Wednesday, September 28, 2011

So Much I Want To Do and Just So Many Hours in a Day!

The current drawing I have been working on is a composition Angel Trumpet flowers and Chinese landern on Rtistx white board. Above is a portion of the drawing which wouldn't fit in my scanner, the size is approximately 11x15". Below I have put my reference photo so you can see the basic composition although I am planning to make some changes, mainly simplifying the background (no bricks) and changing all the dark greens in the bottom third of the drawing perhaps one or more flowers. The elements in the photo which enticed me to draw this scene are the sunlit flowers and the blue/orange complimentary colors of flowers and lantern. I started with the Angel Trumpets (my focal points) and then letting the drawing evolve around them.
The image below is one of my printmaking experimentations. As I mentioned in the previous blog entry I have been taking a solar printmaking class one day a week for a year now. There are 6 students and the instructor in the printmaking room and we literally shut ourselves off from the world and print to our hearts' content. I enjoy it so much because the printing process is a completely different than working on my colored pencil drawings and sometimes I just want to try another form of art that is different and hands-on.

So after a year of classes I have ended up with many experimental etchings in all different colors and styles, particularly etchings of my Koi fish prints which I experimented on for the portfolio project. I took my various prints and cut them up into different shapes and sizes then gluing the prints onto notecards. This card below is an etching with textured rice paper chiné colléd onto my printing paper and then painted with watercolor on the fish when the print was dry. Thus I have a group of little handmade notecards in which I can to people who will hopefully enjoy them!
While putting together notecards, I got to thinking about art and how I can spend hour upon hour creating (when I have the free time), thus I am never bored. I recently had dinner with two of my close friends who both work in another industry other than art. My two friends were discussing being "empty nesters" with adolescent children going to college or having graduated from college hereby leaving my friends with less household duties and more free time. Both were contemplating what they were going to do with all their time. Of course my first (selfish) thought was ... hmmm, can I put them to work helping me? I did suggest they come to my studio and try their hand at some form of art.

After the conversation, I thought about how lucky I am that I will never be bored because there are several types of art mediums I would like to try and several more I would like to be proficient at. Even when I'm not creating, I'm teaching art classes or looking at art at galleries, exhibits and museums. And I can do all this for the rest of my life, so how lucky am I?

With that being said, I am off to Paris tomorrow and will be towing my somewhat reluctant husband to all the art museums I can see in a week.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Impressions Printmaking Portfolio

Over the past year I have been taking a solar plate printmaking class at the Providence Art Club and was asked to participate in a portfolio project to raise funds to purchase equipment for the art club's studio spaces. Twenty-two artists participated and in the words of the Providence Art Club; "the work showcases various printmaking techniques, from traditional processes to new 21st century technology." Above is our postcard invitation to the exhibit.
Each of the twenty-two artists produced 35 prints, one for each portfolio, shown above presented in a red clam-shell box. Each artist chose his or her own design and method of printing and we all worked on them in the print studio, most under an instructor's guidance. Each of our prints have been created exclusively for the portfolio project.

Each participating artist will receive a portfolio to keep and the remaining 13 portfolios will be sold to raise the funds. We have already sold 6 with only 7 portfolios remaining.

This is my print which is a solar plate etching with chiné collé onto a Tamarind rice paper with leaves and grasses from Thailand. I titled it "A Floating World". Printing this particular piece was quite a process which required a template (for positioning) because I chose to print my etching plate, printing paper and chiné collé paper all in one step. I had to cut and pre-glue the rice paper, soak printing paper, ink plate then lay each component on my template on the press, dampen with more water and run through the press. It was a lot of work and at times I was grumbling because I had many mistakes but all in all I'm happy about what I have accomplished and excited to be part of the portfolio.

I was a printmaking major in college ... believe it or not ... and never really ever did anything with it post graduation. Let me explain what draws me back to printmaking now. Other than the fact that my instructor is fabulous and I enjoy the camaraderie of other artists at the art club, I can create drawings to be made into prints. All of my prints thus far have been from pencil drawings I have created. I also enjoy printmaking because it is a hands-on type of art. Rather than just drawing, I can have fun trying different papers, different materials and various techniques. I like the physical work of inking plates, cutting paper and running the press. It gives variety to creating my artwork.

The exhibit opened today at the Providence Art Club. We framed one of each artist's print in the portfolio and we also able to submit a second print of our choice for the exhibit. The two above photos are of some of the prints displayed. This may also lead into being a traveling exhibit.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Drawing of Bandit

I enjoyed working on the Ampersand Pastelbord (size 8x10"), the surface takes the layers of pencil so easily and quickly. As I mentioned in the last post, I really like the ability to layer light colors over dark. There are so many colors and values in the fur that I like having the ability to keep going back and adding to what I've already drawn. I am using all Prismacolor pencils for this piece and decided on a blue/gray background to compliment the warm tones of Bandit's fur.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


I've done more work on Bandit and what I like so much about the pastelbord is the amount of layers I can apply. As I'm looking at Bandit's fur and all the different colors in the strands, I'm finding that I have to keep going back and applying different colors or I find an area that needs more highlights so I can easily add them. I just have to keep my pencils sharp because these sanded surfaces eat them quickly! Went on a 30 mile bike ride yesterday and I'm too lazy to work on him today!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Portrait of My Dog and Hurricane Photos

For the longest time my family has been asking me to draw a portrait of our beloved Yorkshire Terrier, Bandit. Seeing that Bandit is the spoiled baby of the family I have oodles of photos of him but not a single photo has inspired me to draw him, I keep pondering. However, earlier this summer, I took a close up head shot of Bandit with his fur blowing in the wind and decided I would start a small 8x10" portrait and just have some fun with it. The surface I'm using is Ampersand Pastelbord.
I've included some photos I took immediately following "Tropical Storm" Irene which was thankfully downgraded from a hurricane 1 category. We lost power for 26 hours between Sunday and Monday but there are still many areas in our town and nearby towns that still don't have power and may not have it until after this weekend. The above photo is a tree that fell into a field at the end of our street. The funny part is that this big heavy tree is merely resting on the stone wall which is still completely intact.
This is the dock a little way down the street from us. As the hurricane passed, the danger became the dangerously high "moon" tide and what damage it would cause. Water is almost to the top of the dock and usually about 5 or 6 feet of supports show, the water has also covered the beach and come up into the grassy area. Incidentally, movie scenes were filmed on this dock back in May, its titled "Moonrise Kingdom" and actors include Bill Murray and Bruce Willis. I saw all the traffic and security and had no idea at the time that Bruce Willis was right down the street.

These two photos are of Sandy Point Beach on the Sakonnet River. We rarely see waves, Sandy Point is a very calm, sheltered beach so this was exciting to see. Again, due to the high tides, the sand on the beach is completely covered. I like the atmosphere, the deep grays and the strength of the waves in both of these photos. Future colored pencil piece? Maybe!