Tag Archive for 'collage'

Art-o-mat Series Within a Series

When I first started this latest series of Art-o-mat paintings, I wanted to GO-GO-GO! And just crank out a series as fast as possible, experiment a lot and hopefully develop some as an artist. In the end, it took me SIX YEARS to finally send the series out. I started out experimenting and just trying to be quick and casual, these are only $5 paintings after all.

Whenever I think about these pieces I like to imagine and hope that the purchaser is STOKED and feels like they won the jackpot and definitely got way more than their $5 worth, and I started worrying that if I was going too free and easy that people would be bummed. I definitely went back and reworked a bunch of the early paintings and redid some of them entirely. Halfway through I realized I was finding much more enjoyment working on pieces that may take longer, and in the end looking back I realized that I had 3 mini series within the collection of 50.


These grass quote paintings weren’t original to this series, as I’ve been making these for years in many different sizes and mediums even. Though, the very first ever painting in this style was painted on a small canvas, but for the Found Art Tuesday project.

I noted before that as I started this third series for Art-o-mat I wanted to work quickly (didn’t happen) and experiment a lot (happened in the beginning). A third to half of the way through I ended up doing a lot of my standard go-to styles, including gr

Also, not original to this series, I had a number of these grass portrait paintings.


Then, in the final 10/50, I returned to my Art-o-mat II series, where I made collages and then made paintings of those. In that previous series all the collages were made from printed and commercially decorated papers. My style has changed now, and I try to stick to my own decorated papers (usually pulled from gelatin prints and my own handcut paper stencils), and I made 10 paintings from those collages. The canvas paintings are above and the original collages in my sketchbook are below for reference.


Cut and Paste Gelatin Print Flip Through

LittleArtBook collage gelliprints

Earlier this year I was inspired by Creative Unblock Project #2 of the Creative Block by Danielle Krysa, in which artist Jessica Bell challenges readers to cut up something they love and are afraid to lose, and create a collage from it. Immediately I thought of the gelatin plate prints I had made and love, but didn’t quite know what to do with them. It was really freeing to just realize that they weren’t as precious as I had been making them in my mind and that they may have even more value if I take them to this next step by “destroying” them. I loved that it challenged me to take these “finished” pieces and keep going. I think I have a tendency to fall in the rut of having an idea, loving it, and then just stopping there because I’m afraid I might ruin it. Altering a piece might be the difference of a good piece and a GREAT piece of artwork.

On a side note, I always remember this handout from my favorite college art teacher. At the beginning of each semester he had this list that fit tightly on an 8.5×11 that shared ways to change and develop a piece of artwork; things like stretch it, drill holes in it, paint it, mirror image it, and so on and on. He would challenge the students to think of new things that weren’t on the list, he would then add them to the list and make a copy for each student. I think of that list often and how I should still be referencing it and pushing myself to move forward and not just stop when I think it’s OK and safe. “Feel the fear and do it anyway”

For a long time I’ve been trying to move away from using purchased or found patterned papers (art, scrapbooking, wrapping, etc.) in my artwork, in place of my own patterns. (Vintage papers and photographs I still think of as OK.) I’ve made some (mostly drawn or water colored) patterns here and there, but once I made this connection of cutting up the gelatin prints, I instantly had an entirely new source or collection of new materials that weren’t what I thought of as “patterned” paper but were original and my very own.

I immediately got to work cutting up and collaging. I’d do a page here and a page there and after a few months I have a finished book. And I LOVE-LOVE-LOVE it. I just want to carry it with me everywhere and flip through it. I want to get cracking on making more prints to make more little books. I tried to stick with just the prints alone, but there are few pages here and there with added pencil or pen. Maybe other books might incorporate more drawing, or painting in addition?

So, without further ado, here is a video flip through, followed by unedited photographs of each page.

the song in the background is by Dar Williams, Closer to Me

LittleArtBook collage gelliprints

LittleArtBook collage gelliprints

LittleArtBook collage gelliprints

LittleArtBook collage gelliprints

LittleArtBook collage gelliprints

LittleArtBook collage gelliprints

LittleArtBook collage gelliprints

LittleArtBook collage gelliprints

LittleArtBook collage gelliprints

LittleArtBook collage gelliprints

LittleArtBook collage gelliprints

LittleArtBook collage gelliprints

LittleArtBook collage gelliprints

LittleArtBook collage gelliprints

LittleArtBook collage gelliprints

LittleArtBook collage gelliprints

LittleArtBook collage gelliprints

LittleArtBook collage gelliprints

LittleArtBook collage gelliprints

LittleArtBook collage gelliprints

and then, just for fun the Hyperlapse video of the flip through


Little Books

Earlier this year my friend Joon (instagram and etsy) sent me this little book that she made for me, and I treasure it so much.

