Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Thursday, December 26, 2013
You see, I had a pile of unused gelli prints 4 inches high. Yes, that is correct. 4 inches high! I cannot let all that paper go to waste, can I? No I cannot.
Cutting into them in this way gave me some interesting insight into my color palette preferences as well. While I always knew my preferences lie in the tertiary colors, I can see exactly how that fits in to my work now.
I had been trying to get my paint to work on other papers, like the hot pressed water color paper for example. But the way the colors settle into the mulberry paper is something I cannot seem to replicate on any other paper. Except of course on the Rives and I am not cutting that paper up for collage! Too heavy anyway. This "sumi" paper is thin enough to use for many layers of collage and takes the color in a textured and most wonderful way.
So let the cutting continue! I have a three inch pile left!
Monday, December 23, 2013
Lately I seem to be gravitating towards colored backgrounds with black and white collage elements. Not sure why, but I like it.
I am trying to direct my work to be simpler. Not always an easy thing to direct the work since it always seems to go where it wants.
But I keep trying......
Friday, December 20, 2013
|Complicated Paper before on the right and |
after on the left.
Whenever I take a class I almost always come away with ONE thing that I never forget and that really inspires me to create. In this case it was her lesson on making what she calls "complicated paper". I can't stop making this paper! It is so easy and very freeing and a great way to use up all those teeny, tiny scraps of gelli prints gone wrong! It is also a very good way to loosen up your collage skills! I do seem to be a bit rusty since my last collaging episode!
On the right side (I know it is backwards visually) you see the paper in it's raw state. On the left I traced one of my leaf designs and painted and shaded around it.
|Complicated paper cut out|
I can't show you how I made the paper. For that you will have to go here and buy Ann's DVD!
Friday, December 13, 2013
Friday, December 6, 2013
I always end up with paper scraps no matter how hard I try to cut the paper so that won't happen. Usually I don't worry about it too much but this is the Rives BFK. To waste it would be sinful! It is such wonderful paper. Can you tell how much I love it?
I was feeling very uninspired yesterday. I thought I was getting tired of my mask shapes but I decided to just load up the brayer and paint the scraps. I loved the fast and furious pace of painting with the brayer. And the textures you get from it are so juicy! You can even get lovely lines from using the side of the brayer!
At first I tried inking the mask and laying it on the plate but that didn't look so great. Then I decided to just lay the mask on the plate on a juicy bed of black paint. I liked that. A lot. You can see more on my flickr site from this series.
Friday, November 29, 2013
First of all I splurged and bought the giant sized plate - 12" x 14". At first I was too overwhelmed to try it. I thought I had to work big. But as it turns out I do not. In fact I am working smaller than ever. The large plate gives me the freedom to do that without the confining space of the smaller ones.
I have room to ink more than I need and that way I am better able to compose and design my pieces with the added space. If you can afford it, I would suggest buying the larger plate. I think you will agree that you will feel freer.
I decide which part of the design I like and place my mat board over the area. I have added tape to the corners where I want to line the paper up every time. The tape matches the corners of the paper. This board is for the 9" x 12" paper. I have a different board for each size of paper.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
I first used Rives BFK in a monoprinting class last spring at Mass Art. It was love at first feel. The paper is like velvet. And every single mark or texture prints so wonderfully.
I bought a full pack of sheets and had used it for making some books but I hadn't used it for the gelatin prints. Let's face it, with the gelatin prints there is so much waste that I could not bear to waste a single sheet of this divine paper.
But now, as I gain more proficiency with my printing, I am able to go ahead and use the "good" paper. The results have been beyond my expectations.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
When I took my woodcut class a few weeks ago, I learned how important proper registration is. So for this series I followed the instructions for getting perfect registration every time. What a difference that makes!
Each piece is 5" x 5' with a 2" border all around on a 9" x 9" sheet of paper.
As you can see, at this size I have tightened up the composition with lots of overlapping. I rather like it. It looks like you are right down in the garden and can almost smell the plants.
And here I thought I would be going bigger. I even bought one of those giant gelli plates! Oh well. It does help to have a larger space to work on even if in the end it is only 5" x5".
I can't seem to get enough of the ghost prints!
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
I have been feeling a little bit uninspired as of late. That happens. It usually means I am tiring of the work and am gearing up for something new to surface. I have a love hate relationship with that state of being. Since I love being happy with the work and waking every day to the latest challenge it brings.
