Thursday, June 30, 2022

Making a Living part 19

 All the coloring is done, but I had one last reason to go up to the Studio today- to collect the payment for the print.  I had turned it over to the purchaser on Monday, and let her take it to her car quickly before the expected rain arrived, but the promised money wasn't there yet.  However, I was told it would be available on Thursday, so I said I'd be there.  I always have work to do, so not a problem.   I got up there today around 2:30, not expecting my contact for a while, but prepared to do some drawing. 

I do have another project going right now, my Robert Johnson illustrations for Tom, promised for early next year.  I actually started drawing one at the open studio event, which I believe was back at the end of April.  Now it's time to get going on those, since I want to send Tom some photos of prints in progress by the fall, so he can decide what he wants and if I need to make any adjustments to the image he likes.  The purchaser was very impressed with the results, amazed at how close I came to the original.  I told her the truth, that having something to copy from and the materials to do it, is much easier than having to make it up again. What I'm doing now is completely made up, with only Johnson's lyrics to provide any guidance. The advantage is that these pieces are to be black and white, which gives some restrictions, but also eliminates a lot of questions I'd have to deal with.

Brought a disc from the Studio collection at home, the Manic Street Preachers Generation Terrorists -the UK version (double vinyl LP), as opposed to the single CD version that was distributed in America.  This came courtesy of my friend Doug in Tennessee, where I stopped on my 2400 mile spring journey back in 1994 (he was teaching in Kentucky then), with him being the biggest fan of the band in the United States.  This version includes a few songs not available in the abridged American version, and a few between song bits not available anywhere anymore.  My previous writings about the album can be found on this blog back in June, 2019, but there may be more here now.

My art project today was my block for Walkin' Blues, an interior scene with seven figures, 6 of them noticing a 7th one walking in, and some of the women not liking it. Nothing mentioned in the song itself, but it seemed the idea he was talking about.  Even the internet can't agree what the song is about, so this is my interpretation, but that should be as good as anybody's.  In my time there, I worked on all seven figures making improvements I hope, but this may take a while.  My goal is to finish 3 of the prints by the fall, giving him options, well ahead of the deadline he gave me.  

About 10 to 4, I headed to the office, finding the door wide open.  Bobby was in there, but no one else.  I asked if he knew anything about a check being left for me and he didn't.  But just then Jeanne arrived, and she gave me the check, and all was well.  She was heading up to the 1st floor to prepare for tonight's class, but I was able to first tell her I had checked my availability, and I had a lot of days available for classes, so we'll talk more next week.  


Monday, June 27, 2022

Lots of business

Today I had a few things to take care of up in Ocean Grove.  First, I had to make sure that my patron received the print she ordered.  Got up there, took both copies off the wall, titled and signed them both, but left the numbering empty.   Then I got my customer from the office, let here know things were ready, and she followed me to my Studio.  She looked over both copies, and as expected, saw little difference between them, which was a goal.  In the end she chose the second print, which I admitted was probably the better print, pointing out a few stray marks in the first proof.   I editioned it as 4/10, and gave it to her.  She doesn't have the money yet, but promised it to me on Thursday, the next day she will be there.  

She stashed the print in her car (rain was expected, but hadn't arrived yet, and rain is definitely the enemy of prints on paper hand colored with watercolor) then we got to the other business.  Jeanne is taking over classes from Nichole (who is officially gone, but still around for another week or so) and I wouldn't mind having another class or two by the end of the summer.  So we discussed some possible classes, some possible schedules.  I'll give her some specifics when I see her in a few days.  In secret, she had me sign a thing for Nichole, which I guess she gets at her farewell party.

