Monday, January 15, 2018

Swallows opening, Michelangelo exhibit, Gothic arches

...and we're back!  Back at my home away from home (i.e. the library O:) ) after holiday and snow closings.  Lots to report from Artlandia.

First - 10 Artists/ 10 Pieces opened at the Hotchkiss School.  I was so excited to see the whole show and that my installation piece, "Swallows," looked just like I had imagined it :) ! Even though I planned and planned, I didn't get to test it all together due to space constraints, so it's a relief to see it installed and working just like it should - no birds were tangled or down - whew!

It was also very nice that my parents were able to come to the opening!  They got in and out during the brief thaw :).

Me with my Mom and Dad and a pseudo-sky full or swallows.
Look at that relieved face!
- I think making the different size birds
to extend the space (like faux-perspective)
really worked.

Now that the "Swallows," have officially flown from was time to break into my new roll of block material. Even though it arrived in late October, I had promised myself I would break into it until the swallows project was completely finished - it was time. 

new 12 x 22" block with template from older block on the left
 and a print out of the template on the right 
The new roll of material is 12" wide and yards long, so it's a good fit for a new tracery block that's taller than it is wide. This is a larger block based on the central portion of the 12 x 18" tracery block I carved about a year ago when I thought my favorite block material was discontinued forever.  The thing about it is, the block material was so soft and thick that it was difficult to get it to hold as much detail as I wanted and then, it was very, very difficult to print - it was so soft that the cuts sort of healed back together (which it why for the next Gothic element I carved, the turret, I switched to MDF, which holds lots of detail. but has it's own set of issues.) One of my favorite Gothic blocks is still the finial I carved in 2014 - one of my early blocks (I took it out for inspiration and it's in the picture on the left).  So, while I like some things about the older tracery block, I've never been completely satisfied with it, and having renewed access to my favorite block material seems like a good reason to try again.  I scanned the best proof and changed some of the things that bothered me (I elongated the proportions, evened up the symmetry, and made it about 40% bigger), then transferred it to the new, toned, block as a template.  Then I carved and carved and carved...

block in progress with toes for scale and a proof of the older block in the background.
I also used the block scraps that I cut off from along the roof line. I carved and proofed this winding key (I have plans for this (steeples fingers :) )

There was also an art-adventure to New York City to see the Michelangelo exhibition at the Met!
from a visit to "Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer,"
at the the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Oooooo - it was wonderful!  I had been wanting to see this very badly, but was worried that it was going to be too crowded for me.  Luckily, it was all good. I was extra (extra!) excited to see the large scale cartoons - the preparatory drawings which I feel help reveal the process, and because they are rare and super fragile, are not often displayed. Almost impossible to choose a favorite, but I particularly liked this drawing - and I think it's funny that he let the feet trail off like that which, academically, is a no-no. 

I also liked the non-Michelangelo pieces that were included in the exhibition for comparison and/or to show his designs executed by other artist. One of my favorite was this Hellenistic sleeping Hypnos - ahhhhh those wings!

Tom checking out part of Nene Humphrey's Transmission
It was perfect timing because Tom McGill and I also got to go to some openings, including seeing Nene Humphrey, Ken Buhler, and Ellen Driscoll's work at Lesley Helller Workspace.  

It's been a very busy week!  And outside of art there was snow, lots and lots of snow. 

This made a particular Wonder-pup very happy.

She also seems pretty happy recharging inside while the Human drinks coffee to warm up.