Friday, April 30, 2010

More Spring Wildflowers-semi silent post

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Trout Lily, Erythronium albidum, York Regional Forest, Hollidge Tract. Look at the brown trout leaves. The leaves are as gorgeous as the flower, and in the real world, they have a 3-d luminosity, that you have to see for yourself.

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Red Trillum, Trillium Erectum, York Regional Forest, Hollidge Tract (gosh, can I say this, one of my favourite latin flower names, never fails to get a rise out of me – yes, you can call me immature)

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Spring Beauty, Claytonia virginica, York Regional Forest, Hollidge Tract. These require an effort (well worth it) to see; they are so tiny but numerous. On a warm calm day, they fill the air with a delicate sweet scent.

PS. I've been busy with the gelatin printing and cutting new linocuts along with it. I will probably blog some later, but for now you can see them here:

Hand of the Artist, Primitive Thoughts, Bird of Paradise

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Postcard Print Exchange

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This year I participated in a postcard print exchange. I got my heads-up from my printmaking friend (hers is on the upper left).  Mine (I kept a missprint) is on the lower left.  One of the participants has a blog (her contribution is bottom right).  She’s done an exemplary job of posting all of hers front AND back, with a detailed explanation of the project on her blog: Maria Regina Pinto Pereira .

Since she did such a fabulous job of it, I’ll just give you the short version. Make 13 prints, mail them to the Iowa State University (separately, so they each get postmarked), and in a few months you will receive 12 postcards from participants, and the 13th is kept on display at the University.

Here’s the really silly thing. Of course my friend and I sent each other ‘artist proofs’ ahead of time (top left). The one I’m showing you was not part of the exchange, but she got one of mine which was surely a disappointment (getting a duplicate just defeats the purpose).  I thought ‘what are the chances’?  But out of 352 participants, we each get 12, well you do the math. Actually, please do the math. I would love an accurate statistical analysis.

PS. the display is held up by a shipment of magnets (the round black dots) I received from my friend. I’ve hung a blank canvas on my ‘office’ door and little magnet sandwiches hold the postcards in place.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fish Tank

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More gelatin printing and relief linocut. 9x12. I used horsetail (the plant) for the reedy texture in the background.

I’ve been wanting to do some fishtank art for awhile. I’m not sure, but I don’t think I’ve said much about my aquarium before, although I see it every day. It sits right beside the television, and depending on the programming I’ll choose instead to watch the fish channel. Unlike the wires & tubes version there’s always something worth watching on FishTV.

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I suppose I don’t talk about it for two reasons.

1. I’m not an aquarium hobbyist. I take a hands off laissez faire attitude to the whole thing. Turn lights on, let the plants run rampant, sprinkle daily a small amount of fish food and the rest takes care of itself, more or less.

2. It’s an incredibly artificial environment.

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The second reason is the one I’m rethinking. It is in the home, a window into another world, a world that we can only enter in a limited way. In summer, I make an effort to watch fish do their thing. I stand over bridges looking down into the shallows, or watch for fish jumping in the lake. If you stand still in the shallows, sunfish will usually oblige you and come in for a nibble. But the fish tank is always available, a dynamically preserved memory of a summer day.

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& more gelatin & relief linocut printing

Friday, April 16, 2010

Perfect Circles

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A circle is a line without beginning nor end; little wonder that it is used universally as a powerful symbol in many world cultures.

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Circles occur as a sacred symbol throughout world religions: this is no mystery, look to nature, and the understanding is there.

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And of course Issue #3 of my Itty Bitty Books explores the theme with artwork from my 365 Artcard Project. Available here at my Etsy Shop, or trade (I’m easy, a funky fridge magnet or postcard will do for those of you artistically intimidated)

PS. Artscapes, you’re getting the big bonanza end of the year version (whatever iteration I come up with). Chrissy Marie, if you want this one, it’s yours. I think I owe you a few things (re; latest package)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spring—Silent Post

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Hepatica

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Wild violet

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Bloodroot

Silence is a relative term, or, I just have trouble keeping my mouth shut. Spring is here and I can’t help sharing some of my favourites. I’ll be in the basement today continuing my experiments with gelatin printing, and so, will present some photos, all taken in Hollidge Tract, York Regional Forest, of course.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Kindness of Strangers

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Image: more sunshine in my mailbox. These images are all from Chrissy Marie: a lovely parchment fold book of her art, a constructed collage card made by hand, and an original atc. The snail, up close and personal is awesome in it’s detail and subtlety (now I know what I’m missing when I see art online).

