Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ideas for using digital clipart in your creative projects...

Ideas for having fun with CD clipart:

Once they've been downloaded at DigiScrapStation, these images can be easily reversed left-to-right, either in your photo-processing program or in your printing program; printing them “backward” gives you two sets of images for the price of one! The only exceptions are the images containing text. These cannot be flipped -- unless your creative impulse leads you into trying backward text just for the fun of it!

You can print in black-and-white, then add your own unique color combinations to the print-out. If your inkjet printer uses dye-based ink, add this personal color with dry media -- colored pencils, rub-ons, oil pastels, etc. If your printer uses pigment ink, you can use wet media like acrylic paint.

You can print on patterned paper. Best results will come from choosing a pattern that’s light in color.

Another option: Create a transparency by printing on the “right” (rough) side of a transparency sheet of film (available at office supply stores.)

Or, use the same transparency film to make transfers: In your photo-processing program or in your printing program, flip an image or text horizontally, making it “backward.” Print this reversed text and/or image onto the “wrong” (shiny) side of a transparency. (Prior to printing, adjust your printer’s ink flow; you want a light flow, since too much ink will create puddles that bleed and blur.) Handling the transparency carefully as it emerges from the printer, immediately place it – wet side down -- onto the receiving surface. Holding it in place with one hand, use the other to burnish from the top of the film, using fingertips or a bone folder.

Transfer-Making Note 1: Transparency films can be used over and over. Simply clean off the residual ink with rubbing alcohol and allow dry-time. One sheet of film, although it will grow stained, will nevertheless work just as well countless more times.
Transfer-Making Note 2: If doing several of these transparencies in a row, take a few minutes to clean your printer following manufacturer’s instructions which in most cases can be found on manufacturers’ websites.

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For a totally new look, try printing on mulberry paper – here’s how:
Set up a sheet of ordinary printing paper for use as a “carrier sheet:” Add strips of two-sided removable cellophane along the edge that will feed into the printer.
If using a flat-feed printer, this should be the only taping necessary. If using a printer that requires the paper to make a U-turn or an L-turn as it’s printed, add one length of tape along each of the long-side edges of the paper, and a third piece of tape down the center of the carrier sheet.
Cut a sheet of translucent mulberry paper to the size of the carrier sheet and gently press it to the carrier, securing it onto the pieces of tape. As the printing begins, hold one hand gently at the end of the paper opposite the feeding end, to help guide it into the printer just in case this should happen to be necessary.
After your first print, you will know whether or not you would like to adjust the ink flow for printing on mulberry paper. My personal preference has been to use either the “medium” or “photo” setting. Sometimes the “photo” setting results in the residual image on the carrier sheet (after the mulberry paper is carefully peeled off) becoming background paper to set aside for a future project.

Mulberry paper prints have a delightful and uneven translucency that make them fun to use in layering techniques for collage. The edges can be left with the original straight-edge cut, or the paper can be torn along the edges, with beautiful frayed edges that increase the areas of texture in a piece of art.
When using mulberry paper prints in collage, I’ve had the most success using dry adhesives like glue sticks.

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I’m sure you’ll enjoy working with my CD digital clipart as much as I enjoyed creating it!  Since I own copyright on these images, they are not to be re-sold.  However, they can be used on products to be marketed for personal financial gain, when credit for the clipart is given to http://heartworkbycecilia.blogspot.com.  Many thanks!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

"Gingko and Flowers," a collage


(Click on the above image to enlarge it.)
 My collage Gingko and Flowers is a small work that recently won an award in a local art show.  It's available for purchase at my Zibbet shop (see upper left column.)  Like most of my collages, this artwork is difficult to really "see" when viewed this way ... digitally.  In person, a viewer sees the translucency of the two diamond-shaped collage elements, and translucency is a quality I love in collage, both for its building of layers as well as its inherent way of hinting at mystery. 

A year or so ago, I made stacks of gelatin monoprints, using gingko leaves from my own tree, as well as a variety of other elements.  After these monoprints dried, I scanned them and altered their colors in Photoshop.  I then printed out these images on mulberry papers, using two-sided temporary tape and carrier sheets in the printing process.  Two of these print-outs became the diamond-shaped elements in the above collage.

I almost always opt to tear the edges of these print-outs before using them in collages; now, what to do with the leftover scraps? 

This is one answer -- mulberry paper is so easily shaped around objects that it was a piece of cake to glue leftover scraps onto these wooden hearts.  The hearts will live on as greeting card embellishments.

Alice I

(Click on the above image to enlarge it.)

Alice I, available for purchase at my Zibbet shop (see upper left column), is a collage-verging-on-assemblage ... or to put it another way, a three-dimensional, highly-textured collage.  I loved combining the wildly different elements to create this artwork, especially the translucent papers, which always add a touch of mystery in the way they partially cover whatever happens to be under them.
  

