Monday, June 28, 2010

Support Group, again,again

I'm hoping that the third time is a charm.  This print has been trying (and succeeding very well) to drive me crazy.  I could not  understand what it was that was nagging non-stop.  Finally, a friend said she thought that the central figure was too dark.  I looked closer and the original drawing was not dark, so I must have over-developed the plate.  Back to platemaking and a 30 second developing time and this is so much better.  It reminds me of a story another friend, who just happened to be a poet, told me years and years ago.  She said she had a friend who helped her with her poetry and the problem was always the line above or below the problem line, and never the "problem line" at all.    Right after that I was painting a portrait commission and could not get the nose right.  Finally, I redid the mouth and the nose was fine.  Such was the case with this print.  I thought it was the amount of white space that was wrong, and it was instead the darkness around the hair and face of that center figure.  Thank you to my good friend for turning me around! Another lesson learned again.  I don't know if I have time to learn every lesson over and over and over.  I would really like to get to that woodblock someday.  

I'm assuming everyone recognized these three women as the Three Graces: Aglaea (beauty), Euphrosyne (mirth), Thalia (good cheer).   This image has the central figure, Aglaea, needing her support group.  She is traditionally the grace dealing with beauty and is also the oldest, so I'm wondering if she is worried about losing her beauty because she is aging.  Maybe she is considering a face lift... or maybe not.  I'll leave it to the viewer to make up the story.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Support Group, again

I wasn't real happy with the first version of Support Group, so I've tried one with more white space.  I'm still not a hundred percent, but maybe this version will grow on me.  Suggestions are welcome - including, redraw the main image.  I'm still planning to work more with this idea in a different format  and a bit larger.  The next one will include carving and probably be mainly woodblock, since it will be part of my "recuperation project # 1".  If not wholly woodcut, then maybe the color blocks with a solarplate for the line.  As you can see, this is still rolling around in the little gray cells.

       It reminds me of the metal garden sculpture I lost last night: it was made of cut outs of leaves and was spherical.  I accidently kicked it, just the tiniest bit, and off it went, down the incline, weaving its way between the Japanese forest grass, and down between more plants - any one of which could have stopped this thing - across the flagstaff path, between two large shrubs and then it was really off and running down the embankment, between cedar and fir trees, over the vinca minor, and through the horsetails and ferns and now it is lost.  I went as far down the hill as I could with a bad knee and in Berkinstock sandals which only go ahead, not back or sideways.  The further I got down the hill and the closer to the creek the more tangled the undergrowth became, so I had no choice but to climb back up.  This is not easy when one keeps sliding out of ones shoes.  Now I'm looking for someone with a metal detector, or will wait until fall, when the lost sphere, in its rusted glory, will  probably become very obvious.  Sigh.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Vancouver's Printmakers: Pressing the Boundaries

This is a show I've been working on for a couple of years - the idea being to showcase half a dozen or so local printmakers.  Part of the idea is to introduce the printmakers and their work to a larger audience and the other part to educate the public about printmakers.  In this show we have about an even split between relief and intaglio with some monotypes thrown in to make a terrific mix.  Vancouver has been having  really good turnout for the First Friday Art Walk - we hope that will hold true even though it is a long holiday weekend. ( Hold your breath! )
There will be fish printing for adults and children going on in front of the gallery and Barbara Mason has agreed to bring the small press and demonstrate intaglio in the gallery.  With all that, lots of terrific prints,  a little wine and some good food it should be a terrific evening.  If you're in the area the date for the opening party is July 2, 5 pm - 9 pm.  Hope you can make it!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Support Group

Lately I've been putting up with a knee that has decided to join the other side.  Way back when I was knee high to a grasshopper I was in an auto accident and my knees were slammed into the dashboard of one of those old cars that had knobs that stuck out.  This was way before seat belts and air bags.  At the time the doctors told me I would probably have trouble with the knees when I got older.  Since that was about a hundred years away, give or take, I didn't give it a moments thought.  Well, guess what?  That "older" business has caught up with me.  Anyway. long story short – it is down to bone on bone and time for joint replacement.  But, that can't happen until mid-August.  Meanwhile, though, I have a fantastic support group.  Everyone needs a good one of these – they are worth their weight in gold.

So, of course, this warranted a print.  This is multiple plate intaglio and chine collĂ©.  I'm working on another one along this same vein which will be larger and a woodcut, probably.  I think it will be my recuperation project for after the surgery.  I will get everything ready to go before I go under the knife.

