Saturday, June 9, 2012

Black and White


When I volunteered to host the Black and White prompt for week 2 of the index card a day challenge, I thought I needed a plan.  I mulled it over all week, waiting for the perfect idea.  As the days slipped by and brilliance was not forthcoming, I started to get a little panicky.
  

I rarely have an idea in mind when I sit down to make my index card each day.  Usually that's not a problem.  I start playing with paint and something emerges.  I'm not sure why I thought this had to be different.

Finally, with the deadline breathing down my neck, I sat down in front of the blank cards, turned on some music and turned off my brain.  The best way to combat paralysis is to move.  I started ripping sheets of newspaper, black and white photos and painted paper from my stash.



I glued the strips across a grid of four cards.
I often work on more than one card a time.  It gives me the freedom to try different techniques on similar backgrounds.  Sometimes I like all the cards, but usually I just end up with more collage fodder. Either way it's okay.

After gluing, I ended up with two "sheets" of index cards.


 Looking through my stash of black and white papers, I was inspired by these: 

They are pieces of copier paper used to mop up extra spray ink from a tree stencil.  I love the way the prints look and wanted to do something similar on my cards.

I laid my stencil on some plastic, sprayed it with black ink and used one of my sheets as the blotter.  It didn't come out the way I hoped it would.  I think there was too much gel medium on the page from the collage so it didn't soak up much ink.


I  then laid the stencil on the other page and used my brayer to cover the page in gesso. Again, not what I was hoping for.


I couldn't give up. 
I needed more than a blank blog page for today.

After the sheets dried I cut off all the excess paper to free the four separate index cards.


Suddenly they were a lot more interesting to me.
I almost always like my paintings better after I've cut them to pieces.

I added black and white photos and stamps and smudged around some black pastels and black ink.
Here are the finished cards:



 I'm happy with them and can't remember why I got all worked up.  
These weren't hard.
All I need to do is play.
Remind me to read this next time I get crazy, OK?

26 comments:

  1. These are wonderful, Karen! I find that the playful mindset works best for me, too.

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  2. I find it difficult to create "on purpose" for a particular need or audience and I applaud your results, and pressing on for sake of the ICAD challenge. You are truly a marvelous hostess. Beautiful cards x 4.

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  3. These are great Karen. I need to learn to PLAY more often!

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  4. Wow! I love how you've not only taken us through your process but how you kept on keepin' on even when you thought you had no ideas. Inspirational all the way around. LOVE your b & w cards!

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  5. I need to be reminded to read my own "wisdom" too! Such great cards. As always, inspiring.

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  6. so really inspiring and delicious to BE in on your in-the-moment and BEhind-the-scene process. I just hopped on here to DO some of what I call marinating in others' wondrous wisdom. and I wandered here BEcause the prompt idea caught my attention. I am glad to have been taken on this little journey with you. I am able Now to see my own process BEhind-the-scene in a new light. thank YOU!!

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  7. You're so right - I need to read this post on a regular basis! Your cards turned out really great - thanks for taking us through the process... Unfortunately we DO always find something new to worry about don't we?

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  8. Thank you! I have been struggling with my prompt for Monday's post when normally I just go with the flow - what's wrong with us? :) I just need to step back and breathe. I love your cards - the B&W is so striking and it's really incredible how different they looked once you cut them!

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  9. These are fantastic, they came out sooooo good. Love em. xox

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  10. wow you did a fantastic job, i love all the card.

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  11. love them. I love how you shared your struggle. we ALL go through it. Nice to remember we are not alone!!

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  12. Karen - these are awesome, at ALL stages! You definitely have relief printmaking in your brain, even if you aren't using a press! :D You are fantastic by taking things one or more steps further with your final pieces -- my brain is still grasping that process since I had the tendency as a printmaker to stop at the base relief print. You are great inspiration to move onward with many 'unfinished' pieces! Thank you!

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  13. These are fabulous. Thanks for reminding me that others go through the same process.

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  14. We could ALL worry less! These turned out so cool! I am off to read all your other posts i've missed lately...

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  15. Thanks for sharing the process. I always enjoy seeing the permutations other people go through (oh, I am not alone?) I'm on a little trip and now can't wait to get home so I can have some play time.

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  16. I just opened your blog and started laughing so hard. What did my family and I watch tonight on Netflix?? HIGH ANXIETY! Mel Brooks is a genius, super funny!
    But let me tell you, your b/w cards are incredible! Just amazing! Great work, geez you worry too much! LOL!!

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  17. Fascinating insight into the process, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the finished cards!

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  18. I love your cards! I had a freak out as well, with the card prompt I was hosting. Playing is always the answer I think. :) That or red wine!! hahaha

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  19. I love the way you still have your humour despite your stress! I also LOVE the textured backgrounds, they are an inspiration!

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  20. These are super-awesome, Karen!! I love every one of them. Thanks for sharing your process. When you're "the hostess," it gets a little more intimidating, doesn't it??

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  21. These are awesome. The entire process is awesome. Thanks for sharing. Makes me want to go rip up some newspaper.

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  22. What can I say? It's been said! YOU ROCK! I would love to go back in time and finger*paint with you. hugs.

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  23. Brilliant! Loved this post and the finished cards.

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  24. Wonderful cards you made! I love how how the strips looked, especially after you cut them down! I find when I am out of my head things come together nicely- but when I am in my head- yuck!

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  25. very awesome! i love the immediate change when you cut them apart.

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  26. More genius ideas - the whole cover 4 pieces at once then cut them up....now why haven't I thought of that? I work on 3 or 4 but cut and paste each little piece separately. No more - I want random, I want simple, I want surprise results! Genius!

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