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My love for cabinet cards came last year when I took a class from the amazing Sylvia Luna/Silver Moon of Gilbert, AZ (see her work at (Silver Moon Studios). My challenge was to take these old family photos and dirty them up.  It was by doing this that I discovered my inner “grunge” and I started looking at everything I altered from my gut.  Victorian cabinet cards were popular from about 1866 to as late as 1924.  Portraits were taken and then mounted on a stiff board.  The photographer would put his studio name on the bottom as a form of advertising

When ever I begin to work with a cabinet card, I try to see the back story in the photograph.   Sometimes their stories are amusing, other times quite tragic.
First, mask off the image with tracing paper. Next, paint the background using acrylic paints, Lumieres, watercolors, glaze, ink…what ever you desire.  Once that’s dry, I go back and stamp all over the background.  With painting and stamping complete I usually go over the photo again with a light coat of Golden’s Glaze.  The mask is removed and the final step is to go back to your photo and decide what embellishments need to be added to complete the story.
I have always had an interest in the arts and I have spent a huge part of my 45 years in theaters and museums.  I have always been very crafty but found the real fun when I discovered mixed media collage.  It’s a beautiful free form of expression.  I continue to grow as a “creatist” by sharing with all my art friends, at home and on-line, and by taking classes from artists I admire and respect.   I am very fortunate to live in Phoenix, AZ where one of the best artist retreats, Art Unraveled, is held annually.  I have 2 boys and a fabulous husband that make life so wonderful!
Maija Lepore  Jan 006
See more of Maija's art here
Le Petit Prince
Fabulous Oddities
Iron Maiden
Time for Love
Two Fishermen
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Cabinet Card untitled
A Woman of Mystery
Through the Looking Glass
Man with a Secret
When Freddie Met Mary
Pink Baby