Sunday, January 3, 2010

NY Resolution 2010: Think Outside The Box

I'm working (and salvaging at the same time, teehee) an 8 x 10 mixed media canvas. During drying times and brainstorming, waiting for an idea, truth be told, I played around with 2 ATC's. Since I'm not ready to share my canvas, I'll share these 2 "out of the box" for me ATC's. I collect rubber stamps, I love them because I can't draw. I under utilize them and decided to bring em out and shake things up. There are so many inks, powders, paints, and all kinds of techniques that are available to make that stamped image your own individual piece of art. Here is what I came up with, "Black Gold":
I used the back of an old paperback as the substrate, and tried that ink swish method. ie use a non stick craft sheet, dab inks on it mist with water, then lay the card down and swish or smoosh it around. Yeah, it looked like crap, wiped that off. Tim Holz uses this technique a lot. I have no swish skills. sigh. So I just took a make up sponge dabbed the ink pad and dabbed the ink around on the card. I used a sage green, a goldish, and a burgundy. Then I stamped in black the flourish and embossed it with black embossing powders. ohh ahhh. shiney. I took a square of my handmade paper and inked the flower image, its one of Fred B Mulletts stamps. I took a piece of black paper I bought and gold embossed a leaf on it, but it didn't turn out very shiny. Wrapped some thread around card and taped on a flower charm. Sharpie'd the edges and layered with gold and then black paper. I did this quickly, rummaged around my paper scraps box. I tried to use this as an exercise to stretch out of "my style" and see what happens. Not using words, or having a sarcastic, or humorous, or R rated slant to my work is definitely out of the box for me. I was really kind of surprised with what I came up with. I may be spending some time forcing myself to work differently in order to refresh. I think that is a lovely New Year's Resolution, don't you?

I also really like the artist's who add stitching and fabric to their art. My friend PB, of Barn Owl Studios told me about an artist I never heard of before, Rebecca Sower, who utilizes fabric in her work, quite beautifully. Another artist, along similar lines, Ruth Rae, does gorgeous work I have admired for a long time. I have mentioned before that sewing on a sewing machine for me would be like driving a space shuttle. I have one gathering dust, but I am afraid of it. So I bought one of those hand held wheel thingys that pokes even holes when you roll it across paper and filled the holes with thread. Yeah, I bought it like two years ago and just took it out of the packaging. I should be a third generation quilter, my grandmother and mother are unsurpassed in their quilting skills. They tried to teach me. See that picture up there with my two brokn arms??? How do you think that happened? you guessed it, sewing lessons. teehee. not really tho. So instead of using fabric, altho I have several tubs of it from my mom, I used a napkin and mulberry paper on this one called "Buried in Trees":

You probably don't believe me, but those words are taken from "Wuthering Heights". Anything that is worthy in life can be taken from "Wuthering Heights". teehee. So the black card stock has a bit of the stem from Fred B. Mulletts Teasel stamp, that I bleached stamped. I used the German scrap bird, layered the papers, rolled that hole making thing, and filled those holes with red and a gold/black glittery thread from my cross stitching days. Dabbed a bit of ink on the blk and white napkin. So there you have it. This is a lot of writing about 2 average and humble ATC's. What makes them special, to me anyway, is that I tried to think intuitively and quickly, force myself to think outside of the box. They are a beginning only, and I'm hoping my findings from these exercises will help my "personal style" of art making evolve. How do you challenge yourself to keep your art work evolving? Please share your process, I'd love to hear. xoSusan


  1. Susan your experiments are truely beautiful. You are out of the box. Very fresh. I can't wait to see the canvas. It's going to WOW me surely.
    Challenging myself is something I love doing. Certain things scare me, like yu and the sewing machine. But I'm a Gemini, so I get bored easily. If there is something I'm expecially drawn to I'll give it a try. I can not just stick with what I know, what fun is that. Oh yea, I make lots of messes, but I save them mostly, thinking some other inspiration will salvage it. So far its worked.


  2. Whoooo- Hooooo! Look at you, Girl! These atc's are absolutely gorgeous! I LOVE that you've taken some chances. BTW - I'm swish and transfer challenged! Tim makes everything look sooooo easy. And, believe it or not, I'm a big fan of Rebecca Sower's work too. Can't wait to see more art discoveries! Hugs, Terri xoxo