Friday, January 31, 2014

Shadows and Light

Yesterday, I took out my camera and walked around my house admiring the light and shadows.
I love capturing an abstracted view.
I took many pictures and settled on these 3 to share today.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Why Mono Print?

I was first introduced to mono printing years ago by an artist who manipulated paint on a glass template with various tools and then ran the template through a press and printed her designs one at a time on paper.

Watching that, I thought, “It’s truly beautiful, but, no, it’s not for me!”

Yes, I enjoyed viewing the process.  It was very interesting and the final prints were quite beautiful.  But, that was the end of my interest, or so I thought.

Years later, in a class with fiber artist, Joan Schulze, mono printing came back into my life. I admit it, I started listening to her lesson with only half an ear because I already knew about this process. 
“Yada Yada Yada…mono-printing!”  This was nothing new. 

Except wait! What was she doing? She was not using a piece of glass as her template!  Hmmm, That’s good, I’ve always seen that rigid base as limiting and stuffy!  She pulled out and cut for herself a square piece of flexible plastic sheeting!  Flexible Sheeting? Really?

Next, she dug a teaspoon into some bright and bold color fabric paints! Plop! A dab of vibrant color was scooped out of a large jar and tapped onto a neighboring palette.  She was getting ready to play!  Okay, now she’d caught my attention!

What she showed me that day revolutionized me.  As I played with mono-printing on fabric, I became obsessed and passionate about designing and printing my own fabrics! 

I had only one dilemma. What was that, you ask? Well…..I hated my own marks”  What? How can you hate your own marks?

Okay, Have you ever drawn a straight line and said, “AH! I cannot even draw a straight line!” Well, it was something like that.  I would draw a few lines and then erase them.  I would scribble something and then throw the paper out.  More and more, I was avoiding any moment when I needed to make a mark, including in a sketchbook.  I just didn’t keep one. (“One” being a marker, or “one” being a sketchbook to mark in.)

At the same time, I was noticing and admiring all the brave mark makers around me. I was coveting their work. They were able to make such incredibly sophisticated marks!  They were the true artists.  They had no fear.  They were brilliant!  Yes, for a time there I had a chronic case of mark maker envy!

Now, as I was being drawn into mono-printing, what would I do about the hatred of my own marks? Wouldn’t it be glaringly obvious that I was a klutz at this? Oh, Woe is me!

Tentatively, I held up a 2“ brush loaded with Indigo colored fabric paint.  I bent slightly over the square sheeting.  I placed my feet squarely on the floor and then with my whole arm, I swept the brush in a full arc over the plastic.  Parts of the stroke were full of paint, other areas had a dry brush effect where I had unevenly pulled the brush lightly over the plastic. The entire move was deliberate and honest and I did it!

There rested my mark.  It was huge, in color, in paint and just sitting there. It looked so beautiful.  My excited brain said, “What? Wait, did I make that?” The less impressed voice inside me, said, “Just print it already!” and I did.

When I saw that the print was even better than the mark!  I thought, ”Hey, I could get used to this!”  With my hands lightly covered with paint, I stood there for the first time, loving my mark.  I have not been able to stop.  It was a pivotal moment in my art career.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Ideas and Inspirations

Vessel from the Art Institute of Chicago

Chicago, viewed through an art installation at the Art Institute of Chicago
Winter, viewed from an airplane