01 August 2014

Grand Finale!

Solstice Heat, June 21, 2014

I am very nostalgic and emotional about fireworks.  I associate them with happy memories of Summer evenings.

Do you know that moment in a fireworks display when you can hear the the swizzle sound of many rockets rising into the sky at once?

There is excitement, yes, anticipation, but also a nanosecond of wistfulness. Because you know you've reached the final minute of the display. Soon it will be over. 

I am feeling a bit that way tonight. Sixty-one days of thinking about and making art as part of Tammy Garcia's ICAD 2014 challenge are drawing to a close. I am looking back on the small, yet powerful set index cards that I've drawn on, painted on, glued on, and experimented on during the past two months.

I really made some serious attempts to use the challenge as an opportunity to try new things. I tested the waters on some new media. At the beginning, I worked very hard to stay on the daily prompt. After a while, I made up my own prompts or more often found sources of inspiration out around me.

When I created something that I thought was ugly or messy or not what was in my head, I tried to rework it or recycle it into something I did like.
Super Moon, July 11, 2014
My Super Moon card turned out exactly the way I had intended, but getting the ink spray background right took quite a few tries. My first few spray ink attempts were downright ugly. One of my glimmer misters doesn't seem to be working the way it should and the ink comes out in giant drips. I kept the card anyway thinking that I would eventually cut it apart for collage.

Turquoise Dragonflies, July 27, 2014
Later in the challenge, I found that the messy glimmer mist drips card actually made the perfect "landscape" for my dragonflies.  I gessoed over the ink to tone down the background. The other collage elements are glued on top of the gesso layer.

Golden Mushroom, stamp on Gelli plate print, July 23, 2013
The challenge also encouraged me to attempt some media that I had been admiring for a while. I first learned about Gelli Arts plates last year, and saw videos of the technique back in the Spring. I kept meaning to get the supplies and try it.

Finally, I bought myself a 5 x 7 Gelli plate and began printing acrylic backgrounds. My Golden Mushroom card made use of monoprints for the background and frame. The rubber stamp (embellished with ink) is one that I traced from a printed design and cut myself with a carving tool and Speedball printing plate.  I hadn't carved my own stamp since I was a teenager!

Any Route Permitted July 8, 2014
I love the layering effects that you can easily obtain by printing more than one Gelli plate background.  I know this is a media that I will work on again and again, and I've only printed in two sessions with my plate.  I made a dozen different layered prints each time.

Other days, I enjoyed recycling bits of ephemera from my trip to England this summer. I could not help including tickets, cut-outs from Time Out Magazine and other papers in my daily collages.

Now the ICAD 2014 Challenge is drawing to a close, but the effects are lingering. 

I am grateful for the support of other artists out there like me who are part of the Daisy Yellow community.  I was inspired by your work and I hope you found something interesting about mine in exchange. It's wonderful to send a tiny bit of art out into the world and receive a trickle of "likes" and comments almost instantaneously. It's nice to know that I'm not alone in wanting to make art a part of my busy life. 

Well, the last crackles and shimmers of fireworks are fading away tonight. Tomorrow's a new day. I'm feeling motivated and excited. I have a number of other art classes and projects out there waiting for me just over the horizon. 

Grand Finale, July 31, 2014, sari silk, collage, and ink on paper


  1. I've enjoyed seeing your ICADs on Instagram, Maria. I love challenges like this because it does seem to make one explore new techniques and materials. I love your Gelli plate backgrounds and your mushroom stamp is fantastic. I know how you feel about something like this drawing to a close. I did the Summer of Color again this year and felt the same way when it drew to a close. But, something to look forward to for next year and I may even join you with the ICAD project!

    1. Maryanne, I learned that a challenge effort can help me concentrate my I-want-to-try-everything style and focus my energy. At some point, I want to talk to you about Summer of Color. I might change things up try that challenge out next year. I am definitely a colorist by nature. I appreciate all of the encouragement you've given me and inspiration.

  2. I've really enjoyed seeing your ICAD cards and the different things you've been trying out on them. Maybe next you can play with a 52 Card Pick-Up kind of thing!

    1. I am definitely interested in Seth Apter's 52 Card Pick-Up concept. I want to talk to you again about his approach. I know I want to keep my artwork small, so card-sized projects work well for me. Thanks for all of your feedback as I posted my work.