Saturday, March 29, 2014

IOWA University Print Exchange—Posted, Finished, On it’s Way!

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Excuse my enthusiasm, but, yep, I’ve been busy, and I lurve these, really.
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And available on Etsy, printed on demand onto 9x12 Stonehenge paper:
Three linocuts, sun, growing sprig, and underground bulb, come together to celebrate the transformation that comes with spring, the vernal equinox, when the sun heats up our planet and warms the earth. In darkness underground, the sun's energy is transformed to heat. Warmth spurs growth, and last years solar rays feed the growth below, until green shoots spring forth, and taste the sun directly, spiral upwards in glorious green growth and sun soaked blossoms. Vernal transformations on a yearly bases. Spring excites us all.
This is a multilayered print (called 'overprinting' in the world of fine art printmaking) using hand-carved linocuts, designed, drawn, carved and printed by the artist (that is me).
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Friday, March 28, 2014

Morning Sketchbook—It’s an abstract, again…

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Haven’t given up on the A4/4 sketchbook idea. Here’s what happens when I indulge myself. Abstract art, or, well, that’s the dilemma, how to judge abstract art, when is it art, vs a mess, a scribble, a doodle. If I sketch a cat, and it looks like a cat, that’s easy, the more it looks like a cat, the more of artist you are right? With realism, there’s a clear benchmark.  Go the other way, and you’re floating free, or adrift. Sometimes, oftentimes, I feel adrift.  But this is the sort of thing I gravitate too when I let my hands and pens and mind just do their thing. Glad I keep them nice and small and easy to stash, or else I’d be drowning in paper.
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Speaking of drowning in paper, here are some of those masonite boards, now wrapped in abstract gelatin prints. I need to get these down for the 8x8 show in Hamilton.  The theme is Year of the Horse, but I don’t see any horses on the horizon.  I guess if they are completely abstract, I can cryptically name them Equus I, Equus II, and Equus III, whatever.
The paper curls are from a gelatin mono-print that turned into a first attempt at collage. I pasted the print onto mat-board, and it promptly curled in a permanent way. No matter, after peeling and sanding, I think I have something to work with.
Again, I can’t see any horses in here, but one of the years goals is to explore art freely, really explore, really follow the muse where it goes, and it’s pulling me in abstract directions, so here goes….

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Just a Quickie, Morning Sketches

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Here’s a few sketches from my new ‘um, ‘sketchbook’.  I hate sketchbooks, I have dozens, partly filled, acquired in high hopes and abandoned. I find them completely intimidating. I don’t buy them anymore and do all my sketching on a4 paper. That leaves me with a terrible clutter. Wouldn’t a little book be nice to have and hold? But how to start.

I often fold and tear a4 paper into quarters, so why not make it official?  Just hole punch the keepers and put them together, shuffle the order, reduce and recycle, no pressure, no commitment, mistakes can be burned and buried if desired. Just keep moving that pen/pencil, brush, whatever tool is in hand, even if the mind is cluttered, tired, dull, sleepy or (as you can see) badly in need of coffee.

In other news, I spent most of my day gessoeing hard-board/masonite.  A more time-consuming task than I’d thought, but was VERY PLEASED that my local hardware store >Happy Happy Shout Out to Shell Lumber, Home Hardware in Stouffville).  I asked for 6 8x8inch pieces, and they sliced and diced at no extra charge. Because I hate waste, I suggested finishing the scraps in 5x7inch and 2.5x3.5 (atc-sized) pieces. Kept me busy painting them white today. They only charged me for the masonite used. Wow! Shell Lumber is a patron of the arts, really.  The art store charges .89c for an 8x10 piece of masonite (I just bough some prior).  So I am super thrilled with Shell Lumber.  Hope they get the business and profits and success they deserve.  I’ll be back.  I have more to say on them (GREAT THINGS) but they probably deserve there own blog post. Later.

IMG_8436some of those 5x7’s drying on the counter.

Right now, I’M TIRED.  And I still have to go out and draw naked people tonight. Hope I don’t yawn too much. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

