Thursday, November 28, 2013

Throwback Thursday

It's Thanksgiving here in the US today and I wondered what I might post for today's Throwback Thursday that could be somewhat festive, and I thought: gourds. Yep, gourds might actually tie in nicely and I have a bunch of gourds in still lifes from October 2011's 30 Day Sketch Challenge. And then I remembered acorn squash, and thought that was even better. I'll be having some acorn squash today, and probably a lot of you will, too.

acorn squash, watercolor pencil
There  are a couple of other acorn squash sketches in this series. This was before my #art365 series and the idea of sketching everyday for a whole month seemed pretty intimidating. Also, I'm not really a sketcher, so I went back to basics and set up fruit still lifes, which evolved into gourds and then squash. If you want to see the whole series, there's an album on facebook here. I did show some of these pieces in the Tryptophan Trance show at Hoosier Highlander. 

As a former retail employee, I hope you are not out shopping today, and as an artist (aka a very small business) I hope you will shop local / small businesses. Your purchases do make a very big impact there. Buy art! Buy my art! And if you want to buy art that isn't mine and can't find it, I know lots of other artists who would also appreciate your support. 

Finally, a small piece of holiday advice: gourds look like they will last forever, but they don't. Trust me on this.

So thank you interweb viewers, for checking in and having a look at whatever random things I post, and for the pluses and likes and shares and retweets. They are all very appreciated. Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

in the studio

This week  has been all about experimenting. Did I say that last week, too? Probably. I've got more ideas than time right now. I could really use an art vacation.

Finished? Maybe? Nah, just on hold. It needs some printing on top, but I haven't carved the plate(s?) yet. the inevitable graffiti piece, 24" x 28". Ideas for 2-3 more of these. I'm using paint only because the ink I currently have is water soluble, which means additional brush work could disrupt the image, and would have to be framed under glass. 

I also wanted to tackle prairie pieces, and complete them entirely in printmaking. On canvas. With paint. Part way through I thought, you know, you could just print with ink on paper... But seriously, where's the challenge in that? (Look for that at a later date. It's on my to do list.) I started rolling out a couple of colors of paint, as a sort of underpainting, and printed a bit over it. The more I looked at the image, the more I thought it was done, and several other artists agreed. These are 14" x 18"

So naturally, I had to try it again.

and again.

I have one more canvas rolled out, but not yet printed. This was not at all what I had imagined for this, so I still need to try that out, too.

Saturday, I went to Hook Pottery Paper and got a paper making lesson, which has opened up a whole Pandora's box of ideas. Gah! It was amazing. I have to go back. Paper making was on my art bucket list.

This image is a sheet of cotton paper, 8" x 10" and the text on the paper is written in thinned paper pulp. I didn't know you could do that! So many places to take this! The paper we made is drying and I'll have it back after the holiday. Look for a blog post about it next month.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Throwback Thursday

I'm still working through finding older work to be a part of the Studio Sale at Renditions Studio's engaging the Arts Party this weekend. I have plenty of work. It's the organizing and pricing and schlepping that's really the hard part. And I'm procrastinating, which will make it even harder.

These are polaroid transfer prints, printed from slides. The slides are long lost at this point. These are from the first solo show I had after I graduated, they were all shot in Northern Orange County, California, 1993. I was still doing lots of photography back then, and it was right before somebody decided that everything - greeting cards, coffee mugs, t-shirts - needed to have polaroid transfers. There are 22 left, but I'm just going to post a few. I have some landscapes and some architectural shots, too.

Polaroid transfers are made by underdeveloping the old peel apart polaroid film, and applying the negative (the black paper you threw away) to a sheet of printmaking paper. The underdeveloping causes the color shifts. It's not an app. It's the real thing.

These are unmatted and unframed, on paper sized approximately 8" x 10" and will ship flat.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

in the studio

This week in the studio has been all about experimenting. I had the idea to print on my paintings and had an old canvas that was never really completed. I'm still not done with this. I think I actually will finish this piece and I could see a series develop out of what I'm learning this week.

I'm printing with existing plates on this canvas and I'm using acrylic paint, not ink. The block ink I have right now is water soluble so it would get incorporated into the next layer if I were to paint over it. I will need to get some permanent block ink before I really finish working through this idea. For now, acrylic paint is fine.

Here are some work in progress pics. I began with the acrylic paint of the original painting and added in ink linework, followed by:

relief printing (styrofoam)

acrylic paint, relief printing (styrofoam)
I'm not crazy about the brick pattern that forms with the styrofoam plate printing. They print much better when burnished from the backside of the canvas. This is going back to these prints and I need to get some positive space text and not just negative space text. I'm also thinking about carving blocks for each word of text, and even creating an entire alphabet, so I could have a sort of movable text. I think both of these ideas allow for a lot more flexibility and a somewhat cleaner looking end result.

acrylic (text)

relief printing (collagraph)

relief printing (collagraph)
While my original printing-on-paintings idea wasn't to have this end result, it does remind me of the peeling paint/graffiti/old painted billboards look of the styrofoam prints which I liked and that is where I can see this particular piece heading. There will be several more collagraph layers added. The two on there right now are just cardboard plates. It's also sparked a bunch of other old ideas that never quite resolved themselves. The experimenting will continue...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Throwback Thursday

Today's Throwback Thursday is a series, because I couldn't decide which one of these to post. My indecision means you get to see them all. When I first moved to California, I lived with my (now) brother-in-law. He had a back patio, but no yard, which is pretty typical in Southern California developments. Along one fence, there were calla lilies. I was working in pastel at the time so I just dragged them downstairs and outside and drew and drew and drew.

