slightly wonky

Sloth-like pace…
March 1, 2011, 4:47 pm
Filed under: printmaking | Tags: , , , , ,

I’m still working away on my larger linocut.  I am enjoying this much more than the first time.  I may not feel the same way after I try to PRINT this, but at the moment, I am having a better time.  Again, I think that this is because I am using a nicer linoleum than I was before.  Or else, it’s because I’m refreshed after a weekend away.  Yes…I went up to Maine with a bunch of girlfriends SANS ENFANTS!  Ahhh…we had a great time.  It felt great and odd not to have a three-year old leaping all over me.  Naturally, I came home and expected a hug right away, so that previous desire was short lived.  So, here’s the linocut:

I know.  It’s hard to tell what’s going on.  I hope that will improve when I print it.  I also worked on a new drypoint plate.  Here it is:

Yes, this is also hard to see.  So, this post is mostly about my sloth-like pace in making progress.  Things are slow here.  I’m plodding along…the basement workspace is also creeping along…The good news is that we have the building materials we were waiting for in the basement.  The bad news is…well…that it’s all still in boxes.  This is no surprise to me.  I’m not complaining.  I keep hoping that the basement elves will take care of this soon.  Maybe they have some kind of union, and are on strike right now.  Or, maybe they’re hibernating.

So, I have to go to a parking hearing on Thursday.  I dread this.  I received a parking ticket for having my car parked in my driveway.  Apparently, it was interfering with snow removal.  Really?  I didn’t realize that the town was planning on clearing my driveway too.  Lucky me!  If I lose this argument, there really is no justice in this world.  Wish me luck.

I have a hideous print to show.  It’s sort of a cartoonish house.  So awful.  A large part of me wonders WHY I even am going to show this.  I somehow feel compelled to reveal the ugly truth of this printmaking process…some stuff is just plain awful.  Nothing ventured…nothing gained…perhaps my publishing this image is similar to looking at a train wreck…it’s awful, but you can’t help yourself from staring…

Notice how small this image is…not by accident.  It might look better as a postage stamp.  Or, as my son says, “more better”.  I think that this emphasis is valid, when I consider how I’d like this print to shrink down to nothingness.

I missed a printmaking class last week, as my son was sick.  Let’s hope that this doesn’t happen again this week, both for his sake and mine!  I have to play the odds, and produce enough prints that one or two, on occasion, may be okay.  I also have to recover from the aforementioned house print, or else this is going to be both a slow week, and an uninspiring one! (insert sad trombone sound here…)  🙂


Grey drizzle
February 25, 2011, 9:20 am
Filed under: printmaking | Tags: , , , , ,

A rainy, grey day here in the Boston area.  My son has caught a cold, so I’m trying to avoid having him cough on me excessively. 

Last night’s printmaking class was a lot of fun…just five of us trying anything out that comes to mind.  Everyone does such different stuff.   I wish that I could show the other students’ work as well!  You’d see how interesting and diverse our things are.

I had made a drypoint plate, which shows up in several of the works.  I also did a lot of chine colle this week.   I had some interesting origami paper that I incorporated into lots of these pieces. 

I’m also working on a bigger linocut.  It’s going much more pleasantly than my previous one, as I’m using a better kind of linoleum.  I’ve decided that the classic, “battleship grey” linoleum is a pain.  This one is a golden color…cuts more easily…doesn’t crumble as easily, and is generally more pleasant to work with.  I’ve also pulled out my woodcarving tools, as my little Speedball set of tools is limited and clunky.

So, here are the prints from last night.  I like the greys with the bright pops of color.  My favorite is the last one…


All of the pictures are going to be dark, as there is no sunlight today!  This one above is the drypoint plate with chine colle.  I did this a few times:

And again:

I was experimenting with how I removed, or wiped, the ink from the plate.  Some are better than others!  See how “inky” that one is?

Then, I took a break from that drypoint plate.  I had springtime colors on the brain…in amongst the grey…

Even brighter:

I’m not sure if I’m finished with that one.

