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.
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.
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.


Quiltbug said...

this is great work. I need to consider doing a gelatin print on fabric. Do you teach?

kaslkaos said...

Thanks so much Quiltbug. I've been thinking about teaching very much but haven't yet put any proposals out there.
I've only just tried printing on fabric, and it seems to work just fine, but the ink needs to be brushed not rolled (fabric paints and acrylics just don't have the texture necessary for rolling with a brayer). If the fabric doesn't need to be washed, then you can use the printmaking inks any way you like. I want to make myself head scarf as a trial (gosh I'm yappy).

Jennifer Rose said...

music is wonderful in so many ways and does wonders for the mind :) when i was playing the piano, i found it was a great form of stress relief, being able to put what i was feeling into what i was playing really helped me to figure things out.

i love the colours of that last print, very calming to look at :)

Chrissy said...

I think it must be wonderful to be able to play an instrument and I can well imagine in such circumstances how wonderful it is. I am not sure that it is social skills but it can be so easy to run out of things to say....or say the wrong thing (and I seem to manage that quite well when sitting with my Mum). There have been times over this winter when I would have loved that guitar too.
Wonderful art as always, your prints are always amazing...sorry you don't have too much time for art right now ~ I fully sympathise with you.

kaslkaos said...

Thanks Jennifer. "When" you played piano? Is that forever in the past tense? My husband just started playing again after many years). You do seem to have many accomplishments. Hope you can play again.
Chrissy, thanks. And yes, the guitar in hand is nice; I guess we all do our best with what we have (and remember that next time you think you said a wrong thing (which you probably didn't))

Jennifer Rose said...

i loved playing the piano, but had to give it up when we moved away from the city. if I ever get a piano again i would take it up, even if its just to a basic level :) I use to play the trumpet and the flute too, but just got bored with them both after a few years.

Jenny said...

The color choices are just wonderful! I especially like the versions that have just a minimal color contrast.

kaslkaos said...

Jennifer, my husband has an electric piano. They actually sound very good and don't take up a huge amount of room (and MUCH less $$$). Hope music comes to you soon.
Thanks Jenny. I'm always hesitant about even posting those with minimal contrast even though some are my favourites too. Nice to hear that they 'translate' to the internet.


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