slightly wonky


A morning at the studio
September 2, 2011, 9:50 pm
Filed under: printmaking | Tags: , , , , , ,

I was lucky enough to get to go to the print studio today, thanks to my mother who watched my son for me.  There were only three of us there, so we REALLY spread out.  When given the chance, printmakers are like molasses…oozing out in every direction, taking up more and more and more space.  I guess in the “heat of the moment” while working on a print, you just grab any space you can get to put something down, or to work on.  The more plates that you work with for a single print also means that you need more and more room.  ANYWAY…it was a great luxury today to be there and to have so much room.

I felt that it was a productive day.   Some days, I’m just off and the whole thing becomes so frustrating.  This day was better…probably because the studio was quiet and roomy.  It’s hard to think when it’s crowded, there is a line to use the press, and you have no space to work.  Here is the first print that I did:

Not my favorite…it wasn’t going well, and then I added the thin, black layer.  This helped.  I may have to revisit this one…but I’m going to leave it alone for now.  Next:

This one was also just okay…I like the bright colors, but the textures did not turn out as I had hoped.  It was a bit of an experiment, so I learned a bit…well, a bit of what didn’t quite work.  The black helped this one too.  Next:

I like that one, and it was a bit of a happy accident.  This was what was left on one of my plates from working the previous prints.  Odd, right?  The textures are delicate and interesting.  Maybe I can get better at this, and fine tune it a bit more.  Next:

So, I ran out of paper, and started to use these long scraps that I had.  It was fun to do the full bleed printing and the vertical format.  These three vertical ones work together well…a classmate suggested that I keep going with this series…

I like that one too.

I realize now that I should have taken a picture with all three together.  So, I’ll mash them together in photoshop, instead:

Hmmm!  Maybe I should keep going with these.  They would also be fun to turn into an artist book.  I’d love to do that.  Maybe that’s what I’ll work on next time…

Comments?  Artists that I should look at?

Here’s an artist that EVERYONE should look at.  Check out Jacob Hashimoto.  I WORSHIP his work.  So stunning…I have yet to see it in person, but I hope to do so some day.  Has anyone seen his work first hand?  If so, tell me what you think!

So lovely…

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Basement is done!!!
August 11, 2011, 3:06 pm
Filed under: painting, Sewing | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Yes.  I can’t believe it either.  After a year from the date that we first pulled the building permit, we finally got it signed off today.  The basement is DONE!  I am so excited to move ALL of my art-stuff down there.  FINALLY!!!!!  No more stacking tupperware containers of inks, papers, tools, etc. in the dining room!!!  Ahhh…I won’t know what to do with all of that space!  I have a sinking feeling, though, that I will quickly fill it up.  Hmm.  But why dwell on that now?  I may have to have a celebratory iced latte today.

I also FINALLY finished a house project that I have been planning on doing for practically a year as well.  I finally made a little curtain for our front door.  Yes, I know…not a big deal.  What is a curtain, anyway?  Just a rectangle of fabric, right?  Well, yes it is…and I finally did it.  Here it is:

I think that it looks great.  I love this fabric.  It’s kind of pricey…well, not Marimekko pricey, but a little expensive.  It’s actually from Japan.  I have some other fabric from this line as armrest covers on our hideous couches.  Nice!

Not much going on art-wise.  I took a stab at acrylic painting.  Not so good.  Luckily, I am taking a painting class this fall…so I should get some pointers!  I know.  Why have I spent the past year developing my printmaking knowledge, only to switch gears and start painting?  Because it’s ALL so fun!  So, I’m back to square one…learning how to paint.  I did take painting in high school…and I have had a watercolor class and an oil painting class since then.  Needless to say, I am at the bottom of the learning curve.  I hope that there is no where to go other than up.  Here they are on the wall:

I know.  Stop laughing.   Overall, they make me cringe…but there are ASPECTS of them that I like.  Here is a part that I like of the first one:

That’s kind of appealing.  I know…nothing earth-shattering.  Hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Here is a closeup of the other one:

