Monday, January 25, 2016

Wing! (And a cute kitty story :) )

A very busy week in Artlandia!

I can't wait to show this - we have a wing!!

Still need to refine it and attach the parts, and there will be more (better) photos to come, but I was so excited that I photographed it the second after it came together :D!

But, I'm getting ahead of myself...before there could be a wing, there was paper marbling.

This was a very successful round of marbling - the colors came out nice and dense, even the yellow, and they were spread across the whole surface of full sheets of Stonehenge paper (thumbs up!)

Once the marbling was complete, it was time to try the press. I was a little apprehensive because there's usually an adjustment printing any type of plate for the first time, but...

This was the very first print off the new press (who still doesn't have a name...)

Near perfection! I was so excited - I think it's an auspicious start and that it means that the press and I are very compatible - I ran the plate through un-inked to calibrate the pressure and could feel really clearly when it was right.

So, then I printed this plate and the primaries on the marbled paper. Gorgeousness! Then it was time to switch to the polyester lithography plates...

I wanted to try something different to try to minimize the seams in the plates...

I decided to arrange the.seams along the form. I can't take credit for this idea, most famously, Edvard Munch used it, and I knew when I started working with the polyester plates that it was probably the way to go, but this was my first time trying it.  I cut the block for the tops of the feathers, then traced it onto the two different blocks for the feather tips and cut them so that they'd fit together like a puzzle.

This was a little challenging because it needed to match two different tips plates. So, after cutting, I drew on the plates for the tips so that the drawing lined up (the same way I would refine the print to fix the seams, but by doing on the plate instead, the corrections make it into all the iterations of the prints).

 I was still a little anxious about changing the pressure on the press for the first time to print the polyester plates. First polyester print:
We are a good team - I think the printing-future is looking bright :)

Cutting the seams worked really, really well!  See the seam across the middle of the photo? It's tiny, and that's before going in to refine it.  I'm confident that after I draw into this, it will be nearly undetectable [thumbs up!]

Polyester plate on the left and relief block in the upper right

And the combination of relief and polyester lithography plates is a (shockingly!) good match.  Still refining to do, but I think it's a close enough match that it will work to use these two different techniques to build up parts of a single object (the wing).

A new chapter of art-funtime has already begun ;) 

But the wings weren't the only thing this week. I also finished carving this block of a bunny and printed it.    
Then I scanned it and made a polyester lithography plate.

I want this for a specific reason (in addition to "bunnies are beautiful, and I think they might look great with wings, or maybe antlers" ;) ). About a year ago, in  January 2015, I tried making variants of raptors by mix and matching blocks and physically cutting out and assembling the parts:

Now, I want to try a similar thing with the bunny, but by layering in the digital space, so instead of physical parts, I'll have a single plate. (The bunny is perfect for this because it's the right size to fit on a single polyester plate).

In other art-news, I submitted a portfolio to the Zea Mays flat files. I decided to send the Fledermice for review to be included in this year's files - fingers crossed that the jury likes them :)

Even though this is already a very long post. I'm including a cute kitty story. I know, it's self-indulgent, but I can't help myself- it just makes me so happy that I want to share.

Some background:
Princess, in her pre-Junior days
Jr. is 6 years younger than my princess. She joined our family when an acquaintance's cat had kittens, and the conversation went something like:

- "So, I noticed you really love your little cat (Princess)."
Me: "O yes, she's my baby."
- "Yeah, black and white cats are really cute."
Me: "The cutest!"
- " my cat just had some black and white kittens..." [We see where this is going. ;) ]

Junior as a baby
I hadn't been planning on expanding our human-feline family, but when I heard about the kittens, I decided that it would be nice for my lovely assistant to have a buddy, and that the timing was right...but I knew who would need to remain Alpha.

So while all the kittens were adorable, I knew I was looking for a little girl Beta kitty. and when Jr. trotted up and rolled over on her back to have her belly petted. I knew she was the one.

Ever since then, she has followed her big sister everywhere adoringly.

It's taken a little while for Princess to get used to not being an only-kitty.

In the early days

But being a very clever kitty, once she realized that Jr. was here to stay, she decided to interpret the expansion of our family as a promotion from Princess to Queen.

grooming earlier this week
Everyday at about the same time, she comes over and settles next to Junior on the bed, and that is the sign that she is ready to be groomed.

The Queen does not reciprocate.

Not ever.

...Until, this week [!!!] My elegant Princess came over to a napping Jr., and without any prompting, gave her a lick on the top of the head. I couldn't believe my eyes :D.

It's a triumph of love. Everyday since she was a tiny kitten, Jr. has been giving her big sister love and affection without the expectation of receiving any in return. Until, one ordinary day, Two and a Half Years Later, her big sister decided that today was the day to show her love for our little Jr.

Jr. didn't open her eyes, but I could hear her purring from across the room. :)
She may act like she merely tolerates her little sister, but we know the truth ;)