January 10, 2006

Art Cards - Mermaids & Nudes & Birds... Oh my!

Well the holidays have come and gone so it's time to put the muse to work again. My newest obsession is making mixed media, collaged, art cards. They're similar to ATC's and ACEO's, only a bit larger. And unlike most artist trading cards that I make, the elements go beyond the edges of the card and were attached with 1/4 inch thick photo mounts to add a 3D effect.

Necessity actually dictated the size - I have a stack of 5 x 7 inch heavy chipboard I'd been hoarding for a while and wanted to start using some of it. I prefer creating smaller pieces of art as opposed to larger sizes, so I cut my chipboard in half, bringing the size to 3.5 x 5 inches, or roughly the size of a standard postcard. You can only put so much on a smaller art card, so I may create some larger pieces in the future.

My favorite themes lately, have been mermaids, vintage nudes, and birds with floral elements. I really like the whole Paris thing and that inspired me to make a Moulin Rouge card. Recently, I aquired a large bag of small/tiny seashells, some pygmy seahorses, and 500 real starfish, all being the perfect size for small artwork. I was able to incorporate them into the mermaid themed cards. Using letters and postcards as the backdrop enabled me to use some of the many postage stamps that had been gathering dust.

I had some vintage postcards and letters that I'd been dying to use in my artwork for the longest time. I scanned and printed them and then started going through my stash of collage sheets and vintage images. My muse was in overdrive and I quickly thought of several themes I wanted to do. Since they were too big to be an ATC or ACEO, I had to think of a way to display them. I added wire, twine or ribbon to my cards so they can hang.

I made quite a few, since they didn't require much time to put together. I listed some of them on eBay and most of them have sold. As with about all of my artwork, I seem to never keep anything for myself - except pictures of my creations. It's probably a good thing since I would need to build a storage unit to hold it all.

One of my drawers is filled with shiny new, unstamped Altoid's tins that have been crying out to freed. So, I'm off to the land of art!

January 08, 2006

Fun With Photoshop CS3

I've been playing around with Photoshop more lately, trying to expand my skills. I don't often have the patience to read through a manual to learn all the functions of a program, so I picked up a copy of "Teach Yourself Photoshop in 24 Hours". Wow! I can learn in 24 hours! uummm.... Doubtful, but I have the book now for reference.

One of the first things I heard/learned about in Photoshop were brushes. Now, I have an obsession with brushes (and with fonts...) and spent hours downloading some cool, free brushes from various websites... 341 to be exact. Yes, I did delete a few after trying them out. And then I learned there were things called textures. au oh... I could be in trouble here.

Creating collages, art squared, and ATC's (artist trading cards) in Photoshop is so much fun! I've posted a few samples of what you can do with a few graphics, brushes, and a little creativity.

Even though I've never taken a class to learn to use Photoshop, I was up and running in a short time. If you have some basic knowledge using photo editors for things like removing "red eye", adjusting size, etc., you should be able to adapt to an editing program with a fair amount of ease. It really isn't as difficult as it appears, and there are many good online tutorials to help you along.