Thursday, June 18, 2009

one year

Today is my one year blog anniversary. ***small fistfuls of glittery confetti joyfully thrown into the air*** Granted, I haven't had much (if any) of a blog presence for awhile. But here I am. Again. I thought since my very first post started with a photo of some of my artist trading cards, I would again honour my latest batch, which was traded a few weeks ago.

The technique I used is probably quite well-known amongst mixed-media junkies:
  1. Find a magazine image that appeals to you.
  2. Using shelf paper or sticky labels or glue, block off the parts that you wish to remain intact.
  3. Once the labels are adhered or the glue is dry, rub the rest of the image, including text, with a wad of Nevr-Dull® Magic Wadding Polish until you achieve the effect you desire.
  4. Peel off the shelf paper or sticky labels (if you are using glue just leave it as is) to reveal your masterpiece.
  • Nevr-Dull is a metal polish that gives your page a painterly, ethereal quality as it smooshes around the ink on your magazine page
  • The best place to find it is in the automotive washing and cleaning section of your local hardware my case - Canadian Tire - my favourite store!
  • If you are sensitive to chemicals and strong smells, avoid this activity altogether or make sure you have good ventilation - the stuff is strong!

I enjoyed using this technique on my cards because I love that ethereal effect and it's satisfying to have an image that says more than it did when you first spied it in the magazine. To do this you can remove an image entirely, fade out an image so it appears as a ghostly presence, obliterate text or leave a faint trace of it, play with colour as you move it around with your Nevr-Dull wadding, or purposely (or accidently) rip the paper for another interesting effect. You never know what your final effect will be until it's finished. There are always surprises.

I sometimes make the mistake of thinking that the artist trading cards I make are just "fun" and have nothing to do with my "real work". But everything creative feeds everything creative. And as I'm describing my Nevr-Dull technique to you I realize that I am doing exactly what I do when I make other "real work": focusing on form and composition, subtracting elements to create a feeling or a narrative, manipulating my materials to achieve various effects that strengthen the work.

So in honour of my first blog anniversary and in honour of trying new techniques, I will enter the names of all those who leave comments on this post in a draw. THE PRIZE: a can of Nevr-Dull® Magic Wadding Polish! Woohoo! This can will be purchased at Canadian Tire using the "wad" of Canadian Tire money (a Canadian institution) that I have been collecting for years and have never cashed in. In keeping with this Canadian connection, the draw will take place on Canada Day...July 1st. So roll those comments in for your very own can of magic wadding polish!

And speaking of artist trading cards, my parents were visiting at the end of May to help me celebrate my 50th (gasp) birthday and while they were here my Mom created her first-ever artist trading cards and accompanied me to her first-ever trade, which she thoroughly enjoyed. I also helped her get started on her own blog so take a peek at her artist trading cards and her birthday surprise for me, both documented on her blog, upbeat meanderings.