Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sabbatical complete: Projects from the journey No. 4

Delving further into art styles and mediums that I enjoy working with has led me to create Artist Trading Cards using balsa and pine.

Sometimes I keep these simple, with only a coat of distress stain over a mask and a few letters or a wood die cut for statement.

But when I'm feeling like going crazy with hours of layering and inking and embellishing we begin with one of these wonderful Masonite window panes from AlphaStamps, and end up with a window through time.

I'm also fond of vintage images, usually incorporating something from the Graphics Fairy or from Twisted Papers' risque collection.

Another common element are aluminum or multiple-paper-layer letters cut from the Alterations Carnivale strip die. As you've read here before I've discovered in myself a fascination with creepy circus imagery and the Carnivale font fits in perfectly (even when I'm not trying to go all crazy clown cabinet).

Depending on who I'm planning to give the piece to I might also add a hand-cut and -folded stand, a bit of magnet or just nicely finish the back: After all, a wooden ATC with a frame is thick enough to stand on its own.

The only negative thing I've found about these little pieces of portable art is that they are so fun and easy and quick to make that I often put one together, wrap it up and ship it off before taking a photo or only remembering at the last moment to click a pic. Which means many of these photos are even more wonky and out-of-focus than my usual half-assed photographs!

Post a comment or drop a line if you're interested in a more specific explanation of any of these projects, and add a link if you've got your own version of a wood ATC to show off!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Shelter for eight-leggers closed for holiday

Spider webs strung throughout the pot of aloe.
We don't squish spiders at our house. And unless they appear to be especially, freakishly, shockingly large or dangerous or creepy ... we don't even hustle them out to the back yard.

Since we live in The Country you're more likely around our house to run into something with a multitude of legs than you are a human being.

As often as we remember to do so we give a warning to our house guests who might have a spider phobia. After all, we have cobwebs in every corner of every room. Along the door frames and strung from leaf and stem and vase.

Usually I don't remove those, either. Perhaps it's awful for our family and friends. Perhaps everyone we know thinks I'm a terrible housekeeper. Perhaps a trip to our house strikes terror into the hearts of our visitors.

One would think I'd be ashamed of this since I am not, in fact, a terrible housekeeper. As it is I'm an inconsistent house keeper since I'm also an artist and have a job, but generally the house is reasonably well kept.

Still the webs, spiders and related dustiness remain because I don't see the point in killing them. They don't hurt anything. They're often very interesting to look at and on a sunny morning the cobwebs are quite beautiful.

Nothing though is designed to remain forever and on Thanksgiving we always host an open house. For this event I do a deep clean: Scrub the walls, wipe the window sills, shine the windows and remove the cob webs.

So, goodbye spiders, for a few weeks.

I'm sure your lovely homes strung hither and yon will be in place again before the next solstice.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sabbatical complete: Projects from the journey No. 3

Through the past few months I've become intrigued and inspired by the art of Nichola Battilana at Pixie Hill.

Her works should be pictured in the dictionary, as they say, alongside the words whimsical, eclectic and breathtaking.

Try as I might, the visual fullness and decadence she provides in her art eludes me, but I've managed to at least complete a handful of pieces that incorporate some of the techniques and objects she uses.

There's the cabinet I posted last week HERE. And now, today's reveal: My Moon Rise Mountain solar box.

These creations are obviously much different from Battilana's works, which is fantastic because I'm not attempting to copy her art.

However, I'll be happier when I more closely mimic her full, too-much-to-ever-see-it-all design and when my finished pieces suggest an organic and natural origin, as if Rhea and the Oreades personally lent a hand in the creation.

Ah, well. I'll get there eventually. In the meantime I'll continue this joyful sharing with you and hope that if you haven't bounced over already ... you'll now visit Nichola at Pixie Hill because her work is truly amazing.