Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Introducing Itty Bitties!

Itty Bitties are what I call the little 1.5 x 1.5 chipboard squares that I have been working on since early summer. I dug them out today because I had some unexpected time and wanted to work on “art,” but was feeling stymied and overwhelmed as to where to begin. My eyes landed on the tiles I had finished earlier and I decided to spend a few hours making more. I like my Itty Bitties because they are small, not very intimidating, and each little square is a finished piece of art. It is also a fun way to practice and experiment with new techniques in a safe little space. In order to have consistency, I use repetition in the basic procedure:

*Cover the chipboard square with paper; this can be a section of words from a book, a picture from a magazine, or just a bit of pretty paper.

*Cut out a head from a photocopied photograph (I make my copies at a place like Kinko’s so I’m getting copies made from a toner copier). I have been making my chips using black and white photos of relatives, again to give some repetition and continuity. Decide on a placement and glue the photo onto the paper.

*Add a word from the dictionary that represents the person, i.e., “uncle” or “sweet” or “daughter.” You get the idea.

*Paint the edges and back with coordinating acrylic paints.

*Embellish away with any and all sorts of cutouts, flower petals, whatever . . . this part is unlimited. I like to think about the person I am “working on” and add little bits that remind me of that person’s life. What a flood of memories I’ve had this afternoon as I cut, glued, and then added pieces to represent my grandparents and a great uncle.

I hadn’t planned to share the directions, but what the heck. If you need a small, safe project and want instant results, Itty Bitties are a great way to break through and create some miniature pieces of art.

Hey, why are you still reading this? Go get your scissors and get started!