Monday, June 16, 2014

still lifes - (almost) complete!

We have still lifes!
All 20 x 16." They are mounted to board and the varnish is drying this very moment.  Frames arrived and standing by (whew!)

It was a busy week pushing to get these ready! By Thursday night they were assembled and sitting under weights while the glue dried.

Over the weekend, I saw my family for Father's Day and a very special birthday celebration in Philadelphia. I completed the first bunny collage for my Dad a few weeks ago, but have been waiting to post it so that I wouldn't spoil the surprise.

After wrapping the bunny for transport, I (finally!) worked up the courage to hand print the owl block. (Also, this kept me occupied so that  I wasn't tempted to remove the still lifes too early.)
24 x 20" relief print on gray paper and found book pages, collage

As a permanant resident in the Forest of And, And, And, I, naturally, couldn't just print the owl. I wanted to bring together aspects of the owl drawing from September and the small prints that make up the owl animation from December - specifically, I like the scale and use of text in the tree in the drawing and the palette and use of pattern in the small prints. So, I cut two new blocks for the leaves, but instead of writing all the text, I printed them on pages of a found book. The printed text becomes a varied sort of pattern like veins in the leaves. The owl is printed on gray paper and then heightened with white and gold ink and the branches are drawn on book pages.

I finished the owl just before heading to Philadelphia. Sometimes, I wonder if my love of art is, in part, biological. We made family field trips to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Mutter Museum. I tried to head toward the Philadelphia Museum's famous American collection, but got distracted by playing "skull-scavenger hunt" in the the Medieval and Northern European Renaissance sections along the way...
 (and these are only the ones that I got pictures of...;))
There were other fun things too - a few of my favorites:
a relief sculpture of a helmet with wings, a still life with a squirrel, stained glass,
a parrot(!), tracery, winged figures
Now you may be wondering - were there any owls?
Yes! The building has an owl sculpture perched in the pediment
(I took spotting an owl before entering as
a sign that it was going to be a very fun visit.)

I saw lots of unexpected things,
such as this lovely kelpy mermaid

But the best may have been this - an "ink painting" by Hendrick Goltzius: 
[nerd alert:] "Who are you Mr. Goltzius and where have you been all my life?"
"I love you as much as I love Master P.W. of Cologne"
 (and that really is saying something, haha ;))

I thought this was fantastic! It's ink on gray canvas heightened with oil paint. Having just finished the owl that morning, this palette and technique really struck a chord with me. I think some more research is needed, but it gives me some technical ideas... (hmmmmmm.)

I got some beautiful views of the city:

A wonderful Father's Day with my Dad!
a photo of  Mom and Dad by me :)