Wednesday, September 9, 2020

September Notes

 August sped by in a blur of hot, sunny days this year! With the pandemic still a concern, we stayed closer to home than usual, so the yard and garden got  a lot of tending.  I still haven't learned my lesson about growing tomatoes. For all the work, I never get much of a crop! The cherry tomatoes are my best producers, while the other ones kind of wilt away, and get rotten spots. We have a fabulous farmstand up the road, so in the future I should just buy what I need from them! Happily, I have better success with sunflowers and hydrangea.

In my new retired life, I'm enjoying the flexibility of setting my own schedule! So many projects to work on, and so many things to organize. I finished sanding and painting a couple old bureaus in an effort to revamp the guest room. 

My studio is a small space, and I am trying not to let art supplies, frames, and tools migrate into the rest of the house! Artists are notorious collectors of interesting, inspirational, and useful materials. I love old memorabilia and family history artifacts too. Fortunately my genealogy stuff fits into file cabinets, and is easier to keep in order.

            Doesn't everyone need pictures of their ancestors posing for the camera!

Here's to a new month of new adventures! Get out and enjoy the sunshine before the days get shorter!

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Mid-summer Life

Despite a very warm July, I'm still trying to get some work done in my studio. Thank goodness for cooling fans! I love my view of the backyard as I work, and it's a quiet space, as my husband is still working from home. My cat Wiley, enjoys hanging out with me, even though she steals my swivel chair whenever I stand up.

I've been trying to finish up a few block prints that need to be completed before I move on to something else. I had some issues with the ink I used on the "boats" print. I used a combination of Akua and Daniel Smith inks, and it doesn't want to 100% dry. There is still some "stickiness" in areas, so I have to keep them hanging individually until that disappears.

For this print, I've used colored pencils to add a tint of color in areas. I figured I'd experiment as it needs something more for definition.

The "Winter Blues" design of bluebirds at my feeder, has also been challenging in terms of finding the right colors, and the way the various layers interact with each other. Warm and cool color tones can be tricky when placed on top of each other, as it can dull the intensity of the individual colors.

The newest print that I'm finishing is "Goffstown Brook". I started drawing out the design back in March, and didn't have much time while still doing remote learning to work on it. It's pretty much completed now, but I'm still contemplating adding one more layer to darken up the last layer.

In spite of the pandemic, I've had some enjoyable outings in local areas. I had a fun day at Sunapee State Park while trying out my new inflatable paddle board. While it's supposed to be a stand up board, I spent most of my time on my knees!

Hope everyone is staying well, and finding ways to enjoy the summer!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Summer vacation and beyond...

Summer has arrived, as well my retirement from the school district. I was an art teacher for over 35 years in a public high school. I know I'll miss the kids and my colleagues, but I'm ready to focus on my own art work, and other endeavors.

I had a nice spot on my porch to finish up the school year and our "remote learning."

                                Enjoying the views of the river that runs through my town.

Been thinking about getting a kayak after seeing all the paddlers enjoying the water!

Monday, May 25, 2020

A little more art....

You would think teaching from home would allow for more time to work on my printmaking projects, but I'm finding that it is more time-consuming than actually being in school. I have been trying to create new art lesson plans that can be done at home with limited supplies. It's been challenging, but we are in the home stretch now.

So....this is where I'm at with the "Goffstown Brook" print. I've carved the first layer, removing all the areas that I want to stay white. I've got the the pins and tabs and paper set to go. Now I just have to print the first color!

Here I am in my office/studio. I was making an example for one of my drawing classes, and had fun creating a line contour drawing of my space. Definitely dress code optional here!

Monday, April 27, 2020

Spring Break

Technically, this is my Spring Break---April Vacation, but it feels like Spring is actually taking a break itself, and leaving Winter to fill in. There are snowflakes in tonight's forecast, and it's damp and raw outside today! I'm always complaining about New England weather, but this really isn't a new  phenomenon. Every year, Spring drags it's feet, until one day, Summer takes over, and just like that, we're in shorts, tee shirts, and flip flops.

This year, as the pandemic creates havoc around the world, one has to appreciate the little things that can still be enjoyed. Watching the goldfinches turn the brightest yellow. digging in the various beds in the garden, and finding new growth amidst last Fall's withered stalks and leaves, are simple pleasures.
Getting out on the rail trail for long walks, and doing on-line yoga in the house, have been mental health refreshers. Discovering ways to stay in touch with friends and family through video chats, and wide apart hangouts in the back yard, have also been essential. Trying to focus on the positive, and expressing gratitude to the people who are on the frontline of this crisis, makes me realize that I have a lot to be thankful for!

As seen on my walks in April

As my school district has converted to "Remote Learning" (like most everyone else), I've been trying to teach art without the hand-on, face-to-face lessons that are the norm. Fortunately, there are so many resources available on line. I'm thankful for all the museums that are giving virtual tours, organizations that are conducting useful webinars, and art teachers themselves who are sharing ideas, support, and their own work. 

After assigning my Drawing classes a Landscape project, I did one of my own, using the picture above as inspiration.

It needs a few tweaks in the background, but mostly finished.

The next step for this drawing will be to convert it into an 8" x 10" reduction block print. I'm using tracing paper now, to define the image that will be transferred to the "soft-cut" block. 

This will be the project for the coming week. I'll try to get the next steps posted in a timely manner, so you can see the process. 

Stay Healthy!

Jane T

Saturday, March 21, 2020

The Nest

I've been so neglectful of this site recently, but thought I might share a little print I made for the arrival of Spring. Little did I know this would be a spring like no other, but the birds don't know it, and they are going on with life as usual, even if we are not. Watching the birds is one of the activities that is still possible as I'm engaged in "remote learning." My students are in their homes, and I am in mine, but one can see out the window, or take a nice walk outdoors as a break from the computer.
I saw red-winged blackbirds and grackles for the first time today, and of course the regulars are still here. Lots of cardinals, blue jays, chickadees, titmouse, sparrows, nuthatches, crows, starlings, gold finches, woodpeckers, and mourning doves are enjoying the food we put out. Even a couple of raccoons were visiting the other morning.

First Layer


 Inking the block

the reveal of the last layer of ink

 The final print

Stay healthy! Get outside if you can, and enjoy the longer days and hopefully warmer temperatures!


Monday, February 17, 2020

February continued...

After a day of snowshoeing, Bear heads back to hibernation!

Visited Boston on a very cold day. Stopped by the ICA to warm up and enjoy some art.

                One of the pieces in a series of hanging, knotted sculptures by Carolina Caycedo.