Sunday, November 29, 2009

Secret Sunday 2

Do you want to know a secret?

Welcome to the fourth edition of The Pulse -- The State of the Art -- a survey in words and pictures of the online artist community. The Pulse is a collaborative project that aims to introduce you to new artists, help you get to know familiar faces even more, and allow you access into the creative hearts and minds of a very talented crew of individuals.

Over 150 (!) artists have answered a series of questions which make up The Pulse. Their responses will be presented as a series of online and print projects. And the first continues right now!

Join the The Altered Page every Sunday for "Secret Sunday." Here the secrets of all your favorite artists will be revealed. It could be a technique, a product, a secret source, a little-known website, a hidden shop, an inspiration, just about anything! If you missed any, no worries. You can find links to all the secrets on the sidebar of my blog.


Erin Perry
Website: Altered By The Sea
Blog: Altered By The Sea

Cheesecloth!! I love cheesecloth! Slather canvas or red rosin paper with gesso and then embed cheesecloth in it for the most marvelous texture. Use lots and let it hang off the sides. Use brigh colouted Portfolio water soluble oil pastels on it to create areas that POP off the painting.


Ingrid Dijkers
Website: Ingrid Dijkers
Blog: Ingrid Dijkers

I get a lot of emails asking about how I go about my work, where I get my supplies and often they say that they would love to make books and journals but find the cost of materials and supplies very prohibitive. I share with them that I have found that for the type work I do that I don’t require expensive materials. Most all my books have been salvaged from library book sales, most costing under a dollar. My binder books are made from old school loose leaf binders, the pages out of cereal boxes from the recycling bin and a lot of my paints are just craft paints and left over household paint. A few supplies I don’t skimp on such as watercolor pencils and crayons, but for the most part I use what I have on hand.


Jean Zoss
Blog: Bluebirds Living in the Meadow
Etsy: Bluebird Meadow

My art secret is supplies....I use cosmetic sponges on almost every piece. I love them for applying Stayzon inks, Lumiere paints and my favorite Golden acrylics. They also work well for applying glazes of medium without brush marks. When I studied watercolor, I spent a great deal of money on brushes, now I use the Royal brand children's brushes which can be purchased at Michael's. They stand up to the worst of brush abuse (leaving them in the water tank) and still come out ready to go. For about a buck a brush, they can not be beat. I also work with a dry brush in almost every step of my process so I need lots of brushes. I also get a thrill from finding things around the house like scraps of sandpaper, clothes pins and safety pins which become indispensable aids in the creation process. I also have a stainless steel palette knife I use quite a bit.

Karin Bartimole
Blog: Beyond Words
You Tube: Karin Batimole: art & life

Not being the least bit secretive with what I find or learn makes it hard
for me to try to come up with something I haven't shared openly and repeatedly! I especially enjoy working with untraditional materials from places like hardware stores. Roofing felt is a fabulous paper to paint and draw on, for it's saturated black surface and strength; joint compound for creating textured surfaces to paint on; copper flashing for embossing. Explore your neighborhood hardware store with an artist's eye and you'll be sure to find inexpensive unexpected art materials.

This is the first book I ever made - and it's out of roofing felt (aka tar paper). It's versatility is clear - I also have used it in a line of jewelry, drawn on with colored pencils and sealed with varnish. It's survived an accidental wash through the laundry!

Kim Palmer
Merlin's Musings
Pulp Redux

Umm, patience and determination, they usually solve anything and everything, LOL! ‘Weldbond’ glue from the hardware store. Its sets everything, fabrics, ceramics, metal, concrete, you name it, and it stays stuck! Dries clear, takes extremes of temperature and won’t get brittle, always a plus!

This adhesive was used to glue every item to the pages of this book construction. From the fabrics to the metal embellishments, papers, shells etc.

Marilyn Gallas
Blog: Studio 274

It’s not really a secret, but it was a great discovery for me. I learned from D.J. Pettit that I can do a sketch in pencil and then apply a light skim of molding paste to prevent it from smudging when I paint on it. I can still see the image through the molding paste. Voila!!! Gesso would also work but the molding paste has a smoother finish.


Lani Gerity Glanville
Website: Lani's Alternative Arts
Blog: Lani Puppetmaker's Blogspot

Bee's Wax, Citrisolve, & Baby wipes (not all at the same time - don't know what that would do)

Collage with citrisolve and baby wipes over top.

JoAnna Pierotti
Blog: Moss Hill Studio
Etsy: Moss Hill Studio

Buy re-bar ties at a local hardware store for about $10.00 (you get a 1000 in the roll) - throw them outside in the winter and let them rust. A damp place is the best and will rust rather quickly. They make great hangers for your art projects. Easy to hook together to make larger hangers.


