Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Monotype: "Eulabee"

Monotype (water-based inks on Rives BFK)
5" x 7" (image) 6.5" x 10" (paper)

I recently taught an intro to monotypes workshop to a group of teenagers, and so to prepare I did a bunch of monotypes in my studio. It had been years since I made a monotype, and I was never that into it. I made six pretty awful images before I created this lovely little sketch of my younger daughter.

I should do more of these. A lot more.

I should. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

"She Never Liked Dresses" by Belinda Del Pesco

Image reposted with the permission of the artist. Learn more about Belinda Del Pesco and her artwork at her website here.

...and it was just as well since she preferred to not be leered at like a piece of steak to be gnawed on. This particular dress wasn't so bad. With its collar and belt, it wore a bit more like a shirt and loose slacks, and worked well with her simple, easy-to-care-for haircut. Not to say she was a tomboy, for certainly she could never be mistaken for a boy. Just feminine in her own way, on her own terms. A flower over the ear, delicate hands, and a curvaceous figure, subtly emphasized by the way she walked. Never noticed by the lowest-common-denominator, but always loved for who she really was, and therefore happy in the most profound sense of the word.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

"At the Piano" by Ethel Mars

The hours of practice run together in my memory and are now more like a dream. I could never say how often or deliberately I played. There is only a smattering of details left: the faintest streaks of wood-grain I perceived through the dark stain on the piano's heavy, wood frame; a wall painted the color of split pea soup; the musty smell of the living room on humid, late-spring afternoons. That room could be so dark and dull (even more so in the foggy din of memories), but when I tapped those keys with the soft pads of my fingers, all was color and light, like a strawberry blonde standing in an endless field of poppies on the sunniest of days.  

Friday, June 8, 2012

"Sisters" by Carrie Lingscheit

Image posted with the permission of the artist. Learn more about Carrie Lingscheit and her artwork on her website.

They are sisters, but they seem more like mother and child...

I'm looking up at you, but you don't look back at me. You glance downward, as if in deep thought, a subtle smile on your face. You are in another place, worlds apart from me, and I long to be there with you. Your shadow falls over my face like a birthmark. I am forever torn between who I am and who I might have been without you. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wolf Study

 Wolf Study 
4" x 4" (image) 6.5" x 6.5" (paper)
Reduction woodcut, watercolors and water based ink on Stonehenge paper
Edition of 4

This is a small study I did for a friend. I wanted to mess around more with printing with a combination of watercolors and water-based block printmaking ink. This is a four layer reduction, and I documented the printing of each layer as I went along (see below.) The first layer I painted watercolor onto the block, separating the background from the foreground with a thinly carved line. The second layer was a solid silver, the third a solid brown, and the final layer I did a gradation from a deep burgundy to a dark bluish-purple. I wish a little more of the wood grain came through, and overall I didn't expect the piece to come off quite this flat. I sort of wish I had pushed more deliberately in that direction and made it weirder - more bright and surreal color, less line-work and more abstract/expressive. I never know exactly how these things are going to turn out, but I always learn something. That's what I like about this medium.

"Excitement" by James Mitchell

I am on the outside looking in on this spectacle of violent revelry. Though they form a singular cluster, they are not of a single mind. Some seem to try to control the crowd, while others scream in terror, furiously shake sticks, obliviously pound back more drink, and at least one woman covers her ears and lowers her head. Spots of debris encircle the mob, emphasizing the empty void around their communal shape. They seem contained by this void, but that is a hopeful illusion. In fact they are more like a bomb about ready to burst, for at least one drunken fool is already stepping out. Where all these pieces of broken humanity will end up, only time will tell.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

"Noonlight" by F. Crum

Images posted with the permission of the artist. More of F. Crum's work can be viewed at the blog Art and FCRUM and the artist's Etsy Store.

I am reminded of that quote from Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place." 

She squats down on the slanted floor so as not to fall, yet does not seem perturbed. She looks at us, dignified, and waves. The waving hand appears almost as if alive in its own right. Some kind of bird about to take flight. Escape this topsy, turvey, purple room. But the windows offer only small openings that constantly shift; the odds of success are slim. So enjoy the ride, my friend, because this is the best chance we've got to make something outta this chaos, even if only for a short while.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Bad Kitty

4" x 3"
4-layer woodcut reduction
Water-based ink on Stonehenge paper
Edition of 4 (and one AP)

He begs with large, watery eyes. Begging, but assertive none-the-less. Can't you see I'm hungry and cold, he seems to say, you're a nice person. Let me inside right now. He is a pretty cat. Shiny, sleek. We almost forget what he's done, but an anti-welcome mat backdrop serves as a not-so-subtle reminder of his true and inescapable nature. We acknowledge him, give a sympathetic glance or two, but leave the door shut.

Monday, June 4, 2012

"Sailing" by Julia Mavrogordato

These are churning waves, a green sea, a tumultuous sheet. No, no, no. These are not waves. This boat sales over an exquisite patchwork quilt. It sails over rolling, green hills on which weeds of every shape and size grow. It sails in and through a dream with its own barbaric soundtrack. Boom boom boom, clink, clank, shake a boom boom. The wind is whistling, and I feel exhilaration. The sky is darkening, and I am afraid. The rains will come, and they will drown the green in a puddle of muddy blue, and I'm okay with that because it's better to feel alive even if only for a short time, and because you're with me.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

More Than Black and White

4" x 6"
Water-based ink on Stonehenge paper
Reduction woodcut
One of two (Did another edition of 2, another of 3, and 2 APs)

She is more than a binary system. Her blacks are pigment that contain all hues. Likewise, her whites are the reflection of all colors in the spectrum of visible light. Like Whitman, she contains multitudes. Her firmly planted front legs are ready to begin a new journey. She is like a wagon,  or perhaps more accurately a plow, and the curl at the tip of her tail is a hook to drag us all along. The purveyor of the universe turns her head before disappearing into the light.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

"Running Deer" by Jane Beharrell

Image posted with the permission of the artist. More of Jane Beharrell's art can be viewed at her website that includes links to her artist's blog and store.

Red deer run in snow.
If you blink they will be gone
And the snow, melted.

A shapely escape.
Silhouettes on textured ground,
Nothing in between.

What has startled them,
Reduced them to flattened streaks,
Gifted us this jewel?

Friday, June 1, 2012

"The Campers" by Helen Stevenson

That was when I ran out of things to say. These were merely the moments in between good (or mediocre, as the case may be) gossip. What were the children and the men, those dots on the landscape, up to at the time? Who knows. As I recall, the water was tepid, the apples a bit mealy, and the air still.

This is only a memory, and all washed out from reliving it over and over again in my mind. Like my favorite blue skirt faded from too many cycles in the washer. How many details have I forgotten and reinvented along the way? Were our blouses quite so bubble gum pink? What shade of blue was that skirt to begin with after all?

Camping reminds me of memories, which reminds me of death and the transient nature of existence. I feel like we live our whole lives out of a tent, merely staked out for a day or few, surrounded by much more permanent grandeur. Anything we learn in that scant amount of time perhaps could be passed on to the next set of scouts, were we not in such a hurry to move on.

I wonder if that tree is still there, and if so, how much it has grown. Right out of the picture frame I imagine. But maybe it has died, fallen, and long been removed. Certainly the mountain remains.