Abandon Ship… I Mean Art!

The big gallery night was yesterday… had a small turnout, but that’s okay because it gave me a chance to talk with some of the other artists and get to know the owner of the gallery a little better. Everyone was great and I got lots of helpful feedback about my work. I had been considering trying to make prints of some of my original paintings to sell at a lower cost, but Daniel (the gallery owner) talked me out of it. He suggested that I would do better selling originals at a reasonable price, because all the 3D and tactile elements I include in my paintings would be lost in translation in a print. I agree and he knows what he’s doing so I will totally trust him on this one. I also got the name of another gallery in the Short North that accepts new artist work as well and would probably get a lot of traffic on gallery hop nights. I am going to look into showing some of my work there in addition to CSG. This fall I may also take the opportunity to learn how to make paper and bind books as CS Gallery has a paper workshop and book bindery in the back which is pretty cool. As if that wasn’t enough, I was invited to join the Etsy Team Columbus, which is sort of like an artist collective here in the city. It’s hard to imagine all of this has happened in less then a couple of weeks!

Meanwhile, I have been keeping very busy and preparing for the next show. I started another small project that is really fun and I am very excited about. It’s called Abandoned Art. I think I stumbled across this in a magazine, but basically it’s a movement started by various artists across the country and in other parts of the world as almost a service project. The idea is to make small pieces of art and then “abandon” them somewhere for someone else to find with a note explaining that they are receiving a gift. It’s not meant to be PR for a specific person it’s meant to raise awareness about the importance of art even during tough economic times by making it affordable (it’s free!) as well as simply brighten someone’s day with an unexpected gift. It sounded so amazingly awesome I decided to hop on the bandwagon. I need to print off some notes to attach to them, but otherwise I have a few ready to go…
Here is the whole collection all together…

The glare makes it a little hard to read, but it says “Spread your wings and FLY!”

This is my favorite one.

Be Joyful

This one just makes me laugh, I love Finding Nemo!
I wanted my Abandoned Art pieces to be inspirational so it would hopefully cheer and encourage the recipient. All the pieces are made on old playing cards so they are the perfect size to tuck away in unexpected places. Once I have the notes printed up and start leaving them in places around town I will take photos of where they get left and post them here. Look out Columbus, here comes Abandoned Art! 
If you want more information about the movement you can check out the official Facebook page- Abandoned Art FaceBook or at Michael DeMeng’s Blog (the creator of Abandoned Art) at Michael DeMeng.
On top of this I finished up two more pieces in my Tarot Card series that I plan on entering in next month’s open gallery…

The Hermit

Detail of the apple.

The lantern.
I feel this piece needs a little explaining. There were conflicting interpretations on this particular card so I went with what resonated the most with me. In my interpretation, the man (who happens to be my Grandpa E, and is one of my favorite photos of him) is not isolated or lonely, but is choosing solitary time to meditate and gain insight. The lantern and apple symbolize illumination and wisdom. I especially like how the lantern turned out, it was this funky pendant I found in the Jo Ann’s clearance bin and when I bought it I had no idea what I was going to use it for, but with the help of some gold paint it found it’s home in this painting.
The last piece is my version of the Fool card and I thought maybe you would like to see how a work progresses from start to finish…

The pieces…
First I start a piece by finding elements that I will use to make the collage. I usually have an idea for a layout, but not necessarily colors. I go through my paper stash and do-dads until I find things that “pop out” at me and I think will work together. This is usually a very intuitive and organic process.

Then I add texture and interest to the background paper. For this I used a piece of a map that I crumpled and aged with Ranger Distress Ink.

Hand stitching
From there I start adding details. For this piece, and in recent pieces I have been adding stitching to the paper. I hand stitched the old Girl Scout patch on and then added some decorative machine stitching to the green paper to highlight the silhouette created from decorative scissors.

Everything is glued down and ink is added to the edges and flower stems drawn.
Final piece

To finish it off I added the buttons as flowers, the title plate and the card number. I added a little charcoal around the edge of the photograph and I outlined the decorative edge on the green paper with a pen. All totaled the whole thing probably took me about 3 hours.

Close up of the badge

Close up of the button flowers.

The Fool isn’t stupid, this card represents innocence and new beginnings. I wanted to invoke the feeling of a journey and the rising sun with the map and paper/girl scout badge background. The adorable little boy is my Uncle Bill when he was a wee lad!

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