Sunday, May 31, 2009

Brokn Block

Yeehaw, Thank Goodness, and Hallelujah, I found my muse again. Now I just wish I had the time to indulge her!! Here are 3 ATC's in styles a little different for me. The first one has a bleach stamped background, a pretty successful transfer using Golden's Soft Gel Medium and an Apollo transparency (no paper to peel off ,yeah!) stamping and an image from a book:

Next up showcases my bitter humor with a new take on my PhrenMen series with the addition of PhlyingPhren:
I am addicted to Phrenology images. I don't Phight it any longer . teehee. And lastly, after briefly perusing my new book by Ann Baldwin, "Creative Paint Workshop for Mixed-Media Artists" this is what emerged:
I just got the book and I have absorbed only a smidgen of the huge amount of information she shares. But I did use her technique of softening the edges of the collage material. I used Soft Gel Medium and then dry brushed gesso around the transparencies. The angel is from ArtChix, and I glued her down using gel medium, the second I tried to do a transfer, but it failed so I just glued it down. The lines were too delicate I think. Either that or I didn't use enough gel medium. I'm still working the whole transfer process out. It's a work in progress, just like everything else in life! xoSusan

Monday, May 25, 2009

For The Girls With Gusto

Inflected Form(s):
plural gustoes
Italian, from Latin gustus, past participle
1 a: an individual or special taste b: enthusiastic and vigorous enjoyment or appreciation c: vitality marked by an abundance of vigor and enthusiasm 2archaic : artistic style

This one is for my BFF Grace and my BFF Blogging Girls. We need to start believing in our own Gusto: our incredible artistic talents, our worthiness for the love we've always dreamed about, and our amazing beauty both inner and outer. That's it. Start Now. These are the women who have incredible Gusto and Inspire me daily (in no particular order): Grace, Marsha, Lori, Beth, Robin, Roberta, Dee, Sherry, Marianne, Cindy, Leslie, Diane, Patty, Gaby, and Sarah.

Thank you for sharing your life lessons learned and your beautiful and inspiring art. xoSusan

Blocked But Ignoring It

I made several ATC's this weekend in addition to my fun with bleach. Here is one with a previously posted background, added some wire, a leaf and a fortune:

Next one includes a quote from that fabulous antique book "Eugenics and Sex Harmony". Boy do I miss my favorite antique store. sigh. The background is a beeswax oopsie, doilies on the edges and some drywall tape: I think this couple looks kind of sinister. I feel like doing a creepy card starring this family. stay tuned. Next one is another addition to my PhrenMen series. The background is inked scrapbook paper, fence is bleach stamped, vellum over face stamped with phrenology head. Another great quote from that same book.
I think I am blocked because I am becoming less bitter. Believe or not this scares me. I like my twisted sense of humor. My man hating humor may become a thing of the past. I mean, look at the subjects of these ATC's, happiness, how to become a good husband, forgiving faults in a man???? That's not me! I don't forgive!!! I grieve, obsess and puke it all out in my art. Geez, I may end up doing happy art. EEEEWWW. If I start doing cute, someone stage an intervention, I'm counting on you.


This is how I have been feeling a lot lately. I started a list of things that I am swamped by and deleted it. It was very banal. My problems are not big ones, I am thankful for that, not complaining here. The other day at work I was venting to a co-worker who is also a good friend, about my messy house, feeling artistically blocked, refinancing the house, can't save any money, etc. And she replied, "I know how you feel. My Mother is taking care of her brother who has liver cancer and is in hospice between her own chemotherapy treatments. My dad can't be home alone because of his dementia and my sister and I are taking turns caring for him. " Holy Hell Batman, I felt ashamed. I apologized profusely and asked her why she let me blather on about my issues which don't amount to a hill of beans. She replied, "Because you're my friend." Now there is a concept I can grasp. xoSusan

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bleach Stamping is Not For Sissys

At 9 am this morning I went into the laundry room to start on The Hill. I saw The Bleach. I remembered the bleach stamping technique Bernie Berlin uses in her book, Artist Trading Card Workshop. I gathered up supplies and went outside. I lugged all my stamps downstairs, black cardstock, gloves, bleach etc. The excitement!! Guess what? It DIDN'T WORK!! I used up all the black paper I had! What the hell?? Went back upstairs found more solid dark cardstock in greens browns blues. Some of them worked and some didn't. It was very hot out and the bleach kept evaporating. No breeze, started getting a headache. Moral of the story? The cheaper and poorer the quality of cardstock, the better. Some has a waxy coating that will not bleach.

