Monday, September 29, 2014

phase 5 - have the fortitude to try again (and again, and again ;) )

Is there such a thing as too many (art) parrots?
New Parrot Collage this week 30 x 20" :)
new blocks this week
one of my favorite plants was inspirational
A busy art week here in Artlandia! Focusing on phase 5 and trying again, I'd been thinking that one challenging aspect of this one is that it involves an additional layer of judgement - asking what has changed or could change to make trying again a good idea? I made more parrots (more parrots!?!), with a few changes. 

Looking at my lovely plant and seeing how each flower is a slightly different color - I got to thinking how, even though they come from a block, I want each parrot to be unique and un-reproducible. 
Progression L to R: proof - 1) black ink on gray paper, 2) purple ink on regular toned paper, 3) purple ink on marbled paper,
4) purple ink on marbled paper with gold, black, and white ink and gray color pencil
First, after proofing in black ink on gray paper, I switched to a purple gray ink so that I could vary the color slightly with each print and to leave room to add accents by hand in black. 
Then, I decided to try marbling pink paper (yes - pink(!) the one color that is "not my favorite," haha, but it's been on my mind, and I wanted to use this beautiful lime green and gold paper in the background, and I couldn't stop thinking that pink, as the complement of lime, is the right fit...[but re-focusing!]...) The unique patterning of the paper makes each parrot unique and and the organic pattern contrasts well with the manufactured, repeating pattern of the background (thumbs up!)
no drawing left, with drawing on right
left regular toned paper
right marbled paper 

trying to capture the reflection in the eyes in raking light
Lastly, I drew on top of the print with white, black, and gold ink and gray color pencil to add depth and make the eyes react to the light (so the eyes change as the viewer moves in a creepy-yet-wonderful way ;) ).

Carving, marbling, reprinting, and drawing on for these was pretty consuming, and while I wasn't looking the doubt monster crept in and started asking me if all these changes really make a difference that's recognizable to (non-art-parrot-obsessed) others?

Hard to vanquish the doubt monster, (hence all the process photos this week - evidence!) I think the the changes are subtle, but they add up.

[Uh oh - about to indulge my love of similes: ] I think that maybe it's like tires - I know almost nothing about cars/tires. I wouldn't recognize nice ones vs. not as nice from a group, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't enjoy riding in a nice car with the nice tires on it.

Just like I can enjoy a nice car ride without knowing the details of which tires are the best, my hope is that people will look at these and, though the details of marbling the paper or mixing the ink might not stand out or be of interest, they'll feel the individuality of each bird.
example of expanding./ building the tree

And then there's the tree... which is made up from 5 versions of the same block, cut up and reassembled.
The small negative spaces are added with color pencil to match the background.

filling in small areas to create negative space.
The metal circle is a magnet - another exciting development this week!
 I arranged this on a magnetic white board so I could move all the pieces  
without taping them down - it was like playing with
fancy fridge magnets - fun times!
When it was getting close to finished, I decided it needed a dirigible. This may seem kind of random, but air strikes were on my mind and it does something fun with the composition - the airborne object makes the pattern flip back and forth between showing a flat, wallpapered interior space to representing a decorative exterior background (like the gold/patterns in Medieval or Renaissance manuscripts/ altar pieces.)
as seen from the back - looks like
mentos (visual yum :) ).
this week - framed this small (7 x 5") parrot
from last November for exhibition:
Rock, Paper, Scissors: New York State Collage and Assemblage  
at the Greene County Council of the Arts Gallery 
Opening Oct. 11th

It was nice to revisit this piece and see how the idea -
block printed parrot in tree with patterned background, 
has grown and expanded over the past year.

But it wasn't all about parrots this week (though it kind was :P ). I started work on a modified accordion book for the zodiac prints using newly marbled gray paper on the covers.  Even though I've made books by myself before (during Power in Precision project weeks #24 and #34), it's been a while and, to be honest, I'm not this best book maker (I'm clumsy, messy, and terrible at measuring). But...fortitude!...I learned so much from Beth at the pop-up case book class that I decided to give it a shot (making templates so that I only have to measure correctly once - total game changer ;) ). It's not pristine, but I think it's still a pretty cute little object - like an awkward pre-teen of a book.

with the spine in - it opens like a traditional book

remover the spine and - magic! it's an accordion book

Haven't yet glued the pages to the covers or the prints to the pages,
but a preview of what it might look like complete :)

It's hard for me to believe sometimes, but it really does look like this -
 and there are bunnies, lots of bunnies,
 and deer, and chipmunks, and squirrels and birds, birds, birds
(but no parrots)
In para-art news - the Greenport Conservation Area is looking particularly lovely! 

I know - everyone thinks their cats are the cutest (as it should be), but I do really think my Feline Assistants have been particularly, extra, super adorable lately.
Looks like Jr. has picked up some of her big sister's mannerisms from following her around adoringly.