Waiting for the new idea is a bit like "Waiting for Godot." Although unlike Godot, I know it will come eventually.
So until then, I am playing with this new technique I learned and this time I did it on a clay board rather than a journal page. it felt good to be in the paint with a brush this time rather than the brayer.
Monday, November 11, 2013
That was as far as I got until yesterday when I stumbled upon a Jane De Fazio tutorial. I could really see myself trying this one and so I did and here it is. You can find the tutorial here.
I still don't have words for it. That may come later. If not, so be it. It will have no words and be a sketch book of sorts. But I have a feeling I could actually write something in this.
Friday, November 8, 2013
It has been another rather unproductive week for me. Running errands for people, trying to get a swim in, school stuff, etc.
On Wednesday things got so bad I could barely move. But I did make some new prints. I was so upset that I could only work in one color. That way I wouldn't have to think too much. So I just used black and white and some grey.
I like the way they turned out in spite of my state of mind.
I also printed with the gelatin plate for the first time on Rives BFK paper. I know it is expensive paper but if you do any gelatin printing, you should try it on Rives. You may never go back. You have been warned.
The paper is rich and luscious and requires a bit of a firmer touch when you use your baren.
I am going to try and put them all together to make a smallish book. I am not quite sure what type of binding I will do yet. I also need to figure out page imposition for it. That was always my worst moment as a graphic designer. It is always easier to print when the book is already together but for these prints you just cannot do it that way.
Have a good weekend.
Saturday, November 2, 2013
I did scan in some of the newer works yesterday. I try and scan them in as I make them and go through them but I did get behind. Yesterday I scanned in over 20 new pieces.
I am still quite enamored with the idea of creating ghost prints over ghost prints. It is an interesting process and one which I seem to have more control over than the non-ghost prints. At least in placement etc.
I am still enjoying the process.
I have been trying to create a journal as well. I was having some trouble with the whole idea of writing down my thoughts. It seems I am always worried about someone reading them and so I always censor myself or tear out the pages that really have meaning. I have to get past that somehow in order to succeed at journal writing.
I decided to take an online class from Julianna Coles. Her work is extraordinary. I appreciate the way her journals are not all pretty pictures. You can feel her emotional state jumping off the pages of her journals. Very raw. She calls her work "Extreme Journaling". If you visit her site you will see why.
Well, maybe I will get something done in my studio today. Enjoy the weekend.
Saturday, October 26, 2013
I had a lovely 2 day woodblock printing class at Mass College of Art for the last 2 Saturdays. I learned so much about the process. It was a whirlwind class but I think I have enough information to go ahead on my own with it from here. It is a fascinating process. There are so many Japanese names to remember for various things but it was fun to learn them all. I used some of my gelatin print shapes to create this piece. It was made using 3 different plates. The first plate was not carved at all. Just inked. That created the background for the piece.
Then came the inking and printing of this plate which I had carved using special woodcarving tools:
It was my teachers (Lisa Houck) idea to add the sun and I am so glad she suggested it. I think it would have been quite bare at the top without it.
She is going to be offering another class this winter on white line woodcuts but unfortunately I will be away on those dates. Hopefully she will offer it again at some point.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Lately I am enamored with the ghost print. Or in this case, multiple ghost prints on top of one another. Lots of possibilities here.
This weekend I am signed up for a woodcut class. This is the one I was supposed to take this summer but it was cancelled due to lack of interest. It is being offered again at Mass Art so I am looking forward to finally getting a little background in another form of printmaking.
At least there is no need for a press with wood cuts. Always a good thing! I'll let you know how it goes.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
I wanted to make my own. I truly did. I studied all the recipes and began to get the supplies together. But the thing is, my life is pretty insane right now. Between my elderly parents needs and my grandson coming over every day after school, time is at a premium for me.
Perhaps at some point things will settle down but as it is now I usually have about an hour to an hour and a half a day to work in my studio.
That isn't much really and when I go in I want to get right to work. I don't want to have to make the plate first and deal with all the mess that entails. The thing about the home made plates is that they don't last for all that long. I have heard that you can add glycerin to them for a bit of longevity but the fact is that I don't even have room in my refrigerator for a plate. And they should be kept chilled.
So there you have all my excuses! I haven't tried the plate yet but I am looking forward to having the extra room on it for making a framing template to accommodate a variety of sizes.