While working on this group of prints, the poetry muse must have passed through the area and the next thing I knew I was up to my neck in Haiku.  I, of course, know nothing about poetry, but that has never stopped me from doing anything else, so it didn't stop me from this either.  Although, I did consult the Poet Laureate, Bette Wappner, and sent me to a website that was very useful.  In usual form, though, the deadline was approaching and I didn't have time to really study the subject.  (Must do that in the near future.  Maybe another recuperation activity.)  This is my try at Surinomo - the Japanese prints which included poetry.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wet Concrete Carving Workshop

This is so exciting! Barebones Art will be hosting Elder G. Jones, a pioneer in the development of wet concrete carving, for a three day workshop this July 16, 17 and 18th in luxurious, (we hope it will not still be raining) Vancouver, WA.  We will work from 10 am to 4 pm (more or less) for three days and when it is all over, besides having the time of our lives, we will have a finished piece for our home or garden, know all there is to know about the medium, plus have the tools to do the job again.

Granted, this has little or nothing - probably nothing - to do with printmaking, except that possibly you could ink and print the vessel you produce should be so inclined.  Or maybe you could squish a carved block into the wet concrete, remove the block, and carve around it?  How about pressing leaves into the wet concrete and carving around them?  I'm sure there will be lots of ideas from others and I can't wait to hear them.  Printmakers, especially, can always come up with some way to make their medium work with another.

If you are interested in joining us for the workshop please let me know at or you can also go to

I have a lovely flyer I can send to anyone who is interested, but be darned if I can figure out how to get it onto this page.  If you'd like to see it, let me know! 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

More Skin

We are now ready to get back to the business of printmaking - almost.  My last contribution to the skin show is a handmade paper piece.  The skins, aka peelings, from onions, carrots and broccoli have been boiled beyond recognition with a little caustic agent and at the end of the process, a buffering agent to make it Ph neutral. Only a few sheets were made and one was carefully draped over my hand to form somewhat of a casting - albeit a speed record in the casting process.  The color was not anticipated, but is very pleasant and works well with the title: Skin.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Life just keeps interjecting and taking more time than I am willing to devote.  The latest development is bursitis in the left hip.  This is probably because I've been walking, sitting, and moving in unnatural ways because my blooming knee hurts like hell.  So, that is my excuse for not doing much art work.  And then, the deadline for the Skin show at North Bank Gallery decided to be closer than I could imagine and I got to work on a couple of quirky ideas.  I figured others would do the tatoos, body painting, hanging by hooks in the back from the gallery ceiling, etc.  So, I would do something from the opposite direction.  The closest I could come to the opposite direction was nursery rhymes/lullabyes, hence Bye Baby Bunting - Daddy's gone a-hunting, he will bring a rabbit skin to wrap a baby bunting in.  And, New Summer Colors - thinking if we could just get babies to come in all colors, not just the traditional ones, maybe we could get over racial prejudices.  Probably not.  Someone would think up a reason for hating my lime green babies.  Or, Heaven Forbid!  The mauve ones, now that sounds dangerous.  One more piece is in the works, but it is still drying.
detail of the babies                                                                              Bye Baby
                                                    New Summer Colors

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Back at it: making art

It has been ages since I've communicated via blog.  Mainly, because I was laid low the months of Oct., Nov., Dec., and January with emergency surgery & all that goes with that.  In January I was back in the hospital again because I had done everything wrong - ate all the wrong things and was, in general, a very bad girl.  In my defense, the hospital sent me home with no direction.  When they said I could eat Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast, I ate what was in the house: brown rice & whole grain toast. No! It was supposed to be white everything.  Basically, I could eat anything over-refined and with absolutely no nutritional value.  It is hard to generate any energy on such a diet. 
Due to this turn of events I missed my Christmas visit to Granddaughterland, aka North Dakota, and by March I was getting desperate for a Granddaughter fix.  I've just returned from glorious Grand Forks and Camille and I managed to get in a printmaking session.  I helped Grace with a couple of paintings

for a school project, and Camille and I did various craft and art related projects.  After a rousing game of Fancy Nancy we drew bedrooms and Nancy.  But the printmaking was the most fun.  Here is a shot of Camille burnishing her foam plate.  I'm not sure she ever really got the concept as the plates seemed to be much more important to her than the prints.  I think Grace will be ready to do some actual carving next winter, so maybe I can get her to do a little linoleum print - or we might find time for that this summer, though their time here seems to pass much too quickly to do much of anything that requires staying in one spot.
Next on the agenda is some studio clean up and then Grandma had better get back to work or she won't have much for a July show. Yikes!