Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Crazy Egon

I guess artist Egon Schiele was a crazy guy and a lot of his nudes are too, ummm, confrontational for me (Mom, don't look him up on the Net!). But some of his drawings were brilliant and even emotionally moving, appearing to show bruises or blood vessels, visceral skin marks that shout vulnerability and pain. This woodcut print was inspired by his drawing "Reclining Woman With Green Stockings" from 1917, the year before he died at age 28, three days after his wife died, both from Spanish flu.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Paper with Newspaper Clippings

I bought the most interesting handmade paper from Phoenix Art Supply (.com)* in vivid red with small pieces of printed text in it! I used it for the linocut above --you can see one of the clippings near her right temple. By operator error, the rest of the clippings were covered up by the black ink. Oops. Anyway, when a piece of paper is used on top of the support page, it's called Chine-Colle, pronounced shin collay, meaning paper and glue, basically.

Above is another linocut using Phoenix's handmade paper with a blue and aqua pattern. Again, I'm not showing the paper off well, but it really is pretty. I'm actually listing a print from the Weathervane series for sale, believe it or not, on ebay for charity - the Arthritis National Research Foundation.

*I have no connection to Phoenix Art Supply ( except I have bought lots of lovely (and crazy) handmade paper from them online. They have unusually helpful and friendly customer service by Judy L., who even sent me a Thank You note after my first purchase. And I didn't spend that much; she's just sincere about her job.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Crows everywhere (except here)

I've noticed a proliferation of crows both at home (geez, they are EVERYWHERE!) and as art on eBay and other sites. They're great looking birds. I've even just made a monoprint of a crow, so I'm joining the ranks. But today, no crows. Just three simple little birds from my imagination.

First is a pen and ink drawing; second a collograph (cut paper and matboard, printed), and last a drypoint engraving on acrylic.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Weathervane Linocut

This linocut print surprised me because of all the texture that resulted from setting the press a little too tight. The damp printmaking paper tucked itself far into all of the grooves of the linoleum block, picking up more ink than I expected and thoroughly embossing the softened printmaking paper.

So at first I thought Id have to carve away more of the background, go easier on the press settings, and try again. But I've decided that all the extra lines and embossing as well as the unexpected fire-like image of the leaves make the image more alive and exciting to me, so I think I'll leave it be.

Collage for Nicole

This is a collage on a postcard for my friend Nicole. I tried to use images that relate to her. I've included images of a koi, the beach, boats, sailing, girls, a bird, dog, visit to Texas, cows and the word "breathtaking". As I look at the collage, I must say how much it does remind me of her. Except perhaps for the orange koi fish (that's rising head-first out of the island in the background): that doesn't really relate to her in any way I can think of. Wait ....No.

Also the dog and bird in the foreground -- she's never had a dog or pet bird. A guinea pig, a little blue fish, but no dog or bird. I thought they were cute. I couldn't find a picture of an iguana.

Neither of the girls in the collage remind me of her, actually. As for the beach/boat/sail image theme, she does live near a beach, and while she neither goes there nor sails, I happen to know that she knows someone who sells boats. So the collage works well with regard to the pet/girl/beach/boat aspects. Or the beach/boat aspects.

Nicole is definitely "breathtaking". End of story. The first (and only) time she was in Texas was to visit me! She was gestating in the womb at the time, but that's no reason not to count it. While in Texas, we saw lots of cows, just like the ones in the collage. That's a gimme.

So all in all, I think it truly captures the essens d' Nicole, and it's probably the finest collage I've ever made, to boot. In fact, I'm quite sure I never finished the other one.

Nicole, I love you, girl!!! I'm putting the card in today's mail.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

All About Flowers Today

I want to say thank you to those of you who have sent such encouraging comments via my blog and personal emails. Blogging isn't as good as face-to-face relations, but in our fast-paced society, it's starting to feel personal.

I've been -- well, all over the place lately. In my blockprinting class, I'm focused on chine-colle prints, like the previous post. But at home it's a different story. Today I'm posting a couple flowers I photographed then passed through a filter in Photoshop Elements. They aren't altered much, really, just enough to make them more artsy.

About the first image, the pink rose: We grow these curly, almost neon-pink-and-orange rose bushes in our back yard which no one can see but us, and I'd bet Joe's not looking much, so that leaves me and the cat. But I really do like them. The black dots came from the filter. The image below it is a Japanese Plum tree twig from the tree in our yard.

This is one of those California ice plant flowers that open at sunrise and close at sunset. This one was just about to open up. I say "California ice plant" because my husband never heard of ice plants until he moved to California. It grows all over the neighborhoods where I grew up, near the south bay beaches, especially around the Playa del Rey dunes. I vividly remember seeing ice plant on my walks to school and the beach as a kid, and outside my old Playa del Rey condo.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Statue of Mary Drypoint with Chine-Colle

Thank you to my sister-in-law Kathy, an excellent photographer) for allowing me to use her photograph of a lovely statue of Mary, from which I made this drypoint etching with chine-colle paper (the blue, tissue-like background). The image is about 4x6".

Crow monotype

A friend and I made some paper the other day. The most I can say is: I learned a lot. Next time I'll use less colored paper, blend it finer, bring plenty of towels, and use a finer screen. And since the paper has a busy pattern, I am limited to a solid print so the pattern doesn't fight the print for attention. This is a monotype of a crow, a positive monotype (meaning I brushed the oil-based ink onto the plate rather than removing the ink from a fully-coated plate).
I'll be matting it, given the rough...deckle.
Not sure I'm a fan of the paper, but I'm willing to try again and hope for something a bit more refined. If anyone has any pointers, I'm all ears.

Chine-collé drypoint engraving

I adore paper and have ever since I was a kid browsing stationery stores with my mom. So it just naturally follows that I'd go overboard when ordering pretty decorative papers for printmaking, for my Chine-collé prints. I already had several sheets of handmade paper, but not the thin, almost tissue-like paper preferred in Chine-collé printmaking (from the French meaning, loosely, "paper with glue").

(Above is a 6"x9" drypoint chine-colle engraving of the Arles River,

printed on BFK Rives printmaking paper)

"Chine-collé" prints add a layer of color to what would usually be a black and white print. It might also add a texture and/or pattern; here the paper has stringy inclusions like the white streak seen in the foreground above the windows and the uneven sky. The paper is a blended two-tone, from yellow down to brown.

Here's the how-to: Brush glue all over one side of your Chine-collé paper, ink your engraved plate, and place it face up on the press bed. Place the Chine-collé paper on the inked plate, glue side up, then place the heavier printmaking paper on top of that, and print. When you pull the print, the tissue paper will have adhered to the printmaking paper, and the inked image will appear on the tissue paper! Got it?

Thanks to BDP for the photograph on which this print is based, and looking forward to "borrowing" photographs from Rome!