Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A, B, C...

Ellen Hess presenting letter "A".  A is for amethyst.
"I had just been assigned the letter A, and was thinking about what in nature was shaped like an A, when I took a trip to the Franklin Mineral Museum, and inspiration hit! I would do an amethyst crystal formation, and other 'a' minerals. Perfect!"

Front & Back - Ellen describes her process to us: I started by sketching amethyst crystals, then played with the shape of the silhouette and drawing techniques. Then I experimented with various media in shades of purple and violet, looking for some reflective effects. I settled on my rapidograph pen for the drawing, and Copic (and other) design markers and colored pencils for the coloring. Then I researched and drew other 'a' minerals, and colored them in, too.  I also used a technique that Elaine Gongora had talked about at one of the BAR meeting Show & Tells, in which she used tracing paper to outline an image, then glued it to a substrate and colored it in when it was dry. For the front, I hand painted the backgrounds directly onto the paper; for the back, I hand painted around color copies of my original drawings.

Patricia Toltl tells BAR about making letter "B".  All were unique!

"I was surprised and delighted by the many different images I found and altered when I choose to make each B an original separate artwork."

Front & Back - Patricia gives a wonderful description of her original process:  I used a technique that I came upon by chance. After drawing out 20 different sketches of my assigned letter B and still being dissatisfied with the results, in frustration I took newspaper photos and altered them first by erasing into the existing image, then adding to the image with graphite. I coated the back with acrylic medium to strengthen the paper, then used both colored pencil and acrylic paint to enhance the images.  I ended up with 29 different paintings for the front and 29 smaller paintings for the backs which were  then glued to mi tientes paper.

Ronni Pressman took letter "C".  "While I was attempting to make life more detailed and organized, [amidst a run of chaos,] I started to think about fractals - mathematical calculations seen visually in repeating patterns. They are so meticulously beautiful, and so delicately displaying ORDER. All of nature can be seen through these amazing graphics - ah, our theme has emerged as well. I started to manipulate a fractal pattern that I had created many years ago and it all started to come clear. The letter C was beginning to surface, hence, the front of my card. The back of the card came about from the identical fractal pattern, yet manipulated into a tessellating pattern of its own.”  

Front &Back - printed on Arches "88" printmaking paper, PIXMA ink. 

Picture credits:  Letter C, Ronni Pressman; the rest, Janet Ducote

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