Sunday, April 28, 2013

Original Art Postcards

So, I took some of the gel art prints I made, and decided to create some original art postcards and put them for sale in my shop. 

Because the print plate is 8 x 10, the size of the postcards is 5 x 3.5. I signed each one and put a postcard backing on them. 

 I am struggling with knowing exactly how to drive business to my Etsy store, BelleSouth Studio. I set up a Facebook page just for the store here and I need at least 100 people to click the "Like" button in the upper right corner of the page so that I can start offering sales and drawings.  Would you click on it for me, if you haven't already? And if you have any other suggestions, please let me know. I know it takes a while for people to discover you, so I can use all the help I can get!


Click on the photo to see anything closer.
Come see my latest postcards I've received on Postcards Buffet!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Still Exploring!

My last post was about the fun I was having with the new art of gel printing. So ever since, I've been having ideas swirl around in my head "What if I try this..." "What about that idea...." "It be it would be interesting if......" and so this morning I had my first opportunity to try something. With the ones I printed on card stock, I made some greeting cards! And the paint texture is wonderful - you will love to rub your fingers across them!

Because the gel plate is 8 x 10, and the envelopes I had would hold a 5.5 by 4.24 card, I could either just get one card from the print, or I figured if I painted the white area, I could get two out of the print!

And they way I positioned the cardboard template I made, I had a white space at the bottom so that I could stamp the name of my shop and the website, and the website of my blog as well!

The front and back of each card are different, and no two cards will be alike.

My daughter thought this card reminded her of a sari, so I gave it to her to use.

My husband really liked this blue one ......

.... so I gave him this one to use!

My idea is to make up several of these and sell them in my store.

Probably I will put them in sets by color.

These are just experiments, but I will use the ones I have left for personal correspondence. I also realized that I am going to need a heavier weight card stock to have them look professional - the regular weight is a bit flimsy.

So look for them soon in my Etsy Store - BelleSouth Studio. I think they would make great gifts! 

And I made a Facebook page - Bellesouth Studio, dedicated to me as an artist and featuring the works for sale in my store. Please come visit that page and click on the Like button up in the right corner - the more likes I get the better! :) And send your friends there too if you think they would enjoy seeing the art work - thanks!

I wanted to do more, but I was very disappointed to feel the fatigue creeping in, telling me I had used up a lot of spoons doing this (the Spoon Theory), but I will be back to them as soon as I can. Now I just have to find a source for good card stock paper!

Click on the photo to see anything closer.
Come see my latest postcards I've received on Postcards Buffet!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Something New!

After the emotional drain of the past day, and setting aside the large piece I've been working on - I decided what I needed was a "fun day", just playing and exploring. I had recently ordered something new, and this would be the perfect time to experiment with it.
It's called a Gelliarts Printing Plate.  I found it on sale at Dick Blick Art Supplies and it came in last week. The package looks like this:

At Dick Blick, they carry two sizes; at the Gelliarts link they carry larger sizes and they cost more as they go up. I purchased the 8 X 10 size. There is a video at the Gelliarts site which explains how it works. Basically, you are printing without a press. All you need is paper, paint and a brayer. Stencils are a lot of fun to use. The print you make can be used in your art journal, or as a part of a larger collage, or as a card if printed on cardstock.
You pour the paint on the gel plate, spread it with a brayer, and then lay a piece of paper over it and smooth with your hands, then pull your print off. No two prints will ever be the same.

Here are my first gel prints!

This was the very 1st one I did, the shape is the cap to something. I almost threw it away, but in the kind of art I produce, you never know when you need something. 
Tada - I feel vindicated for being a packrat! The paper is from a Mixed Media pad.

These were actually one sheet of postcard stock with perforations to become four postcards. I can see lots of possibilities with postcards!

This was done on deliwrap paper, which is sort of flimsy but has possibilities for using in collage work.

This is done on card stock, would actually make a nice folded greeting card once it's trimmed to fit the envelope.

You can see the stencils, and the lovely way the color melds together. Again on cardstock.

cardstock again



writing paper

writing paper

It's great fun, and pretty inexpensive to do. You could even use craft paint to do your printing. The last one is a monoprint, and I love the colors! If you go to Youtube and do a search, there are videos there of ways to make prints. Now I will have to think of all kinds of ways to use them!

