Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Big Event

It was an eventful September with the wedding of our oldest daughter taking center stage. All her meticulous planning came together with a fabulous event that took place on Cape Cod. She knew exactly what she wanted, and the weather cooperated with her wishes--thank goodness!







It was a wonderful weekend at a gorgeous location. We had so much fun, and were so pleased for the happy couple!

I took a lot of nature photographs during the weekend. I'm trying to find new ideas for my next printmaking project. There were so many horseshoe crabs washed up on the beach, and tons of seashells.





At the venue, there were many "Gyotaku" fish prints hanging on the walls. They are made using actual fish. Ink is applied to the fish, and then the fish's body is pressed onto paper. This one was displayed in three frames. Very Cool!






Friday, September 7, 2018

The Lonely Sunflower

My best crops this year were not even planted by me. This sunflower came from a seed that must have come from last year's plants. I also had a giant gourd plant that spread out over the compost pile in the back corner of the yard. I threw away my old decorative pumpkins and gourds last fall, and one reseeded itself. I was hoping that it was a pumpkin plant, but no luck.


Monday, September 3, 2018

Big pig wears a wig, dances a jig with a a twig

A silly sketch for Illustration Friday---topic, WIG


Saying good-bye today to summer vacation, which ends tomorrow, as I head back to work for my 34th year of teaching art at the same school. It's been a very hot and humid summer, and next week looks like more of the same. Expecting highs in the 90s and sticky conditions. Looking forward to a little more fall-like weather!

Friday, August 10, 2018

Sunday, August 5, 2018

League of NH Craftsmen Show---must be August!

For 9 days every August, the League of NH Craftsmen holds their annual fair in Sunapee. We got an early start, and were at the gates for the 10am opening. It was a beautiful day to be outside, and we had a great time wandering through the tents.


On the way home we stopped for a little treat!



Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Final Layer!

I printed the final layer of the shell block print today. I carved away a lot of the blue layer, and then printed the final color in a brown hue.


                                                            Close up of the block


Now I have to get ready for the annual "Uncommon Art on the Common" Art Show on August 4th in Goffstown.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Shells Print continued....

I've been working on the "Shells" print this week, and you'll see the progress since I last posted.
The weather was so pleasant, that I was able to do some of the carving out on the porch. Wiley and I enjoy watching the birds (and squirrels) in the yard while I'm working.



In the images above, I've already printed the first color previously, and carved out the areas that will remain that first color (light gray). I'm also carving out the texture of the background. 

In the image below, here is the layer of darker gray after it has been printed over the first layer.


I've had to do a lot of carving to get the block ready for the next color.


Below are a few variations of the print with the blue-gray layer.


The ink color shows up better in this photo.


I could be done at this stage, but I think I may do another layer. I will have to wait and see how the ink dries. All the various layers of ink, affect the final color. The real trick of making a successful reduction print, is the perfect alignment of the printing paper each time you add a layer. The pins and tabs, as well as a sturdy base to hold the block in place are the keys to matching up the image every time.




Thursday, July 12, 2018

Starting a New Print--"Shells"

I've been working on an idea for a new reductive block print. I love the ocean, and the native shells that wash up on the beaches. I want to use a limited palette of colors as well, so I worked up a composition that incorporates mussels, small clam shells, and a heart-shaped rock.


This is the drawing that I created on a sheet of tracing paper. I used the tracing paper for the pencil drawing, so that I could easily transfer the image onto the block by flipping it over, and rubbing the back with a spoon. The size of the drawing and the block is 6"x 18".


After transferring the image to the "soft-cut" block, I outlined the shells with a permanent marker. so that the drawing won't rub off during the printing process. The image on the block is reversed from the original drawing, so that it will look like the original after it is printed.

I plan on using the natural colors of the shells---brown, gray, blue, and cream. The paper is Rives Lightweight white (more like an off-white), and the ink is Akua intaglio. The ink works very well for relief printing, and can be cleaned with Dawn detergent and water. I've placed the block in its template, taped down the "pins" for registration, and taped the "tabs" onto each sheet of the printing paper. There will be 12 prints made from the block using this technique.

Stay tuned for further progress.


Monday, July 2, 2018

Summer Vacation

I've been finding some fun things to do now that school is out for the summer. A quick trip to Maine, and a day on the beach with a friend, inspired me to paint on some flat rocks that I collected there.

Here's the beach, and a massive piece of driftwood, bigger than myself.


Mermaids have been one of my themes this year, so I tried to fit my drawings onto the shapes of the rocks.



When I'm done, I'll put a coat of varnish on them.

After a recent rainstorm, I took some pictures of my back yard. The colors of the clearing sky and the misty atmosphere made everything look very lush.


I've been having too much fun to work on a new block print, but hopefully in my next post I'll have something new to show.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Summertime!

The school year is ending, and I'm looking forward to summer break! We've been having such lovely weather the last couple weeks, and I'm ready to get out there and enjoy it!  Wiley seems to like it too.


It's nice to see flowers blooming in the yard, and house wrens in the birdhouse. The parent wrens are swooping in and out of the birdhouse, and you can hear the little nestlings chirping to be fed.

The irises have been adding a pop of color here and there, and the day lilies are starting to open.


My daughter took a picture of the sunset from one of the tall buildings in Manchester, and if you look very closely, the new moon is just coming out. The sky and the horizon make for a stunning contrast of complementary colors (the art teacher in me).

I've been very lax about posting on this blog, so hope to get back into it now that school is almost out. I'll be working on some new block prints, and will share my progress. Bye for now!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Blooms

It took a while for Spring to arrive, but it's finally here, and we are enjoying all the gorgeous blooming trees and shrubs. New Hampshire's state flower is the Purple Lilac, and they come in all variations of purples. I took this picture while walking around town the other day.


Everything seems to be blooming at once, and our ornamental Cherry tree had a bounty of flowers on it this year.

Also the Azaleas


Last weekend, my group of fellow printmakers hung work at the Massabesic Audubon Center. We did another event two weeks ago in Brookline NH, which got us excited about showing our work. The new show will be up until June 23. It's a great place to visit for hiking and birdwatching---they even have a live video cam of the peregrine falcon nest in Manchester. While I was there, we saw one of the parents feeding the three babies. The parent had brought what looked like a small bird back to the nest, and ripped it apart, then stuffed bits down the eager babies' gullets. A little gruesome, but fascinating to watch.


My pieces in the show.

Tried to get this little sketch done in time for last week's Illustration Friday post "hairy" but didn't make it, so will post it here. Looking forward to a day at the beach, but not on a windy day like this!



Thursday, May 3, 2018

Mad River Print

I had been working on the "Mad River, Waterville Valley, NH" print for a few months, and I finally finished it. I'm happy with it now, but I wasn't feeling sure that it would come out the way I wanted. I started with some intense colors in the first layers, which I liked, but I had to make some color decisions in the middle that deviated from the actual tones in my reference photos. I got some feedback from others in my printmaking class, and I'm satisfied with the final color scheme.

Setting up for the final layer


                                                           Registering the paper
                                                                Leaving them to dry

This weekend the printmaking class is showing our work at a venue in Brookline NH!