Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Polyester lithography

A busy week in Artlandia!

all 4 with my toes for scale
This week I was working on a polyester lithography plate. I made the image by digitally layering and combining scans of my relief prints. (There's also scans of part of a map of NY and a 1099 tax form under the grass.)  I haven't always had the best success printing multiples of polyester lithography plates, but I'm happy to say that I feel like these turned out well.  I think the key was printing on the paper while it was still damp from marbling (however, marbling the paper first meant I really, really didn't want any mis-prints, and luckily, there weren't any - thumbs up!) The goal is for these to become backgrounds for new collages.

new polyester lithography print, app. 9 x 12"

I also continued working on the torso of the life-scale figure (here with all the tools I used for that session of carving and a marker for scale.)

In creature news, Honey and I are working on expanding the gesture and command for "bed" to apply to various textile rectangles in different spaces so that, if I'm selected for a fellowship and we're working in an unfamiliar space, she'll be able to recognize her special spot. This is challenging because it involves her being able to combine an action (down-stay) with recognition of a category of differing objects (the various "beds").  But I know Honey can do it because she already understands "ball" as "round objects the human throws," and can apply it to new things (like if a box of new toys arrives and I say "ball," she can pick the ball out from among the toys and bring it to me.)
My wonderpup is very smart.

Of course, now that Honey is training to sleep in this spot,
the kittens have decided it must be a very good
napping spot for them too, haha.
In other creature news, I set out to take a picture of  all 4 of my creatures
and caught Momiji mid-leap.  I think this is funny because it was perfect timing
and so characteristic of Mo being very active and
at the center both compositionally and in terms of attention.
I also got some nice landscape/ industrial pictures this week - the funny thing to me is that the colors of these photos are unaltered - they really did look like this.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018


A very (very!) busy week in Artlandia!  

Pseudo-tapestry!! "Lust," 67 x 48" (with yardstick at left for scale). 
 It was very exciting to see it all photo-ready! It was quite a roller coaster getting there...

Early in the week, after working toward this piece for more than 2 years, I opened the door to the (one and only kitty-free) room it was in to photograph it and...three little kitties all ran out.  (I am still not sure how they got in, and they can't have been in there very long).  I closed the door behind them, turned around and...Noooooo!  There was a big hole (and some tiny holes).  Yes.  I cried. 

Not least because I'd been pushing to finish it and was photographing it for a major fellowship application, due in 3 days.  I did what any mature, responsible artist would do...I called my parents and cried.  Then I went and had an adult beverage with a friend. After taking a pause and listening to some excellent live music with a very kind and sympathetic friend, I came home, had a cup of coffee, and spent all night repairing the damage.  Once upon a time, a much younger me had really wanted to be an art conservator and worked as an art conservation technician, never have I been to grateful for that experience, as I was while I repaired and in-painted the background. 

After about 2 hours of sleep, I got up (the Wonderpup poop schedule yields to no one ;) ), and then I remembered that I still needed to finish editing my project statement, photograph the (now repaired) artwork, upload my portfolio, and ask for a letter of recommendation (which is due a week later than my portion of the application, and which I had been on my way to doing, but then put off, in the aftermath of Kittygate when I was unsure whether or not I would be able to repair the piece and apply.)  After caring for all the creatures, I went straight to the library and I'm happy to say - application submitted.  (Fingers crossed!!)
after repair
I decided to add one of my favorite bug blocks on top.
 I also put up and photographed this in process piece which has been on hold while I've been working on the pseudo-tapestry.  Since I only have one large wall in the kitty-free room, it had to go up in the other studio. Even though my feline assistants had never before really damaged anything on the wall (I think the chain on the pseduo-tapestry was too tempting and they tore the paper leaping for it.), after Kittygate I put a piece of cardboard over it when I'm not working on it and will need to think about future strategies for kitty-proofing.

As we can see, I had both canine and feline
assistance photographing this one - the camera
didn't know where to auto-focus with so much to look at, haha. That black poof is Max's tail, which has become fabulously fluffy. 

 Over the weekend, after the application was in, I started carving the torso of the new full scale figure. Momiji is an excellent assistant with block carving.

Mo, holding Honey's tail like a blanket.
A quick kitty story - Mo just had his 6 month birthday and received his grown-up collar.  I like for each kitty to have their own color (and bell sound), so I gave him a blue collar to correspond with his kitten collar...but within 24 hours it had gone missing. I put the back up collar - red with a red bell on him while I looked for the missing one. I haven't found it yet, but decided that he looks very dapper in double red. Max is a little younger and hasn't yet outgrown his kitten collar, but I'm thinking that when the time comes for his grown up collar, it may be safety orange with a reflector strip. 

I also cleaned and organized the press room and de-fluffed the cover that keeps the press and press blankets kitty-fur free.  Mini was not happy about this at first, but then she forgave me when she realized that it wasn't going anywhere and she'd get to re-fluff it.

I always try to make sure to give equal attention to all my creatures, but it's gotten harder to include them all on the blog each week now that we are 5.  However, one thing I especially enjoy is how, recently, they've all started to come greet me en masse when I walk in the door, and I managed to get a picture that includes all 5 of us in a single frame (or at least fragments haha.)
I think she looks like a Romantic-era hero here.
- looking off into the distance.

Honey and I also went on an outdoor adventure this week and visited our favorite tree.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

more, more drapery and borders

A busy week in Artlandia!

Work continues on the drapery block, but I think (*maybe, possibly) that this block is very nearly finished (at least for its first phase of carving). A little of the top left trails off at this point, but in the finished piece, that area will be under the cloak (which will be a separate block), so I don't want to go nuts on it right now, knowing it's going to be covered. This block is too large for my press, and I'm hesitant to travel and rent studio time when I'm not sure the carving is complete, so I think I'll probably try to get a proof by hand on a thin paper so I can get an idea of what it will look like and check to see if it needs more carving.

With this section being so close to completion (hopefully), I prepared the block and transferred the template based on the smaller block for the next section.

I also finally (finally!) bit the bullet and glued, bolted, and sewed the borders onto the pseudo tapestry!(!!) This involved turning it upside down and using a hand-held sewing machine that I got for this purpose, and it worked! I feel vindicated because it really does look better with the borders.

close up view of the (upside down) paper tapestry border
In other news, I also got to see the Leopard Chimera and Snail on the wall and in excellent art-company currently on view at Limner Gallery in Hudson.

And last, but not least, in creature news - have I mentioned lately that Honey is a very good dog? She loves the kittens and graciously allows them to sleep on her bed.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

drapery with toes

A busy week in Artlandia!
After installing some shelving in the studio and moving some things around, I made space on the floor to get the large drapery block back out.
I've been making slow but steady progress on that, and we now have toes!

Apart from that, I spent time working in the yard and there continue to be lots of flowers.

Honey and I managed to go on an adventure on one of the days it wasn't brutally hot.