Monday, April 24, 2017

flowers and ground

polyester lithography plates based on my relief prints
A busy week in Artlandia!

Work continues on the pseudo-tapestry.  This week's mission was working on the foliage and elements for the ground.  Having printed the mushrooms and foliage blocks, this week I scanned the prints, worked with the files, and turned them into polyester lithography plates - lots of polyester lithography plates.

Turning the relief prints into polyester prints gives me the chance to create variants from single objects (which is how these organic things occur in nature - a mushroom doesn't usually appear alone, but with other mushrooms that are related but all slightly different). I used digital software to manipulate and distort the images from the relief prints so each thing turns into many related things.

I marbled paper (which is another step in insuring that each thing will be unique and adds an element of random variation). I was using a new type of marbling paint - it has nice density for the white and metallics (which is what I was looking for), but is much stiffer in the water - will continue practicing and "getting to know" it.

 I printed the flower, mushroom, and snail plates.

I cut out the flowers and sewed them to the foliage. For the ones in the back, I misted black paint over them so that they have less contrast and will recede a little.  I'm stoked for the next step - adding snails and bugs.

part of the block for the ground that the foliage is well on it's way...there's an issue.  I'm re-thinking the ground. The ground now is a mix of collagraph and monotype, and it's "ok," but those are both additive techniques, and I think it really needs to be made with a mostly subtractive technique to mesh well with the rest of the piece.  I've been working on a 2 x 4 foot wood block for the ground. I brushed the wood with a wire brush to pull out the grain and then built the patterns of grass around the naturally-occurring pattern of the wood grain. It is sloooooow going, and I'm still trying to figure out some things about how to transition between horizontal bands of ground. 

close-up of proof of section of the 4 ft ground block.  
Last, but not least - I delivered the framed pieces to Tremaine Gallery for the upcoming exhibition :).

Monday, April 17, 2017

branches, mushrooms and rainbow

A busy week in Artlandia - printed the 18 x 24" branch and mushroom block (thumbs up!)

I also tried the mushrooms on marbled paper, and a print on white paper which I scanned, worked on on the computer and turned into a polyester lithography plate so that I can get more and various mushrooms per print. (I made the plate below, but have not yet printed it - trying to decide what colors and marble the right size paper for it).

I also did the framing for a diptych that's headed to a show at the Tremaine Gallery in Connecticut in May (thumbs up!)

And...I started something new. O:) It's pretty exciting, but newly started, so just a little taste:

In para-art news, spring has finally come to Hudson, and my flowers are starting to bloom and there was a beautiful rainbow this week

Last, but certainly not least, my Feline Assistants - both on the press (sharing?!?)  They're reinforcing good habits in their Human of rolling the press blankets and covering the bed after each use - what diligent Assistants ;) . 

Monday, April 10, 2017

branch block and pup birthday

 True Story: So there was this time - that I carved a branch - then when I went to print it - I was like - wait, there's still so much space on the block - so I carved another branch - then when I went to print it - I was like - wait - there's still more space on the block - so then I carved some mushrooms.  (Alternate title: Sometime I Annoy Myself :p ) .  Haha - but the point of the story is that - I have a finished 18 x 24" block and I'm set to print.

I admit, I'm kind of excited to print the mushrooms (I may go ahead and carve a few more - I got kind of into it - maybe not surprising since mushrooms are one of the kind of random things that I like to photograph.)

Another thing I did this week was re-order my polyester lithography plates.  The ones I like come from Renaissance Graphics in lots of 100. This was my first time re-stocking - meaning that I've used 100 plates (more, since I also have some plates in another size.) Something that's both hard and easy for me to believe.  The mushrooms are perfect candidates to print, scan and put on a polyester plate in various sizes and arrangements, since they so often come in clusters.

I also got to use my new tools which was very fun.

Much less fun, but necessary - I continued sewing all the parts down in an older piece in preparation for framing (oy).

I also printed some plants for the pseudo-tapestry landscape (assuming that I'm going to figure out/finish the ground at some point...)

And in non-art news - we celebrated one year since Honey became a much-loved member of the creature family!

Here are photos from her first day home and one year later in almost the exact same spot.  What a huge difference a year makes!  She has grown soooo much but still has the same beautiful eyes and exuberant smile (and I think her paws may have stayed about the same size, haha). I didn't plan it, but there's a rope toy coming out of her basket in the background - she still loves them and we've been through quite a few this year (see photo, below).  Also, we changed to an outdoor carpet ;). Love for the Honeybear!

All the rope toy parts, that I decided to document - they were much-enjoyed,
but it was time to let them go. Honey, as we can see, was not so sure about this.
 (Don't worry - she got new, "extra-tough for aggressive chewers" rope toys to console her. ;) ) 

Monday, April 3, 2017

more foliage

 A busy week in Artlandia!  I made a final print of the foliage block to go in the background of the unicorn pseudo-tapestry. 
To get there, I first toned the paper a mottled, grey-green with gold flecks.  I gotta say, I like how this turned out:
 I took this at an angle so try to show how as the viewer moves, gold in the paper reflect light like sun dappling the leaves.  
I haven't glued/ sewed it in yet because I'm rethinking the ground (doh.) but I tacked it in place for now to get an idea of how it's working with the unicorn, and so far - two thumbs up :) 
Looking at the new foliage block up close, I think it's easy to see how closely it relates to the earlier landscape plated for the first unicorn from last May

landscape from May
A big difference is that the older blocks were polyester plates where the line was drawn and inked light on black paper and the new block it lines are carved out and inked dark on light paper - the switch allowed me to have the mottling and gold on the paper to show through in the lighter sections.  Like the piece from May, I will print and sew on flowers to these.    

So the ground...I decided like having the foliage be subtractive instead of additive, I think I want to try the ground as subtractive instead of additive.  So...I got a nice piece of 2 x 4 foot wood and am going to use the grain pattern to help guide the marks.
A loooot of carving ahead; good thing
both my feline assistants are on point

Using the wood grain to make the pattern in the background is also something I've done before in an additive way with pen in this piece from 2013.  The great thing about doing it subtractively in a       block is that I can use it more than once (thumbs up!)

close up of stitching from the back
The other thing I did this week was prepare an older piece for framing by strengthening the physical attachment of the pieces.  This looks great and (hopefully!) should be effective in making sure none  the parts are going to fall off, but it's pretty laborious, and I'm eager to get it done so I can get back to carving. 

Lastly, I don't usually post food pictures, but this was the most beautiful bagel I've ever had.