Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lennier will be sadly missed

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Last night he leapt onto the bed and crawled into my lap as usual. He often preceded me into bed where I, for an hour or two, read and work on my 365 art card project. So I suppose there is no coincidence that last night I drew his portrait yet again. I don’t know when or why, but he passed away in the night.  This is the last life drawing of him I will ever do. He was always getting in the way, climbing onto my book, especially the page I was reading, and looking back at me to make sure he’d sufficiently interrupted me and claimed my attention. Most of my art cards have been made using him as a back rest because insisted on sitting on me. This was always accompanied with a soundscape of continuous purring. He could purr for hours; I’m sure he enjoyed hearing himself as much as I did. Last night I thought everything was fine as I drew his image, but in hindsight, the image is, well, something different from the others.
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Lennier was Archer’s best buddy; they spent most of their day piled up together, and sometimes piled up on me.
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And this is an aerial view of the family circle during winter breakfasts.
Enough words.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Suburban Encroachment

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This is an image done for a postcard print exchange, the theme was Apocalypse (any interpretation).
Look close. This one has three layers. The first is an image of a township planning map that I digitally altered and printed (inkjet) onto cardstock. The second layer (pale brown) is a gelatine print using polystyrene foam. I inscribed the little animals onto the foam with a mechanical pencil; the fine point lead gave me a very delicate line. Then I inked the gelatin plate with a very thin dry layer and pressed the foam onto that. To get this level of detail took plenty of practice. In this case the foam pressed onto the plate lifts away ink, and the inscription is left behind. The last/top layer is a conventional linocut, hand pressed. I used brown, black and red ink, randomly mixed as I wanted each print to turn out just a little bit different.
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This is the back of the postcard, so that I only need to lick and stick a stamp to send them off.
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Here’s is all of them, except for 2 discards (the inevitable ‘errors’ referred to--always make extra when printing by hand). 
The exchange is run by the IOWA State University Print Society, and the deal is to send them 13 postcards. One is kept for the University, and the other 12 are sent out to other participants. In other words, I will find in the mail 12 different postcards from other exchangers. This years theme is Apocalypse, any interpretation. You see mine,  (predictable for anyone who knows me). I can’t wait to see 12 other random interpretations.

PS. Letterboxers, a bit of a spoiler, but I'll be splitting the linocut into two letterbox stamps. I hate waste, will be glad to give these a new life soon.

PPS. The stamps for US mail were foxes! What serendipity. A fox on the front and a fox on the back, this was not planned.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Life Drawing Tuesday

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On a whim, I picked up my silver pencil crayon. The silver gives some unusual qualities to the line as the tone changes with the light and angle of view. Somehow, it felt appropriate for what I was thinking about at the time, as I was full of thoughts about my mom-in-law and how her own abilities to think and perceive seem to change from moment to moment. Like her, this image looks different depending on how you look at it. (of course, none of this is apparent with a static scanned reproduction).
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And with silver pencil again, got completely off topic and just had blast with colour (oil pastels on black paper).  And again, on line it’s impossible to share the liveliness of using metallics for line work.  If you have a silver pencil, just try it for yourself and you’ll see.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Skating on the Lake (Musselman’s Lake)

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It doesn’t happen often that we get to skate on natural ice, usually there’s too much snow, too many lumps, etc.  It’s March now, and the weather has become manic. Drenching downpours one day, followed by heaps of snow and vicious winter winds, changing to sunshine and mild. Somehow, through all of this, some large patches of shiny ice appeared on Musselman’s Lake.
Whoo hoo! Time to pull the skates out of the closet and give it a whirl, and no time to lose either, with the weather blowing every which way.
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It’s such a rare treat, I consider it a BIG EVENT in my life, the sort of stolen hours that you remember forever and over and over and over again.  But as all such things, it must come to an inevitable end--these photo’s were taken Tuesday evening., and yes, by the time I’m writing this, it has since snowed, and now  it is rains with much more rain in the forecast. I won’t be skating on lakes again anytime soon.
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In fact, on a meteorological note, this last weather shows you the new (current) warm wet front sliding in.
More art later, but I take so many photographs that remain unseen that I really wanted to trot some out.
Here's some skating art that I did last year Skating Party-Magnetawan River 2009

Thursday, March 3, 2011

More from the 365 Art Card Project

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It’s probably time to rename it, I’m probably well past 365 or the one year mark, especially if I count those that I burn, erase, or flip and use the other side (yes, I do all of those things). In fact, I had a lovely burning ceremony this very morning (it was clean-up morning) and the flames were a lovely thing.
My art cards keep coming, sometimes in mounds, often in series, although some series are spaced out over months/ years? Due to certain changes in family circumstances, both guitars and black cats crop up again and again, while the forest art fades in the background. While I still spend as much time as ever in the woods (it’s my version of gym or fitness centre), my head doesn’t get there very often. I’m overwhelmed by people matters, and people things and I’m not a people person. So I still feel like I’m floating in unknown waters without a horizon in sight.  And while it’s not a terrible place to be, it’s not yet  become part of my comfort zone. So, as usual, I don’t have too much to say.
Here’s the rest of the cats and guitars.  I’ve been sorting the art cards. They are all 3.5x2.5 inches, often on recycled art. They all scale up, and if I could only bring myself to make the decision, I decide on a few.
The one above, btw, would be my guitalele (1/4 size guitar). I’ve never actually played it for my mom-in-law, but I love the little thing (named Edwin) as it has remarkable twang and is ideal for playing renaissance tunes. I purchased it for travelling, and it’s been to Lake Superior, Killarney Provincial Park, and Magnetawan River. It’s slept in gear hamper of the tent, and on the dashboard of our van.
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And now I’m off to pack up my guitar (the full-sized one, named Edward) and visit with the mom-in-law, the black cat and play some more tunes.

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