Monday, August 31, 2015

Phase 8 - make the right choice easy(er)? - continued

36 x 24" mixed media collage -
framing this by myself was enough of a nightmare to
push me to consider alternate display options,
but for now - it's done (whew!)
A busy week in Artlandia!

First off - framed and delivered another Angel of Loss - this one will be on display at Limner Gallery in Hudson as part of the show Strange Figurations - opening Sept. 12th 5-7 :)

Then...(drumroll...) I etched my first plates at home!(!!!)

New plates! 3 x 2.25 each - aluminum etched in copper sulfate
Continuing with the tiny tarot series, I started with the emperor:
proof in Akua, Prussian blue ink on unsized kozo paper

I almost can't believe it worked! I am incredibly grateful to have had the chance to learn about green intaglio printmaking at Zea Mays this summer; still...there's a lot of things to remember and keep track of, and I was (with good reason) nervous about mixing the mordant and remembering and executing all the steps of plate preparation and etching. (*No process photos because I didn't have enough spare attention for documentation this go round, haha).

Still have a long (long) way to go learning more about and practicing this technique, but I think it's very different things to learn about something, then to do it under the supervision of an expert, then to do it on one's own, and my first independent plate - feels like a major milestone (whoop! :) )

I was so happy that I decided to go on an art-field trip. Where do Little Arties go to celebrate? The museum of course ;) In this case - the taxidermy collections of the Berkshire Museum. I'd been meaning to go for a while, but I was intimidated by the drive. Now, the time had come, since there's some specific information I need for work, so phase 8! Trying to make it easier, I broke the drive down into parts. On the way there, I stopped half way at a favorite familiar place and on the way back at one of the conservation areas to photograph. 

 While I would never kill a creature for photography, I wanted to study the feet of raptors and rodents in particular, and taxidermy provides the opportunity to see the feet still and up close...

And! I got some great additional views of a brown rat and a good chance to study squirrel bone structure...then got home to discover that maybe I didn't need to go to the museum afterall, since my neighbor's outdoor cat has decided to "assist" me by leaving tokens of her love (Eep! I mean...Good Kitty...)

On the one hand, it was an extremely productive outing! On the other hand, this is one of those times when I try to imagine explaining my day to an acquaintance. The dramatic dialogues goes something like this:

[meet in line for coffee, chit chat ensues, after typical greetings are exchanged...]
Acquaintance:    So, what did you do today?
Me:     O, I had the most wonderful day! I got to see and take pictures of lots of dead rodents - 
and I learned something really helpful - did you know that rodents have really long metacarpals?
Acquaintance:   [silently.takes a sip of drink, walks away]


But it wasn't all paws and claws and rodents - there were also wings (always wings):

 And! In an unanticipated bonus...

I'd decided to do the Empress card next, but...the most common iconography, of the Empress shown in frontal view on a throne wasn't really resonating with me (I think it looks too much like the high priestess and/or Justice and doesn't seem to relate to the Emperor)...

Then, at the museum I saw this:

Yes- there it is! It's Penelope, who is an archetypal queen, and it reminded me of another of my favorites - the queen of swords from the Visconti-Sforza deck:

Franklin Summons, Penelope, marble 1873, Berkshire Museum

I used both to create a version of the Empress in profile
3 x 2.25" printed in Akua Prussian blue ink on unsized kozo paper

Finally! A process photo :)  This is after etching with the B.I.G. ground partially removed
(I just like the way it looks - then in a nerd moment realized - O, it looks like a Champleve enamel (lovely medieval art-nerd delicacies that they are ;) ). Also, I built /assembled the drying rack in the background - thumbs up!
All those photos being put to "good" use - continued work on the winged rats - attached the wings and 
added the bells on safety orange cords around their necks. And in yet another "somewhat atypical things I did this week" moment - the bells didn't have clappers (??) So, I stuffed 
airdry clay through the openings so they'd jingle. Did I mention that the whole bell is 6mm - so the holes - pretttttty tiny (oy.) Worth it though - sonitory joy.

And in non art news - I saw this in the park:
So it begins...

In reaction, I started trying to finish the floors (got to get it done before it gets cold).

 And bonus pictures! from this week's art adventures: