Love at First Site

Mixed media is something new to me.  I’ve mostly been into scrapbooking for the past 20 or so years, so collage isn’t something I’ve done a lot of.  Even when I was a kid, I did paper mache once, which reminds me of what I do now, with layering of paper and objects, molding a final look.

I’m still learning how to shoot photos as I work on things.  This is a process for me as I seem to either take too many photos or not enough.  With all this being said, I come to my next project: framing up vintage photos of my parents.

Is it just me or are there other people that are almost afraid of using old photos that mean something to you into a piece of artwork?  I feel almost as if I will ruin it, the feeling of the photo.  I don’t use originals, so I’m not afraid of ultimately physically damaging the image, but it is as if I am sullying somehow if it doesn’t come out perfectly.  Just motivating myself to get started on these projects is a challenge because of this weird feeling I get.

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Close up of collage project. Photo is layered over a doily, on a textured card stock.  Flowers and found objects frame it.

My mother wasn’t really a scrapbooker, though there were some books with a few photos within.  Most of our family photos were either scattered into plastic bags and old envelopes, and the majority of the photos my father took were organized in slide holders.  Many, MANY slide carousel projector trays are full of photos over 40 years old.  I still need to go through all those…but I at least look forward to seeing those.

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Some inexpensive flowers that I sprayed with inks.
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Various elements I was playing around with to use within the composition.
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Most of the elements I was planning on using for the project.

I started this blog to motivate myself to make art.  I figured that if I had a place to share the projects, then I would just continue to make stuff.  It’s been a bit hit and miss due to my day job.  The only free time I have to post is usually at home on weekends, so that cuts into my art time.  So…anywho, I do what I can.

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Close up of more elements I used: matchbook cover, some old game pieces, metal cogs, buttons and cake picks.

This particular project was a present for my mother for her birthday.  I honestly wasn’t sure if she’d like it as she is notoriously picky.  Many of the past gifts were politely thanked for, then either given away to other siblings and in-laws or, what I used to call it, “Wished away to the Field”…which was storing said gift into the garage to lament.  I gave up for most of my life and just bought her See’s Candies since I knew she at least, ate those.  Of course, I think my brother ate most of them, but hey, it’s the thought that counts, right?

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Wooden laser cut key embellished with Inka Gold paints.  Sharing a Prima wing set.
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Playing with the idea of making a key fly, and link to the idea of a key to her heart, etc.
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Overall composition play as I move elements around to see what looks best. I collect random things, so everything goes down and slowly I edit as I work.
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Close up of some of the layers that will be the lower right side of the photo.

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After printing out a few of my mom’s favorite photos, I chose one in particular that had meaning for my mom.  As far as I know, it was taken very early on in my parent’s relationship.  Probably within the first few months of them falling in love, in Israel.  I think it’s about 1955, but I’m not certain.  My mother loved this photo, even though it was hidden away in a drawer for years and years.

As with most of my projects, I used some extra card stock that I used heavy gesso on (I had some old gesso from years before) and a stencil to just get some texture.  I used some Dylusions inks to get that pink color and a lot of water to get it super runny.  Let it dry, then found the doily and the photo and used clear gesso to get these down on the cardboard.

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Attaching doily and photo to base.

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Once this all dried, I started arranging the found objects to frame the photo.  This is usually a long process.  Going through my stash drawers, I will gather up whatever I think I need to use, what would fit the theme, color or basic design.  Sometimes I will paint the pieces to match better or stand out more.  Sometimes I don’t touch them, or I cut…really depends.

In this case, I had a bunch of vintage things, like drink stirrers, cake picks, cracker jack toys, and just STUFF.  I move it around the photo until I think that looks the best, then I start to glue.

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I ended up using a hot glue gun to attach the pieces.  My mom loved it.  So glad.

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