I also took Carla Sonheim's gelli printing class again and thoroughly enjoyed it! She is an amazing teacher. If you get an opportunity to take any of her classes, do it!
One of the best takeaways from her class is the way she cleans her plate! A piece of paper left on the plate when you are done painting removes every speck of paint! Easier than schlepping the plate to the sink every time!
Friday, October 4, 2013
It just always seemed really hard to me. All that matting and framing. So expensive. And then when the work doesn't sell you have to find room for all that extra framing in your tiny home. Where it gathers dust. I had work in a gallery when I first started painting. Once in a while a piece would sell. It would make me feel great but as far as making a living, not so much.
So now that I am retired I haven’t given much thought to selling either. I have some work on Etsy and I sell something once in a while, which is fine. I have pieces listed on my blog and I also sell from there every so often. But I don’t try very hard.
And it is OK. I made my peace with it a long time ago.
So when someone finds my work and shows interest in it, it is always a treat.
Last night I received an e-mail from a woman with the Seattle Audubon Society. They found the above piece somewhere in cyberspace and would like to use it on some invitations they are creating for a members only show called “Rare Birds” next year.
I told them it would be an honor to let them use it. The Audubon Society wants to use one of my art pieces. Wow! Now that is exciting!
You never know who is going to see your work and like it do you?
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
But I can't do anything about it so I may as well just make art.
I love the simplicity of this piece. Sometimes a piece just works with very little hoopla. Other times, it is a struggle.
Unfortunately the mask tore after only a few uses. Sometimes they stick to the plate and tear.
I think it looks like it is dancing.
Saturday, September 21, 2013
The "Florilegium" series continues. I am still going strong with this series. I have no idea when it will end and I will move on to a new series but I am in no hurry. I am enjoying the dance!
And I am learning that it is indeed a dance with these. Light to dark and back again. Shape shifting a little to the right here, a little to the left there.
I had originally designed this mask to hang from the top of the page as berries would. But, alas, it was not working. I thought it was just a bad mask. So I put it aside and when I did I put the first pass upside down. And there it was. It looked right that way.
So I began layering by just moving the mask ever so slightly. and the motion started.
If there is no motion in a piece then to me it is not yet successful. When it begins to move then I know it is on its way to being complete. The trick is in knowing when to stop. It isn't always obvious!
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
I put them in a pile and rather than let them sit or cut them up, I use them as bases for more printing. Often I can get them to really shine. That is the goal anyway.
I hear people talk about mud a lot. "Don't get mud.." they say. I really like mud. I am all about those deep muddy neutrals. If you use them in conjunction with purer colors they can really make things pop.
I always work with three primaries. Plus white. I rarely use black as I come from a watercolor background where I just never used it. I will use black if it is the only thing. Something that is just black, like a lino print or something. Other than that, just three primaries. More than that and I confuse myself as well as the work.
Sometimes they are:
Friday, September 6, 2013
Filoli was once owned by a single family and now it is in the care of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It is a gorgeous place with several unique gardens. There is a rose garden, a fruit tree garden, a reflecting pool garden and multiple others. They are all so well maintained and wonderful for strolling through.
In the mansion itself are numerous elegant rooms with varying themes. One of these rooms is dedicated to the Florilegium of a few of the gardens. These are collections of botanical prints done in reference to the plants within each garden.
I was so impressed that I decided to make my own “Florilegium” of some of my abstract plant shapes.
You can see more of them on my flickr site here.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
This is a ghost print of one of them. I think I mentioned that I am trying to work on my layering technique as well as making my own masks for work that is totally my own. Even when I print from a plant I always feel that it is not my own. After all it is mother natures right?
So this is totally my own and I rather like the idea of using more and more of these stencils and masks. I have a few more that I made which I will post in a day or two.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
My aunt's garden in San Francisco is filled with wonderful garden statuary! She must have hundreds of these statues hidden amongst all the wonderful plants and flowers. I loved this one the best because it is so unusual! My aunt is always puttering about in her garden weeding or watering or pruning. Her garden is a labor of love indeed.
I had such a wonderful trip. Where to begin? The day I arrived I had dinner at my cousins house in San Mateo. He is a a wonderful chef and we had such a lovely dinner. I was too hungry and tired to take pictures of the food so you'll just have to believe me. He owns a food import/export business and gets really high quality food. He made us lamb kebabs on the grill which I am still drooling over. They were that good!
