Saturday, October 30, 2010

A New Art Form For Me!!

OK, well not TOTALLY new....  I first tried watercolor over 30 years ago.  Naming the piece (had I kept it) would have been soooo very easy.  Like "Mud Puddle"!!  I actually knew NOTHING about watercolor and it definitely showed.  So terrible that I never even considered watercolors again.

Until.....well I DO use watercolor to create backgrounds for ATCs and my original note cards sometimes. But that is very different from trying to make something that someone else will recognize.  But, a new swap appeared on AFA with the theme "Water Water Everywhere".  What better theme to try out this technique? Seemed appropriate, right? So, I decided to give it a try.  Still knew almost nothing about this medium but I have learned some of what it does and how it acts.  Part of my continuing artistic journey.

Here they are....what do you think? 

A Mirror Lake
At the end of summer a few years ago, we went wilderness camping in Quetico Park in Canada. It is a "no motor" park so the lakes are always clear and peaceful. However, one day we were out in our canoe and I felt like I was in some surreal painting. The lake was perfectly calm and provided a perfect mirror for every bit of nature on shore and island. It was an experience I'll never forget.

An Agate Beach
The Minnesota North Shore of Lake Superior. Many of the serene beaches of the North Shore are scattered with agates. Most of the big ones have been taken out but it is still an enjoyable afternoon to sift through the small rocks that make up the beach....just in case.

Frozen Gooseberry Falls
Gooseberry Falls is an amazing place on the Minnesota North Shore of Lake Superior. While it is beautiful in its race to the lake in summer, it is majestic as it is frozen in place - just waiting for spring thaw.

Sunset at Duluth Harbor
Lake Superior is seldom calm but in the evening, when the sun is just above the horizon, it can become less turbulent. This is the time when it is so beautiful and peaceful.

I'm thinking I just might keep working on this.....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Birthday and Blue

These are for a swap called Tangled Up In Blue.  The idea is to have a mainly blue card.  Don't know if it was the "tangled up" concept or because it was a dreary day, but the whole thing seemed to turn rather pensive.  Interesting how that happens, huh?

Faded Dreams
Dreams - once so vibrant and alive, over time unfulfilled, fade into wafts of smoke as they evaporate..sometimes forever.

Faint Hearted
Our hearts reach out again and again. Too often rebuffed and left alone. We try again only to suffer the same fate. After time, the heartbeat is barely discernable.

Adrift On The Sea Of Time
TIME - never enough or too much. Most of us have at one time or another felt adrift and our schedules tossed upside down by unforseen happenings. We feel amazed that we even keep out head above water.

Trapped By Our Own Words
The words left our lips before they were adequately considered. Too late. They are out there now for all to hear and judge. One can only hope for kindness and understanding.

Then, my final Birthday ATC card - October.  I kind of used the technique for abstract gel medium.  I just didn't paint the whole background.  I liked the collage pieces so much I didn't want to cover them up!  The title is Pumpkin Pumpkin.

That's it for today! 
These are some of the most fun photos I've gotten to take in a while. The photo swap is themed for old sheds and shacks. Here are four of my favorite shed and shack photos in my collecton.

Shed As Billboard
Found this shed out on the back roads of rural MN. Someone decided to give it the new job of advertising.

Shed Near Rogers
This shed is just up the road a ways just outside Rogers.

Found this shed hidden way back in the trees up in the Northwoods of MN.

Stillwater Shack
Found this beauty on the way to photograph a lift-bridge in Stillwater, MN. If you look closely you can see straps holding up the little room on the side of the shack.

Sometimes I wonder just what I find so absolutely mesmerizing about old falling down structures. Something to do with their history and character...

ATCs from yesterday's studio time

Oh yes there are more! I'm working to complete my obligations for these swaps and then get onto some other projects that have been calling my name a lot lately.

Another photo swap for ATCs.  This one is Autumn Splendor.  Needless to say, in Minnesota I have plenty of photo opportunities for this one.

Autumn Waterfall
On the east bank of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. This is a small waterfall in Fr. Hennepin Bluffs Park near the area of St. Anthony Falls.

Tree On The Corner
This tree is actually on the corner of my street in Rogers, MN.

Urban Autumn
View from Nicollet Island in the Mississippi River toward downtown Minneapolis.

Autumn Sumac
Sumac along a path in Fr. Hennepin Bluffs Park in Minneapolis.

I don't think there are many things more wonderful than wandering through the outdoors in Autumn in Minnesota!

Just a couple for today

Well, the ATCs are winding down here for a bit.  Only a few more sets to go. 

This one is for the Birthday ATC swap for the November birthdays.  I always think autumn is exciting with all the colors.  AND that certain aroma in the air that is so difficult to describe in words....let alone in art!  So I opted for some gold color hand dyed fabric for the background, some fabric autumn leaves and some metallic acorns.  I think the result is very happy.  Hence the name....Autumn Excitement!

This is one I've had a lot of fun with.  Over a year ago (perhaps even two years ago or more) I had a class in image transfer using gel medium.  I had a beautifully colored bird picture from a magazine in the early 1900s from an ephemera lot I purchased on e-bay.  So using that technique I transferred the picture of a Yellow Headed Blackbird to fabric.  It's been in my bits and pieces box.....just waiting for inspiration.  Then I needed a bird ATC for a thank you to a hostess and this turned out to be the perfect size.  In the upper left corner is mulberry bark painted brown acrylic and brushed with Lumiere Gold.  I'm  hoping she will enjoy it!

So at this moment, the October Birthday cards are drying.  And I have backings to add to another set of cards to post later. So.....back to work!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

And yet some more!

More studio time working on some of my new favorite little bits of art - ATCs.

