Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lauren Curtis: Artist & Guest Blogger

Hello readers! First off, I'd like to thank Anna Mae for "cross-blogging" with me & I hope you'll find this interesting as I'm one of the artists Anna Mae refers her clients to when they're in need of designs.

I was graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Mason Gross School of the Arts (Rutgers University) in 1988, and have since been selling my work throughout the U.S. and in Europe. I have participated in over 90 solo, juried & group exhibitions, and am a member of several NJ Arts organizations.

My work is shown in galleries, Holistic & Crafter Expos, health centers, & was accepted for a solo exhibit at Johnson & Johnson World Headquarters in 2009. The various media I work with include oils, acrylics, pen & ink, watercolor, pencil, charcoals and photography, along with a working knowledge of Photoshop.

I have been commissioned to create a wide range of artwork, including historical illustrations, pet portraits, paintings, graphics and designs for crafter (RUBBER STAMPS!) & greeting card companies. My illustrations, photographs and poetry have appeared in national & international printed & on-line publications.

I enjoy the challenge of creating pieces to meet my client’s needs, as well as my own self-expressive fine artworks. Much of my work focuses on nature and travel-related subject matter, as I love to journey to new places as often as I can. I work in a variety of styles, depending on the project I'm creating or the client I'm working for.

Included in this blog are a few images of my paintings & stamp art. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, or for further information. If you'd like to see more, here are my websites & blog (Anna Mae has a post on my blog!)

Lauren Curtis

http://www.laurencurtisart.com/ (commercial & fine art)
http://www.laurencurtisart.mosaicglobe.com/ (fine art, photography, art updates)
http://www.laurencurtis.imagekind.com/ (cards, T-shirts, photography, illustration)
http://www.laurencurtis.wordpress.com/ (my NEW Blog!)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Clear Blocks for Clear Stamps

You do not have to use any particular type or brand of block for mounting my clear stamps, any block will work. My stamps are self sticking with no adhesive needed, ever! They will stick to any smooth surface and if they ever get dirty and lose this self-sticking ability a quick wash with soap and water will bring it back to its original sticky properties.

In general blocks are made from clear plastic (often called acrylic - you may know it as Plexiglas), usually ½ inch thick to provide a good grip while offering some flexibility.

If you are the do it yourself type of person, search out your local glass or sign shop and ask if they have some small “scraps” left over from another project. You may get a lifetimes supply for free. You may need to cut them to size yourself, which can be done with a special plastic blade in your jig saw. When I first started with the clear blocks, they were not readably available commercially and I had to invest in the equipment to cut my own. Hand sawing was only fun for a few minutes, so I went whole hog and bought a chop saw with plastic cutting blade. I still cut odd-ball custom blocks for some orders and flame the edges to give them that polished look . I enjoy my “power tool and fire” time. I may make a video of this since it is kind of cool.

If you aren’t a do it yourself type, I would be happy to supply you with blocks. My stock size blocks are made in America and are laser cut so the edges have a nice polished look and feel.

Care and Cleaning

Acrylic is tough, but it scratches easily - this won't affect it's usefulness.

Wash with mild dish or hand soap, using plenty of warm water. Then pat dry with a soft cloth or paper towel.

Do Not use window cleaning sprays, alcohol or solvent based stamp cleaners (you can tell by the harsh smell). The solvent may make the block develop cracks all over its surface.

If you are stuck in a pinch or need to economize you can substitute any smooth clear item as a stamp block. For instance an acrylic picture stand from the dollar store, and empty cd case, even the lid off a stamp pad will work.