IOWA University Postcard Printmakers Exchange WIP

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I’ve got two weeks to finish & get them through the mail. 13 need to be posted, at a postcard friendly 4x6 inches. The theme is transformations.  Thoughts of spring abound, in spite of the frigid temperatures, or because of the yo yo weather. Yes, it was –19C last night. Yesterday, we had yet another humongous dump of snow. After a long drive home from ‘that other place that I work’, I grabbed my skiis, walked to the end of the driveway, clipped my boots in the binders and skied down the street!  Perhaps now you envision an under-serviced rural route, and farm yard driveway, but nope, I live in a tiny house, on a small suburban-sized lot, on a main (regional road). One of the first roads serviced in any snowstorm, and yet I could ski down the street.  This is a novelty.
The sun is shining, the snow is sparkling, it’s cold. Tomorrow rain is on the menu. No wonder I’m thinking of things under ground, waiting for warmth and sun.  It will happen, it must happen. The world does turn.
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3 overlayed linocuts. Sun, bulb, plant.  Not necessarily in that order. Definitely happy with the colour. I’m going with amber, brown and turquoise. The turquoise is toned down with brown. Actually, they are all mixed colours. Each one should end up slightly different. Still need to decide on it thought. Not sure if the composition (top left image) completely works. And the plant needs some trimming. That’s the easy part.
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And I’m working on my blog, mostly, getting rid of clutter, and adding more. I don’t mean to add more, but, not sure. Basically, took off a bunch of picture things, added an etsy widget, left my fine art widget, added what I hope are navigational and sign up aids.
And Etsy, and paper mache, and sculpey, and… oh, and I’m playing hooky this afternoon to go skiing before it rains tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

That Other Place That I Work, Part II, Photo Essay, Journalling

I forgot the tree. The Tree (actually two).  Sometimes I eat my apple under the tree. Sometimes the squirrel eats my apple under the tree.  I'd rather not imagine this landscape without the tree.  This pair of trees makes all the difference. They may look abandoned, but they are not. Last year, the tree pruners came, and snipped and sawed. There were so many open spaces amongst the limbs, I was sad. Why did they do that? I wondered, why butcher the tree. Tree's can take care of themselves, can they not?
But after the ice storm, the reasons were clear. These well-pruned trees sustained no damage, when metres away other trees went down like match sticks.
These trees are the highlight of my 'garbage run'.
Spring is coming. They will turn green.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

That Other Place That I Work--Photo Essay, Journalling



So here's 'that other place that I work'.  One of my duties is taking out the garbage. I'm actually happy to do so. It gets me outdoors and under the big blue sky.  It gives me an excuse to go walk-about, if only for a few minutes. Sometimes, it's just another chore in the day, but other times, I look up and outwards, and see all the shapes and textures in the landscape, see the quality of the light, breath in the atmosphere. Spring is coming, it's relatively warm and damp. Mountains of salted snow dominate the skyline, melt-water patterns the pavement. I am fascinated by it all.


I like days like this, when I'm simply fascinated by it all, life, the universe and everything.  Composition, line, texture, shapes are everywhere I look.
And colour! And glow, and transparency.  Art is everywhere.
And oh, I was so over the moon happy the day they brought in a 2nd dumpster for the sole purpose of collecting recyclables. Before that day, all of this would have gone straight to the dump.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Life Drawing Tuesday—Greg is back!!!

Be careful what you wish for, you just may get it!
IMG_8419 Gary, life drawing, coloured pencil, tracing of life drawing to transfer to an in-studio pastel
What a surprise, after whining on the blog, and to my husband, about the lack of male models in our last session (1 in 10 sessions), guess what, we get Gary twice in a row (I’m working on a studio pastel of Gary), and then Greg. Remember Greg, infamous Greg (Hi Greg!), turns out he googles himself (and who doesn’t) and read my blog. Given my frankness, just a wee bit embarrassing, but he’s back! And yes, he is a fabulous model, and as professional as I thought him to be. Communication, good communication, is a slippery thing, and some of us are just lousy at it, like me. At least in person. It turns out, on the blog, I must of said just the right thing, because Greg read it, and returned, Yay!  I don’t really speak for the group, but safe to say, we were pleased to have him back. I’m not sure how I feel about the long pose (my own work, not the pose), but I’ll post it (below) anyway. Maybe it needs work, or it is what it is, or it will grow on me. Pastel and coloured pencil.  One of the reasons I like shorter poses (20, 30, even 45 minute is that if I paint myself into a proverbial corner I get another kick at the can (pardon my clichés), but there are other artists who love a chance to get every detail just right, and other artists better than me who can get it right the first time and build from there for hours on end.  Nope, we are not all created equal.
IMG_8420 Greg, life drawing, oil pastel, and coloured pencil, this was a long pose (90 minutes), and I had a bit of a war with it, but honestly the hand really was hidden, I didn’t invent the drapery just to hide it (but that would be a clever cheat, huh?), but it was there, really, and I’m not so good at hands as to be able to just wing it (I did try).

So, lesson learned, be careful what you wish for, you may just get it. In this case, it was a good wish, and I’m glad. Thanks Greg!
PS. If you have no idea what I’m talking about in regards to greg, you'll just have to go back and read "life drawing tuesdays" or engage in some targeted googling (spell checker seriously dislikes the latter verb)

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