These are for a swap full of fun and whimsy.  Don't know if you can call the "art" but they were a nice fun diversion and much needed play time.  The theme....If Pigs Could Fly.  You just know I couldn't pass this one up.  All the little piggies I get in return will find a new home is MY little piggy's flourishing ATC collection!  Here are the ones I'm sending in.  We could do 6 this with one extra for the are my 7 cards.

My How PIGS Fly!
Another play on words kind of. Time flies.....pigs face on the flying pig...

Red-Eye Flight
Silently whooshing through the starry night sky. Winging his way to his destination during the wee hours of the
 morning. Struggling to stay awake!

Swine Flew
Get it? Swine Flew (flu). Couldn't pass that one up. Well, I COULD have but where's the fun in that?

Angel Piggy
Little angelic piggy with her halo only slightly askew. Still, all in all, a heavenly sight.

Pink Pig Of Happiness
Forget all about Blue Birds...This little piggy has happiness enought for everyone! And he's spreading it all around! Just look at that face! How could you see him and NOT be happy?

Pontoon Pig
Not only does this little piggy fly...THIS little piggy can land on water!! There he is now...headed for his favorite island!

Poor little piggy! He's really in a sticky situation now! Causing trouble for everyone!

So much fun!  Now back to the "real" world.

Latest art from my busy studio

It continues to be a whirlwind around the studio these days.  So much little time!!  Let's see, where did I leave off.....

Ok, here are some new ATCs for swaps I'm participating in.

These are for the Let's Get Messy swap.  The rule was that all the cards had to be painted without using ANY tools other than finger, elbows, toes.... you get the picture.  Those of you who know me, KNOW how difficult this one was to get into!  NOT!!  It was great fun actually.  So much so that I find I'm fingerpainting a lot of my backgrounds since this swap completed. 

A Day At The Beach
Waves breaking. Seagulls calling. And the only footprints in the sand are your own. Ahh what peace!

Cave Drawings
Decided to go primitive on this one. Okay...abstract primitive might be a better description. I painted the shapes with the side of my little finger dipped in paint. Then overwashed it with some Marigold Procion Dye.

Patiently Waiting
It fits the title because I dipped my fingertips in several colors of acrylic paint and then drummed them on the card like one does when waiting. If you look closely you can even see my fingerprints.

Grape Hyacinth
Lots of tiny purple flowers with white tips to make up one stem. The look very similar to a bunch of grapes...hence their name.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Inspiring Artists

You know how I like to share with you artists that inspire me.  Well here are three pieces from three different artists.  All of them are abstracts from three of my favorite artists.  I like the last one particularly. Hope you enjoy them!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bridge Photos

Well, it took me a few days to recover from the harrowing evening of trying to get a night photo of one of my favorite bridges.  But I finally got them printed and mounted on ATC cards for the very first ATC swap I get to  hostess!!  Here they are:

Third Avenue Bridge
The Third Avenue Bridge is the longest S-curve shaped concrete arch bridge in the world. The bridge was completed in June of 1918. The curves in the bridge were dictated by the rock in the upper level of the Saint Anthony falls. By the 1970s, the Third Avenue Bridge had deteriorated badly. Due to cost, it probably would have been cheaper to abandon the refurbishing project and tear the bridge down, but the city decided to continue. The refurbished bridge opened in late 1980.

Stillwater Lift Bridge
The 1931 Stillwater Bridge, spanning the St. Croix River, was the last vertical-lift bridge to be completed. The 140' central span is engineered for a rise up to 51'.

Stone Arch Bridge
Completed in 1883 for Manitoba Railway, this is the only arched bridge made of stone along the entire length of the Mississippi River. It curves over the river just below St. Anthony Falls. It was built of locally-quarried limestone and granite, and also limestone quarried in Iowa. In 1994, the Stone Arch Bridge became a pedestrian and biking bridge.

Father Louis Hennepin Bridge
The Father Louis Hennepin Bridge - The location of this new bridge was the site of what is believed to be the first permanent bridge over the Mississippi River. The original very important bridge over the Mississippi River is now the most beautiful bridge (especially when lit at night) on this river. The first bridge was built in 1854 and was opened on January 23, 1855. The new bridge was opened in September of 1990.

While the photos are all mine, I want to thank and acknowledge John Weeks for his thorough website page of the bridges in the Minneapolis area.  There are so many more.  Here is a link to his website:

Thanks, John!!


OR......Getting in touch with my inner gangsta!!  

One of the swap themes is graffiti. Well, how could I say NO????  I have been using paper under a lot of my projects keep the island top FAIRLY clean.  Kind of like a drop cloth except paper.  I used the paper as the background for these cards.  This was so much fun! 

AFA stands for AtcsForAll - the group sponsoring the swap.  The KITY one is a thank you card for the hostess.  The other two are self-explanatory.

Although it was great fun....not sure I see a life of "tagging" in my immediate future!

Monday, October 18, 2010


OH almost forgot all about the 10-10-10-a-thon we had to acknowledge that date - October 10, 2010.  The idea was to make ATCs with some kind of allusion to the number "10" on them.  We had from midnight to midnight - 24 hours - to make these.  As we made them we posted them to the other players and trades were made throughout that time.  Here are the the "10" ATCs I made.  All but two have been swapped.


(the number "ten" in different languages)
(notice the time on the clock button -- 10:10)
(the black dots for the braille are actually raised on the card)
(available for trade)
KH #10
(inspired by Jackson Pollock's #10)
(available for trade)
 10c A DANCE
This "a-thon" was great fun but it took me two days to recover!! Whew! That was a lot of work and I don't guess I even need to tell you how messy my studio is at this point!!