Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Meet Our New Neighbor

This guy is 13 years old and lives in the fenced yard of a neighbor. He weighs 90 pounds now and will double his size in time. When Cynthia and I were taking a walk this afternoon, Mr. Turtle wandered over on the other side of his fence to say hello... or something. Actually, he just smiled.

He is a cutie-pie.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Eating the Color Theory Way

Friday Night's Dinner on the Stove

I generally think any meal that looks good tastes good and last night's black bean fajitas with chicken and brown rice was a case in point. This recipe comes from Mark Bittman's new book, VB6, which stands for Vegan Before Six. Almost the whole color wheel was represented: red peppers, orange peppers, green jalapenos, yellow onions, black beans, brown rice. It was delicious!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Screenprinting Adventure

Last weekend, I screenprinted eight layers of a trial print for the first in the My Garden series. Doing a trial version lets me evaluate color choices, the effectiveness of transparent inks, and how the whole idea is shaping up. At this point, I can make adjustments and begin again or continue with what I've got. Eventually, there will be more detail and structure in the leaves and a semi-abstract night sky for the background. At least, that's the plan at this point, but half the fun is taking time to think through all possibilities. Making art is an adventure.

Here are the first eight layers of My Garden, #1 (trial) in sequence:

Friday, August 2, 2013

Making Art, Then and Now

Arkansas, II   1977
Marian Shuff

9" x 6"

I've recently returned from a trip to Arkansas, timed to catch a group exhibition at the Arts Center in Arkadelphia, my Mother's home town, which included a great sampling of her prints and paintings.

My brother and niece joined me. While we were in the area, we decided it was time to clear out the storage unit where a bulk of my Mother's artwork had been kept for quite some time. We hoped to sort everything out and divvy it up among us. My Mother died almost two years ago. Had we tried to do this task any sooner, it might have been overwhelmingly sad. But at this point, going through those treasures felt like a joyful act of rediscovery.

Among all the familiar finished artworks, we found a big box of many of her wood blocks, linoleum blocks and etching plates, which she had wrapped well for the long sleep. I was thrilled to see that they were all still in great shape.

One of the wood blocks I brought home with me had the carved image you see above. In 1977, my Mother printed an edition of only four. I have one of those prints and it has always been my favorite from her work. I love the way she depicted the sun shining from the left side and the shadows in the bottom right corner. I love the expressiveness of the leaves and the roughness of the bark. There is such an engaging interplay between depth and flatness of space. All that created from a simple block of wood!

I decided to print more prints from this wood block, which I did yesterday and today, finishing a group of 20 that will be labeled as a second edition. What pleasure I had in the studio doing this. And as I worked, I realized that the age she was when she printed this block for the first time is the age I am now as I print the second edition.

Here is the block, itself. Probably walnut. Beautiful, isn't it?