It’s back – Retro Friday!

It’s been a LONG time since I’ve done a Retro Friday post! And a long time since I’ve posted any Artist Trading Cards (ATC’s). SO…why not do both at once? Although most of the ATC’s I’ve done have been hand crafted I have done some digitally, which is what I decided to feature on the blog today – just for fun! With the exception of a card I created for a “Children” themed swap these all feature a variety of vintage photos. I’ve got literally hundreds of these vintage images to play with, it’s always fun to pull some out and get creative. Several of these cards had other little embellishments added to them after they were printed. I still have some of each design if anyone wants one or wants to do a swap I am up for it! Just leave a comment on this post or send me an email. Enough chatter…on to the images:

"be yourself" artist trading card © Lynne Medsker
"deliriously happy" artist trading card © Lynne Medsker
"joy of a child" artist trading card © Lynne Medsker
"men" artist trading card © Lynne Medsker
"stand up" artist trading card © Lynne Medsker

I have to admit the last one is my favorite!

If you are curious about ATC’s there is information about it on my website, as well as link to other sites with info on how they are made. I haven’t done an ATC class for a while but they are a really great activity for a group of friends, keep it in mind next time you & your friends are looking for something to do!

I hope to see many of you at the opening reception for my show in Plainfield this Sunday, have a great weekend!


Workshop ideas?

I need some feedback! I’ve had a request for another mandala class, which I plan on scheduling soon. I’m also thinking of creative collage workshop & an artist trading card workshop. What are YOU interested in learning or doing? Would you rather do it during the week or the weekend? Daytime hours or evenings? Do you prefer a day-long event or 2-3 shorter classes? Even if you don’t live close or can’t attend I would still love to hear your thoughts & ideas – share please!!

Thanks for the help!


Third collage series

"fresh" collage on paper, 5x5" (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker

As I promised, today is the last collage post for a while. I seem to get on a tangent of one media and I don’t want you to become bored by the same topic over & over so the next few blog posts will be about digital art. Change is good!  These collage pieces were created on the background paper that used coffee & tea to create part of the design. You can read about how it was made by clicking HERE. The colors from the coffee & tea influenced my choice of other items to add to the composition, they all seem to have a more muted, natural tone to them, especially compared to the more colorful creations in my last post.

"perfectly simple" collage on paper, 5x7" (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker
"keep it simple" collage on paper, 5x7" (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker

This series yielded two 5×7 images and a total of four 5×5″ images.

"go with the flow" collage on paper, 5x5" (c) Lynne Medsker
"do more" collage on paper, 5x5" (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker
"something cool happening" collage on paper, 5x5" (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker

After cropping these (and a few other) compositions from the sheet of collage I had a nice selection of leftover scraps.

collage scraps

I sorted through those with an artist’s trading card (ATC) template and cropped out several cards – a few I would consider finished and others that will be great backgrounds for future use.

artist trading cards (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker

Just a reminder that the one-day collage workshop I am presenting on Saturday, March 20th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. will be here soon! The cost is $60 and includes all the supplies & mats for framing your creations.  The class size is small so be sure to sign up soon for this fun & creative Saturday!

And that concludes the blog posts on collage.  For now! 🙂 I feel like I’ve had more information to post than days to post it on lately.  I like it! I never want to feel like I am posting just because I should (although that happens occasionally!)

Flowing along,


From Leftovers to Art…

leftover pieces of collage on paper

As promised in my last blog post, I am featuring a few miscellaneous art pieces created from the leftover “scraps” of a recent collage project. After selecting and cropping out eleven 5×5″ collage compositions from a larger collage on paper creation, there were lots of smaller, miscellaneous pieces still left (pictured above).  I went through them with an ATC-sized template and chose four sections that I thought would make nice ATC’s (you can read more about ATC’s on my website by clicking HERE). I may add more embellishments to these before I declare them completely finished!

set of four ATC's (untitled) collage on paper (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker

After I cropped out the cards I still had a nice size pile of scrap pieces left.  I laid them out in several arrangements and came upon one that I was really happy with so I continued to build on that. Using the basic assembly techniques that I use in my mixed media pieces I built up the composition in several different layers & heights, then added a few additional embellishments to vary the texture. Finally, I secured all the pieces in place.  If you’ve not noticed in previous creations I love uneven numbers, particularly the number three when I am creating art.  Many of my pieces have groupings of three items within them.  This one has several sets of three similar objects in it, which made coming up with a title easy!

