Monday, August 25, 2014

From Synesthesia to Peonies: More Artist Trading Cards from Wonderful People!

I belong to a wonderful group of artists who make (mostly paper) Artist Trading Cards. We had another meeting a couple of weeks ago, and my last posting showed the cards I made for it. Now it's time to see the goodies I collected!

John Tallackson, a gifted young printmaker and community organizer, dropped a bombshell at this meeting - he told us he's recently learned that he has "synesthesia." What, you may ask, is synesthesia? It's a neurological gift - he sees numbers and letters has having specific colors. For his batch of cards, he translated words into the colors they represent to him. My card's word is "KISS"
 - Can you make out the outline? He sees "K" as a brilliant red, "I" as blue, and "S" as shiny white. John has been talking with a university-based expert studying synesthesia, and is just starting to understand more about his lifelong learning style and how it relates to his extroardinary artistic gifts. See more of John's  work on his Facebook page, or at Learn more about synesthesia and the role it has played for many different kinds of artists (including musicians) here.

John T. Watson is a pastor as well as an artist, and in this card, he posed a question raised by the whitewashing scene in the book Tom Sawyer - What is the social value of "clever?" Clever can be cruel. Where is the love? I never liked that scene in the book. This card captures it.
 Karla  Vasquez is a community activist who brings farmer's markets to low-income neighborhoods. Her compassion was no doubt influenced by the fact that she has Type 1 Diabetes. Just as John Tallacksen makes the most of his synesthesia, Karla here turned her health condition - and in this case, her used blood test strips - into fascinating art - specifically, a mandala.
There's real blood in this card. It's incredible.

Marian Sunabe is a wonderful artist with a busy day job as a school counsellor. She loves to make collages with vintage photos. In this exchange, I lucked into her ATC about the U.S. President I most love to hate, Tricky Dick.
 Some of today's political figures actually make me miss Richard Nixon.

Finally, Sue Ko made charming representations of game pieces that her Korean grandmother used to play. The game immigrated from Japan to Korea during the Japanese occupation in World War II.  It's known as "Flower Cards," "Go Stop" or "Hwatoo" in Korean. The cards are organized and named by month, and the peony here is from the June set. Sue has warm memories of the clicks the plastic tiles made when she played with her grandmother's set. Her version is made from cut paper.
More images of the game and explanations of how it's played are here and  here.

My gratitude to my fellow ATC "players", and especially to Jenny Goto for hosting a beautiful event!
For more, Click on "Artist Trading Cards" or "ATCs" in the word cloud on the right.

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