Activites list...

Or, how I'm spending the summer of 2011
1.   Day job
2.   Cat sitting
3.   Watching the weather for cycling opportunities
4.   Remaining painfully pale
5.   Grumbling about the weather
6.   Taking a 'creativity' class which is reminding me just how rigid and uptight i can be
7.   Art stuff: finishing most recent print, (see below), tossing my hat into several upcoming juried exhibits
8.   Grumbling about the weather
9.   Trying to decide on a color to paint my bathroom
10. Wondering what will happen on August 2
11. Enjoying a weekly delivery of fresh fruit and vegetables from the other (and more sunny) side of the state
12. Grumbling about the weather

 Conjoined II
(based on the writings of Joseph Joubert )
Woodblock Relief Print
17.5" x 18"
2 blocks, 8 colors, 11 passes

No sketches to share at this time. For shame!!!


"This concerns me..."

That quote's from Project Runway's Tim Gunn.  I've been imagining a little Tim sitting on my shoulder for the past few days. Last week I ran into a major technical problem with my current print...dents in my beautiful piece of shina plywood created by a flaw in my press-board!  Unfortunately, I didn't discover the problem until the third run of color.  By then, quite a bit of damage had been done.  For several reasons, starting over isn't an option, so the little imaginary Tim sitting on my shoulder has been whispering another of his famous lines in my ear: "make it work!"   After a bit of kvetching and ruminating I adjusted my expectations along with a bit of the composition.  While it isn't perfect, I am beyond wanting to toss block and prints out the window.  The picture below isn't the finest quality but you can see the problem spot right there in the upper right quarter.  Hopefully the remaining tricks up my sleeve will be distracting enough to offset the current imperfection, and will earn me a delightful, "carry on!" from my little imaginary Tim.

 6 colors and 8 runs through the far

And here is this week's sketch...
Limited power


Tidbit from the Sunday paper

Perusing the Sunday paper, I came across a review of a new book: The Story of Charlotte's Web: E.B. White's Eccentric Life in Nature and the Birth of an American Classic. (you can read said article here).  Apparently, Mr. White was a shy, solitary boy who felt a great kinship to animals.  I love animals too, but can say without hesitation that spiders are the creatures for which I hold the least affection.  This presents a conundrum of sorts in that Charlotte's Web is the book I've read the most times in my life.  And my favorite character in the book was not Wilbur, or Fern, or Templeton, but Charlotte. As a child I loved her intelligence, her kindness, her patience.  I cried when she died and was touched when her little babies floated away on what I imagined were parachutes and I still think of her when I come across a web full of teeny-tiny baby spiders.  But, in all honestly, if I came across Charlotte in my home, it wouldn't matter what message she may have woven into her elegant web.  Just the sight of her eight legs  would make my skin crawl and send me running in for my spider-catcher. What is my spider-catcher you ask?  It's an ingenious contraption I invented myself, comprised of a Glad Ware bowl and an oversize postcard.  I am able to remain an arm's length away from any spider that dares to enter my living space, drop the bowl on top of him or her, and then slide the postcard under the bowl effectively trapping the arachnid .  I then toss the entire unit into the great outdoors, which is where all spiders belong.  When I am sure the critter has scuttled away I retrieve my spider catcher and breathe a big sigh of relief.

ANYWAY, the article got me's fascinating and interesting to me how we humans are able to simultaneously feel such contradictory emotions. 

It's been a slow week in my studio and I've spent very little time with my sketchbook.  The weather has been relatively decent and after such a miserable spring I simply cannot pass up any opportunity to be outside, even if I do have to share space with spiders.  Here's a meager sketch and my current print, pass number two. I plan to forgo Independence Day celebrations and spend the day hunkered down in my studio, (although, if this year is anything like last year, my neighbors will put on a display of illegal fireworks that will rival any organized spectacle, which includes an element of danger in that I have a cedar roof.)

 "When you go in search of honey you must expect to be stung by bees."  
(I can't believe I dated this sketch September 30, 2011.)
...a wise saying by Joseph Joubert, whose wisdom has also inspired the print I am currently working on.  The image is slowly becoming clearer, no?