Sunday, 12 August 2012

Making ACEOs: Choices and Experiences

Gloss Print ACEO Art Cards drying after being pasted
onto the passepartout on my studio table

My ACEO project has been a hugely steep learning curve. It's not that long since I first heard about these little 2.5 x 3.5 inch paintings and caught the bug. I've produced heaps of them. There is a lovely set of painted ones that I have posted here

Those ones were created using a digital print taken from one of my original works which you can see on my websites:

and painting over them. The print is effectively the underpainting and each one is a new painting in its own right not just a print with a few brush strokes added for enhancement.These artworks are all individual pieces with a fresh interpretation and development of the original painting or digital artwork on which they were based. I'll be blogging on each one with a little background and story to it as I go.

I've also made a great batch of gloss print reproductions of my work in ACEO format - that means they are each only 2.5 x 3.5 inches. I've aimed to make a really gorgeous and luxurious little product. I chose this fabulous black Passepartout Mat Board, the sort that is usually used as a surround mount for framing, fantastic quality. We have a couple of good framers in our town and one of them offered to cut the pieces for me. Can't wait to go back to show her the results.

 I edged each piece with permanent black ink and I edged the prints themselves too. All this edging of both the card and the print or painted canvas piece as well is time consuming in a sense but it really improves the look. I didn't count the time doing this on the whole as I just sat in a lovely cafe in the port in Ermoupoli for a peachy hour or so with my pen and a pile of mat cards and prints. Soothing work. I absolutely love this card, love handling it - sounds mad I know but I know I am not the only person in the world who walks into a good stationery store and sighs with joy!

The gloss prints are really vivid and sharp printed on excellent quality photo paper. These are just stuck to cards, a little certificate I have designed is pasted to the back and signed and dated. Each one clearly indicates what sort of ACEO Miniature it is. These will sell at £5 each. I'm very proud of them, they look so juicy and wantable!

The Paint over Print Originals - I have coined that name, to be shortened to PoP Originals as a convenient way to describe these pieces which I think have a valid claim to be a style of their own - have me seriously excited. When you hold them in your hand you will see them as paintings. They vary a bit, some are complete repaints with the underlying print gone from view. Others take advantage of the print more and I've gone a different route, using the mellow surface of the printed silk canvas and working into only parts of it in paint to achieve a really 3D affect and stunning jewel-like colours.

Northern Lights Fox, a PoP (Paint over Print) Original
based on a detail of my painting Northern Lights.
If you go and look at the original painting you will
get an idea of the relationship between the original
and the PoP ACEO.

The opportunities this process presents are myriad and I am raring to produce more and develop the possibilities. For customers they will provide and affordable way to own a real painting. I'm pitching these first ones at £40 each.

Best of all is that I am painting again.  There are a small set of originals in the making. With all that has happened in the last year or so it was feeling like I never would get back to it. I'm inspired, feeling confident with my brushes and FULL of ideas to take this further.