So this is the Kindness of Strangers Post. Below is a short and incomplete list of things that folks who had no obligation to me have given or done.

moose meat & rides up at Lake Superior Provincial Park when our car broke down

free tire repair from Kal Tire Sault Saint Marie (on our way home from Lake Superior Provincial Park)--different trip

my current printer, a box of paper, sundry electronic items (thanks, you know who you are)

Hosta Plantaginea (big beautiful shiny apple green, bearing huge pure white flowers that fill the air with exquisite perfume), from a plant trader, only I didn’t have anything to trade back.

uneven art trades (as in I got more than I gave), as above, and a beautiful aceo sized original painting from Michelle (Artscapes)

free room & board and pseudo parental guidance about five weekends per year (my mysterious ‘friends’ who ‘live in the woods’)

an oval jade stone (a flea market vendor who saw me with empty wallet ogling his wares)

I’m sure there are more, many more, and not going into bigger stuff, family & relations and such. Each has a story, but that would be a VERY LONG post. If you’re extra curious, I’m willing to tell.

And a BIG THANK YOU to the kindness of strangers (well, you were all a stranger at one point in time), and that includes you my merry band of bloggers that keep coming back.

PS. Stranger being defined as people who didn't know me at one point in time (unlike family, or mutual friends, etc.)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Rainbows in My Mailbox

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Above Image: Gelatin print, & linocut, hand-pulled monoprint, approxiamately 7”x7” (depending on how you crop it). Ink, below.10041002rainbows

Look! See! What I found in my mail. A whole entire rainbow of assorted inks!

This was, entirely unasked for. A gift from a stranger (well, not so much a stranger anymore).

Once upon a time, I tried to sell some aceo’s on ebay. Sales did not transpire; but I did make acquaintance with a fellow printmaker, or, at least, she ‘said’ she was a printmaker. Sight unseen, I offered to trade. What the heck, I thought, since it didn’t sell anyway, I have nothing to lose but the postage and my pride.

I got MUCH MUCH more than I bargained for in return. The trade items I received were custom work featuring my favourite things (this stranger researched my blog to find out what I most liked), and thereafter, there has been correspondence.

At Christmas, it seemed only natural to include her on my XMas list. In return, she sent me samples of the origami books I’m doing, plus encouragement that I should ‘do my own’.

When I sent Issue #1, she sent back such a glowing critique of it that I forwarded it to my husband. Ooops. He accidentally replied to her an email meant for me. That innocent mistake upped the level of intimacy just a tad.

Next thing I knew, I found a rainbow in my mailbox. A box filled with tubes of assorted ink in every colour. Perhaps, at one point in time I mentioned having trouble squeezing too much colour from a tube (because I’m overly frugal), but there it was. More ink than I know what to do with, plus a note saying that now I that I have colour, I should use it. And another note that I really should look up gelatin printing on the net and try it out.

So I did.

There is much more to this story. But online reading gives me eyestrain, and I always assume the same for you, so I try to keep things short. I just was so excited about the rainbows in my mailbox, I had to share. There will be more on gelatin prints and the gift of mentoring (and will I too be able to give back in that way someday?) later. I’ve been wanting to do a post on the kindness of strangers for a long time. So maybe, I’ll show you gelatin print #2 next post, along with that list.

Friday, April 9, 2010

This One is Going to China

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Title: Prayers for Little Children. Linocut block print on watercolour. 10”x10” Strathmore Bristol (8”x8” shown due to scanner limitations), 1 of 2.

This was created for an international traveling exhibition for the remembrance of the 2008 May 12th Sichuan earthquake. The casualties are unimaginable for me.

I had trouble with coming up for an appropriate image, the theme being ‘prayers for little children’. I have neither prayers nor children. Nor I am I particularly educated on the nuances of Chinese culture & religion. I wanted to come up with something that was both respectful of the issue and spiritually honest on my part.

The mandala, the circle, the cathedral rose window are all one universal symbol that repeats itself in all cultures. Without a beginning or end, it speaks of eternity, the interpretation is your choice, so I started there. I’m hoping it inspires appropriate thoughts. I only know my own, and it does make wish to gaze through and beyond. The golden children are whimsical, but just a little ominous, stamped as they are on the four corners. I won’t go on; interpretation is not my job.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Looking Down

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For some reason, I rarely show my photographs.  After letting a week go by since my last post, I thought, it’s about time to let them take front stage on occasion. 

And so we begin. York Regional Forest, Hollidge Tract. Looking down. This one was taken just today, but I will include gleanings from the past in future.

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