Click on the photo to see anything closer.
Come see my latest postcards I've received on Postcards Buffet!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Some Musings

Most of what I know as an artist, I learned through trial and error. I am mostly self taught, with some technical skills learned through workshops taken with artists I respect. These two artists, although teaching the workshop together, have very different personal styles, and yet they used the same techniques.

I find what brings me the deepest joy is collages and mixed media artwork. Yet, I have a struggle going on inside of me - is it "real art"?

If I collage a tree on a piece of work, does that lower the art value (not thinking monetary here)? If I see something another artist did, and incorporate that into something I produce, does that mean I can't think of my own ideas? Does it therefore become less?

I don't care for actually drawing, even though I have done a couple of things that show what you might call "traditional art" with recognizable objects, in fact I am working on one now, but that is not my favorite way of expressing myself. I find it limiting, like staying in the lines in a coloring book, something I'm sure many of us were chided to do when we were children. I like to be able to go where the paintbrush takes me, to mix colors together with free abandon and see joy when I finish. It's not always as good as I had hoped, but it's a step forward.

I remember the somewhat bittersweet story of Van Gogh, who was very misunderstood in his time - he did not paint like anyone else, but he was driven to let what was inside of him come out the way it needed to. He only sold one painting in his entire lifetime and he was laughed at by most other successful artists who painted in the "acceptable" way. When Renoir and other painters became what was later called Impressionists, they were shunned by society as being too rebellious, because they did not follow the school of acceptable art of his time. They were laughed at, mocked, could not get a gallery showing of their collected works and yet, they persevered.

I am not comparing myself to Van Gogh or Renoir. But I am struggling with my chosen way of expression. There are great oil paintings and there are many more cheesy oil paintings. There are collage and mixed media works which move you with color and expression and there are many more cheesy, cutsie collages and mixed media pieces.

One of the artists in the workshops I took stated early on that nothing any artist does can be called a pure original. We are influenced by what we see around us - shapes, other art work, color, nature, architecture, stains, decay, movement and passion.

My painting style has been rebuffed by people I care about - "That's not my style" and there is no interest in learning what is going on in the painting. Others, rather than showing interest, turn the conversation towards themselves, complaining about their lack of creativity,  I've learned and am still learning, I need to keep some of this to myself. If someone is interested, I'm excited to share with them, but otherwise I don't anymore.

What brought this to a climax for me was an excited comment about something I did, and the asking about where the inspiration came from. It involved another artist's piece, which had a couple of elements I liked and expressed in my own way. The disappointment and letdown upon hearing that explanation was like a knife in my side. "Oh, I thought it was original with you". I found myself suddenly defending my artwork, and that shouldn't ever happen. I should not have to argue that yes, what I did was really art, not just copying another artist. It's been festering in me ever since and I began to question everything I have been doing.

But my level headed husband, with his wisdom, reassured me that what I did was wonderful, and he envied the fact that my mind did not have to have a "model", that my feelings spilled onto the piece I was doing and that the particular piece in question was not copying and that to him it was beautiful.

I love to admire the works of others, others who express themselves in their own way. I have my own way, and I will continue to express myself and grow in it. It's a gift I was given from the greatest Creator of all time and I thank Him that He puts things in front of me to move me one more step in my passion, to climb higher on the mountain, to see how what I draw from others can be expressed anew in something I make.

I know this has been rambling, but it's been good for me to get it out. When I ask for a critique, I should expect to get one, otherwise, I shall enjoy what I do and revel in the gift God gave me. And yes, this is "real art"!

Click on the photo to see anything closer.
Come see my latest postcards I've received on Postcards Buffet!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Three Of Us

Well, actually, it's the two of them! We were on the bed watching something on Netflix and Rochester has to be with us - it happens every time, and I love it!  I'm usually on the big pile of pillows at the left.

I've been working on a larger painting than I have done in the past and I'm pretty excited with how it's coming along. I hope that I will have it done to show you later this coming week. I painted steadily on it for two mornings straight and it sort of wore me down - used up all of my spoons, so to speak. But I've been resting up this weekend and have high hopes that I will be able to do what's left. 

We have ten new members of the bluebird species - both sets of eggs hatched in the past 10 days. The family in the bird house hatched first, and the babies already have all their feathers, the family on the porch just hatched 2 days ago. It's amazing how fast they grow, and it's still going down into the 40's at night, so I know they appreciate their Mama's warmth!

Click on the photo to see anything closer.
Come see my latest postcards I've received on Postcards Buffet!