Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Change of tune

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I change my tune every time I turn around.   And here we go again.  No sooner than the last entry had been posted I had changed my mind about the imagery to use on the heart.  I'm sticking with the girls dancing through the woods releasing birds with reckless abandon, but they will be more on the order of Procession of the Birds:

 And, somewhere along the line, probably on the reverse, will be some expanded version of Keepers of the Flame.
Both are small intaglio prints I did last year using Solarplate™and inking ala poupeĆ©.  Way back at the beginning of time I made little daubers from scraps of an old chamois stuffed with a cotton ball and secured with twine.  They look like simple little dolls in long dresses, which is the translation of poupeĆ©: doll.  They are used to dab the different colors of ink onto the plate before wiping very carefully.  These little dolls have served me well - and, I trust, will continue to do so.  They sleep in an old coolwhip container when not in use.

It will be interesting to see how these women translate into painting.  Well, we should be finding out soon!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A little distraction

Flags have had to go on hold for a couple of days.  A deadline of Apr. 15 descended upon me with gusto - no, not taxes this time, but another project.  The Peace Health Southwest Medical Foundation is conducting an auction to raise funds to add space and upgrade imaging equipment for their most fragile heart and vascular patients.  25  three foot fiberglas hearts will make their way to Vancouver and corresponding artists studios where they will be painted and towards the end of summer be put up for adoption by the highest bidders.  After that some of them, if not all, will be exhibited as public art around the city.  The sketches of what I plan to do with my giant heart are due tomorrow and never wanting to be ahead of a deadline I have valiantly upheld my tradition of being right down to the wire.  As I was singing along and getting ready to scan the images and printed forms and actually send them off A DAY EARLY, mind you, the scanner won't work.  I've tried everything: turned everything off and back on a couple of times (this is my cure-all and generally works, but not this time), downloaded a driver, tried to re-install the software, kicked, screamed, cried - well, not cried, but almost.  Nothing works, I just keep getting a notice that says, in a very cranky and irritating tone, "this is no longer supported --".  Can they do that?  Just order their machines to quit and not give a person any notice?  Probably yes, because they are the Computer Gods.  I have a call in to my favorite of all time Guru, but he is out of town until tomorrow afternoon.

There was no choice, well - truthfully, their was a choice - I could have bundled this all up and trooped down to Kinkos and had them scan everything, but I chose to photograph the sketches, write the little bio, and send that much off today with a note that the thing I really need to scan will follow tomorrow, one way or another.  I'm really, really, hoping that my Guru will tell me to click this and click that and the scanner will work again.  If I have to buy a new one I am going to be a wee bit upset, (translation: mighty pissed.)

Anyway, the sketches I submitted were:  my dancing women and children - kind of an old stand-by that I've done a million ways if I've done it once, but it is still fun to do:

The plan would be to have the girls dance all the way around - birds and butterflies in abundance and frogs and turtles, ladybugs and snails in the foliage.  Pure fun everywhere.

Or, I could do this - a kind of Remedios Varo type of image.  I've always been fascinated with her work and have many sketches of my own versions of which this is high on the list of favorites.  I could see this on one side of the heart with the tapestry going around to the other side where the rivers and oceans would be made.
 Unless someone makes the decision for me I will vacillate from now until the moment to actually start painting.  Which do you think is the more interesting?  Please help me decide!

Monday, April 8, 2013

5 Flags All In a Row

It seems like ages since I've posted, and that's mainly because it has been ages.  The blocks are all carved, the flags have been printed and hemmed and I'm ready to do a little hand embellishment and string them onto a cord.  I also picked up some wooden beads to intersperse.  These definitely are not your traditional Buddhist Prayer Flags - they have mutated into Sharri's Version Prayer Flags.  I hope they will work the same way and the blessings will still waft their way along the wings of the wind.

Printing went very well.  They were printed with black etching ink with quite a bit of gold metallic powder and transparent base mixed together.  I printed them exactly as you would on paper with the fabric laid on the block using a registration jig so I could get things where they belonged.  If I had laid the block onto the fabric as the Tibetan printers do I would have had totally blind registration and I seem to have enough trouble when I can see what I'm doing.  Then I used a rubber blanket and zipped them through the etching press.  Clive says he has a Tee Shirt printed with letterpress ink and it has lasted for years, and come to think of it, I have a sweatshirt in the same condition.  However, it has not hung out in the rain and sun for any of those years, so this could be a different game.  We'll see!

As soon as I get these babies strung they are going either into the garage or outside where I can spray them with a UV protector.  It must be highly toxic stuff because they tell you to do this outside. Guess I will wear my respirator mask when I do that... it has a haute couture look, if you're a bug.

A friend had some flags in her garden and they gradually disappeared.  She had no idea where they were going.  One day a squirrel nest fell from a tree and there were her flags, they had been shredded into nesting material.  We are wondering if I spray them with Varathane if that would deter the squirrels.  Yet another thing to try.  We will be ready for our totally random and uncontrolled lab trials in a day or two.  So far there isn't any hurry for the UV trials as it is cloudy, rainy, with sudden flashes of sunlight between showers, and very much April in our corner of the map.

 The flowering trees are blooming and the bulbs are signalling that Spring is on its way.  We are swamped (literally) with daffodils of every persuasion, fritelaria (not sure how you spell any of these) and bergonia.  I hope you gardeners will recognize these phonetically and correct my spelling!  However they are spelled they are uplifting and gorgeous.  And, hopefully, flags will be performing the same miracle shortly.