Monday, May 29, 2017


A busy week in Artlandia...

Let's start with the mouse block...Ahhh the mouse block, which (* I thought)  was 90% finished last week. Well...I printed them, and I thought they were fine...but not quite capturing all the detail in the face and paws... and then I compared the background to one of the proofs and definitely not getting all the detail.

By that point, it was like 3 in the morning, so I gave up for the night and decided to think about it.  I thought the pressure was right, the ink was right, the paper was right, the block was right, so what changed between the proof and the final printing?  The brayer. The top one is with the soft brayer and the bottom one is with a hard brayer (Doh). So I ended up reprinted them.

When I say "it took an embarrassing
 number of proofs to get it right,"
I'm (sadly) not joking. 

At least I was right about it looking fantastic
 in the pseudo-tapestry. O:)

The mouse wasn't the only cranky-making block this week...carving the turret is dragging on. It's taking a long time because it's like a miniature...that just happens to be big. While that's hard to explain in words, the pictures sort of show what I mean - here's a close up showing how a lot of these cuts are smaller than the date on a quarter...and there are a lot of them.                                                                                                                                                                        On the one hand, I think it will be beautiful when it's done and the idea of applying the aesthetics of a miniature on large scale is appropriate for Gothic architecture...on the other hand, I could definitely have made a beautiful version of this less laboriously using larger tools. At this point, more than half way through, it's too late to make that sort of change, and I feel like I just need to see it through. 

Other blocks this week - I made "intermediate sized" rocks for the pseudo-tapestry and the other block for "Luxuria" (Lust) to go in the landscape. (While it's very "not subtle" on the block, I printed it on translucent paper both to mimic latex and to help integrate it into the landscape.) 

In addition to making new things, I also framed and delivered completed pieces to the Albany Institute of History & Art for the upcoming Mohawk-Hudson Regional exhibition (!)

I'm not quite happy with the flowers in the pseudo tapestry yet so I did a lot of "research" - flowers in the yard, flowers in the woods, flowers on the street, flowers in the nursery.    

  I tried to capture a good example
of the horizontal bands in the landscape
and, of course, just outside the frame,
 I had excellent canine assistance :). 

And last, but not least, an un-color corrected photo of the sunset from
earlier in the week, because one can never have too many
beautiful sunsets. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

pseudo-tapestry update

A visual update on the pseudo-tapestry:

Progress, sloooooooow progress.

In part, it's going slowly because I carved new blocks.  Despite having many flower blocks, I decided none of them were quiiiiite right.  So I picked flowers, drew them directly on the block, and carved them. Then I marbled paper and printed.  Grumble though I may, I think these are a better fit.

Other reasons progress is slow - I cut out the flowers, printed additional plant blocks, and attached them with adhesive and then sewing.

I also started cutting the interior edges of the ground (Eep! About half way there) and shaped the edge and sewed together the tree trunk,

Another block I carved and proofed (*though I may do a little more carving - still thinking :) ) is a mouse...because the chipmunk turned out to be too big (sigh).

Work also continues on the turret. 

Outside the studio, I was excited to attend the opening of Becoming: 30 Hotchkiss Artists at the Tremaine Gallery and see the squirrel and carousel diptych framed on the wall for the first time :). The show looks great and will be up until June 18th. I enjoyed seeing a variety of work, meeting the curators and other artists, and catching up with my former teachers.

In creature news - we had our first extremely hot days. Even though temperatures have returned to seasonable levels, I put the air conditioning unit in...and within mere seconds, my Princess, she of the luxuriously long fur, had rotated her primary napping location to be right in front of the air conditioner (smart kitty). Junior brought her favorite toy and plopped down on the floor...right in front of the air conditioner (second smart kitty). Honey is enjoying the outdoors - playing ball and getting belly rubs in the grass.  

Monday, May 15, 2017

more chipmunk, phoenix, turret...

A busy week in Artlandia! As mentioned last week, I have a lot of different projects in process, so this week was largely a continuation of on-going projects.  

collage from relief print and
polyester lithography plate
with hand coloring
Last week I made a physical collage of the chipmunk using a relief print and polyester lithography plate that I hand colored. Since I had already started working with the digital files to combine scans of the relief prints of the plant, ants, flowers, and map into a single polyester lithography plate, I went ahead and continued working with and adding to the files to make a new digital collage.
digital collage based on scans of relief prints, marbled paper
and antique map
Digital work continued on the phoenix as well, and I think this is the final version - the goal being to have it editioned at the same time as the chipmunk.

Since there's only so long I can sit at the computer (oy.) I've also been continuing to carve the turret.  This is really slow going, and I was thinking - it's like a miniature - that just happens to be really big (haha).  Really though, it sort of is, in the sense that it's the same tools and level of detail as a miniature.  
couldn't get a picture sans tail
Clearly, I've had lots of feline assistance on this (my clever
Princess knows where her human is directing attention and is
 an expert at intercepting it.)
Work also continues on the pseudo tapestry.  I did not start sewing it together this week (sigh :p ), but only because I decided it needed a few more things.  Most critically before I start sewing, I decided the ground wasn't deep enough, so I prepared the paper and printed another 4 ft piece from the ground block. I also made polyester plates with smaller versions of the plants to help the space recede by repeating similar forms, smaller.  
I also toned and painted paper to print a few additional plants and carved and printed a new block.  
The new block is for "Luxuria," "Lust" so that the pseudo-tapestry will be the biggest yet piece in the on-going series of the seven deadly sins through faux consumerist garbage.   

In para-art news, I did make my annual trip to the fancy plant nursery and took beautiful, colorful pictures...which were sadly lost when my phone died.  The technological situation is gladly in hand, but pictures are limited to the Innenwelt this week. Onward!

Monday, May 8, 2017

chipmunk in landscape, turret, phoenix

This is a much more efficient way of adding the ants/fly so that
 they are in the same plate with the plant and ground.
A busy week in Artlandia with various projects at different stages of development.

First, the chipmunk got an art-home (thumbs up!)

- I made a polyester plate for the background by digitally combining scans of my plant, flower, fly and ant blocks and layering them with an antique map. Then I printed them on marbled paper and added hand coloring and thread and collaged in the chipmunk.

Naturally, I'm also carving something (always ;) ).  This week, it's been this lovely Gothic tower.  This is about the top 12" of a 30" block.  I know that, if it comes together (fingers crossed!), I'll really like it when it's done, but right now, it feels like slow going.

Also, I did some digital collaging. I picked back up on the phoenix. The block is 18 x 24," and I was able to get a good image by digitally stitching together 2 scans. Then I added a background based on a scan of my marbling.  I'm not 100% sure this is the final image yet, but it's getting close.  

And last, but definitely not least, I've been continuing work on the unicorn pseudo-tapestry.  I had to lay it out on the ground because there are too many large/heavy overlapping pieces to get them up on the wall unattached.  It's pretty funny because its takes up most of the floor space. (I think the room is only about 7 feet across - that's why the tree trunk isn't all there - it doesn't fit! I'm eager to start sewing it together and get it back on the wall.  

In para-art news, it was Honey and my first visit to the conservation area this spring.  It's been rainy so the trails were very muddy, but she had a great time (look at the blur of wagging tail, haha).