Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Traci Bunker's 30 Days of Get Your Art On

I just decided to jump into Traci Bunker's "30 Days of Get Your Art On" challenge. To see more about this challenge that starts September 1st, please click on Traci's button on this blog. Traci is a multi-media and fiber artist who has written two books that I love: Print and Stamp Lab and The Art Journal Workshop. I've been neglecting my blogs (one about collage and art journals and this one) but I am going to to get back to it with Traci's 30 day as impetus. So, what are you waiting for...get your art on along with me!

30 Days of Get Your Art On

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Art History Trade "Ancient"

Ancient Greece Collage Cards

Greek images (Porch of the Maidens, The Arechtheum,
Acropolis, Athens),  Shrine stamp
(Stampers Anonymous), embossing, text: Picasa.

I've really enjoyed teaching Humanities and Art History classes and have found myself sketching images from each of the chapters we've studied.  So I found a group on yahoo that had been doing an Art History trade and even became the host.  Last month we did "Prehistoric", this month it's "Ancient".  I chose Ancient Greece.  I found images from the Porch of the Maidens, part of the Acropolis.  I got to looking at the maidens, holding up all that weight, and it made me think of all the things I support in my life and how heavy the weight feels at times. 

I've also been going through exercises in "The Creative Entrepreneur", by Lisa Sonora Beam, and was asked what I would like to stop doing that does not have Heart and Meaning, and does not align with my Gifts and Flow in life.  Of course I would like to drop vacuuming, washing dishes and doing the laundry, as well as working the jobs that pay the bills.  But those things support the functionality of my life.  I think I will stop teaching a couple courses that pay next to nothing and revision the topics into a more profitable form. 

I will also make steps to stop exhausting myself with worry and comparison with others whose lives look more rich and successful.  We all have our own karma and process and I have learned that other's lives often look shiny and perfect on the surface, but everyone has their own life tasks they are working on, and everyone suffers and has joy along the way.  I think I just need to stop supporting ways of thinking, things, people, businesses, that I don't believe in.  Something to think about and work on step by step.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

More Packing Tape Collage Art Cards

Acrylic paint, newspaper scraps, ripped
silver envelope, clear packing tape

"Tower Collage"
Artist card created acrylic paint, with clear packing
tape, newspaper clips, torn silver paper.

I think I will end up with a series of around 10 packing tape art cards. They pretty much have all been created using a newspaper section that featured a Colorado swim team. I loved the colors of the water and the pattern/texture of the edge of the pool and the red lap markers. Yellow ochre acrylic paint ended up being a nice starting point/contrast to the blue tones.

The first one, above, reminds me of clouds or fluttering bits of burning paper. The second looks like a sky scrapper. It somehow reminds me of one of the twin trade towers and that makes me a little sad to think of that part of US and World History.

No matter what this card series "means" I have fallen hard for this collage technique. I love the transparent layers and the shiny surfaces.

I talked about the fun and easy technique in the previous entry but to recap: just put clear packing tape over images and words for the Sunday newspaper. Rinse the paper side with warm water and peel or rub the paper off. The ink will adhere to the tape. The tape will remain sticky enough to stick down to your collage in process. I started with heavy cardstock coated with acrylic paint in a color that contrasted with the color of the ink I'd lifted. I also taped down scraps of color from the same pictures without washing off the paper.

You know I think I could make collages only using wonderful picture and image fodder from the local Newspaper for the next 20 years. Think I might try making some collages using the funnies this Sunday. Don't know why this is so yummy to me but it sure is.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Packing Tape Transfer

"Still Life with Rain and Swimmer"

Packing tape, patterned tape, magazine clips,
newspaper clips, metallic marker on chipboard.


Clear packing tape collage using packing tape
transfers and clear packing tape as an adhesive for layer build up.
Acrylic paint, newspaper, calendar and magazine images.

I've just started a new blog dedicated to the medium of collage.

See it at

The above collages are also an artist cards. This is such a fun and spontaneous technique. Instead of using liquid adhesive I used clear packing tape for image transfers and also to tape down scrapes and bits of texture to further the design.

The word "stay" was part of a dymo tape scrap laying on my art table. I really like the contrasting blue scraps with the orange background and the images that look like a window and a door. Can't wait to try this collage technique in a larger size.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"Pop Love", Phase One, Collaborative Collage 1

"Pop Love" Phase One
Packing tape transfer of images from the TV guide,
Valentine week. Tim Holtz scrapbook paper plus
unidentified Michael's scrapbook paper. Glue stick.

