Monday, October 16, 2017

family visit and more swallows

 A busy week in Artlandia.  Work continues on the swallows with new poses in different sizes:

In addition to carving the swallows, I've been framing work for an upcoming exhibition at Scarlet Seven Gallery in Troy, NY (thumbs up!)

I'm still catching up a little after a nice visit with my family during which I got to meet my adorable niece :) (She loves owls and books and when she wakes up says: "Mama, Dada, Cat? Cat? Cat?!" - I like to think she takes after me a little bit there ;) ).

 I didn't bring any art-stuff with me, but saw a great show - "Philip Morsberger: An Augusta Treasure" at Augusta University, and I brought my camera to photograph the usual: birds, planes, flowers, art, mushrooms...

Check out this
Fractal-icious daisy within a daisy
that my Mom found!

 Honey got plenty of love while I was gone, but she did seem happy to have her human back, and we went on an adventure in the park.

And my blue morning glories were blooming when I got home!

And the Feline Assistants (Jr. here) were ready and eager to assist
in the studio.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Swallows 3

Time for an October update on the swallows project, a new installation piece for the upcoming exhibition 10 Artists/ 10 Pieces at the Tremaine Art Gallery in January 2018.

Since the Swallows 2 update, I've mostly been focused on carving, carving, carving.

The block is up to 7 swallows, roughly divided into 3 sizes and making sure that each size has birds going in both directions.  I think I now have the minimum variety I would need to get the space stretching effect I'm hoping for by hanging the largest in the middle and decreasing the size as the piece extends toward the ceiling and floor.  

*However - as we can see, there is still some room on this block. I think what I'm going to do is make some new templates and in each size have one bird in a unique pose.  Time-management wise, I think it's better to spend a little more time carving now to have fewer press runs and instances of gluing the backing papers. 

The 18 x 24" block so far with 7 swallows and powder on it to highlight the cuts
6 new swallows since last time:

I haven't yet proofed the latest ones (#5-7) - now that the block is filling in a little, I don't want to ink over the remaining templates until I'm sure of where I'm going to put any remaining birds. I did proof the the larger ones (#2-4) and am happy with how they turned out.

And here we are calling it quits after a long night of carving.

Feline Assistant, Sr. keeping the
proofs warm for me (doh.)

Bible. French. Des Moulins. 1517. Le premier[-second] volume
 de la Bible en francoiz. [Paris, A. Vérard, 1517]  (Rosenwald 967)
I've also been thinking about the cloche element, which I will need to start carving soon.  Last time, I mentioned finding swallows in Michael Wolgemut's Schatzbehalter der wahren Reichtümer des Heilsfrom 1491 in the Garden of Eden in an Expulsion from the Garden scene. I was speculating on whether that had symbolic meaning. If swallows are the birds that always find their way home, then their presence in the scene of Adam and Eve being kicked out of the Garden might be a symbol foreshadowing redemption/return to paradise. If the presence of the swallows does have a broader symbolic meaning, I would expect to find them in other Garden of Eden scenes.  So I did some digging...
This is a print I enjoy from Antoine Verard's illustrated Bible, published 1517 in Paris, which is part of the Rosenwald Collection in the Library of Congress and available for view online

 Close up with my highlights
 And if we look closely...see curved wings and distinctive forked tails? Interesting.  (Also, I think this beautiful close up does more than my words to show the value of digitizing historic works for study.) This got me thinking about the cloche and it's base.  Initially, I wanted to put a carving of my house in the cloche - building from the symbolic association of swallows and home, but these pictures of Eden have me thinking that maybe it could be a little less direct, that home could be a memory or idea of home. Then, isolating it in glass works well since it's impossible to ever return to a place in time - it's a memory, there, but not there.  So I did some photographing of my parents house, where I grew up, and may look at working with that instead. So far, the plinth for the cloche has been a sort of non-element, but I think it might be interesting if it were a tree stump - a reference to the tree of knowledge and giving tree. (Hmmmmmm.)

Goals for next time - finish and proof the swallow block, make the block for the cloche, find a suitable cloche and figure out the base. 


