Sunday, June 29, 2008
I followed it loosely and this is my result.
Not a great facsimile, I gave mine curly hair and made a couple other edits - some intentional. On the whole, it doesn't stink. I think my portrait looks a little like Linda Hamilton in T2, you know, when she had the killer biceps?
Saturday, June 28, 2008
I have reached a point in my art where I want to express things that I don't have the ability to accomplish, so I've decided to take a drawing class. The class starts in September and is for Intermediate to Advanced drawers. I have never taken drawing, so I tapped Betsy and asked her what I should do to prepare. She suggested Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards.
I got the book last night and am very impressed with the approach, now over forty years old, but it's new to me. Here are two before and after self portraits of students of Betty's -- the before completed before instruction (5 day intensive, 8 hours a day) and the after on the end of the fifth day. Remarkable. Even better than a Proactive ad.
See more gallery pictures here.
I've never really tried a self-portrait and was a little surprised that this one came out as well as it did. I am pretty happy with the nose. The eyes are too big, the irises too. I look like one of the victims of that plague in the X Files movie, or like this baby, only grown up.
Reese and I went to APS for orientation today. So exciting! More on that later.
For those of you keeping count, only 5 more posts till the bicentennial blowout.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Today's mailing is of particular interest, pasted below for your viewing pleasure, as well as my own self-serving purposes.
Pre-order now & Save!
Mixed-Media Self-Portraits and Mixed Mania
We're publishing two new mixed-media books this fall, and you're invited to preview them and pre-order now at a special savings. We're publishing two new mixed-media books this fall, and you're invited to preview them and pre-order now at a special savings.
Mixed-Media Self-PortraitsInspiration & Techniques
By Cate Coulacos Prato
Filled to the brim with a wealth of inspiration, creative prompts, techniques and compelling artwork, from many of your favorite artists, this book is an artistic guide to representing the self creatively in mixed-media, featuring a range from art quilts and assemblage to art dolls and collage. Makers of all skill levels and media--collage, mixed media, art quilt, paper craft, and book arts--will enjoy the focus on this very popular art form.
Click here to pre-order Cate's book.
Mixed Mania: Recipes for Delicious Mixed Media Creations
By Debbi Crane and Cheryl Prater
Frequent Cloth Paper Scissors contributors Debbi Crane and Cheryl Prater have whipped up this book featuring 20-plus smart and sassy projects divided like a cookbook into appetizers, main courses, and sweet treats for a fresh perspective on creating mixed-media projects. From artist books to assemblage, art quilts to art dolls, it's all here, plus how-to instructions on a variety of mixed-media, collage, and surface design techniques.
Click here to pre-order our book. Click it, you know you want to.
The Quilting Arts Book
by Patricia Bolton
This is Art Quilting 101 in a book! Patricia Bolton, founder and editor-in-chief of Quilting Arts Magazine, has assembled some of the most popular topics, articles, and artists from past issues of Quilting Arts Magazine--plus innovative new techniques offered by today's most respected contemporary quilt artists--in this definitive art-quilting technique and inspiration book.
Click here to pre-order Pokey's new book.
I am rapidly closing in on 200 posts. The prize? An autographed copy of.....wait for it.......Mixed Mania! Signed by BOTH authors. OoooooOoooooooooo.
Get ready to stop lurking and start commenting.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Check out the slide show, even their son Jarrett got in on this collaborative print - with his skateboard.
Linos are a bit tricky to ink up. It's easy to over ink or under ink the block, so I have to do a lot of pulls to get a few decent prints with my make-shift printer. The problem is that after about 20 or 30 pulls, the lino is breaking down.
Because the pasta machine only opens so wide, I can't put in a kind of "printing bed" that would keep the block flat as I crank it through and as a result I think there's too much torque on the block. (Or maybe my lino is just too al dente?) The samples below were all printed on different types of paper, which accounts for some of the differences, but take a look at what I mean:
This is an early pull. A proof to see if the block needed more cutting and if I liked the border I left as a frame. I knew I wanted to clean up the carving around the cloud and thought that the lino may feed more easily if the border were removed.
Ok, this second example is mostly over inked and a patch under inked on the far right. This print is showing the stress fractures I was talking about. Look at the base of the ear on the right, the wrinkles around either eye, the X on his sweater is starting to crack. Bummer. I really liked this carving, too.
