Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Monoprinting Mania

Tree With Moon

Moon With Mountains

Slowly but surely I am beginning to understand the order in which I need to lay down my masks in order for my landscapes to look correct. In printing everything has to be done backwards and it isn't always easy to think that way. It is so different than painting.

This plant, which is called the Mexican Bird of Paradise, really does look like a tree when you print with it. I love the way it prints and gives such nice texture. Many of the plants I have been picking lately have not been working well for this process. They are either too soft and floppy or they just don't have good vein structure. There really is no way of knowing until you actually print with them, Also, color makes a difference. This is Carbon Black with the addition of Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold. A lovely mixing color!

I am enjoying the process of printing and I am going through quite a bit of paper! I bought two reams of cheap drawing paper so that I could feel free to experiment without worrying too much about paper costs.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

More monoprinting

I have been working on a small 6x6 gel plate. I know I said I was going to go larger but I really love working small. The only thing about the small plate I don't like is the rounded corners but they are easily fixed so I don't sweat it. I also love working square for some reason.

I took a short online class with Linda Germain on Monoprinting Mountains. I found it quite helpful since I was having some trouble trying to figure out the progression from light to dark and front to back with my masks.

The weather here in Tucson has been delightful lately and I have been doing a lot of walking. I am trying to do a 10,000 steps a day routine but it is not so easy! When I was back in Boston visiting my mom in the hospital,  I walked over 14,000 steps in one day and could barely walk the next day! That is a lot of steps! But I am taking a bit of a break from biking right now. So walking is a good alternative.  Plus when I walk, I am more apt to stop and pick leaves for mono printing. And who can resist that! I always like finding a new plant to try out with my plate!

I recently discovered Golden Paints Bronze in Open Acrylics from Lee Monts.   Lee is a Golden Paint educator and his experiments with bronze are very inspiring. I will post some of my experiments with it soon.   It is a highly unusual paint color. It actually turns green as real bronze does due to oxidation. So it is very hard to control but the results are pretty amazing.

Thats all for now! Enjoy the weekend!

Monday, November 25, 2019

Landscape Monoprints

Mountains with Feather #1
Whenever I stop working for a while, as in the past few terrible weeks, I can never seem to go back to where I was before I stopped working.

Since my return however, I have done a lot of grieving and sleeping. Little by little I am returning to my work. Yesterday I did a small series of mono prints of the landscape where I live. I think I was so happy to be home and back in my happy place that these mono prints just came tumbling out.

I am working on a small 6x6 inch gel plate and I am finally getting a good registration on them. Bob Pennycook has a great way of registering his prints and it really does make a difference. My registration board is not quite as elaborate as his but it suffices.

My registration board

This next one is the ghost print of the print at the top. I almost like it better. The ghost prints are very elusive and you never really know what you will get but sometimes you get one like this and it makes all the failed prints that came before worthwhile.

Mountains With Feather #1 Ghostprint

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Saturday, November 2, 2019

November 2, 2019

greeting card

I loved my greeting card class with Linda Germain. I always learn so much from her. It was a short class but nevertheless, very interesting. I realized that making a stencil for a greeting card is much harder than it looks. I made a lot of stencils but most just did not work out well. You really need a complete design in that small space. Some of my designs were too simple. Some too complicated. I like this one so far the best.

My husbands surgery went well. Except for the first night we spent in the ER. I hate that they send you home right away after surgery. In my experience it never works out well. I have returned to the ER too many times after out patient surgery. So we spent 4 hours in the ER that first night. Didn't get home until 4AM. Brutal.

But he is healing up well now. And now my mom is in the hospital. So I am off to Boston on Wednesday to see her. I have to go alone since my husband can't fly yet. I am not bringing much so I should be OK in putting my bag in the overhead bin. I never check luggage. I have had them lost before and it was not good!

It has been a brutal week for the most part. A lot going on here.  The upstairs unit in my building above us had a burst water heater which rained down on us. Lots of damage to our water heater room. We were lucky that we were here and noticed the water dripping. The damage could have been much worse.

Also, my friend and neighbor is losing her very short battle with cancer. I have only known her for a little over a year but we grew close and she is an artist too. It is all happening so fast. She is in hospice now. Days I have been told.

Enjoy your life. It is short.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

October 22, 2019

Moonlight II
I have been on a bit of a mono printing tear the past few days. I have been using the gel plate for many years now and I am still learning new ways of working. For these two pieces I used a mask for the moon and the mountain in the background. Then I added the plants on top of that.

It is an interesting process and you really never know how it will turn out. My masks are made of yupo paper. I find that it makes the sturdiest and most long lasting stencils. Tyvek works for smaller masks but for the really large pieces I like yupo better.

Moonlight ghost print
This is one of the ghost prints from yesterdays printing session. I love the way this one came out. Believe it or not, These hills are in my backyard. Every day I wake up and see them.  This is just what they look like.

For paper I am using Hosho rice paper. I make so many of these prints, that if I used Rives BFK printing paper, I would go broke!

I am trying to get a lot done this week in the studio since next week I will be busy helping my husband get through his hernia surgery. I will be glad when it is over. Surgery is never fun for either person!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

October 16, 2019

Sonoran Herbarium No. 51
Here it is another week and I don't have a lot of new art to show for it. I have been experimenting with some new print processes which I am not ready to share quite yet. They are quite different than my usual nature prints. Sometimes you just have to mix things up in order to get out of the artistic ruts we sometimes find ourselves in.

Also, we were supposed to go to Nogales for a day trip in two weeks, however, my husband is going to be having hernia surgery instead so we had to cancel that trip. We were both really disappointed but you have to take the date the surgeon has available. Plus he is pretty uncomfortable right now. We went down to Patagonia this past weekend for the annual craft festival but he could barely walk so it was not much fun this year.

We still have the other two day trips coming up in 2020. Going to see the sandhill cranes in January and the heard Museum up in Phoenix in March. So fingers crossed that we will still be able to go to those.

I am taking an online stencil/card making class with Linda Germain this week. It is just a weekend class and she is the queen of all things gel plate printing. She even makes her own gel plate from scratch!  I have been wanting to make stencils for cards for quite a while now and so I am looking forward to learning a new skill from her. She uses Tyvek for her stencil making. I am curious as to how that will work as opposed to my stencils made from Yupo paper.

I am also planning to sign up for a class with Donna Watson that is actually in person. She is coming here to my Paperworks group in February. That will be a real treat for me. I love her work and I am looking forward to her class!

Well, enjoy the rest of your week!