Monday, September 28, 2015

phase 8 - make the right choice easy(er), ongoing

A busy week in Artlandia - getting right down to business - the 5 blocks/plates a week mini-project continues with pieces #11 - 15:

block #11
"life-scale," an  inverse of a block from  a month ago -
 I think it went better the second time around,
and a very good likeness, if i do say so myself ;)
 Work also continues on the tiny tarot, but in a new way...
block #12
block #13
It took a few tries to figure out how to go
from plate to block, but on the 8th try - success!(The others wiped off with soap and water,
 so no block material went to waste - thumbs up!)

I took the existing aluminum plates and (after some trial and error) printed them into a block and carved them. Part of my reason for doing this is that I have come to the realization (/accepted) that  right now, the editions from the aluminum plates are going to be very small ...but if I carve the images into a single relief block, I can more easily print them and have more... 

I can't take credit for this idea. Printing cards in a sheet follows phase 8 and making the right choice easier as well as trying to build it like what it is - I'm inspired by 15th and 16th century Northern European woodcuts, so I used that as the model. Playing cards and saints cards (like this one in the National Gallery ) were printed in sheets back in the day (probably for the exact same reasons - relief prints are much faster, easier, (and therefore less expensive) to print than intaglio and putting them in a sheet gives a higher yield per impression.)  Then I cut them out afterwards...
Next, I made this mini-block for #14. It's very similar to one of the first blocks I ever carved. (The tree in that one had always bothered me, and I thought I could to it better now with better tools and more practice :) - true.)
Block #14
 The tiny house block was put to immediate use in the next Fledermaus collage, that I started this week. Still in process on this - arranging and re-arrange and re-rearranging the elements...

#15 is the only aluminum plate this week.

plate #15 - 3.5 x 2.25" 

It's not part of the tiny tarot, but I just (seemingly randomly) really wanted to make a deer. Since there was plenty of time to dwell on this while working on it, I started to get a little worried: "am I bored with the tiny tarot? (that would be bad, since I'm only about half way through the deck)...maybe just not connecting with the remaining cards? (sort of true, but I can always choose/tweak the iconography...) Why the deer now??" I photograph deer frequently and they appear in my work sometimes (like the Tower in tribute to Master of the Playing Cards). Moreover, there is a technical reason for wanting to try this plate - the tiny tarot cards are done in a single grounding (*and to keep them an even set, I don't plan to change that), but with this plate I tried re-grounding the plate for a second round of working into the plate as a soft ground, baking it, working more into the hard ground, then spit etching; so it was more processes than I would have used on a tiny tarot plate.

working into the plate as a soft ground
plate re-grounded with B.I.G. ground
(* I know, I sound like a broken record, but
this stuff really is (green-)magical)

after a little more work on the hard ground,
I spit etched and selectively polished the plate
(which doesn't show up very well in my not-so-good proofs,
though it's just enough for me to tell that it's truly in the plate.
A bit frustrating knowing that there's more information in the
 plate than is showing up right now. Though better this week than
last week - bevelling the top edge down further
 did help the plate to go through the proofing press (sort of)...
 how happy-making it will be when I print these
 at Zea Mays in a few weeks...) 
As I was working on the next piece
(back to the tiny tarot!), I looked up
and had to laugh at myself
 - this is the view about a foot from my face,
just above eye level when I sit at the desk
to work under magnification...
- the model was for the deer that was
part of Eros et Thanatos in Nov. 2013
(which  did come to mind...) even though,
somehow, I didn't realize until I was finished
that this model has been inches from my face
for hours while I've been working on the
tiny tarot, hahaha.


 The technical reason is true and valid, but it felt like a narrative "fill in the gap." (after all - it could have been anything), but I figured it was just one of those things - sometimes you just feel like making a deer (shrug)... I moved on to the next plate...and then looked up - at the deer which has been inches from my face the entire time (and just happens to be in almost the exact same pose, hahaha - silly human).

Other art activities of the week - I went to Print Fair North at Zea Mays, and it was awesome! I really love seeing the work of so many talented and dedicated artists all in one (familiar!) place.  I charged the camera battery, went back in the house to get my camera when I forgot it, then was so art-happy that I forgot to take the camera out of my bag [doh! sigh.] Fortunately, there's a nice article with pictures in Take Magazine this week - can you spot me? :) ).

In para-art news:
crossing paths with more orange industrial things
on the streets of Hudson - yay!
Officially fall and the first batch of
pumpkin spice cookies

Requisite eclipse shot 

because I included a cute kitty photo of my princess
last week, this week I figured it's Junior's turn -
here we are in the studio, working hard,-
worn out from a busy day of hoarding winged rats
and playing with the collage thread, she has
decided to nap on Mom's lap:
 "O, you didn't think you needed
that hand to cut out and arrange paper did you?"