HollyDeanArtist: Often Medieval in Mood: ATC Play

Friday, December 16, 2011

ATC Play

I love creating ATC's, or Artist Trading Cards. They can be a lot of fun - especially if you have no expectations for the outcome and just play.

Painting, mark-making & writing words into the wet paint.
I started by using painter's tape to fasten a long piece of primed, unstretched canvas to my table. I then applied Golden Fluid Acrylics, followed by Golden Open paint in Titan Buff and Titanium White. All paint was scraped on with a palette knife - no brushes. The Open paint makes it possible to manipulate the surface for MUCH longer than regular acrylics. I had to wait 24 hours for it to dry!

The ATC's cut to size: 2.5" x 3.5"
I chose the section I wanted to keep from my long canvas and cut the rest into ATC's. Here you can see the marks made with a wooden skewer and words written with rubber-tipped "pens", which scraped away the wet paint to reveal the layers beneath.

Painted arches outlined in black india ink, red paint dots & white gel pen lines around edges.
I decided to add gothic arches to each canvas card, painted with a transparent paint - Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold Fluid Acrylic. I love this paint. It allowed the background to show through each arch, creating the look of a tinted glass window. I had originally planned to sew around the edges, but instead chose to draw sketchy lines in white gel pen to get a similar look.

A closer look.
I love how precious each card becomes once it is cropped from a larger background. When I looked at the cards as a collection, a wintery theme became apparent - caves of ice, snow on boughs, the aurora borealis...

Fifteen cards were made for the CBBAG-OV (Canadian Book Binders and Book Artists Guild - Ottawa Valley), affectionately pronounced "cabbage-oh-vee". We have an annual Swap at our December meeting which is always a wonderful event. We all come away with a beautiful handmade piece of art or book art!


  1. These turned out beautifully, love that they are done on the unstretched canvas. Course it helped when it comes to the mark making that you have a wonderful calligraphy hand!

  2. Okay...now I just have to make some new ATC's...these are very cool indeed!!

    I send you one of mine if you send me one of yours....

  3. @Deb: Thanks!
    @Bren: Thank you :D
    @Dave: Deal! Email me your mailing address...

  4. Lovely... care to swap?! :]

  5. Awesome collection, HOlly :)

  6. Wonderful Holly - we could start an international swap!! Will think about it over the break!! Are you closing studio until April??

    Cheers and here's to a great Christmas and New Year for you and fam and friends!!

  7. @Julie: Thank you! :D
    @Wyn: An international swap is a brilliant idea! Dave is thinking about it too... We're taking the week off between Christmas & New Year's, probably to play in the studio :) Then it's back to Cirque Wirque & fighting for time with my own art! Thanks for the good wishes - right back at you :D

  8. Great post! I'm going to do ATCs with my art students soon, and I will totally show them this post. Thanks for sharing your process!

  9. Thanks, Julie! I love to share and your students will love making ATC's :)



Related Posts with Thumbnails