Stamps, Printmaking, and Primary Colors

I am currently enrolled in an advanced studio course through the Art House. My wonderful instructor Rebecca challenged me to think more seriously about the color palettes I was working with. The pieces I brought in for the midterm critique were half finished and all across the board in terms of size, color, narrative, and so on. There was very little cohesion, except that you could see my hand in all of them. Our small group has an exhibition coming up at the end of June so I wanted to challenge myself to create more cohesion. The pieces I liked most from the critique were blue and yellow. I also had several works with vibrant pink. Primary colors are a tried and true combination for visual impact, so I decided to push that line of thought further. I was curious to see where it would take me.

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Above are the results from tonights exploration into the primary world. After making a lot of mess with water, acrylic paint, linoleum stamps, and different papers I was pretty pleased with the results. The works on the right edge of my desk were from a previous exploration with speedball inks on watercolor paper. I liked the way the watercolor paper affected the texture of the printing. However I wanted to add more color. The acrylic paint reacted in a really interesting way with the speedball. It pulled the speedball away and only printed around it, creating a lot of depth in the prints. Here are more detailed shots:

IMG_1301All of these prints were created with two linoleum stamps that I made myself. The larger stamp is of a larkspur (left), and the smaller is a pair of daffodils (below).  I added a before and after print of the daffodil on some shiny paper. The stamps didn’t print very well on the shiny paper, probably because it was very slick. I didn’t use any black on the shiny paper either to see how the contrast worked.

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Before

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After

The third experiment I did was on rice paper. The results were pretty messy but I still liked how they came out. I started by wetting the paper in water mixed with acrylic. Because acrylic doesn’t mix with water very well it created these interesting splotchy patterns. The rice paper was also slightly waxy so in some places it resisted getting damp. When I printed on the damp paper with patches of paint it created all sorts of different effects. It was really hard to predict what was going to happen. The amount of paint on the stamp, the amount of water on the paper, and the density of the paint already applied in the area all had interesting and unpredictable effects.

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My original intent was to created these images and then deconstruct them for a larger piece on Canvas that I have also started. Unfortunately I quite like the way a lot of them turned out and I’m not sure I could take an Exacto knife to them. I will sleep on it and let you know how things turn out.

And as a bonus to all the cool art I created, I also got a lot of paint in my hair and on my face. I feel like a real artist whenever I get paint all over. It means I really sunk into the process. Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments below. I would love feedback on the issue of deconstruction. Thanks!

 

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Having a Dedicated Studio Space

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Having a Dedicated Studio Space

Since I got back from my brief trip to Boulder at the end of April I have been working everyday in my studio. I cannot emphasize enough how amazing it is to have a dedicated space to explore my creative passions day and night. Not only are all my art supplies in the same room (a relatively simple concept but mindblowing nonetheless) but I can leave my studio as it is and come back hours or days later without anyone complaining about the mess (The Freedom!).

I am making huge leaps in my own visual language and I am working towards a group exhibition in June. There has been a lot of pressure, some of it from my own perceptions of my progress, to get involved in the gallery scene of Chicago, but I’m not sure what I would do with that involvement. A lot of what i’m working on right now still feels pretty tentative. The elevator speech about myself and my art is still in shambles. Until I get a more solid portfolio of work I think locking myself away in my studio for days on end is exactly what I should be doing with my life right now.

This stuff doesn’t just happen overnight!

Shrine Project: Stretching, Striving, Grasping, Reaching, Dreaming

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Shrine Project: Stretching, Striving, Grasping, Reaching, Dreaming

This is my favorite piece from my Shrine Project that I have been working on tirelessly for the past two weeks.

Years ago in the VAC at the University of Colorado I found a small row of fences in a free box. I was immediately drawn to the scale and shape of the fence pieces and made a small set of collages as gifts for my friends at Solstice.

Many moons later I am finally pursuing the project I had in mind more deeply. I have been curious to explore themes of childhood, spirituality, and the goddess. These little shrines have become the perfect vehicle for expressing different emotions I feel toward my own spirituality, especially in relation to soul journey work I have done to delve deeper into my own childhood stories and inner goddess woman. I want to stray away from known goddess images and instead invoke universal themes.

This piece speaks to times of solitude I had as a child and the inspiration that comes from being in that place. It really resonates with me right now, as I am kind of back in that space in my life having just moved to Chicago. I am considering adding text to these works, but at the moment nothing is really coming to me. Every time I put pen to paper to write poetry or verse in relation to the images it feels really forced. I’m going to let it stew around for awhile and see if anything changes.

More to come later !

 

ps. I really need a new camera. The one on my phone is shot, and the little point and shoot I took to BM won’t turn on. >_<

Changes to My Blog

As I step up my game as an artist I expect some serious changes to occur here on my blog. I am restructuring the site to be a little easier to navigate between my own art and my musing on other peoples works and exhibitions.

I also finally added an exhibition list of my own works and a bio! A new artist statement should be up in a few days.

Cheers!