Monday, December 4, 2017

Swallows 5

We have a mobile!(!!)   This week, the first swallow mobile took flight! 

...I'm excited that it works...and now to make 5 more.  I've been busy wiring the rest of the birds...

I also made a new collage, getting back to some of the things that I dropped to work on the swallows.  It's been bothering me a little that the rose bough that I finished just before starting the swallows has never made it into a finished collage.  In July I tried one where I collaged the roses in, but this time, I wanted to try selectively painting the roses (very, very, carefully).
in process

close ups of new collage, 36 x 12" 
 I like the way this looks with the fox (I did some digital magic to double it and put it on both sides to see what it might look like with pendants)...

I like this, and the funny thing is how very much it reminds me of a piece from my thesis in 2010 (the composition, the flat background, even the palette and sprinkling in of the little lizard and bugs in the borders, haha). On the one hand, I guess, in some ways, my taste hasn't changed that much; on the other, one is a painting and the other uses relief prints, so I've learned a whole new medium since then (and I think this one is a better fit - the borders in the painting are based on relief prints, it just didn't occur to me at the time to keep them in the same medium.)   Also the marbling is a new addition since then and the change from canvas to paper. More than the particulars though, I think it's a change in the way it works as a system - by making blocks I can repeat aspects without having to start from scratch every time (which I appreciate O:) ).

It was a very busy week outside the studio too - En Masse 2017 opened at Thompson Giroux Gallery and I think the show looks great!

I also went on an art adventure with friends to the Northampton Book and Book Arts Fair (which was awesome - I was so busy looking at the prints that I forgot to take a photo, haha).

I made the first batch of gingerbread cookies of the season (kittied and owls, naturally.) Saturday was the annual Winter Walk in Hudson, and I saw a terrific show, Colly in the Milkyway by Colly Howan. at Gallery at 46 Green St , and then there were fireworks.

In creature news...
 My Princess "allowed" Jr. to nap on the heated blanket - she is becoming very magnanimous in her maturity.

Ahhhh - it's good to be Queen.

And Honey got a new bed from her Auntie for Christmas! (This one is *guaranteed* to be chew proof  - we'll see :) ). It's fluffy, and she seems unsure about stepping on it so far, but she does seem to have the general idea.

Monday, November 27, 2017

new flatfile work!

new 20 x 16" collages (thumbs up!)
A very (very!) busy week in Artlandia.  This week was all about new work for the Zea Mays flatfile.  I made these 3 new 20 x 16" collages. It's hard for me to put in words right now all of the steps I went through this week to make these, but one thing I did was spray layers of aerosol gesso to get a sfumato effect.  I also sprayed gold and black (on the climbing squirrel one).  Spraying these (especially with the black) was pretty nerve-wracking, but I think they turned out well.  I like how the different marbling in the paper gives each on a distinct atmosphere.  I also added branches and printed slightly different sections of the tree block so that the tree turned out differently in each piece. 

It was a fun creature week as well.  For Thanksgiving, and I baked special pumpkin treats for Honey.  

I made pumpkin bread too. O:) 
Look at that face!  She was a very patient pup,
waiting for them to be ready.

The kitties don't seem to care for
pumpkin treats, but they appreciated
that I left the heated blanket on for them
(it was a holiday, afterall ;) ).

...and then it was time for the kitties' favorite
day of the year -
the day the human brings them their tree. 
...and fills it with kitty toys
and a nice soft blanket beneath.  

Monday, November 20, 2017

flat file submission

A busy week in Artlandia!  Making new work for this year's Zea Mays flat file submission!
I looked at the calendar and realized I have a month to make, photograph, pack and transport new work (Eep!)  I tried something I've been thinking about for a while - making multiple collages with a fixed background so that it can be read as stills across time or continuously as a panorama. 

I like the way they turned out - they're small (about 11 x 11") but complex enough to have a narrative and I think I'm getting better at integrating all the parts. 

These ended up having a lot more drawing/painting in them than I realized, as evidence by the
number of pens, pencils, and brushes that I used and dropped on the floor.  
I think it went well and decided to try it again, larger this time (20 x 16") by printing a section of the giant tree block.  I marbled new paper, printed the backgrounds, and am in process testing out bunches of parts.  I'd like to have 6 - 10 all new pieces - wish me luck! (Fortituuuuuude!)

Not just one, but both Feline Assistants on the press (doh.)

Monday, November 13, 2017

Swallows 4

 Swallows, swallows everywhere...

Look at that nice, clean edge :D!

As we can see, lots and lots (and lots) of swallows this week!  The time had come to try adhering the patterned paper to the backs of the swallows and cut them out.  Because of the number of swallows and time constraints, I wanted to adhere the full sheet of swallows to full sheets of patterned paper and then cut them out. Adhesion is always a concern, and I was especially conscious of wanting to be sure that the edges would be nice and flat after they were cut.

I decided to use some book making techniques and treat it like adhering a paper cover to book board.  I used Jade 403 adhesive - an acid-free pva.  To get the sheet covered evenly and quickly I used a micro, soft roller, then placed the sheets together, pressed outward from the center with a bone fold, then ironed and set under weights overnight (exactly what I would do with a book cover).

 As far as I can tell - it worked (big thumbs up!)  So...then it was a matter of repeating it, over and over and over.  I also added white, black, and gold ink to the printed side to heighten and individualize each swallow.

Swallows on the brain.

 I also carved and printed the house block for the cloche. It was nice working with my favorite block material again on this 5 x 8" block.

I also took the next step in working on the drapery block - I scanned it, and now have a digital scaled version that's 70". I'm relieved to see that there is enough detail that I think it will work well as a template on the larger scale. I plan to finish the swallows first before moving on to the next project, but also want to have all the prep work for the next project ready.
In creature news: This is what it looks like when my Princess has successfully nestled in to the middle of the heated blanket, and Jr. has started to edge in along the blanket's border, haha. (As far as I can tell, "sharing" is not a kitty virtue :P ).

I also thought this was funny - just like Honey really, reeeeeally wants to sleep in the human's bed; apparently, she also really wants to sit where the human sits in the car, haha.  

In nature news - winter is coming and it feels cold and dark all the time.