Nelda Ream
Blog: Nelda Ream

One of my favorite materials to use in making art journals is cereal boxes. All it takes is a coat of gesso on both sides of this recycled cardboard to turn it into a great substrate. Then, it is ready for all your collage and acrylic painting techniques.

Marie Dante
Cinnamon Studio

I have just discovered Min Wax polyshade stain and polyurethane as a terrific way to preserve and restore vintage paper and book jackets, (or any paper for that matter). I have the pecan stain and have used it on a ton of paper college materials. It drys fast and leaves a clean/flat satin sheen. It also adds a bit of color and further aged appearance to paper. I have some very old (1800's) newsprint that I have "Min Waxed" with good results, but some of the paper is so very fragile that it becomes translucent & the other side of the paper shows through. I like this effect. This product is probably not for "properly" archiving vintage ephemera but I have used it for my college purposes & am very satisfied. I found it at Home Depot.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Little Bird Told Me...

Lawendula at Woven Letters has recently begun to sponsor a monthly paper exchange. When you sign up, she pairs you with a partner and you each exchange paper based on a monthly theme. The first month was simply paper. The second month was tags. The next exchange will be after the holidays in January. I participated in the first swap and was happily matched with Robert Stockton, whose wonderful collages can be seen on Absolute Arts. He and I have similar likes and the package I received from him, as you can see below, was full of paper treasures!


Who says DisCo is dead???

Those of you who were following my blog over the course of this past year will remember DisCo -- my Disintegration Collaboration. Kris Henderson has set up a project based on DisCo which she is calling the Erosion Bundle Project. So if you missed participating through my blog this past year or you want to have another go, head over to her blog. You have until January 1 to sign up.

For more DisCo news, head over to these posts on Laura Lein-Svencner's blog Lonecrow Art and Collage. Beginning in October, Laura organized a Paper Bundle collaboration through the LaGrange Art League in Illinois. As you will see, she even got some great press!

Thanks to everybody who has recently bought my Pulse Zine that I had made from the
3rd edition of The Pulse. I just wanted to let you all know that there are currently three copies from the second printing left in my Etsy shop. I will be printing another set of copies but given time limitations, these are not likely to be available until early 2010. So if you have been thinking about getting a copy for yourself or as a gift...strike while the iron is hot!

12/2 update: 2nd printing sold out. Thank you! Email for info on 2010 availability.

The newest issue of Pasticcio Quartz has just been released. I sing the praises of this zine every time it is published because it is a spectacularly creative publication that is filled with unending information and inspiration. Angela Cartwright and Sarah Fishburn must work overtime for each issue. You can get more information about Pasticcio Quartz here!


Do you know about the Inspiration Station icon on the sidebar of my blog?

When I come across a blog post, an artist, a video, a book, an artwork, or anything else that inspires me, I update the Station with the new link. The date of the update is also listed so you can keep track of when they change.

Thanks to everybody for the positive feedback on my first Secret Sunday post. Remember, that was just the first of many. Visit The Altered Page every Sunday for a new post. This Sunday November 29, keep your eyes and ears open for secrets about products. And who doesn't need more of those???


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Secret Sunday 1

Do you want to know a secret?

Welcome to the fourth edition of The Pulse -- The State of the Art -- a survey in words and pictures of the online artist community. The Pulse is a collaborative project that aims to introduce you to new artists, help you get to know familiar faces even more, and allow you access into the creative hearts and minds of a very talented crew of individuals.

Over 150 (!) artists have answered a series of questions which make up The Pulse. Their responses will be presented as a series of online and print projects. And the first begins right now!

Beginning today, join the The Altered Page every Sunday for "Secret Sunday." Here the secrets of all your favorite artists will be revealed. It could be a technique, a product, a secret source, a little-known website, a hidden shop, an inspiration, just about anything!

Today's secret.......techniques!

Alicia Caudle
Altered Bits
Altered Bits' Altered Blog
Digit 13's Altered Bits on Etsy

Many people who know me are aware of my huge allergies to all things chemical and/or unnatural. As such, I have come up with many unique ways to texture, rust, crackle, adhere and distress my projects in a non-toxic manner. For example, rather than using chemical patinas, a safe (but obviously slower) alternative is a vinegar, salt and water solution spritzed over the item(s) you wish to rust or patina. This is particularly beneficial when you place your items in a container of salt and vinegar potato chips. The results are generally a brilliant green, blue or red, depending upon the type of metal you are wishing to age.

I welcome anyone who wishes to find a non-toxic alternative to contact me if desired as I'll oftentimes be able to make a suitable suggestion.

Marianne's Art Blog
Boise Trail Dog Blog

Elmer's caulk & apollo transparency transfers- for me, this technique provides the cleanest, clearest transfers to many surfaces- metal, glass, plexi, canvas, wood... email Marianne at for more info on how to!


