Tag Archives: ATCs

June ATC swap… self-portraits

I haven’t participated for some time in one of the monthly ATC swaps on the Belle Papier board, so this month I decided I’d send some cards in for the “self-portrait” themed swap. I’m sending two different sets in… on is a linocut that I started carving a while ago, but didn’t finish until today. I printed the cards using pigment ink onto Bristol. The other is a series of cards I’d printed using the Gocco, pearl paint on black cardstock. I trimmed the images down to the 2.5 x 3.5 inch ATC format. I’m always curious to see what I get back in return. Sometimes the work is really cool, other times it’s a piece that’s been copied onto paper and cut to size, and there are cards that are somewhere in between. The spirit of the ATC has changed much over the years.

The idea was that artists could create little pieces of artwork and then trade them amongst themselves. The pieces were original works, normally, not copies, and sometimes a departure from the artist’s normal medium. Playful, even. But, due to their massive popularity folks from the crafting and scrapbooking camps have all but changed the face of the ATC… originals have for the most part been replaced with layered papers cut to size and glued and ’embellished’, as well as copies of original artworks, reduced and cut to size. I’m guilty of utilizing both, when in a crunch, but I often have gone the extra mile so as to try to maintain the original spirit of the Artist Trading Card… which is why I’ve stopped trading, for the most part. I’d spend a whole lot of time and energy on my cards and would get some in trade that, well… weren’t very time intensive… so I’d feel a bit gyped, if you know what I mean. Let’s see how this one works out…

Can you feeel the love?


Gabriel’s Number themed ATCs

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted, mostly because I’ve been busy, but also because I’ve been so tired. And rather uninspired. The bombings in London… this never-ending war that America fights in Iraq… the mounting cost of gas and housing… WHAT sort of world have we created? And I say WE because we are all collectively responsible for bringing into creation this “reality” that we perceive around us.

I recently heard about some folks in Tulsa that were bitching to get the Christian creationist myth to somehow be portrayed in the zoo, partly to counteract the evolutionist science exhibit and because there was a Ganesh statue with the elephant exhibit which they felt was an anti-Christian bias. In an effort to appease the request, the directors said that they would offer six or seven creation myths equal time. The matter was later dropped.

You know, though, that because there is *only* “one true way” (whichever way said observer believes it is) [big wink], it will
always be at odds with another equally adamant “one true way”-ist.

Indoctrination infuriates me… instead of enlightening the masses, it keeps them blind and bound… but OH so self righteous. Dogma wraps us up in the details, and we worry about which hand to eat with, and which to wipe our butts with… which way to face to worship… which direction to call in first… which way to hold our hand to receive the symbolic body of Christ… which parts of the body to cover and which to expose. Semantics… does it really matter? Only if we believe it does… that’s what brings it to “life.”

If we could worship ourselves (and each other) as we do our god(s), we would be that much closer to reaching the Source of all creation.

There *is* one true way… that of enlightenment… however you achieve it is a personal journey. Stop, just for a moment, and feel connection to every single living organism in the universe. Can you feeeeel the love?

Poisson d’avril


Artist Trading Card
“Poisson Ace of Hearts”

Every year, when I was a kid, I dreaded going to school on April 1st. What can I say, I became embarrassed easily, turning a bright shade of red from neckline to hairline. It being April Fool’s Day, pranks were the order of the day, usually pretty innocuous stuff. The least offensive one was probably to stick a paper fish on one another’s backs with some tape. So with that in mind as inspiration, this is the second year that I take part in a “poisson d’avril”-themed art exchange. Last year we submitted fish of all manner of shapes and sizes, running the gamut from three dimensional, fabric, beaded fish, to little watercolored fish earrings. Very cool.

This year it was decided that we would make a suit of cards, each person getting a different card in the suit, and it would be fish-themed. I chose the ace of hearts, and the card above is the end result. I hand drew the fish with a Sharpie marker, and then used Portfolio water soluble wax pastels, metallic Crayola crayons and watercolors to color it in. Final touches were added with Sakura Jelly Roll Glaze pens.

Digging deep


Artist Trading Card
“Ascension”

I’ve been busily cranking out art projects that are due. It’s funny how the due dates are always either the middle or the end of the month. I’ve yet to see one due on some weird date, like the 8th… or the 23rd. Maybe I’ll have to start a trend… like setting meeting start times for 8:07 (they taught this particular tactic in a time management skills class, or some such class I’d taken when I was being “groomed” at a previous job toward a management position).

