Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Art Trading

People have been asking me about all of this art swapping business.
How it works, what people trade and where does it happen
so I thought I would share my experiences here.

There are many forums and sites available online that enable you join in and swap your art and gorgeous creations. Some sites have a rating system that don't inspire me join in with them as in my eyes, there is no wrong art, it is your own expression and beyond judgement, however I do love to get respectful feedback on my work and that is something that encourages me to join in on my chosen sites.

My favorites are listed in my side bar, I find Milliande's Art Community for Women and Tamara LaPorte's Willowing network incredible places where I find much inspiration, support, respect and encouragement. I have also made real life friends at these sites, it is wonderful way to meet people with similar interests.

I have joined in on many trades of ATC's Artist Trading Cards, these mini artworks are often made to a theme and you just sign up and make your cards by the due date and send them off. Some sites have a coordinator who organises the swap and collects all the cards and then sends them out to the participants, on other sites the swap partners are listed on the site, the participants exchange addresses and then they send their cards to each other.

Artist Trading Cards have an interesting history and you can read about them at
Artist Trading Cards
Art Junction a collaborative art space- ATCs in the classroom.

A terrific introduction to ATCs with lots of ideas to inspire can be found at
Cedarseed Art in my Pocket along with some other wonderful tutorials.

As soon as I heard about journal round robins I knew I wanted to participate in them. The idea of ending up with a book filled with original art works from other artists all on my chosen theme was so appealing to me and I was lucky enough to get into the International journal swap Monika is co ordinating over at Milliandes. It was lucky as numbers were limited and it was a case of first come first served. Our journals are well into their journey as they set off on July 1st 2010 and it is so nice every time one arrives in the mail to look at all the work other artists have done in each journal, then to add your own work and send it on.

These are pictures of the entry I did In Euphaeidae's journal

her chose theme was Feminine Fertility

and I adored working in her journal
because it was a topic that is so close to my heart.

There are art swaps in all sorts of mediums,
I attended the Grafton Quilt makers display on the weekend and they had some beautiful swaps on display, quilted post cards and little wall hangings.
People make ATCs from fabric, clay, needle felting, metal, almost any craft people practice can be showcased and traded in an ATC. There are people swapping art dolls, paintings, journal pages, collages, mail art, all sorts of things, its fun and its some of the nicest mail I ever receive in my mail box.

I swapped this

layered small canvas for this

gorgeous piece with Deb Raymer
at Milliande's Art Community for Women
that is proudly on display in my bathroom.

Now I know you are wondering about that beauty at the top of the post.

This is Rusalka
and I still can't believe how lucky I am to have her

I joined in on an art doll swap
this it right out of my area of ability but it looked like so much fun
and the whole community at Milliande's is so encouraging.

I had no idea I would be gifted
such a gorgeous and stunning doll

Rusalka is so beautiful and so detailed
every little part of her is so lovingly considered and finished.

and she was made by the amazingly talented Monika Schmid for me!
You can see more of Monika's lovely work at Stories of Pearls and Plunder

I am so blessed.
Art swapping has enriched my life enormously.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sneek Peek at my Jacaranda Goddess works

I am working on a body of work inspired by the sacred feminine, some of these works will be selected for exhibition in this years annual Jacaranda Exhibition as part of the Jacaranda Festival. I have been exploring textures using hand made papers, collage and including fabrics, looking at ancient images and symbolism and creating hand carved stamps, printing plates and hand made stencils, doing lots of fine detailed drawings and also creating small felted dolls.
This body of work includes mixed media pieces, hand made art journals, a large and very interesting interactive canvas panel, some sculptural prices and a few other surprises.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Unusual Shaped ATCs

My gorgeous friend Helen
is hosting a very different ATC swap
over at Milliande's Art Community for Women.

She has set the challenge
of unusual shaped ACTs

and as I am working on a series in my other art
based on the sacred feminine

I decided to do Goddess Shrines

I really like the way these turned out
its a little bit hard to send them away ,
but they will be winging their way to Ireland very soon
and I will be eagerly awaiting a return parcel in the mail.

This lot of ATCs are done on medium weight paper and I have used acrylic paints, distress inks, hand carved stamps, my favorite unipin, neocolours and zig markers.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

The lovely Monika
from Stories of Pearls and Plunder
is hosting a really fun
international ATC swap
over at Milliande's Art Community for Women.

The theme for this swap is
"Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil"

Initially I was rather challenged
coming up with an idea or a theme,
I was thinking about moonlight and snakes and bats and owls,
that's what I have in my garden in the moonlight.

I started to play around with various materials
and I came up with a background
that suggested midnight and moon light to me.
And Witches :)

I started with a sheet of floral/
garden theme scrap booking paper
and I screwed it up into a ball,
then I unfolded it and added some texture
across the high points with a black stamp pad
I repeated the screwing up
and inking process with a dark purple,
then I flattened it all out by hand
and applied a thin coat of Atelier
interactive acrylics in pthalo blue

Next I drew onto the papers with Zig Vellum Writers
and gel pens, I also collaged on the full moons
with some wonderful old wallpaper I found a roll of
on a recent op shop trip.

They still didn't sing so
I decided I wanted wrought iron garden gates
but how on earth would I make them?
I discovered some paper doily's
in my papers and thought they just might do,

So I coated them with impasto gel
and a few coats of black gesso.
That did the trick and they were much stronger.
So I hung my gates and my ATCs are ready to go.

These 2 are snuggled into there plastic sleeves
ready to go out into the world.

I always make one or 2 extra ATCs,
and these I keep in my own collection.

Summer Song ATC swap @ Willowing

I recently spent 9 wonderful weeks on a road trip with my 2 home-schooled sons, just the 3 of us on the road and we had a fabulous time traveling through 3 states in Australia, but I missed my art so was very keen to get back into it when we came home.

The wonderful Tam at Willowing
was hosting an Artist Trading Card swap
with the theme of "Summer Song"

So I signed up and got started on these cards.
I made all 4 in one piece and then I cut them to size.

Materials used were aged book papers from a book about opera
with music and words on the pages. I drew on a happy sun and used some rubber stamps and coloured them with Caran d'Ache Neocolours, gel pens and Zig Vellum Writers.

I was partnered with Kyles for this swap
and you can see the gorgeous ATCs
she made for me over at her blog - Blissful Pumpkins
so I have sent 2 of these cards down to her in Victoria,
and it is Winter in Australia
so we need these little rays of sunshine
even more than our fellow ATC swappers
in the northern hemishpere.

Grafton Regional Gallery exhibition June 2011

The Grafton Art Club
currently has an exhibition on at the local art gallery in the studio
and I was lucky enough to have 6 of my works selected for this exhibition.
3 mixed media works , 2 on wood blocks
~"Dark Angel" and "Hand of Fortune"
and one on an interesting shaped canvas panel
"Oh my Goddess"
A pen and ink drawing "Cosmos"

"Goddess" from a recent print making spree

Another printed goddess,
this time onto calico to become a cover for a hand made journal.