Monday, October 17, 2016

wing block 3 of 4 and NYC fieldtrip

A busy week in Artlandia!  - Blocks, digital collage, framing, adventures to the Met and an excellent performance.

First - life-scale wing block 3 of 4 - done [check!]

block with powder
Then, the final digital print for the En Masse III exhibition arrived.  I framed it and delivered them all [check, check!] 

blue bird 1, from May
If this looks familiar, it's because I wanted to see what it would be like to modify an existing group of files to create a new print; so, I went back to blue bird 1, my very first digital collage, and changed things that I would prefer to be different, now that I have a little more experience making them: ( I apologize in advance for any jargon) -brought color into the background pattern and plant, changed the color of the flowers, added a background color into the bird with variation in select cells, darkened the bird, modified the distortion of the bird, changed the position of the bird, darkened the ants, added a gradient fill to the ground, got rid of the internal border and arched clipping mask, added a slight shadow under the bird...)  Haha, you know, just a few things I wanted to change O:).

I also framed an artist proof of the parrot with this gorgeous Walnut Hill frame - that's a satin finished, splined, walnut frame with museum glass - Mmmmmmm.
I love how the warm wood brings out the parrot's eye.  

Besides art making, framing, and delivery, I also had a studio mission that I've been plotting for a while, but have been waiting to be recovered enough to implement. This week, I finally (finally!) think I made the first step toward solving the challenge I've had of getting works in process up on the wall easily. I used foamcore corkboards and stickied them to the wall. I was all proud of myself...for about the 5 minute it took to fill it. [doh.] I still want to see the figure with the fox and bunnies and maybe the unicorn, and they don't fit (yet), but it's still a step in the right direction - so much better than the way I had this before, hanging from a clothesline in pieces [shame-face]. Even though I don't have any long, unbroken up walls, a friend pointed out that I could wrap the composition around the corner, photograph it, and see what it would look like flattened out on the computer (Thanks Tom McGill!)  I do, however, need more corkboards.
with the stool for scale 

I also made a special art trip to the city.  

I went to the Met to do some research.  A few scavenger hunt missions:

Mission 1 - looking at Gothic architectural ornament and trying to understand the parts and how it fits together ( - if I wanted to make a modular, architectural framework...)

Mission 2 - I looked at Gothic foliate ornament, because I love it so, so much (especially when it has bunnies, or things with wings, or beasties).  With the exception of the stained glass, these are from the horse armor.

Mission 3 - drapery (particularly with leg(s) bent), can never too much source material for drapery.

As much as I always enjoy a fieldtrip to the Met, the main event was going to see a performance of Circling the Center by Nene Humphrey(!!) This is a terrific, multi-media piece that integrates sculpture, video, music, poetry, and movement to convey a complex narrative about loss, mourning, and regeneration (love!)

                             Before the performance of Circling the Center  by Nene Humphrey 
                                - my stills don't do it justice, but follow the link for more/better.

Also, outdoor adventures with my trusty side-kick Honey (- who graciously got out of the stream so I could take these peaceful-seeming nature shots - she's a very good pup.) She loves to swim now after slowly warming up to the idea in her puppy pool this summer.) 

And finally - last roses of the season?
Do they smell extra-sweet?

Monday, October 10, 2016

and still more feathers...

A busy week in Artlandia! 

First, I framed the new digital collages for an upcoming exhibition, En Masse III at Thompson Giroux Gallery, Nov. 16 - Jan. 8 (I really enjoy these and think they make a nice set - thumbs up!)

loving these 12 x 12" digital collages :)

and the raptor - 20 x 26" 

I'm excited about the current and upcoming exhibitions, and also continuing work on the second wing.  To start off a new season, early in the week, I sharpened, polished, and re-color coded all my tools.  Then, put them to use.  I'm just about to finish the second of the 4 blocks (whew!)
second of 4 blocks - almost there!
detail - the stripes are extra challenging, but so worth it O:) 
print block to block

I'm always hesitant to say it's going better than expected (because that seems like tempting fate), but it is definitely moving (carving, carving, carving...) I also printed the last two parts onto the same transparent blocks that the originals are carved from. I had two medium sized blocks awaiting prints, so it seemed like a good idea to keep the block material the same when it was possible to do so. It seemed like a good idea, and the prints look clear enough to work from...but the ink isn't drying on the block (doh.)  I'm going to give it until I finish carving block 2, but if they don't dry by that time, I'll either wipe them off and try a different ink or print them onto MDF.