When it did work, I loved it! I hope the bleach doesn't damage my stamps. I'm too lazy to wash them off. You have to use a lot of bleach on the stamp, more than the amount of ink you would use. Here is the pile of finished papers. Pay no attention to the pile of laundry on the table:
And some gratuitous closeups:

I just love Bernie's book. I have learned a lot from it and had the best time experimenting. I just got some Never Dull and can't wait to try that technique too. Backgrounds are my favorite part of the process. Now the next step is to embellish these papers with ink, paint, stencils, spray webbing. Or leave them plain. Try it OUTSIDE!! xoSusan

Ballerina Under Glass

I don't think I ever shared a photo of my Ballerina canvas framed. My sister, Linda, framed it using a "museum" hahaha setting. The canvas lays under glass on top of velvet. We're Not Worthy, We're Not Worthy!! She sure did come out pretty:


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Blocked Dammit

My Studio aka cat litter/computer room is a disaster. I have fond memories of a previous post in which everything is in it's place and there is a place for every thing. It seriously looks like a tornado went through here. There is paper everywhere, barely a trail from the door to the table. So I bought ever MORE storage drawers. It always looks worse before it gets better. Now it's much worse. Mother's Day sucked. My gift was to spend the hole day arting but I stared at paper everywhere, overwhelmed and without a single idea. All day at my job that pays the bills, ideas and frustration that I am not home creating, whirl in my head. And there I sat. Getting more and more discouraged. I need an artful intervention. Any volunteers?? I am not posting a pic. I am too ashamed. I did spend part of the day printing pics out on my Apollo transparencies. Only have about 5 left. eek mo money mo money mo money I have to spend. Well, purell transfers will not work if you have sealed your background with gel medium, especially Goldens Tar Gel. So that frustrated the hell out of me. I am in the "learning the hard way club." So here is the ONLY thing I came up with in over 8 hours in the studio:

I love my PhrenMen ATC's but this one was a pain in the ass. I wasn't really feeling it. I used one of the napkin backgrounds from a recent post. The buildings were supposed to be transfers, but those didn't work. So I had to use my dwindling stash of transparent stickers from the Queen of Tarts. I think they went out of business. I tried to find a link but wasn't able to. If someone has a link or any info, please share it with me. Their stickers were the BOMB, as were their other ephemera items. Hey, Thanks for attending my Pity Party!!!! Have a great weekend, I'm out to visit my BFF and dance and drink and act the opposite of my age!! xoSusan


Okay so far, Roberta from Quilted Cavalier, and Marsha from Tumblefish Studio have played the What's On Your Walls Game. Marsha inadvertently played. There was a piece of art hanging in the background of a photo she posted on her blog. She is completely forgiven though, because she gave me an awesome award on her blog.

Snipped from Marsha's post about this award, “The Renee award was created by Bella and Ces in honour of their friend Renee. In Bella's own words "this is a brand new award and I have the pleasure and honor of spreading the seed, watching it grow. I hope it finds it's way to those who are like Renee: the acorn, a small package becoming a tall and sturdy oak, giving more acorns, becoming tall and sturdy oaks, giving acorns…”

What wonderful words of support and friendship. Thank you Marsha. You know I covet your art. Want Proof? See Sidebar. teehee

Check out the other recipients of the award on Marsha's blog, some wonderful, awe inspiring stuff going on out there in the art world. Roberta posted a whole bunch of cool photos on her flickr site. Getting to know artists via blogging is so enriching. Their art tells us whats in their souls but I still want to know What's On Your Walls???? teehee

So, today we are doing The Living Room:

My beloved Bill Campbell Pottery. This bowl is "Earth Wind And Fire".