What all this means is that I am done with that boardwalk print for now, and can concentrate on the next project.   So I'll be back to that this week. I hope to have a camera soon, so you'll all be able to follow what I am doing there.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

More drawing class


 

Another Saturday, another class.  Last time we agreed to push the class off to 11:00 am, which seemed to make life easier for everybody.  Everything is already worked out week by week, so it's just a matter of finding appropriate props for the day's plans.  Today we were going to work with ink wash, and when I've done this at colleges, we always start with white painted objects.  For this I mostly use things I originally purchased at the supermarket.  The plastic vessels that hold milk and orange juice are surprisingly complex, which few people realize until it is time to draw them.  I arrived around 10:00 am, and found the gate unlocked, and the alarm off.  At least I didn't have to deal with those today.  I brought in my small bag, and once again found the room full of stuff I don't need.  Went back and got my big bag, then got the room set up. folding tables and chairs, and bringing out what I needed.  Using a small wooden easel, I put it up against the back of the  small table, where it held my clamp light, and the white towel that is serving as my background.  The small wooden table as usual held my still life, a cracker box, the towel draping down, and three white painted objects.  This all done, I went and unlocked the front door.  Last I heard from the student who writes more, she was coming.  Heard nothing from the other one.  

My first student arrived as expected, and was given the opportunity to choose any seat she wanted.   She showed my some charcoal she had tried on her own, images of her own hand, something she had tried once before. She noticed that everything was white, but that is on purpose.  My plan is to eliminate local value and color, so the students only need to deal with light and shadow.  She has some experience with watercolor, which helps.  I gave her instructions, showed examples of student work and my own examples, and let her get started.  My set up included a milk jug elevated and back, and a juice container and funnel foreground on the draped table.  She sketched it out first with pencil, and then added darker and darker layers of ink wash as she went. In the end, she decided that the two foreground objects were the better ones, while the one further back seemed to be hard to see against the background.  I had to agree with her, pointing out that the third piece had such similar shadows to the back drop that it was hard to see in real life, and in her drawing there wasn't much value range, which didn't help.  She may decide to re-explore this set up, either with an actual still life or working from the drawing she did, but this time with watercolor.   Could be interesting.  I talked of palette choices, and told her something else I had learned from teaching- artists make the art they are going to make.  You can't stop them, so you have to just let them do it, and hope it works out.

The above student drawing is from one of my long ago college drawing classes, but it is a very good approximation of what we did today.  I let my one student know that we would not be meeting this week, as the building would be closed for the Independence Day holiday, but we would continue with ink one more week when we return, and we will have two weeks of conte crayon after that. Since I expect to see the person in charge of the next round of classes on Monday, I gathered some information from my one present student, then she took off.  

Later at home, I found an email from my missing student, explaining her missing class as a family emergency thing, but she plans to be back next time.  I advised her about next week's closing, gave some information about ink wash, and we'll see what happens.



Friday, June 24, 2022

Making a Living part 18

 


Hadn't planned to go to the Studio today, but I had time to kill, and I figured that if I took care of the touch up stuff this week, I could go ahead and inform my patron that the piece is ready, and maybe I can meet with her next week to exchange with her, plus I hear she's the person to talk to about any late summer classes.  Just had to wait for my parents to come back from the day's shopping trip. But I had lunch in the meantime and got everything ready.

In the early afternoon I drove up to Ocean Grove.  Still no one in authority in the office, so I ended up going to my Studio to work.  When I left yesterday, there wasn't much left to do on these, but after careful examination, I found a few untouched areas I could add some color to.   Repainted a few spots as well, covering some stray marks, and bits of color that had oozed through the back.  I think that it's done, so I hung them back up on my wall tack board to dry.  There are slight differences between the two copies, but nothing more than one might expect with hand colored fairly large works.  The image above is a photo of the original, but the colors match so well, it may as well be a copy from the original printing.  So what you see above is pretty much what the new ones look like.  When I go up next week, I'll put the titles on, and then let my purchaser decide which one she wants.   That one will be part of the edition, and the other will probably be an artist proof, but good enough to make future copies from.

