Monday, June 29, 2009

Another Exchange Project

I began work today on another exchange project. The Art House Exchange ( requires an edition of 22 prints sized 11" X 15", on the theme of "Danger", and are due by August 1st. I've decided to use two plates for this piece - one in relief using linoleum and the other an intaglio using a photopolymer plate. The tricky part of this will be to meet the deadline. I'll be away from the studio for a couple of weeks so I need to work on the part of the image that will travel well and not require studio equipment. At this point, I'm ready to transfer my image to the linoleum using graphite paper.

I actually had the idea worked out a month ago but because of the Mailart project, which had an earlier due date, I put this on the back burner. I'm not so sure that was a good idea because the Mailart took much longer than anticipated and the return for the effort invested is not looking good. I have received only 6 postcards, which is a pretty poor showing, considering there were 32 participants. Since the deadline is July 1st, I'm not sure everyone will meet their obligtion. Oh well, I guess that's the chance one takes when participating in an exchange project; you have no guarantee of the quality or quantity.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Prepping for Next Project

Spent an hour or so cleaning up my studio space. While working on the mailArt project, I had papers, print proofs, collage materials, adhesives and tools laid out over every available surface. Since I was working on a few postcards at once, this made it easier for me to keep track of what I had available. If something wasn't quite right for one piece I could easily look around and see if it could be adapted to another. My goal was to recycle what I had in the studio for "Altered States".

Now to see what other deadlines are looming and move on the next project. Must keep the creative momentum going.

"In art intentions are not sufficient .... What one does is what counts and not what one has intentions of doing." Picasso

Treetop Studio

Why "treetop" studio. Well, years ago my husband added an addition that spanned our garage and back porch to specifically create a studio space. He let me select any windows I wanted so naturally I went for as many as possible to let in plenty of light (even on gray days). Since we live in the woods, I look out to the treetops that surround our place; hence Treetop Studio.

The 20" X 30" space is large enough to accommodate my large press, good sized drawing table and all of my supplies. There's even enough space to dedicate part of the room for exercise and a sitting area. It's a fabulous space in which to work and now that I have the time my goal is to put it to use every day. Needless to say, I consider myself extremely fortunate.

"In the studio all distinctions disappear. One has neither name or family; one is no longer the daughter of ones mother, one is oneself and individual, and one has before one art, and nothing else. One feels so happy, so free, so proud! Marie Bashkirtsef (1860-1884)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Final Mailart Piece

After I addressed all of the postcards and cleaned up the studio I found that I had created an extra card. (Since I'm on the mailing list, I guess this one's mine.)

Looking back on the project, I can say that it was a great way to get some creative momentum going. Taking proofs and altering them gave me an opportunity to revamp old images. For the most part I'm pretty satisfied with my collection of postcards. It was hard parting with a few of them but hopefully they will be enjoyed by their new owners.


As with any project, after the initial flood of ideas and the newness wears off, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep up the creative momentium. I found this mailart project to be more difficult and time consuming than I had imagined. To create 32 postcards in a month was a challenge. I put in at least 4 or 5 hours of studio time a day just to make sure I would meet the deadline. I have a feeling that my biggest stumbling block was taking the whole project too seriously. I approached each card as a minature artwork and had no problem reworking them, if necessary. Getting them out of the house and into the mail became an important way for me to move on to the next ones.


This card was created from relief prints that were reconfigured and pen and ink detail were added.

Top: Sentry - Bottom:Trio


Base card is a lithographic proof with found collage elements & press type added.


Playing around with heavier stock applied to an intaglio print. Netting and a twig were added. Hopefully it will make it through the system in one piece.

Top: Patriot - Bottom: Tin Soldier

Two more "tin men" have appeared. They are a combination of found magazine images and proofs from a linoleum print.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

If I Only Had a Heart

Found proofs of some relief prints I had done of "tin can" men. I had crushed soda cans and worked up drawings for linoleum prints. To me, the flattened cans looked like torsos & the pull tabs represented heads. I'm thinking about doing more with this imagery in some new prints.


In this one, I cut a print into strips and wove them through the main image; playing off of the weaving a bird does when creating his nest.

Oh My

One more with mannequins. Fun combining magazine images with prints.

Monday, June 15, 2009

So Mant Cards, So Little Time

The twitter mail art project continues. The challenge for this week is to regroup, clean up the studio a bit and start fresh on the last dozen postcards. It is turning out to be more challenging than expected. 32 postcards in 30 days (deadline July 1st) does seem a little daunting and my personal challenge is to maintain quality when dealing with quantity.

An unexpected problem is that this project is turning out to be very time consuming so deadlines for other projects are looming and the pressure is on.

Motivation: Beauty... the fun of trying to get it down... the fun of trying to get better. (David Leffel)

Nothing spurs creativity more than a deadline. (Mary E. Whitehill)


Part of a larger relief print embellished with rubber stamp images.


More collage elements adhered over cropped intaglio proof.

