Thursday, June 20, 2013

Phase 8 - not all time is the same - find focus

second try at photographing the most recent collage (28 x 40")

Life imitating Art?
Me last weekend at the Art Institute of Chicago
though my hair has grown out some, I happen to be wearing the same shirt as I was for the collage
 and am posing in front of (my heart be still)
a miniature, Gothic cathedral interior, complete with stained glass (!!!)
Chimeras are everywhere
more Minis!
miniature Gothic Ivory
abstraction at its finest 
Some of my personal favorites from the Art Institute:

Martin Schongauer etching - of a Chimera!
I heart Chagall
I was only in Chicago for one full day, but it was one amazing day of seeing family, eating good food, and taking in lots and lots of art. I got so overwhelmed by all the tiny rooms in the basement that I started to cry and then when I saw the Chagall window, Gothic ivory, masks, and chimeras on top of it, I actually started to feel like I was going to pass out (while this was an extreme-happy reaction, I wasn't able to visit the famous Impressionism galleries or the modern wing this time due to art-shock-overload - motivation to go back!)

Remember the "Parrot Experiment" from February (where I took one of my zoo photos and drew it over and over in a grid)? This week I went back to Zea Mays, (green printmaking studio - I heart) and printed the etching I've been working on since May. I am so happy with how this turned out.

I like this because - I feel the composition is better than the parrot experiment, and I added tiny ants, a spider and web, a fly (little surprises for those who look carefully).  Best of all - now I can make lots of them! (So, I won't feel badly when I cut some up for collages ;)). For the parrot, I used a hard ground etching technique.  I also tried the falcon from April using a soft ground technique which is more sensitive to pressure. While I'm always happy to learn new techniques, I think the hard ground lends itself to my repetitive line making style better.

5 x 7, hard ground etching

I've been thinking about the role and relationship of manual vs mechanical processes used to produce the parrot print and the chain activities goes something like this:

digital print
re-draw (x 10)
re-digital print
transfer drawing to plate
draw on plate

Mini print (October 2012)
Vanitas (May 2013)
And that's not counting other iterations:
Lacrimae Rerum (March 2013)
(including Miniature #43)
(May 2012)

the decision, 14 x 42," oil on canvas, 2009 (my student work - o my)
Miniature #2 (August 2011)

Mini Salon (March 2013)

On the one hand, it's maybe "not the most convenient" decision to make work that's about inefficiency; however, moving forward from process-heavy/time-consuming/focus-demanding as a starting point, learning etching is a way to address "scalability."

Last week, I mentioned Timothy Ferriss's The 4 Hour Workweek, and one issue Ferriss brings up is that entrepreneurs (my read: artists) focus on product creation to the exclusion of planning how to scale up their business (art-making) model in a way that makes their use of time not just efficient, but effective. I feel like I've chosen to work in this particular (inefficient) way, but I still want to try to work effectively within that model (cutting up originals for collages is not effective, no, no, no). Etching could allow me to use all the labor that goes into creating a piece like the parrot more than once (so not streamlining the process, just making sure it results in a batch instead of a single piece). Hmmmmm, I think I like it.

My feline assistants cannot help with printmaking; however, they are hard at work providing comic relief:

Sitting at my desk, I hear purring, but see no kitten on my lap -
O wait, there's a kitty inside my desk - ha!