On My Desk: Carving Fish Stamps

If you’ve been following me for some time, you know that I don’t DO people and I don’t DO animals. My style is fun, colorful and often abstract. I love to collage bits of this and that together. I love creating colorful mixed-media backgrounds. Assemblage is my balm. But you won’t find me painting a portrait, or drawing animals. I leave that to the folks with the talent to do them justice.

So what does a girl do when she’s inspired to answer a mail art call for FISH? I’ll tell you what she does! She panics! She procrastinates and she practices all manner of avoidance techniques.

And then… she takes a deep breath and gets out her stamp carving supplies! Because she’s not going to let this little problem stand in her way. She’s simply going to approach it from another angle.

That, dear readers is what creativity is all about: finding alternative ways to do a thing.

So here goes nothin’!

My husband and I recently had lunch at The Bonefish Grill. It was delicious and the Urban Chic vibe was awesome. I was inspired by their logo and had to try my hand at creating something similar.

Fish Bone Rubber Stamp

A few more came down the pike…

Three Handcarved Fish Stamps

Not sure if I’ve gotten this out of my system or not, but I’m heading back into the studio to let it stew while I work on finishing up some other projects.

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!



On My Desk: Rich Layers

It has become painfully apparent to me, in recent months, how far behind I have fallen in my mail art correspondence. My list of folks to whom I owe mail is growing daily and I found myself stressing as to how I might catch up.

Working in series is not a new concept for me. Rather, I have done so almost from the beginning. Most times my series are limited to twelve pieces or fewer at a go.

It occurred to me that were I to create one large background piece, I could cut it into multiple postcard sized pieces. From there, I could either embellish further, or post in the raw.

The place to start? My local art supply dealer. I found this twelve sheet Strathmore Watercolor Pad (18″ x 24″) for half price! Gotta love that! Some quick math brought me to the conclusion that I’d get eighteen pieces per sheet. The pad would then yield 216 postcards! I was sold!

Strathmore Watercolor Pad (18" x 24")

Back in the studio, I used a common background layering technique. I began by laying in color with with acrylic paint in my chosen palette. Layering stencils over the color, using a spray ink came next, followed by bubble wrap and square punchinella applied with acrylic paint and a stencil brush. I used a large background texture stamp and black Staz-on ink overall and then added a large numeral stamp using red Staz-on ink here and there. Using a cylinder dipped in black acrylic, I stamped out a pattern diagonally across the sheet. Finally, I stamped a rich turquoise acrylic paint using a foam stamp of circles in the center area of every four black cylinder markings.

Whole sheet, rich layers

The above photo shows the final product. Below is a close-up cross section of the sheet prior to cutting.

Close-up rich layers

This view gives a better glimpse of the rubber stamping.

Once the sheet was completely dry, I carefully cut it into the eighteen postcards pictured below.

Sheet (18" x 24") cut into 18 postcards (4" x 6")

Here’s a close-up shot of the postcards, showing the rich detail of the layers.

18 Postcards Detail III

I’m not quite sure where I am headed with these. I’ll sleep on it and see what the ‘morrow brings….

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!