired by…artist trading cards

Artist trading cards…little treasures of original artwork. Fun to create and very fun to receive. I have written before about the how and why of artist trading cards before here.

I just received these two cards last week.Theme ~ Flying

artist trading cards, ATC
Lovely Liza of Liza Zeni ~ art, design and inspiration
Her beautiful, very unique, illustrative work definitely resonates with me.
artist trading cards, ATC
Kelly Hoernig ~ where nature meets creativity
Very talented mixed media artist. I love her creative use of materials. I can’t stop looking at the card she created for me..and it can’t stop looking at me…

I have them propped up on my window sill. Every once in a while I catch a glimpse of them and I cant help but smile. I love them.

There is something very special about receiving a little piece of artwork from someone you have only connected with on the internet. I read their blogs and follow their creative journey. Now..I have a little piece of them.

That is special.

I also have to admit that it is ,oh ,so nice to receive actual handwritten mail.My children were very envious.

These are the two cards I created for the swap.

artist trading card, atc's , kelly rae roberts

artist trading cards, ATC, kelly rae roberts

All of this giving and the wonderful feeling it generates has inspired me to play more! I have just signed on with my Kelly Rae Roberts Flying group to participate in a monthly ATC card swap. You can check out their cards here on Flickr. Our theme for this month ~ Dreams and Wishes

My current dilemma is how to display them so that I ,and others visiting, can enjoy. Everyone seems to loves these small works of art.

artist trading cards, ATC One idea is to store them in these trading card folders. This one I commandeered from my sons Pokemon collection. Supposedly these folders can be picked up at any toy store. A bit too plastic for my liking. I think they deserve something a bit more for their presence. Great for storing though.

artist trading cards, ATC's

Another idea I had for them was to display them like any artwork. You could base it on theme or color. I just placed these in randomly, but I am liking the idea. As I write I am also thinking it would be interesting to frame just one with a big mat. That could make quite a statement.

Oh, just thought of something I saw on Pinterest. Off to find it..

After: Handmade Photo Frame

So far, this is my favorite! I think I would use smaller clips though. I believe I have seen really small clothes pegs at Michaels
Handmade photo frame (with the how-to) courtesy of Talia Christine

Would love to hear of any other ideas that may be floating around out there. If you have a link, please include it! Thanks!

Christmas Carol Singers at our doorstop. A yearly tradition around here that I love!

6 more days!

We wish you a merry christmas..we wish..

Inspired by…artist trading cards

Blogtoberfest ~ day 4

Did you ever collect bubble gum cards, baseball or hockey cards? Do you love art, maybe think about collecting it? If so,I think artist trading cards may be for you.

I am inspired by  little artist trading cards, also commonly referred to as ATC’s. These tiny pieces of artwork, 2.5″ by 3.5″ , are a perfect support for exploring new ideas and different techniques. They can be created with any media/ medium. Paint, collage,stamping illustration, scrappy….anything goes! Except the size. They have to be 2.5″ by 3.5 ”

It gets even more fun..there is a huge population of people out there who want to trade, swap or even buy your cards.

Below are a few of my favorites. I am not very good at trading..I have a hard time parting with them…

The best site I have found to date for collecting and trading is ATCs for all. They also have a wonderful community and forum. There is always a different themed swap going on..

Art trader magazine is an e-zine devoted entirely to ATC’s, altered books, journals, inchies..Lots of great info here including art workshops, how to articles and contests.

Flickr also has another good community for posting and swapping.

The process to create your first ATC is quite simple. When I was first introduced to the idea I had no access to art supplies. I searched the house (once again) and discovered that my son eats way too much cereal. We have cereal cardboard boxes everywhere.A perfect support for these little cards..

Here is everything you will need to create your trading card.

scissors, ruler, pencil,cereal box, old paintbrush, gesso

  • Grab a ruler, pencil and any cereal, granola or cookie box. It should be sturdy (and not a corrugated cardboard box!).
  • measure out 2.5″ by 3.5″ and mark it in pencil on your cereal box
  • cut out rectangle. You can now use this one as a template and cut many more (bottom right in image)
  • grab some gesso and gesso up one side. have fun..texturize..anything goes
  • wait to dry
This is your trading card + apply your art = artist trading card!
Some tidbits of information to consider
I have traded some ATC’s only to receive cards back created on 90-120 gr paper. While sturdy enough they do not give it that trading card kind of feel. I also like to glue another piece of “pretty ” paper on the back of the card when finished. I add my name, title of the piece and any particulars. I use a protective ,transparent cover to place the card in. These are sold at most dollar and art supply stores. I appreciate presentation and I think others do to. AND finally, blank trading cards can be purchased all primed and ready to go.. I know, I could have mentioned this earlier. (What would I have blogged about then:)

Some tidbits of inspiration for your ATC..

use collage..tissue paper, leftover paper scraps, stamps

use leftover paint…add some acrylic skins

try different texture, crackle,gel medium

add magazine cuttings, text, old book pages, maps

play with paint color combinations

try different, soft pastels,

cut up some of your old art-keep portion you like and glue to card

try something you have always wanted to try…small scale

Lots of fun, easy to prepare, inexpensive materials

small = no stress!

Feeling ready for the next step? If you feel your ATC’s are absolutely fantabulous, you can go to Illustrated ATC’s . This is an exclusive trading site. All potential members must submit a portfolio to be accepted. You should take a look..there are some fabulous little pieces of art.

I really do love these little gems.My snapshots in time.

In fact, I am thinking these are going to be my next business card…

If you know of any other sites or tips and tricks, please leave a comment. They are always very appreciated!

Thanks for stopping by.