Friday, February 25, 2011

I Love My Guitar

11021001guitar_girl72click for details (fineartamerica)
When I first drew the initial sketch, I had other things to say about the guitar, but since then, things have changed. The guitar has become my voice when words fail me.  It’s a rusty, chippy, uninformed, severely limited beginners voice, but it serves me well. The guitar smooth's over awkward moments, fills in the silence where there is nothing to say, hides tears when they fall, regulates breath, all those things.  Often I don’t know what to say, sometimes there really is nothing to say, and maybe that is what music is for.
I picked up my guitar for the first time in many years late last August.  It was a vague notion that it in contrast to my art, which is such a solitary activity (with rare exception), music might actually be a sociable form of expression. I had no idea how soon and how badly I would need this skill. Now I visit my mother-in-law 4 days a week. I do my best to keep her company, but it is often awkward. I would not describe myself as ‘good with people’  and nerd would be a kinder word for my social skills. So I bring the guitar, she likes it (and the dog, of course). And it helps, so while I am endlessly and maddeningly short on time for my art, I’ve certainly had plenty of time with the guitar.
11020404guitar_girl72click for details (fineartamerica)
On the art note: these are more foam plate prints, from a sketch I drew onto foam with a pen. It really is that simple, at least to begin with. The first image is a traditional monoprint. That is, I painted colours onto the plate, then pressed onto paper. I did this multiple times over paper prepared with black acrylic paint. The acrylic support allows for a few touch ups at the end, as the ink is water-soluble.
Next is a gelatin print, where I printed off of the gelatin plate, including pressing the inked foam onto the gelatin.  It has a very subtle effect, beautiful up close but invisible at a distance, so I decided to pick out major details with coloured pencils while being careful to leave the fine gelatin details visible.
guitar-girl72
Here’s another, gelatin textures for the background, direct relief printing for the foreground. I used masking, and rough mixing for colours and textures.  I don’t like ‘clean’ prints as they look machine made, and I don’t want to emulate push-button printing.
guitar-girl72b
Another gelatin, with the foam pressed first onto the gelatin then the paper. The possibilities are with monoprints are endless.
PS. I added links to Fineartamerica so that you could see the details. So far it’s the fastest way to do that. And now I’ve used up 15 more minutes of my allotted (self discipline here) social networking time. Gosh, time flies, bye.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Life Drawing Tuesday

lifedrawing
This one from my sketchbook reserved for quick gestures. What I thought was a two minute pose stretched into 10, so I added  in the portrait.  Have to admit, the model was treat for the eyes, and a welcome distraction. He was also a great model, giving dynamic professional poses with a lot of thought put into the point of view of the artist.  This one done with 'expresso' prismacolor pencil (a very nice shade of umber)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Life Drawing Tuesdays

11020801yanna72
Indulging in my love of heavy dark lines, and the colour red. Red prismacolours pencil crayon and Inktense watersoluble pencils on Strathmore watercolour paper.
And, still keeping my hand in printmaking. This one gelatin and polystyrene foam, monoprint.  Detail shots at fineartamerica, (just click on this image). And remember, ‘prints’ for sale there are reproductions, for originals, contact the artist (that would be me).
11021501mermaid72
PS. not much change in my life. The time crunch is still severe, the issues in a holding pattern, everything pending. I’m having dreams about being lost on almost familiar streets, and no matter where I go, I can’t quite figure out where I am…

Friday, February 11, 2011

Man in the Moon

11021101moon72
Monoprint using gelatin plate and polystyrene foam relief.  Edges are the natural result of printing from a gelatin plate. This one began with a disgustingly old and mould gelatin, from which I printed layers gaining texture and interest from both the brayer and gelatin.  This was followed by layers of relief printing from my foam plate doodles. Nothing was planned; I let it form organically, although each successive layer was nerve wracking as I watched it develop into something I liked. I used newsprint (actually once read newspaper) for masking out sections, and the very last layer is the slim white semi-circle which has had a silvery metallic effect added (obviously not visible here).
With work like this I usually provide details. It’s extra time spent with imaging software, so I’ve decided to try out FineArtAmerica. I upload the entire file, and with a mouse hover, people can check out the details. Fun. Makes me want to do some digital art with details. So if you want to see things up close and personal, here’s the link: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/man-in-the-moon-ingrid-schmelter.html
And although the site confuses things; grrrr…. the ‘prints’ available for sale are reproductions/copies of prints, but I can’t change the migration of the English language and common use.
And as usual lately, I’m running out of time, gotta upload, flaming errors and all and run….bye.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Friday, February 4, 2011

Big Fat Black Cat

11020401cat72
So things have changed here, and, as my secret Santa printmaker friend says, I must ‘make art fast’.  Here’s a brief of what is going on. I have very elderly in-laws, and my dad-in-law is in hospital for an indefinite time, and mom-in-law is home alone. So what used to be ‘art days’ are now broken up with a friendly visit and checking in on her. Some minor chores, some shopping, some worry, some conversation, and then I play guitar (rather badly; I haven’t been at it 6 months yet) but she’s fairly deaf and it’s more to pass the time and fill the pauses in conversation than a concert of any kind.
While all art is a reflection of the artist, art is also a reflection of their life. I couldn’t paint the forests of my region if I didn’t spend a huge amount of time there. And now, I’m spending time with my mother-in-law. She has a very big fat black cat (named Rambo). In her ‘younger’ days, we used to complain bitterly of the cruelty of overfeeding an animal into obesity, but Rambo is a ‘working’ cat, keeping an elderly couple company 24/7 and I suppose the obesity goes with job.  She loves animals, and so I have to bring Dynamo, my German Shepherd dog.  While she gets along with my own three cats, she does get overly excited in the presence of Rambo and needs curbing. With the frequent visits she is beginning to settle down. I can’t help but see the graphic possibilities of these two creatures interacting, black and black, small and large, obese and lithe and so the images have crept into my 365 art card project.
11020301blackcat72
And, as it was Dad-in-law’s 90th birthday yesterday I made this poster from one of them.
90birthday72
That’s it, I have some print making to day, then visiting. For those of you who emailed me with your support. Thank you so much!  It means so much to me to read your words and feel your support. Sorry, simultaneously in advance and belatedly for my late response (which hasn’t happened yet). I’m a juggler of time right now and the previous sentence is looking oddly quantum.

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