Archive for the ‘Process’ Category

Prints ready to mail to my collaborator

Friday, February 24th, 2012

This week I mailed some prints to Jane Rosemarin to fold into origami vegetables. We are working on a collaborative project where I make prints and she designs origami models. I will post pictures of the models later.

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These are for a little zucchini with a yellow flower. Because of the way the folding works out, I’ve printed the green on one side and the yellow on the reverse.

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And this is for a carrot.

Carving small block with gardening tools

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

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It’s been a busy semester teaching two classes that are new to me and balancing that with mothering. But now I am finally working on art! This will hopefully contribute to a collaborative project that I’ll write more about later.

Lid monotypes gathered

Friday, August 12th, 2011

I didn’t quite fulfill my original goal of making one monotype a day this summer, but I did make a handful. I put most of them up on a bulletin board to look at them. Next steps are to choose the 12, or maybe just 9, I want to put in the faculty exhibition, and decide how to present them.

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Mind map for canning jar lid monotypes

Friday, May 27th, 2011

I’m preparing to teach three summer classes: Art Education in a Web 2.0 World, A Space of Possibility: Visual Journals, and Collaborative Printmaking: A Press-Free Approach.

I have some ideas to make my work for the fall faculty show line up with the summer classes. In Collaborative Printmaking we’re doing watercolor monotype, so the media I’ve chosen of monotypes using canning jar lids will align with what I’m teaching there. Here are my most recent unprinted plates:

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For the other two classes, students must choose a theme or focus to work within, and in Visual Journals they do a mind map to brainstorm their theme. Here’s my mind map:

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I’m still somewhat undecided about whether to focus on portraits of my son (which fits with where my mind and eyes are anyway) or little studies from soil (which fits better with my past work). Both of them could work with the idea of processing and preserving (canning lids) memories and observations of someone or something living and changing.

Installing at Living Green Expo

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Today I installed work at the art show in conjunction with the Living Green Expo. It felt good to see my Tending to Decomposition series up again.

It makes me think that I want to keep making art like this. But I also feel that I am so happy with the way materials, process, form, and content worked together in these, that I wonder why make more? I wonder if I need a seed of discontent with earlier work, a problem to solve, to motivate the next piece?

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Canning jar lid monotypes

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

A friend of mine came over a couple of weeks ago to experiment with watercolor monotypes. I have usually used frosted Mylar such as Duralar as a plate for watercolor monotypes, but this time I decided to try a different plate: a canning jar lid.

First, I coated the lids with dishsoap as a release agent.


After the soap dried, I painted with watercolor.


After the paint was dry, I printed on damp paper to transfer the image.


The paper in the lower left was a drawing paper my friend brought; we think it may have been canson bright edition. It worked well but some of the detail of the print was lost in the texture of the paper. The other paper is from a roll of sumi art paper by Yasutomo, it was smooth and the detail transferred well but it was a little fragile. The top print tore as I was pressing it. I used a metal spoon for pressing and a piece of kitchen parchment to help the spoon glide over the damp paper.

His Roots

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

So, now it’s been two months since I posted that I would be back to updating this blog regularly, feeding the creative process. I finished the print “His Roots” a long time ago, and am happy with it. It is in a print portfolio that will have a show sometime next year. In order to keep making work, I think I need to commit to participating in at least two print portfolios per year after this.

I am satisfied with being a mother and being a teacher. My students at MCAD are now working on their final projects, printed books. My son is crawling. I get so much satisfaction from facilitating and observing other people’s learning, making and becoming. The question for this blog is how to facilitate my own learning and making. Part of it is a matter of time management. It’s hard to focus on making art when I am hungry and need to wash dishes in order to make food. Part of it is also a matter of motivation. Seeing my students or my son interact with me and the world motivates me to invest more time in watching them and helping them. In order for my art to motivate me to spend more time with it, I have to spend time looking at what I’ve made before and remembering why I made it. Also, in the midst of the clutter of a house that seems to be impossible to baby-proof, it’s difficult to be motivated to make more physical objects. So, perhaps I need to find ways to work that are more ephemeral, more recyclable? Or to tap into the motivation I get from working with other people and find ways to work that are more collaborative?

