Linda Halcomb's Blog

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April 28, 2010 April 29, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:29 am
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Well, I am preparing for a big weekend. My second grandson gets married on Saturday evening. This is a special event because he is in the Army Infantry and May 8th he leaves for Germany and then will be deployed to Afghanistan in August. We are having lunch with him today. I know next week he will not want to spend time with “Grandma Honey Bunny” so I am grabbing time with him whenever I can get it!

The ATC’s continue to be a source of joy. One of the WordPress bloggers completed her first abstract recently and it contained the universal symbol for “fish”. I wanted to do an ATC by coloring with my watercolor crayons. A different approach than the one I have been using. I started thinking about cave art and wondering if I had ever seen a fish as an element in a cave painting. This little painting is the result of that cogitation.

Fish Symbol - ATC

I began by coloring on an underpainting with almost all of the colors in my set. I then continued to apply layers of color. In between each layer I would paint the layer with clear water. This paper is heavily sized so I just pushed the paint around. It did not really absorb.  When I got the background the way I wanted, I drew the fish and colored it in. By then the color was so thick and had been worked enough that it was creamy and I just colored in the body without applying much water.

Learnings: 1. When working with rough paper the color settles in the low spots and is very hard to dissolve. 2. I purchased a set of of “wet” brushes as part of my last order from Cheap Joe’s so I tried out a medium size brush. I filled the shaft with clear water and used the brush to make this painting. It worked very well. The crayons with a wet brush would be very convenient for travel and plein air. Not much to carry or clean up.


16 Responses to “April 28, 2010”

  1. cool process Linda – definitely a process you could work into trades and swaps in Mail Art communities.

    i like the “cave dweller” color sense in this too. it brings Altamira and Lascaux to mind as well as some rock works in the South West USA…

    there are a number of brushes similar to the one i think you are using. some have short barrels that make them extremely packable for travel. i’ve found specific ones i like but now i see there are even more to choose from! fun.

    • The little ATC’s are so cheap to buy that they are very practical for experimenting and learning. I can try new techniques and materials with so little risk.

      • yeah. i buy some pre-cut (light weight) cardstock-like blanks and carry those with me or work and play on them. but i also like working on 140 lb. watercolor paper too. – some people even use 300 lb. paper for ATCs – wow on some of those ATCs. i bought an inexpensive (but get a good one) paper trimmer (under $25). Fiskars makes a variety – i have one that has a swing arm to extend the measuring edge beyond the board itself. it makes cutting any small size easy. on mine the blade slides along a bar altho others like the rotary blades (which i havnt tried). it’s easy to cut small paper this way (up to about 12 inches) – mail art uses a variety of format sizes for things other than ATCs. the trimmer i have will handle up to about 140 lb paper. you can easily switch blade tips – some tips are good for scoring so you can create torn straight edges – altho i’ve found a dull blade has a similar effect that i like as well so i use that. . .

      • Rick – Thank you for all the info. I wanted to let you know that I added your site to my Blogroll. I hope you don’t mind. I was honored that you added me to yours and definitely did not mind at all. Do you have a specific site that you use for mail art? I have never heard this term before? Linda

      • aloha Linda – i spend varying amounts of time on a number of different Mail Art sites. at the moment a good one to become familiar in as an introduction is probably ATCs For All – here:

        it’s a big group. but it’s very welcoming too. you’ll see a lot more and can ask questions if you become a member. as a member you dont have to swap or do anything until you want to – or not at all if you decide it’s not for you. i swap and trade there some times. not as much recently because i’m also doing some other things. some people there will know me, but you dont need an intro in any way. just say hi. look around. you can upload some work to show what you do, but it doesnt have to be available for trading if you dont want it to be.

        i havnt gotten to putting mail art sites up on my blog yet. i will. but when has become a good question. you can always contact me here at WP tho and ask about what ever you are interested in or anything else. mail art is one of those areas that benefited greatly with the web. without the web i doubt if it could have taken off like it has. it’s a wide range of people and abilities and (imo) is slowly being recognized in the art world – it embraces people as human beings who have a need and desire to simply create the way they are able to create. it’s also a lot of fun (imo).

        cool and thank you for adding me to your blogroll, i’m honored as well. – have fun, aloha – Wrick

  2. lesliepaints Says:

    This is a beautiful little ATC. I was wondering if your grandson might like an ATC to carry with him in his wallet. Just a thought. I thank your Grandson for his service to our country.
    Have you tried some different papers? I know there are some watercolor papers that the pigment soaks right down into the paper. There are some that it sits on top of due to the amount of sizing in them?

    • Leslie, you have such great ideas! I had not thought of giving Alex an ATC to carry with him but I may…don’t you think Bam Bam would be great? It was his toy when he was a little whippersnapper.

      I have never seem other watercolor papers in the ATC size, only the brown Strathmore pack. Have you seen others? I guess I could cut paper but so far I am not unhappy with this. I wonder if the lack of absorption last night was made worse by the wax in the crayons.

      • lesliepaints Says:

        Bam Bam is perfect!
        I’m thinking you could cut Arches 140lb into the size you need. It was just a thought. I don’t have the crayons so I don’t know if it would help. I would try it on a scrap piece of Arches and see what happens.

  3. Judy Says:

    How I love that! The stark simplicity and richness of color. Perfect!

  4. Beth Parker Says:

    There is something very warm and loving in this little fish symbol. It’s so rich and full of texture! You’re making me want to try those crayons. I’ve been coveting them, but trying to resist. 🙂

  5. love the warmth of colour and the simple but also complex painting

  6. Stephen Says:

    This little picture has a strong and welcoming feel to it, for me. I agree with Richard – it is so simple but the complexity draws me in. The outline feels so carefully designed.

  7. Nishant Says:

    Hi Linda,

    I really liked this painting. Awesome work. Is this piece of art under creative commons ? I am working on an Free and Open Source software project, was looking for a logo. Came across your website and liked it. I wanted to Photoshop it a bit and use it as logo of my project (80×30 px, and 200x200px). It’s a no profit project, so I really can’t pay anything. But your name and link to your blog will be attributed as original designer.

    Please let me know.


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