Sunday, February 26, 2012

mini 30

Miniature #30 - February 20 - 26, 2012, 4 x 4 in, mixed media on wood
I worked hard on the muldenfaltenstil drapery in mini 30. (Muldenfaltenstil is a fantastic word that means "a style with hairpin folds."  I think it's pretty funny that there's a word for that.  I learned it from one of my favorite professors, but don't get a chance to use very often; so, I thought I'd take advantage of this opportunity and spread the word.)  I can see the influence of a few of my favorites in this one (a pinch of DeChirico, a sprinkle of Delvaux, a smattering of Mantenga), but like minis 10, 11, 12, and 13, the overall flavor is Gothic.  Part of my interest in Gothic art has to do with the level of intricacy in Gothic forms like ivories, illuminated manuscripts, and stained glass, but I think it's more than just the form of Gothic art that intrigues me.  I got so involved working on this, that I put teeny, tiny sheep in the background.  I think that sense of being totally committed to the world of the artwork relates to the reason why I love Gothic art.  I'm not sure how best to explain it, but I feel like Gothic art is dogmatically consistent in following through on of its own internal logic - as if it taps into an alternate universe and fully commits to following the laws of that universe (regardless of whether they're intelligible to the viewer).  For example, I think a Gothic aesthetic view would be that the sheep are there because they belong there from within the work, and it doesn't matter that they can't really be seen from the outside looking in.  I think a more contemporary viewpoint might be to ask if they mean anything if they can't be seen, and maybe even to assert that "conceptual sheep," the identification of the sheep in the accompanying text, would be sufficient to honoring the idea of sheep within the artwork, without drawing actual micro-sheep.  It leaves me with a question - do artists dream of conceptual sheep?

As promised - the flyer for the March Exhibition (click on it to enlarge)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

mini 29 and Lucy Craft Laney show

Miniature #29 - February 13 - 19, 2012, 5 x 7 in, color pencil and gouache on wood
 Mini 29 is pretty exacting, even for me.  I spent three days on the preparation (gesso - sand - repeat), and then the drawing is made up of layers of hatching (How many? All I can say is - it's a good thing I don't get bored with repetitive tasks.)  I've noticed a pattern with the minis - the level of detail seems to vary inversely to the quantity of (non-directly-mini-related) things I'm supposed to be doing (i.e. the more urgently I'm supposed to be doing something else, the more precise a mini will be).  As for what that means... that's a question I'll have to give some more thought.

In related events, I have some wonderful news - as a member of the artist collective, Southern Observatory ( I'm going to have a few works on display at the Lucy Craft Laney Museum in Augusta, GA from March 4th - March 31st ( )!  Planning for the show has been in process for a while, but I've been too scared to mention it until now, because I didn't want to jinx anything.  This will be the first time I've had artwork in a museum, and I'm very excited (very)! I will keep you posted and hopefully will have some photos of the show to share as well.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

mini 28

Miniature #28 - February 6 - 12, 2012, 3 x 4 in (4 x 6 in paper), linoleum print

As promised, a print hot off the new mini-press!  Like many people, my relationship with technology plays an important role in my day to day life, and I have a history of needing some time to "befriend" the important machines in my life (for example - my car and computer both have names and, in my opinion, personalities.  I also always try to befriend the photocopier at any new place of employment, as in "now, I know your a nice photocopier and are going to want to behave for me, right...?" -various levels of success on that one.)  I'm finding that the mini-press falls into this category, and I am still in the "getting to know you" phase (I have not yet selected a name for it).  Even though it's early days yet, I can tell that this is the start of spirited "friendship."  Mini 28 is a linoleum print.  The ink is also something new to me - it's non-toxic and water soluble.  I'm still working through states as I make adjustments to the plate, press, and ink, but I was able to pull several proofs (of which mini 28 is one.)

Prints, by the nature of their relationship to mechanical reproduction, bring up questions about commercialization, for me. I feel that art has had a difficult and uneasy relationship to economics since the industrial revolution since some (not all), but some types of art resist the detachment of the producer from his/her product that commercialization implies. On an economic level, artists must invest in their work up front (as supplies and labor) and, in a sense, buy their own time.  On the one hand, I wouldn't make a work for saleability (this doesn't make a lot of sense to me since sales are always volatile, and even a commission can fall through after the work has been produced), but on the other hand, I would like to have time to make more artwork.  It's something I'm in the process of thinking about, and where it will lead...we'll have to wait and see.

Monday, February 6, 2012

mini 27 and the tiny press

Miniature #27 - January 30 - February 5, 2012, 5 x 7 in., mixed media collage
I'm posting mini 27 a few hours later than usual because I got distracted by the Superbowl.  I kind of forget that I have a TV sometimes, but I enjoyed watching the game (and having nachos).  Now, getting back to the art - it's been an exciting week in tinyland!  Mini 27 is a collage (the flowers and balloon are parts of the MTA subway may - how topical.)  The image is 5 x 7," with a larger backing paper for additional stability.

In other news - I got a press(!) - and not just any press - a tiny press!!  I was really inspired by my trip to De Milo Studio over Christmas break, and I've been eyeing this miniature press for a while, hoping that it would go on sale, and it did (at Utrecht, fyi).  I'm not quite ready to print on it yet - I'm still researching non (and less) toxic etching techniques, since my studio is in my home, and I have a fearless, feline assistant.  For now, just looking at it makes me happy (and the fact that I can carry it pretty easily is a big bonus).  Stay tuned for the first tiny prints on the new press...
...Let me rub my face on that for you
What's this?
...Ok, back to my nap