Saturday, January 30, 2016

Keeping Busy with Nothing to Show for it

Haven't put much on the blog lately, for a few reasons.  First of all, I've had other things in life to deal with- beginning of the semester, digging out from the latest blizzard, and last weekend the priority of getting my computer back to working again.  All of those things were dealt with.  Another thing that does impact on the blog is that at the moment I am not able to edit and upload photos.  I can type (which I couldn't do a week ago), so I can at least tell you what's going on, even if I can't show it.

My busy day started with a trip to the Boatworks in Belmar.  We had received e-mails reminding us that yesterday was the end date for the Old Shoes show, meaning today was the day to pick up the works.  St Lambert may have dropped his shoe, but I picked it up.  Someone asked me if I was submitting anything to any upcoming shows there.  I bypassed the photo show being installed today, but the one after that has a Hollywood theme.  Not something that I focus on in my work.  But as I thought about it, perhaps the Fourth of July prints relating to the making of my animated film.  I'll have to look into that.

Next stop was to get some wood at Home Depot.  Got a gift card for Christmas, got ideas for prints, but got no wood right now, and no prints get made until I get some.  Took longer than I wanted it to driving there, detours related to construction projects.   And it was annoying that they never cleared all the snow from their parking lot, requiring some interesting paths to reach parking.  But they did have wood, so I got a 2" x 4" panel of half inch birch and loaded it in the car.

From there across Neptune to Ocean Grove and the Studio.  Not working today, but things to do.  First, stash my new piece of wood until I'm ready to make use of it.  Of more significance today, next weekend is the drop off for artwork for the 2016 Winter Arts Festival and I was hoping to get some information.  Good news- they did get the main lot cleared of snow, which doesn't always happen.  Definitely not a given last winter.  Bad news- neither Brendan nor Ian were around, and as the ones in charge of this show, the only ones who would know details.  I was hoping to learn how much space I'd be given, so I'd know how many pieces to bring.  Herb said probably about the same as last year, which would be fine.  I'll try to get some confirmation details during the week, but for now I'll plan for 6 framed supermarket prints.  I had told Ian that one of my pieces would be getting its first viewing in this show (the supermarket print with the bricks from last year), and I picked up the copy I had in my rack.  I'll swap it for one in frame during the week.

Stopped at home for lunch and then out again to Manasquan.  A while back I went through my stored artwork in the basement, and today I was picking some up.  In this case, two framed supermarket prints in their own box, the ones I had in a show in Newark a couple of summers ago.  Thanks to the box, easy to carry home, and to carry to the Studio next week.

So no new art made today, but plenty of important stuff got done.  And if I had gotten any art done, you wouldn't be able to see it here.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Old Shoes in Belmar

Tonight was the opening for the first show of the year in Belmar, and the theme is Old Shoes.  Between  the holidays and school stuff I had no time to create something new for the occasion, but luckily I had an old piece in stock that fit quite well.

Back in 1994 while in grad school I started my Everyman series, my second largest series overall (around 80 and counting) and my widest exhibited and collected series.  ST LAMBERT was part of that original group completed in Carbondale and shown in my MFA exhibition in 1995.  The short version of his story is that he was a 7th century bishop from what is now Belgium.  A political dispute caused him to be thrown out of his office for several years, and for a while he was staying in a nearby abbey.  One evening he let his shoe drop to the floor loudly, which caused the abbot to demand that whoever had done that should go outside and kneel before the cross outside the church, and pray for forgiveness.  Lambert was not one to put himself above others, so obeyed.  Later the abbot learned that he had forced the bishop out into the cold and quickly went out to bring him back inside.  The shoe in the image is a leather work shoe that I owned at the time.

The first show of the year is done in a Salon format, so the artists are invited to talk about their piece for a few minutes.  I basically told the above story.  Some of the artists talked about process.  They kept it moving, so we got through it in about a half hour.  I am the blogger for the BAC so taking photos is my unpaid job, and it was very  difficult tonight with this huge crowd.  Not complaining because it's good to see so many interested people.  More photos from the reception can be seen at the BelmarArts blog.

My piece as it appears in the show itself.  If you want to see it in person, drop by the gallery before January 29th.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Collaboration Experiment Continues

Had the Studio to myself today, so I was able to spend a bit of time continuing my share of this piece of artwork.  I don't really have a plan for this piece, so I am just reacting as I go.  I do expect that I'm not going to do much with the empty space in the upper left, as I wish to leave an area for someone else to do something.  I want to do something with the stray black marks around the yellow circle, but I don't have an idea quite yet.

