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We look forward to swapping with you.  Happy Arting!

Member Gallery for Group Swaps
Below you will find a sampling our members' work from previous group swaps and projects.  Click on images to view them larger. We hope this will inspire you to come and play with us! If you are interested in joining our group, please visit us at:
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Paper Traders is a friendly online community of artists from around the world. We nurture and value creativity, embrace new ideas, products, and techniques yet also value tried and true methods of artistic expression. Our projects consist primarily of paper arts, mixed media collage, artist trading cards, altered art, assemblages, collaborative journals, mail art, and more.

We are interested in creative individuals of varied skill levels who wish to challenge themselves artistically and help build a supportive community. We are at our best when we can share our creative efforts as well as techniques, resources, feedback, and insights. We encourage conversation about art, the art process, and what it means to be an artist.

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Free Images for Download

Below you will find images that are owned by our group members and offered for your personal use as well as images found in the public domain. Images may be freely used in your personal artwork but may not be used for commercial purposes of any kind without written permission of the owner. No images may be used to create collage sheets or image collections for resale.

To download, follow the link provided. In some cases, you may be able to just click on the image to enlarge it, then right-click and select "save image as". Content changes frequently and many images are available for a limited time.  Please check back often for newly posted images to use in your art journey.

Open Art Challenges !

We're changing things up here at Paper Traders. Instead of the monthly challenges of the past, we'll now be hosting special challenges that might feature a specific technique or product and will be rewarded with actual prizes sponsored by our group members.

Our new challenge for 2013 is a year long word prompt journaling project/challenge. Each specific challenge will be open for one month and all art bloggers can participate, whether you are a Paper Traders member or not. Each artist will comment with a link to their blog post that features the artwork for that particular challenge. For each challenge, a winner will be selected whose art best exemplifies the challenge. The winning artist will be featured here and get a "Trader Treasure" blog button to display on their own blog. They also will receive one chance for each entry for the end of the year prize drawing. Watch this page for more details and challenge announcements.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

An Obsession with Tins

I have a bit of a "thing" for containers of all sorts and particularly for tins.  I've been known to buy something for the vessel it's in rather than the product itself.    I use these containers to create assemblages.   I find the layering of elements and images both fascinating and calming.   Here's my method:

Scope out your tin or container.    Believe me, once you get hooked, your cupboards will be filled with them.   The one I chose has a window which I like very much.    I often choose the container first then give myself some time to match it with an idea.   In this case, the tin with the handle reminded me of the lunch boxes that we used to bring to school.   This was a perfect fit with the French Kissed  school- related images I wanted to use.    Sand the tin (you don't need to do the inside of the front if you are going to keep it closed when it is finished).   Wipe off the "dust" and coat with gesso.  Allow to dry.

Choose colours of acrylic paint for both the outside of the tin and the inside.  I like using Claudine Hellmuth's paint in particular as it has excellent coverage and a thick, buttery texture to it.  I tend to favour a darker colour for the outside and a lighter for the inside but it is entirely up to you.

Now it's time to do a little gathering.   Choose your focal image or images and gather related papers and embellishments.  You won't use them all but you'll have lots of choices when you are creating.  I find that hunting for these items while I'm creating is distracting.

Choose paper that will form your background inside the tin.   In my  case, it is a piece of scrapbook paper with a school theme.   I used  beeswax to build layers and add texture but you can use any technique  that you wish.   I then added the image of the school children and a  quotation that I found.
I never want all of the background elements to be flat on the background so I add foam squares to the back.   One set of squares for the first layer, two sets for the second  and so on.

Embellish as you please.   I used a key to highlight the word "school" and had the teacher holding a clock.  I also added a little wooden window to bring to mind  a one-room schoolhouse.

I like to have the background raised from the tin to give depth so I added foam tape to the back before I affixed it to the base.
I thought I needed a little something on the ground so I used my shredder to shred some vintage papers. These I glued to the bottom.
Once I was satisfied with the inside of the container, I closed it and began working on the outside.  I found that the film on the "window" added a murky look that I didn't like so I removed it with an exacto knife.  I then added the image of the little boy and additional embellishments.  As a finishing touch, I outlined the tin and the window with gold ink just to make it pop.


Linda said...

What a beautiful tin...thank you for the tutorial! You inspired me to go alter one of my own!

artymess said...

thats a cool tin .....x

Heather Robinson said...

Thank you both for your sweet comments. I find it so soothing to layer elements in tins. Hmmm....what does that mean? Hugs, Heather

Aimeslee said...

Very sweet tin, Heather. And a great tute. What did you use for the nesting graffiti strips...newspaper or book pages? xoxo

danceswithtrees said...

AHA! A tinoholic...I've heard there's groups for this...LOL. Lovely tin, Heather! I'm inspired too! Thanks for sharing...Smiles, Lorna

Cathy L. Calamas said...

Perfectly wonderful. Great, great images. Can't wait to try my hand at this, but I don't need another addiction!! :))

Heather Robinson said...

Are you folks telling me that I have an addiction? Me? Tee, hee....yes, I admit it. Aimeslee, I used my shredder to shred some vintage book pages!! Love all the feedback and thank you for it.

Beckie Holso said...

Great tutorial, Heather. I am in L-O-V-E with your final result... just awesome!