Monday, June 27, 2016

Exhibition :)

 It's up!
The wing installed!
Me with the unicorn installation (!) - I was very happy/relieved to see it done, delivered, and up - a memorable moment for sure! My mom took pictures (Thanks Mom!)  
Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art on the day of the opening

Figuring out the placement
I was very excited to see the wing and the unicorn installation installed for the first time!

I enjoyed seeing people interact with the artwork at the opening - Examples :) 

It was fun to see people take pictures with the wing, and I want people to be able to get close to, interact with, and enjoy the artwork; at the same time, it's still a chalk outline - a truly horrific thing. The way it overlaps beautiful/terrible, playful/serious is part of what I like about it.

It was my first time seeing the unicorn and its landscape parts finished and up on the wall together.
I thought it would work...but 
until it's up, one never really knows...[big sigh of relief!].

 I did my best to try to photograph this at different focal lengths - trying to get the view from a distance and up close - I designed it to be like Gothic artwork in the way the level of detail functions like a fractal - the detail repeats on smaller and smaller scales so that the feel of the piece can be replicated at different focal lengths. 

[This may be one of those "pictures are more useful than words moments" ;) ...]

Debuting a new hanging strategy with these - I decided not to try to hide the wall mounting apparatus but instead incorporate it into the work then nail right through it with brass nails:

While I tend to focus on the latest work, there was lots to see, all from the last two years, and I think it looks great in this space (very happy to see it on gray walls which I think show off the work much better than white walls would).


One last new thing!  Since May, I've been working on these digital collages, created with scans of my blocks and drawings in photoshop. These are so new that I framed them in Georgia for the show -  I like the bunny so much that one may be coming to live on my wall soon ;).

Monday, June 20, 2016

Installation delivery!

A busy week in Artlandia!
Unicorn from the back with mesh through
which to pin to the wall and reinforced along
After burning the midnight oil to finish the unicorn and landscape elements, I sewed them onto a synthetic mesh fabric and reinforced the seams of the paper on the back with rice paper to get them  ready to hang (whew!)

I put brads between the large pieces of the unicorn to physically
attach them 

Then it was time to pack it all up and make it fit in the car (mindful to leave enough room for humans and puppy).
I packed and loaded the car, then headed off with my Mom and the little Bear. Mom generously shared in the driving and Honeybear was as good a pup as I could have dreamed.  It took us 2 days, but we made it!

Then It was time to deliver and lay out the artwork..Work in progress at the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art:, opening Friday, June 24th (!)

We're headed back tomorrow when the walls are prepped to install the unicorn and landscape - it will be the first time I'll see it together and on display :).

Once the work was delivered, and Mom and I laid it all out, it was time for a break.

Honey isn't sure about the pool,
but she's mastered the lounge chair.
I hope my flowers are doing ok -
liking these silver ones next to
the yellow and white stripes.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Giant Block

On the stairs, keeping an eye on
 the block- Junior, faithful
assistant throughout the
 entire process.
A very busy week in Artlandia! So...for a few weeks, I've been working on a 2 x 4 ft MDF block to print with Big Ink.  The work has been progressing steadily, but it is the first MDF block I've carved as well as the first block of this scale, and [surprise!] I underestimated the carving time (doh.)

A memento from the moment the block was finished
The printing date was fast approaching, and the block wasn't quite finished (eep). One thing about this particular relief carving is that any unfinished sections would have been obvious in the print (- people are going to notice the difference between a branch vs. an uncarved section where a branch should be ;)), but there really is no "rushing" carving (or, at least, the past has shown me that it's not a good idea). About 3 days before the deadline, I went into triage mode and dropped all other projects to focus exclusively on this, carving as many hours a day as I was physically able...and about an hour before I needed to pack up, voila! (haha.)
...Just in time to get a phone call that the event has been postponed due to weather (bummed, of course, but a call I totally support - can't have people working on metal equipment with any chance of lightning, and rain is the bane of all works on paper). I was looking forward to meeting and working with the other artists, printing on the new custom press and, of course! seeing the print this block would produce, but I have faith that it will come together down the road.  

On the down side...the chance of having a print from this block in time to take with me to the show in Georgia is now 0.  I feel badly about this because the concept for that show is a fantastical landscape, and it would have been a good addition. There is plenty of other work for the show so it's really not a problem, but about 9 months ago, when I set out goals for what I wanted to do/make for the show, there were 4 things: a full scale figure, a wing, a unicorn, a tree... and it hurts a little that I got close, so, so close... 

I told myself, that I could simplify the borders to get it done on time...(haha).

but with these, because I was up against the clock, I
 can say for sure that each one took about 2 hours
to carve. There are 4 (doh.)
But I couldn't bring myself to edit out these
(totally superfluous) designs.
Usually,  I have no idea how
long a particular thing took to carve...

One tricky thing was keeping track of what branches are in front of others (imagining
how it works along a z-axis and trying to show that).
A picture that does better than all my words to explain why rushing  is a no go - carving the edges of that tracery - o my. 

This is one of my favorites
- from the tomb of  Eleanor de Bohun,
1399, in Westminster Abbey
The Nuremberg Chronicles and other 15th and 16th century Northern European prints are a big source of inspiration for me, but as I was working on this, the shape and format also reminded me of brass rubbings from Medieval British tombs.  I found a good book of them that I love love (Catalogue of Rubbings of Brasses and Incised Slabs by Muriel Clayton for the Victoria and Albert Museum).  Not only do I like the way they look, but I also like the way the art is diffused between different iterations - there's the brass relief sculpture, and the rubbing - it's designed to lead to more than one type of art-result [hmmmmmm.]                                                                     

So... once I got word that printing the large block is on hold for now, I needed to immediately pivot and address the other landscape elements for the show so that the Magical Land of No is not completely without vegetation, haha.

I went full steam ahead on the in process plants.

Close, Closer, Closest:

This is a neon green that that camera just says "no" to capturing - between the neon colors, the metallics in the ink and thread, and the scale with layers of detail, these have to be close to the least camera-friendly things I've ever made (Eep.)
This is on the floor because I don't have enough wall space for it (doh.) I decided to go with three sections so that I can pack them up for transport.  I changed the thread color to make the stitches stand out a little less, but kept the silver thread for sewing on the flowers.

This shows the way the screening around the paper is semi-transparent to help the transition from the landscape to the wall
I think the marbling in the flowers turned out subtle, but lovely :).

In non-art news, my little Honeybear continues to grow! Look how fluffy her tail is getting :). She loves "researching" vegetation with me.  
Favorite (non-color corrected!) flowers of the week - Dianthus, Petunia, Delphinium, more Petunias, Calibrachoa

Tempus Fugit!