For music today I went with my Wipers compilation disc, created for Texas, but part of my Studio music collection for many years now.  I wrote about this previously in early July 2019, should you want to know more about them.   My reason for choosing this was because I had gotten the alumni magazine for Montclair State yesterday, and there was not one, but two articles about current shows at WMSC, the radio station there, and a place that I had a show for most of my time at the college.  As at my other schools, the shows I did there were blues, but I don't have access to any of those tapes right now.   However, it was there that I was first exposed to the music of the Wipers, and while there that I started buying the albums at a local mall record store.  Can't do that any more, for a variety of reasons.  But at least I did get most of the albums, and I do have my favorites on this disc I can listen to, which I do associate with my time at Montclair.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Making a living part 17

 

The expected rain did not come this morning, so my parents went off to bocce, and I went off to the Studio.   I didn't feel like carrying the extra weight today, so I left my books of cd's at home and just brought a single one in its case- a home burned one from my friend Doug.  It includes two whole albums that were new at the time, at least a few years ago.  It opens with Mountain Jack by Hans Rotenberry and Brad Jones.  Hans was a long time member of the Shazam, the power pop band from Nashville, and a friend of Doug's.  The second album was Street Songs of Love by Alejandro Escovedo, a very different record, but it's a good set, and good to listen to while making art.  I eventually acquired an official copy of the latter CD for myself, but that is in storage right now, like most of what I owned.  Escovedo has links going back to punk, and despite his Spanish name, was born in this country, and is mostly a straight forward rocker.  The album is rock, all in English, with many guests, including Bruce Springsteen, who duets on a good song.  

The two album set meant I would have a little time to work on my recent color prints.  Not much was left on them, but I did use the time to fill in everything that was still untouched, mostly grays and browns, but also colored bits of architecture and figures, and I went over some of the areas that needed more work, recoloring parts of the boardwalk, and fixing a few bits of architecture.  Hung up both to dry.   Looking at them, they appear to be nearly done.  Because sometimes watercolors change a little as they dry, I'll come back to it next week, and see if anything needs fixing or reworking.  I feel that it's close to done, so one more session should finish the coloring.  But after that, they will be done.  I'll let my patron decide which one she wants, edition and sign them, and then be done with this.


Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Making a living part 16

 

If it's Tuesday, it's a Studio day.  I hung out at home until the garbage truck came and took the bag I had put out, then I got the empty can, brought it in, and was on my way.  Watercolors were in the car, so I just had my bag with my small music collection.  On my way to the Studio, I heard a song on the radio that I knew, but I couldn't remember the name of the band.  And I had the CD on my shelf back when I had a CD shelf.  All I could remember was that they were 'Jed's Boys', referring to Jed Jackson, a former art history professor at SIU.  The summer I had taught both lecture and studio for the GEC class, it was his plan I was following.   (he was busy producing his first textbook, which would be required for that class in subsequent semesters)  I knew from an appearance later at the college, that the band had been students of his at a previous school, and in fact they had named an earlier album after him.  The album I had was their biggest one to date, and I knew some of the songs from a tape someone had given me.  But my years of experience taught me the ways of radio, so I expected that eventually the dj would back list the songs we heard, and he did.  It was the Goo Goo Dolls, who made the transition from college band to big time hit band around that time.  I don't have access to that right now, but there was an art connection of sorts.

Got up to the building about quarter to noon, and went inside.  The basement door to the office was wide open, so I went inside.  Nichole was getting ready for a meeting, and since I had no particular things to ask her about or tell her about, and no one else was there who I needed to talk to, I just said hello and got to my planned work.  I put on a disc I did have, a home burned copy of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Californication, which I wrote about back in June, 2020.  The last two larger colors I had to deal with on my night time boardwalk print were a bold orange and a bold red.  These were two colors that I knew I had in my official collection, but I still haven't retrieved that from storage.  And I did not have either of those in great quantity among the colors I had.  So the last time I ordered watercolors, I got myself tubes of Permanent Orange and Cadmium Red Medium Hue.   Today I put them to use.  First the orange, which went to clothing, balloons, signs, and a few details.  Did it for both prints, first my practice one, then the better one, though both turned out fine.  Then the red, which was much more, used on big signs (including my pizza shop logo), clothing, architecture, and other details.  Did both again, and the second one took enough time that the first print had dried some and I could already see some colors that had dried and needed a second coat.  Little seeping through.  In any case, both looked good, so I put away my stuff and went home to eat lunch.