I am very excited to begin a Collaborative Collage process with my friends Lisa Kastello (Northern Illinois Art Educator and artist) and Mel Jones Bushner Kolstad (Wisconsin artist, crafter, creative blogger and teacher). I proposed the collaborative collage after Mel gave me the inspiration with a facebook link. Bought the illustration board, but then was not sure how to start. I often have a "too many ideas" problem and sometimes get overwhelmed. Easy Girl.

I had the TV guide from the Sunday paper lying on my craft table and was intrigued by an retro artsy picture of Katy Perry. I'm not usually a "pink" person but decided to start with a packing tape transfer of the image.
For those of you who haven't tried this technique--very fast and easy. Just choose an image or text (newspaper is great) and put clear packing tape over the part you want. Soak it in water, rub off the paper. The ink adheres to the tape, creating an interesting transparent and ghostly image.

I'm mailing the 8" x 10" collage to Lisa today and can't wait to see the next developments. In our round-robin the first person starts the collage and theme, the second person adds layers and their own style and the third person finishes the collage as only they can. Then the third person starts a new collage and sends it to the next person. I like that we get to take turns creating the beginning, middle and end of each collage.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

More Brown Bag Journal Pages

Brown Bag Journal 2 (Cover)
I used the Tsukinek Antiquing Solution (Walnut Ink) with
Tim Holtz masks, black stamp ink and metallic markers.
Tim Holtz gear. Tatter Angels Glimmer Mist (Marshmallow).

Brown Bag Journal 2 (pages 3 & 4)

Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist (Marshmallow), magazine clips
Black Pitt pen, handmade paper, quotes.

Brown Bag Journal 2 (pages 1 & 2)

Stencils and masks with Tsukinek Antiquing Solution and
Tatter Angels Glimmer Mist (Marshmallow). Quotes.

Brown Bag Journal 2 (pages 5 & 6)
Magazine clips, post cards cut, quote, brads, with
stencils and Antiquing Solution and Glimmer Mist.

Paper Bag Journal 2 (Back Cover)

Magazine clips, Tim Holtz masks, Antiquing Solution,
Glimmer Mist, patterned tape. Quote.

King Crow Artist Card
Card image cropped from Paper Bag Journal 3
(Cover, below) made with Martha Stewart bird punch and
crown punch, patterned tape, stencils, Glimmer Mist and
Antiquing Solution, heart shaped brads.

Paper Bag Journal 3 (Cover)

These Brown Bag Journals are so fun and fast to make--a great way to try out new techniques. I was remembering a book I made for my sister Jane, many years ago, that had drawings and quotes in it. I love reading quotes and collecting them. These little journals are perfect for adding thoughtful phrases. What a great bonus to be able to crop the pages (digitally) to make a point of departure for an artist card. I think I am going to add faux encaustic to this card.

It has been a month since I have blogged although I have been making Paper Bag Journals, looking at craft books, journaling, making art cards and attending trades, as well as working on my outline for a book that is tentatively called: Creative Collage for Visual Journals, Artist Cards, Art Therapy, Fine Art and Crafts. I was working on writing a book about Artist Card techniques and applications but it kept on expanding. I love collage and it makes sense to me to create a more general "how to" book that also discusses applications such as journals and the other lovely things mentioned in the title.

Tonight I went to a writer's group, my attempt at making myself more accountable in terms of getting this book done. Love the group--the lecture was about "Writing With Heart". I have no lack of passion for art and the book topic so we will see how long it takes me to create it. I am committed to getting the first three topics in my outline written and illustrated by our next meeting. All, send me some good vibes for courage and keeping my feet (and hands) in motion, one step at a time.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Brown Bag Journal


Stamp from Redlead, clips from Dick Blick art catalog, glass microbeads,
Metallic Rub-Ons from Craf-T Products and map patterned tape.

