Sunday, July 31, 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Fun in the Studio

Experimented with a variety of hand printing techniques yesterday. These are the two results I like the best... part of my garden series.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fond of Making Lists?

Me, too! And so are a lot of other people. See a fascinating exhibit of lists at the Morgan Library in New York and on their website. Here are a couple:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Can You Guess What This Is?

Time's up! This is a model of a paper-bag-making machine from the late 1800's developed by Margaret E. Knight. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sad News

Long Beach based artist and friend, Victoria Damrel, died this morning after a long battle with cancer. Rest in peace now, special person.

Tomato Count

Possums- 6; Us- 0. New strategies will soon go into effect.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Terry Frost

I'm enamored these days by the work of British artist Terry Frost who had a long, happy career in printmaking.  Here are some examples of his work:

Orchard Tambourines
 set of 25 woodcuts, each sized 15"x 15"

 Camberwell Green, 2001
aquatint with woodcut and 1 collage element
13" x 15"

 untitled, 2002
etching and aquatint, 12" x 14"

Terry Frost

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

Learning About Encaustic

My good friend, artist Judy Chan, has been working with encaustic lately and she invited me over yesterday to try it out.  Now I'm hooked!

The Encaustic process involves brushing melted wax onto a drawing or painting, for example, and then using a heat gun or hot iron gizmo to blend and even out the surface. There are all sorts of things you can do beyond that, like gouging areas or lines, filling them with color, embedding things in the wax, and more. This process has been around for hundreds of years and has experienced a resurgence among contemporary artists, who have the benefit of modern tools that make it all easier.

Here is Judy's table top set-up: An electric griddle set at 200 degrees keeps cans of wax in a liquid state. Each can is a different color or type of wax. She works at the left, over sheets of wax paper that catch drips of wax that can be recycled. On the wall in the background, you can see the series of drawings Judy has been enriching with encaustic.

Here you can see the melted wax on the griddle, ready for use. A paint brush in each can sits at the ready.

This is my piece. After brushing the wax onto a drawing on paper that was then adhered to a wood surface, I'm using the heat gun to blend and even out the wax.

Here is my result. The encaustic deepened the richness of the colors of the drawing and gave a lovely patina to the surface. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What do Potatoes, Prince and Prints Have in Common?

Prince Potato Prints, that's what! The artist Jason Polan has created a potato print of Prince (or The Artist Formerly Known as Prince) in an edition of ten, each hand colored with purple acrylic paint.  Paper size: 4.5" x 6.7." See more of Jason Polan's delightful art by visiting his website here.

Despite My Clever Barrier

Possums now 5; us still 0, darn it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Call the Tomato Police!

Just as they ripen to the yummy stage, tomatoes have gone missing from the robust plants at the side of our house. How? Who? 

Now I know because of the evidence left this morning. The possum living under our house is having a night time snack. Score: Possum - 4, Us - 0. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

More Than One Way to...

Joe got tired of the pesky weeds by the alley gate, so he pulled them all out for the last time and built a nice concrete slab this weekend. That'll show them! We put our initials in it, too.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Artistic Melon

My friend and neighbor, Loren, gave me this melon from the farmer's market. She thought I'd like it's lovely patterned skin and I do. Beautiful green and yellow rectangles on a creamy background. Reminds me of a Clyfford Still painting, but not his colors.

It was delicious!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Cy Twombly, Painter of Joy

Cy Twombly died this week at age 83. He was a favorite artist of mine and I am sad to see him go. His work is now done, finite.

Here are some excerpts from his obituary by Randy Kennedy in the New York Times:

Twombly's childlike scribbles and poetic engagement with antiquity left him stubbornly out of step with the movements of postwar American art even as he became one of the era's most important painters.

He once practiced drawing in the dark to make his lines less purposeful, steadfastly follow[ing] his own program...

Twombly said "I have my pace and way of living and I'm not looking for something." Of reputation and artistic acclaim, he added: "It's something I don't think about. If it happens, it happens, but don't bother me with it. I couldn't care less."

Of Twombly's work, Roberta Smith wrote, "Few 20th-century artists corroborated as insistently Schiller's assertion that 'all art is dedicated to joy.'

Cy Twombly, in front of his work

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Where I Spent The Day

Drawing Table in My Studio

Happy Birthday, Nation!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Two Great Reads

My recent flights just flew by, so to speak, because of two very good books, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, a novel, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a combination science/human interest true story. I recommend them highly!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Tornado Aftermath, Six Weeks Later

I've just returned from a visit to the midwest. Happy to see my parents doing well; good to catch up with family.

I was in tiny, wonderful Oswego, Kansas last week. Oswego is fifty miles away from Joplin, Missouri. You may recall all the news reports when a tornado ravaged that town six weeks ago. We drove over to Joplin one day to see the damage. It is almost unimaginable: a wide area of neighborhoods totally flattened; a huge hospital destroyed; commercial areas wiped out; miles of leafy, mature trees gone. Even now, despite massive clean up efforts, an eery pall prevails. Here are some pictures of what used to be a thriving community.