I’m happy with how the guy turned out.  The woman bothers me and has some issues.  This painting is based on an old photograph, so I can’t take any credit for the overall look to it…only the crude execution.  So, I am facing this challenge head on…I hope that by the end of the year, my acrylic painting skills will have developed.  If not…well…I don’t know what, if not.   Drown my sorrows in lattes…

[I may have to work on that woman some more…she’s really bothering me…]



CCP show in Norwalk, CT

So, I finally visited the “8th Biennial International Minature Print Exhibition” at the Center for Contemporary Printmaking in Norwalk, CT.  Why did I go?  BECAUSE…I actually have a print there!  Yes!  My first juried exhibition…so I had to go and see it.  I do not plan on doing that drive regularly, as it was around 3 hours each way.  ANYWAY, here is what my print looked like on the wall:

Not bad, right?  Notice the little red dot?  THAT MEANS THAT SOMEONE BOUGHT ONE!  I’m not kidding.  My first sale!  I’m very excited.  Here is my print on the wall with other prints:

I think that mine is the 10th one from the left.  Prints that were not “wall worthy” went in these binders in the foreground. So, there were so many amazing prints to look at!  Here is another view of one of the rooms of the show:

Not bad, right?  I have not entered another competition…so perhaps I should get on that and see what’s available.

My classes are over, so I have no more access to a press for printing.  This was one of my last prints:

Hmmm.  What do you think???? I was sort of blaise about it…but my printmaking teacher seemed to really like it.  Comments?

I’ve also done some random watercolors (actually gouache)…but I think that it just isn’t my thing:

and:

Hmm.  Just hmm.

I’m trying to decide on classes for the fall.  This is always tough, as everything sounds great…but there is only so much time and money.  BTW…I ALMOST have a workspace.  The basement renovation is nearing completion!  I can’t wait…



50 degrees in February
February 15, 2011, 1:11 pm
Filed under: Drawing, painting, printmaking | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Yesterday was a fabulously warm day.  My son and I took several walks to soak up some sun and work on our vitamin D levels.  It felt amazing to be out in the warm air.  I was tempted to open all the windows in the house, but then I thought that might be premature. 

Everything feels like it’s slow going.  Every day, I hope for something I do to be “the thing”.  By this I mean, “MY thing”.  So far, what I’ve done puts a furrow in my brow.  Sigh.  Just the reality of where I am, and where I am not in my creative endeavours.  I love seeing inspiring works by other people.  On the other hand, it often leaves me with a bit of a pit in my stomach…knowing that I couldn’t possibly do what they do.  I know.  It’s supposed to be that way.  I have to do what I do.  BUT WHAT IS THAT?  I wish that I knew…

Here are some odds and ends from the past week.  Any comments?

I know.  My search to figure out what to do will be a lifelong one.  At the same time, so many people have figured out “what” their art is all about.  I’m not there yet.  It feels like it’s taking forever to figure out.



Slow and snowy week…
January 28, 2011, 4:20 pm
Filed under: Drawing, Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , , , , , ,

This week I had TWO printmaking classes!  Yes, I know.  I am so lucky.   I am also so grateful!

In one class, we experimented with trace monotypes.  This is where you ink up a plate, gently lay a paper on top of the plate, then rub/draw/scribble on the paper, thus picking up the ink from the plate underneath.  This can have cool results…some of my previous posts have some of these monotypes.  However, a lot of it has to do with getting the ink consistency perfect on the plate.  My attempts during my class on Thursday night did not yield the results that I’d hoped for…sigh.  Back to the drawing board, or printing plate, or whatever…

In my second class, we are doing solarplate etching.  This is using a copper plate coated with a light sensitive emulsion.  You create  an image on acetate, then put the acetate on the plate, expose the plate to UV light, and then the image is “burned” onto the plate.  When you print this plate (intaglio), you smush ink into the recesses of the plate, and wipe of the excess.  Then, the ink in the recesses gets printed.  Neat!  We only managed to make some test plates today.  No printing until next week.