Well, I really like this piece. I had this inspiration to put these elements together… they came to me in a dream last night.

Busy as a bee


Field of Mustard

I’ve been working on all sorts of projects, and playing catch-up. This watercolor is for a watercolor postcard project for the Belle Papier Yahoo Group. I always muddle through with watercolors, the final piece never quite matching the image in my mind’s eye.

I managed to clean my desk off yesterday, so it now doesn’t look as if another piece of paper on top of the pile that was there will cause it all to collapse (not only the pile, but the desk too). I’m a pack-rat. I have a hard time throwing things away, and further, I purchase MORE things to add to my “collection” of things “just in case” I’ll need that *specific* item when I’m working on a project. Although I’ve been trying to curb this instinct, it works to various degrees.

My to-do list resembles a grocery list. It’s long and varied… everything from tax prep, to laundry, to shopping, to art projects, to doctor’s appointments, to scrubbing out the toilet. Long. Sometimes overwhelming, but for the most part I have to shut that off, because otherwise I’d just short-circuit and not do anything.

A spontaneous ATC swap opportunity presented itself a while back, from someone who read my blog. I’m about to send these off to Arizona.

Well… off to make breakfast.

Bright-eyed & bushy-tailed


Collage ATCs – Spring

I was up this morning at 5:30, mind brewing with artsy ideas. I’ve been working on my Collage ATCs for a swap that’s due next week, and I’ve completed winter and spring… and have summer and fall left. I’ve begun work on summer, and was anxious to get back to it. I had other ideas brewing overnight on another ATC project, which I must get in the mail today.


Collage ATCs – Winter

I was trying to figure out what it is that I like so much about making these little creations. I decided that because they are themed, the creative process is much easier for me to flow into, and so I can get started on the act of creating. Aside from that, they are such small works that I can get them done before I get bored with them. Yes, I have the attention span of a gnat, and as soon as I get bored, fogeddaboudit… it’s going to sit in an unfinished “to do” heap until I finally decide to “recycle” it. It probably has a lot to do with discipline (or lack of)… or perhaps it has to do with an active mind that constantly renews itself and things become old news pretty quickly. Perhaps a touch of adult ADHD?

While I was quite bright-eyed at 5:30, my cup of coffee doesn’t seem to be doing much for me this morning, and I’m sure that within another hour or so, I’ll be ready for a little nap.

Egads… my toe!

Well… I stubbed my toe last night, on my way onto the patio to drop the load of dirty clothes I was carrying into the washing machine. The darned patio door rail got in my way! 🙂 It’s ringed with purple today, and it’s one of three things… strained, sprained or broken… who could tell? Not much to do with a pinkie toe… except take some anti-inflammatories, put it on ice very once in a while and maybe down a margie with dinner tonight.

I received some more ATCs in the mail today. I love getting artsy things in the mail. Makes me feel loved (even if it meant that I traded, fair & square). I have some issues, as you may already have guessed. I figured I’d maybe post some of the older ATCs that I’ve done, for kicks ‘n jollies. This batch here was my very first swap. I’d never made them before and I was fully hooked. I got some very cool ones in return, too. I like the kind that are hand-made, or you can tell someone spent a bit of time on ’em, and added their “finger print” to them, if you know what I mean. What I find great about these things is that they’re small enough so that you don’t have to invest a WHOLE lot of time in them, but even a bit of time is sufficient to get some really cool real-honest-to-goodness art.

Alrightee then… I need to go take that ibuprofen I mentioned earlier… and maybe lay down a bit… I have a feeling we’ll be Mickie D’ing it instead of margarita-ing it, since tonight’s dinner plans will be established by my 9-yr old son, who worked really hard on his homework all week, and deserves a treat.

Productive weekend

Aye… I spent the weekend pounding away at my art projects, and I’ve just about got my head above water now. It’s fun, but when I get tired from doing so much art, I wonder… am I going it a bit much?

This afternoon I hand carved some stamps, for my black & white themed ATCs.

They are “Tree”, “At the Feet of the Moon”, “Pomegranate” and “Burka”. The last one was “Pomegranate”, and I discovered that I could use a specific bit to carve away the background better… I’ll be going back to clean the others up as well, although I really am going to let it rest for tonight. I’m tired and ready to turn in.

G’night all.