Ocean and Sunset Artist Trading Cards


Creating Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) with the fabulous Helga Strauss Stevens of ARTchix Studio was a big part of how I discovered my love of making collage and mixed media art.  It’s also how I made the e-acquaintance of the delightful artist, Lenna Young Andrews, who is hosting an Ocean & Sunset themed swap of these small, almost-business-card-sized works of heart—all made just for the love of art and sharing the joy with other artists and crafters!

I couldn’t resist this theme, especially with such glorious sunsets by the sea and crystal-clear aqua waters around here.baby.turtle

Sunset.Inspiration.WestEnd.GBSo, I set out to have some fun with warm tones and cool blues, making 3 of each theme (and a couple extras for personal swapping). I started with watercolor paper and acrylic paints for the Sunset cards … yellows and oranges and a touch of red mixed in with some gold highlights:

1st.Layer.SunsetATCs.2016 2nd.Layer.Sunset.ATCs.2016 3rd.Layer.SunsetATCs.2016 4th.Layer.Sunset.ATCs.2016For the Ocean cards, I let my love of gelli-printing on tissue paper lead the way and started layering that in with various bits of collected paper (and vintage ARTchix sheets):Tissue.Paper.GelliPrints.4Ocean


With all the backgrounds ready …


… I started browsing through my stash of image sheets from ARTchix, and paired pictures with some other wisps of paper, stamping, some typed “by the sea” words (on yellow tissue to blend with the paint), and little embellishments to bring the ATCs together … I kept the colors separate in the Sunset & Ocean themes (warm and cool), but loved playing and mixing the themes together in the content, with bathing beauties and sea creatures cavorting on the Sunset cards too! The little veined marks in the backgrounds of some of the Sunset cards (almost reef-like) was made by letting a little water into the paint mix and pressing the cards together … it added to the blending of the colors and I’m totally in love with how water creates these little rivulets—patterns that show up in paint, in tree roots and branches, in underwater coral fans, in our veins, in trickling raindrops … it’s an organic flow that shows up everywhere water makes its mark!



Sunset.ATC.bySea.Flower.Shell Sunset.ATC.Love.Sunsets


A quick picture of the fine line needle tip applicator that I used for putting little gold highlights on the cards—shown in front of my beloved trusty 1955 Royal Quiet Deluxe typewriter—I love pecking collage words out on this machine as much as I love hearing the carriage return bell DING!


I finished off the backs of the Sunset cards with snippets of polka dotted papers gleaned mostly from odd bits of wrapping paper and smudges of paint in the same warm tones … just because I love dots dots dots … and paint!


Totally enjoyed finding more bathing beauties and images and sea-inspired touches for the Ocean themed cards … snip, snip, glue, stamp … there’s even a thin layer of clear pouring medium over the blues to give them more of a water feel …





Finishing them off on the back with more polka dots, along with Starfish postage stamps from The Bahamas (they have especially pretty postage stamps in The Bahamas that I seem to use more in collage than in mailing letters! 🙂 )


Thank you, Lenna, for hosting such a wonderful swap—I really enjoyed the process of making these—and what fun it will be to find ATCs from other artists waiting for me in my mailbox in a few weeks!! Swaps swirl with shared joy and the glow of art enthusiasm … just like sunsets and the oceans of creativity sparkling out there … enjoy!!

Explore posts in the same categories: art, by the sea, collage, design, favorite things, Grand Bahama Island, inspiration, intriguing images, love, The Bahamas

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9 Comments on “Ocean and Sunset Artist Trading Cards”

  1. So much fun!

    On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 11:45 AM, Paulas Paradise wrote:

    > Paula’s Paradise posted: ” Creating Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) with the > fabulous Helga Strauss Stevens of ARTchix Studio was a big part of how I > discovered my love of making collage and mixed media art. It’s also how I > made the e-acquaintance of the delightful artist, Lenna Y” >

  2. Dear paula, what a wonderful post! Your ATCS are delightful and I feel lucky to be able to hold them in my hands and see them in person 🙂 yum!!
    I love your style and look forward to posting them on the creative swaps blog later this morning. I will definitely include a link to this post. Also, many thanks for the extra goodies, ATCS and notes you enclosed – so Happy -Happy to receive!! LOVE what you made! xo

    • Paula's Paradise Says:

      Dear Lenna — thank you for this beautiful note!! I feel so fortunate to share so much kindred art bliss with you, and am so grateful for all you are doing in hosting this swap, which is already such a joy and pleasure … oodles of thanks!!! 🙂 ❤

  3. Janet Says:

    Absolutely delightful reading your post!!! You are kind of a way hey up she rises person, aren’t you?

    • Paula's Paradise Says:

      Dear Janet—indeed I am! 🙂 With big thanks to good friends and Wonderful Muses such as yourself!! ❤ Great to find your note and sending you lots of creative, smooth-sailing hugs!!

  4. Cynthia Zdanzukas Says:

    Wow! Your ATCs for the Ocean/Sunset swap are fabulous!

    Cynthia Z.

    • Paula's Paradise Says:

      Cynthia — thank you so much! I saw your fabric swap piece over on Lenna’s site — absolutely gorgeous!! Thanks so much for your note and happy art-making smiles 🙂 ❤

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