Monday, October 23, 2017

swallows and a turret

A busy week in Artlandia, gearing up for a show!

I got everything framed, wired, and delivered (thumbs up!) (And there is still a layer of clear plastic over the glazing here, in case you were worried O:) ). The show opens Friday, Oct. 27th in Troy, NY.
Once everything was framed and in good shape, I started working on making the turret into a finished collage to bring to a pop-up show in Albany at First Presbyterian Church, Nov. 3rd.  The turret was one of the most difficult blocks I've carved, so I took a little break before working more with it, but I also think it's a very beautiful block and will be excited to see it in a finished piece.

 Work also continues on the swallows block - I carved the 10th and final swallow, then inked the block and proofed it.  I pulled 6 prints for 60 birds.  I may go for an even 100, but I have plenty to work with for now. I'm also waiting to see if I want more full sheets of just particular birds from the block.

Proof of full block with toes for scale.
 This was the first time I was seeing the prints of the last few birds (since it became tight to selectively ink and proof the final birds as the block got more and more filled.)

It's a huge relief to see the block ready and printed. It was also my birthday on Wednesday!  As I've mentioned, I thought my favorite block material was discontinued when it became unavailable (in August 2016).  However, after much (much!) searching, I think I tracked it down with another distributor, and even better, found it in a larger quantity on a roll.  I ordered with my fingers crossed that it was the correct material... and on my birthday, it was delivered and indeed! it's my favorite block material, in bulk (here, with me, being like a kitty and rubbing my face on it) - a birthday present from the Muses and Mom.  
I am so (so) happy to have it back! In a way, it's a good thing in the long run because, during the year and a bit I was without it, I learned about, tested, and carved other relief materials (vinyl, MDF, wood, gomuban) each of which have their unique qualities and strengths. Also, now that I have access to my favorite material again, I don't have to hoard the few fragments I had left from before. 

On that note, I carved a bird that is the mirror image of one of my old blocks (from August 2014) and that has been sitting around un-carved with the template on the block for a while.  It was a good way to get back into this material because it's very close to something I've already carved and close in subject to what I've just been carving in MDF so I could both remember and compare.  (Also, I just really like birds, haha).  The wonderful thing is that I was able to carve this in one sitting of about 3 hours (one of the things I'd missed  most about this material is that it is much faster to carve than wood or MDF) It also allows me to turn and twist the tools more easily, which I appreciate, since I tend not to use a lot of straight lines.  I'm a little rusty about some things (I forgot that, unlike harder materials, with this, if the cuts are too fine or too shallow, they heal.) It may not be the best bird I've ever carved, but it was a fun way to get re-acquainted with the material (also, I felt guilty about having left it uncarved and separated from its brethren for so long. :p )

I'm also working on finishing the drapery block.

My Feline Assistants were so funny with this. I (finally!) printed the swallows block, and we worked really late into the night (which is probably another reason why stopping at 60 instead of pushing to 100 seemed like a good idea at the time O:) ). The next morning, Feline Assistant, Sr. was perched beside the next block ready to get to work...within 5 minutes, Jr. was there too. (I kid sometimes, but they really are excellent helpers. I got the message: "We're sitting here, in petting range of where you should now be sitting, Human. Sit.) 

Honey has also been getting plenty of quality time with her human.  I always try to do or see something new for the birthday, so this year, we went on a special adventure to Bash Bish Falls on the NY - MA border. It was perfect hiking weather, the leaves were beautiful, and we had a great time. Honey even went in the water (I declined).  I even managed to get a birthday selfie with both Honey and I in the frame and looking at the camera with the sign for the state border in the background.

The crazy thing is that is really looks like this.  I also got some good shots of the garden - my favorite blue morning glories are blooming and so is my black vine, and the leaves are changing color around town.