I like to paint from time to time in between making prints because to me it's such a different and almost opposite process. When I make a print, I'm always thinkingthinkingthinking. I need to be careful of the registration and the ink has to be the right consistancy, not applied to thick or too thin and consider how the different colours will look when they overlap etc etc. When I start to paint, I carry all this thinking with me, but slowly I try to get let it go. I want to paint like a kindergartner with no worries about realism, only joy in the colours and the feeling of the paint. It's not as easy as it sounds. I love painters who appear to be able to let go of their thinking brains like Mindy Lacefield, Michelle Brown and Flora Bowley. It takes a lot of effort to break the rules and get that effortless look! My left brain is already dying to get on with the next print, planning happily away. It's not that there isn't a ton of creativity in printmaking, I just find that acrylic paint is so forgiving. I can play without that fearful voice saying, "don't do that, you'll wreck it!" It's good to exercise the right brain and hopefully carry some of that rule breaking into my printmaking.
I've been working on this linocut for a ridiculously long time. Originally in was twice as big and had so much going on in it. It was too busy and rather incomprehensible. There was a flying colander and more little fork head people as well as a giant cake. My idea for this linocut is hard to pin down. I can danse all around the idea, but never quite express it precisely. Maybe this is because the idea has to do with those thoughts that you quickly forget as soon as you wake up, or the things you think you see out of the corner of your eye, but disappear as soon as you turn your head.
The organizing faculities of our left brains want us to see life in a certain way...the proper way. But what is really there? Everything we see and know is filtered through our brains and is our own subjective interpretation. I would love to see things a little differently and add a little visual metaphor to my life; a little everyday magic to my routine. Children do this quite easily. The fork becomes a person and your friend becomes a cat. Adults should do this too. It would make life so much more interesting!
Between the Polar Vortex and the Ice Storm and the endless predictions for a few more centimeters of snow, this has been a tough winter and it's only mid January! Everyday this week I've seen people slipping on ice. Thankfully they've all gotten up unharmed. Those puffy snowsuits that children wear should probably be mandatory in this weather. They're great padding, although they can make movement difficult. My cat has stopped going outside and is blaming me for the cold. He is putting on weight at an alarming rate, but doing nothing but eating, sleeping and yowling at your person will do that. To combat the cold and difficulty of getting around I like to submerse myself in warm colours like red and brown and think of large plants and gardens. One day they'll return...won't they? These are two new collages made with my linocut images. The backgrounds are done with printers ink, a stencil and a brayer. Then the cut images are arranged on top. If my cat could learn to do art, he might not be so bored! These are in my Etsy store now. I hope everyone has heat and power!
Every year I make Christmas Cards, but don't feel left out if you don't get one from me. I only make them for other people to send. I'm never organized enough to actually send them myself. Hopefully some year I'll get around to sending them myself and then I might receive some that aren't from politicians or real estate agents.
In the picture on the left are some styrofoam trays, the kind that you find under quick sale veggies. I cut into them with an exacto knife and printed them onto the cards using speedball printers ink. I liked the distressed look because the white flecks where the ink didn't print reminds me of snow. The holes could then be filled in by doodling, collaging or stamping with some eraser stamps. This was lots of fun, but much more labour intensive than my usual cards. Each one is slightly different.
Merry Christmas to everyone in interent land!
Last Sunday the Varley Art Gallery hosted a wonderful artist trading card swap. There was a great turn out and we had tons of fun trading cards with other artists. I hope they hold more of these events. My ACEOs (Art Card Editions and Originals) are linocut prints and so I was able to make several of each type. These three are just listed in my Etsy store. I have more of these animal friends to list, but Christmas is bearing down and I haven't started to make my Christmas cards yet. The month of December is also a big birthday month in our family, so this will be the last non-Christmas or birthday art posting until the new year.
When I was listing these I was amazed at how my scanner picked up the texture of the printing ink. I think it picked it up a little too much! However, being linocuts, there is some texture. I hope you enjoy them!
I love to add words to my prints. I'm not sure why, except that their shapes are so pleasing to look at and they add an unexpected element. Just like pictures, they have meanings which are altered by their context. When I put them together with a print the perception of both are altered. I have a collection of words that I've cut out of old books from the recyling depot. I sift through them often seeing how they fit with various prints. There are many I am dying to use...like "deepest and most thrilling of all the stories" . I really hope I create a print that goes with that someday!
A little over a week ago I raced up to the Georgina Art Centre to enter a few of my prints in the "Undefined" Juried exhibition. I made it just before the deadline and I'm glad I made the trip. Last Sunday, the reception showcased a beautiful display of art with many talented artists. I was so pleased and surprised to get a third place for my reduction linocut print, "The Story Begins". It is really a wonderful show with a great variety of painting, photography, sculpture, pottery and more. I'm so glad to be a member of the gallery there.
This week I'll be adding more prints to my Etsy store, so if you are in the mood for a new print, stay tuned : )
It's been over two months since my last post : O
I have been acclimatizing to my new part-time job as a schoolbus driver. It was a lot to get used to at first but I'm getting the hang of it. I had also started a large print which was causing me no end of grief. Between the two situations I found myselft unable to post anything. However, life has a way of carrying on and things invariably get better. I decided to give my difficult print a rest and I finally finished these two little prints on Japanese tissue. I love this sort of magical thinking. It reminds me that my brain can take me anywhere. We only use a small portion of it they say. What is in the other part? Maybe magical things...
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!