Tuesday, January 18, 2011

More altered playing cards ...

Over the next little while I plan to post almost the entire deck I created for the series of altered playing cards I worked on last year through swapbot. I'd like to think I eventually got the hang of it, so some of the early ones will be, well let's say "less good", while the later ones will be brilliant. Of course, I jest. There may be some "less good" ones later on as well. I'll let you be the judge.

One of the quirky things about working on a series is that I sometimes get a kind of affection for the parts of the series completely out of proportion with the *actual* quality of the work. One of the set will have a lovely composition, but alas the colours are less than perfect. Another will exactly be the colour I wanted, but oh my, how badly assembled! C'est la vie. Now ... on to the twos!

The two of diamonds is very tactile. Not merely *striped* paper, but quite strongly corrugated and painted a nice deep red. The background paper is *bubble paper*, created (as I recall) at nearly midnight in a tiny hotel bathroom during an art conference with my friend L. We were up well past bedtime, blowing bubbles and giggling, and thinking that the hotel management would be at the door any moment to chuck us out for being too noisy.

The two of spades has nothing to do with fish, except that it gave me an opportunity to use one of my favourite lines of poetry: "And in the heaven of all their wish, there shall be no more land, say fish." It was finding this single line in another work of art that spurred me on to find the entire poem (pre-wikipedia, I might add!). The poem (Heaven by Rupert Brooke) has several other lines that while deliciously vivid are much harder to work into conversation. When (for instance) would be the right time for these lines: "But somewhere, beyond Space and Time, is wetter water, slimier slime"?. I'd like to think that you are (at this very moment) opening a second window on the internet, googling the whole poem and loving it as much as I do.

The two of hearts has two of my favourite things in it. Firstly, the rubber stamp with the pointing finger. I simply can't tell you how things that finger has pointed at in my art over the years. As you see here, I particularly love stamping it on text, to give it that extra je ne sais quoi. And secondly, the line: Always make two, so you can share. I have a terrible affection for everything I make. Really. I *hate* to give stuff away. Not that I'm stingy, but it feels like giving away one of my children. The solution I've developed over the years is to: Always Make Two. At least. Then I can keep one, and give the others away with a happy heart.

The two of clubs is fairly straighforward. It was obviously created during my red / black / white / ivory / tan colour phase. I finally seem to moving on from this limited palette, and other colours are gradually returning. The background paper was made while I was in mad spray-painting mode. During the summer I got *very* excited about spray paint, particularly after I found some great artist spray paint that comes in about 80 colours and dries so quickly that I could spray and stack the pages as I went. I only have 5 colours so far, but I'm looking forward to when the weather warms up so I can *go get more*.

More number sets coming soon!


Holly said...

I am always amazed by your work. You take such a simple concept and breath life into it. Keep them coming!

If I had to choose one (so hard!)I'd say my favorite is the pointy fingers.

What brand of the artists spray paint are you using?

Deb Bee said...

You have a wonderful way with words. I enjoyed reading about your altered playing card adventures!