On my first full day we visited the Filoli Estate in Woodside CA. It was once someone's home and now it is open to the public. Grand indeed and the gardens were to die for.
On Friday my aunt gave me the cooks tour of the California Academy of Sciences where she is a docent. An amazing center combining research as well as a science museum. (Did I mention she is in her 80's and drives a sports car?) She is my Auntie Mame! She never stops moving. After that we visited the De Young Museum to see the Diebenkorn exhibit. Not to be missed it is a wonderful retrospective of his years living in Berkeley.
Saturday we went to the movies and saw The Butler. A good movie.
Sunday we saw a live revue in town called Beach Blanket Babylon. Hilarious show. Some of the people in line that we spoke with (everyone is very friendly out there) had seen it multiple times!
Monday we shopped and I swam in her pool.
Tuesday, my final day we visited the Asian Art Museum to see Larry Ellison's Japanese screen collection. Ah the things billions can buy! Lovely show though! After that we visited the Palace of the Legion of Honor museum to see the Impressionists on the Water show in honor of the Americas Cup Race taking place there this month.. The best thing about it was the view of the bay and San Francisco from the high hill. Stunning.
I really had a wonderful time. It was great traveling alone for a change. I have to do that more.
I have many new ideas for work now. That happens sometimes when you see new things.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
I leave in a few minutes for San Francisco. I thought I would share another print made while under the influence of Carla's class. Layering, color and handmade stencils were experimented with.
I like the process and will resume when I return.
See you next week!
Thursday, August 15, 2013
I got some of my confidence back after I took Carla's class and then through an online blog friend's suggestion, I discovered this video by Jane Davies on using masks and stencils with the plate.
I did a series of these green landscapes and some of them I really like. I am getting a little better with my layering but there is still much to be learned about the plate and all the possibilities. My goal is to succeed in making a piece that does NOT need to be cut up into a collage. So far that has been my modus operandi!
I am determined to create a finished piece using layers and good design.
I am hoping that my husband gets back into the office soon. I really need the kitchen table! He has been working from home since his knee surgery and that means the kitchen table is in use all day long with his computer and large monitor. There is barely enough room to have lunch never mind cutting large sheets of paper or making my own gelatin plates!
As soon as he returns to the office and I can get back into the kitchen I am going to make my own plate. I want to work larger than the 8 x 10 gelli plate I am currently using, The larger plate that the art store sells is $60. I don't want to pay that much so I'll make my own and see how I like that.
I'll try and post one more time before my trip but no promises!
Saturday, August 10, 2013
I ended up taking Carla Sonheim's gelatin print class although I took it after the fact since I only heard about it after it had already ended. As a result I took it on my own time. I actually liked doing that since I can view the videos as many times as I need to. I am still hoping to take a real time class as well.
This class was a great addition to my current printmaking skills. In the class I learned how to work on multiple sheets at one time. I had never thought of doing it that way but it was an interesting way of working. It gives a real "series" feeling to the work.
One of the things I have always had trouble with, and still do, is working in multiple layers and getting nice results. My usual way of working is to make one layer and collage bits together to make an interesting piece of art.
I have long admired people like Linda Germain and Mark Evans who seem to really have the layering thing down. As you can see in my above piece, layering is still problematic for me.
Another thing I learned was using white in my work. I used to work in gouache a lot and so working with white was a lot like that. My colors of course changed quite a bit with the use of white in a positive way. Normally my colors are very earthy but this time I had actual pinky greens and pale blues. It was very different for me.
In the class we used 140 pound hot pressed water color paper which I have a ton of so I didn't need to buy any special paper. I like working on the watercolor paper very much since I usually only use thin rice paper. I like the way the watercolor paper takes many layers.
I hope to take more of these classes as they come available so if you have any suggestions for upcoming classes that you are aware of, please let me know!
Monday, August 5, 2013
In a couple of weeks I will be going out to San Francisco to visit my Aunt Beryl (my mother's sister). Hopefully I will come home refreshed and ready to work again.
I am really looking forward to my trip. It is the first time I will be going on vacation solo if you can believe that at my age! But I have always traveled with husbands, children etc. Never alone. I am pretty sure I will like it. It is funny because my aunt, who is in her eighties travels all over the world. Solo. She has been to every continent at least twice and some more than that. I really admire her for her vast travel energy. She even went to Iran last fall. No one in the family could understand why but she is just such a curious person and it was one of the only places she hadn’t been yet. Not only does she travel all over the world but she also works part time as a docent at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.
