To Think About

"There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart."
Celia Thaxter

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Lynne Perella-style ATC Tutorial

Per a request, I will attempt to write the steps I took in making my Lynne Perella-style ATCs.
I began by reviewing Lynne's 2 books and also looking at her website. I will clarify this tutorial with the note that I am an intuitive artist. In other words, I don't plan out my work first, I just go with the flow as I begin to work. Whatever strikes me as "right" as I am working is what I use and do.
MAKING THE BACKGROUND-I started the artistic process with a 12 x 16 Kilimanjaro 140# cold press watercolor block. This is a nice quality watercolor paper. I used the Paint Scraping technique that Traci Bautista describes in her book, Collage Unleashed. The paints I used were cheapy Craft Smart Acrylic paints that I got at Michael's for only 50 cents each. They had a lot of bright fun colors that I originally bought for my Funky Journal (swap in the Arttechniques group). After letting the paint dry, I then used some of the same paints and applied them to a rubber stamp and randomly stamped the page. I also stamped with a gold metallic paint, but it didn't show up real well. I then randomly sprayed the page with some of the brighter of the Color Mist sprays (from Outside the Margins). Using some assorted number stamps, I then inked the stamps with dye inks and added those in a random fashion. I had noticed on Lynne's website that she had slashes of pastels in some of her work, so I lastly added slashes of soft pastels to the page. I cut the page into ATC sized pieces and a larger piece to use as a page in my Funky Journal. There is a sample of this background piece below on my blog. Scroll down and you will see it.
MAKING THE "PASSAGES OF TIME" ATC- I printed out onto HP Premium paper some vintage images that (to me) looked like images Lynne would perhaps use. The images were from a Tuscan Rose image CD. Choosing one of the backgrounds and one of the images, I attached the image to the background using a glue stick. I have found that even if you sand the watercolor paper first, Xyron does not adhere to watercolor paper. I dribbled some yellow India Ink (Dr. Ph. Martin's) onto the image and background. With "Passages of Time" (scroll down the blog and you will see it), I used a stamp I had recently gotten from Stampers Anonymous ( an arrow design), and stamped in two different directions onto the ATC. I chose the arrow direction as going into the ATC's center. This was a deliberate design choice to lead the eye inward rather than off the edge of the ATC. I then stamped more numbers (Lynne seems to have a thing for letters and numbers). I added a butterfly half to the lower right-hand corner. I wanted to incorporate this image into the composition so I used the Color Mist Spray in Tahoe Turquoise and sprayed the butterfly and lower half of the woman's image. I then added some pastel markings in pink and green. The woman had a semi-wistful expression so I found the "inchie" of the little girl that I had left over from a previous swap and added that to the upper right-hand corner. I chose straight alignments for both the inchie and the butterfly as opposed to angling them. This was a matter of design choice. I wanted a stable rather than active look. Angling images gives a more active feel to a piece. At that point I thought I was done and posted it to my blog. When I looked at the ATC later, I noticed that the inchie looked "stuck on" and not really incorporated into the design. So I took the pink and green pastels and added them to the corner of the inchie. This brought it into the composition and I was finished. I named it "Passages of Time" because I felt that the little girl could have been the woman when she was younger, and butterflies represent a metamorphosis. Something in this woman's past changed her from the happy-go-lucky girl to the serious woman in the image. (I love to give a story to my pieces!)
"LOOKING UP" ATC-I decided to add more color to this image. I used pastel on "Looking Up" and although it kinda messed up on her face, I kept it anyway. I liked the look of the yellow "glow" by adding yellow pastel around the image's outline. I added a scrap piece of the background with some brads (in one of Lynne's books she had done a similar thing). This one is pretty simple in design. I named her "Looking Up" since she is and to me is in an attitude of prayer.
"SHE DREAMED OF PEACE" ATC- Added the image with gluestick again. I then "dry brushed" some blue acrylic paint onto the image and background. I added some pink pastel to her cheek. I added a yellowish-gold pastel outline to her image and smudged the line outward to give a "glow" appearance. I then tore a piece froma spiral notebook and added some paints to it to give her a "crown." I added the wording and she was finished. See the piece below to see why I named it what I did.
"HEART"S DESIRE" ATC- Added some dry brushed paint to the background and image and some drips and drabs of a magenta India ink (Dr. Ph. Martin's). I painted a few letter stamps and added those as well. You can see the "E" on the lower portion of the ATC. I sprayed Color Mists in pink and blue. I covered her face with my hand to keep it free from the spray. I added some number stamps with black dye ink. Lynne uses a lot of tags and strings in her work so I incorporated a small tag onto this piece. I painted it first and stamped it, painting the strings as well. I attached it to the ATC with a stapler, and spread the string around her head as a "frame" of sorts. I thought she still needed something, so I used a small heart punch on the tag and then put the heart onto her head. I liked how the yellow paint on her hair made the purple on the heart stand out (this is using complementary color theory). I named this one "Heart's Desire" because she has a wistful expression. Perhaps waiting for her love to come back to her.
I hope this tutorial gives you an idea of my working process. Again, it is unplanned and spontaneous. I attach a piece, and then think "what does it need" and do the next step.


Vivian said...

These are all incredible! Thank you for sharing your technique!

Beth said...

thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
i love your cards, and it's great to see a little bit how you got the beautiful layers without "mud".