Holiday In the Studio

Sundays tend to be quiet in the studio. The school is open for artists who want to use the presses with a monitor (me), and there has been steady traffic on other days, but I’ve had Sundays mostly to myself. Whatever the repercussions for school revenue, the quiet time is welcome. There has been 7 months without regular studio work, and the quiet has been helping as I dream myself back into a good rhythm for creativity.

Smaller works are over too quickly and there is not enough white space to stretch my mind, so I went with larger work. Full sheet (22×30) after a couple of half sheet warm ups. Blobby, cloud like shapes allowed me to open up space, while also carrying the assortment of yellow, pink and salmon that popped up immediately on my palette (oops- no pictures yet).

Clouds are compatible with my subject matter, ladders (Jacob’s Ladders: I’d been recently reading Emily Dickinson). But the placement and execution of these wasn’t apparent at first, so the next week, I switched to an older, incomplete print from before the shutdown which turned out to be almost screaming for a ladder as central figure. Then a couple of ghosts followed on from that. This is in a deep blue that was appealing to my more crepuscular subconscious visions.

Illustrate work in progress
Partial image left over from pre-pandemic working sessions.
Illustrate work in progress
Adding preliminary ladder imagery dropping down to a plane in ochre from a deep blue sky/field.

That’s where I stand now. All potential and no resolution, wondering how it might all coalesce. The ladder image clearly needs more emphasis, but the open space behind it is probably going to need restraint, or it will get too busy. The theme, from a Wilco song on my earbuds: Wishful Thinking. I don’t really have anymore than that right now, but it feels like it’s building nicely.

I’ll be in studio a few more weeks, then I’m taking a break in mid December. I’m taking lots of process pics that I will post later. If I don’t post again before the holiday/solstice week, then here are my wishes for a safe happy season of light to you and yours!

Living Large

 

"Grove With Black Sun", 15x22", 2013 This monotype was created by overlaying new imagery onto the ghost of another print.
“Grove With Black Sun”, 15×22″, 2013 This monotype was created by overlaying new imagery onto the ghost of another print.

Large work has been a priority for me last Fall, and didn’t happen quite as much as I’d like, so I extended “printing season” into December.  I went down to Open Press ( a somewhat legendary print studio in Denver ) and started on 2 30×42” monotypes, one of which was completed, and will be in a 25th Anniversary Open Press Show.  It’s easier to work on 2 pieces at once, with the second being a ghost of the 1st run-through (“drop”) of the first. This gives me more options or ways forward if one goes wrong, or needs extra attention, especially if I’m on a deadline. And it worked- I got a nice monotype on the 2nd variation, applying a new layer over the top, then leaving the 1st variation, which was meant to have 1 drop, but needed two, for a head start on January’s return to studio.

The need to keep a good inventory of small work ( for cash flow purposes) and attend to other, business-side issues  (such as this website) really make it hard to carve out the “large” blocks of time needed for work over 22×30″.  So I’ve decided I will keep going in at least once a month and working on large work, so I can have an inventory by November. This is how most things work for me. I even made a “schedule” of time blocks for such things as Social Media, Web and Framing. I don’t always stick to it, especially when picking up temp jobs for extra cash, but it does tend to keep vital tasks  from getting lost in the shuffle.

I’m also working on Month of Printmaking (#MoPrint 2014).  MoPrint is intended to showcase, on a biennial  basis, the large, diverse and exciting range of printmaking being produced in the Denver Metro region, and in Colorado at large.  It will be a great event to be a part of, so it’s good I was able to squeeze in the extra working time. I’m helping with a Studio Tour on March 29, as well as contributing to Social Media.

It will run from Feb 28, 2014, through March and even into April, and the Open Press 25th Anniversary show at McNichols building in the 3rd floor gallery will be the kick off party , though the show is available for viewing on Saturdays, 10-2 PM from January 11th on.  Thanks to a generous donor there will be a nice catalog, too.

 It will feature a multitude of gallery shows, studio demos and special events intended to allow those interested in this rich yet often ignored medium to learn first hand and up close what Denver printmakers and print studios have to offer. Here’s a link: http://moprint.org/ You can upload your own event there.

I’ll post an image of the larger works when I receive a file from the photographer. In the mean time, above is a smaller one as a preview of sorts.