Lino-cut Workshop Follow-up

Last weekend I led a basic lino-cut workshop at the Schack Art Center, and once again I was inspired and impressed by what the participants accomplished in such a short time.  Here's the result of their hard work:

Michelle managed to cut three blocks and printed this three color lino-cut with spot-on registration.

Susan printed a one color print, in a variety of colors and on a variety of papers.  She plans to use this print as her 2014 Christmas card!?!

Lisa used two blocks and stencils for her print of Mt. Si.  This was Lisa's first lino-cut.

Peter used one block, three stencils and a bit of reduction to create to print this, his first-every lino-cut print.

Somewhere, hidden in one of my many piles of paper, is the print I made at my first lino-cut weekend's a one-color print of a donut.  At the end of the first day of this past weekend, I thought about seeking out the donut print to show my students, you know, to provide some comparison and give them some confidence.  At the end of the workshop I was very glad I didn't follow through on this idea, as I would have been mortified comparing my donut to the proficient prints displayed above.


Tomorrow I'm off to lead a two-day workshop in basic lino-cut printing.  I enjoy leading workshops but usually work myself into a tizzy, (an expression my mother always used) beforehand; rewriting my syllabus, checking my lists, battling self doubt.  This time around has been no different.  I will be leading two additional workshops in the next month so I may be residing in 'tizzy-ville' for the next few weeks.  In addition to tomorrow's lino-cut workshop, I'll also be leading a workshop in one-block reduction woodcuts and another in moku hanga, (the Japanese waterbased printmaking method).  It will be my first time leading a moku hanga workshop and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about it; more nervous than I am normally, that is.  I'll start worrying about that, full-force, on Monday. 
In the midst of all my workshop preparation I've also begun a new print.  I'm planning to work on it during the in-between moments of my upcoming month.  It's a two-block reduction, (my favorite way to print) and right now it's looking rather pink.  I'll need to do a bit of carving before the next layer of color.
In lieu of a sketch, this week I'm posting a funny little collage.  While cleaning out a drawer a few days ago, I came across a stack of paper circles.  I had cut these circles a couple of years ago for a Christmas ornament idea that didn't pan out.  I started rearranging the circles and found this assemblage amusing.
There was a nice post about Chuck Close and his work ethic on Brain Pickings this week.  He says a lot of things but this is one of my favorites:
Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work. And the belief that things will grow out of the activity itself and that you will — through work — bump into other possibilities and kick open other doors that you would never have dreamt of if you were just sitting around looking for a great ‘art idea.’ And the belief that process, in a sense, is liberating and that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every day. Today, you know what you’ll do, you could be doing what you were doing yesterday, and tomorrow you are gonna do what you did today, and at least for a certain period of time you can just work. If you hang in there, you will get somewhere.

That's all for now.


Saturday Sketch

One storm blowing in off the Pacific today, another one tomorrow.   It's a good day to stay indoors and think about spring.


Zandra is a kindred spirit!

Oh, Zandra Rhodes I like your philosophy about, and approach to sketchbooks!  Start at page one and work your way through to the end of the book! Draw everyday, even if you don't want to! Use your sketchbook as the best kind of resource material!  I even sort of agree with her on saving every single (stinkin') drawing, although I have been known to tear out a page or two...I mean, who wants to live forever with something that makes you feel cross or ashamed?  Watch this video, she's a jem, and I'm not just talkin' about her fabulous pink hair!


Happy Year of the Horse

Happy lunar new year!  It's the year of the Wooden Horse.  From all I've read, Horse energy is brave and  bold.  The time for pondering and planning is oh so last year, (2013 was the year of the Snake).  This is  the year to act... close your eyes and take a leap, launch a business, travel the world, buy that pony you never got for Christmas!!  If it’s right, then there’s nothing to think about; just do it. It's a time for trusting our instincts. And if you have your doubts, remember what Oprah says, 'if you are on the right path, the universe rises up to meet you.  
I'm taking these suggestions to heart and, pardon the pun, am boldly getting back on my blog horse!  Today I resume my long neglected weekly post entitled Saturday Sketch. Who knows, maybe with all the bold horsey energy floating around,  I'll add a Sunday Scribble and a Friday Figure to my line up!
Recently, a couple of people asked me a couple of questions about my sketches...How long does it take to do a sketch, and, do I draw straightaway with my pens or use a pencil first?  Both questions can be answered with a word or two:  Just a few minutes or hours, and sometimes yes and sometimes no.  Let me explain.  I try to draw every single day.  Most times I pick up my pen without any preconceived image in mind; I let my hand do the thinking and within a few minutes I have sketch that seems to have 'magically' appeared and often leaves me asking myself, where the heck did that come from?  Other times, like with the drawing above, I had an image in mind and needed to do a little thinking.  I mean, how many people can really draw a horse???  I gathered some photo reference, hit upon a composition and used a pencil to block out the shapes.  After the basic shapes were in order I used my pen to draw the finished image and later popped the image into Photoshop to add the festive red background.  The above did not magically appear, it was much more intentional. For me one kind of sketch isn't better than the other; spontaneous or premeditated, both are good!  I truly believe the the sketchbook is a 'most necessary' tool for the creative process. My current sketchbook entries are more inventive, but I have scads that were used solely to document the world I observed around me.  IMO, both approaches are good for the hand and good for the brain.  The most important thing is to keep sketching!