Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wanna Trade?

I just sent off a batch of nine Artist's Trading Cards for an ATC show at the Richmond Art Gallery in British Columbia. Like the nine you see above, they were all done by collaging prints I made with heat moldable foam stamps. (Check out the tutorial here!)

I've got a ton of these ATC's, and I'm finally ready to send them out into the world! If you have some original ATC's, and are up for a trade, drop one in the mail to me at PO Box 4076, Portland, OR, 97208, and I'll send you one back (as long as you include your address, that is!).

And . . . if you're not sure what an ATC is, check out what Wikipedia has to say on the topic.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Product Test: Refillable Alcohol Ink Pen and Oil-Based Sharpies

A few weeks ago, I bought one of the refillable Adirondack Alcohol Ink pens at Collage here in Portland so that I could try it out . . . you buy them empty, and can fill them with any color of alcohol inks you choose!

I love using alcohol inks, and I've been playing around with alcohol inks on metal washers and on plexiglass panels. Alcohol inks can be used on non-porous surfaces, and they leave a very thin film of color. One of the challenges working with them, though, is controlling the application of the ink. I was excited when I saw that Ranger had come out with refillable alcohol ink pens.

I filled this one with black alcohol ink and tested it out on this piece of plexiglass. The white part of the plexiglass background has been sanded with a fine sanding block. The pens have a wide brush nib and a narrow fine tip nib. The writing above is with the broad nib - I had a hard time photographing the writing with the fine nib on the plexiglass, and the black ink didn't show up too well on the metal washer, either.

I like the effect of alcohol inks best when you build up layers. The pen lets you apply thin, precise layers, but it doesn't have a very bold line. That said, it is visible on the plexiglass, and I think the lettering with the large brush nib is beautiful! If you're looking for a bold line on a non-porous surface, try one of the Sharpie opaque oil-based paint pens.

The regular Sharpie is a little grayed out on plexiglass, and (though it's hard to see it in this photo) the water-based Sharpie Paint pen tends to bead up a little bit on the non-porous surface. The water-based Sharpie Paint pen also bled when I coated the unsanded part of the plexiglass with Diamond Glaze as a protective coating.

Yup, it's a total product geek-out. But it's all for a good cause - I'm refining a class about painting on plexiglass panels - I love how you can layer them, and really see through the layers! I've sent in a proposal to Art and Soul for 2010 - we'll see how it goes!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Eeeek! Monkeys!

I am already putting my newly acquired Photoshop skills to work . . . I did this drawing of a monkey based loosely on those Barrel of Monkeys toys from my childhood:

And, with the power of the scanner and Photoshop, I was able to make this nifty monkey pattern!

It's the start of my piece for the 100th Monkey Studio anniversary fundraiser coming up next month . . . Heh heh . . . look out world!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Art Unraveled: Part 1

When you find the thing you want to keep learning about, the thing you feel like you could explore for the rest of your life, you've probably found your calling. For me, it's art.

About a week ago, I got back from Art Unraveled, a big mixed media art retreat down in Arizona. I was teaching classes, and I also got to take a few - part of the whole this-is-my-calling-and-I want-to-explore-more thing. I took a resin class from Susan Lenart-Kazmer and made resin papers and cast some objects in resin. I didn't walk away with any finished jewelry projects, but I made some cool components and got to play and experiment.

A cast resin shell and resin papers sealed onto wire frames.

Resin papers, a cast key, and bezels filled with papers, objects and resin.

More papers, another filled bezel, and a cast key colored with acrylics and waxes.

I also got a chance to take a Photoshop class from my friend Mike Jennings. I haven't turned into a Photoshop guru overnight, but I did make a few interesting collages, and I finally understand masks, knocking out images and layer blending a little better than I did before!

I'm particularly fond of the brittle sea star in this one . . .
though the composition could use some work.