Thursday, April 20, 2006

ATC Making Last Night

I took about an hour to work on making some ATCs last night. None were completed but about 18 or 20 are in process.

Spanish Text Swap: I added multiple layers of paint to the ATCs. I used acrylic paints at full strength. On some ATCs, I applied the paint with a credit card. Some of the paint was too thick so I grabbed a napkin to wipe it off. I then began using the napkin to actually apply the paint in thin layers. I had to be careful because at one point I was rubbing too vigorously on the wet paper and the background/base paper with the Spanish text on it began to rub away/get ruined. After applying up to three layers on each ATC I put them aside to dry.

I want to share to not be afraid to try new things. The ATCs that I was making began with a bronze color to them. This was too bright so I then added a dark brown. That looked too dark so I added a golden yellow to brighten it up but it was too garish. I then added brown back in to take some of the horridness of it away. Then everything looked too flat so I added bronze metallic paint back in. I am not worried that I will ‘ruin’ these. It is best to just forge ahead and try things. You can always paint over everything and start all over again. What you can’t predict is some of the great things that happen from just experimenting.

I looked through my pile of ephemera and found an old guide book to Disney World, from the last trip we took there. This book is loaded with maps and lots of color images of Disney characters. There is a Disney ATC Swap going on, on one of my ATC chat lists. I was not going to participate in it, but I decided, “Why not spend a little time on it, try it, and use some of these images which I already have on hand?” I put Disney characters in the ‘cutesy’ category and I usually don’t make ‘cutesy’ art but what the heck, let’s see what I can do with it, it will be a challenge for me.

I did a test and confirmed that the images do work well as packing tape transfers. I got the idea to put the transfers on top of colorful painted backgrounds rather than using something flat like plain old colored card stock.

I had read in one of Teesha Moore’s publications that she said to try not to pour left over acrylic paint down the drain as it contains ingredients that are not great for the environment. She advised to paint the left over paint onto paper bags. (I have actually been pondering what is better, to paint on paper then to perhaps throw that away which will get burned up to make electricity and release pollution into the air or is it better to put it down my drain which does not go to a sewage treatment plant but it goes into my septic system and into my leaching field, directly into my ground and perhaps into my ground water which is what we drink as we have well water here. Phew. These type of environmental questions are things that the layperson has no clue about but I am truly curious about it. I also have no idea what is wrong with acrylic paint that is labeled non-toxic, could it be that it is unhealthy for creatures or critters or also if it gets into my own drinking water? I don’t have those answers.)

So I have begun to do this. When I have left over paint, I grab a brown paper grocery bag and cut apart the bag and paint onto the inside (blank) surface and I leave it to dry. I use a combination of regular paintbrushes and a stipple brush. Blending two colors together sometimes makes interesting compositions of color. The edge where the stipple brush touches the brown paper also looks nice.

I took some of those left over paint/paper bag backgrounds and adhered thin cardboard pieces that I had previously cut into the proper size for ATCs. Those cardboard pieces are left over product containers (i.e. Kleenex boxes). I used Golden Acrylic Soft Gel Matte as the adhesive. I left these to dry overnight.

I did about eight packing tape transfers and left them to dry overnight by laying them out on paper towels with the sticky side up.

I stopped because it was time to get the kids ready for bed and to do our regular nighttime routine.

It was nice to get a little ‘me time’ in.

The other thing I’ll share is that I have been taking in a lot of inspiration and I felt a real need to get it out by making some art. I had spent the afternoon yesterday with my children and another homeschooling family visiting the former home of Mark Twain, in Hartford, Connecticut. It was inspirational for me to be in a famous person’s home, a writer, no less. I was thrilled to see the room in which his children were homeschooled (hooray, they were homeschooled) and also to see the desk at which he sat and wrote the most famous stories: Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (to name but three). The architecture of the home was stunning and many of the walls were hand-stenciled and designed by Tiffany! We also had the pleasure of viewing some Tiffany stained glass.

I can only take in so much inspiration before I need to release it, to get it out. It is a very similar feeling to what I remember when I was a child, when I was recovering from getting my tonsils removed and was forced to stay indoors and watch outside the window as my brother and neighbor-friends played and ran and had fun. I was near bursting with the desire to go outdoors and play and when my mother finally gave me the approval to do so I ran from the house bursting with energy and it felt wonderful and freeing. This is also a similar feeling that I have when I have something on my mind and the only way I can release it fully is to write it out. Sometiems talking it over with a friend helps but nothing is as releasing for me as writing it. Sometimes talking alone just stirs the pot even more and makes me more annoyed or excited or whatever.

One last thing I will mention….I am so happy that I am instilling a love of creating art in my children. Last night after I put the kids to bed I heard some odd sounds in the house and went to investigate. It was my 8 year old son going downstairs for a glass of water. I went down also and was looking through my small pile of art zines and art instruction books for something to read before bed. My son walked over and spied my art journal, which I have not touched for over a month. He said very excitedly, “Oh, Mama your art journal, you have not worked in this for a while. You should take the new embossing powder and do some stamping into the journal and then emboss it.” I agreed that I could do that. He then took it and ran to the kitchen table (in the dark) and put it down on the table. I asked what he was doing and he said, “I am putting it on the table so you will see it there in the morning and we can work on it together then, I put it there so you’d not forget.” He is so cute. He was truly excited at this idea.

(The only bad thing was that in the morning we discovered he placed it on top of all the packing tape transfers that were drying, with their sticky sides up. The transfers were stuck to the papers on the cover of the journal and had to be peeled off. It occurred to me that you may wonder what my reaction was. I was not angry and I did not chastise him It was an accident as he placed it down in the dark, and he had no way of knowing I had laid out those packing tape transfers there to dry. So he did not get into trouble and I wasn’t even upset. We set to immediately re-soaking the transfers in warm water, and got the new paper off them. I would like to work on those today just to get them stuck down onto the ATCs before something else happens to them, but doubt I will have time. The kids have a class to attend today, and I have to do house cleaning and a little decluttering to prepare for a homeschool support group meeting that I am running and hosting at my home tonight. I also want to cull more books from my shelves to offer up for resale to the homeschool moms coming to my house tonight.)

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