"3+3+3" mixed media/collage, 8x10" (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker

I assembled this in a different orientation but once it was finished I turned it all four directions and decided I liked the way it presented facing this direction.  I am sometimes surprised at how the finished product ends up, but as long as I’m happy with it ultimately that’s all that matters. Seems like there’s a life lesson in there somewhere too – looking at all sides of a situation – but I’ll leave that for you to muse on instead of spelling out my thoughts on the subject.

Eyes open,


More ATC’s from CO

After the Artist Trading Card workshop on Thursday I left open the table and supplies to make cards and anyone that stops in to visit while I am working is welcome to make one (or more!) while they are here.  I’ve had some takers and gotten to trade cards with several visitors as well.  Yeah for participation!  Here are a couple of photos of the tables & materials (plus there are a few other boxes of goodies sitting around the room for people to root through).

While I was taking these photos I took some close-up shots of the alphabet stickers and of the tiny pieces in this scrapbooking box…I’ve been having fun playing with them in Photoshop, but that’s for another post!  During our workshop on Thursday I had time to create a few new ATC’s as well.  Here is a sampling:

thawing ATC (c) 2009 Lynne Medsker
"thawing" ATC (c) 2009 Lynne Medsker
grow ATC (c) 2009 Lynne Medsker
"grow" ATC (c) 2009 Lynne Medsker
blossom ATC (c) Lynne Medsker
"blossom" ATC (c) Lynne Medsker
dance ATC (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
"dance" ATC (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
pocketful of blessings (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
"pocketful of blessings" (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker

I must be ready for spring!  I didn’t notice how many flowers I had used until I just put these images on here. 🙂  It is that time of year so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that flowers are sprouting in my imagination.  Happy spring to you!


Recap, days 7 & 8

Hello again from Breckenridge!  The last couple days have gone by quickly, I can tell that my time here will be over long before I am ready.  I can’t believe I have been here over a week now! Yesterday/Wednesday I started the day off being a bit domestic, cleaned up the apartment area, took the bus down to the store to stock up on groceries, and ventured out to the laundromat.  I can’t say that I have missed the days of taking laundry to the laundromat but it was relatively painless (and more expensive than I remember!).  I am still just captivated by the views in this beautiful little mountain town.  As I was standing waiting for the bus to pick me up at the grocery I snapped this shot across the parking lot.  Sure doesn’t look like the view from the grocery store at home! After I returned from all my errands I got to work in the studio.  The two mixed media pieces I’d been working on were still waiting on me so I determined what finishing touches they needed and then began to mount them onto the matboard.  I am really happy with them both and I’ve gotten lots of positive feedback from the visitors that have been in.

river rocks #1 (c) Lynne Medsker
'river rocks' #1 (c) Lynne Medsker
river rocks #2 (c) Lynne Medsker
'river rocks' #2 (c) Lynne Medsker

The arts district is very busy here and yesterday afternoon they were having an opening for a children’s art show so I wandered over there to see the exhibit and meet some more of the local artists, teachers and supporters.  It was a very nice show with works by over 100 kids being shown.  There was a nice variety of mediums that they had used and all the artwork was inspired by local history.  Very cool! After that I returned to the studio and began playing with a couple new projects.  

I had heard of “junk journals” through an Indy based altered art group and, although I missed the demonstration on how to make them, it had been in the back of my mind to attempt my own version while I was here.  I’d been saving empty packaging, scraps of paper and similar items that were destined for the trash and/or recycling bins so I started planning how I would create two journals from the materials I had saved.  I ended up with a small version (squarish, maybe 4 or 5 inches?) and a midsized version (perhaps 5×8 inches?).  I got the larger one bound and a few pages covered with gesso before I called it a day.  That made it easy to get started today because I had the projects underway.  🙂 Throughout the day I continued to gesso the pages and also covered some with tape, metal or decorative papers to make the invidual pages.  I took some photos of both pieces progressing…perhaps I’ll post them tomorrow.  Today was a day with open studio hours so I had several visitors in & out throughout the afternoon.  Today was also the day of the artist trading card (ATC) workshop!  It ran from 5 to 8 p.m. and we had 5 people here making cards. There were many other events and activities going on in the area this evening so I appreciated the people that took time to come to the workshop. The evening went by quickly with good company, good conversation, a few snacks to nibble on and lots of creativity.    

