Monday, October 30, 2017

drapery block, opening, nature

We have a turret collage (as in all glued down and framed - 12 x 36" - thumbs up!)...of course, this was intended to be half of a diptych...

I also (finally!) finished and proofed the drapery block.  This is the first full sheet of gomuban (app. 12 x 16") that I've ever carved, and so while I was pretty sure it would have enough detail to scan the proof, blow it up and use it in sections as a template for a life-sized figure, I wasn't absolutely sure. I think there's enough detail to work with and I can almost picture it in life scale. 

 I also proofed the new bird block and framed it in a shadow bock with it's block. 

I went to the opening of "Loving Beauty More then Efficiency" at Scarlet Seven Gallery. I thought the work looked great!  I enjoyed meeting and seeing work by Niki Haynes, Jon Segan, and Audrie Sturman and honored to exhibit in such excellent company!

A very funny kitty story - my Princess is not really into sharing (royalty, you know :P), so I felt the need to document this rare instance of her allowing Jr. to sit on the carving pillow with her. (Naturally, the Human was relegated to sitting on the floor.)  I was surprised that she allowed this, and you can see in her eyes that it's not going to last long: "Is that your foot on me - Seriously?" Meanwhile Jr. is just about to role over and show her chin: "You know you love me!" (We do.) 

There were also plenty of adventures with Honey this week, and we got some good nature shots.

Monday, October 23, 2017

swallows and a turret

A busy week in Artlandia, gearing up for a show!

I got everything framed, wired, and delivered (thumbs up!) (And there is still a layer of clear plastic over the glazing here, in case you were worried O:) ). The show opens Friday, Oct. 27th in Troy, NY.
Once everything was framed and in good shape, I started working on making the turret into a finished collage to bring to a pop-up show in Albany at First Presbyterian Church, Nov. 3rd.  The turret was one of the most difficult blocks I've carved, so I took a little break before working more with it, but I also think it's a very beautiful block and will be excited to see it in a finished piece.

 Work also continues on the swallows block - I carved the 10th and final swallow, then inked the block and proofed it.  I pulled 6 prints for 60 birds.  I may go for an even 100, but I have plenty to work with for now. I'm also waiting to see if I want more full sheets of just particular birds from the block.

Proof of full block with toes for scale.
 This was the first time I was seeing the prints of the last few birds (since it became tight to selectively ink and proof the final birds as the block got more and more filled.)

It's a huge relief to see the block ready and printed. It was also my birthday on Wednesday!  As I've mentioned, I thought my favorite block material was discontinued when it became unavailable (in August 2016).  However, after much (much!) searching, I think I tracked it down with another distributor, and even better, found it in a larger quantity on a roll.  I ordered with my fingers crossed that it was the correct material... and on my birthday, it was delivered and indeed! it's my favorite block material, in bulk (here, with me, being like a kitty and rubbing my face on it) - a birthday present from the Muses and Mom.  
I am so (so) happy to have it back! In a way, it's a good thing in the long run because, during the year and a bit I was without it, I learned about, tested, and carved other relief materials (vinyl, MDF, wood, gomuban) each of which have their unique qualities and strengths. Also, now that I have access to my favorite material again, I don't have to hoard the few fragments I had left from before. 

On that note, I carved a bird that is the mirror image of one of my old blocks (from August 2014) and that has been sitting around un-carved with the template on the block for a while.  It was a good way to get back into this material because it's very close to something I've already carved and close in subject to what I've just been carving in MDF so I could both remember and compare.  (Also, I just really like birds, haha).  The wonderful thing is that I was able to carve this in one sitting of about 3 hours (one of the things I'd missed  most about this material is that it is much faster to carve than wood or MDF) It also allows me to turn and twist the tools more easily, which I appreciate, since I tend not to use a lot of straight lines.  I'm a little rusty about some things (I forgot that, unlike harder materials, with this, if the cuts are too fine or too shallow, they heal.) It may not be the best bird I've ever carved, but it was a fun way to get re-acquainted with the material (also, I felt guilty about having left it uncarved and separated from its brethren for so long. :p )

I'm also working on finishing the drapery block.

My Feline Assistants were so funny with this. I (finally!) printed the swallows block, and we worked really late into the night (which is probably another reason why stopping at 60 instead of pushing to 100 seemed like a good idea at the time O:) ). The next morning, Feline Assistant, Sr. was perched beside the next block ready to get to work...within 5 minutes, Jr. was there too. (I kid sometimes, but they really are excellent helpers. I got the message: "We're sitting here, in petting range of where you should now be sitting, Human. Sit.) 

Honey has also been getting plenty of quality time with her human.  I always try to do or see something new for the birthday, so this year, we went on a special adventure to Bash Bish Falls on the NY - MA border. It was perfect hiking weather, the leaves were beautiful, and we had a great time. Honey even went in the water (I declined).  I even managed to get a birthday selfie with both Honey and I in the frame and looking at the camera with the sign for the state border in the background.

The crazy thing is that is really looks like this.  I also got some good shots of the garden - my favorite blue morning glories are blooming and so is my black vine, and the leaves are changing color around town.

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.