It's been a busy time around here. I have been working furiously to get ready for ArtFest Midwest
on June 29-30. It's my first art fair in over 5 years and my first ever exhibiting block prints. I am printing new work and older work. I have some things no one has seen yet but here are a couple glimpses.
The pic on the left is of a new 3-D blockprint. I haven't assembled it yet but will post it as soon as I do. The right picture is of prints that I am waiting for to dry so I can color them.
After the printing and coloring, there is matting and framing. I am a little more ready every day. Wish me luck. And if you are in Des Moines IA the weekend of June 29, stop by, say Hello, and see the artwork in real life. I promise it looks better that way.
I apologize for this post being a bit disjointed. Disjointed today, in a frenzy a couple weeks from now, closer to the art fair date.
I think this might be a record. It took me 4 days to carve these two blocks. Oh sure, I spent almost all day Saturday on the one on the left. It was, to say the least, a bit involved.
I can hardly wait to print these. Perhaps I will start tomorrow...
I've been so busy printing the blocks I've already carved (along with matting and such) that it has been a few weeks since I've started anything new. Today seemed as good as any.
So here are the two new blocks, ready to carve. They are as yet untitled, but will come as a set. I am hoping to actually print these by tomorrow. We'll see how that goes...
With every edition of every print, there is a more practical side. Once I print, I then have to mat, bag and (with a few) frame. That's what I have been doing the last couple mornings. My first art fair is at the end of June and I want to have as much inventory as possible.
Here's a bit of advice, unsolicited as it may be. If you are an artist of the two dimensional persuasion, learn how to mat and frame your own work. It's really not that difficult. There are countless manuals and videos available on how to cut a mat.
My other suggestion is to invest in a mat cutter. If you are a printmaker, get one that has "production" features where you can cut numerous mats the same dimensions. My first mat cutter was a Logan 301s Compact. It's a great cutter for small, single pieces. For multiples, though, it's painstaking.
It didn't take me very long to upgrade to a Logan 750-1 Elite. It has a bevel head, a straight cutter and glass and plexiglass cutters. Everything I need.
In light of once again being an art fair artist, I have been busy getting prints ready for my first show. Sure, it's in June but you can never prepare too early. This will be my first art fair in 6 years. I was an art fair artist before, when I made hand bound books and, truthfully, I never did very well at it. With a new medium, I'm ready to try again.
There is a lot of work preparing for an art fair. I not only have to print everything that I haven't already printed full editions of (which is plenty) but then there is everything I have to do afterwards. Coloring, matting, bagging, pricing, framing those that I want to hang, making an inventory list. That's not even half.
But I'm not complaining. I love it. It's a goal to focus on, which is something that I have needed for a while.
So while I am printing new work, such as the prints above, I am also going back and printing out the editions that were incomplete. It's so much easier with a press. I hope to have quite the inventory by June. Keep checking back on my progress...
I am constantly tweaking my website. I re-arrange the pages, I add drawings, I delete things, I add a page. If I let the website just sit there without changing it, it will get stale. Adding new artwork, which I also can't help but do, isn't enough.
You will notice, perhaps, that I have indeed added a page this week. It's a calendar. It is and will be a list of art fairs and exhibitions where my work (and I) will be. At this point, there is only one date. I hope to change that in the future.
And you might also note that the one entry on the calendar is an art fair. It will be my first art fair in almost five years. I used to do them when I was a book artist. I decided to take a break from them and regroup. I had no idea at the time that not only would I regroup but change my focus from artist books to printmaking.
But here I am and there I go, off to Des Moines IA in June. Wish me luck and, if you are in the area, stop by
Here is a sneak peak at a new assemblage piece. As you might have guessed, it's another Magritte homage. My next step is to color the pieces on the right and the background on the left. Yes, I will color each individual book just like in my Library Cat
The next step is to cut out the pieces, assemble and mat. As always, I promise pictures of the final result.
I've been busy printing, coloring and matting prints these last couple of weeks. I haven't gotten much done in the way of carving new linocuts. This morning, however, I finished this block. It's another recycled idea, originally from a drawing I did about a year ago. And in case you are unable to read backwards French, it says "Actually this is a pipe."
I hope to get this printed, an edition of 25, tomorrow morning.
For all you Rene Magritte fans out there...
Sometimes I get an idea for an art piece that I mull on for weeks before making even a primary sketch. I sit and let it stew, thinking about the best way to realize the idea onto paper. Other times, I'm not so patient. I have to get it down on paper or it will, well, return to the ether. After it's finished, I am left with feeling I could have done it differently.
This was one of those ideas. The above linoleum block is the 3rd incarnation of this idea.
It started out as one of my envelopes...
Then I decided to make a finished, suitable for framing, drawing with pen and ink and watercolor. Lots of crosshatching on course (I love crosshatching)...
And yet, I still wasn't satisfied. I kept looking at the drawing and thinking it was missing something. I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I still can't, I guess. But like a successful experiment, it needed repeating. So here goes, this idea is well on its way to becoming a block print. I'll let you know how it is progressing...
Well, it has been a long time coming for this print. I carved the block over 2 years ago, long before I bought a press. Once I carved it I was unable to get a satisfactory print by hand. So I put it away and waited. I knew even then I was going to get a press, I just didn't know exactly when.
Well, that finally happened last summer. I made sure I bought a press that would accomodate the size (18 x 12 in.) of the linoleum. I have to admit I was nervous at first. I still wasn't sure if I would get a good print. It actually took me a few weeks after I bought the press to work up the nerve to try it.
The results, if I say so myself, were worth the wait. So, yes, finally I can post this print.
And in case you are interested in purchasing this print, it is available in the Shop