Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Collaborative Dinos: Ailing

Linocut over watercolor (unique print) 
11.5" x 9" on 140 lb. watercolor paper 

This is the second collaborative dinosaur prints I've made with my daughters. The first was posted here. This print was based on a drawing by Lysi, my 7-year-old. 

The colors are pretty and playful, but everything here  makes us sick. 

Collaborative Dinos: Hitting the Wall

Linocut over watercolor (unique print) 
11.5" x 9" on 140 lb. watercolor paper

This is another collaboration with my 7 year old daughter. (The first can be seen here.) I've resumed work on the Nautilus and the Ammonite project and I decided I need some children's drawings of dinosaurs in the background of one of the double-page spreads. However, I'm also using the blocks to make some one-off finished works in their own right such as this. This is also building on what I started with these screen prints made last year.

For this piece I instructed Lysi to draw a T-Rex from a specific reference, and then I turned her drawing into a linocut. I did a watercolor painted background before printing. I'm working on a few of these, and with each I'm trying to not have strong expectations about the final product and frequently pause and with each decision carefully respond to what has already happened. In this case the drawing of the dinosaur struck me as rather emaciated, which drove me to give him a grey, flat, and empty environment and to leave the carved marks in front of his face that suggest he's walking into a wall, in the sense of being hungry and out of options.

Collaborative Dinos: Hitting the Wall

Linocut over watercolor (unique print) 
11.5" x 9" on 140 lb. watercolor paper

This is another collaboration with my 7 year old daughter. (The first can be seen here.) I've resumed work on the Nautilus and the Ammonite project and I decided I need some children's drawings of dinosaurs in the background of one of the double-page spreads. However, I'm also using the blocks to make some one-off finished works in their own right such as this. This is also building on what I started with these screen prints made last year.

For this piece I instructed Lysi to draw a T-Rex from a specific reference, and then I turned her drawing into a linocut. I did a watercolor painted background before printing. I'm working on a few of these, and with each I'm trying to not have strong expectations about the final product and frequently pause and with each decision carefully respond to what has already happened. In this case the drawing of the dinosaur struck me as rather emaciated, which drove me to give him a grey, flat, and empty environment and to leave the carved marks in front of his face that suggest he's walking into a wall, in the sense of being hungry and out of options.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sketchbook Sunday: Students in Clark Park

For this week's installment of Sketchbook Sunday I've decided to feature sketches I did of my 3rd-5th grade students at the University City Arts League. Last week I had the students made small, bound sketchbooks and this week we took a walk to Clark Park and did some sketching outdoors. I intended to get a sketch of each of my 8 students, however I only captured a glimpse of 7 because one wouldn't stay in one spot for long enough for me to find him. As is probably obvious from these sketches, none of the kids stayed put in one place for very long. Ah, well, life is fleeting.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Deborah Anne Bowen's Jumping Fox

Deborah Anne Bowen has made a number of wonderful woodcuts of Berlin foxes (check on her art blog here), including an exquisite accordion book/wordless picture book titled Diary of a Viktoriapark Fox.

This pair of foxes isn't featured in that book, but it is my favorite of Bowen's fox prints. I adore the moment of tension just before the leaping friend lands on the unsuspecting sleeper. I love the warm playfulness of these fuzzy actors set against the stark and stoic background. It somehow seems wintry, without depicting any literal snow or other signs of the season (although it was created to be a New Year's card). I almost wanted to save posting about this print until winter, but I've been looking so much at Bowen's foxes, I simply had to feature this graceful print now. Maybe I long for winter. Maybe I just feel that the year is new because it is the start of the school year after a long, hot summer.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Sketchbook Sunday: Bebe's Walk Through Wissahickon Park

This is my first "Sketchbook Sunday." The idea is that every Sunday I will share some of the sketches I have done during the week on this blog. It is part of the year-long AIRM program that I started on September 15. I have pledged to find a way to resume a regular sketchbook process and to find ways to integrate it into my work as both a stay-at-home mom and teaching artist. Weekly documentation of some of the sketches is a way to keep me accountable.

This week my daughters and I took a walk in the Wissahickon park trails and my 4-year-old daughter Bebe took a bunch of photographs with my cell phone. Later Bebe and I did two collaborative mixed-media sketches. I'd start out drawing in watercolor crayons from her photograph, and then she'd make suggestions and draw or paint over some of what I did. We talked about what we were doing as it went. The first image is a fairly straightforward image of me holding up a flower.

The second became increasingly imaginative. It started out from a photograph that Bebe had taken of some grass, rocks, and her own feet. I drew the feet, and then she started to fill out the rest. She wanted to have Thumbelina emerging from a rose, and imagined that the feet were Thumbelina's human mother's. Bebe found our first version of Thumbelina very unsatisfying, which is why we ended up printing out a Victorian lady to glue over top and then sewed on a swatch of fabric for her skirt (because the lady we printed out was cut off just below the waist.)

The third sketch here is a drawing I made with conte crayons from a photo Bebe took of her own shadow.


Collaborative Linocut with Lysi: "The X Dress"

This is a 6" x 9" (full bleed) linocut with hand watercolor painting. It is a collaborative piece by me and my 7-year-old daughter Lysi. It started as a drawing (second image below) she did from observation of her little sister Bebe. Bebe was kneeling down at coffee table drawing, and Lysi and I were sitting on a couch behind her. I gave her a couple suggestions and pointed out some details when she became frustrated, but she drew it all herself. I loved the drawing so much that later I transferred it to a linoblock and turned it into a print so we could make colored versions. The first image here is the one I colored. Lysi colored the one with baloons and another girl in the background (the original drawing was done at a friend's birthday party) and the final version was colored by Bebe.