Here's my latest collage, made of old prints, magazines and printers ink. I always look at my work and wonder, where is the pain and suffering? I have heard that true art must have angst and struggle. I admire a lot of art that is full of struggle and complex emotions. I just can't channel mine. It's not that I don't have any in my life. I think we all do, some more than others. I just do what I do. It's only after that I wonder...should it maybe be a little darker...more ominous. But since art is a place where I escape to, I don't really want there to be struggle. I don't know if this is wrong, but I would like to go live in this collage.
I'm always more than a little hesitant to call something new because I'm sure somewhere on this earth someone has done this before. However, I'll qualify by saying, this is new for me. These little prints are made with water soluable printers ink and hand carved stamps. I love water soluable ink because it's so easy to clean up, but you can't re-wet the ink or it can run. To solve this problem, I sprayed the prints with acrylic sealer and then painted with fluid acrylics. I was amazed and delighted to find that the printers ink, under the sealer, acted as a resist to the thinned out fluid acrylic. It reminded me of painting with watercolour over top of wax crayons. The prints, once sealed, could be glued onto painted wood and protected with archival gloss varnish. I'm so happy not to have to frame them! Now that I've developed this technique with these little 4 by 4 inch prints, I plan to try it with something larger! I'm hoping to have more time in August. Most of July was taken up with learning to drive a school bus. I'm hoping that this will be the perfect part-time job. It will make me get up early, but still leave me lots of time to do my art and provide a little much needed cash for art supplies. I really quite like the idea of bouncing around in a big yellow bus. It may even provide some artistic inspiration. You never know!
Now is the time to free the heart
Let all intentions and worries stop
Free the joy inside the self
Awaken to the wonder of your life.
Now is the time...to have fun with collage!
I often write down random words, quotes and proverbs that I like in my sketch book and I usually, but not always write the source. I think this is a celtic blessing. If you know where it comes from let me know. Everyone around me is full of stress these days! I am too, but sometimes I can just let it all go. I think meditating is giving me more control over my own mind. Meditating is one of those things that you've got nothing to lose by trying. I'm always up for those. Last year my hormones decided that I should have acne, for the first time in my life. Yep, and I'm not anywhere near being a teenager. The doctor was recommending antibiotics, which I didn't want to do, and then I read that you washing with raw honey was the best thing for your face. The article said, "you've got nothing to lose!" Actually I lost the acne! My face started improving imediately. Meditating is similar. I thought to myself it was probably not going to do anything, but I was amazed. All those bees and tibetan monks are right! I recommend meditation to everyone who's too busy and stressed. I try to fit in ten minutes every morning and I'm totally surprised at how much it helps. It's still not easy, but I'm getting much better at freeing my heart and letting all the intentions and worries stop because life is a wonder. We might as well enjoy it
I'm working on a new print which was originally going to have several plates for different colours. Then I hit upon the idea of masking areas with paper. This saves a lot of carving and lino and I have no idea why I didn't think of this before! It's easy and you can use the same piece of paper over and over. You just take the paper off when you are rolling on the ink and then put it back before you put your paper on. I apologise to those of you who aren't printing nerds. I have very little training in printmaking so I dream about this stuff at night. Sad but true.
Some of these prints are made on this gorgeous brown Nepalese handmade paper. I'm going to have to get more of this! I see another trip to the Paper Place in my future.
I haven't quite finished with these yet. They need to be signed and titled. There are some one white paper too. I'm hoping to get them into my Etsy soon : )
Starting today you can see the prints of Sarka and Lisa and myself at the Flato Markham Theatre. They are open Monday to Saturday, 11:00 to 6:00 and of course in the evening if you take in a show! I have 12 prints at the theatre and yesterday I was rather dreading wrapping them all up in paper so they wouldn't get damaged while I drove them over. I've always thought of making reusable envelopes with duct tape and bubble wrap, but I don't have nearly enough bubble wrap. Then I remembered that thanks to my daughters monster making adventures, I have bags of polar fleece and the use of her sewing machine. Why did I not think of this before! It only took a couple of hours to sew up twelve bags. I'm not a skilled sewer, believe me, but polar fleece is forgiving and they're so much more colourful than bubble wrap!
