Monday, April 17, 2017

branches, mushrooms and rainbow




A busy week in Artlandia - printed the 18 x 24" branch and mushroom block (thumbs up!)


I also tried the mushrooms on marbled paper, and a print on white paper which I scanned, worked on on the computer and turned into a polyester lithography plate so that I can get more and various mushrooms per print. (I made the plate below, but have not yet printed it - trying to decide what colors and marble the right size paper for it).

I also did the framing for a diptych that's headed to a show at the Tremaine Gallery in Connecticut in May (thumbs up!)

And...I started something new. O:) It's pretty exciting, but newly started, so just a little taste:

In para-art news, spring has finally come to Hudson, and my flowers are starting to bloom and there was a beautiful rainbow this week



Last, but certainly not least, my Feline Assistants - both on the press (sharing?!?)  They're reinforcing good habits in their Human of rolling the press blankets and covering the bed after each use - what diligent Assistants ;) . 

Monday, April 10, 2017

branch block and pup birthday

 True Story: So there was this time - that I carved a branch - then when I went to print it - I was like - wait, there's still so much space on the block - so I carved another branch - then when I went to print it - I was like - wait - there's still more space on the block - so then I carved some mushrooms.  (Alternate title: Sometime I Annoy Myself :p ) .  Haha - but the point of the story is that - I have a finished 18 x 24" block and I'm set to print.

I admit, I'm kind of excited to print the mushrooms (I may go ahead and carve a few more - I got kind of into it - maybe not surprising since mushrooms are one of the kind of random things that I like to photograph.)

Another thing I did this week was re-order my polyester lithography plates.  The ones I like come from Renaissance Graphics in lots of 100. This was my first time re-stocking - meaning that I've used 100 plates (more, since I also have some plates in another size.) Something that's both hard and easy for me to believe.  The mushrooms are perfect candidates to print, scan and put on a polyester plate in various sizes and arrangements, since they so often come in clusters.

I also got to use my new tools which was very fun.











Much less fun, but necessary - I continued sewing all the parts down in an older piece in preparation for framing (oy).

I also printed some plants for the pseudo-tapestry landscape (assuming that I'm going to figure out/finish the ground at some point...)


And in non-art news - we celebrated one year since Honey became a much-loved member of the creature family!

Here are photos from her first day home and one year later in almost the exact same spot.  What a huge difference a year makes!  She has grown soooo much but still has the same beautiful eyes and exuberant smile (and I think her paws may have stayed about the same size, haha). I didn't plan it, but there's a rope toy coming out of her basket in the background - she still loves them and we've been through quite a few this year (see photo, below).  Also, we changed to an outdoor carpet ;). Love for the Honeybear!


All the rope toy parts, that I decided to document - they were much-enjoyed,
but it was time to let them go. Honey, as we can see, was not so sure about this.
 (Don't worry - she got new, "extra-tough for aggressive chewers" rope toys to console her. ;) ) 

Monday, April 3, 2017

more foliage

 A busy week in Artlandia!  I made a final print of the foliage block to go in the background of the unicorn pseudo-tapestry. 
To get there, I first toned the paper a mottled, grey-green with gold flecks.  I gotta say, I like how this turned out:
 I took this at an angle so try to show how as the viewer moves, gold in the paper reflect light like sun dappling the leaves.  
I haven't glued/ sewed it in yet because I'm rethinking the ground (doh.) but I tacked it in place for now to get an idea of how it's working with the unicorn, and so far - two thumbs up :) 
Looking at the new foliage block up close, I think it's easy to see how closely it relates to the earlier landscape plated for the first unicorn from last May

landscape from May
A big difference is that the older blocks were polyester plates where the line was drawn and inked light on black paper and the new block it lines are carved out and inked dark on light paper - the switch allowed me to have the mottling and gold on the paper to show through in the lighter sections.  Like the piece from May, I will print and sew on flowers to these.    

So the ground...I decided like having the foliage be subtractive instead of additive, I think I want to try the ground as subtractive instead of additive.  So...I got a nice piece of 2 x 4 foot wood and am going to use the grain pattern to help guide the marks.
A loooot of carving ahead; good thing
both my feline assistants are on point




Using the wood grain to make the pattern in the background is also something I've done before in an additive way with pen in this piece from 2013.  The great thing about doing it subtractively in a       block is that I can use it more than once (thumbs up!)


close up of stitching from the back
The other thing I did this week was prepare an older piece for framing by strengthening the physical attachment of the pieces.  This looks great and (hopefully!) should be effective in making sure none  the parts are going to fall off, but it's pretty laborious, and I'm eager to get it done so I can get back to carving. 


Lastly, I don't usually post food pictures, but this was the most beautiful bagel I've ever had.











