Thursday, July 29, 2010

Paint, Ink, Beeswax & Images~ ATC's

I unearthed the high grade printmaking paper that I had left over from a printmaking class I took in the early 90's. I decided to play with some of the acrylic paints in bottles that I had bought and experiment some more with my inks blending and brushing colors and dropping ink drops onto the paint. Since the application was thick and saturated I would blot the paper with another paper doubling my decorated surfaces. I cut these up into ATC-sized pieces 2.5 X 3.5 inches to use later.

Later on I stamped designs on some and added my images and text. I had just decoupaged some boxes with vintage Bingo cards (that I received in a giveaway from Amy at Mittens) and had a few snippets of text left from them which I used.

I had picked up some beeswax to use in some encaustic work but haven't yet gotten the damar resin that's needed to harden it properly. I haven't been schooled in the process yet so I was winging it by just using melted beeswax on it's own. I had some printed images on muslin that I thought would become more translucent with the application of wax but it just seemed to coat it rather than enhance except for some really gauzy worn fabric.

After scraping and distressing the wax I was left with some nondescript textural pieces. I had some mini scrapbooking rivets to play with too. Here's what I came up with~

Which one speaks to you?

waxed, stitched inked and riveted muslin

"Capture a Spiral and Turn it to Gold"
waxed teabag, gold coil, stamped and waxed background

"Somebody Stop Him!"
text and image from vintage children's book

"Postage Due"
printed muslin and ephemera catalog image

"Vertically & Horizontally"
moon piece cut form old printmaking project, Bingo text

"Modern Glyph"
Vintage dressmaking book, stampings

waxed fabric, vintage sheet music, stamping on inked, painted and blotted paper

"Music with a Flourish"
stamping, vintage sheet music, waxed fabric, stitching

Image from vintage Japanese dressmaking school book, Bingo text

"12 Different Ways"
Bingo text, vintage company stamp

"Vertically or Diagonally"
Bingo text , harnessing diagram and waxed muslin

"Japanese Stitchery"
stitched, painted and stamped muslin, image from vintage dressmaking school book

"It makes you think"
Dolly Dingle paper doll, game image

"Balancing Act"
Chinese text from travel pamphlet and stamping

Bingo text, stitching, ink

bottle cap (from Artymess), charm and stampings

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sometimes People Give Me Things~ An Incredible Score!

" girl with no eyes, she's looking at me"
- It's A Beautiful Day

Some of the clothes and lace that were included.

The little bird looking thing against her thigh is her eye. The other one is rattling about in her head.

This face is just darling!

I love the crackling effects on this doll's parts.

Everyone needs some cool rubber shoes like these!

I took off the newer handmade dress to reveal this.

She looks a little jaundiced in the eyes, scary!

"And she could never pleasure herself" 
 (a hilarious quote from my son's girlfriend when she saw this doll)

When our friends Tiff and Sandy from Alaska visited us in Bisbee, AZ last winter, Sandy remarked that they had some old doll parts and pieces that had been sent to them when Tiff's mother passed away.  Apparently Tiff's father hadn't packaged them very well so they didn't arrive in very good shape and after seeing some of my assemblages Sandy thought that perhaps I could put them to good use. I was more than a little excited as I knew that Tiff was named Tiffany because he was related to the Tiffany's ( a name that would get him into a scuffle or two as a young man.)

I had no idea what was in the box that Sandy said was hanging around in their garage and I had visions of some small frozen charlottes or similar. What I didn't expect were large antique dolls  that were fairly intact except for some sawdust hemorrhaging  from various limbs. I'm in a bit of a dilemma whether I would dare to use anything  like these in an assemblage because they seem so precious as is. What I did realize as I was cropping and uploading the photos that much could be done with the images to start with. I'm offering up the images for anyone to use. I would love to see some creations that you could come up with.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Raining & Complaining

       It may be raining nearly every day here but at least it's not cold and dark.

One of my very favorite activities of sub-arctic winter ~ Snowshoeing!
Something I don't get to do much anymore since we started escaping to Arizona for the winters.

Frosty Girl

Summer blueberry picking.

I don't think we've had more than two days of blue sky since May here. The temps have been hovering between 50F and 60 F  (10C-15C) with clouds, rain or wind for most of June and July now.  I have managed to get in a few good spells of blueberry picking in between clouds and at least it's light out all night albeit rainy.
It does make for some good studio time though and I've been attacking the 100 or so archaeology artifact boxes that I was given that were going to be thrown away by the university museum and I'm doing some decoupage of ephemera and images on them.
I also have a couple of metal tables that I'd picked up at a garage sale that are ripe for decoupage as well. The philatelic magazines that my husband gets are full of stamp and antique mail images that I'm finding to be fun to decoupage.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Has Anybody Seen Candace?

Or should the question be has Candace seen anybody?

You can read the whole story about the continuing adventures and misadventures of Candace on Cat Kerr's blog "In the Light of the Moon". I seem to be having troubles reposting the text here on my blog and she's done a wonderful job of telling the story anyhow.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Very Special Artist~ Erik David Behnke

A Spotted Giraffe ~ one of my favorite prints

Brown Bear Products~ Art  by Erik David Behnke

Booth at the Girdwood Forest Fair

Last month I was set up at my booth at the Tanana Valley Farmer's Market when a woman and her son stopped by my booth. The young man set about to organize some of my pieces which were in disarray. I can really use help like that! I recognized him immediately because he's an Alaskan artist that I've seen at quite a few local shows.  He has an amazing gift for illustration in his own distinct style. His wildlife illustrations seem to spring out of him with a unique stylized flair that are delightful and that transcend simple folk art.

