Monday, March 30, 2015

Artist Trading Cards

ATCs or Artist Trading Cards are little mini art works and can be made for anything, to any theme and then swapped among fellow ATC artists.

I have been making and trading them for quite a few years now and it is always a thrill to see what arrives in your mail box :)

I have started a group to just trade art within
 Australia and we have been making ATCs,
 I am offering adult swaps and swaps for the little artists in our lives.

My son and I carved some stamps
 to use to make some bird themed ATC's recently.

These are our cards all ready and waiting for the mail out date.
If you would like to join in the fun and you reside within Australia
find us on facebook. Australian Art Swap Group 
and check your PMs once you apply.

ATCs can be made from any material,
the only rule is the size,
there is a fabulous PDF with so much information about ATCs 
you can look at online  it is called Art in your Pocket
I often recommend people new to ATCs to have a look at that guide.

Sometimes I like to create interactive ATC's

This one has a wrought iron garden gate,

I often make myself a card as well when I am doing a set for a swap,
and it is always good to clearly label your cards 
before you send them off. 

This amazing card comes from the incredibly talented Kalona

these cards were from an unusual shaped ATC swap.

This beautiful ATC was done by Mary Larner

And these pics are of my unusual shaped ATC 

I included my love of layers and intricate details 

Creating a Goddess Alter 

There is no end to what you can do with your ATCs
I regularly teach ATC workshops so keep an eye out if you are local.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

What is Art Journaling ?

I have been asked a few times lately just what exactly is art journaling?
It is a question that comes up quite often really as more and more people see the odd art journal page pop up on their computer screen and its popularity continues to grow.

Put simply an art journal is somewhere to play with words and images anyone can do it,for any reason at all.

There are no wrong ways to art journal and you don't need to be able to draw, there are many stunning journals done with creative collage, stenciling, stamping and beautiful lettering.

There are many different types of art journal, some are collaborative and travel among artists, in a group or a club or perhaps around the world. Some are to document something significant, a travel journal for a special holiday or a wedding or a persons life.

Others are a  very effective form of therapy, where you can pour your heart out in the privacy of your own art journal. You can even express things you just cant say in words through art.

Your journal can be as public or as private as you would like it to be. Art journalers all over the world are sharing their pages online I have even had pages of mine and pages done by my students
 exhibited in art galleries. 

It is a safe space for you to explore ideas and process things,

Document what is happening or what you have seen.

Or simply to play.

There are no rules for art journaling, it is not complicated, it is a form of self expression.

There is a long tradition of artists keeping journals ,
throughout the centuries many have kept note books where they sketched, wrote notes, practiced and experimented.  Van Gogh, Picasso and Da Vinci were prolific journal keepers and over the years you will grow to have a beautiful collection.

I will be starting an Art Journaling Class in Grafton in the next month or so, please contact me if you are interested in joining me in this relaxing creative hobby.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Printmaking in the ART BOX at Wooli

I am offering another free workshop at Wooli on Saturday afternoon,
in the Art Box.
We will be getting all painty making trifold prints.
So dont wear your good clothes.

We will be creating monoprints  on a gelatin plate using child safe acrylic paints 
and layering different colours on top of each other
 to create colourful and unique pieces. 

The gelatin plate lends itself to creative experimentation and play
and along the way we will be learning about 
positive and negative prints as well as ghost prints.

The space inside the box is set up perfectly for a friendly little group 
and  it is situated right on the river at Wooli at the skate park.
We start at 3:30 and I would love to see you there.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

PEACE Blog Hop at Community Thrive


I feel very honored to be joining Heather and Mystelle
at Community Thrive
in their very first ART CHALLENGE  blog hop today.

I am sharing this day with four other artists who took the same inspiration~
Loraine Rigby of Loraine's Art n Crafts 
Gabriele Langfeldt- Feldmann of Art-A-Tag
Regina Berweinof Sisters Art Lab
Renee Stein of The Tin Goat 
So do make sure you visit them all
 and leave a comment because we all love to hear from you.

Joining in this blog hop was just the inspiration I needed to do a few things I have wanted to do for a very long time, and I think you can tell I am very new to the whole video making process but I had a ball and learned so much.
 I now have a River Girl Art you tube channel and I want to make more videos than I can find time for, but first I have a lot of research to do to find a better way of mounting the camera and setting things up.
I have to thank my wonderful 16 yo son for doing all the technical things and using his camera- love you Jarrah.

This month we are creating a piece of art based on  PEACE and  playing with multiple textures. There was also another prompt of favourite movie, but I am not really a movie girl so I just went with peace and used multiple textures.

My art piece is a page in my loose leaf art journal.
I started work listening to John Lennon
and playing with colour and pattern,
loosening up and feeling my way onto the art.

The peaceful colours I played with were purples and blues. pinks and white,
once I had my collage elements down I added more colour
with my neo colour II's while the medium was still wet.
I wanted to pull it all together and leave a nice texture for what was to follow
so I covered it all up with tissue paper in my chosen colours,
and left it to dry just before I went to bed
 I decided it needed some more colour
 so I smeared on some flouro pink and left it overnight..

Establishing a peaceful space the next morning was a bit more challenging
 with the boys up and about
so we all sat down to pot of orange and cinnamon rooibos
and talked about peace and setting intentions and quiet activities.

 I gathered up some more supplies that felt right,
gesso- it is never far from my work space,
a range of my home made stamps, some stamp pads,
 a few acrylic paints and the neo's.
 Then I just needed some music and it was time to play.

I love working like this, intuitively and playfully
to me that is what art is all about.
 I did some stamping into a fresh layer of gesso but
 I think there was already so much texture underneath
 they did not show up very much when I tried to pick them up with the neo's
so I started to draw with them
and ended up with a peace symbol embedded in my layers.
Filled in the spaces with some stamping
then activated the neos and added some gesso.

I often use the gesso like this with neo's
as I like the tonal quality but I mainly like that it acts as a fixative
 and keeps that creamy dreamy paint right where I want it.

When everything was dry again I wanted to instill even more peace into my page
 so I added some lyrics from the night before
Imagine by John Lennon was just right
and my trusty posca paint pens did it with ease.

I was watching the paint dry  (as I do)
and contemplating how to finish my page
and I could see a dove of peace hiding on my page-

I picked him out with a white stabilo pencil
then outlined him with a white paint pen
I wanted something sky like around him that was transparent
to show all of my delicious layers underneath,
 I started with a paint brush  but wanted more transparency
so I used a baby wipe to fill in the sky and I used the wipe to blend the paint pen
 inside the bird and remove the sky colour so he has a more defined look

One of the things I learned was it would be good to have taken photographs
 at each stage as well as the video,
 I did try to get stills from the video but they were too blurry.

I will also be more careful with placement of supplies and my art work
in relation to the camera so all in all I discovered the art of making video's is rather like making art and there is always lots of room for improvement and more and more opportunities for learning. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Big Sky Photo Challenge

I took these photos on walk around here last winter ,
we have beautiful winter skies,and the reflections
 in the dam were so beautiful.

 Over on the Australian Art Swap Group on facebook
we have a photo challenge every month and these photo's
inspired this months theme,

ATC themes this month are Feathered Friends for the grown up artists and Quirky Birds for the junior artists, we also have a book mark swap and an art journal swap happening. Our Supply and Ephemera swap has just closed and everyone will be eagerly awaiting their goodies in the coming weeks.

If you are a resident of Australia and want to join us find us on facebook.