Tuesday, February 15, 2011

More Greed and Lies

Finally, I have managed to take a black and white print on Somerset paper which actually shows the block much better than that wonderful, silky, draping like cloth paper with the white on white Japanese symbols. I really do love that paper - the symbols represent pine, plum and bamboo - or so it says on the label.  Did I mention that the block is 20" x 24"?  It takes a 22" x 30" sheet to do one print.  Also, I found a very elemental system to register that little green "bp" block which was burnished by hand with my trusty bamboo covered baren, so no more wasting paper by guessing where to put that little stinker.

I think this is a strong image, but of course, I have to do some more playing around with it. That will be tomorrow.  
The wonderful filmy paper I am so in love with has white on white small Japanese symbols for pine, plum and bamboo, which could serve as symbols of the many species of both flora and fauna of the gulf who are now endangered in one way or another.

I hope you can see the white on white symbols and, of course, you can see them when they are where the black ink happens to print over them.  It gives a feeling of layers and I love layers of imagery and commentary.
Next is to find the ideal way to attach a few more panels to the "bolt of fabric" - that will happen after the ink dries enough that I can handle them without smudging.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Fabric of the Gulf: Greed and Lies

Finally I am back to my other love: the woodblock.  I've had this block carved and proofed and ready to go for months, but other deadlines kept pushing it to the back of the line.  Then North Bank Gallery decided to do a Seven Deadly Sins show and I was half way there!  Where on earth was their less greed and lies than in the Gulf Oil spill of this last year?  I figured I probably had all the sins covered with this one print, almost all, anyway.

It is a little hard to tell one thing from another in these photos and, of course, I do not have a flat print - that will have to be another day.  Actually, there are two blocks on this piece - the "bp"(not shown) are printed in British Petroleum green.
I pulled about 6 prints onto a very thin and silky paper with a white on white design.  While waiting for them to dry I found a piece of melmanine composite board which I cut to the size I needed and screwed a cardboard bolt form, and some wooden reinforcement, to it. I'd forgotten how much fun it is to run the saws, drill press, sander, etc., and the resulting mess there is to clean up.
When the prints were dry enough to work with I proceeded to wrap the bolt form, first with a piece of Sommerset white paper and then around several times with the silky woodblock prints until I had a bolt of the Fabric of the Gulf.

It looks like fabric - even the feel of it gives you much more of a sense of fabric than fabric itself.  So, why didn't I just print it on fabric and have it over with?  Oh, who knows, I kind of like the idea that it is one thing representing another -- especially with the theme of the show being sin and I'm working with greed and lies.  And this paper is so thin and silky and though it is probably tougher than wine leather, it has a very fragile appearance - not unlike the gulf ecosystem.
The top of the bolt is, more or less, authentic (big lie), too – however what it says is the truth!

I'm hoping you can click on that and be able to read it - if not it says: Gulf Black Plague, 100% oil pollution, Machine wash cool, certified dispersants, lie, lie, lie.  And where the price is: $200 billion.

That about covers it - I will pull a regular, "hang on the wall" print tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Massive Amount of Work

I've been very quiet for a couple of months - in October and November I was busy getting ready for the  Miniature show - who would have guessed that working on a 4" format could be so difficult.  After struggling to get myself down to those dimensions I found out the maximum was 5"x7".  Oh well, that work is done and off to new homes.  But, there was no rest for the weary because Xmas was practically here and I was off to North (freeze your tuche off) Dakota for a wonderful visit with the daughter and son-in-law and the worlds two most gorgeous and intelligent granddaughters.  Of course, I caught the obligatory Xmas Airport Cold, but could take no time off to soak in the misery of it.  It was back to work immediately because the call for massive work to be ready for the February show wasn't even started, yet.  Well, it is finished and hung in the gallery now.  My God, what a massive amount of work for one skinny little month.  The work is only 5' x 5' and is comprised of 36 nine inch squares.  Each "tile" has been printed with a yellow squiggly background, then a misty blue plate, and the circles in gold, and one of six various motif's: compass rose, geometric star, clock face, Celtic knot, Gordian knot, and Fleur de Lis. When those were dry a proverb was printed on each, some machine sewing with a varigated metallic thread (which was a bitch to work with) a little color pencil to highlight.  Then they were mounted onto print paper, followed by matboard, coated with a cold wax medium, eyelets and ball chain were attached. I will never do this again - so this is it, kids.  
A sample of one of the individual squares:

I'll be posting more of the individual images at http//www.barebonesart.com.  It was quite a chore hanging this piece, so I may not get to the website until tomorrow - I feel a rest period coming on....