Image sizes vary, all paper sized 25.5" x 19.5" circa 1992, Placentia, California.

These will be coming with me to the Open Studio sale at the end of the month if they haven't sold by then.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

#printoctober: collagraph

A day late and a dollar short is pretty much the story of my life. So a #printoctober post happens in November.... better late than never.

A collagraph is a plate that has things attached to it. It can be intaglio wiped like an etching or relief rolled. The plates I made today are relief rolled. You can use just about any to attach to the plate. I cut up a cardboard box. Everything I used was recycleable. 

What you need:

a plate I used cardboard. Styrofoam also works really well.
stuff: think texture, cardboard, mesh fruit bag, grocery store plastic bag, string

Have a game plan, or not. I was going for the ongoing prairie theme and thinking about the mark-making which has become increasingly important in my work. Below, left : string, center: plastic grocery bag, peeled corrugated cardboard and a mesh lemon bag, right: peeled corrugated cardboard.


Once you have the plate created, simply roll it out as you would any other relief plate. These can be run through a press but don't need one. You can run a baren over the paper to transfer it, or a dry brayer, or a spoon.


peeled corrugated cardboard

grocery bag, cardboard, mesh bag
These are heading into the Oliver Brown show next week at CornerStone Gallery in Whiting. I've made another series of collagraphs during the Live Art event at Paul Henry's. They can be seen here, and are available as part of the silent auction. 50% of the proceeds from these pieces will be donated to the National Autism Association in Northwest Indiana.

For as much as I love the peeled cardboard, I think I may love the grocery bags more. I used them a lot during the Live Art and loved the effect. This past spring I taught a collagraph class and the item that printed best was the O-rings from milk jugs. Have you tried collagraph? What gave you the best texture?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

in the studio

This week's in the studio is actually an out of the studio. Saturday was the SLAC anniversary show opening with Live Art. It was a great success and lots of fun. I planned to take lots of pictures of the other artists working.... and you know how best laid plans work, right? I got this:

the work station

So I failed horribly on capturing other artists creating, but I will work on gathering up some photos of everyone else's work for a future post. Here's a look at what I did. I made 9 collagraph prints using cardboard and plastic grocery bags. You can see the plastic bag plates in the picture above. I got interviewed by the area paper and had my photo taken, too, but the chances of it appearing in print are pretty slim. There is also a facebook album of this work on my art page here.

live prairie I

live prairie II

live prairie III

live prairie IV

live prairie V

live prairie VI

live prairie VII

live prairie VIII
live prairie IX
All of the artwork created during the live art event is part of a silent auction benefiting the National Autism Association of Northwest Indiana. Artists are donating a minimum of 10% of the sales, some are giving more. I will be donating 50%. The prints are available individually, but only through the auction, as they are one of a kind prints. We also completed a collaborative piece, with 100% of the sales will go to NAA-NWI. The auction pieces will be at Paul Henry's Art Gallery in Hammond through the end of the show, in early January 2014. Please contact the gallery directly if you would like to bid on one of these pieces.

the collaboration

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Throwback Thursday

My first Throwback Thursday post warned that I once made very obscure titles for my work. I do remember pulling random phrases out of a book of quotations. They were often long and unrelated to the work in any way. I found this very amusing at the time. 

I no longer title work in this manner, but I am still apt to do things that amuse me. Even if I'm the only one. So here's "o, my offence is rank, it smells of heaven."  Sounds vaguely Shakespearean. Google tells me this is a misquote of a line from Hamlet. (act III, scene 3: and the line is actually: o, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven.) I couldn't tell you now if that was an intentional misquote or not, but that small preposition sure changes the entire meaning of the line.

This is a pastel drawing over a (red) gum dichromate print, 17" x 23.5" and matted up to 36" x 28.5". circa 1992, Brooklyn. Gum prints are a type of contact photography print, which I always felt was more related to printmaking than photography. The negative for this print was a drawing on acetate, which I probably still have somewhere...

The Throwback Thursday posts are all about digging out older work, which are still available. These are not on my website, or anywhere else online. Contact me if you are interested.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

in the studio

I'm so not ready for #printoctober to be over! Printmaking will continue, although it is sort of nice that I don't feel like I have to do it. And yet, I'm still doing it...

This week began with monotypes. These are all 4" x 6" and this is just some of them.

Then I moved on to collagraphs...I'm still working on the blog post about how to do them. Next week, I'll have it completed. These are all trial proofs.

I reprinted the plate below in an edition of 8, changing the colorway slightly from the trial proof.

There will be more printmaking...

The Intimate Persuasions show closed tonight. It was a great show and I look forward to working with Brabant Lenting in the future. There is so much going on this month! Next weekend are the openings for two group shows I'm in: Artistic License on Friday at Studio 659 and SLAC 4th Anniversary Show on Saturday at Paul Henry's. The 16th will be the opening for the new works at Angel Hair and the 24th is the studio sale at Renditions Studio. So busy! And that is a very good problem to have.