Monday, March 27, 2017

foliage block and new tools

 It was a long day in Artlandia, pushing to finish this and get at least one good proof for the blog but (drumroll...) - voila! The new foliage block, 12 x 18" 

And because I'm not sure whether the view of the whole thing really gives a good sense of the detail, some close ups!

I'm especially proud of how, from a distance, the negative space reads as a mid tone (something I think is a challenge in a one-color relief print - gold star!)

These are meant to make a horizontal band in the background behind the unicorn in the pseudo-tapestry.

Even though it isn't that big a block, between the leaves and the lines and keeping track of the overlaps and where each leaf and stem originates, this was a time consuming block and took most of my time this week.

I also did a little figure drawing, and it was good to practice, even though I don't feel like it was my best session.

And last, but not least...New tools came in the mail today!(!!!!) I'd been eyeing these after carving the mini-Justice and got to test them at SGCI. It was love at first cut. Admittedly, I feel like a cat in that I want to rub my face on them (capped for safety, of course ;).) Apparently, my Princess is agrees.

Monday, March 20, 2017


A busy week here in Artlandia...though in a different way that usual.

Image may contain: tree, plant, snow, table, outdoor and nature
My back gate
This week, I went to my first international printmaking conference, the Southern Graphics Conference International (SGCI) in Atlanta.  I've been looking forward to this conference for months and so when we got close to 30" of snow and the airport closed the day before, I was worried that I wouldn't make it.  But! I dug out and made it to the airport and miraculously, took flight.

There was no snow in Atlanta
The conference was awesome - I got to see lots of interesting demos, listen to panel discussions, and talk to printmakers about their work.  I didn't take tons of photos (Oops! - I didn't have free hands/ spare attention) But I learned a lot.

Gerhard Richter, "11 panes," High Museum 
part of Daniel Arsham, "Hourglass" High Musuem
I also got to visit the High Museum, and went to their late hours Friday night, which was awesome because I felt like I had the place to myself.

Apart from that - I also got to photograph "industrial - "
Tammy - this one's for you!

 In addition, I got to have some nice visits with friends and family
sharing my selfie expertise with Mom and Dad
Honey did great for her first time at the boarder
- like pup sleep away camp.
We were happily reunited and once we got home,
she took all her toys out of the basket
 (just making sure they're all still there ;) ).

And then, I made it back home to the creatures, who all did just fine in my absence. 

I woke up this morning to this beautiful face (sitting on my
stomach - "Human, I do hope you remember the
meaning of "breakfast."")
and this one, "Oh, you're back - excellent!"

And now - on a mission to clean the studio, put things away, and get back to work (thumbs up!)

Monday, March 13, 2017

pseudo-tapestry, rocks, minis

 The unicorn has a landscape [thumbs up!]

It was an adventure making the ground...I tried something new.  Last week, I made a collagraph plate, and this week, I added to that plate and reprinted it.  Then, I used a gel plate to add viscosity monotypes on top of it. This was sort of like flipping paper marbling in a way, because instead of putting the paper onto the water's surface, the paper was fixed, and the gel plate went on top of it.  It was still somewhat dependent on natural phenomena for the pattern, but gave me more control in terms of where I placed the plates and where I wanted the densest ink.  I then added a wash of gray-green to help unify it.

Then...I decided it really needed some rocks (doh.) So I went out to the driveway, scooped up some gravel, and carved some rocks.

Then...I decided it really needed a band of foliage between the ground layer and the mesh background. And, naturally, none of the dozen plant blocks I have were quiiiiite right. (doh, again).  While it may just seem like me being picky, in this case, I think it is really necessary - I have single plants, and while I could print them multiple times, I really want a horizontal band that can be a bridge between the randomness of the ground and the mesh, which is a repeating pattern. I think multiples of the same plant would be too repetitive; so, I planned a 12 x 18" block to work in very structured repeating lines between the scattered leaves - the block will create a horizontal band with few repetitions and will contain both organic and repeating pattern elements [thumbs up].

It sounds good, and I'm excited to see how it will work...but execution is challenging.  I used one of my existing blocks as the foundation, by printing it on the new block multiple times at different angles and then editing to make sure each iteration is unique and that they flow together. I've been working hard on it, and it is moving forward, but it's slow going at the moment.

 In addition to carving new blocks for the tapestry, I also put together a submission for the Center for Contemporary Printmaking's Biennial International Miniature Print Exhibition. I picked my favorite minis from the last year and pulled new prints just for the show and ironed them so they are nice and crisp and flat - fingerscrossed!

I also had a chance to do some figure drawing.  It's been a little while - I was a little rusty, but it's coming back, and I had a good time and got in some good practice adjusting to a variety of pose lengths - 5, 10, 15, 25 minute poses.


Monday, March 6, 2017

Unicorn (pseudo-)tapestry, in process

 A busy week in Artlandia! We're well on our way to a new unicorn (pseudo-)tapestry [thumbs up!] 
it's 48" across and about 5' tall,
with me for scale 
The new unicorn, with it's older sibling.
Though, naturally, it didn't spring forth fully formed... first I worked on the body, adding acrylic, ink and color pencil and then joined the head and body.  I decided to put a collar over the seem between the body and the head:

New block for collar

 Then I got the pet screening up on the wall by pinning it straight through the gaps in the netting into the cork wall.  Then I decided that the collar "really needed" a new block for it's pattern (doh.) This seemed like it might be a bit of a diversion at the time, but admittedly, I really like the new collar...Then I decided it "needed" (fake)pearls hand sewn on with silver thread (twice). It is reeeeeally pretty.

I cut out and added the tree - the segments of the roots are working just like I wanted them too - extending the base of the tree and looking like they're poking up from the ground. I also find the new squirrel really funny.

Now for the ground... I'm not exactly sure what to do about the ground.  I want something that looks sort of like marbling, but that gives me more control.  And I want it not to be a million little pieces (since I plan to put a million little piece on top of it ;) ). On that note - look what came this week!! New paper! And it just happens to be wide enough to cover the screen (wha ha ha).
leg with marbled paper as ground

printed paper 18 x 50" and the corner of the plate 

I made a collagraph plate and tried it with mixed results. The result is big enough, and it's close to being what I want, but not quiet it (yet), It's also not quite the right color - I think I want to keep the printing elements in black, but not this dark (maybe adding transparent base?) and then maybe a wash of green to the paper...and gold splatters? (hmmmmm.)  In any case, it's moving along (and it's big! :D )