Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Soft, Gentle Rain Tonight

Fifty-three degrees, quiet night, sweet thoughts.

Update on the Drypoint in Progress

Back in the studio this morning, I printed the latest version of the drypoint I'm working on. I had worked on the plate this week by adding much more line work, clarifying some details, and scruffing up the background. Also, because the first state was such a light print, I knew I needed to tighten the pressure on my etching press. This state printed satisfactorily in that regard.

untitled drypoint on copper, state two

The image is developing a lot more personality and interesting line work. But I can tell I need to keep working on definition, volume issues, and the area of the pod above the stem of the abstracted paperwhite flower.
untitled drypoint on copper, state one

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Unique Signage in the Kansas City Airport

Spied this "Tornado Shelter" sign as we walked to our gate coming home on Sunday. Yes, we were definitely in Kansas!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Back From Our Holiday Travels

With a record count of 40, our family arrived from all over the U.S. to southeast Kansas for our annual Christmas celebration. The youngest in attendance was 5; the oldest was 91.
This photo does not include everyone. Twelve people were out doing other things at the time. Getting everyone in one photo would have been like herding cats. Pretty good to at least get a majority posed and looking at the camera.

Some of us met first in Kansas City for a couple of days that included shopping and dinners out, seeing the movie, Invictus, attending a KU basketball game in Lawrence (those fans are AVID), and catching up with good friends who live there.

A view of the Plaza area of Kansas City.

One afternoon, Amy Uyeki, Rees Hughes, and I took a walk around the sculpture gardens surrounding the Nelson-Adkins Museum of Art and the nearby Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.
The fabulous Nelson-Adkins Museum of Art.

Amy joins the crowd.

A knitted trunk cover at the Kansas City Art Institute.

Rees fills a void.

The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
behind a Tom Otterness sculpture

Winter Sky in Kansas

On the 23rd, Joe and I travelled south from Kansas City to Oswego on Highway 69. The incoming churning storm clouds hanging low over the grassland provided a great show:

On the 27th, we travelled the same route back to Kansas City to fly home. The storm had passed, leaving a thick layer of snow everywhere:

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Happy Holidays to All

We will be spending Christmas in Kansas, where it will look much like this. I hope you have a wonderful week and I'll be back in touch before the new year!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Drypoint in Progress

Recently, I've been working on a new drypoint on copper - an image of an abstracted paperwhite flower. I've incised a "first draft" using a drypoint needle, roulette, scraper, burnisher, and some burins to create a variety of lines and textures. Also, I used an electric dremel in some areas, just to try it out since I've not used one before.
Here is the plate with my first draft image, ready to ink for a proof.
Here, I'm applying oil based etching ink to the plate using a plastic spatula which is soft enough not to scratch the plate unintentionally while using it.
Now, I'm using a "stomp," made from tightly rolled felt, to work the ink into the incised lines.
Next, I use a pad of tarleton (a kind of netting) to wipe up the ink from the surface of the plate, leaving the ink in place in the incised lines.
The inked plate is ready to place on the bed of the etching press. Once in place on a piece of mylar prepared with registration marks, the plate will be covered with a dampened piece of archival paper. Over that, I'll place a protective sheet of newsprint and then three felts before rolling it under the wheel.
Here is my proof. It is not very interesting yet, but at least it is a beginning and will allow me to determine what to add to the image next.

Drypoint is lots of fun because you can use almost anything to scratch lines in the surface of copper, zinc, metal, or plexi-glass.

We Woke Up This Morning To A Big Surprise...

.... not! This beautiful scene was actually from the Cascades in Oregon about this time two years ago. Last night we had more rain and will likely have more yet today.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Rain, Rain, Rain, Rain, Rain.

It's pouring outside as I write. One of those beautiful, all-day rain storms we need and I love. Here is a view of our side yard, soaked and happy. Yesterday, I worked in my studio by the window with a view of the downpour. I'll get to do the same today.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dinner At Nancy's

Long time family friend, Nancy North, and her brother, Charlie, hosted a wonderful dinner last night for a group of eleven of us including Joe's Dad, Joe Sr., sister Laura and husband Bryon, their three girls, Nicole, Candice, and Brittney, Brittney's boy friend, Ernie, Joe and me. We ate quite a feast and had a lot of fun.

Nancy stirs the gravy to go with pot roast, potatoes, carrots, asparagus and a green salad.

Candice, Nicole, Ernie, and Brittney. Our nieces are so impressive! Good students, athletic stars, funny and wise.
Nicole clearly has artistic talent. Here she is with her sculpture made from cheese, sugar cubes, and tooth picks. I'm calling MOCA!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

More Cool Apple Stuff

My niece's website. See how I set up a simple word to link to my niece's website?
Isn't this impressive? You may know this already, but it is new to me.

My Current Status RIGHT THIS MINUTE.

Look what I learned to do in my Apple One to One session with Danny! I activated a link to a website! He is teaching me a lot RIGHT NOW. So, gotta go learn some more... Bye for now.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

More Great Student Work

Damion Ramirez

Richard Hernandez

New Neighborhood Farmers Market

We are thrilled to have our very own Sunday morning Farmers Market a short walk down the street. Less than a month old, it has grown from two food booths the first week to many this morning as well as great crafts and plant booths, too. Today, during my first visit, I bought two Asian pears, some coleus for my planter, and the golden book, Mathematics, which was offered by a neighbor trying to downsize his vast collection. Just a few of the wondrously diverse offerings in our very own neck of the woods.

Two of My Favorite Jokes

1. What did the fish say when it hit the wall?

2. Why is six afraid of seven?
Because seven eight nine.

Have a fun week, all!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Trader Joe and Jaye

While we are on the topic of Trader Joe's, I want to mention our artist friend, Jaye Whitworth, who is an inspired shopper there. She brought these great desserts for an outside patio dinner the other night. Both were a combination of various delicious finds from TJ's, decorated to great effect.

Cheesecake with cherries and paper umbrellas. Who could resist?

Lemon cake with lemon tart on top plus cherries.... Yummmmmm.

Here she is....our very own dessert chef, Jaye.