Sketch XI

Every so often someone drops off a box or bag of books at the church where I work. (Perhaps people believe these donations somehow help the church or needy folks who contact the church for assistance. In my experience, desperate people call the church looking for help with things like, paying their rent or their utility bills. Never has anyone called in need of used books. But I digress.) Some of these books we keep and place in the children's library, others, if appropriate, we put in the adult library. The rest are free for the taking and what's left goes to a local second hand shop. Recently, in one bag of books I found a small compendium entitled, Treasures of the Louvre. I claimed it and look through it during idle moments. Today's sketch is inspired by a character, in a painting, in the book. Can you guess the painting, the artist?

sketch inspired by The Cheat by Georges de La Tour

My print and I have made up, but we are taking things slow.


Sketch X

On Monday I started drawing in a new sketchbook. Although I've used this same size and brand of sketchbook many times in the past, adjusting to the larger size and different format has been a bit disorienting. All the white space in this week's sketch attests to that. I had grown quite fond of the little square sketchbook I had been using; which I chose just to shake things up a bit. Time for more shaking I suppose. It has been an interesting week with moments that have left me feeling off kilter, exposed, at risk; this too is evident in today's entry.

Today I spent most of the day working on my newest print. I fear our budding romance has hit a bump in the road, and simply put, we are not getting along. I hope tomorrow we can kiss and make up.


Sketch IX

Last weekend I took a van, a boat and a bus to Holden Village in the Cascade mountains. There I spent a fun-filled weekend with members of my book group. I had hoped to get in a lot of drawing, maybe play with some of my new colored pencils and water colors, instead I spent most of my time playing in the snow. The sky was clear, the sun was warm and really, the best place to be was outside, hiking up and down the trails. The evenings found our group sharing warm conversation over glasses of boxed wine, along with playing several rousing games of Bananagrams. My sketchbook was mostly neglected, but I did manage to dash off a scribble or two.

I hit the ground running upon my return; lots happening at work and at home, but still managed to get a bit of studio time in. I have made one color pass on my new woodcut, (I'm still in love with it) and i will share images of my progress after there is a bit more to show.
According to my computer it's 11:57pm on Saturday. Hooray, I'm getting this post in just under the wire!
PS. Don't forget to spring forward!


Sketch VIII

I'm off to commune with nature, so the Saturday sketch submission is a bit early. In my day pack, along with the ten essentials I've packed my sketchbook, pencils, watercolors and flair pens for I intend to do a bit of sketching. Back in the studio, my blocks and paper are prepared; next I'll begin carving.


Learning something new

This Saturday past, I attended a Solorplate workshop at Pressworks, a printmaking co-op in Seattle. Pressworks has existed for over twenty-five years and prides itself in being a toxic-free studio. As my last year demonstrates, I am always up for learning new printmaking techniques. While I might not use my new found skills immediately, it's always nice to have something in the 'toolbox' I can pull out at a later date. What interested me in trying this technique was its quickness, its relative low toxicity and its potential for reproducing a nice 'etched' line. On many levels, it did not disappoint. It's fast! In the five hour workshop I was able to make and proof two 5" x 7" plates, plus several smaller test plates, one of which you can see below. It's clean! No acid is needed to 'etch' the plate, just light and water. The line quality is okay, but certainly not as fine as what you can get with a zinc or copper plate and acid.

Solarplate test

If I have one complaint it's that there is not much interaction with the plate. I love hacking away at a piece of wood or linoleum; I love scraping away at a metal plate; this method has none of that. Still, it was a fun day.
Last night I began transferring an image to wood for a new print. I like beginning a new piece, it feels just like falling in love, and who doesn't like that?