Vintage Women/Vintage Paper

Welcome to my first blog post! It’s unreal that at 50 years old, I’m FINALLY getting the nerve to sell my art, create a Website, open an Etsy store and get out there at arts and crafts fairs. You would have thought I should have done this sooner! I was actually busy with other creative works, but because of that, I have gone back to making real art after oh so very long. My husband is the one who talked me into it. What better way to celebrate a new chapter in my life at MY age lol with a series of works called Women on Vintage Paper. The images I use are most of vintage photos of women from back in the 1900s…kind of like how I feel right now lol.

As a creator of digital memory keeping and digital mixed media artist, I have purchased a LOT of vintage papers.  From blank papers to letters, book pages and sheet music.  I used those papers mainly for Photoshop brushes like vintage text brushes.  But, these papers have been just collecting dust since I retired from digital designing.  I wanted to use them up, but I didn’t want to tear them up really and use them for collage.  Trust me, it’s no easy thing to create on vintage paper.  Not for difficulty reasons, but the fact that they are old and the reluctance of using them and destroying them in a manner of speaking.  But, I thought what better way to use them than to create something new with them.  Otherwise they just site there getting older and dusty.  They aren’t valuable.  So, why not use them?  Use them as a substrate for my art.

The worrying part of using old papers is that they will tear easily like tissue paper when you add water.  I had to think carefully on how I wanted to do this and create something that will last a bit longer.  I took the old papers, cut them to the size I wanted and used ModPodge them onto another substrate like watercolor paper…something stronger that will hold.  Then I took some clear gesso and covered the entire paper with it.  The gesso helps protect the paper even further allowing you to add a bit more water without worrying about the paper.  But, still I had to be careful.

At this point, I really didn’t know what I was going to create.  I knew it would be a female face because, as a woman, it’s the easiest to create.  But, I really like the vintage photos of women.  I like their eyes…they have this wonderful intensity and soulfulness.  But, I didn’t want to do a full on mixed media piece.  I didn’t want to cover up the whole vintage paper.  They wold defeat the purpose of using it.  I wanted to create something that would show off the lettering, text or music through the subject.

I have been reluctant to sell my original work when I do art shows because I’m afraid they will buy an expensive piece of art and it will not last.  So, for now, I have only been selling art prints.  Thought there actually have been quite a few locals who wanted to buy the originals.

Thank you so very much for reading my first blog post!  I hope you enjoyed it and got to understand a bit about my creative process.  Stay tuned for other blog posts about my other works, how to decorate with art, watch me create pieces, knitting…yes knitting and other creative adventures.

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4 thoughts on “Vintage Women/Vintage Paper”

  1. Way to step out there and start selling! Have you tried mono printing on your vintage papers? Love that look for a first layer. Good luck and thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Monica for your comment! No I haven’t tried mono printing. I will certainly look into it…I’m always looking for new and creative ways to make my art. Thanks!!

  2. Hi, Courtney!

    I started dabbling, again, with mixed-media, too! I still had a lot of things, like brushes, from before my digital journey into Photoshop. I just had to replace paints and some of the mediums and pastes. Many things I had never tried before have drawn my curiosity. It is quite the learning experience!
    Did you use pastels? The ladies are divine! It’s a great use of the vintage papers, too!

    I am so very happy for you! You were kinda busy your first 50 years, what with raising and taking care of a family! Now, I hope your next 50 will be all (well, almost) for you! Wonderful adventure! LOL


    1. Courtney Dixon Art and Design

      Thanks Su! Yes, starting to obtain art supplies can be quite expensive and daunting a bit. I just accumulated slowly over time when I was doing digital work. I pretty much have almost every medium you can think of LOL! But, yes, I did use pastels. Mostly oils because they rub and smear. Chalk pastels are good for things when I do charcoal. I think my favorite medium is modeling paste. Creates amazing textures and I use with stencils. I look forward to seeing what you do! Thanks for commenting!! Courtney

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