Monday, March 27, 2017

foliage block and new tools

 It was a long day in Artlandia, pushing to finish this and get at least one good proof for the blog but (drumroll...) - voila! The new foliage block, 12 x 18" 


And because I'm not sure whether the view of the whole thing really gives a good sense of the detail, some close ups!

I'm especially proud of how, from a distance, the negative space reads as a mid tone (something I think is a challenge in a one-color relief print - gold star!)

These are meant to make a horizontal band in the background behind the unicorn in the pseudo-tapestry.



Even though it isn't that big a block, between the leaves and the lines and keeping track of the overlaps and where each leaf and stem originates, this was a time consuming block and took most of my time this week.

I also did a little figure drawing, and it was good to practice, even though I don't feel like it was my best session.


And last, but not least...New tools came in the mail today!(!!!!) I'd been eyeing these after carving the mini-Justice and got to test them at SGCI. It was love at first cut. Admittedly, I feel like a cat in that I want to rub my face on them (capped for safety, of course ;).) Apparently, my Princess is agrees.


Monday, March 20, 2017

SGCI!

A busy week here in Artlandia...though in a different way that usual.

Image may contain: tree, plant, snow, table, outdoor and nature
My back gate
This week, I went to my first international printmaking conference, the Southern Graphics Conference International (SGCI) in Atlanta.  I've been looking forward to this conference for months and so when we got close to 30" of snow and the airport closed the day before, I was worried that I wouldn't make it.  But! I dug out and made it to the airport and miraculously, took flight.

There was no snow in Atlanta
The conference was awesome - I got to see lots of interesting demos, listen to panel discussions, and talk to printmakers about their work.  I didn't take tons of photos (Oops! - I didn't have free hands/ spare attention) But I learned a lot.

Gerhard Richter, "11 panes," High Museum 
part of Daniel Arsham, "Hourglass" High Musuem
I also got to visit the High Museum, and went to their late hours Friday night, which was awesome because I felt like I had the place to myself.

Apart from that - I also got to photograph "industrial - "
Tammy - this one's for you!




 In addition, I got to have some nice visits with friends and family
sharing my selfie expertise with Mom and Dad
Honey did great for her first time at the boarder
- like pup sleep away camp.
We were happily reunited and once we got home,
she took all her toys out of the basket
 (just making sure they're all still there ;) ).

And then, I made it back home to the creatures, who all did just fine in my absence. 

I woke up this morning to this beautiful face (sitting on my
stomach - "Human, I do hope you remember the
meaning of "breakfast."")
and this one, "Oh, you're back - excellent!"























And now - on a mission to clean the studio, put things away, and get back to work (thumbs up!)

Monday, March 13, 2017

pseudo-tapestry, rocks, minis

 The unicorn has a landscape [thumbs up!]

It was an adventure making the ground...I tried something new.  Last week, I made a collagraph plate, and this week, I added to that plate and reprinted it.  Then, I used a gel plate to add viscosity monotypes on top of it. This was sort of like flipping paper marbling in a way, because instead of putting the paper onto the water's surface, the paper was fixed, and the gel plate went on top of it.  It was still somewhat dependent on natural phenomena for the pattern, but gave me more control in terms of where I placed the plates and where I wanted the densest ink.  I then added a wash of gray-green to help unify it.

Then...I decided it really needed some rocks (doh.) So I went out to the driveway, scooped up some gravel, and carved some rocks.

Then...I decided it really needed a band of foliage between the ground layer and the mesh background. And, naturally, none of the dozen plant blocks I have were quiiiiite right. (doh, again).  While it may just seem like me being picky, in this case, I think it is really necessary - I have single plants, and while I could print them multiple times, I really want a horizontal band that can be a bridge between the randomness of the ground and the mesh, which is a repeating pattern. I think multiples of the same plant would be too repetitive; so, I planned a 12 x 18" block to work in very structured repeating lines between the scattered leaves - the block will create a horizontal band with few repetitions and will contain both organic and repeating pattern elements [thumbs up].

It sounds good, and I'm excited to see how it will work...but execution is challenging.  I used one of my existing blocks as the foundation, by printing it on the new block multiple times at different angles and then editing to make sure each iteration is unique and that they flow together. I've been working hard on it, and it is moving forward, but it's slow going at the moment.

 In addition to carving new blocks for the tapestry, I also put together a submission for the Center for Contemporary Printmaking's Biennial International Miniature Print Exhibition. I picked my favorite minis from the last year and pulled new prints just for the show and ironed them so they are nice and crisp and flat - fingerscrossed!

I also had a chance to do some figure drawing.  It's been a little while - I was a little rusty, but it's coming back, and I had a good time and got in some good practice adjusting to a variety of pose lengths - 5, 10, 15, 25 minute poses.

Onward!