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

One of my artworks ...

"M," above, is a mixed-media abstract that I created after watching Carrie Burns Browns' DVD, distributed by Creative Catalyst.  The custom-made paper on the upper left of this artwork is one of the many exciting papers I enjoy using in my art.
"M" is available for purchase here:
   http://www.Zibbet.com/HeartworkByCecilia
This is the home of my Zibbet shop, where I have available several mixed-media artworks, all highly-textured and created on gallery-wrap canvas.  Each of these artworks extends all the way back to the wall on all four edges.   With gallery-wrap canvas, framing is optional.  To hang without a frame, attach two eyelet screws to the back of the built-in wooden frame, and string wire between them. 

"M," above, measures 16" wide, 3/4" deep and 20" high.  Click on the above image to enlarge it.      

Saturday, May 14, 2011

DVDs and in-person art workshops

I just ordered the new Anne Bagby DVD, Pattern and Form:  Advanced Collage Techniques.  I greatly enjoyed Anne's first DVD and I think her new one will delight me even more.

DVDs are a fraction of the cost of a live workshop, and they have the advantage of being stoppable at any point, so that I can go straight from watching a demo-in-progress to working on applying what I've just seen and heard.  Some live workshops offer the same opportunity, but, it's been my experience that workshop facilitators, in the interests of saving time, often combine several techniques in each demo session, before giving participants a break in which to apply what's just been presented in the demo.  If too many steps are presented to me in rapid sequence, I tend to forget parts of the lesson, here and there.  If I'm in a workshop that is my very first exposure to any given material, I do much better when I watch a single technique, then immediately follow this with a practice-period.

The other advantage of DVDs is, of course, that they can be watched over and over.

All this said, however, I'm happy to say that soon I will be taking off for 6 days to attend a workshop offered at Hudson Valley Art Association, leaving my husband to hold down the fort (and to care for the cat, who will not be overjoyed at the prolonged absence of "Mom-mom.")  This is the good part of having turned 62 -- now  receiving Social Security benefits, I can start attending farther-afield workshops.  I've yearned to do this for years and years, but was limited to workshop and class opportunities within my local area.  Not only have these been far and few between, but also, they have tended to be aimed at people just starting to stretch their artistic wings.  I've found that when I attend workshops and classes aimed at intermediate and advanced artists, I learn from my fellow participants in addition to learning from the facilitator; and I find this very stimulating and enriching.

How blessed I am, to now be at a place in life where I can have the best of both worlds -- DVDs as well as live workshops.   

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This week at the Zibbet store...

"Fantastic Five" includes my collage "Alice I" 

...my collage Alice I, pictured at left, was selected as the first of five highly textured artworks to be featured this week.  Thank you, Judy! 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

at my local library...

 As of this morning, "M," shown in an earlier post, and 22 other pieces of my abstract contemporary art, hang at my local public library, along with collections of artwork by two artist friends.  We were so happy when we finally finished hanging this three-artist show ... tired, too.  Now we three can rest for a few weeks, until the 21st, when we will host a reception at th library.  Then on June 3, we'll take everything back down, re-pack it, and start the cycle all over again, somewhere else.

I'm so grateful to have these two friends -- I never could have filled the large meeting room at our library with only my own work.  And doing things as a group is so much more rewarding and fun than doing a one-person show ... which I've promised myself to never do again.  I'm also extremely grateful to have a wonderful husband who came when I called -- since it turned out I needed someone much taller than my 5'1" to maneuver the library's hangers.

Here is Ragged, one of my pieces that was hung today--


    And here is one of the paintings (entitled Three Blue Tables) hung by another member of the 3-part team, Norma Wokas--


And here is a painting, entitled The Rose Garden, by the other member of our team, Leonia Mroczkewski...

Both of the above paintings make me want to walk right into the scenes they depict.  I see the personalities of these two friends in these artworks of theirs.

I'm getting a little old for all that climbing up and down a ladder -- but getting this display hung was worth it; all three of us feel we've scaled a mountain and reached the top.  We hung 57 pieces of artwork in all!

Anyone living in central coastal NJ is welcome to stop by to see the show; it's at Middletown Twsp. Public Library, 55 New Monmouth Rd., Middletown, NJ.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Somerset Digital Studio publication

One of my Steampunk collages (from the Steampunk Mega-collection of clipart, available at DigiScrapStation) has been published in the spring 2011 Somerset Digital Studio.  This is my second publication at SDS and I really enjoy working with its editor, Jana Holstein -- she's a doll!  I'm adding a sidebar link to the magazine.