 So, in spite of the fact that I did have two classes this week, I haven’t a lot to show for myself.  Did I mention that we also had a snow day?  Below, you’ll see how our outdoor table looks, and the lego creation that my son made on our snow day…

I’m in one of those phases when I have an expansive awareness of how much I don’t know, and how little experience I have in printmaking.  I hope that there is a place for me in this art world…it’s hard not to be overwhelmed with other people’s talents.  I know…you’ve got to start SOMEWHERE…I’m trying not to feel that I should just stick to architecture, or finger paints, or lego…

Can you BELIEVE this snow???  Doesn’t this look ridiculous???

The lego creation in process…very 2D…

This is what my solarplates look like…you can barely see that there are marks on them…

And some other sketchy stuff that I kept myself busy with…

Sometimes, I wonder if I should just stick to drawing!  Or maybe architecture…this is what I used to do…

Hmmm.  I remember that world…no room for errors…lots of information/people/details to manage…nice people…lots of stress, though…LOTS of it.  Things are still stressful in my new situation, but they aren’t unhealthy.  Plus, I get to see my family!  🙂



Slow days when it’s too cold to type…
January 25, 2011, 4:49 pm
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., printmaking | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I was about to write, “it’s amazing how much frozen water can disrupt everything”, but then I thought of the Titanic.  Hmm.  Makes our perpetual cocoon of snow seem less formidable.

It’s hard to keep a schedule now.  Snow days abound.  Our thermometer read -6 degrees one morning this week.  15 degrees is starting to feel pretty good, and 32 is positively balmy.

I hope that in spite of the snow, I can make it to my two classes this week.  I can see why taking classes in the winter can be a bit of a challenge.  But, the light outside can be so great!  When the sun is setting…all of those mounds of snow glow with a pinkish light, while the shadows remain a purplish-blue.  Throw in some black, jagged branches, and you have quite a scene!  I’ll try to remember to take a picture.

I’m continuing with my printmaking.  I worked with the new brayer technique that I was shown in my last class.  The teacher actually paints/draws like this.  In fact, during class she “drew” a remarkable hummingbird with her brayer.  (A brayer is a hard, rubber roller used to apply ink).  Pretty amazing.  I like working with lots of layers of ink.

I would LOVE to own a press someday.  I know…dream on.  They are $$$$.  The images are just so much more saturated and crisp when you use a press, instead of hand burnishing/rubbing the back of the paper.  If you know of someone who is somehow TIRED of their exquisite press, and would like to see it go to a good home…let me know.

Here’s my recent work…stay warm!

 

It feels like such a relief for me to be taking a break from straight lines, clean drawings, neat everything…In architecture, drawings are legal documents, or instructions.  No extraneous or unclear information should be provided.  CLARITY.  Well, obviously…these kinds of drawings/prints have an entirely different purpose.  How refreshing!



Art A.D.D.

So, I managed to get a bunch of stuff done before the weekend.  I probably won’t get much time to work on stuff until next Tues.  Yes, this stuff is “all over the map”.  Think of it as a pu-pu platter of attempts. 

I keep thinking that I need to make a more coherent set of things.  Then, I get distracted and want to try something new.  Thus, the randomness of it all.

I’m not going to post every day.  While I’m still working on my 365 projects, I’m not going to barrage you with posts.  It’s too exhausting for everyone…well, mostly me.

So, if any of you have some thoughts on this stuff, I’d love to hear it.  Even if you tell me NOT to EVER do that again…at least I’ll have some feedback.  Right now, I am kind of working in a bubble.  I am trying to investigate ways to possibly get some feedback from people.  So, until I figure that out, this is my forum for comments!

I’ll stop rambling now, as my hands are too cold to type, and just show you my stuff.  I kind of like this one:

a detail of the above print:

another similar one…I like the colors, but the design is so-so:

detail:

this one was not good, and i couldn’t save it:

and a detail:

at last…something recognizable! no, it’s not me…:

detail:

And now for something completely different…a pencil drawing:

detail:

I liked this drawing, so I made a print of it:

detail:

And I made another little book!  This one is about winter:

detail:

even CLOSER:

Whew!  Okay, that’s it for this week.  Seriously.  Speaking of winter, my hands are so cold that I can barely type.  We’re supposed to get snow this weekend too…brrrrr!  Have a good weekend!




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