Signed by Ange

I love masking and even writing with drawing gum and 'writing' with narrow glass syringes (minus the needles), a technique made famous by Denise Lach. Using unconventional objects to write with is a favourite occupation.

Taking a gex sponge or fine steel wool and scrubbing out layers of paint to avoid using chemicals - particularly effective on wood and metal but NOT on I'm sure you can imagine!

Lynne Hoppe
Lynne Hoppe shop

I think that my favorite 'secret' these days is how well oil pastels and colored pencils work together. Between the two of them you can color everything from the tiniest parts of your drawings to the largest. You can combine colors from each, and blend them or not. They're very simple to use and hugely satisfying.


Don Madden
Fully Flummoxed

Roll a Selectric typewriter ball on a clay surface to make random letters.


Gillian McMurray
Gillian McMurray: Artist & Craftperson

When doing a detailed drawing with graphite, instead of starting to shade with the harder, lighter grades of pencil (H grades) working your way to the darker shades, start with the softer, darker shades (B grades) and work up to the lighter shades. That way you burnish the softer graphite into the surface of the paper with the harder grades. You can make darker shading and build depth with this method. This is ideal for shaded areas like the dark areas between undergrowth or the pupil of eyes.

Mary Hunt
Working Projects
Mary Hunt Studio on Etsy

When soldering with lead...touch the iron TO the foil as you solder...don't hover. The heat setting is the most important part of having smooth solderlines and the heat is also imperative to control when scultping with it leaded or lead free.


Jane Royal
Painted Heart Studio

Warm-up technique for watercolor painting: Take a large sheet of watercolor paper and mark off six 5" x 7" rectangles. Choose a 'subject' to paint. Paint the subject 6 times working quickly and altering your technique, colors, and approach each time. Do not think about it! Limit is 4 minutes per rectangle. The results don't matter b/c they are just a warm-up exercise (this takes the pressure off). It's a great way to discover new techniques, color schemes, etc.


Shirley Ende-Saxe
In the Name of Art
Ohio Collage Society News

Glazes, acrylic glazes, I love the way it layers, reveals and hides just a little.


Marie Dante
Cinnamon Studio

I use a good art magazine paper like Communication Arts in my printer. I print photos of my art work over text or whatever & have come up with images that look like transfers and some really surprising and serendipitous results.


**If you have left a comment on one of my previous posts asking to be a part of The Pulse and have not yet heard back from me, it is because I do not have your email address. Please email me directly so I can send you the information you need to participate. And if you have not yet commented and are now interested in being a part of The Pulse, it is not too late. You have until November 30 to join.

Friday, November 20, 2009


"Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art”
Leonardo da Vinci

Handbook continued...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Face Time

Pics #1, 2, 3 - Lance Hoyt Antiques from the NYC Pier Show

Pics #4, 5, 6 - NYC Street Art

Pic #7 - Flea Market in Athens, Greece

Pics #8, 9 - Radio-Guy.Net from the NYC Pier Show

Pics #10, 11, 12 - Jim Hirsheimer Vintage Art and Design from the NYC Pier Show

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The State of the Art

The Pulse is coming. And it is beating loud and clear. So far nearly 150 artists have signed on to participate in the next edition of The Pulse, a survey in words and pictures of "the state of the art" of the online artist community. And it is not too late for you to join. If you are interested in being part of this project, email me and I will forward all of the information you need. Please contact me soon, as sign up for this project will end on November 30.

If you have already left a comment on my "Calling all Artists" post asking to join and you have not yet heard back from me, it means that I do not have your email. Please email me directly so I can include you.

This 4th edition of The Pulse will be presented as a series of online and print projects. And the first will begin on Sunday November 22.

Secret Sunday will be a series of weekly posts that offer a window into the secrets of the participating artists. They could be techniques, products, places to pick up found objects, little-known websites, hidden shops, out-of-print books, or anything else. And even if you are not participating in this project, get ready to share your secret too. At least one Secret Sunday post will be dedicated to readers leaving comments listing their own secrets!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Art at the Speed of Life

The talented, inspiring, and oh-so-nice Pam Carriker has gotten the go ahead for her first book. Entitled "Art at the Speed of Life", it will be available in the Fall of 2010. And from what I know about this book, I can already tell you that it will be a must have addition to your collection. I am happy to say that Pam has invited me to be a contributing artist. I am looking forward to being a part of the process with Pam and with each and every talented contributor that is involved.

So why am I blogging about it a year before it is being published you might ask? Well I wanted to let you know that Pam has created a new blog, not surprisingly called Art at the Speed of Life. In it, she will document her journey from start to finish. So if you want to get an insider's glimpse into all the steps that go into creating a book from conception to reality, click on over, become a follower, and enjoy the adventure. I think it will be a thrilling ride!