May 21, 2013

The Buddy System

Many people are looking forward to summer weekends, but not quite in the same way I am. They are planning BBQs, get togethers with family and friends and fixing up the yard. I have nothing against these activities but my laser focus is one of the biggest yard sale weekends of the year. The anticipation is mounting! Is today Wednesday? Damn, its only Tuesday. The countdown begins!

Its important to have a yard sale buddy if you want to maintain the illusion that going to yard sales to collect more useless stuff makes the slightest bit of sense. In much the same way that having an exercise buddy or an AA buddy provides positive support, having a yard sale buddy does too. Most normal people would say "Why did you buy that? Are you nuts? You just HAD a yard sale to get rid of stuff!" A yard sale buddy says "That is so YOU! If you hadn't been there I would have bought that for you". 

Put a Bird on It!

About 5 years ago I started to notice the "bird on it" trend at the Brooklyn Flea. I seem to have some kind of psychic connection with the series Portlandia because whenever I find some hipstery thing funny it ends up on the show. Then I walk around saying "Put a bird on it" and "I can pickle that" more often than I'd like to admit. 

This bird craze has some serious staying power! Its kind of too bad because there are times I would like to put a bird on something, but now I feel guilty & ashamed. Can you find the bird in this collage? I found him in a vintage magazine and and mixed him up with some vintage fabric, paint & drawing. 

This weekend I went to some yard sales and got this pretty handkerchief.  I could cut it apart and use all the little birds in mixed media -- but I'd feel way too guilty!  Then bird salt & pepper shakers & ceramic figures started showing up at another sale for $1 so I had to buy them. Put a bird on it! 

May 8, 2013

Mixed Media Décollage

I started with some photos from Elle Magazine. They looked new and shiny so I knew I need to age them. I painted a layer of Liquitex Matte Medium on cardboard and placed a magazine photo face down. Then I rolled it with a brayer for a few minutes before I lifted off the paper. I waited until it was partially adhered to give it that look of distressed posters on the side of buildings (décollage). 

I layered a few more images using the Liquitex Medium transfer method then hand colored with liquid watercolors and paint. I've been photographing street art in lower Manhattan for decades. If I ran across this image on the side of a building I'd definitely take out my camera to document it. I'd want to be really large. Pretty street art? Why not? 

May 5, 2013

Polaroid photos vs. the iPhone

iPhone photography is kind of like junk food.  Tasty, super easy but not totally nourishing. But fun, really, really fun. Very clean, not messy. I used to make lots of Polaroid transfers and Polaroid emulsion lifts. The results were unpredictable but with lots of practice they became slightly more predictable. Yes, my name is Patti and I was addicted to Polaroid photography. It was an expensive proposition because each picture cost about $1. I've never run a marathon but when I got a great Polaroid transfer I had that kind of pride. It was hard, it was expensive, it was thrilling!

I'm a big fan of the blur no mater what kind of photography I'm doing. Above is the sky via iPhone. Below is the sky via Polaroid. If I ever get a big chunk of change I'm heading over to the Impossible Project and putting in a really big order. Then I can have the best of both worlds: tasty junk food iPhone photos & stick to your ribs nutritious Polaroids.