Monday, November 11, 2019

A New T-Shirt part 4

Had a plan for this morning, but wasn't sure if I'd be able to go through with it. On Saturday I had seen my contact at the BAC for this t-shirt project. so I was thinking I should finish my design proposal and get past this phase of the project.  Drawing on paper, I can do that at home, but photographing the results is easier at the Studio, and it's a good place to work anyway.  The problem was that I didn't know if I could get in. Several years ago they put in a new alarm system, which automatically shuts off early in the morning and turns on again late at night.  However, we were told this wouldn't happen on certain holidays, but I can't find that list, or even the code that allows me to bypass the alarm.  I should get another copy of that.  My simple work around has been just to work during the day.  Today is Veteran's Day, and it's the kind of day our founder (a WWII Navy Veteran) would have seen as a holiday to close the building.  Didn't want to go up there to find the building inaccessible, so after my morning routine I called the office.  Turned out they were open today.

Late morning I drove up there, bringing the necessary materials- a sketchbook, various markers, my previous sketches. My piece today was a better version on the second try from last week, but now with a fine point marker in some areas to allow more detail, especially in regards to texture.

The overall layout is very much like the first one, but in that one I have the BAC logo as solid black letters (as requested), but I noticed the curved shape of the shells has some similarities to the curves of the shells, and decided to bring some of that into the letters, breaking them up just as varying colors do to the letters in the full color versions of this logo. Used that same fine point marker to add more surface lines to the shells (both for value and cross contours), texture to the top of the starfish, and grittiness to the sand here and there.  A level of detail that I can match in woodcut and would translate to a silkscreen for making the t-shirts, if the trustees approve of this.  The next step is to send the images of the past week to my contact and see if they like one as is, want to make a change, or forget the project.

No Molly today, so I had music.  Chose one from my Studio library, a disc of the Gun Club, a band from the 80's.  My disc includes a copy of their first album Fire of Love from 1981, and I filled up the disc with various songs from a live album from a show in 1992, which I bought at a record store in St Louis on a day trip there.   (Some art students had to go to a museum for a class, I took the ride to see art, buy bread and music) A review of that first album called it too "bluesy/punky to ever be a hit" and perhaps it was, but I like that kind of music, so after my friend Doug included some songs on a tape he made, I felt a need to get my own copy, as well as other releases from the band on vinyl and disc.  I think that live album was one of their last releases, as band founder and lead vocalist Jeffrey Lee Pierce died shortly after that.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

A New T-Shirt part 3

Went out this morning to take care of some errands. Quite chilly this morning, but I'm sure things will get worse, however I took the trouble to put on a winter coat.

Made a few stops, one of which was the Boatworks.  A class going on in the front gallery, so entry was through the side door.  I had gotten word that today they were holding an event, a Salon type thing for the current Cornucopia of Color show.  I am not in that show, and I covered one of these type events over the summer for the blog, so I wasn't planning to be there.  Had other things to do anyway, plus the cold weather made it feel like a day to stay home. I let them know I wouldn't be back for the Salon, but asked if there was anything else going on.  One of those present was one of our chairs, Dana, who is also my contact for the t-shirt design, and so she was curious as to how that was coming. I told her that I had finished my other woodcut, and was now working on it full time.  Created a first paper design, thought that the second design suffered for the lack of thinner markers and so would be redone, and I would have some images to send her sometime next week. I also gave Diane, our receptionist some bad news- figs might be done for the season.  (she had given us a big bag of homegrown tomatoes this summer, so I decided to give her some ripe figs from our garden when they came in, which she appreciated)  When I saw the fig grove a few days ago, there were still a bunch of figs on the trees, and the leaves hadn't fallen yet, but the figs hadn't been getting plumper, or changing color, and the leaves were starting to curl up.  I think that the cold weather the last few weeks had made the trees decide they are done for the year.

A bit of good news though. I learned that one of my mini-saint prints in their store had sold and they wanted another.  The person who has to sign the check wasn't available, so I'll have to wait until next week to be paid.  Just a small print, so probably not a large amount of money, but every little bit helps.  After I left I realized that I hadn't found out which one was sold. Well I'll just bring all the packaged mini-saints with me the next time I go and if I have another copy of the one that sold and they want that one, good, and if they want a different one, we can do that, too.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

A New T-Shirt part 2

Went up to the Studio today for a few purposes.  One was to work on my latest idea for the t-shirt design, and one was to find out the plan for Wednesday night.  When I pulled into the lot, I saw Nichole's car, and figured I should go see her while I knew she was still there.  She confirmed what I had expected (based on yesterday's conversation on the the topic), that the drop-in event for this Wednesday would not be happening.  Not a cancellation but a postponement, as she hopes it will be occurring in early 2020. It was her idea after all- an exercise built around the idea of positive and negative space.  That positive/negative relationship is the core of relief print design, so of all these Wednesday night drop-in things, this was the closest one to woodcut.  Unfortunately, after checking all 3 social media platforms she had put it out on, there was only one confirmed plan to come. We have four people confirmed for next week, so we hope that one will go on as expected.