Here's the final example in our forensic study. The hairline (hare-line?) cracks are much more pronounced. I have some ghosting in the cloud from where the paper probably shifted mid-print. Back to the drawing board.
Possible solutions I am toying with:
- Using a different kind of lino? The kind I'm using is softer than the traditional battleship gray variety.
- Printing on Japanese paper and using a baren instead of a noodle maker.
- Buying a scratch-off lotto ticket, winning millions and purchasing a press
- Joining the APS.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
First you'll need a press, they're pricey and take up a lot of space, but a pasta machine is an inexpensive way to dip your toe in the ink. You can print acrylic drypoint etchings and lino cuts about the size of an ATC very easily on a cheapie-Charlie noodle maker.
Now you need ink, right? Oil based is the standard among printmakers. But Cher, you say, I'm lazy and messy and afraid of solvents. Me too, but check it, baby:
Last week, I was having so much fun mixing colors and printing at Arrowmont, it made me want to experiment with printmaking at home. "Why can't someone make a water based ink?" I lamented aloud. (Shocking, as usually I don't say what's on my mind.)
"Someone does." said Diane Fine, my printmaking instructor. She told me about Akua water based inks, but they sounded too good to be true. I had to try them as soon as I got home. I googled Akua and Susan, of Rostow and Jung fame, hooked me up! Thanks, Susan! I received my box of goodies and got to carvin lino.
You can buy Akua here.
I printed this bird in two colors, Red Oxide and the Phthalo Blue. And if mine look this good, imagine what a really great carving would look like. Now go order some Akua and get cooking!
ps Here's my weekly art. A Blue Beazle Bunny. Who cares, I'd rather be printing. : )
Thursday, June 19, 2008
If you've been reading my blog or Debbi's for the last few days, you may be curious about some of the comments and allusions to dead birds. I'll let you all in on the inspiration for this as well as those remarks. A picture is worth a thousand words, and in some cases inducement for waking up screaming in the middle of the night, so here you go:here.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
I borrowed these pix of the campus from Lynette Andreasen, a lovely young woman who is blogging about her experiences at our favorite oasis in the Smokies. Above you see the Red Barn, we stayed in what used to be the hayloft.
Here's the Staff House where we took our fantastic meals, made all the better because I didn't have to plan them, cook them or do the dishes. Did I mention the Chocolate Buttermilk Cake? Oh yeah, and we made artsy stuff in between feasts.
Our instructor and world-class storyteller, Diane Fine, led us in collaborative printmaking and bookbinding. The "opus magnum" was our Roy G Biv Accordion Book. There were four of us in the class and each was assigned a part of the color spectrum. We printed a whole bunch of monotypes in various shades of our color and then swapped them with each other so each of us had a rainbow of prints when the book was unfurled.
I had the reds.
Jane had Greens.
Emma had Blue/Violet.
Jill Greene, photog extraordinaire, was kind enough to take our picture for The Book, which reminds me, you can look inside and get the flavor of Mixed Mania due out Nov 2008 here. Look, there are the authors now! Unretouched photo, we're really that adorable. Debbi is wearing a glass pendant necklace she purchased at Arrowcraft.
Dead Bird in Blue Sweater
It's a long story.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Well, I'm here and having a great time with Debbi and Lori and lots of innocent bystanders. I just wanted to let y'all know I'm here safe and sound even though "them Google people caint tell die-rections."
It is a little know fact that "Arrowmont" is the Cherokee word for "molten lava." The term originates from the days when Native Americans would do crafts such as basket weaving and oil painting before retiring to a sweat lodge for the evening.
Maybe you saw it on The Weather Channel? It was approximately 67000 degrees Calvin on the second floor of the Red Barn yesterday. It is cooler today and we have moved to a different room. Thankfully, this one is much more comfortable as it is only a bit warmer than the surface of the sun. I've sweat off seven pounds while cleansing my system of dangerous toxins! Just two of the many benefits of sleep away art camp.
More later, it's kinda hard typing when your left index finger has been violently stabbed with a #3 lino cutting blade (bandages are included in the lab fee). Besides, I can't run the laptop and the box fan at the same time without causing a brown out in Pigeon Forge.