1. Lone Bird - 2. Turmoil - 3. Quilt - 4. Security

These 4 cards were created from nest imagery. Proofs were cut up, rearranged, added to and in one case, stitched with needlepoint thread. Interesting to see how the original image is altered first by cropping and then by selected additions.


This piece has netting & stitching. I'm curious to see how it survives the mailing process.

20 Mailed

Sent 20 postcards on Saturday morning. Found out that it costs 27 cents to mail in US but just under a dollar to send a postcard to Canada or the British Isles. Good thing I checked with the postmaster before I just tossed them all in the mailbox. I'm really looking forward to receiving my first #mailart postcar. Maybe today?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Waistland, Wasteland

Played around with some more mannequin proofs and ended up with "Waist Land/Waste Land".

Top: Sticks & Stones - Middle: Guarded - Bottom: Fragile

My main goal with the mailart project was to try and use proofs, from my original prints, in different configurations; to see what could be achieved by cutting, pasting, adding collage materials from magazines and found objects and simply rearranging images.

There are mini series emerging as the work progresses. These 3 cards were created from a piece entitled "Vulnerability" which was based on the old rhyme, "sticks & stones may break my bones ...". The new pieces seem to have a darker feel to them than the original print.


Using another bird image, from a lithographic proof, I decided to play around with minimal color; keep the card simple but eye catching.

Contact Paper Transfer

As I was working on my mailart project, I had an idea for a background but couldn't find any collage material to compliment my printed images. After much searching, I decided to create an interesting background using photo shop. The contact paper transfer made it easy to incorporate the image onto the postcard.

Here's how it's done.
1. Take your image and cover it with a piece of clear contact paper.
2. Rub the contact paper down well, onto the image, so you have total contact.
3. Place the contact covered image into a try of water. Let it sit for a few minutes. You will be able to rub off the paper on the back of the image and what you're left with is the dark lines of the original image.
4. Now, you can adhere the image to your collage.

Mailart Continues

With 16 postcards completed, I'm slowing down a little and need to regroup in order to keep up my creative energy. I've spent some time organizing the storm of cut paper and collage materials that has taken over the studio. I find it helps to step back a bit and start fresh so I don't get bogged down.

I've photographed the cards I will post today. Mailing the completed cards will help because I have a tendency to want to "tweak" them and with a tight deadline that can be a problem. Also, I need to remind myself that these are just postcards and stop obsessing over them.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

At The End of the Day

Time to call it a day and try to wash all of the acrylic medium off of my fingers. I'm using acrylic gel to adhere the images and giving them a thin coat of acrylic matte medium for a little bit of protection. Now, to clean up the studio or not .... NOT. This is messy inspiration.

Feathered Nest

Decided to get daring and add some thicker collage elements. This may go through the mail in one piece - I hope. The maximum thickness for a postcard is a quarter inch.


I had a number of proofs dealing with mannequins but had never really pursued the imagery. Right now, I'm viewing these postcards as "sketches" for possible prints in a larger format. It's looking as though I may end up with a number of new ideas from this project.

This piece is layered photo intaglio prints with collage and netting.


The original proof was part of a nest image. Once it was cropped, I keep seeing it as part of a crown of thorns. Deciding to go with religious symbolism, something I don't usually deal with, I added some collage elements, drew in thorns and pierced the card. I was pleased with the finished postcard.

Secrets & Shadows - Taunts

Here's two postcards created from the same subject using different proofs. The challenge here was to try and achieve different effects through cropping and collage. I liked the idea of adding text to the cards as part of the design.


It's amazing how quickly the work flows once you just get started! It's all of that over-thinking that can bog you down. Card #2 just seemed to appear. Just the right amount of collage transformed the original print into something entirely different. Hope the netting stays adhered as it goes through the mail.

Circling The Drain

On a roll. So many ideas running through my head that I just had to grab a card and get started. I have collage materials, cut up proofs, and magazine clippings from one end of the studio to another; but that's a good thing. Postcard number 1 - done.

This is a combination silicone intaglio print with collage & drawing. Thinking about environmental issues with this piece.

Cut To Size

Well, I've chopped up a number of old proofs and I'm beginning to see them in a new light. My goal is to use collage to bring together images in a new way. This is actually good for me right now because it forces me to just let loose and play around with a variety of materials; be open minded and see what happens.

Mailart Project

I have been busy lately working on postcard sized art for an exchange project called #mailart. 33 twitter friends & artists will be creating postcards and then sending them via "snail" mail to all participants. The actual mailing and the ensuing postal process becomes part of the work. Who knows what will happen once the postcards enter the system and how will the journey impact the mailart? It's like a traveling exhibition. Will the people handling the mail actually take a moment to look at the work? With a July 1st deadline, the whole project seemed a little daunting and I was spending too much time in the planning stage; questions of what will I do and where do I start occupying my thoughts. I finally decided to dig out proofs from prints I had done and use them as the basis for my postcards. Printmakers always have proofs from the plates they are working on. I liked the challenge of looking at these proofs in a new way and seeing what I could do to give them a new life.