Train ticket art – yes, it’s still going!

I’m still creating art out of my box of old train tickets. I got a gelli plate for Christmas (more on that in a subsequent post) so I’ve been using it to create backgrounds on the tickets – the gesso with which I prepared them picks up the acrylic paint really well.

A mosaic of some of my train ticket art
A mosaic of some of my train ticket art

 

Here is a mosaic of some of the tickets – the exhibition at the Riverfront arts centre in Newport is approaching.  The chairman of our group emailed us to ask for images of artwork for the centre to use on their website and I’m thrilled to say that they used one of mine.  It will be on from 8th to 24th April this year. 

I experimented with various ways of joining them together for the exhibit –

  • paperclips (bent the tickets too much)
  • wire (cut into the tickets and very fiddly)
  • stringing fishing wire or cord through (fiddly and didn’t hang very well)
  • split pins through holes – I’ve got some pretty decorative ones (eg with dragonflies on the ends) and this was tempting but the tickets had to be overlapped too much.

In the end I decided to go with good old faithful stitching, just a few stitches at the bottom and top of the tickets did the trick and meant I won’t have to make holes into all the tickets.  A bit like string piecing…

view of tickets attached with stitching
This is now I’m attaching them together but hopefully with a less conspicuous colour thread!

 

detail of stitching on train ticket art
It doesn’t have to be finished off, I want it to come apart pretty quickly at the end…

Here are some more tickets, one or two mostly finished, some with just a background layer so far.  I’ll have to stop creating them soon and stitch them together – I’m giving myself all of March to do that.  I want to try and arrange them in groups of some sort, not just randomly, but time will tell how successful that is.

A recent selection of painted and printed train ticket art.
A recent selection of painted and printed train ticket art.

If you’re in the South Wales area in April, do drop into our exhibition.  I will keep you informed of progress!

Colourful leek and pepper soup

leek and pepper soup all ready

Since all my sons have left home for university and further afield (Oz), I have been making more soup – only Barney seems to like it so I didn’t bother cooking it very often.  I get a vegetable box from Riverford and so what goes in the soup is often fairly random depending on what I need to use up – getting a regular box definitely makes me creative!  The #trainticketart this week also reflected the abundance…

#trainticketart drawings of vegetables (cauliflower and celery).
I had lots of vegetables in the fridge so I decided to draw some of them for my #trainticketart challenge.

I’ve developed a fairly standard technique for soup over the years so I usually google whatever vegetables I have left to check that someone somewhere has already made soup with that particular unlikely combination and that the vegetables in it aren’t too incompatible – and then just ignore the recipe and throw in the quantities I have with any herbs and spices suggested.  I’ve never made leek and pepper soup before so that’s what I did.  This is what went it:

  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 onion
  • 3 large leeks
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 large potato, diced
  • about a litre of stock
  • about 4 cloves of garlic (the more the better in my opinion!)
  • about a tsp of cut up chillis (these had been accumulating from the box so earlier in the week I cut them all up and froze them so I could just chuck in a few now and then)
  • harissa spice
  • about a tbs of creme fraiche
Cut up leeks being rinsed in the colander to get all the soil out.
Cut up leeks being rinsed in the colander to get all the soil out.

I fried the onion in the butter until soft and then added the cut up leeks, peppers, garlic and potato.

red peppers cut up on a plate.
The red peppers cut up ready to go in the soup. Very colourful!

Once they were all covered with butter and oil (I chucked in a slug of olive oil too) I turned the heat down low and sweated them for 20 minutes.

leeks, peppers and potato sweating in pot
The leeks, peppers and potato sweating in the Le Creuset casserole.

Nice and colourful, eh?  Then I added the stock and spices, brought it up to the boil and then simmered for another 20 minutes.  Blended it with my stick blender, added the creme fraiche and this was the result:

leek and pepper soup all ready
The finished soup blended and ready to eat!

Yummy with with grated cheese melted on top… So that was yesterday’s lunch and two more portions in the freezer for later.  That’s my basic technique for soup – chuck in random vegetables, sweat 20 mins, chuck in stock, simmer 20 mins, blend.  Add salt and herbs if needed. Easy peasy.

yellow pepper #trainticketart
I drew this yellow pepper for one of my #trainticketart challenge days. Think the original was roasted in the oven with leeks, courgettes and cheese.

Train ticket art project

train tickets all laid out ready for coating with gesso

If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen me posting slightly curious photos of what I was doing last week.

A few years ago, I started collecting train tickets rather than throwing them away after journeys, because it occurred to me that they were the perfect size for little pieces of art or personalized labels/tags or business cards.  In the UK they are just a bit smaller than ATCs (Artists’ Trading Cards), and have nicely rounded edges.  Also, whenever you go on one train journey you seem to acquire about 8 of these, particularly as it often works out cheaper to split the journey into two rather than buying one for the whole way (even if you stay on the same train for the whole journey) – daft, I know!

I’ve been randomly experimenting with them over the years, painting over some of them with black or white gesso to cover them, but last week I realised that I have several hundred of them now so decided to do it systematically.  It was also fun to look back over where I had been and recall nice memories of days out.

I laid down some textured wallpaper (which has now been randomly decorated in a pastel coloured rectangular grid!) and here is the first lot of tickets.

This is a mixture of white gesso and opaque white screenprinting ink which was getting a bit thick and needed to be used up.

I painted the first side and left it to dry.  I got bored with white after a while and mixed some Dr PH Martin inks into it to have a bit of variety.

Once dry, I flipped them over and repeated the process.  The whole thing took me most of last week but it was quite a meditative process and now I have a box of ready made artist cards.  Now, the thing is, I’ve been feeling that I need to do a bit of art or sketching every day to keep my arty mojo going …

So…. I’m going to set myself an Art Challenge: to paint or draw on one each day … at least until Christmas.  I’m not going to labour over them or take a great deal of time, just have fun and splash paint or mess around with a pen and a doodle, and I’ll post them on Instagram using the hashtag #trainticketart .  If you would like to join me, I’d love the company!  Let’s see how much #trainticketart we can produce! Just leave a comment here,  post pics on Instagram or Twitter or on your blog and if it takes off I’ll start a shared Pinterest board to pin them all.  Let’s see if we can create a buzz!!

Here are a few examples of the cards I’ve already experimented with:

Hope to see you on the journey!!