Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I’ve Been Busy—Cats Cats Cats and more Cats

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Best Friends Forever, Cat linocut (available at Etsy)
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Curiousity, Black Cat in the Window, linocut (available at Etsy)
I’ve been busy—carving cats. Why cats? Well, besides the fact that I’ve lived with them ALL of my life, and that I’m rather fond them myself, I’m carving cats because cats sell on Etsy.
And…making money is nothing to be ashamed of. Besides food, clothing and shelter, it also buys art supplies, yarn and cat food. Back to the cats…
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Cats Love Shawls, Linocut, (available at Etsy) and another one with some emotional attachment, because I can’t help but think of Archer, sleeping on my shawls, or getting tucked under them by me, when warmth was all I could give him.  I was pretty much thinking of him when I did it.
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Siamese Cat in an Open Window, linocut, (available on Etsy) And happier days recalled with this linocut, sometimes art inspiration is a simple desire to fill in a void. 
You can see more here. Cats and Dogs (I guess the dogs will come later, you see who rules this household) at Etsy.
PS.  Nope, this isn’t turning into Sales Blog, but I really really NEED to get over this feeling that there is something shameful about trying to sell something. So please forgive me while I deliver the occasional sales pitch (well, there I go again, urk…)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

More Miniature Mixed Media Gelatin Prints

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I admit my blog post title could be a little more original, but there is something to be said about blunt upfront honesty.  More Miniature Mixed Media Gelatin Prints is exactly what you’re getting.

These are 'art for arts sake' pieces.  While I did post them to Etsy, (click on the pics if you want to see), they are decidedly not commercial in nature.  Posting on Etsy just gives me a little extra incentive, a venue to show them off, and bring them out into the light and air for a time, before they get stacked away in the 'artist's collection'. And that's okay, because artists need to do this things, to stretch and grow, and for me, miniatures are something I really can't stay away from. I love dropping my face down close to the page, and letting the details speak to me, and watching something develop and grow in a surprising way. And sometimes, I even go rifling through the stack, just to see what lies there, waiting in the dark to be seen and thought of again.

Here’s another nice pair.
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Gelatin Leaf Prints are ATC size (2.5”x3.5”), leaves pressed on gelatin, that’s creeping charlie you see on the greys, hops vine on the red. with pen ink work by hand.
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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ghost Prints—Gelatin Printmaking tutorial

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Gelatin Printmaking and Ghost Prints are almost synonymous.  A ghost print is the image created when you (without re-inking the plate) pull/press a second image off the the plate.  While both prints are multiple overlapping layers, the pale (lavender veined) leaves on the left are the ‘ghost print’ of the purple and tawny leaves on the right. If you look at the positive leaf images only, you will see that they are same.
However, the negative space (tawny) of the image on the left is actually one of the first pulls, where the plate was inked in brown, leaves laid down, and paper pressed on top, leaving leaf shaped silhouettes and a tawny background. 
The image on the right was pulled next, after removing the all the leaves.
Then, I printed onto the right-hand image the ghost print of the leaves.
If you are determined to figure this out in a very left-brained fashion, it can all seem very complicated, but, the best way to do things, is to start several prints at once (6 to 10) and then keep changing colours and adding layers.
The dark browns were added last. The leaves are fucshia’s over-wintered from my garden, and the cats are polystyrene (foam plates)
Last layer (dark brown) on the left were printed first on the gelation, and then paper was pressed onto the gelatin.
Dark browns on the right were printed directly from plate (or leaf) onto the paper.
Sweet Siamese Ghost Print (image on the left) is available at Etsy.
Sweet Siamese SOLD (image on the right), you can still view if you want to see more details.
On a personal note: yes, I still miss him, I really really really do. Pouring that sadness and longing into a pretty little image brought tears to my eyes, and its a sale I had some mixed feelings about. But, unlike cats, I can do another, similar, but never the same. Then again, maybe that is like cats. For now, the only siamese in my life will be on paper.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

More Miniature Gelatin Prints


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ATC, 2.5”x3.5” Here’s one from the pile of unsorted miniatures. But the blue ink is absolutely fresh. Until this morning it was a purely printmaking gelatin monoprint using leaves.  I think I put it away, because I loved the delicate colours and soft details but didn’t know how to finish it without overwhelming the what I liked the best. This morning, blue ball point pen in hand, I took the plunge, and let the lines flow. I’m pleased, a good dose of coffee helped move things along.
I’ll put this one into my ‘monoprint portfolio’ on Etsy, the shop section I reserve for my favourites.
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ATC, 2.5” x 3.5” leaf print on gelatin, with black pen drawings, above and below.
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These two are from a while back, found as I dug through my miniatures stash. They make a nice pair and will be travelling soon to a secret destination (which is probably a spoiler for someone IF they happen to read this in the next two weeks)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

I Miss You—tribute to Archer

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Archer, you were the very very best; for being extremely intelligent, fiercely loyal, and most of all because you love, Love, LOVED back more than any other cat (or dog, for that matter).

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The orange cat/kitten, is Lennier, who Archer mothered quite willingly and loved for as long as Lennier lived. I miss Lennier too, of course.

Sorry about such a personal post, but I really really do miss him; it was not the best of Christmas’s and New Years, etc… it became unbearable on February 14th. Well, that’s as much as I want to say right now, except this was a cat that Love, Love, Loved soooo much.

And from a local pet cemetery, I can realize I’m not alone in my sentiments (or my husband and I are not alone, as he shares the grief, and if he reads this post, he’ll be crying), two of many heartfelt tributes to our furred friends.

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Friday, March 1, 2013

I AM A CREATIVE INDIVIDUAL!!!

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I AM A CREATIVE INDIVIDUAL. This was the opening statement from one of the art class participants when he joined our group. It was loud, and imperative. Let’s call him Harvey.
I volunteer at a Long Term Care Facility (aka public Nursing Home), and some local artists have put a drawing program together.  I help out. I wish I could post some of their work, but there are privacy issues (at this point, I don’t even ask, I just assume).  So I’ll have to post my own, and this one is inspired by Harvey with his strident attitude and memorable profile. 
His statement is a powerful one; it intensely highlights one of the primary drives to make art.  The fact that he felt the need to make that statement speaks to all of our secret fears, that we are, after all, one amoung many and not that special after all.
Where I volunteer, the staff are kind and affectionate, but it is still an institution. Folks who go there have lost so many things, health, mobility, memories, not to mention all the things with which we define ourselves; piles of photographs, cherished possessions, a room of our own, but the drive to be SOMEBODY remains. It is a powerful drive and one to be celebrated, maintained and shared, and art at anytime, from anyone and in any capacity is an important avenue for that. I am very glad to be sharing those moments with the residents.
And, by the way, Harvey (among others there) IS a VERY CREATIVE INDIVIDUAL: full of stories of his life, deftly (and amusingly) told, capable of gaining a smile from a more dour and uncommunicative resident, and to top it all off, his art was wonderful story about a broken heart and how it turned into a rainbow of colours…wow!
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Art Notes: 8x10 gelatin monoprint, using stencils, foam plates and linocuts for texture, finished with ink brush pen, coloured pencils, and metallic toned ink.
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