Still no hurry to resolve it.  On my way out today I ran into Molly coming in.  She never did set up a January critique meeting, so at this point we might as well wait until February.  I'm sure I'll come up with something before then.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Collaborative Piece Continued

I figured by today the birds that I printed on the collaborative piece would be dry enough to work with, so went up to the Studio to see what I could do.  And they were mostly dry.  The relief ink is too thick to work with in any way except block printing, but I could always draw with regular drawing ink.  And I always have a good old fashioned fountain pen in my pencil case.  I had also planned to go in with some watercolor as well, and I like what was happening with just little bits of gray and pale blue I was testing, kind of sea gull colors.  But I wanted to get a better reference before I took it any further, couldn't find anything on my camera, so ended it there.  No hurry to get this done, as Molly still hasn't shared with me any plans to hold a critique group soon.  Much longer and we may as well wait until February.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Not Quite Done With Christmas

This morning I dropped off my framed saint print at the Boatworks for next weekend's show, then proceeded up to the Studio to finish the latest set of cards.  I had printed 7 more copies of the latest card a few days ago, and needed to color them.  I typically do this assembly line style, one color through all the copies, then on to the second color.  This card has 8 colors, and the whole process took about two hours.  Then carefully packed them for the trip home.  The Giants are taking off tomorrow (okay, they were eliminated from the playoffs), so perhaps I'll be able to trim them and write them out, and finally be done with this year's Christmas cards.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Back In Business

Tomorrow is the intake day for the next exhibition at the Boatworks, our annual Salon show to kick off the new year.  It's an open show (not juried, but they reserve the right to reject things that don't fit the rules) and this year the theme is Old Shoes.  Having cut something like 1000 blocks, there are few themes I don't have something that fits, and this St Lambert print will do fine.  Artists are asked to briefly present the works and all the saint prints come with a story.

I have about a dozen framed saint prints, mostly recent ones that have been in recent shows.  This print dates back to 1994, and while it has been shown since then, it lost its place in a frame a number of years  ago.  Somewhere in the vicinity of Christmas while at my parents' house I picked up one of the framed saint prints I had stored there and brought it home, so I could swap the one in the frame for one of my Lambert prints.  No need to drag all this stuff up to the Studio- an old drawing board on the bed provided enough work space for this simple process, so I reopened the Late Night Frame Shop.  Took about 10 minutes, and now I'm all set for tomorrow morning's delivery.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

A Collaborative Experiment

We are in a new month now, which got me thinking about the next critique group meeting.  Haven't seen Molly in a while, but even if I had I doubt we would have tried for this past week.  I generally stay away from trying to lure people in too close to a holiday.  But next week may work.  So when I got up to the Studio this afternoon I gave her a call.  She's going to look at her schedule, maybe talk to a few regulars.  Perhaps we can try for the middle of next week.  The sooner she gets back to me, the sooner I can get the word out.

Meanwhile I need to think about what I would be showing.  Last month I was encouraged to take home something that someone else had started.  Perhaps two other people.  I do know that group regular Tim was part of this.  Not only did he sign it (lower left corner), but he loves birds and that one in the corner is his style.  No time to start anything new, but in a week I could add something to this and pass it on to the next person.

I decided to continue with the bird idea.   Figured the easiest thing would be to print some kind of already cut bird image from a block in the Studio.  I vaguely remembered doing something with a whole bunch of sea gulls, probably a boardwalk block.  I looked at all those blocks but saw only a few gulls.  Then I remembered the gulls were for a different boardwalk image- the area at the base of my tower of art.  Some of that group should fit into the space I had.  Took a quick rubbing, cut out those pieces to test layout strategies, inked it, put down some masking tape to block off some areas from printing, and then slapped the paper down on top and printed.

Came out a bit messier than I had hoped.  The paper is a very heavyweight cold press (textured) watercolor paper, not conducive to hand printing.  Still, the inclusion of multiple styles in the one piece works in my favor.  Let the ink dry a few days, then I can go in with a pen and clean up the lines and more watercolors.  Hopefully when I'm done it will all make some kind of sense.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Still Christmas

I've only distributed a few of this year's cards so far, but all the ones I had finished are now colored and I know I'll need more, so I went into the Studio this afternoon and made some more.  Printed another seven cards, all usable proofs.

Left all the cards up at the Studio to dry.  All my watercolors are there, so not like I could do more with these copies yet.  Meanwhile I need to write out and mail the ones I had printed as part of the first batch.