Still no camera, but this was mostly in the left panel of the piece, and because of the bright red and orange, easy enough to spot on this old image of the whole print below.  


I'm almost done with this now.  A few small pieces of gray and brown (I have to mix those colors up), then some touch up here and there, and that should be it.  Then I can move on to the next project.



 

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Drawing Class continues

 

Late last night I got an email from my missing student, apologizing for missing the first meeting and my reminders, but saying she was definitely coming to the second meeting, and open to any changes in time that might happen.  Since I was also expecting my student who was away but kept in touch, I had better get there on time and be ready to teach advanced charcoal.  Luckily I already had my props in the car, so no real change to my plans.

In the morning I had my usual routine, then grabbed my bag and headed up to Ocean Grove.  No one in the lot yet (and the gate locked), but I saw a lot of cars heading into town.  Beachgoers? An event?  I had no idea, but was glad I didn't have to go any further. Got the gate open, got inside, tried to turn off the alarm quickly, but that's when the trouble began.  Despite my best efforts, the alarm went off, and nothing I could do at that point could stop it.  And no one was around.  So I got my heavy bag from the car, carried that to the classroom (already opened with my lighter bag inside), went back outside.  Finally got the call from Nichole about the alarm.  As I was talking to her, the cops showed up and banged on the door.  I let him in, Nichole had cleared it so I could put in the code, which turned on the green light.  I figured it was not a bad thing that the cop saw me do all this.  Still he wanted to see my ID, so I showed him my driver's license as long as my wallet was out for the alarm, he was satisfied, and I finally could get ready for class. Moved the tables and chairs as usual so I could use the room, and set up a still life, getting that done just in time for the first student to arrive.  

That first student was the one who had been in touch a lot, and she came early because she had tried some things on her own, and wanted some feedback, as charcoal was new to her.  She said she was a little intimidated by the large paper.  18"x24", what I generally use in my classes, but larger than she was used to, being more an 8x10 kind of person.  Just using half a page, I decided she had done fine with her practice still life, especially considering it was all new to her.  Being first, she had first pick of seating, so looked at it from different angles, and chose a spot.  She said she had to leave early, so I took a moment to explain ink wash to her, next week's medium.  Showed examples as well, brought for that reason.  My other student arrived closer to the official start of class, also with little experience in charcoal, just classes she took a long time ago.  I assumed college.  Both students were appropriately dressed in dark colors, as I had suggested in my emails.  

I gave them some basic instructions, then turned them loose. I walked around every 10 or 15 minutes, but they were doing fine.  I pushed them to pay attention to shapes, relative spacing, natural perspective.   I showed them how a distant view could be helpful for seeing bigger shapes, and both took advantage of this later in the works.  As time went on, both improved their drawings.  I believe they considered it a success.  Both left at the times they planned to leave.



Still no camera so here is an equivalent of what we did today- mixed value objects in charcoal. But like the ones done today, there is some value range, and some dealing with fabric.  As one said today, the more you look at the set up, the more you see.  And I always told them, draw what you see.

On my way out I saw a sign about a third session of classes.  Didn't know it was a possibility, but that could work for me.  Saw a lot more cars in the lot when I left, and guessed that at least some were people hiking uptown to whatever was clearly going on. Put my last things in my car, then went to walk to the office to let whoever was there know I was on my way out.  To my surprise, I saw Nichole, on a bike today.   Apologized for the alarm thing this morning (she said no problem), gave her an update on my communication and attendance, and asked about the third session.  She'll be gone, but said I should talk to Jeanne if I am interested. Perhaps with Nichole leaving, she will be in more.  Classes will only be 4 weeks, which makes sense, as the current classes will last until July is almost over, and then there isn't much summer beyond that.  And with that, I left.  Not easy getting out today, with a mob of bicycles riding around in circles in the middle of the road, complaining about all the cars trying to drive. 


