Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Pods and Leaves and Snapdragons, oh my!

Just thought I'd post a quick pic of what I'm working on for this Sunday's upcoming trading session. I've been thinking a lot lately about the actual process of making art and how over the past few years I've been so focused on producing enough ATCs for our trading sessions (we usually have 20-ish or so people attending) that I've sometimes neglected to pay enough attention to the "art" component of my Artist Trading Cards.

For these cards I was inspired by a few of the sketchbooks at the Sketchbook Project, particularly one where artist Karen O'Brien had drawn and painted on text pages. While I was away at my art retreat last month, I discovered a new way to use Caran d'Ache crayons as watercolours, so the two things combined to make me want to try my hand at hand-drawing and hand-painting ... something.

I just wasn't sure what to draw or paint ... so I let my sharpie doodle around a bit, and it came up with the poddish thing in the top left corner, which I realized was inspired by some clipart I'd found while creating trades for Artfest last year. And the poddish thing needed a leaf, and the leaf wanted some bigger leaves, and the leaves wanted some grass, and the grass needed something to flower with it and the snapdragon things evolved. I know they're not *really* snapdragons ~ I don't think snapdragons have tongues, after all ~ but the tongues were just part of what happened and they looked right so I let them be.

I was having so much fun drawing that I got a little carried away and in the end still made a *whole bunch* of ATCs (plenty to trade), and I'm thrilled to say that they're ALL hand-drawn and hand-painted, which is a bit of a departure for me. I have this quirky thing about keeping one of everything I make and if everything's a one-off, you can't possibly keep them all. So I compromised ... I made copies for myself, and I'll (gasp!) give the originals away. How do YOU feel about giving away your one-offs?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

About time we put something online ...

Now that I've been doing my own blog for awhile, I thought it was about time to create an online presence for the Vancouver Artist Trading Card group. We've been meeting every month for over 11 years, and I can't even begin to count the number of wonderful ATCs I've personally received, let alone the total number our group has made and traded over these 11-plus years.

I thought I'd start by posting a few of my own very early ATC's using the design prompts for our upcoming June 17th trading session (crimson, puzzles, shattered) as a jumping off point. So, here's what you see:

Top left: "soft as a feather, love came into my heart". A sort of play on words with red Admit One tickets, a dyed feather and a heart-shaped button. I only made 6 of these. Red feathers may have been hard to come by. (Feb 2004, 6/7).

Top right: "there are mysteries waiting to unfold that the universe is still busy with on our behalf". I woke up with the line running through my head and a notion that it might look cool if I put cheesecloth through a typewriter. Who knows where these ideas come from. (Aug 2004, 2/19).

Bottom left: "?". A page of Polish text, a bit of Dover clipart printed on yellow paper and a hand-carved rubber stamp of a question mark in a speech bubble. It seemed to make sense at the time. Maybe I was puzzled about something and this card seemed the perfect expression of it. (Mar 2003, 19/20).

Bottom right: "Now we are 3". A card I made for the third anniversary of our group. I was thinking about how a 3-year-old child might picture the number 3, or see it in a book. I wanted to keep it simple, so I used the materials the average 3-year-old might use ~ construction paper, a colouring book, a crayon. (Nov 2003, 1/18).

Have you made an ATC for one of the Vancouver group's trading sessions that you'd like to see posted here? Great! Send me a scan, along with a few lines about your materials, methods and inspiration and I'll post it here for you.

~ Penelope, AKA: Your Humble Leader