Back to making work, back to blog

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

It has been 4 months since my baby was born. I’ve been busy balancing teaching with taking care of my son. Recently, I’ve been adding in some printmaking. I’m returning to my goal of updating this blog weekly to keep me making artwork and doing other things that keep the creative process moving.

In June I started carving a woodblock print based on pictures of my son’s placenta. I am calling it “His Roots.” I’ve recently been working on printing it and will post pictures of that soon. Here is a picture of the initial carving in progress:

Self as rabbit

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

I don’t have any new images to show progress on my apple tree print. The next image I post will probably be when I’ve actually picked out a piece of wood and transferred my drawing. But I’ve still been thinking about it. Jen and Tom’s comments helped me to think about some connected issues. Tom’s comment, “It is funny that you are casting the animals and people in these roles when people are destroying so many habitats,” made me think that maybe what I see as the rabbit’s short-term and self-focused thinking could be a metaphor for what people so often do.

The rabbit (or rabbits) didn’t think, “If I just eat from the branches of the tree then it can live to feed me and others for many more years.” It ate the bark on the trunk that it could reach, and was so hungry it ate it down to the dead wood completely in a circle all around the tree, so that there would be no way for the tree’s roots and branches to exchange water and nutrients this spring. It killed the tree, the bees’ hopes for spring flowers, our hopes for summer apples, and its own or other rabbits’ chances at nibbling some more yummy bark next winter. How many times do we as humans do the same thing, taking something for our own immediate need and convenience, forgetting that we share the same resources with many other people and creatures and with our own future selves and children? Many times we could choose differently, and meet our needs in a way that leaves the “apple tree” intact enough to grow. But it is true that simply by taking up space we do limit the space for others.

Because I have a lot on my mind and taking up time right now, I’ve decided that the simplest presentation of the apple tree, derived from my original sketch, will be my print. I think the rabbit will only be present as bite marks and scat.

Stations of the Cross with imagery from 2nd-3rd graders

Monday, March 29th, 2010

This week, I am interrupting my work on the apple tree print to make a piece for House of Mercy‘s Stations of the Cross service this Friday.

This year, each of the 14 stations will be a body part. I’m doing Station VII Jesus Falls a Second Time, the right calf and foot, and Station IX Jesus Falls a Third Time, the right thigh and knee. For me, the Jesus Falls stations are about incarnation, humility, a God who gets dirty. And those who know my work know I am fascinated by dirt, both on and under the ground.

In 2008 I made this sculptural book called Glimpses Underground. It was inspired by turning over a rock and discovering a window to an underground world full of ant tunnels, worm castings, roots and invertebrates. The cover and container for the book is made of paper cast over a rock. The pages are shaped to match the contours of the rock so that they fit within it, and are bound together by a single cord. Each page has a different woodcut-printed glimpse of something one might find underground or under a rock.

I made Glimpses Underground intending to make a large edition of books, but I decided I didn’t need more than 2 or 3 finished books, so I have a lot of leftover cast rocks and shaped pages, some printed and some not. For this year’s stations of the cross, I thought I would recycle some of those pages and the structural idea from the book. I will trim the pages to make them the contours of the foot and leg, and bind them with a cord running through them. I will use some of the ones that are printed, to bring the world of the dirt into the meditation on Jesus’ falls.

I will also use some of the blank pages, painted with walnut dye by 2nd and 3rd graders in Sunday School yesterday. I told them before they started painting that I would use them in my piece for the Stations of the Cross service. We talked about and painted imagery from four stories for Holy Week: Palm Sunday’s triumphal procession with palm leaves, the Last Supper’s bread and wine, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection.