Sunday, December 6, 2015

phase 8 - facilitate a good choice...

still(!) working on this - on the one hand,
 it can be a little impatience-making
when after  3 hours of carving,
I have a 1/4 of a feather to show for it;
on the other hand, they're very big
 (and gorgeous!)  feathers ;)
A very exciting and productive week in Artlandia!  
The wing so far - printed in color and started assembly this week :)
One issue I've been mulling over recently is how to create subtractive prints of large scale things, efficiently and without carving large/unwieldy blocks. One way, is by breaking the thing into sections and carving each section individually (like with the wings).

That works well for things that naturally break down into sections (the sectioning into blocks for the wing reflects the anatomical divisions of the feathers.) But when I tried to make the drapery of the dress the same way in October, it didn't work as well - the results were too fragmented to read as one form. So, this week, I tried something new:
I carved the drapery of the skirt on a full 9 x 12.5" block and printed it. I'm excited with the way this turned out - from across the room, it reads as smoothly as light on drapery folds...but up close, the gouges that make up the form become visible:

Since I ultimately want a life scale figure, I scanned the drapery, printed it using tiling onto 8 sheets of paper, then xeroxed those onto polyester lithography plates. Then I (carefully!) printed 4 plates together on 2 full sheets of Stonehenge paper, and added green acrylic paint.
36" x 24"
The registration was challenging, and even aligning the plates very, very carefully, it left a mark...good thing I'm pretty good at fixing stuff like that ;)
before correction on the left and after on the right:
I decided that she should be wearing boots (I liked seeing the Virgin Mary wearing work boots on the back of the "Coronation of the Virgin" altarpiece by Bartholomaus Bruyn the Elder, ca. 1515 at the Smith College Art Museum this summer.) And, I thought I already had the perfect blocks of my boots in the right position to go along with the drapery (oh, assumptions, assumptions...) I painted the paper, printed them out...then realized they were the mirror image of what I needed (doh!) But! it was the perfect opportunity to try scanning the prints, working with the digital files, and transferring them onto polyester plates and getting a direct comparison between a relief print and a polyester lithography print based on that relief print. Result: It works!  So excited - this process gave me a print of the mirror image of the boot that I feel is equivalent for collaging.

Left: relief print. Right: polyester lithography print based on the relief print

After I reprinted the boots (going the correct direction now - thumbs up!) I cut them out and started refining the prints with color pencil, ink, and paint, and assembling them...

One might not think that little bit of drawing would make such a big difference, but I think it really does - mid-way through refining here  - I started at the bottom and paused between the 2nd and 3rd grommets for a comparison shot. 

Once again, inadvertently dressing to match my work
bringing up the question - do I art like I dress or dress like I art?
Though I have been spending most of my time in the studio, I did get out to enjoy some winter wonderland:

Taking in the local scenery