4/18/14

Collagraph: Morocco (LAST DAY of my Etsy Sale & Dates/Locations on upcoming Spring Shows)

Morocco 6.5 x 4.5 Collagraph with Watercolor
Process shots for this collagraph begin at the bottom of this post.
If you'd like more details on building a collagraph plate for printmaking, I've posted two 5-minute videos on the process here and here.

Today (Friday, April 18th) is the last day of my Etsy Shop Sale. Thanks to everyone who took advantage of the reduced pricing, and bought art this week! You folks are the kindest, loveliest bunch of art collectors in the universe.

If you're thinking about a piece of art for your home, or as a gift, you can still buy any art in my shop - framed or unframed - at 25% off by typing the code HAPPYSPRING at check out. The opportunity for a reduced price ends tonight.

If you're in San Diego or Los Angeles, have a look at my art festival schedule below, and come say hello. :)

Spring Art Festivals; Save the dates!
Invite friends & family to go for a stroll;
April 26 & 27
San Diego Artwalk, Little Italy
Booth #141 on Beech St between Columba & India
May 3 & 4th
Sierra Madre Art Fair
Memorial Park
222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd (at Hermosa Ave)
May 10 & 11
Studio City/Sherman Oaks Rotary Fundraising Art Show
Moorpark Park in Studio City (Laurel Cnyn Blvd & Moorpark St)
June 7 & 8
Artwalk 14, Thousand Oaks
225 W. Hillcrest Drive (at Wilbur Rd)

The collagraph on the left, and the plate just after printing

After rubbing the back of the paper against the inked plate, pulling the print.

Inking & wiping the plate, while still leaving ink nestled against curbs and cutouts in the paper.

Just after sealing the plate with one more coat of Gloss Medium & Varnish,
I used an exactly knife to score added line work into the
wet paper to suggest floor tiles.

Building the plate with a mat board base and kid-grade construction paper, and adhering
the cut-out pieces with Liquitex Gloss Medium & Varnish
Art Quote
Just slap anything on when you see a blank canvas staring you in the face like some imbecile. You don't know how paralyzing that is, that stare of a blank canvas is, which says to the painter, ‘You can't do a thing’. The canvas has an idiotic stare and mesmerizes some painters so much that they turn into idiots themselves. Many painters are afraid in front of the blank canvas, but the blank canvas is afraid of the real, passionate painter who dares and who has broken the spell of `you can't' once and for all.
~Vincent Van Gogh





4/13/14

Watercolor: Yellow Sheets (and a STUDIO SALE!)

Yellow Sheets 6 x 9 Watercolor on paper Sold
Thanks for all your nice emails and replies on the Marthe Armitage linocut wallpaper video I shared in my last post. I'm glad so many of you loved it as much as I did. Kindred spirits. :)

What sort of gems (art videos, blogs, etc.) have you stumbled upon lately?

If you're not subscribed to my mailing list, you might have missed my newsletter announcing a Spring sale in my Etsy shop.  Use coupon code HAPPYSPRING during checkout for 25% off, till Friday, April 18th.


4/11/14

Collagraph: Mama's Day (and the wonder of linocut wallpaper by designer Marthe Armitage)

Mama's Day 4.5 x 3.25 Collagraph with watercolor
Process pics start at the bottom of this post.
This was a scrap paper doodle spontaneously assembled into a collagraph. I am surrounded by young women with babies, embarking on their first chapters of motherhood. It's fascinating & nostalgic & heart-warming to watch these little families grow and transform with the addition of little beings.  We make art from the stuff around us, and it documents our lives in a beautiful way.

Adding some watercolor to the prints
Edition of 5, drying in the studio
After a trip under the press, pulling the collagraph

After wiping the plate, intaglio style, it's ready to print
Inking the plate with two leftover colors from a previous print
Sketched on matboard and carved with an exacto knife
Like so much art, it started with a doodle...