With the second wing, some things have gotten easier and some things have gotten harder the second go round.  Having the first wing to print as a template is helping these go much (much) faster, and working with the MDF is helpful because it's readily available and economic. One of the challenging things is staying very engaged with every mark.  One of the things I like about these is the way every mark is unique and individual, trying to see every mark as special and particular is even more of a challenge the second go round.

It helps taking creature breaks. Speaking of the creatures...I mentioned last week that I got a second carving pillow because my Princess loved the first one so much...well, now both carving pillows have now been claimed by my feline assistants, (and my mom totally called this -  "Oh, you're getting a new pillow? You're probably going to need 3 - one for you and two for the kitties." - indeed.) I love having them next to me purring and/or having kitty dreams all the time though, so totally worth it.  

and the pup has her own blankets
O, look, two carving pillows, and two kitties - perfect

I also left the studio for some short art adventures. Checking out art in the shop windows - I especially like the carving on this chair and this bird collage. I also went to an opening at Art Omi and got to see an awesome new zoetrope, "Active Turn: The Devil's Wheel," a collaboration between Freya Powell and Kahn & Selesnick.  (I admit, I sort of have a thing for zoetropes and any kind of pre-film sequential art that can turn stills into animation while maintaining the integrity of the still (like how with a Muybridge sequence - any image can be removed and stand on it's own.)) This has been on my mind a lot recently as I've been thinking about ways to expand my digital work into animation [hmmmmmmm - still thinking, thinking, thinking...]  There was also this awesome piece, "Squirrel Gang" by Charley Friedman that made me smile.

 "Squirrel Gang" by Charley Friedman 
at Art Omi
Finally, wrapping things up in the garden.  Now, every bouquet, I wonder if it's the last of the season. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Yay for exhibitions!

Special Update!  

I'm very excited that my etching, "Lady Justice" will be included in an international juried exhibition opening this month at the Aberystwyth School of Art in Wales in celebration of the 15th anniversary of Baldwin Ink Ground (B.I.G.) a revolutionary material in non-toxic printmaking. The exhibition, "Breaking New Ground," on view from October 10 - November 18, was organized by B.I.G.'s inventor, Andrew Baldwin of Trefeglwys Print Studios to highlight the variety and richness of prints made using B.I.G. from around the world. 

In addition, I will have several pieces included in a group show in the Hamptons - check out the awesome online catalog [thumbs up!]

Monday, October 3, 2016

continuing those feathers

 Work on the feathers continues - block #1 - complete :) .  The first life scale wing is 7 blocks, and the second wing looks like it will be 4.  I've printed 3 additional blocks onto a second large wing block and started carving.

Chipping away at these, cut by cut.

I also took two art field trips this week.  I've been wanting to see the special exhibition "Myth, Splendor, and Vision" at the Clark Institute of Art (*pro tip for those living within about a 2 hour radius - the museum has a great collaborative program with regional libraries where you can check out a pass from your local library to go to the museum for free - thumbs up). This show contained lots of art goodies on loan from the Prado Museum in Spain(!) I wasn't allowed to take photos, but they had a Bruegel on copper (one of my favorite things - his tiny animals are amazing). In fact, there was a room of the cabinet paintings (and all but one piece contained tiny expertly painted guinea pigs.  My life is richer for having seen these.) No photos in the special exhibition, but I also wanted to see a Reuben's "Fortuna" and there were lots of beautiful St. Sebastians. Overall - two thumbs up!

I also checked out the permanent collection. Scoping out the framing, the hands and feet. I'm trying to figure out how to build a larger scene and especially liked this example of landscape - I like how it's set up as bands of foliate patterns - look familiar?  

My second fieldtrip was to the Northampton Print and Book Fair where I got to see lots of stunning, non-toxic prints (pitter patter).

Creature Update:
My Princess loved the new carving pillow so much (see the photo from 2 weeks ago), and I just couldn't bear to make her move so that the human could have the pillow back every time I got up (yes, it's true, I'm whipped for my creatures o:) ), I went back to the store and got another similar pillow, thinking it was for me. My Princess had other ideas - she's decided that she prefers the new one to the older one that already has a puppy-chewn hole in it ("I'll take this one - you can have the other one, human"). That's one happy kitty.
Enjoying the late blooms.  I fed my flowers for what may be the last time for the season.