Monday, November 27, 2017

new flatfile work!

new 20 x 16" collages (thumbs up!)
A very (very!) busy week in Artlandia.  This week was all about new work for the Zea Mays flatfile.  I made these 3 new 20 x 16" collages. It's hard for me to put in words right now all of the steps I went through this week to make these, but one thing I did was spray layers of aerosol gesso to get a sfumato effect.  I also sprayed gold and black (on the climbing squirrel one).  Spraying these (especially with the black) was pretty nerve-wracking, but I think they turned out well.  I like how the different marbling in the paper gives each on a distinct atmosphere.  I also added branches and printed slightly different sections of the tree block so that the tree turned out differently in each piece. 

It was a fun creature week as well.  For Thanksgiving, and I baked special pumpkin treats for Honey.  

I made pumpkin bread too. O:) 
Look at that face!  She was a very patient pup,
waiting for them to be ready.

The kitties don't seem to care for
pumpkin treats, but they appreciated
that I left the heated blanket on for them
(it was a holiday, afterall ;) ).

...and then it was time for the kitties' favorite
day of the year -
the day the human brings them their tree. 
...and fills it with kitty toys
and a nice soft blanket beneath.  

Monday, November 20, 2017

flat file submission

A busy week in Artlandia!  Making new work for this year's Zea Mays flat file submission!
I looked at the calendar and realized I have a month to make, photograph, pack and transport new work (Eep!)  I tried something I've been thinking about for a while - making multiple collages with a fixed background so that it can be read as stills across time or continuously as a panorama. 

I like the way they turned out - they're small (about 11 x 11") but complex enough to have a narrative and I think I'm getting better at integrating all the parts. 

These ended up having a lot more drawing/painting in them than I realized, as evidence by the
number of pens, pencils, and brushes that I used and dropped on the floor.  
I think it went well and decided to try it again, larger this time (20 x 16") by printing a section of the giant tree block.  I marbled new paper, printed the backgrounds, and am in process testing out bunches of parts.  I'd like to have 6 - 10 all new pieces - wish me luck! (Fortituuuuuude!)

Not just one, but both Feline Assistants on the press (doh.)

Monday, November 13, 2017

Swallows 4

 Swallows, swallows everywhere...

Look at that nice, clean edge :D!

As we can see, lots and lots (and lots) of swallows this week!  The time had come to try adhering the patterned paper to the backs of the swallows and cut them out.  Because of the number of swallows and time constraints, I wanted to adhere the full sheet of swallows to full sheets of patterned paper and then cut them out. Adhesion is always a concern, and I was especially conscious of wanting to be sure that the edges would be nice and flat after they were cut.

I decided to use some book making techniques and treat it like adhering a paper cover to book board.  I used Jade 403 adhesive - an acid-free pva.  To get the sheet covered evenly and quickly I used a micro, soft roller, then placed the sheets together, pressed outward from the center with a bone fold, then ironed and set under weights overnight (exactly what I would do with a book cover).

 As far as I can tell - it worked (big thumbs up!)  So...then it was a matter of repeating it, over and over and over.  I also added white, black, and gold ink to the printed side to heighten and individualize each swallow.

Swallows on the brain.

 I also carved and printed the house block for the cloche. It was nice working with my favorite block material again on this 5 x 8" block.

I also took the next step in working on the drapery block - I scanned it, and now have a digital scaled version that's 70". I'm relieved to see that there is enough detail that I think it will work well as a template on the larger scale. I plan to finish the swallows first before moving on to the next project, but also want to have all the prep work for the next project ready.
In creature news: This is what it looks like when my Princess has successfully nestled in to the middle of the heated blanket, and Jr. has started to edge in along the blanket's border, haha. (As far as I can tell, "sharing" is not a kitty virtue :P ).

I also thought this was funny - just like Honey really, reeeeeally wants to sleep in the human's bed; apparently, she also really wants to sit where the human sits in the car, haha.  

In nature news - winter is coming and it feels cold and dark all the time. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

arch and swallows collage

A busy week in Artlandia! I made a new piece for a show at First Presbyterian Church in Albany. Because the room was Neo-Gothic, I wanted to bring some of my Gothic-inspired blocks...but not all of the prints had made their way into collages (yet!) 
This block of a Gothic arch, in particular, I had a really hard time printing it and then didn't end up using it the way I had initially thought.  So I thought it might be a good chance to try it out with some of the proofs from the swallows.  I used a sheet of paper I'd marbled for the ground and used Japanese origami and metallic paper for the windows.  

Here with my Princess assisting to establish scale
  It co-ordinates well with the Gothic turret and I thought the show came together really well with my collages and paintings by artist Tom McGill.

Look what nice companion pieces :) - my turret collage on the left and the elephant painted on fabric, "Psychedelic," by Tom McGill. 

A busy week with the new collage, show, writing a syllabus and materials list (fingers crossed/ hopefully, more about that later)...

And in creature news - Honey has a new coat :)! Look how cute she looks in it! I have to say that I'm proud to have measured correctly, ordered the right size, and put it on without any trouble - and she seem to like wearing it (whew!) (Or that may be the bully stick and chin scratch I gave her so that she'd associate putting her coat on with good things. She's a very smart pup, so I think it will only take a few times before she makes the connection: coat = walk; still, I was glad the first time of putting it on and wearing it went so well so that we're prepared for the time change this week and our last long walk of the day being in the dark.) 
Another funny Honey story.  I made a half small pizza and had it on the counter while the oven heated up.  I left the room for just a minute, and when I cam back... it was completely gone, and Honey was licking her muzzle clean. There was not a single shred of cheese or sauce or crust in site...though there were a few tomato, carrots and broccoli pieces (how exactly she managed to so efficiently eat around those, I do not know.) "Oh, those veggie and green bits? - you can keep those, Human." OOoooo Honey! 
Speaking of veggies - I got exactly one  (spectacular!)
 pepper from the garden this year
 And more nature shots!