She is a feisty lady and I adore her. This is her. Isn't she adorable?
Sunday, July 28, 2013
I had brought some embroidery thread with me and managed to work on a few pieces at once. I like this one the best. I used some SOVA bead backing that I had left over from some previous beading projects.
It works pretty well for embroidering. I then discovered that the wax Neocolor crayons by Caran D'Arche work well for coloring the background. I then used my water brush to move the color around as a wash. It at least gives a base to design around. I like it better than plain white.
It is good to be home. I always miss my art supplies and of course my grandson as always.
Thursday, July 11, 2013
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
How disappointed am I? Let me count the ways. I have been printing my linoleum prints and collograph prints for a few weeks now using Speedball water based black ink. I thought everything was going along just swimmingly until I tried to add some color using watercolor pencils. Guess what? They smeared all over. Black ink was everywhere.
Ok. So I thought, silly me of course they would smear with water color.
Then I tried collaging with some of them. The acrylic medium I use for collage had the same effect. A mess of black ink everywhere.
Yesterday was the final straw. I had a few pieces I had done that didn't print really well so I thought I would use the other side of them as I sometimes do to save $$$. I never expected the water based acrylic medium to "wake up" the ink on the other side but it did.
I have since found out that Speedball inks don't dry......What??????????
Then I read the reviews on Dick Blick which confirmed it. They do not dry. Now call me crazy but why would you make a product that doesn't dry?
It is really upsetting as I can not use any of these prints for anything. What a waste of time and money.
Speedball. Never again.
Friday, July 5, 2013
Now the fourth is over. We didn't do much since we are usually away at this time of year. But with my husband still in recovery mode we aren't leaving until next week. Hopefully he will be OK without his physical therapy for a couple of weeks.
My grandson leaves for a week away at The Farm School on Monday. I hope he enjoys it. I know I will enjoy getting a bit of a break.
Then it is off to the Berkshires. I will bring my drawing equipment and sketchbooks and perhaps some embroidery thread as well to practice stitches on. I am a bit rusty with my stitches since I haven't embroidered in years.
I am still doing well selling the cards. This one can be found in the usual Etsy place.
Enjoy the heat while it lasts!
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
I hope to relax and do some studio work. I have been newly engaged with an old hobby of mine, embroidery. I love adding tiny embroidered details to my work. it is a very soothing thing to do. Not as much stress as creating a painting or a print.
I like the Zen of it.
Whatever I can do to help me relax and remain calm in the stress is a good thing.
If you are interested in purchasing this card it can be found here:
Sunday, June 30, 2013
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Tuesday, June 25, 2013
I am happy to report that the greeting cards are selling rather well. I am really having fun making them since they are of a small enough size that I can add and embellish to my hearts delight and still sell them at an affordable amount. I think that $5.50 is quite affordable for an original one-of-a-kind piece of art. And apparently others do as well!
On this card I have added some embroidery as well as some gold leaf.
I used to do a lot of embroidery back in the day and one of my favorite stitches was the french knot. I once embroidered an entire denim skirt with literally thousands of french knots. What can I say, I had plenty of time on my hands in those days.
School is out on Friday and hopefully I will have more time on my hands since my grandson will be in camp all day and will then go straight home afterwards! A summer off from math homework is just the ticket for both of us.....
I am enjoying the heat and swimming like crazy! Hope you are too.....
Friday, June 21, 2013
But it does help. It makes me realize that, hey, there are people out there who like my art enough to buy it. I find it very encouraging. Especially since I don't have time to do shows, or put my work in galleries. The internet is all I have!
In a way I am reminded of something from my past in the early 1970's when we lived in Key West, Florida.
I used to make hand drawn cards even back then. At the end of the day I would ride my bike to Mallory Square where everyone gathered to watch the sun go down. There were musicians, and acrobats. Mimes and food vendors. And artists like me selling their wares. I always sold something and I made many good friends that way.
It was a wonderful experience. Now at the end of the day instead of riding my bike to sunset, I upload my art to the interwebs and wait for people to find me. Not as much fun, I will admit but it is still a nice way to end the day and feel productive.
This card is available for purchase in my Etsy Shop here.
Thursday, June 20, 2013
I am selling these in my Etsy shop for 5 dollars plus postage. I think that is a reasonable price. Anyway, we'll see.....