A bit of an experiment with scratch foam…kind of like the styrofoam trays that you get from the grocery store.  I like the fact that the pieces look like they are part of the sky, but somehow the overall isn’t great.  I need to help it somehow…suggestions?

Some layered chine colle…I’m not sure if I’m finished with this one yet either:

I like this one the best, even though the registration was off.  I started with a monotype, then I decided to put my drypoint plate on it.  Unfortunately, the plates weren’t the same size…but I didn’t care…spoken like a true novice:

What do you think?  Helpful comments?  Advice from experienced printmakers?  I have to say…I look over these prints, and most seem incomplete.  So, I’ll see if I can revist them at my next class… 

Are you as tired of winter as I am???  I planted some bulbs this year, so I am hoping to see some pops of color in a couple of months!  Until then, I have to stick with ink…

February 22, 2011, 3:05 pm
Filed under: painting, printmaking | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Okay, it was 12 degrees this morning.  Tonight, it’s supposed to be 6.  Seriously.  In spite of this cold snap, our lovely igloo that my husband made has melted.  Here is what’s left of it:

It was right next to that tree.  I took this picture yesterday when my son and I were playing out in the yard.  I was frozen, and he was gleefully throwing snow around with a beach shovel.  Here’s the winter light in front of our house:

Isn’t it amazing?  I love that kind of light.

So, I managed to finish that linoleum block that I was working on!  I just tried to hunker down and finish it.  I like the prints, more or less, so I think that I may do more…in spite of the fact that I’m still not in love with carving linoleum.  I also collaged some interesting Japanese papers into some of the pictures.  The solid paper was a success…the patterned paper was a total fail.

Here is just the block print:

Here, I’ve added some red paper:

The red looks much darker in the photo above than it really appears.  Detail:

Here it is with the patterned paper…not good:

I like this one, with the ochre paper:


That turned out pretty well.

I also finished that trace monotype with watercolor.  I’m not happy with this.  I may try to “help” it in some way.  Suggestions?

I kind of like the colors, but the overall effect is blah.  It’s kind of flat and boring.  Thoughts???

Small things in progress…
February 20, 2011, 4:24 pm
Filed under: painting, printmaking | Tags: , , , ,

Not much to show since my last post.  I have several things in progress.  Nothing remarkable, but it keeps me busy.  I’m working on a linocut.  I am now realizing that while I love the way block prints look…I find actually carving the block to be tedious.  I can only do it for a limited time before I get bored and have to do something else.  I think that this is because I’m impatient.  I want the image done NOW.  Having to wait while I carve it takes patience and perseverance. 

DOES ANYONE OUT THERE DO LINOCUTS?  If so…do you find the cutting of the block tedious?

(i do) 

Maybe I should just put on NPR, and the whole thing will go along more pleasantly…

The next images are of a watercolor and a trace monotype, which I’ll add watercolor to afterwards.  I like watercolor.  I don’t feel that it’s very easy, but I like blobbing around the transparent colors.  I know.  If I was doing a more complex picture, perhaps I would find it too hard to enjoy!  Perhaps I should try a still life, or something.  I’m certainly not doing anything en plein air.  My paint would freeze.  Yes, the warm weather is long gone…this morning it was a chilly 19 degrees. 19 DEGREES!!!

I’m lukewarm about this trace monotype too.  The picture is of the back of the paper.  I almost feel like the pencil drawing on the back is more interesting.  I’ll see how it goes…I may have needed the ink to be darker.  Who knows.  You can let me know your thoughts when I finish it…

This is a bit of a random post.  Here’s a paper cut that I did ages ago. 

Papercutting is kind of interesting.  It has tons of possibilities.  Once again, I think that the process of cutting the paper is not as much fun as other stuff.  It’s much easier than hacking into that lino block, though…I can see getting carpal tunnel from that.

This is school vacation week.  We’ll have all the kids home quite a bit.  I have a feeling that I’m not going to get much done, other than making meals/cleaning up from meals/putting away toys/tripping over toys/passing out on the couch from sheer exhaustion, etc.  I’m going to have to try to do artistic things while managing the household…you know: dust kitty sculptures, junk mail collages, spilled cereal installation art…the usual…

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