Tuesday, November 2, 2010

New ATC's

Ah, it's ATC (Artist Trading Card) time in the ol' town tonight.  I squeaked these in under the wire.  What with the polymer clay shrines, working at the yarn shop, designing knitted stuff and everything else in my life, I put off making the cards until the weekend before the swap.  Oops!

Actually, I'm glad I did.  The themes this month were Flying Things and Steampunk.  This time, I thought they'd both be easy.  Wrong!  But... Last week I had a chance to attend a class taught by Susan Pickering Rothamel.  She used techniques and media that I've never worked with before and was, frankly, a little scared to try. When I got home, I wanted to practice the techniques before I had a chance to forget, but the two kittens decided to join us that evening and the studio had to wait. I had to work Saturday, but on Sunday, I took my courage firmly in hand and decided to tackle a technique I'd never tried before to produce seven Flying Things ATC's.  I've never been known for sense.

And here they are!

Leaves Fly, Too
 Each is a little different.  They're each based around a Japanese postage stamp with a bird (flying thing) on it. Because I love this time of year, I wanted to use fall themes and colors.  So...  I started with an acrylic underpainting in fall colors. I adhered the postage stamp to the middle of the card and a black-paper cutout of tree branches on top.  Then I adhered maple leaf motfs from paper napkins and overpainted them with acrylics. After the whole thing dried, I embellished the leaves with irridescent paints.  A coat of sealer and they were done!  Here is a detail of one of my favorites:

Leaves Fly, Too Detail
The Steampunk card should have been easy.  I have two kids who thoroughly understand Steampunk.  I did a memory book for my son that was totally Steampunk.  I get this concept.  And maybe I'm getting a little tired of it.  But a thought kept niggling at me.  How about a totally Steampunk card, complete with a mechanized view of life, with a little bit of color and nature and light?  So I took a stamp I dearly love, a woman made of clock faces, found two Steampunk backgrounds, and found a gorgeous butterfly from a Dover clipart book.  I stamped the woman onto a shaded, almost flesh-toned paper and embossed her in black to create a sharp, almost harsh image. I cut the image out and adhered it to a dark, paper printed with gears and all that Steampunk sort of stuff and then adhered the butterfly to the card.  I embellished the butterfly with irridescent paints and tiny crystals.  And here it is:
I have to say, I'm glad I did the swap.  The one thing about scheduled ATC swaps, it forces me to create art on a schedule.  Now that may seem kind of mechanized and soulless, but let's face it, if Pope Whichever hadn't kept on his case, Michelangelo probably would never have finished the Sistine Chapel!