Cardin’ and Taggin’ 2015

It’s that time of year again. Linocut card time! This year’s theme has kinda carried it’s way through 2 projects. The first was the card image for this years greeting cards. It was inspired by the Druid story of the Oak King and the Holly King. As the story goes these two beings battle it out every year with the aim of ruling the seasons. No one ever “wins” really cause they end up sharing the seasons. The Holly Kings rule starts summer time and continues until winter when the Oak King takes over until summer. What I liked about it was that the Oak King was a symbol for the coming spring and longer days. As we are almost at our darkest here right now in my part of the world with the sun setting around 4:30pm and not coming back up until 9 am, I thought it was a great winter card theme. My little Ladybug friends made an appearance again this year each taking on one of the roles.

Oak King and the Holly King

 

Then to continue onto the linocut present tags, which have become my favourite way to do these tags as of late, I decided to stick with the oak leaf as the image. I was trying to aim for small detail reproduction in this one and I’m quite happy with how it worked out. It took a bit more time to carve and some patience but I think they are the best ones yet. Happy Holidays!

 

 


Beetle Taggin’ 2014

Alright I’m a bit behind in posting so it’s time to do some catch up. This year’s Christmas present tags started out early on in November. Yes, that’s how far behind I am…Christmas. It’s the earliest I have ever started the tags and I stuck with doing a linocut print again this year. I have really been enjoying them over the last few years.

This years guy is inspired by the Anoplognathus pallidicollis better known as the Australian Christmas Beetle. Known as this because of it’s appearance en masse around the Christmas season. Oh so clever of a name 🙂 Beetles are festive right? It had a great muted gold and green tone to it from photos I found. Add a few eucalyptus leaves and berries and there we go. I originally intended to print the beetle in gold but after a few test prints I changed my mind and went with a green print and gold detailing added in after the fact. The final colouration isn’t very true to the original insect but I like how it turned out. The gold doesn’t show well here but it’s quite flashy as it turns in the light. Here’s a pic of the beetle in his green state and then with the added gold. I may try and do some prints in just gold again but maybe on a different paper. I felt the white background just washed the whole thing out too much. It is a tag after all and needs to stand out a bit.


Taggin’ 2013

The samples

The samples

 

It’s that time of year again. 🙂 Many years ago now I started a Christmas project for myself. While I enjoy making bits of art for people as gifts, I found that my ambitions and the reality of what time I had were not very well matched. So this was a way to let me make something for every person without going overboard. I’ve come to love this yearly project and it has proven a great place to try out new things as well.

This years tag is a lino cut of intertwining vines and a fading flower with a fall or winter like branch. The space at the bottom is for the name of the recipient. I usually end up making 20 or so tags. These were all stamped onto different colours because I couldn’t decide what colour to use. Later, I came back in and started putting in gold paint details trying out different spots to put the hits.

 

tag 2013 sm

 

After sitting with all the samples for awhile I settled on blue. I had some already cut card that would allow for two images per sheet so this became the winning blue. As for the gold details I decided to keep it minimal and added some spots of white for more interest.

 

tag final 2013 sm

 

Finally, there was trimming out the tags, rounding corners and adding a hole for the ribbon.

A bit wonky you say.  Why yes! I often strive to achieve what I view in my minds eye as “perfection”. I find while it’s always good to strive and better a skill it also makes me tight and afraid to just do something. I tried to stay away from achieiving that idea this year.  When I look at the tags this year all the things I see wrong with them are also points of interest for me. Most important it reminds me I am not a machine. While I admire people who make cards and other crafty gifts that are so perfect they seem to have been made by a machine, I dislike that there are no flaws. Probably jealousy on my part. I love that mine turned out a little askew. Literally.  Each is imperfect. Also important is that I am willing to show people and give them away. It’s good to see growth while hoarding your own work, but putting it out there is good too I’m discovering.

Want to see some tags of Christmas’ past? Click the link and check them out on my site under Mixed Media.

 

 


Sketchbook Exchange

lum jelly sm

Bioluminous Jellies

My sister and I both share a love of art and drawing. One day long ago she moved to a city far away. Well not that far. It did cut down on the artistic things we were able to to together though. So one day a proposal was made to start an exchange. An exchange of “postcards”. Handmade and sent through the mail. There were very few “rules” to the exchange and over time it evolved into an art exchange more than postcard exchange.

I quite enjoyed the challenge, but then sometime last year, after about ten years of postcards, we decided to augment the exchange and move into a sketchbook we would pass back and forth for awhile instead. Looking back her first drawing was dated Nov 10, 2012. I guess today is, technically, the one year anniversary of the new format.  Yeah!!! (insert streamers and confetti here 🙂 )

This is my latest entry. Not a sketch per se. It’s a linocut print done straight into the book with acrylic colouring. I did a few test prints to get a feel for how it would ink and had to do some jiggering to make sure the sketchbook wasn’t going to slip or shift while I was transferring the image in ink. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Especially the inconsistencies in the black.

To check out some of our “postcard” adventures from the past click here.

To see some of the drawings from the sketchbook so far click here.