Thursday, June 16, 2022

Making a Living part 15

 


Not a particularly nice day today, though the rain was expected to end before the morning was over.  At least it was mild.  I went up to the Studio, but Nichole was still not in the office.  So I went on to get some more work done.  My musical choice was an old favorite, Kirsty MacColl's Tropical Brainstorm, which I wrote in detail about back in March, 2020.   Nothing to do with the art, just something I felt like listening to.  I decided to use the quinacridone sienna on my other, better proof, and get that same boardwalk done. When I was done, it looked pretty good, both more even application, and good color.  Maybe it was having practiced on the other one that made this one go better.  In any case, the results looked good, so I hung it up to complete the drying, and to keep it relatively flat until next time. There is still the matter of the reds and oranges, but I have the appropriate watercolors now.  Getting close to the end here.

Since I still don't have a camera yet, in case you forgot what the color looks like, here's an old file photo showing the boardwalk being colored as it is now on an early proof.  Some of these colors you will not find on the final version, either the one framed, or the current ones in progress, but that's why there are early proofs to work these things out.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Studio Business

 

Today we got official word of something I've known about for a few weeks now.  Nichole, the executive director of the Jersey Shore Arts Center, is moving on.   I decided this may not be public knowledge, and a later conversation with her convinced me, so I haven't said anything about it here.  But a mass e-mail went out about it today, so I guess it is now public knowledge.  She's moving to Virginia (northern, or the 51st state as some of my fellow Williamsburg students claimed) to earn a master's degree in a related field.   I don't know how this will affect me yet.  She was always one of my supporters, and of visual arts in general.  She was my boss for teaching classes, and has made sure I had some, going back years to when she decided it was time to hold art classes there.  (building founder Herb Herbst disliked visual arts, and thought it was all stupid, only really enjoying theater and music)  In her farewell letter, she tells us that the incoming director has an art background, so maybe that will still happen.  At least one person in the office will be remaining there, the person who has ordered a print that I am now coloring, so that's someone who likes my work. And Nichole has done a lot toward the maintenance of our very old building- standing for more than a century.  She has tried a lot of different programs in an effort to build interest in the building, all related to arts, but I don't know how successful any of them were.  She supervised the installation of a number of art shows, but has also had the bad luck of much of this happening during the pandemic, which has kept the outside doors locked for much of the past few years.  The recent Tenants show and the related open studios event brought in pretty good crowds, but I don't know if we got a long term benefit from that. 

There were things in the works that were never resolved, and possibly won't be now.  Not much I can do about that now.  At the moment I will continue as before, using the Studio when I can, paying my rent to the lease holder, and hoping she pays the bills. I'll teach classes when they offer them, as well as offer my advice for exhibitions.  I'll meet the new bosses as they come around, and hope they see me as a serious artist who has a lot of experience in art and would be valuable to have around.  

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Making a Living part 14

 One of the downsides of being an artist is that you do have to put in the time working if you want to get things done.  I decided that today was a day to work on artwork.  So after lunch, I drove up to Ocean Grove.  Did not see Nichole's car in the lot, unfortunate as I was hoping to give her an update as to all that happened over the past few days.  So I got to my main purpose, coloring.  Logically I should have moved on to some of the recently acquired bright colors, but instead I decided to work on the largest remaining piece of color, the dark boardwalk.  Another recently purchased color.  A week or so ago I made color sample cards of my recently purchased watercolors, so I started by looking at that, as well as comparing it to the framed proof I have there in the Studio.  I concluded that the dark, shadowy areas of the boardwalk were quinacridone sienna, one of a bunch of quinacridone colors produced by Daniel Smith in recent years.  I have no idea what quinacridone is, but apparently it is a mineral that can be used to produce a whole bunch of colorful earth tones, and I bought a few of them, hoping that one was the color I needed. And it turned out, I got it.   Basically a burnt sienna, but with a hint of orange that is not found in the brown.

