Art Break Wednesday – and a Book Give-away!


WELCOME to ART BREAK WEDNESDAY here on artsyletters!   Grab your coffee or tea and visit each week to find creative inspiration, camaraderie, and special give-aways.

What inspires you?

As a writer/poet, I’m a sucker for the written word.  My recent artistic adventures reflect that – whether in subject matter (books, etc.) or in substance (vintage book pages, old typewriter parts and keys, and the like.).  While my artwork is predominantly black and white, sometimes I like to color things up a bit.

Here’s how I made the 5 X 7 collage I featured in my Poetry Friday post last week on my writer blog.





First, I found a section of text from a vintage book that had “found poem” possibilities (double-checking online first to make sure it wasn’t the last rare copy of this edition or anything!).  This is page 206 of the 1922 JOURNEYS THROUGH BOOKLAND (Vol. 6) compiled by Charles H. Sylvester. It’s the first page of a story called “The Poet and the Peasant” by French novelist Emile Souvestre.


I added a little bling to that inviting initial “A” in the form of some 23-kt gold leaf.




Then I played with the text on a photocopy to “find” my poem before working on the real page of text.  I wanted to use the first part of the story title to call the poem, “The Poet.”  I applied blue-green gouache washes (mixed with gel medium) to the page, leaving the words I wanted highlighted untouched.  I added some darker washes underneath the words to make them pop. Then I sprayed workable fixative on the page.  When dry, I applied acrylic gloss medium over all of it.

Now for the fun part!  I wandered over to my old metal cabinet (does anyone know what this was originally for?  I snapped it up on a trip with my artist friends, Paula and Beth, at a local antiques market day).  It’s full of recent treasures such as vintage objects and old metal pieces I’ve found on Etsy or picked up on the side of the road!  It also holds small letterpress letters and antique type keys and such.

I tried out a few elements to arrange on the page as a collage and settled on these.  The beautiful old watch face, vintage key, and vintage Remington typewriter part were all Etsy finds.

©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved.

I glued them on to the altered page, placed the piece in a frame that could be used as a shallow shadowbox (from a local art/craft store), and, Voila!  Now I have a mixed-media tribute to the observational qualities of “The Poet.”





Another essential source of inspiration for me is enjoying the creative work of others – in museums, online, or in books and magazines.  I’ve just read ART AT THE SPEED OF LIFE by Pam Carriker (Interweave Press, 2010).  This mixed media artist and blogger offers up a feast for busy artists.  You can savor a variety of artists and projects at a leisurely pace or grab your inspiration “to go” – the author offers “Speed of Life” versions of instructions for some of the featured works, perfect to fill an art journal in just a few days.  Whatever pace you prefer, I’d love to send you this copy!

Please leave a comment below about what inspires YOU, and you will be entered in my first book give-away.  [Deadline for Entry is midnight EST Monday, Oct. 8.]  One winner will be randomly selected, and then I’ll email you for your mailing address.  Thanks for playing along!




[Two of Robyn’s found poems for children appear in Georgia Heard’s THE ARROW FINDS ITS MARK (Roaring Brook, 2012), illustrated by Antoine Guilloppé.   This featured shadowbox and other altered pages artwork can be found in her Etsy shop – more coming soon! ]