Monday, August 17, 2015

Still cleaning...

I'm actually not sure "cleaning" is the right word for what I did this week (maybe "uber-cleaning," "exra-super-cleaning," "cleaning-hardcore" ?) 

This was such a big part of the past week, that I'm going to show it first (before the new blocks!) -

Some Before & After magic:

and lest one think it was just adding paint, (unfortunately) no; I had to mix concrete and patch all the walls first - a before/middle/after shot

I think this shot does a good job showing how truly scary it was before.
and not just the walls...I hauled 350 lbs of gravel down the stairs (oy) and
then added a floating subfloor (a kind meant for basements with plastic on the bottom and feet for moisture and drainage).
Here,  mid-install before moisture-lock priming, then painting... 
 Also...before getting to those steps, there was subtraction. Much of the stuff was there when I moved in, and there's something extra-depressing about going through someone else's basement stuff. (Eep! And Double-Eep! ) Next, came adding more light and changing the existing bulbs from warm white to daylight (it seems like a small thing, but it makes a huge difference :) ). Also, I re-purposed the furniture, and most of it needed some work - adding wood and plexi top surfaces, priming, feet...

My goal was to get it done this past week, and while I feel like I made definite headway, there's still a little ways to go. However, it is much better [and not just that it looks better (though it does - yay!), but it is better, and the appearance reflects that - art-thumbs up!]

I've been pushing so hard on this so that I can get started working on new intaglio plates at home in a dedicated and functional space - eager to be done with the hauling gravel part and get back to the mini print-making part...

It wasn't the only project this week -it wasn't even the only organizational project [wrist to forehead + dramatic sigh ;)]. Last week I organized the blocks by theme and put them away in books (figure, plants - stems/leaves and flowers, animals small and large, transportation, accessories, etc.)

I was all proud of myself (uh oh)...until I realized that the books, while excellent for holding the blocks and being able to see each page, weren't strong enough to stand up without putting pressure on the blocks. Sooooo, back to the drawing board, and I came up with this system of using dowels through the spine of the book and then hanging them within a cube so that they hang just a little above the bottom and there's no pressure on the blocks (like each one is chilling in a plastic sheet hammock.) So far, so good...

 And then...[finally] there were new blocks:

proofs of new relief blocks - app. 5 x 7"
 You might be thinking: "Um, gee, don't you already have blocks of wings?" - So true, but...[naturally] the last rat I carved last week is just a tiny bit too big for the wing blocks I already had (and also, I wanted to try a slightly different wing position, so that when they're together there will be some variation...). As ever, inspired by Durer's drawings of wings for these.

proof of new relief block - 8.5 x 11"

 I also finished the crown block (!) I always think after finishing one of these - no more crowns - Enough![For an entire dramatic interpretation of that particular inner dialogue...]... I think "this is really the last one," but then, see, the plants have particular meanings, so...[meep.]

This was challenging. Even though it's based on an Art Nouveau design (in the public domain), I wanted to make the direction of the light and width of the marks match the head it's going there were a lot of "imagine the light source here" moments [fun, fun, fun! ;)]

Preview of things to come...

Now, in para-art news...'s been needing more blue -
first blue morning glory bloom of the season
(and more tomatoes too :) )
The garden helped out by supplying plenty of
flowers as models for the crown and bringing
lots of color to life :).
I swear, this stuff just appears like magic - saw this in a local shop window (and it even has the column in the background
like Pamagianino's Madonna with the Long Neck )
And last, but not least, because I can't restrain myself...
My Feline Assistants never cease to amaze me with their cleverness -
look who figured out that the coolest spot in the house would be the cold bag, as soon as Mom
 finished putting the perishable groceries in the freezer.
"This is even better than a box - thanks Mom."