Friday, April 15, 2016

Liberate Your Art 2016 Postcard Swap and April Blog Hop

Hope in Winter

For the past 4 years, I've participated in Kat Sloma's annual Liberate Your Art Post Card Exchange, where she encourages us to print our art, and exchange it with other creatives around the world.  After all, the world needs more art!

The card above is the one I sent out this year.   It's a late winter photo taken in the park next to our house, then overlayed with several coffee-stained textures (that I also made myself with real coffee and paper), with a few other treatments in Photoshop Elements.  It was quite the culmination of my creative abilities -- really a part of and from me.  Really neat to see it professionally printed and "living" in the real world as opposed to strictly digital.  Learn more about how I created Hope in Winter, including the PhotoShop processing recipe with before and after pics.  It was quite a transformation!

This year, I decided to send out 5 copies of the same card, as I thought it would be easier to track where they landed.  So far, I've heard from the following people in these corners of the world :

1)   Tina Walker in Salt Lake City, Utah, at A Dog's Life Blog
2)   Louise Mamet-Berthereau in The Loire Valley, France
3)   Sheila del Gado in California - She actually got 2 of these trees as I sent an extra-side-swap (all the other side-swaps did not get the tree), never dreaming she would have gotten one in the official swap.  What are the odds?
4)  Michelle Sweetnam in Alexandia, VA
5) ??

These are the cards I received in the official swap :

An orchard in Northern California.
On the back is the quote : "There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude - a quiet joy.  Sometimes you just need a break in a beautiful place alone to figure everything out."
I think this might be my new "happy place!"   

The quote says : "We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things because we're curious and curiousity keeps leading us down new paths.  -- Walt Disney

From Delphine Skinner in  nearby Madison, WI
Photographed on our wood pile, as our outside is also white with snow.

From Karen Kuhlman in Durham, NC. 
"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart."
She says she's learning to paint snow with a palette knife, so I photographed it on a snowy-ish looking quilt.

From Susan in Clona Kitty, West Cork, Ireland.

"I'm slowing down the tune
I never liked it fast
You want to get there soon
I want to get there last"
-- Leonard Cohen

And this is the card that Kat Sloma, the organizer of the event, sent out to everyone this year. Gorgeous and dreamy ...

Thank you ladies for filling the world with more beauty!

Every year, I've had the good fortune to do a few extra side-swaps, beyond the official 5 cards given and received.  Here are the extra side-swaps exchanged this year.  I've exchanged with some of these people in the past, and we've kept up the tradition.  Some of them are new ...  some discovered in the FB Group.  It's easy to contact people to set up a side swap -- especially if you really like their work, and vice versa!

from Sarah Calhoun in Atlanta, Georgia 
A mosaic made of re-purposed and re-cycled materials from Howard Finster's Paradise Garden.
Reminds me of the pot-shard pavements in Ile-Ife.  ;-)   Order out of chaos!

From Snap Lane in Houston, TX.  
She has a pond with beautiful water lilies (Lotus?) and eight fish, so I photographed it atop my old pond (not set up this year yet) with some aquarium glass and the ghosts of my own water lilies and goldfish of summers past.

This gorgeous card came from Janice Darby in California.  It was a work done in tandem with with grand-daughter.  I absolutely LOVE the art Janice creates.  It's photographed here on top of a small cathedral windows quilt I made, meant to complement the colors.  

This one is from Sherry Harmes in Larsen Bay, Alaska.  
Photographed here atop a stepping stone -- a suitable foundation for home-building.  Sherry has a connection to Oshkosh as she took an internship here at the local state mental health institute, many years ago. 

From Sheila Del Gado in San Bernadino, California.
Flower to Flower.

From Deb Keyworth in England.
She likes bikes (as you can tell), and asked for my postcard of the bike in France.

Want to see more?
Kat created a video showcasing many of the wonderful postcards in this year's swap :

Kat's post about the 2016 Liberate Your Art Celebration.

There's also a FaceBook Event Group where you can see more and interact with other participants.  There are multiple sideswaps happening, too.

Check out my LYA blog posts from previous years.
Thanks for stopping by my corner of the web.

Have a wonderfully creative year!

The Blog Hop happening April 15 - 17, 2016.

See where our art landed.  It kind of feels like tossing the cards up into the air and then waiting to see where they land around the world ...  Join us for a trip around the world :


Lisa Comperry said...

It has been a wonderful experience interacting with this community of artists! I love your winter tree image :-) You have a beautiful blog too :-)

carol edan said...

Lovely blog post and a great group of cards!!!

twil123123 said...

Beautiful. Your first card is from the Orchard Queen herself Shirina Manes. You can find my beautiful Cali friend on Flickr at, assuming you haven't tracked her down already. Great job and you received and sent some wonderful art! Happy LYA 2016!

Sea Dean said...

Such a lovely collection of cards and so different from mine. I believe that each one of us receives the right cards. What a wonderful world.

Sheila said...

Michele I am so glad I had the chance to swap with you. AND receive your awesome card as a regular swap! Thanks for the album covers! LOL. I thought I saw a bit of color in your snow scene, it was very interesting to read about your process, color burn... I never think of using it that way... but now I will :) Your textures are wonderful, and make the image so dreamy. I am not a snow lover (grew up in Colorado at the base of the Rockies) but your love of Winter is infectious!
Really enjoyed your post, and seeing some of your past work in the exchanges. I have my hand in the air for a side swap next year!

Linda Ursin said...

Beautiful work :) Looks like you've been in it about as long as I have

Natasha Papousek said...

I love your image! Fascinating how you crafted it.

This has been a great swap... not only because it pushed me further in my art, but also because I got to see so much inspiring artwork and meet awesome artists!

Kat van Rooyen, CZT said...

I love your post, and your card😊 . You received some lovely cards! Loved the way you described it, like tossing them in the air! I hope for a side swap whenever you can .

The Idaho Beauty said...

What a lovely variety of cards you received - no wonder you participate in this! Thanks for embedding the video - I enjoyed it very much.

Rosie Grey said...

Such a wonderful collection of beautiful cards!

Gallery Juana said...

I enjoyed seeing all the cards you received and how you came about making yours. It's always great fun receiving the cards and I like the one you sent out! Happy LYA 2016.

CatieAn said...

I so loved your winter tree and how you made your own layers. Each of your cards are so unique and also similar....paths. lanes.looking into the future......\
I haven't seen any of these. I spent some time looking through your blog and felt at home.
Thank you for the kind words for my mom.....I was a pediatric oncology nurse for 32 yrs so am very comfortable with end of life care giving.....but it is so much harder when it is your momma. She has been doing amazing this past week since out of the hospital. I know it won't last but we are enjoying in every moment we have. Hospice is wonderful and Mom is very happy with them. What a wonderful person you must be to volunteer for them. BLess you