Monday, June 8, 2015

In between phases

I've made some weird art-stuff through the years, and this is probably right up there ;)

drawing on the block
  Carving the skeleton this week was an adventure. Using a different technique - it's an inverse - the outline is carved away, then the block is inked in white and printed on black paper. 

I tested out adding white ink on top  [hmmmmm - still trying to decide if I like this for this piece...]

each limb is its own block
I went ahead and carved the hands even though
they'll be covered up on this one
(it seemed weird to stop at the wrist)
I may carve a new heart. [hmmmmmm]. This is one I happened to have on hand. (I think I have reached the point where I have a "heart archive" (-at least 4 that I can think of off the top of my head -)  - weird - yes; useful in this particular scenario - also yes ;) ).
I think the feet/boots are so funny -maybe my favorite part
(though it's hard to compete with wings....)
with my foot in the corner for scale.(and a carving tool - making changes right up til the end)
In addition to having lots of hearts around,
 there's the "bag o'bones" (on the right).
A good chunk of time spent studying this week
and playing with model parts

The book on top is Holbein's Danse Macabre, a favorite. Interestingly, the anatomy of Holbein's skeletons isn't that  specific/accurate, but they're extremely expressive (and I find them darkly funny - apparently, Holbein's Death has a thing for nice accessories - s/he's often seen messing with or 'borrowing' hats, jewelry, a crosier, etc. from his victims )

Hans Holbein the Younger, Danse Macabre: The Abbott, ca. 1538*

*these have a complex printing/dating history - for those interested, a wonderful (and concise!) article that covers the history of the blocks and the time between the time they were finished/proofed and when they were editioned:
K. J. Wilson, "More and Holbein: The Imagination of Death," The Sixteenth Century JournalVol. 7, No. 1 (Apr., 1976), pp. 51-58 available at: 

I'm almost finished with these full scale hands in ball point on polyester plate 

 Holbein may also have been on my mind as I "finished" the hands (at least, I thought they were finished when I took the picture; now, I think the one on the left needs just one more round - doh!

Durer, Da Vinci and Goltzius, get lots of  love for their drawings of hands, and I think Holbein would also be on the "incredible drawings of hands" list.

Hans Holbein the Younger, study for the hands of Erasmus,
Silverpoint, ruddle, and black chalks on white coated paper, 
 c. 1523, Musée du Louvre, Paris
The precision with which Holbein draws hands makes me think that his skeletons are pared down on purpose - maybe to keep the focus on their actions and not be too clinical (the horror is what they do and the careless brutality with which they do it, rather than what they look like? - Hmmmmmm).

Over the weekend, I saw lots of  art out and about around town. I feel like I can't do all of it justice (it's still sinking in), but among my favorites - grayscale paintings by Chris Freeman in the exhibition Earth, Sky, Dream at Carrie Haddad Gallery

I took pictures of the paintings by standing in one spot and zooming the camera lens to try to capture a sense of how it feels to look at these - it's like the painting is working at different focal lengths at the same time - seen from a distance, whole thing seen closer, then in sections seen closer, and closer...

Chris Freeman, Twins, 2014/15
detail, Chris Freeman, Twins, 2014/15 
In para-art news:

A conjoined twin flower!

 Maybe another reason I'm so taken with
the expansive views in the paintings is
that they're so different from what I saw/photographed
in the conservation area this week
(but still in around the same place - which is kind of amazing)

I know, the world has so many "cute cat photos,"
but I can't help myself - it's just so adorable when they do "repetition with variation." :)
Even though she's a full grown kitty now,
Junior still adores her big sister
 and wants to do everything she does.