With that settled, I went down to my space to take another run at the t-shirt design.   I though what I did yesterday wasn't bad, but I realized the relationship of the letters in the new BAC logo had some shapes in common with the shells on the beach and thought it might be interesting to play that up.  The logo often shows the letters gradually drifting from one color to another, but we can't do that with our one color shirt design, so I represented it as solid black, as requested, in my first attempt.  Cross sections of trees have rings that represent annual growth, and seashells have similar markings, which I believe also represent indications of growth, the shell being expanded as the living creature within gets larger, though I have no idea what length of time is represented in this case.  But I used such lines in my clam and mussel shell designs yesterday, so I thought it might work in the letter design on this latest drawing.

And maybe it will, but all I had with me today were relatively fat black markers, which were a little crude for the idea I was trying out.  Using more lines, as I did on the shells this time, and textures in various places, may work, but I will need a different pen.  But the session wasn't a total waste, as I did learn what can be done.  Adding more lines to the shells (and similar lines to the logo) and textures to the sand and starfish seem to be good ideas, but for a sketch I need better pens.  And since Molly wasn't around, I got to listen to music.  Put on one of my home burned discs- a copy of the early Southern Culture on the Skids album Too Much Pork for Just One Fork which I originally found in that leftover music box at the record store that had become a hair salon.  (Back in the early 90's, at one point two friends from two different parts of the country who were musically knowledgeable told me to check out this band,  so when I found this disc I bought it. a good decision.) I filled out the rest of the disc with songs from the second album from the Chickasaw Mudd Puppies, which my friend Doug described as "porch music"- two guys on stage sitting in chairs, playing guitars, and stomping on boards.   (kind of a southern thing) On the way home today I stopped at a local supermarket to buy some needed items and picked up some fine point black markers, so I will redraw this one before I send it to my contact.

Back home I sent an e-mail to one of my summer woodcut students who had expressed an interest in the Wednesday night thing for this week, to let her know that it wouldn't be happening, saving her the trip.  Nothing would have happened that she couldn't do on her own, except getting some feedback from other artists.  Maybe when it gets rescheduled.

Monday, November 04, 2019

A New T-Shirt

Another Monday, another day of work.  Had a few options for the art part of that.  No immediate need for a good copy of the new supermarket print, so pulling another proof can wait for another day.  I have a small pile of museum papers to grade, but that deadline isn't until Friday, and it's probably best to have a computer handy while I do that, so not a good Studio activity.   Of all the possible new print projects, the logical one would be the new t-shirt for the BAC.

The last time I did a t-shirt for them was back in 2007.  I was in the midst of working on the first mural we would do when I was informed that I had been nominated to design a t-shirt for the BAC, to be sold at a local sailboat youth regatta, and beyond that as well.  To get this deal, we had been told that the shirt had to have a sailing theme and not be just an advertisement for our own organization, so our logo was just a small one on the back, under the collar.  I was able to meet the deadlines and we had the shirt for sale at the event and later as well.  (the whole story can be found on this blog if you care)  The original plan was to pay a percentage of each shirt to me, but then they decided it would be easier to give me a one time fee for my woodcut design.  There was talk of having me design a new one, then talk of making it a youth project to design a new shirt, but nothing happened.  Eventually they all sold out, but many people liked it, and talk of having me design another one came up from time to time.  Now it has been decided to have me propose a new idea. I am the one actual graphic artist in the organization.

My plan is to complete a paper sketch design, which I will share with my contact on this (one of the co-chairs at the BAC), and it approved (and we come to a proper financial arrangement) I'll do the design as a woodcut, and turn it over to them. So far all I know is that it should have the current BAC logo as a prominent part, it will be a monochromatic design, and it was suggested that it involve seashells, since we are a beach town.  Over the past few weeks I have done some internet research, but now is the time to get something on paper.

I have the original block used to make the woodcut print that was used to make the scanned image that was used to print the t-shirt, and so I brought that with me to the Studio today, along with my reference sketches of beach detritus.

I created a rectangle of the same size as the first block (which was used at about 100% on the shirt itself) and then used pencil to work out a composition, then a permanent black marker to produce the design . Here is the result of today's session:

I was told to keep the logo as solid black, but I may play with that in the next sketch. The logo on our website is gradated in different bands of color.  That we can't do, but I can play with different shades of gray with mark making, and the roundness of the letters and the proximity to each other sets up a rhythm not unlike the shells in my design, and it might be interesting to play with shell-like cross-contour lines in the letters.

No Molly today, so I was able to listen to music as I worked.  I had brought with me the Dave Brubeck Quartet's album Time Out, the best selling jazz album of all time, and containing the best selling jazz single of all time- Take Five.  What made the album stand out was that the songs all have unusual rhythms, influenced by a world wide visit by the musicians, and none in standard 4/4 time.  What put it in my mind today was that a recent dream I had included the album's lead song, Blue Rondo A La Turk.  When that disc ended, one from my Studio library, Miles Davis's 'Round About Midnight which opens with his legendary take on the Thelonius Monk song.

I also took time to talk to Nichole about teaching stuff.  Some debate over whether or not we will have Wednesday night's class.  We both want to, but so far there is just one sign up.  We really need more than that to make it practical, so if we don't have more by tomorrow, we may cancel it and put our efforts into the one for week 3, which currently has four sign ups.  That will be figured out tomorrow.