Yesterday was my first day back in the studio since my last post and it felt great to handle the paper and get my fingers in the paint. I am always amazed at the soothing effect the feel the materials and the sight of beautiful color combinations have on my soul....so grateful for that.
I actually had a project to complete yesterday. Jessica at In Search of Dessert posted just before Christmas about an effort she is coordinating to bless the families of Sandy Hook. She is putting together a deck of Artist Trading Cards for the family of each loved one lost in the devastating December 14 school shooting. My goal yesterday was to create 26 artist trading cards which included an inspirational quote that Jessica provided.
I decided to come up with one basic design and repeat it 26 times:
Preparing so many cards at once could prove to be a little tedious so I stream-lined the process a bit. First of all, to provide a surface ready to receive paint, I used gel medium (thinned with a little water) to adhere pages from a phone book to each card. The size of the type on the phone book pages works well in this very small format but you really could use any paper you wish. I like to use several torn strips instead of one solid piece of paper as this provides a little more texture.
I don't worry about lining the paper up with the edge of the card. It's much easier just to slap it on there then trim the edges once the paper is dry.
For this design I used a fairly dry brush to apply a little white gesso, then "scrubbed" on a little light blue acrylic with a rag. I like to keep these base layers thin so that the type shows through.
Here are the cards in varying stages of completion. White and purple acrylic were applied with bubble wrap, a rubber stamp and a paintbrush to add visual texture. I took a cue from Van Gogh when painting the swirly suns...the bright yellows and oranges provide a nice contrast to the cool hues the background. (The white gesso under painting helps keep the colors pure.) To me these colors and forms communicate a serene, hopeful mood.
Since the background is a little dark I decided to print the quote on light cardstock, trim each word and ink the edges with a stamp pad to help the type "pop".
*Hint: To save time when preparing large amounts of type this way, trim each line and ink the long edges before cutting out individual words. If the long edges of each piece are already inked you only have to touch the short ends to the stamp pad and you're ready for adhesive. (I used more gel medium.)*
The butterfly is one of nature's most powerful symbols of new life so I added this image as a prayer for hope and healing for the recipients of these cards. I may add a few finishing touches in white and then the cards will be ready for packaging and mailing. Here they are...all the same yet each one unique.
ATC's are miniature works of art, personal expressions with the artist's touch evident even when created in a series such as these were. The individual variations and unique quality of each card make them such a joy to receive.
As I worked I prayed that these cards will be an expression of the care and compassion that even total strangers have for the members of each family. I hope the recipients will be strengthened by the reminder that there is beauty and goodness in this world and that they are loved.
Thanks for stopping by and blessings to you in this new year. I hope that 2013 will be time of growing, learning, healing and celebration of all that is good and beautiful your life.
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