So today I started on the boardwalk of the lesser proof.  This is the single biggest piece of color in the whole print, so it was a slow process.  I put on a homemade disc, the 100 Days, 100 Nights album from Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, with the rest of the disc filled with assorted excerpts from a bonus disc included with the commercial release, Binky Griptite's Ghetto Funk Power Hour, a pseudo radio show that was essentially a mixing board and the label's inventory of records.  All very appropriate to make art to, and you can read what I have written about it back in June, 2019.

There was some seepage of color through the paper, but luckily, this color is everywhere in the final version, so everywhere this happened, I was going to put that color anyway.  After filling in all of it, I decided to let it dry for a while.  I hung it back on the wall before I left, and I could see that the coloring was a little uneven, but nothing where it shouldn't be, so this can be fixed by a second coat.  I have plenty of paint now.

Back home I sent Nichole an email updating her on the events of the weekend, and decided to rest.



Saturday, June 11, 2022

Drawing Class is back


 

Heard nothing new about the drawing class, so I decided it must be on.  On Friday I chose some drawing props from the junk in the basement, packed them in my large tote bag, and carried them to my car after I was done moving it around for lawn mowing.  Part of why I wasn't hearing anything was that I had no access to my website email.  Tried on both computers, but one wouldn't load the site, and the other insisted that my password was wrong, even though it is the same one I have used for over a decade with no problem.  I chalked it up to more of their continued "improvement" of the web site.  Good thing I had already sent out information to my known drawing students.  But that was all I could do.

This morning I showed up as I expected.  The gate was opened and the alarm already off, so I just had to use my key to get in, just like every other time I am there.  I had the key to the classroom from last time, so I let myself in a little past 9 am.  I went out and turned on lights, then back to my room to set things right, as it was the usual crowd of tables and chairs from watercolor class.  With the room properly set for class, I put together my still life for the day, including the clamp light I had brought since I don't know where the lights they bought are hidden now.  Unlocked the front door and waited for some customers.  I knew one of my registered students would not be coming, as she had emailed me back when I could still get on, and mentioned she'd miss this week, and asked about how she could make it up and be prepared for the next meeting.  I expected the other one, plus it was always possible one or two people would show up with checks asking to join (it's happened before) or someone had even officially registered online, but I had no way of knowing.  However, no one showed up.  So I waited with my lit up still life for the two hours of the class, then put everything away. Packed that stuff in the car.   I had two fully paid up students, so I would be paid for the session no matter what.  I will let the one who had written before know what we would have done, but since the other student isn't ahead of her, whether or not she does anything is up to her.  The image above is a file photo of the idea, a still life with a mix of value items done in charcoal.  

Had a snack, and decided to hang around until the afternoon class.  As of a few days ago, I had no one signed up for the afternoon color class, but once again I had no way of knowing if anyone signed up.  But this time I only waited for 10 minutes of the afternoon class, and having no one show up, decided it was time to go.  Just then the rain started, a few drops hitting the windows, then a downpour.  I had planned to check on my space first, then leave my backpack in the car and stop by the office from outside, but that was off now.  Still looked at my proofs in the basement, then ran into Bobby walking around downstairs, saving me from looking for him in the office.  He was surprised by the rain.  Just let him know that my classroom was locked, but the front door wasn't, but he does that later, letting the current show be open for a while.  After that, I went upstairs, took down my tag, and waited outside the doors.  No hurry, so no reason to go out in the pouring rain.  After it had eased up, put my last thing in the car and got in myself. Before I got home the rain had stopped altogether. 