I've enjoyed talking with his mom Linda and hearing her tell the story of Erik's journey as an artist. Since then they were my neighbors at the Girdwood Forest Fair and I had the opportunity to chat with his mom and take a few photos of their booth. Watching him engrossed in his drawing with his huge palette of ink pens, painstakingly filling in his black line drawings were a fascination for me. Deliberate and meticulous in his style, each drawing different from the next.

Erik David Behnke is 33 years old and  has Downs Syndrome and austism.  Here is his story taken from his website where you can find his cards and prints and books about his life.

 Erik is a young Alaskan Artist, experiencing Down syndrome and autism.  He was born when his parents, Steve and Linda, were trapping in the Lake Clark area of Alaska.  His first years were spent wrapped in a sleeping bag, strapped in a box on top of a dog sled, piled with all the family's worldy goods.  Life was hard and by age 3, they moved into the fishing town of Dillingham, Alaska on the Bristol Bay coast.

     Years later his mom and dad split up, thus his mom returned to life as a "bush teacher" in rural Alaska.  Erik and his younger brother Chris, grew up moving from bush school to school around the state.  They saw peninsula grizzly bears, caribou, trumpeter swans, ducks, moose, salmon, beluga and killer whales plus many other animals in the wild as their mother tried to focus attention toward the natural beauty and wildlife of Alaska.

     Most of his childhood was spent in southwest bush Alaska with infrequent plane trips to "town" (Anchorage) to buy supplies.  Colors, coloring books, drawing paper, tracing paper, markers, paints, chalks were always purchased for him by his family since he loved to spend hours in artistic endeavors.  No one realized he was teaching himself to draw in the hours he spent each day looking at other art, books, and the world he lived in.  For years, mom had dreamed that Erik would someday work as an artist but it seemed impossible due to the level of his disability.

     In August of 1997, Erik's mom was offered a teaching job "on the road" in the Copper River area.  It was perfect since she preferred small school with multiple grades.  She, overnight, became Erik's physical education and special education teacher.  This was the chance to see if it was possible for him to become a professional artist.

     The blessing of Kenny Lake was a wonderful dedicated teacher aide, Linda Rutledge.  They closely teamed up and continually supported the dream of his mother.  They put white drawing paper in front of him with black ink pens and gave him piles of old books filled with wildlife shots.  Progress was shockingly fast for him.  Soon other artists from the valley were telling them that Erik was a "gifted" artist.  As Erik's style developed, mom realized they were entering into terra incognito.  All winter the team of three learned about the art profession, asked questions  and read everything they could find on art and art publishing.

     In April of 1998, Erik and mom took his files of drawings to Anchorage art galleries in search of a market.  He met the owner of Aurora Fine Art, Diane Louise, and she patiently studied his work.  Tears were soon pouring from his mom's eyes as the gallery owner announced,  "I would like to be the first gallery to introduce Erik Behnke to the World!"  It was a beginning.

     That summer, 1998, Erik had three professional art shows in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Glennallen.  After a busy summer, the family settled into a second cold winter in Kenny Lake where the temperature dropped below 60 below zero.  This didn't stop Erik from focusing on his art.  He designed the art for the 2001 Special Olympic World Winter Games poster, worked on his coloring book illustrations and signed his first professional contract.

    Erik finally graduated from tiny Kenny Lake School and now sells his originals, 52 prints, cards and more in nine art galleries, book stores and gift shops.  Erik and his mom moved to the art community of Homer in 1999 where he now happily spends 3-5 hours per day doing his art. 
His art is now all around the world and new markets are being pursued daily. 

     During the years of 2000-2007, he continued to have several art shows each year, not only in Alaska but also in Washington D.C., Spokane, Boston, Kansas City, Denver and Phoenix.  More art shows are always being pursued.  As the artist for the World Games, the largest sporting event to ever occur in the state of Alaska, his art reached many more countries around the world.

     In 2005, his coloring book, Alaskan Animal ABC Coloring Book hit the market and can now be purchased on this website, galleries, book stores and at his art shows.  In 2006-7 his 13 new cards and 14 new signed and number limited edition prints were added to this website and stores.  He continues to travel in the summer around Alaska and the "States" doing art shows during his mothers vacation from school.    Erik and his mom's hope is that other parents of children with disabilities will dare to dream of career success like this for their children. 

     Erik and his mother, Linda, participated in fifteen events in the 2007 art and book season.  In the summer of 2007, the first edition of  Erik's Story, finding his gift's against all odds in rural Alaska, was for sale around Alaska.  The second edition will be ready for the summer of 2008. Erik and Linda are having fun traveling to all the happenings

     Where will all this lead Erik?  Only time will tell.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

ATC's From Some Rainy Daze

"Make Happy Happy"

It has a good beat.

"School Girls"

Old etching, target practice, vintage storybook image and paper doll head

vintage science book images, inks and paint.

"Does this make my antlers look fat?"

"Budding Artist"

I had been saving this snippet of text for something... and then I saw the brushes!

digitally altered Buddha head from one of my Burma pics along with a diagram from an old craft book.

"Tea on the Dock"

"The Awe of it All"
photoshop Buddha and vintage girl


Rainy days sent me up to the studio to play with paper. I cut up old prints and paper from a printmaking class from the 90's that I took. I also messed around with some leftover paint with faux glazing medium from a cupboard painting project.

Then using mostly vintage images and other papers from a swap, I created a few whimsical and decorative ATC's, the meanings of which may be elusive and enigmatic or perhaps up to the viewer to glean.