Tuesday, April 30, 2019

February 2019 - drapery and landscape backgrounds

February 2019 was a busy month with two primary missions: 1) finish and print the drapery for a life-sized figure and 2) make large multi-plate landscapes to use as backgrounds in collage.

All the blocks together at the end of the carving process
Mission 1 involved lots (and lots and lots) of carving. I broke the drapery for the figure down into 3 blocks - the lower body, the torso with one arm, and the cape with the other arm and tassels added as separate elements.  The lower body and torso blocks were largely complete, the only additional work I did on them was to help all the blocks match in terms of mark style and frequency.  Most of the month was spent carving the final block which was both the largest and probably the most demanding in terms of complexity.
I started with the sleeve since I had already carved the first one on the torso block, then got into the cape and finished with the tassels

Good thing I had excellent feline assistance from Mo.

The second mission which I worked toward simultaneously was carving elements and preparing polyester lithography plates for some 30 x 40" landscapes.  Because this is a larger scale than much of my work, I felt I needed a new tree block, which I carved, printed, scanned, and converted to polyester blocks. 

I made additional polyester plates from my blocks of landscape elements sometimes layered with other scanned material such as patterns, forms, and maps.  I also marbled 10 sheets of gray paper, slightly larger than 30 x 40," and marked the margins of a board to print them on.  

Everything got done just in time for a 2 day press appointment at Zea Mays Printmaking mid-month.  I spent the first day printing all the relief blocks of the drapery as well as sections of the 48" woodblock of landscape onto the marbled paper.  

The second day, I cut out polyester lithography plates and collaged them on the press bed to make different landscapes. I varied the pressure, ink, and used ghosts to try to make the elements varied and atmospheric.

Honey, doing just fine during my absence.
My favorite human went way above and beyond to help me with this project. I was working round the clock in the days leading up to my press date to finish the tree block and make all the polyester plates (I ended up using about 54 plates). By the time I needed to pack up the car and head to the studio, driving itself would have been a challenge. Lacey rescued the project, helping me pack and unpack and get to and from the studio (including traversing a snowstorm!), as well as taking good care of the Honeybear while I was away. 
My assistants, sleeping on the job : " After 3 am, you're on your own, Human." 

 In para-art news we started the month off by seeing Principia (New Peck 1) in its debut weekend by the NYCB (!!) I don't have any photos of the performance, because it's prohibited, but it was a magical weekend!  

We also celebrated Valentine's day and look at this super thoughtful art-gift from Lacey - it's a crewelwork portrait by Amanda Fox, Crewel Ghoul.  I hung it across from my bed, and I love seeing Sunny's little face every day (with her "I'm posing next to the artwork" expression.) The kitties are bonded and all doing well; Mini has gracefully stepped into her role as Feline Assistant, Sr. and momma-cat, and the boys continue to grow and thrive and seem to enjoy being trainee assistants. Still, I continue to miss Sunny, the original Feline Assistant, and love seeing this portrait of her each morning.
All together enjoying breakfast so peacefully with Mini in the center and Mo and Max on either side of her.
Max is now larger than Mini and still growing while Mo is petite, but feisty.

Quite a few landscape shots (most taken from inside moving vehicles because Brrrrrr!):

It was a cold month  - but check out these snowflakes - so big their shapes could be seen with the naked eye!!