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!


  1. What is the ATC? Is that local to San Antonio or more far ranging? I found your post interesting and would like to learn more about the Artist Trading card thing. Thanks.

  2. Hello! Sorry I haven't answered before now. ATC's (Artist's Trading Cards) are the baseball trading cards of the art world. They're the same size as trading cards (2.5" by 3.5") and are traded or given away, never sold. They can be whatever kind of art the artist wishes to create. There is a group in San Antonio, meeting monthly at Stamp Antonio. There are two themes per month and members of the group sign up at one meeting for the swap they wish to participate in the following month. It's fun!