Saturday, July 28, 2018

Imagined Bugs Print/Collages by 5th and 6th Graders at CAC

I am having a fantastic summer teaching kids at the Summer Spree art camp at the Community Arts Center in Wallingford. This is a set of relief prints made with foam boards made by 5th and 6th graders. I had the kids draw bugs from their imagination into the foam and we printed 4 layers of color, adding pieces of foam or scratching in more marks and darkening the color of ink with each new layer.

We were originally planning a 5th layer in black, but the effects up until that point were so fantastic and we feared accidentally covering what was already there. So we switched up plans and decided to emphasize the colors and textures by cutting out and swapping the bugs and backgrounds printed in different color schemes.

What I love best about teaching at CAC is the ability to experiment with new project ideas and change plans in the middle based on what happens with the kids in the studio. These are probably the best prints by students I've worked with since the reduction prints I did with 6th graders at Kearny 2 and a half years ago.

Children's artwork can be amazing!

The Nautilus and the Ammonite is now for sale!

Announcing the release of The Nautilus and the Ammonite! 

The Nautilus and the Ammonite is my latest book project. It features an anonymous poem that I simply fell in love with. The poem dates back to the 1800’s, an era when the science of paleontology was still taking its first steps. Its narrative follows two ancient mollusks, friends who together witness the last days of the Cretaceous, and one - the Ammonite - who is lost in the same event that took the dinosaurs.

This book is unique in that it juxtaposes old fashioned poetic language with contemporary visual art. The result is a volume that explores scientific questions about our world while contemplating philosophical implications in a way that is as emotionally responsive as it is brainy. 

You can view all the artwork and hear the poem in a Read Aloud version of the book on YouTube found here

The book is 9" x 12" Smythe sewn case bind (hardcover,) color offset printing, 32 pages plus printed end sheets. First edition of 300. Retail price of $20.00. 
Get a signed copy (FREE SHIPPING for US customers) by contacting me directly at marfknox (at) gmail (dot) com with the subject line "Nautilus and Ammonite". 

Exhibition: Selections from Owl and Cat In Love at Metropolitan Bakery

Through the month of August I'm exhibiting 16 of the 20 color woodcuts from my book project Owl and Cat In Love at the Metropolitan Bakery at 4013 Walnut Street in University City. Here's some photos of the display. The menu is full of delicious items, so if you're in Philly in August, I recommend having lunch there.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sketchbook Sunday: Watercolors in the Garden at CAC

Last week I focused on watercolor painting techniques with my 4th grade Summer Spree campers. This was a demo I did along with them to showcase wet-on-wet, drybrush, texture with salt and rubbing alcohol, and oil pastel resist. They started with drawings from the flower garden. Much fun was had.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Linocuts by 4th-6th Graders

These are some linocuts by 4th-6th graders enrolled in Summer Spree at the Community Arts Center. First time these kids ever made linocuts. There were a few small cuts (nothing a bandaid couldn't fix) and three kids opted out for fear of those sharp blades, but overall I was super impressed with these first proofs.

This depicts a guillotine in a museum.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Big Relief! A Collaborative Print at CAC

This is a mixed media (mostly collograph prints) installation at the Duke Gallery at the Community Arts Center. This was the project I developed for the teaching portion of my teaching artist fellowship at the Community Arts Center's Summer Spree camp. The project was largely inspired by Maria Arango-Diener's puzzle print projects, the last of which I participated in. That work - the Peace Puzzle Woodcut, featuring work by 160 artists from around the world - was displayed in the gallery, and I used it as a visual aid to explain the project to the campers.

I based the design for this work on the camp's theme: Imaginarium. On the right, a watering can emerges, pouring liquid out onto the floor. The liquid pools and spreads, and eventually plant-like forms grow out from it, one of which shoots out a multitude of round bubbles. The whole piece was designed specifically for this indented window space in the gallery. The overall image is a metaphor for inspiration; it suddenly pours in after a period of contemplation. At first it can seem a bit chaotic, but soon orderly and unique forms emerge from it. And while the whole affair might seem unusual or somewhat out of place, it makes meaningful connections that soon allow it to fit in in a new way and make its own sort of sense.

The whole shape was divided into over 80 pieces of various shapes. Each camper received a puzzle piece and used various materials such as craft foam, yarn, lace, buttons, bubble wrap, and burlap, to create a plate to print from. The resulting prints were put back together to make the installation. Camp aids and volunteers added some color with tissue paper to work it more organically into the space, add a 3D element, and visually pull it all together.

My aid and volunteers putting together the puzzle
The finished work was completed and installed today by 68 campers (ages 4-11) with one amazing aid and a few helpful teen volunteers. It will be on exhibit through July 20, alongside the Summer Fellows Exhibit which includes all the artwork for the Nautilus and the Ammonite, selections from other books projects,  some of my related ceramics, and of course the Peace Puzzle Woodcut.

Teen Woodcut Class at CAC: Final Prints

These are some final works by the students who took my woodcut class at the Community Arts Center this week. Even though the class was only 4.5 hours spread out over a week and all were totally new to this medium, they each finished a 2-4 layer reduction and one additional woodcut. Other posts with work from this class can be found here, here, and here.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Triceratops for Teens

I made this little 2-color reduction during the woodcut class for teens I'm teaching this week (see here and here.) I wanted to have something to trade with the students in exchange for copies of their lovely work. I printed different versions and am letting them pick which one they want to keep.