These ATC’s were done in June, 2016. The technique I used is one I really like for serendipitous results in layering.

What I did…

I cut out pictures, print, whatever, from a magazine – in this case my favorite, Architectural Digest. Things go better with high-quality materials, so the thick paper and nice print quality was important.

I glued the random assortment of papers on to ATC cards (I use cardboard recycled from cereal boxes and the like, as you know), using acrylic matte medium. I let it all dry.

Then, using the medium, I swished over the surface of the ATC’s, and then adhered more magazine papers, with the side I liked face down. I paid attention to what was already on the card and picked my new layers according that what I thought might work well with it. In other words, if I had a dark layer already on the ATC, I chose something light, or maybe even lines of print. Contrast.

Then I swished another layer of medium over the whole thing. The idea is to let the second layer get a nice saturation to it.

Then, and here is where it gets tricky, I let these new layers dry some, but not totally, and then I pulled them off. As I said, judging this is a matter of trial and error, but luckily, this isn’t brain surgery – if it doesn’t work out to your liking, you just go again.

What happens is that some of the print or image is left behind and forms a layer that is misty, ragged, see-through – depends on what happens. You can do layer after layer in this manner until you like how things have developed.

You end up with something of mystery, I think. Look at the ATC’s and you’ll see what I mean.



24 thoughts on “Abstractions

  1. mim4mail

    Thanks for describing your process. I’ve not used wet medium for awhile other than Inktense pencils, but this intrigues me. They look terrific.

  2. Claudia McGill Post author

    It’s really easy, and every so often I return to it. It makes great backgrounds as well as nice abstract images. And I find the process open-ended and therefore really relaxing to do, especially when I’m not sure what I want to be doing!

  3. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. I circle back to this process every so often and always enjoy it. And it does mix well with other media such as paints, watercolor pencils, and so on. There’s also no risk of failure with it, in my opinion – just slap on another layer of paper and then peel, if you don’t like what you’ve already got!

  4. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. This technique is great for making abstract images and I also highly recommend it for the base layer of a collage, or – I’ve even done it over a “failed” painting. I also have done things where I outlined shapes I saw – (like cloud pictures in the sky). It shakes things up!

  5. Claudia McGill Post author

    Wow. That is a great looking piece! I can just imagine the new one, with Manga. What a personality change. I love refinishing furniture, but I have pretty much stuck to painting the pieces. This gives me ideas…!!!

  6. Ashley Lily Scarlett

    Thank you, Claudia. That one’s covered with pages from an old encyclopedia. I used wallpaper glue to stick it on and then added a few coats of estapol. Do you know ModPodge? I’ve never used it but I think it can be used to both stick and coat.

  7. Claudia McGill Post author

    I have used ModPodge and like it, but I’ve only done collage with it. It is easy to use and easy cleanup and I believe is durable. Take a look at their website; seems to me they have a lot of specialty versions.

  8. Claudia McGill Post author

    I taught a class once at an art center, collage, and the group that used the room before us did oil painting, with the associated cleanup with turpentine or whatever. Ugh, the room’s air was unbreathable when I first came in each time. I had to open the windows to air things out and even then, it was unpleasant.

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