Monday, October 2, 2017

odds and ends

A busy week in Artlandia!  I framed the phoenix and delivered it and the six 14 x 11" panoramic pieces to Thompson Giroux for En Masse (opening Dec. 2) - thumbs up!

I also (finally!) finished the fox (whoop!!) The front pretty much looks the same, but all the stitching is visible on the back. I feel a little dumb because I still don't quite know how exactly I'm going to mount this.  I've thought of attaching it to a piece of Japanese paper, which would cover all the stitching on the back or sewing it to a mesh (Hmmmmmm). I'm still thinking about it, but for now, this portion is complete.

A funny kitty story to go along with this - the night the fox was finally done, I went out to meet friends, and when I came home, both Feline Assistants were dutifully waiting within petting range of the fox, looking at me expectantly, like "We're ready!"  I told them they were very good assistants, but the fox is done.  We went to bed, and the next morning - already re-oriented toward the next piece (very smart assistants!)

What I worked on next was the swallows (which will get a dedicated entry soon).  But quickly - I finished a second big swallow, swallow #3:

The two big swallows (#2 and #3) together.
 Then I finished a second medium swallow (#4)

The two medium swallows on the block (#1 and #4).
Then I carved, but have not yet proofed, one of the smallest swallows (#5). I'm thinking that this block will have one more of the small swallows (#6) then maybe two more that are intermediate sizes and/or different positions.
I turned my back for a second...
in the whole house, apparently, on top of the proofs
was the most comfortable napping spot (doh.)
(Luckily they were dry enough that no harm was done,
- no kitty prints on the prints and,
critically, Princess did not need a bath.)

Honey, on the other hand, had to have a bath (which is not her favorite thing).  She really doesn't like it, but she was a brave pup (and got a bully stick afterwards to help console her ;) ). I love her fluffy coat, and especially enjoy when she is so shiny and soft and clean. I thought it might be a good time for a pup-time lapse series.
Honey at 8.5 weeks in her adoption photo. 
Left: Honey at about 18 weeks - growing so fast and such a good pup. Right: Honey today - the same loving eyes and beautiful smile (and she really grew into her ears, haha).
Left: last October , Honey at 8.5 months, looking so elegant and grown up! Right: Honey today, her sleek and splendid, big-dog self - even though she was physically close to grown last's taken some time for us to perfect walking with the leash. We've done a lot of training since then, and enjoyed our first summer of hiking together. Looking forward to more outdoor adventures this fall :).   
 In garden news - thanks to a heat wave, my tomatoes ripened just in time to be paired with the last of the basil, and there were also a few late blooms.

Monday, September 25, 2017

panorama 2

 A busy week in Artlandia!

Work continues making new collages for En Masse at Thompson Giroux. This week I used the second piece of the paper I marbled a few weeks ago and made a second panoramic piece to be cut into sections.


I tried some new things with this one, adding a mist of gold to unify the whole thing and spraying a fine mist of white before adding the relief prints in the foreground (for a sfumato-like effect to create atmospheric perspective.) I also added a wash of green like a gradient so that its slightly greener in the foreground and gradually shifts to gray.  Overall- thumbs up! I might be almost ready to try this on a slightly larger scale.

The swallows project also continues with a second life-scale swallow on the same block

Fall figure drawing has also started up.

In creature news - a funny kitty story. So this week, I had a studio visit and consequently spent 2 days cleaning all the studios. My feline assistants were excellent helpers - jumping up on recently cleared spaces and pouncing on any stray papers.  In consolidating some of the storage containers, I had an newly-empty supply box, which I set in the hallway to be put in the attic...

Jr. in the box

If Jr. gets to sit in the box, then, obviously, the Princess needs to sit in it too.

But Jr. is quite capable of waiting until the Princess is distracted to re-claim the box.

...and the drama continues...
 Haha - I wish the photos were time stamped to show how every time I would walk by, a different kitty would be in the box.  It was like they were lining up to ride the worlds most stationary roller coaster, hahaha. (Who knew - all I needed to do to be "Human of the Year" was put a roughly kitty-sized box out in the hall :P ). 

While the kitties were occupied inside, Honey and I went on outdoor adventures.  It still feels like summer, but the leaves have started to fall and the light is changing.