I was invited to attend a workshop on Saturday afternoon that a textile artist is presenting (we’ll be making scarves!) and that evening is the “Second Saturday” artwalk with my studio space being one of the stops.  I am looking forward to both those events.  I will have all day tomorrow to play in the studio…even MORE to look forward to!  For now I am going to sign off & get into my cozy pajamas.

Sweet dreams!


Day 6, continued

My Tuesday was a busy one with lots going on.  First I need to backtrack a bit to tell you that I did a phone interview with a local reporter about my work and my stay at the Tin Shop.  It ran in the paper (and online) on Tuesday so I was excited to see what it said when I woke up that morning.  Tuesday was also the day of my public reception so I wanted to try and get a few more pieces of art finished to show my visitors and knew I would need to do a bit of cleaning before that began as well.  I showed images in my last post of two new mixed media pieces in progress so I started work on those as soon as I got in the studio.  After realizing the pieces were destined for frames I went back in and removed a bit off of each edge so that they would fit within a frame (sometimes little details like that can escape me so I’m glad I figured it out fairly early in the process!).  Then I began applying the layers of aluminum to each of the pieces and did the etching on each piece afterward.  This is what it looked like at that point:

river rocks #1 (WIP) step 2
river rocks #1 (WIP) step 2
river rocks #2 (WIP) step 2
river rocks #2 (WIP) step 2

From there it was time to add the ink, I try to save up projects and ink multiple things at once so I also applied all the ink to the second & third “art on record” pieces (shown in my last post) at the same time.  I still have to attach the pieces to the matboard and will probably add some wire details as well but this is how the mixed media pieces are shaping up so far:

river rocks #1, (work in progress) after inking
river rocks #1, (work in progress) after inking
river rocks #2, (work in progress) after inking
river rocks #2, (work in progress) after inking

The reception started at 4 p.m. and we had several visitors.  Jenn & Gretchen, who work for the town of Breckenridge & help support the artists, were both here plus probably another 10 or 12 visitors throughout the afternoon.  I have a portion of the studio set up for making artist trading cards and actually had a few visitors who took the time to create some while they were there.  Sometimes it takes some convincing to get people to participate so it was fun that they were eager and willing to make something while they were there.  In addition to the visitors Jenn & I were taped by a local television station to promote the arts district, my residency at the Tin Shop and the ATC workshop that I’ll be presenting on Thursday.  I am supposed to get a link to the segment…if I don’t look to terribly silly I might even post it on here to share. 🙂  After the reception I decided I needed to get out and stroll around town for a while so I did that for about 45 minutes as the sun slowly faded behind the mountains.  I had my point & shoot camera in my pocket and got a nice image of the late evening light hitting the peaks.

last light (c) Lynne Medsker
last light (c) Lynne Medsker

 So now it’s on to Wednesday, day 7…who knows what it may hold! 


First day in the studio

Well today was officially my first day in the studio at the Tin Shop here in Breckenridge.  The first thing that greeted me this morning was a fresh blanket of snow, with more being added to it at a steady rate.  Oh, joy…I got to use the snow shovel!  This is the view out the windows:

snowy morning
snowy morning
snowy morning 2
snowy morning 2

After waiting ALL day yesterday for my art supplies to arrive they were delivered around 5:30 in the evening.  I got them unpacked and arranged last night but didn’t get much else accomplished besides that.  So this morning after my breakfast I headed downstairs to get busy.  Of course there was still rearranging to do as I settled in and tried to get the space organized into a workable set up.

 I basically have two stations set up now, one for ATC’s and one for whatever other art I happen to be working on.  The ATC station is set up for visitors so that they can create a card or two if they are in the mood.  I’ll be presenting a workshop next Thursday but I thought it would be fun to just make that available to everyone who visits.  Part of the approval process for being a guest artist is what your public interaction will consist of and they seemed very excited about the trading cards so I wanted to have it there for any visitors that are interested in participating.  The cards can be made on most any substrate but I like to be “green” whenever I can so I had been collecting cereal boxes and other packaging materials then cut them into the standard 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 size cards to create on.  Once you’ve painted, glued, stamped, etc. the surface of the card is usually obliterated so even if it started as a Wheaties box it really doesn’t matter.  Of course if it’s an interesting image or pattern it can even be incorporated into your art.  Anyhow, despite my efforts somehow the cards didn’t make it out here with me.  I know they were packed at one point but I rearranged items in the boxes many times trying to make them more managable, I guess at some point those came out and never made it back in.  Bummer!  I’ve discovered that a few other items met the same fate. 😦 So I spent some time this morning cutting out more cards from materials that I had around here, some of it recycled and, unfortunately, some of it not.  Since I was in “ATC mode” I went ahead and made several cards that were covered with sheet music and then went from there.  I like to do my cards in batches with similar backgrounds, it gives me a good starting point and I’m not spending a large amount of time figuring out where to start.  Here are the ones I got finished today:

music artist trading card (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
"music" artist trading card (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker


laughter artist trading card (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
"laughter" artist trading card (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
courage artist trading card (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
"courage" artist trading card (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
butterfly artist trading card (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker
"butterfly" artist trading card (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker

If you can’t tell I love quotes!  I have a hard time making an ATC without some sort of quote or at least a word or two written on it.

Other than that I painted some paper with watercolor to be used as a background on future projects.  I also got my “slide show” up and running on my laptop so visitors can see my artwork.  I had five visitors this afternoon, open studio hours are from 2 to 6 on Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday so I will be “open” again tomorrow afternoon.  Perhaps if it’s not blowing cold snow around I will have more than five visitors.  I feel like I need to get busy and create lots of art so there are things for them to see!  There will be a reception on Tuesday evening so I am working toward having more than just some ATC’s finished by then.

This evening I walked over to the local theater and saw a performance of “Office Space: The Musical” which was extremely funny.  If you are a fan of the movie you would have appreciated it…although if you hadn’t seen the movie you most likely would have been scratching your head.  🙂  I’ve seen the movie several times but it’s been a while since I last saw it, now I want to watch it again!  I got home about an hour ago, fixed myself a late dinner and opened up what turned out to be a delicious bottle of wine that I had picked up on one of my excursions out about the town.  So I am relaxing, finishing up my dinner and my wine, writing in my blog and thinking about my pajamas and a good nights sleep.  Then I can wake up tomorrow and do it all over again!  It takes me a while to get in a rhythm when I am allowed to set my own schedule and pace.  I am trying to make it a good balance of creativity, relaxation and  recreation…I’m sure I’ll get it worked out soon enough.  

Sweet dreams until next time,


Altered Art

Yesterday I took time to let my creative side loose and worked on a few new mixed media pieces and also created an altered art piece for an upcoming swap.  I joined a local altered art group through yahoo last year after a couple of my students recommended it to me. You can visit their site at  My original interest in the group was that they had a monthly artist trading card swap and I had just begun exploring ATC’s.  Although I’ve only been able to participate in a few of the swaps it’s been nice to meet others that are interested in mixed media.  They have monthly meetings, normally at the Nora Library, and also hold workshops from time to time.  They have expanded their monthly swaps to include more items than ATC’s, this month everyone is supposed to create a small piece on canvas, no larger than 4×6 inches.  Here is an image of my piece:

"Travel" 4x4" mixed media/altered art (c) Lynne Medsker


The medallion is attached at the top but hangs loose over the canvas to add a little “movement” to the piece. I also created another piece with a postcard from the early 1900’s…I had fun creating the textured background with clear acrylic gel:

"July 3rd, 1913" 6x6" mixed media/altered art (c) Lynne Medsker


The title refers to the postmark date on the postcard. I have been holding on to this card for a couple of years trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with it.  I finally pushed myself to just do SOMETHING.  I’ve got so much material around that I am saving for “someday” that it’s always a breakthrough when I can make myself use some of it!  Mental note to self – next time take an image of the back of the card! I regret not doing that before I attached it to the canvas.  Although I jotted down the postmark date there was writing, a signature & an address on there that showed it’s “history”.  I feel like I was a bit disrespectful by loosing that information.  Sigh. 

Working with this group makes me want to do some research on the exact definitions of altered art vs. mixed media, I think I use them interchangeably for the most part.  I’ll let you know if I find out anything definitive!  

More news soon, until then be safe & happy!


ATC Workshop recap!

The ATC workshop/swap last Saturday was a lot of fun!  We had a group of seven that gathered at Sugar Creek Art Center to play & create.  From the enthusiastic response I would say a good time was had by all.  Three of the participants were first time visitors to the center, which was a bonus, they got to wander the building during our lunch break and visit the various studios.  I am working on scheduling a date for a second workshop, most likely sometime in the fall.  Here are some photos from the day:




finished products

finished products

finished products

I’ll post about my road trip soon, it was a wonderful time, with beautiful scenery and time to relax mixed in with the other activities.  I took almost 200 photos – I promise not to post that many though! 🙂  Talk to you soon!