Book by Joon Wilkinson, music by Grandaddy – Am180

I finally got around to making the above video to share with you. I don’t know if Joon really knows how much she was speaking my language. We both really love making treasures from what might otherwise be scrap papers.

I immediately had to make another little video of a book that was given to me as a child.

Book made by my grandma, music Detektivbyran – Rymden i en lada

They’re almost the exact same size! The pages move quickly so you may not have been able to read, but it was made by my grandma for me in the spring of 1980. I would have been 2 years old at the time.

It’s just one of the many things that probably helped form my aesthetics and I’m sure contributed to my love of little stapled books.

I remember when I first realized how much I loved making little stapled books. I was working at the local weekly newspaper and as offices often do, we used old scrap paper, quartered up, as note paper. I started stapling the edges like a binding and doodling on the pages, writing notes to coworkers and making lists, etc. on pages.


They kind of resembled this. I actually made an animated gif of this complete book which can be seen here.

staple books

Or this. Over the years I’ve made plenty of staple books and variations on them. Here are some more books I’ve made below.

4.30.11 Mailart little books


Day Two- mini books

Robayre Patterned Books

scratchpad unfinished thing-a-day, day 2 scratchpad

Moleskin fun

5.20 Mailart books backs

Day Two- mini books

And then of course I often have little books in my etsy shop, but eeep, when I just went to go get the link I saw a frightening low quantity of little books. I have plenty made, so perhaps that should be a project for Friday, photograph and list little books to my shop.

New Circle Series Pieces

I’m still chipping away at all the items that I have that need to be listed. I’ve just added 3 new Circle Series pieces to my Etsy shop.

This piece was fun. The flowers are all pictures that I collected under public domain as part of larger floral pieces, printed out and handcut individually. I had this idea for a long time. I was wanting to create a circle of layers from flower images like a bouquet or flower garden.

The colorful ring in this piece above was inspired by my watercolor test sheets and palettes. I also really liked the pencil layer. I recommend visiting the listing and looking at the rest of the pictures, especially the thumbnail.

This piece was inspired by vintage maps and includes actual vintage map pieces. The creme color is like the antique paper that used to be white.

Mailart for the last week of April

Instead of my standard postcards, I’ve come up with a new idea for some mailart365 project pieces. It started out when my best friend showed me a moleskine app she had on her iphone. Unfortunately, she has a newer phone and mine won’t let me download it. No harm because it got me thinking of the moleskine cahiers that I love so much.

4.30.11 Mailart little books7

I’ve been making my own little cahiers for quite a while now, and this whole thing spurred the idea to make some more but then turn them into mailart.

4.30.11 Mailart little books1

I’ll send them directly through the mail, where the addresses, and postage are stuck right on the cover. Each book is 4.25″x5.5″ closed. I collaged on some pressed board, and then coated them with a sealer.

4.30.11 Mailart little books2

These are the open faced covers. I stuck a rubberband inside each book so the owner can keep them closed like in the picture at the top. I haven’t yet put the recipients address on them in these pictures, so that I could share them.

4.30.11 Mailart little books3

I thought it would be a cool collaboration of sorts. My artwork is on the cover and the recipient can fill the blank pages inside with their own words or artwork. I think it will be cool with the cancelled stamps.

4.30.11 Mailart little books4

It’ll be a crapshoot to see if it makes it through the mail or not.

4.30.11 Mailart little books6

We print and mail booklets all the time at work, but those are through bulk mail and these are obviously not bulk. I’ve seen pictures of a banana and toast with postage and addresses being sent through the mail successfully, so I think it’s a good bet they will make it to their destinations.

4.30.11 Mailart little books5

I made wafer stickers to put on the edges to keep them closed through the mail. You can see that below.

4.30.11 Mailart little books all

I really love these books and this idea. I think it would be so much fun, and so unexpected to receive a little blank book in the mail. I hope the recipients like them and use them. I can’t wait to make some more.

Also, I wanted to thank you for the commiseration, tips on other sites and terms to search for regarding the Ikea frames in the last post. I’m a bit more hopeful that I will find a suitable and thrifty replacement.  I did hear back from Ikea officially, and it was pretty much the same thing the employee at a nearby store told me, the frames have been discontinued and that “IKEA products are not discontinued based on sales or consumer demand, but on product availability.” Bummer. Those frames were only $7 or $8, and other frames I’ve seen are closer to the $30 range. Ouch.

Weekly Dump

I was super busy and stressed this week. By Thursday I was pretty panicked that I didn’t have any postcards done for the following week yet, AND I had no ideas for pieces to make. Then I remembered how I have a huge stack of old cards in various states of completion. Some of these cards are years old, but I never sent out. I’m so glad for them, then all I had to do was write on the backs and send them out. Now, I think I need to start tons of new cards to have a cache like this for weeks exactly like this.

