Wednesday, August 30, 2017

New Prints in the Studio

Ever since I converted Daughter #2's bedroom into my studio, I have been enjoying my new space. Before, I was kind of spread out into several rooms in the house. Now I am able to store most of my materials in one place, and use the area for projects I am working on. I also have a nice view of the back yard! Here's an image of my current printmaking projects in progress...




Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Illustration Friday "Mail"

Something new for Illustration Friday.
Mail
Does anyone get real mail anymore?


Wiley is hanging out with me while I'm working on a new print!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Illustration Friday "neighbors"

Just finished my illustration for this week's Illustration Friday prompt, "neighbors."

                  " Neighbors"        

                                          Black Prismacolor pencil, watercolor

How to make a reduction block print

I just finished a new reduction block print, and I thought I'd demonstrate the process. It may seem like a complicated process, but once you see the steps, I think it will make more sense.

These are the materials I use most of the time, as I can print at home without a printing press.

Soft-cut block (flexible, rubbery material, easy to carve, durable)
Rives Lightweight paper
Pins and tabs for registration (Ternes Burton Co.)
cardboard template
Akua Intaglio inks (works great for block prints, cleans up with soap and water)
Brayer- for rolling on the ink evenly
Baren for rubbing back of paper---hands work fine too
Assortment of carving nibs and handle
tracing paper---for transferring image to the block
soft pencil, X-acto knife, ruler
Sharpie marker

Step 1  Choose your image and block size
Remember that you are going to be layering the colors of inks, so a monochromatic or analogous color scheme work the best. I usually try to print the colors from lightest to darkest.


Draw your image on tracing paper, using a soft pencil. Flip the drawing onto the block with the pencil side down, and gently rub the back of the tracing paper with your hand or a baren. Be careful not to move the paper once you start transferring. When you are done, outline the drawing with a permanent marker, like a Sharpie Fine Line. This will keep your image from rubbing off during the process of carving, printing, and cleaning the block.

Step 2  Pins and Tabs---Registration
This is the easiest way too make sure all the color layers of your prints line up perfectly. Cut up your paper so you have at least a 1-2" border all around the image size. Decide on the number of prints that you want in your edition. I usually do at least 12.

Lay your block onto a piece of cardboard or mat board that is larger than your block size, and trace around the block. Cut out the area inside the lines with an X-acto knife and ruler, and make sure your block fits securely into the space. Attach the pins to the cardboard with tape. One by one, set each piece of paper over the block, and line up the tabs with the pins. Tape the tabs onto the paper.

Step 3  The first color

If you want to leave any areas white (the color of the paper), cut away those white areas with your carving tool first.

Place your block into the cardboard template, and mix up your first color. I use a piece of thick plastic to mix my inks. I use small scraps of mat board to stir up the Akua inks throughly. You can also use Speedball block printing inks for this process, but they tend to dry very quickly.

Using a brayer, roll the ink evenly onto your block. Connect your pins onto the tabs, and lay your paper down onto the inked block. Rub the back of the paper with a baren or your palm. Continue inking and printing until you have finished your first color.

Step 4 Carve away the areas on your block that you wish to remain the first color. Mix up the next color, and print the second layer over the first. Sometimes I will create a blend by putting two colors side by side on my brayer, and rolling them carefully onto the block.


In the above image, I have printed 2 layers---a light green first, and a blend of light purple and gray.
The sky area was cut away before I did the first color, leaving it the white of the paper.

Continue printing and carving away until your last color is done.


Just to make this more confusing, on this layer of green, I made a parchment paper stencil to block off the gray house and stone wall areas, so that the gray would not get any green on it. Each time I inked the block, I would lay the stencil back down.


Here is what the prints looked like at this stage.



                                                    Printing the darker green layer

                                                          Carving the final layer


                                                                The finished image


Hanging the prints up to dry. You can also see the cardboard template that the plate is resting in, as well as the metal pins, and the plastic tabs on each print.

When I first started experimenting with reduction block printing, I kept it really simple--2 or 3 colors at most. I worked with small blocks, and didn't use pins and tabs for registration. I just laid the little block on top of the previous color. That's a fun and easy way to try this technique!





Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sailor Mouse

Here is a quick sketch for this week's Illustration Friday topic, "sailor." I'm planning on adding watercolor to the drawing, but would like to meet the deadline for posting on the IF site.

"sailor" black Prismacolor   7" x 10"

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Summertime Fun!

I've been enjoying my summer vacation, and ignoring my blog. Here are a few images from my recent trip to Maine.

Sunset at Drake's Island Beach jetty, Wells, Maine


 Marginal Way in Ogunquit


Kennebunkport Harbor



The buoys I painted for my friend's new beach house


A quick sandpiper block print



 On the last day, we squeezed in a few hours of beach-combing at the lovely Goose Neck Beach, where I found a sand dollar and other treasures. Good bye Maine!




Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Dad's Day

Enjoyed having my parents up to our house for Father's Day. My sister and my girls were also able to be there, and we had a delicious lunch and a fun time together. Here is the card I made for my dad.


I have lots of happy memories of fun times with my dad. Our family did a lot of outdoor activities when we were growing up--camping, hiking, going to the beach. I am blessed!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

"Skate" Illustration Friday

It's been a busy time as the current school year winds down. Final exams and major room cleaning have kept me occupied this week! I managed to squeeze in a little time to draw a piece for this week's Illustration Friday prompt, "skate." I used to enjoy roller skating when I was a child. We had strap-on skates that didn't allow for the smoothest ride, but were fun to cruising up and down the street, although we didn't wear helmets back in the day! Fortunately I survived without major damage!



Castle in the Clouds Art Show

I was excited to be invited to show three prints at the Castle in the Clouds, "Finding Place on Paper" exhibit. It was also exciting to see that they used one of my prints on their promotional postcard. It's the one on the left. The show runs through October 22, so if anyone is heading up that way, I hope you'll get to see it.





Thursday, May 25, 2017

Student Art Work

I thought I would post a few examples of my students' work. The school year is coming to a close, and we have been displaying a lot of their art work. Here are a few examples:

watercolor


                             Pastel  landscapes in a glassed-in case (sorry about the reflections)

                                          The original photo and the finished pastel drawing
colored pencil drawing (trompe l'oeil style)

These are from my Drawing 1 classes. I have them everyday for a full school year, and it's always amazing how their skills progress. The top photo was done by a senior in the AP Studio Art class.




Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Illustration Friday, "Mother"


This is the card I made for my mom on Mother's Day. This is also the theme for this week's Illustration Friday drawing.

After weeks of dreary weather, there is finally a row of suns on the 10 day forecast. Today was beautiful with nice May temperatures in the 70s. It may even hit 90 on Thursday, which is a little much, but no complaints after all the rain of the last month.

Including a photo of Wiley, just because she is so cute!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Illustration Friday "Resist"

Here is my image for this week's Illustration Friday theme.

"Resist"

It's May and all the flowering trees are in bloom! The daffodils and tulips are out, as well as the lilacs. We've had a cool wet Spring so far, but everything is green, and the drought is over!



Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Rattlesnake Mt. Print

With a deadline of May 1st, I was happy to finish the "View from Rattlesnake Mountain" block print this week. I printed the last layers on Friday and Saturday, and framed it on Monday. This print and two others are going to be included in the Castle in the Clouds Exhibit, May through October in Moultonborough, NH. The show is called "Finding Place on Paper: Contemporary Poets and Printmakers of the Lakes Region and the White Mountains."

Here are a few recents steps in finishing this print.

                  The block and the print at this stage

Carving away
The final stage (I went back in and carved out my leaves in the darker area and printed the rocks a bit lighter for the remainder of the edition)

The finished print behind glass


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Happy Easter!








Happy Easter! Happy Spring!



These cards are variations of the same printing block. I used an old block that had textures from an earlier print.


I carved new designs on the other side of the block, and cut out the bunny's silhouette, so I could print different colors and create variations on the original.



I hope everyone has a lovely Easter! 
"He has risen!"


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Beach Girl

I haven't been able to keep up with Illustration Friday lately--too many other projects! This drawing was for last week's topic "hot."

The last time I posted here on April 1st, we had just had a big snowstorm. Yesterday the high temperature was 87 degrees. Everyone was running around in shorts and flip flops celebrating the "summer" weather. A little more seasonable today, but still nice!


Saturday, April 1, 2017

April Fool's!

When we was little, our parents used to try and fool us on April 1st by telling us, "Wake up, it's snowing!" or "Look, there's a robin outside!" Today, there were both, and it was not an April Fool's Day joke!



March came in like a lamb, and definitely went out like a lion! Fortunately, I had plenty to do around the house. I printed another layer of ink on a new block print, matted and framed a piece for an upcoming art show, and organized my studio area. A bit of shoveling, laundry, and picking up, rounded out the day. Being stuck at home has its benefits! Now if we can get some sunshine, and warmer weather to melt the twelve inches of new snow before Easter.



     This is layer #2 for a block print that will eventually be "The View From Rattlesnake Mt."

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Snow Day!

Snow Day

Hopefully this is the last big storm of the season! One more week to the official start of Spring, and we are getting a March blizzard. Enjoyed staying home and working on my latest block print. Not so excited to head outside to do some shoveling this evening. Looks like we will get about a foot of snow out this mess, but we are hardy New Englanders, and this kind of weather is nothing new!