It's finally spring here and that rare time of year when the sun is warm, but not hot and the mosquitos haven't woken up yet. Things are sprouting in the garden, but I'm much more successful with carved linocut flowers than real ones. My dog Basel likes to dig nice sleeping holes and rest in with the flowers and herbs. He's actually dug up my herb garden so many times that all I have left are the chives. Herbs must be especially nice to sleep with. This form of landscaping is not really pleasing to the human eye. If only I could teach him how to only dig out weeds.
This large linocut makes up for my lack of flowers in the garden. It fits in a 16 by 20 inch mat and is done with water soluble printers in and lots of individually carved stamps.
Here is my new linocut print, The Story Begins. I used Speedball printing inks which always go on speckely when printed over other layers of ink. I quite like the effect because I want the image to capture a strange middle space between reality and fiction where things are fragmented and disolve if you look straight at them. In this space, you think you know what is what, but if you begin to ponder you may start to doubt. There can always be a surprise ending...but that is the case with reality too.
Hope you like it : )
Here's a new little collagraph, made with blue and yellow etching ink and printed on my car jack press. I only made four of these because I wasn't sure how the handmade watercolour paper would work. It turned out better than I imagined! I love this handmade paper! The texture is amazing.
I realize it's been a long time since it blogged. I think the long winter really got to me this year and it was such a struggle to make myself do things. I guess I was frozen like everything else. However, things are looking up! I now have lots of my prints for sale at the Georgina Art Centre & Gallery in Sutton. If you get a chance it's worth going to see the fabulous paintings and serrigraphs of Margot Cormier Splane. Her visual puns will make you laugh and if you're a printmaker you will be awed by her skill! It's a great exhibition.
This little collagraph is now for sale in my Etsy : )
Sometimes you have to think long and hard about what to create and sometime things just pop out all of a sudden. Last Sunday I had an idea that I wanted to draw on fabric with a dip pen and these are the result. I have to think that the ideas were already formed in my subconscious because as soon as I sat down at my desk, I started drawing these. I have been doing alot of doodling in my sketch book lately and that must have helped to free up ideas. I wish creating always came so easily!
These little 4 by 4 inch pieces are now for sale in my Etsy : )
Not too long ago I came across a story which I found so totally charming that I wanted to do a print of it. Seeing as I know the author, Becky Martin, quite well, I was able to get permission: ) The print is a linocut done with painted Japanese tissue for colour. I probably should have made the hair auburn. Hmmmm, there may be more of these in the future. Here is the story and my print:
When I was in grade five, my hair started making decisions for itself. It grew elaborately from my scalp, with auburn curls twisting upwards and then furling back into a beehive. When I woke up in the morning, I would find myself wrapped in a nest of curls. While I was searching for my blankets, they left the bed before I did, anticipating the movements of my still small feet.
My mother made oatmeal for breakfast every morning. She would kiss my father out the door and sit down with my siblings and I as we searched for candy dinosaur eggs in the oats. My hair, unconcerned with oatmeal would stray into my sibling’s personal space, and my mother would exclaim, “Oh! Rebecca! You have the most beautiful hair of all girls! Don’t ever lose it. Don’t let anyone take it. Your hair will open doors for you one day.”, and I thought she was being literal, but I know now that she wasn’t.
On the walk to school, birds would pluck single strands from my head, and I let them. This was the best part of my day. I was happy to know that whatever fear or embarrassment my hair might eventually cause, it would at least provide a sturdy foundation for the nests of neighbourhood birds.
Sometimes at school, small groups of boys would crowd around me and climb inside my hair, one at a time. Sometimes they would be yelling. I’d try to reach in after them, but couldn’t bend my elbow backwards like the double jointed girl in our class. Usually I had to wait for them to find their way out, but some boys got lost. My friend Peter was in my hair for three weeks until he came tumbling out. He told me ‘it smells like peaches!’ and so I didn’t eat fruit for years.