Wednesday, June 08, 2022

Making a Living (and catching up) part 13

Catching up because I forgot to blog some of this stuff yesterday.   I took advantage of the nice weather yesterday to go up to Ocean Grove.  I saw Nichole's car in the lot, so I took care of my business with her first.  I was looking to find out the status of my classes.  Part of this is because classes are scheduled to begin this coming weekend, and it would be good to know what is going on with them, but part of this was because I had gotten a weird email over the weekend suggesting that I contact people and try to get them to take my afternoon color class, seeking three people to sign up.  I could see this hadn't come from her, but was probably generated by the computer system they use for sign ups, but it made sense to talk to the boss about all this.  She confirmed the students I had for the drawing class, and even printed out an official list, with suggestions that I write to them with information about the first class.  

After that I went to work for a little while. I was a bit tired, but I wanted to get something done while I was there.  So I mixed up a new batch of my caucasion flesh formula, and put that in the places it belonged on the second proof of my recently printed boardwalk prints.  Some of the shadow areas don't look right, so I'll be going back in to redo those areas next time.  I had brought the rock/pop case of discs with me, and for no particular reason selected Joe Jackson's Big World album, which came out before the invention of the compact disc (my copy is on vinyl), but was almost designed for them, as it occupied 3 sides of a double album, with the 4th side blank.  (I wrote about this in some detail back in October, 2019)

But I was tired, and decided to go home after that.  Late in the afternoon I got a pleasant surprise, a call back from my computer consultant.   She apologized for the delay, but I had mentioned in my message that this wasn't an emergency, so I didn't mind. (my call to her was sometime last week) Told her the information I was looking for, and she said she'd look into it and call me back today.

Got a decent night's sleep last night, and got on with my day.  Marion called me back about when she said she would.  My question was about things she knew well, cameras and computers, both things she had taught at Kean, and she knows far more than I do about the subjects.  In fact, she has helped me over the years with such things a few times.   As readers here know, I have been without a camera since I went into the hospital, so I can't post any images of new works done in the time since, but this will be a necessary thing for the pieces I am doing for Tom and his Robert Johnson project.  Still a long way off, but time keeps on moving. Yesterday I gave her to basics of what I was looking for, and today she gave me some recommendations.  She had three, but after I balked a little at the price of her second one, she decided not to give me the third one.  I wrote down the information she gave me, and I will start looking online very soon.

Later in the afternoon I took care of the other business I had, writing to my students and reminding them that they had a class on Saturday, and what they would need for it.  As well as for the whole 6 weeks of classes.  There aren't as many options for buying art supples as there were a few years ago, so I hope they can find what they need.

Thursday, June 02, 2022

Making a living part 12

 

No rain for the early part of the day, so it seemed like I good day to go up to the Studio.  I wanted to test my new watercolors, and that would be best done up there, where I had some room to spread out, plus some scrap paper.

I had brought the rock/pop CD case with me, again with no plan for what to listen to.  When I got there I decided on the live double album from X, called Live at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go.  I think this was also issued on vinyl as a two record set, and my CD version was thus missing a few songs that didn't fit.  I bought this disc back when I was a senior in college, but I had been listening to X for much longer, as they were an early presence on MTV (actually had a video for an early 80's track, which got you onto MTV back then), and later songs were a presence on New York radio in that era.  I remember a dj referring to them as "the best garage band in the world."  Perhaps they were.  Going back to the 70's they were at at the beginnings of the punk movement  (and respected for that), but like most southern California bands (based out of Los Angeles, so this appearance at the most famous venue in town was a kind of homecoming), they had a streak of country and western in them, which showed up in all their work, but especially on the songs they did as the Knitters, a side project that was very country.  (a few of those songs show up here)  This album opens with a song from their first album, the title cut from "Los Angeles", banned from radio for content, but a good rocking tune.  And in general, a good album to make art to.

