Emerging From the Background

These ATC’s were made in June, 2016. In constructing them, I took cards that had some sort of paint or collage background and found these people – I used a pen to bring them out, and there you have it – new friends? neighbors? workmates? fellow commuters? I could go on and on…



19 thoughts on “Emerging From the Background

  1. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. It’s like looking at clouds and turning the shapes into…something. And very relaxing too, to do this kind of artwork. It almost does itself, I think!

  2. Claudia McGill Post author

    I find I use this motif a lot, a person or animal or creature holding a bird that has alighted on his/her/its hand. I have always hoped that this would happen to me, and I think it is a symbol of peace and happiness to me, too.

  3. Claudia McGill Post author

    ATCs are 2.5″ x 3.5″. If you google the term ATC or artist trading card, you will get more info than you can read about the form, how it came about, and so on. What I like (besides the small size, which I think is like a haiku in art form) is also that the cards are meant to be given or traded, not sold, and that to me they are a sign of friendship. I have participated in lots of swaps and events (also pretty easy to find if you google, or if you look up the International Union of Mail Artists, lots there) and I have also taught workshops involving the form – it’s easy for people to grasp, to feel successful with, and once they get into it (sometimes people resist at first – we are taught in life that we need to hold on to what we have, I think!) they enjoy the act of generosity of sharing their art with others for no other reason than to make friends through art.

  4. Claudia McGill Post author

    Another person you have introduced me to, as I don’t know him! Fantastic. And thank you for what you said – I seem to repeat this bird in the hand motif in lots of artwork, but I think of the bird as choosing the person, not the other way around. A blessing falling on a person, sort of.

  5. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you, and to me birds are always somewhat magic- I can remember wanting to be a bird when I was very little and thought a person could grow up to be something other than just a – grownup!

  6. Claudia McGill Post author

    Yes. It is really a nice feeling to go with that inspiration and not slam your nose into a wall when the momentum drops out. And then you have to get out and push. !!! Even worse if it is raining

  7. Jeanette Clawson

    These are fantastic. I’m making up my first batch of ATCs for a class I’m teaching in a little over a week. I was going to make some updated business cards, but you have inspired me to give these a go.

  8. Claudia McGill Post author

    World’s easiest art form, the ATC – forgiving and very small scale, so there is both a lot of scope for expression and yet little enough invested, time and material wise, to feel bad if it doesn’t go right at first. Are you planning to have the students swap? If so, I can give you my swap method as to how to get everyone to exchange, and to actually enjoy it (because some people are leery of letting go of their artwork at first, but, once they try it, I have never had anyone regret it).

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