Archive for the ‘Collage’ Category

Inchies: A dangerous addiction

If you want something fun and challenging and like to make miniatures, inchies are a dangerous addiction. The challenge is to make a one inch square artwork. I think they are a lot of fun. I like to do pen and ink with watercolour, but have done fully painted, colored pencil and mixed media inchies. Two sets were sold and the others were mail art inchie trades I did from 2013 to present.

Like ATCs, you want inchies to be card thickness, 140# to 300# water color paper, illustration board, Bristol board or mounted on chipboard. I tend to use watercolour paper or paste thinner drawing paper onto cereal box board. I have my traded inchies from other artists in plastic pages in a binder. I have the pages made for collecting Pogs, but postal stamp album pages also work well. Some collectors glue them onto sheets to make “inchie quilts” by placing them together with the edges touching to create a larger artwork out of all the individual inchies.


Summer Inches 2014

I made this set this past week for a group trade.

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More Mail Art to the Lviv, Ukraine Show

March 24, 2014 2 comments

I mailed two more collage art work to the Show Your Vision collage art show coming this September in Lviv, Ukraine. Here are the details and address to mail to: original post. It has been wonderful to send work that is enjoyable to make, that is wanted to by someone and may offer feelings of goodwill to people going through hardship. Please send a collage art item to support this mail art show and the artist that is hosting the exhibit.



Deep Water by Shellie Lewis, mixed media collage, 14.8 x 21 cm, 2014


New York, New York by Shellie Lewis, mixed media collage, 14.8 x 21 cm, 2014

Mail Art for a Show in Lviv, Ukraine

February 25, 2014 3 comments

Ukraine collage 2014

Peace, Love and Art from Chicago by Shellie Lewis, 14.8 x 21 cm, paper and object collage on recycled food box.

Lyubomyr Tymkiv is an artist seeking to hold a collage art gallery show in Lviv, Ukraine and he is requesting submissions to curate. The art needs to be donated because it is for a non-commercial event and not able to be mailed back to artists. The size needs to be 14.8 x 21 cm with an interest to “Show Your Vision” in collage and assemblage using “newspaper clippings, ribbons, bits of colored or handmade papers, other portions of artwork or texts, photographs or found objects glued to a piece of paper or canvas.” Per the host: “Only original art works are to be accepted.” Art needs to arrive before September 1, 2014.

I went through my paper scraps and magazine images and made this collage today.  I used a cereal box with YES! Paste bookbinding glue and some E6000 epoxy glue. I will be mailing this artwork soon. Please let other artists and members of the mail art community know about this wonderful event and that they are welcome to mail art to support this exhibition.

collage art call for entry

Lyubomyr Tymkiv’s artist website is here. The Show Your Vision collage art project has a Facebook page.

OK projects mail art online portals: Facebook and website.

Short link this article:

Categories: Chicago, Collage, Mail Art

Altered Book Art Page

September 30, 2013 6 comments

Altered book art page

One big benefit of living in a major city is the random finds in alleys I had found three older large format art history books and a damaged encyclopedia of mythology.  I took the books for the interior color art prints but later realized the real value is in the volumes themselves.  The heavy covers and thick archival cotton rag interior pages with the silk head-banding and sewn pages of the older art books at 9.25″ x 12.75″ are amazing.  They were expensive books made in the 1960s, having the good, heavy papers and the color prints of paintings tipped in by hand.

I am trying out making my first altered art book out of a former volume on the works of Renoir.  This is just a personal project for enjoyment and to explore mixed-media / multi-media art more.  I tired the painted waxed paper collage technique again and went looser with the process, working it more rumpled and distressed with the wax paper.  I painted reds and a dark metallic bronze color on the book page.  I used a gold leafing pen, iridescent white paint, craft glitter paints, gold metallic and pearlized jewel tone paints on the wax paper, again painting in reverse.  Some areas I painted very sheer on purpose.  The creases and rumples come out fairly opaque; the waxed paper has to be smoothed down for lowers payers to show through.  The layed wax paper effect is similar to an encaustic painting in that the translucence and gloss do not show well in an image and look a lot more interesting in person.

