Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Every Life is its own Universe

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Title: Every Life is it's own Universe (available on Etsy)
Image: 9" x 12"
Medium: Monoprint, relief monoprint from polystyrene plate
Support: 9" x 12" Stonehenge Paper
Materials: Stonehenge paper, speedball watersoluble printers ink, gelatin plate, polystyrene

This monoprint is densely detailed, the kind of work that reveals every more detail the closer you step toward it, and very well in keeping with the theme, Every Life is it's own Universe. We all see the world from our own perspective, with a view from our own eyes. But not only is this world inhabited by billions of other people, but trillions of other lives. Every Life is its own Universe, commemorates the views from below, the earth at your feet, the duff on the forest floor, that teams life, some of which have eyes of their own to peer back at you.
I've included some details so you can see the details and texture of the print. I love working with dense layers and random elements, just to see what happens.
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PS. Just thought I ought to give everyone a little update, as I’ve been more quiet than usual (I think?).  I’m fine, just fine, but I decided to take selling on Etsy a little more seriously (a few sales helped encourage that).  So besides creating new artwork, participating in shows (more on that later) I’ve been busy scanning and editing artwork, writing sales blurbs, and doing what passes for social networking on Etsy (join my circle anyone?). By the time I’m done with all that, I’m just really tired, brain tired; I’m just not that sociable, the font dries up. 
All of this comes from assessing my goals. Once upon a time, was that five years ago, my goal was simply to have ‘more art than I know what to do with’.  Since my portfolio was less than scanty at the time, it was an admirable goal, and achieving it, akin to climbing a mountain. Well, now, that goal has been more than achieved and I’m drowning it. Sometimes I need to go to my blog, or my Etsy site, or my piles (so many) just to try to remember what I’ve done and where I’m going next. So now I’m taking a serious kick at the can for sales, marketing, networking, etc.. I’ve dabbled, but now I’ve stated it as a goal.  And phew, it makes me tired.  So, I will try really really hard to not be too tired to communicate and respond to my real friends out there (and if you are still reading this, you are counted amongst them), but jeepers, now off I go to post another item on Etsy.
PPS. If you don’t see any salamanders or centipedes, you haven’t looked hard enough.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It’s Getting Hot in Here

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The weather is unseasonably warm; record breaking temperatures up to 20c above seasonal norms.  Frogs are singing, 2 months ahead of schedule. Everyone (but me, it seems) is happy about this.
Was it five years ago that everyone was raving about Al Gore’s award winning documentary, The Inconvenient Truth?  Global warming, was briefly on the tip of everyone’s tongue.
Attention spans are short.
Even the Stop Kony video (and nope, I didn’t see it myself), is already yesterdays news.  Funny thing is, Global Warming wasn’t even news in 2006, as it is OLD knowledge. It’s been a concern for me since the late 70’s (yep, that old), and it’s effects were factored into many of the sci-fi’s I read as a teenager.
Try The Sheep Look Up, by John Brunner, a novel I never finished as it hit too close to home (and it was 15 years old when I read it).  I’m not sure if it would even qualify as science fiction now.
And for the illiterate, Charlie Jade, an awesome television series that absolutely nails it in giving warning to where our lives of excess will lead us.  We are getting closer to Charlie’s world every day.
And the worse thing is, we’re just behaving like the proverbial frog in hot water---Mmmm… great day for a dip in the hot tub (until you realize you can’t climb out again).
Well, now after that rant, back to the drawing board, wondering why I bother.  Does any of it mean anything?

PS. Artwork is a polystyrene print on black acrylic ground, 4"x6" (small art for a small planet) on 8x10 paper.  I haven't named it yet, and can't number it, as I did five variations, but I'm not yet sure if more than one makes it to the finish line.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Works in Progress

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Just realized I haven’t posted in while….oops. But I have been busy, so I thought I would fling up some W.I.P.s. Well, here they are. Above is my VERY HIGH TECH Print Drying Rack. Yep, a folding clothes hanger with clothes pins. Works great and very much beats carefully stacking drying prints across every available horizontal surface.  Also, if you’re in a hurry, it lines them up nicely for a session of blow-drying (not kidding).
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Rainbow blend-roll for the first layer.
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I’m using cardboard cut-outs to register my foam plates.  The large one houses an 8x10 sheet of paper.  The smaller fits into the 8x10 slot, and houses the 4x6 polystyrene plate.  The cork is my baren (neatly labeled in pen, otherwise, it’s just a cork to me).  Baren’s are used in relief printmaking to apply heavy even pressure to your printing plate in the absence of a printing press.  You can by them for about $10 and up, but I’m using the cork that comes with cross-country ski wax kits, as I don’t use them on my skis (I let plain old friction smooth the wax on my skis)
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Here is everything fit together, and I’ll be using the baren/cork to press the inked foam plate against the paper beneath.
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Freshly pressed, layer one of Union.  If you look at the green tape, you’ll see the secret of the deckled edge. I’ve taped the natural deckel edges of my Stonehenge paper, rough edge inward.  Then I place the contraption onto a blank sheet of paper, and using it as a stencil, paint in with mat heavy body black acrylic paint before I begin printing. (the third photo shows the paper with the ‘fake’ deckled edge in black.
And now back to the cave to print some more.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Life Drawing Tuesday

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11”x14” sketch pad paper, and coloured pencil. Image is photographed.
Susan is a dancer (actually, we had the same dance instructor, which is a fun factoid) and so she has great body knowledge and even for a long 90 minute reclining pose she has a way of making things dramatic. I mostly start my coloured works with ochre or other pale yellow, and you can see how I just barely began to sketch in the overturned stool that she used as a foot rest. But I decided I really like the floating effect created by not drawing in the prop. It reminds me of a hot summer day by the lake, when it’s so hot you can’t help but start drifting off to sleep and gravity loses all meaning to the mind.

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