Friday, March 14, 2014

"Art Together" giveaway

 Amy Hood speaks my language.
She publishes a wonderful e-zine called "Art Together", which (in her own words)
"is designed to inspire confidence in adults to explore open-ended art-making alongside children. Each issue is full of activities, information, a featured artist and material, and friendly encouragement about how fun (and yes, easy!) it is for adults and kids to play with art materials together."

Issue three was just released last week and Amy has generously donated a copy for me to give away.  This issue is all about printmaking – a subject I adore!

 Amy's zines focus on exploring techniques and materials rather than working toward a completed project or specific end goal.

Her philosophy is near and dear to my heart.  As an early childhood educator, I've spent my entire professional career preaching the importance of the process of creating rather than the finished product or outcome.  Very young children do not sit down to paint a masterpiece, they simply immerse themselves in the experience - often using their whole bodies, all their senses, and any surface they can find.  They create for the sheer joy of creating.  It's something we forget how to do as adults, and I love Amy's writing because she reminds us of the benefits of this type of exploration at any age.  (Her three part series on "process vs. product" should not only be required reading for anyone who interacts with children, it should be required reading for everyone who likes to make stuff.)

 But back to the zine....
It's 35 beautifully written, gorgeously photographed, thoroughly researched pages.
She starts with basic background information on printmaking to ground us in the techniques, goes on to highlight the Japanese artist, Hokusai (and his famous woodblock prints), then shares five fun ways to explore printmaking at home (with or without kids!). The zine also includes an extensive (and annotated) list of books, websites and other resources to further your explorations into printmaking.
It's highly readable, thoroughly unintimidating, and full of ideas, tips and suggestions.
One of the techniques Amy highlights in this issue is Collagraphs.  (prints made from collages)

As a lover of both printmaking and collage, this is something I've always wanted to try.
Amy's zine was just the encouragement I needed.

In her spirit of play and experimentation I stopped worrying about my final image and just started grabbing any textured item I could find in my stash.   I didn't put a lot of thought into composition - I just quickly glued my items to a heavy piece of cardboard.  Here's the crazy collage I ended up with:

After letting it dry under a stack of books overnight, I loaded it up with green acrylic paint:

I pressed a piece of copy paper on top and rubbed.  Here's what my print looks like:

I decided to try a two-tone print, and so I added black paint to a few areas of the collage without adding any more green.

Here's the second print:

It's pretty cool.  I can see myself ripping these up and incorporating them into other collages.  For now, I saw the perfect opportunity to make an interesting envelope for an outgoing letter:

This was just a quick experiment, and it's got my head buzzing with ideas.  What other materials can I use in my base collage?  What if I use ink instead of paint?  Will it work with tissue paper?  What would happen if I layered a second print on top of the first print?
I'm excited by the possibilities.

As you can see, even if you don't have young kids, Amy's zines are wonderful spring boards for your own creativity.

Want to find out for yourself?
Leave a comment by Friday, March 21st to be entered to win a copy of Art Together - Issue Three.
The winner will be announced Saturday, March 22nd.

The giveaway has closed.
Congratulations to Gill for winning the zine.
Thanks to everyone who entered!


  1. Well, geez - who can't use another mag on art?? Throw my name in the hat!

  2. The heck with waiting (I am an Aries after all...) I just ordered my copy. Can't wait to see it. Thanks for the heads up, Karen.

  3. Wow, that looks like so much fun! I'd love to enter.

  4. I'll take a chance at that wonderful zine! And your printing plate??? Oh my...more opportunities to play! I read a bunch about collagraphs years ago, but haven't circled back to it. I feel a playdate coming on.....:P

  5. This is a great idea! I've used single items many times but never thought to make a collage of them before printing.

  6. Please count me in for the give away. Wonderful information to really use.

  7. Your results are fantastic - I love how a simple technique can give such amazing images that you wouldn't expect from the place you started.

  8. Cool printmaking but I loved the collage too.....process always...want to see what shows up. xox

  9. Your print worked SO well. Fabulous fodder for collage. There's no doubt I need to learn more about printing.

  10. Ok.... Changed
    My mind.... I will enter the drawing since I didn't buy the e zine ... Thanks Karen.....

  11. I love how your print came out, Karen! I won a print here by a local artist who uses fish to make his prints.

  12. That looks like alot of fun!! Thanks for giving it away and for sharing what you made!

  13. I'm totally intrigued! Yes, this technique poses many possibilities...thanks for sharing!

  14. Looks fun!
    Count me in please!

    1. Congratulations, Gill! you are the winner. I sent you an email.

  15. I love that instead of just giving a critique of the book and it's value that you actually produced something using the techniques described. There's no better recommendation! My fingers are crossed!

  16. This looks like a lot of fun and something I have not done since my kids were (little) kids.

  17. Love this technique. I'm in! Chicago Cindy