Painted Wax Paper for Collage and Multi-media Art

September 25, 2013 4 comments

Hockey Players

Hockey Players by Shellie Lewis, multi-media on wood, 4.25 x 5.125 x 0.75″

I recently learned that kitchen waxed paper will accept acrylic paint and can be collaged using a decoupage medium such as Modge Podge.  I decided to try this process and it is really neat!  Painting on the reverse of the waxed paper gives the images a diffuse, aged look.  I added to the aged look by crumpling the paintings.

You need acrylic paints, waxed paper and Modge Podge to get started.  You cannot thin the paint with water because the waxed paper repels any water; the paint has to be a totally acrylic medium.  Here are all the steps I used:

  1. Draw or trace an image onto the waxed paper.  I traced photos from some large scale sports cards.  I did use an evil Sharpie marker which I know will degrade.  I wanted fine lines and no other pen I owned, all having water-based inks, was working.
  2. Paint your image or background pattern.  If you want the waxed paper for a background, you can collage paper bits, gold leaf or foils, mica, glitter, threads and a wide array of items in addition to acrylic paint.  Items with dimension can be glued down with Modge Podge.  I just stayed with paint and a small dash of glitter paint for my hockey guys, treating the wax paper the same as a reverse glass painting.  I painted on the side that is going to be glued to the wood.
  3. Paint the surface to adhere the waxed paper to if you want another layer of color.  I painted a gun metal metallic gray onto gessoed pieces of wood, added some snowflakes and called it done for the background.  The rest of the painted images was on the waxed paper.  If you are painting and/or collaging a background field of color that the waxed paper is to be made into, you may want to skip this step, because you can completely cover the waxed paper.  I planned to have flecks of and underlying color sow through the finished art work.
  4. Crumple the painting.  I did two crumples, one horizontally and one vertically, to give the waxed paper an aged look.  Some of the paint will flake off when the paper is balled up.  If you crumple gently, paint loss is minimal compared to really crushing the waxed paper hard.  Smooth the painting back out.  Also, you can skip this step if you like.
  5. Modge Podge!  I used the glossy kind.  I used one layer on the wood and smoothed the wax paper onto the wood, put a second coat of Modge Podge on top and left it to dry.  Do this step quickly as the waxed paper gets damp and will tear.  After the wroks dried I did one more coat of Modge Podge and let it dry again.  I trimmed the excess waxed paper off from around the edges, since the art works were bigger than the pieces of wood.  Some Modge Podge medium ran down the sides so I sanded them clean.
  6. Seal the artwork.  Modge Podge is sticky and I have run into problems if it gets wet again.  I used two coats of a liquid clear acrylic brush-on varnish / sealer.  There are many brands of clear sealers in spray cans that will also work well.

I’m happy with how the project came out considering the materials were really simple.  I was able to use some gesso coated scrap wood pieces from a discard bin and make something nice out of a recycled material.  The translucence of the waxed paper invite you to stack layers and think about layering more than one piece of waxed paper.

Antique Photographs

I bought a small lot of antique photographs, including the lovely hand coloured tintype [top] and some carte de visite pieces.  They are uploaded here at 300 dpi for you to use and enjoy.  They should be Public Domain but no promises; if you use them in any fashion it is at your own risk and discretion.  Right click and open in a new tab in your browser if you are having trouble downloading the full size image.



Tintype girl 01

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Categories: Collage, Mail Art, Photography

Ballet Collage


This work will probably go to the upcoming summer auction for the Heart & Sole Dance Foundation.  They are a great group that promotes fitness through dance and particularly has a mission for kids education in basic dance.  I made the collage from local free newspapers, gold metallic paint, ink and Berol Prismacolor pencils.  It fits in an 8×10 opening mat well but I also high res scanned it in case something like a poster or a print would benefit the foundation more than selling a single item.