Saturday, December 8, 2012


Up to about a month ago, I couldn't have told you what an ATC was.   But ATC's in the art world are as common as  MSP, ESL, SLP and PTA are for teachers.  An ATC stands for Artist Trading Cards.  They are 2 1/2" x 3 1/2 " in size and are little bitty pieces of original art.  The front side is a piece of art, the backside has artist info on it.

I signed up to be part of a group of artists from around the globe who want to trade art.  On a specific day every month we send by snail mail our little treasure to our assigned partner artist.  Each time you have a different person to send to.  This month will be my first time to do this and as I was reading through my Facebook threads tonight , I discovered the first one  to be sent on Monday!  Oops, I forgot it was coming up so fast.

So... I cut up watercolor paper to the right size.  I ended up with 12 little ATC size pieces.  I covered them each with Gesso, an art medium that prepares the surface for paint.  I soon found that it was so much easier to just go ahead and work on several at once.  I had a piece of paper that I had tried a new technique on.  It was a large pink flower torn from a magazine.  I put a piece of corrugated cardboard behind it and then I taken a product called wadding polish (used for cleaning silver) and rubbed it across the flower.  The polish removed the ink form the picture in the raised parts of the cardboard giving the paper a striped effect.   I took strips of this and glued them to the watercolor page.  One side of the magazine page was pink and the other had a blue floral pattern so I ended up with some blue and some pink.  ( I sure wish I had taken photographs along the way.)

My next step was to use spray inks and glimmer mists to add color.

Here is a pix of how they looked at this point.  I had NO IDEA whatsoever what my end product would be, but will let the backgrounds dictate where I end up.

I was kind of excited at this point because they looked so pretty and though I had done them pretty much simultaneously, they were all so different. Kind of amazing that all of them were done from one tear out from a magazine.

I choose the pink one in the back row to work on as my first.
Usually there is a theme for the month's ATCs but for this time there was no theme.  Since it is Christmas time, I am rather into angels.  I also wanted to use the words Fly Girl on the ATC because this group of women are called the  Soaring ATCs.  (longer story)  Anyway, that is how I came to painting my ATC.  This ATC used prepared magazine paper (as described above, acrylics, silver, white and black pens,  button brads, diamond embellishments, and a little WISH tag add-on.  The tiny ATC is really cuter than the picture, but I am sure you are pins and needles to see it, so TA-DA!

In the actual piece the layers show up better.  Anyway is turned out to be a fun project.  I have a pile of others to work on.   My next one is due to send on the 20th.
Here are some of my Works in Progress at this point.

Just little bitty bits of art.  
Any of my readers learn something new today or was I the only one in the dark about ATC's?d


  1. Hi, Jean! Your cards look GREAT! I just linked up with the Soaring ATC group so I'll be joining you in January. Can't wait!

  2. Very nice! Sometimes I do the background first and cut it up after into ATC size. It is fun isn't it! Sorry you had to rush. They turned out great! I'm so glad you joined :)

    1. That's a great idea, Chandra. Even putting the gesso on first would be better! I'll try that next time.

  3. I feel like such a lucky girl to receive one of your beautiful ATCs! Love your work! :)