Sunday, December 27, 2015

Home for the Holidays and printmaking fun

since my last post, i traveled to lubbock and now have the luxury of 3 weeks at home!

one goal for this time is definitely getting in the studio. i've been able to do that a bit, although one of our dogs had major surgery and time has been spent sitting with her, keeping her calm & tending her needs since she can't get around well. she is feeling better, and i have gotten some studio time in the past few nights (with the help of my husband doing dog duty).

i have a few things to prep for- a BOSCO small works (under 8x10) show, valentine for aids and the leftovers print exchange. it feels like so long since i have made an actual piece of art- not a sketch or a book. the last was the moose, but he's the first in a long time.

i have been making backgrounds for the totem series, and started another 8x8 for the BOSCO show, but was uninspired. while molly has been recovering i've been rereading books on printmaking. i need to do something for the print exchange anyway. that sounded like a lot more fun to me than forcing something for the small works show, so i started working on something in the studio today.

this is going to be a process for me- i haven't done enough of these to see how it's going to look finished. so i pulled a test print- hand burnished- and saw that work remained to be done.

round 2:

and 3:

and 4:

i need to clean the beak area up- duh- the beak is dark, so i should have it surrounded by light- but i feel definitely on the right track & inspired to play some more. i'm intrigued by printing and then going back in with color- watercolor or ink- maybe doing a series of prints and finishing them differently.

and- i will get around to using my press. these were hand pulled just because it seemed easier to do it that way when i'm still working on the linoleum but i'm sure that as i use the press it will seem just as easy.

here's to learning new skills! hope to have a finished piece to share soon-

Sunday, December 13, 2015

looking back at 2015, and what's next

a lot has changed this year. i left the gallery because i wasn't covering my rent, and was traveling so much for work that i wasn't making much new art either.

leaving the gallery freed me up to spend time experimenting and playing with different things- like spending time making journals- which has been great for me creatively.

 one thing i decided to do is learn to draw. to that end, i started bringing this old swedish/english dictionary with me on trips, challenging myself to complete 4 small drawings each trip. it gives me something fun to do while traveling.

it's also funny how much difference practicing does make. they are not amazing works of art, but i'm not ashamed to show them to people and am gaining confidence in my ability.

one thing i wanted to do is a series of paintings from wildlife and bird photos i've shot on my travels. i wanted to paint from drawings- not by gridding things out, tracing or using a projector. for the first time, i am doing studies in a book before committing to canvas (or wood, in this case). not so much about working through a finished composition but practicing drawing and trying a few things out. 

after drawing this guy in the journal (he is traced from a photo), i decided to use a different photo for the painting. i liked the way the image fits on the board better for one.

the idea behind these is to include the animal's meaning in the background of the painting, to inform the end result and provide interest and depth.

you will see writing to the left of the tree in this one. i'm sure that these will evolve as i go along, but am happy with the results here. in no small part thanks to my 2 sculptor friends lynn and jaki who helped me get him right.

next up, this mule deer doe from a photo i took in yellowstone. i was really pleased to draw the image at left without too much agonizing. i now know where i need to look out when i draw her on the wood panel. i'm not sure where to go with her colorwise. deer stand for innocence, and white is the color of innocence. but white may be too "real" of a color for what i want to do here. will have to think on it.

it's nice to have enough confidence in my ability to feel like i can draw decently. and to know that it's not about photorealism- because that's not what i want to do- but about capturing energy and emotion.

of course, i have no idea where these are going to hang when they're done, but i'll figure that out later.

next up- one more trip to lubbock, then home for 2 weeks, hopefully with time to paint.