slightly wonky


Lots of figures and faces…and a new addition to the studio!

Today, my car said it was 32 degrees.  That’s cold.  I know…talk to me in February…that will seem balmy.  Still, I feel like I was wearing sandals just yesterday.  Not only is it cold…but it SNOWED last night.  Here’s what is left on our yard:

Look at that sad little water table in the background!  It can be a skating rink for squirrels.

This week, I definitely made some odd stuff.  I decided to dabble again with figurative work.  I started by “copying” a face from a Klimt painting:

Klimt’s painting is, of course, stunning.  I was just trying to study his way of rendering the face.  Then, I did this one:

A little blurry…think of it as a “fuzzy filter” to improve the appearance.  Hmm!  Then the next one:

Strangely enough, that one looks a little like me.  Not on a good day, of course.  I showed these to my painting teacher.  He said that they were “postmodern”.  Hmm.  I guess that means anything that isn’t “modern” pretty much.  He likes modern painters, like Pollock and De Kooning.  So…I think that he prefers much more loose and “painterly” paintings.  That means more apparent brushstrokes, etc.  As a result, I tried in his class to invent a figure painting that was more painterly:

I know.  The red is a bit much.  I think that I’ll try again,  but with a more neutral color for the figure.  It’s hard for me to paint a figure without one in front of me to look at!  I know…practice, practice, practice.  Detail:

He had some positive things to say…but this might have been to encourage me.  He did not like the red, though.  Hmm!

In my other painting class, we worked on an long 18″ x 48″ painting.  We were told to pick three colors inspired by “regeneration”.  Then, we had to mix the colors, and choose one for the background.  The shapes were made with stencils that we cut out of paper which were insipred by shapes from green/red peppers.  Interesting!  The teacher, Adria Arch, is wonderful.  I highly recommend taking one of her classes.  The outcome:

It was fun to do.  I’d flatter myself to think that it looked a bit Marimekko.

In my portrait class, we used colored pencils.  I asked why colored pencils never seem to be in “high art”, only commercial art.  Who knows???  Somehow, it’s just not seen as a fine art medium.  Does anyone out there know of an artist who uses colored pencils?  What do you think of his/her work?  Here is my profile portrait:

I was really happy with how this turned out.  This isn’t a great photo, but I think that I got a good resemblance and the coloring was decent.  Maybe I should do portraiture?  Only because I enjoy it so much…

Okay…the BIG surprise of this week is….

I have a small etching press!!!!!!!

CHECK. IT. OUT!!!!

Yes, it’s small.  But it has a press bed of around 13″ w x 20″ l.  This will take some typical sized plates and paper:  8×10 plate…9×12 plate.  Ideally, I would have a bigger press.  BUT…a bigger press is big $$$$.  This little press was being sold by a lovely gentleman in Newburyport.  It was his wife’s.  I hope that he felt that it was going to a good home.  I’m worried that the shoddy desk will collapse under it’s weight.   I hope not.  I haven’t printed with it yet…CAN’T WAIT!!!!

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All over the map…
February 18, 2011, 3:01 pm
Filed under: printmaking | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I made quite a few prints this week!  It’s also been a lovely 55 degree day today.  I think that we’re all giddy with the warmth and sunshine.  It does feel wonderful to look up and feel the warm sun on your face and a fresh breeze…as opposed to biting wind and frigid air that makes your eyeballs ice over.

So…dabbling.  Lots of dabbling this week.  The prints are all over the map.

This week, I had a class with Debra Olin.  She was wonderful!  So talented and fun.  You can see her work here.  She showed us stencil work, and chine colle.  Chine colle is sort of like collage, but one typically puts the pieces of paper to be glued onto the print not directly ON the print, but on the plate instead.  When the plate is rolled through the press, the glue backed chine colle pieces adhere to the print.  Very cool!  I didn’t do much of it.  Here is one with a collaged piece:

The large square is another piece of inked paper stuck on the larger print.  Neat! 

Here are some things that I did with stencils:

These were fun to do.  I’m definitely going to play around with this stuff some more.

I also tried a collagraph.  I wasn’t thrilled with it.  I kept trying to rework it to improve it.  A collagraph is a plate where things are stuck onto it, and those things are inked and a print/emboss is made from them.  Here it is:

It looks like a circus.  Hmmm…

In my other printmaking class, I made a couple of solarplates.   I was pretty lukewarm about these.  Also, you will notice in the brown print that there is a whitish margin.  This is caused from the solarplate having a slightly curved edge, which allows light to seep in and make that mark.  GRRRRR…shoddy plates.  So, next time, I may try making a smaller image, and then cutting the plate edges, to hopefully get rid of this problem.  VERY frustrating.

See the whitish margin?  Frustrating.  I was excited to do solarplates, because of the photographic possibilities.  But, I haven’t yet done anything that I’m thrilled with.  Perhaps the fact that I’ve only been printing them with one color…

This last print is one that I did at home.  You’ll notice the sort of washed out look of it.  This is because I hand burnish it, as I don’t have a press.  I looks okay.  I always seem to encounter some registration problem.  I’m still happy with it, though.

So, what do you think?  Do you like any of these?  Throw them all out?  Keep them?




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