If you get this post via email, you won't be able to see the 7 minute video (below) of Marthe Armitage working in her studio, making wallpaper from large sheets of delicately carved linoleum. Click here to watch it directly on Youtube. I am swooning, and so inspired by her designs.

Watch Marthe Armitage in her studio


Art Quote

Writing isn't about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end it's about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life as well. It's about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy. ...this book...is a permission slip: you can, you should, and if you're brave enough to start, you will. Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink.
Drink and be filled up.
Stephen King ~ On Writing; A Memoir of the Craft

3/31/14

Drypoint: Coffee & Roses #printmaking #intaglio

Coffee and Roses 5.5x4.25 Drypoint on Gray Rives paper with watercolor

This art is available in my Etsy Shop.
This little drypoint engraving was an experiment with materials. In recent years, I've done drypoints on clear plexiglass plates, but I have difficulty seeing my line work as I'm drawing with the scribe/needle. I bought a sheet of opaque black plexiglass to see if my mark-making would be more evident on the darker acrylic. You can see a video of the preparation of the plate, and the experiment here on my youtube channel.


Adding watercolor to the drypoint

Pulling a print on my Takach etching press

Using a cork-handled scribe on the black plexiglass to create a drypoint




Art Quote 
Oh, what a pity you are not here; what pleasure it would have given you to see Velazquez, who alone is worth the whole journey. The painters of every school who surround him in the Madrid Museum, and who are very well represented, all seem second rate in comparison to him. He is the painter to beat all painters. He didn't astonish me, he enchanted me. The full-length portrait in the Louvre is not by him, only the authenticity of the Infanta cannot be doubted. There is an enormous picture here, filled with small figures like those in The Cavaliers in the Louvre, but the figures of the women and men in this one are perhaps better, and all of them are perfectly free of retouching. The background - the landscape - is by a pupil of Velazquez. 
The most astonishing work in this splendid collection, and perhaps the most astonishing piece of painting that has ever been done, is the one entitled in the catalogue Portrait of a Celebrated Actor in the Time of Philip IV. The background fades into nothing; the old boy all in black, so olive, seems to be surrounded by air. And, ah, The Spinners; and the beautiful portrait of Alonzo Cano; and Las Meninas - another extraordinary picture! The philosophers - what astonishing works! And all the dwarfs too! - one in particular, seated full face with his hands on his hips; a painting for the real connoisseur. And his magnificent portraits! - one would have to include the lot; they are all masterpieces. 
~Edouard Manet - in a letter to Fantin-Latour - while in Madrid in 1865, where he went to change his "ideas" after getting attacked by the critics when he exhibited Olympia at the Salon earlier that year. 

3/21/14

Reduction Linocut: Rabbit Meadow (4 color) #printmaking #reliefprint

Rabbit Meadow  4x4 Reduction Linocut (4 color)
Rabbit Meadow is available in my Etsy shop.
Process photos begin at the bottom of this post.
About 4 months ago, I started a youtube channel to share video-snippets of art process in my studio. I've enjoyed sharing photos of experiments in printmaking, painting and mixed media drawing on this blog for the past 9 years, and I'll continue to do this, but it's even more fun to share the moving images! Step by step progress is much more detailed, as are the methods, art supplies and the progression.

Moving images are suited for sharing to a visual audience, and to a group who likely wants to try the same process, but may not be sure how to embark on a new creative adventure.  Thanks to everyone who has already stopped by to watch the first six videos, and subscribe to the channel. The video of this four-color reduction linocut - Rabbit Meadow - printed without a press can be seen here.

Printing the last color - a semi transparent blue-black 
Printing the third color - very transparent neutral gray
Just one color on the left (and a faint ink stain from the drawing
 on the block) and on the right - after printing the second color -
a very transparent yellow ochre (Akua)
Wire closet shelf & clothes pins drying rack; the 1st color



First color of Rabbit Meadow linocut (in a cardboard registration jig)

Click here to see the video of this reduction linocut in process (Two Days reduced to 5 minutes)
Art Quote:
The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them -- words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.
Stephen King - Different Seasons