Fringe Studios Urn. Yeah, that's my future resting place. teehee
Sam's Glue Art. 6th grade.
Eryn's photo from her honeymoon.
Christmas Gift from my BFF, Grace.
Art Montage. Center "Heart" piece is Eryn's. Remaining are works of Terry Berg. They are cards. I met Terry at Vendor Night during Art and Soul. Her work is magical, Polaroid emulsion, I think it's called? I don't want to know how she does it. I just know I love it. The link I have used is not directly to Terry. I can't find one. The link is Cafe Press where they sell some of her work.
This is an image of Terry's daughter.
I had to have this one because that is Terry's grandson's drawing of a gargoyle in the upper right hand corner.

If you want to learn Terry's secrets check with Art and Soul retreats.
Again the woman is Terry's daughter.
Gifted from my BFF, Grace. After I cloyingly coveted her print.......
Flaming June. My alter ego, yeah right, I wish. So there you have it, my small living room packed with a few of my favorite things. YOUR TURN!!! xoSusan

Saturday, May 9, 2009

ATC Backgrounds

My favorite part of any project is the background. I am less confidant when creating the final composition of a piece than the background. I guess that's why I love making them. I let go and have the most fun. Composition causes me angst. Backgrounds are made with wild and fun abandon. They are exciting, anything goes. Foundations can go any way at all, but the composition, well, that is a real commitment. Ok, I've made a bigger deal out of it than it is! As usual! Point is I made some ATC's out of napkins, Wuthering Heights pages, maps, sewing patterns and patterned tissues. I used up the left over tinted tar gel from the previous post's cabinet card project to assemble them. When still tacky smeared some perfect pearls here and there:
They were fun. My cat proceeded to knock over rinse water on my art table when I left the room. The ATC's soaked up the water and now the baseball card substrates are wimpy. So tonight I am going to glue stick some patterned papers to the back to add bulk. Then I'll start agonizing over the compositions.......xoSusan

She Was Unable To Solve The Puzzle That Was His Heart

Have been super short on time this week, but the muse is calling and must be heard. Managed to finish another sneak peek from last week. This is the altered cabinet card:
You are seeing a puzzle piece, sequin waste, gel pens, oil pastels, heart stickers, Martha Stewart swallow punch, assorted rubber stamps, acrylic paint, index thingy. Here he is after I added words, distressed it by adding layers of tar gel and peeling holes in the layers:
I don't like his color now. I added too much Golden's transparent Yellow Iron Oxide Acrylic to the tar gel. I should have cut the color in half and thinned out the gel too. The distressing sound all planned right? I had you convinced it was intentional, right? uh uh. I tried to peel up the gel layer over the words, because I think they are hard to see now, but the ink started peeling off too. I also sanded the hell out of it but the color remained as strong, the surface just got dull. I have read on some other blogs that artists are using Future Floor Wax to seal and build up shiny layers. Cheaper than Goldens Tar Gel, will try it and soon! Any one else tried it and want to share???? In the index thing it says "unravel, untangle, clarity, answer from my Thesaurus thingy. I'm not in love with him, but he was a good learning experience, now where have I heard that before???teehee......xoSusan

Saturday, May 2, 2009

You Ain't Worth Shooting

New canvas named after a lyric in an old blues song. This was my first foray into beeswax. I am happily surprised by the results. I have finally finished one of the sneak peek posts!!! yeah !!!! Here is a pic of the work in progress: I used a stretched canvas covered in tissues and washes of acrylics. Added two shooting woman transparencies and a vintage postcard. Some tissue images of lovers, an image of a gunshot wounded heart, wooden die cut guns, antique doilie, embossing powders, crackle paint, rub n buff, molding paste,rub on, walnut ink, broken jewelry and wax, of course!
Here are detail photos:

Here is the completed canvas:
I wish the composition was a little different, in my head I was just playing around. I really like it though. Maybe it will be my first listing on etsy. Should I do etsy?? I'm not prolific enuf, unless I sell my ATC's and call them ACEO's. They ARE one of a kind....hmm food for thought.......xoSusan

Spring Fever

I opened my back door and saw:

I walked closer and one of the best smells on the planet hit me:
Lilacs! This bush is about 3 or 4 years old. Not sure exactly. It was a tiny $12 bush from Home Depot. I do nothing to it, no water, no lime and this is what I get in return:

My favorite spring moment is my first sighting of my lilac bush. What's your favorite spring moment? xoSusan