Pages 1 & 2
Redline stamps, collage, Metallic Rub-Ons

Pages 3 & 4
Collage, Martha Stewart bird punch, Metallic Rub-Ons.
Pages 5 & 6
Collage with magazine clips and from Denver Botanic Gardens brochure for their Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate Program
Back Cover
Tsukineko Walnut Ink Antiquing Solution, "Java". Tim Holtz stick on letters, magazine clips, Metallic Rub-Ons, map patterned tape.
I tried out the Paper Bag Journal as described by Yoli on her blog at
These little journals are easy to make--just cut the bottom from two brown paper lunch bags, fold in half, crease and secure the binding with a line of thread, brads or you have it. This leaves you with a front and back cover, 6 pages to embellish and 4 pockets to tuck secret messages into. I did this project with my son and my landlord's 7 year old. Fun and easy.
Then I worked into the night with collage, markers, stamps and small index cards. The message I had for myself: keep up the blogging, keep up the botanical drawing and continue to work towards completing my artist card book and a career in art full time.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Nourishing Your Creativity

Nourishing Creativity
Collage made with scrapbook paper, Campbell soup ad, stamp (redline) with sepia ink (Ranger).

This card is actually a miniature (ATC sized) version of the cover of one of my visual journals. I am excited that today I proposed two new classes I want to teach for the Colorado Free University. Later today I got an email saying both of them were accepted, and will be workshops offered in the Spring. They are: "Nourishing Your Creativity through Creative Art Journaling" and "Make and Trade Artist Cards".

I love doing workshops like these and hope that my full time work, in the future, will be conducting workshops from my own office/studio as well as around the country, along with practicing creativity coaching, teaching and art therapy. Oh, and selling my art work as well. Fingers crossed.

Friday, January 7, 2011

January Feather Themed Trade

Feather Theme 1 of 20

Background created using a brayer with Golden fluid acrylic, Iridescent Gold Deep. Stripes made with unbleached napkin ripped strips. Edges enhanced with Derwent Intense watercolor pencils. Redlead stamp, embossed with gold embossing powder (Stampendous).

Feather Theme 2 of 20

Background created using a brayer with Golden fluid acrylic, Iridescent Gold Deep. Stripes made with unbleached napkin ripped strips. Edges enhanced with Derwent Intense watercolor pencils. Edges sanded and inked. Redlead stamp, embossed with green ink and clear embossing powder (Stampendous).

Feather Theme 3 of 20
Stamp from redlead, card altered in "Picnic", a feature of the Picasa photo share program. Embossed with Marvy embossing markers and clear embossing powder (Stampendous). Edges sanded and inked.

I love my redlead feather stamp. I wanted to try something different with the background so I used a brayer with fluid acrylic ink (Golden). I looks just like gold leaf. I wanted something funky for texture and interest so I ended up tearing up an unbleached napkins from some fast food place or another. Glued on with gluestick. I enhanced the edges with watercolor pencils.

While scanning and saving my images in Picassa I was offered a new feature: to alter in a program called "Picnic". The third image in the blog is my first experiment with using that photo alteration program. Fun. I know I have just begun to explore. One of these days I want to put PhotoShop back on my computer and really get into playing with layers. It has been therapeutic for me to work hands on these last two years, though. Nothing beats the real sensual experience of working with materials.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Recognizing Repeated Symbols

Finding Direction 7-2009

2011 Issues Collage

It occurred to me that there was perhaps an important image in my Issues Collage that might be a reoccurring image. If you look at the card called "Finding Direction" from 2007 you can see the bird perched and looking into the scene. In general birds are symbolically creatures of heaven because they can fly. They also symbolize the angelic or spiritual. In the 2007 card I thought of the parrot as a messenger who was calmly looking into the "right" direction while the woman in the card looked around, confused and lost. I took it as meaning that I should wait until things settled to see the clear direction for my life. That turned out to be good (and reassuring) advice.

In the 2011 image the bird is again perched and looking in the "right" direction. The potato sack woman, although appearing confident is actually feeling bad about herself, feeling confused, puzzled and star-crossed. Because of her drop in self esteem she is looking for answers in the opposite direction as the bird. Interesting that the bird is pink (a sweet and venerable color) and clinging to the cage she is no longer trapped by. The repeated message? To me it is that I need to trust spirit (star at top of 2011 image) and work to recover my true worth. I have been blue since being pushed out of the comfort of continued adjunct work by a reorganization of my primary employer. I will find the right direction.

Images in art, as in dreams, are often communications from our subconscious mind that our intuitive self wants our conscious/rational mind to see (open). When talking about the symbolic language of the subconscious I often paraphrase the statement of a Jung contemporary: "Dreams are messages from God that should, at least, be opened".