If you missed it, don’t forget to check out this post for a free giveaway! To enter, all you have to do is like my facebook page :)

41/365 things I'd love to carry with me everywhere
Postcard 41/365 Things I’d love to carry with me everywhere
42/365 favorite online searches to buy things
Postcard 42/365 Favorite online searches to buy things
4.15 postcard 43 things in my studio
Postcard 43/365 Things in my studio
4.15 postcard 44 This I'd like to grow in my garden this summer
Postcard 44/365 Things I’d like to grow in my garden this summer
4.15 postcard 45 Superhero pours I wish I had
Postcard 45/365 Superhero powers I wish I had
4.15 postcard 46 Things I make and sell on Etsy
Postcard 46/365 Things I make and sell on Etsy
4.15 postcard 47 Things to do when it's raining outside
Postcard 47/365 Things to do when it’s raining outside

mailart postcard project

February is over and we are that much closer to spring! Near the end of the month, I was so ready to be over with February and the daily Thing-a-Day project. But just to show you what a glutten for punishment, or project addict, I am – before the month was even over, my eye had been caught by multiple other daily projects.

30 Days of Lists
29 Gifts – a month of giving

I love mailart, check out my flickr set of my previous mailart pieces. I love making lists, my sketchbook is filled with them and my studio is filled with tiny slips of paper that have lists drawn out on them. I love giving gifts – I always remember a thing I heard about George Harrison and how he was such a gift giver. He’d have a present for you every time you saw him. I go through these phases when I want to be like that, like George Harrison. We’ll call them my George Harrison phases.

So, I jumped into the deep end and signed up for mailart365. I will openly admit that while I am a HUGE supporter of daily projects, I have yet to complete a 365 project. Failed attempt one, and two.

In an attempt to combine all of these projects, I am writing a list on the back of each postcard, and as I’m sending out original pieces of artwork out in mail, it’s kind of like giving gifts. Some cards will be sent to other participants of the project, others will be sent to friends and family, and others yet will probably be sent out using addresses from sendsomething.net. Here are the first 5 I’ve completed.

edit 2/26: added the lists from the back of the cards underneath each image

3.4.11 1-365 mailart
10 things about me
3.4.11 2-365 mailart
10 good books I’ve read
3.4.11 3-365 mailart
10 accomplishments
3.4.11 4-365 mailart
10 fun things to do
3.4.11 5-365 mailart
10 memories

I’ve shared several of these here before, as they were pieces I made from the projects in Water Paper Paint. 5 down, 360 to go. I’m sure I will be creating all sorts of pieces will all different styles and themes. Stay tuned.

Day 28 – new banner

One of the projects I wanted to get done earlier in Thing-A-Day was to redesign my banner and blog. It’s come down to the last day and I decided to at least work on putting together a new banner.

This is a very rough version. The colors are all wonky right now, so I’ll take a better picture tomorrow and I’m sure I will be playing around with it plenty in photoshop. I really want the cold press watercolor paper texture to show. I’m thinking of taking it through the sewing machine for a swoop that will tie the two parts together.

It’s been a long time since I’ve updated my banner, but here are a couple old versions.
2.26 banner color adjust
new banner
and of course the current one
new banner

Day 22 – Sticker Graffiti

Gah! I wasn’t able to put up my sticker graffiti for Found Art Tuesday. I guess I should have known better with the weather the way it is in Northern Illinois. The weather was great on Saturday, but did I go out? No. Instead I woke up Sunday, all ready for adventures of putting up my stickers in public places, and instead it was pouring rain all day long. Today… snow :(

At any rate, I promised to share my sticker graffiti and this picture will have to do. I will post pictures later, when I adhere them to their new homes. Before I do that though, I think I’ll be giving them some coats of a sealant. Hopefully they won’t deteriorate so quickly while being subject to the elements of previously mentioned Northern Illinois winters. Also, I made some little circle stickers (middle row) and those were so tiny, fun and quick to create. The larger ones (probably about business card size) will be run through my xyron to give it a sticky back, although I’ve seen plenty of recipes online to make sticker paste specifically for sticker graffiti. Just google “Wheatpasting”.

I’ve been really inspired while approaching this project. There are TONS of flickr groups devoted to sticker graffiti.
There’s even one devoted to “Hello my name is” labels turned into graffiti stickers.

Day 21 – Little Collages

Day 21 Thing-a-Day. I can’t believe there are only 7 more days left. I think I need to make a list and budget my days because I feel like I have so many more things I wanted to do.

This wasn’t the only thing I worked on today, but it’s the only thing I have complete, so here it is. Now back to the studio to finish working on my other project. Hint, it’s another stamp/print :)