My first task was to create a color sample sheet for all my new paints.  I used to have a bunch of these, but can't find them right now.  If I had such a thing (each paint, at both full strength and a wash, on print paper), I would have known for sure what colors I would need, or even if I had the old color catalogs from the company, but all I have right now is the website from the third party I got them from, so colors are just approximated.  I had a guess what it was, but with no paints to look at, it was just a guess, so I bought several different tubes, hoping one was the right one for coloring the boardwalk just like the version I had in a frame.  It does appear that I got the right one, but all the colors I bought are things I can use, so having the extra tubes is not a problem.  

So did I now use this color to do that large section of boardwalk, or my new purchases of yellow and orange to do some of those big pieces?  No, instead I decided to go with my usual practice of lightest colors first and put in some caucasian flesh tones.  I had a little bit of the premixed color left, not enough to do both proofs, but I could put some flesh down on the first proof as practice.  The shadowed areas could use a little more, so I'll be going back into that one.  As expected, I ran out of the premixed colors as I finished the first proof, but I know the formula well, and these were some of the colors I bought last week, so I'll be prepared for making more next week.  

The music ended, and I knew I had to stop at the store on my way home, so I decided to call it a day and head home.  But I had learned some things, and gotten a little bit done, so it was a successful day.


Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Making a Living part 11

 

I decided to continue work on my commissioned print, but I was lacking watercolors.  However, I had more I could do, involving ink.  Plus, I wanted to drop off the check for June rent.  The problem was that I was distracted by much that was going on today- a planned trip to the supermarket, the fact that it was the hottest day of the year, things I had to bring with me to work on the print, questions I had to ask, my parents and all their confusion- and I forgot to bring the check with me.  And it was all filled out and everything.  Well, if she wants it early, she is welcome to swing by where I live and get it.  Otherwise, I'll try to bring it up there next time I go, probably in a few days.

Got some other stuff taken care of.  I saw Nichole's car was there so I stopped by the office after dropping off things in my space.  I still just have two students, though I hope for more signing up before things start in a week and a half, so there was info I needed.  I knew from a general email that the building would be closed for the week of July 4th, thus my class would be cancelled that week, and we were having a 7 week schedule that would allow us to have 6 classes and a day off. All well and good, but my class is on a Saturday, so I needed to know when that week actually was.  Turns out I was off on the 2nd, but working on the 9th. That settled, I could get to work.

For music I had brought my book of rock/pop discs with no particular plan, but on the way up the radio played a song from the Smithereens, so I decided to go with my disc of them today.  Home burned from a cassette made from a radio broadcast of a live in studio performance back in 1989.  They played a good show back then, so the disc is still enjoyable three plus decades later.  I have written about the disc and band here a few times, but the first time was back in September, 2019.

One thing I knew from the printings, was that a time or two the hand rubbing of my prints had resulted in a slight tear in the thin Japanese paper.  Luckily I knew how to deal with this- a small patch of the same paper on the back, held in place with a touch of PVA.  Then ink the whole spot again, blot, and no one would ever notice it again.  And as long as I had the ink out, I made a little mat card device to dot a little more ink directly on the print.  I had been thorough in doing the all black sections, but I had noticed a few spots where lines didn't print, or had gaps.  Probably a small chip was missing from the original block (carved over a decade ago), and this may be noticed on its own, but of more concern was coloring.   Those bits of oil based ink do function to contain each color of watercolor.  So far it hadn't been a problem, but it could be when it was time to add the next patch, mixing together against my plans.  The missing pieces were similar on both proofs (the idea that it may be the blocks themselves) so I used my mat card/pen to add ink to both proofs as my eyes spotted the gaps. I think I got all of them.  This does not solve the problem of watercolor soaking through the thin paper, but it does make sure the water doesn't mix on the surface I am working on.  At the same time I noticed that the color touch ups I had done last time were now dry and solid colors.  That's good.  

As it was a very hot day, I decided to just go directly home.  My parents were both there, recovering from the heat as well.  Had lunch then got a delivery of my new water color paints.  Two days early. Well, too hot to go back there today (conditions in my Studio are fine, it's the ride up and back I am avoiding) so experimenting with those will wait for another day.