Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fine Art Printmaking

...and another. This is actually the first print on Rives BFK paper (13"x13") I did for the senior thesis project series I am currently working on. I am a sucker for the traditional complementary color schemes and as red is my favorite color, I really enjoy this piece.

Every day I print seems to get better but I am always scared that I am going to lose my touch or forget how I made something. It's dumb because the prints always turn out better when I invent new ways to make them, but the anxiety and adrenaline comes just the same. I feel like I am competing with myself, with my work from the days before. Everyday I try to make better artwork. We'll see how this week goes.

22 days until my show opens...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Flowers Stencil

Here is another example of the type of work I have been doing on Rives BFK paper (15"x8"). I pulled this one off the press on Monday and was very pleased. I have been trying to vary the levels of ink saturation in each piece. It seems like the more varied, the better.

Each print is embossed meaning the paper is "punched" with the design. If you were to look at the back of each piece or run your fingers over the top of it, you would feel the indentions made by the stencils.

Lately the stencils have been falling apart. I have to fix them practically every day. Time to find some better glue.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Stone Lithograph

This is another litho (7"x10") but I drew the image onto a stone this time.

When you etch a litho stone, which is limestone (rather than an aluminum plate), you have to use nitric acid. It's crazy stuff and I became so fascinated with it when I was learning the process that I kinda scared my professor. She had to take me aside later and make sure I understood how dangerous of a chemical it was. Haha! I never did any damage with it besides burn a small hole through the toe of my boots...

Anyway, this is a little house just downtown Colorado Springs. I sketched it from life on paper first and then redrew it onto the stone, without breathing too closely or touching the edges. The litho stones are so touchy. You can't let any foreign grease get on it or it will print that way. And they weigh like 40 pounds! I seriously got a little work out every time I had to move it. The results were worth it though... cause now I'm jacked!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Printmaking Artist

Making prints really just blows my mind some days. I still don't know how to "look" at the prints I make. I still see them from a painter's perspective. I have been learning how to critique a painting since I was a kid but I didn't know what monoprints* were until this last semester!

Aside from the fact that I still feel brand new at this, I had a great talk with my professor today about my most current work (meaning the stuff I did today-depicted in this post). She said something about how I approach my work in the printshop. That "painter's perspective" I was talking about actually seems to be working to my advantage. It could just be my incapability to perform perfection, but I can't control exactly how each print is going to come off the press, no matter how well I compose it on the plate. It does make the process exciting and unpredictable at times.

So I look at what I like about the prints I have done and then I try to recreate those elements in another composition. Then something else happens that I wasn't planning...and on it goes.

These prints are 13" squares on Rives BFK paper.

*monoprint: a single, one of a kind print unlike an edition print that is one of a number of identical prints

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fine Art Lithograph

When I discovered I could make unique, original artwork using printmaking techniques, I became fascinated with the new range of art-making possibilities available to me.

I was afraid for the last 3 years to take a printmaking class at Colorado College. All I ever heard were horror stories about how time consuming, technical and difficult the classes were. And I just wasn't very interested in printing as an art form. I held painting as the ultimate form of "high art." Everything else was just messing around (but what is art anyway? I make my best discoveries when I am "messing" with stuff).

This last semester I sucked it up and decided to learn about printmaking just so I could say I could do it, and then I would go on my with my artistic life and have it as a skill listed on my resume.

One day I was playing around with some stencils I had made, which were images I found in magazines and collaged together to make their combined shape resemble a flower. I "rolled up" meaning I applied ink to the stencils and placed them on the aluminum plate and then ran it all through a press to stamp the image onto the plate.

After going through the lithographic etching process, which includes the application of phosphoric acid in various quantities (among other things), I printed ten editions of the above image (16"x24").

So, I am a converted print maker. It's an interesting way to make art and I believe in it so much that I am currently creating my senior thesis art show using these techniques. I am learning that some of the same "rules" apply to prints as they do to painting. My lesson from this week is a recurring lesson. You'd think I would have it down by now but here it is: Simple is better. Duh!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Flower Still Life Painting

I began painting this 4'x3' acrylic painting on paper at my grandparents house this last November. They had a vase of flowers on the hearth in their living room.

I had lugged this enormous drawing board to their 60 acre property in Cedaredge, CO thinking I may or may not get anything done that weekend as it was a little family reunion. However, by 9pm everyone was just sitting around reading or looking at pictures and that blank piece of paper in the car was pressing on my mind. So, I set up shop on their living room floor and started painting these flowers. I stayed up until 4am trying to get enough done so that I could bring it home and finish it in my studio.

I brought it back after taking a few pictures and it sat in the corner for about a month. I basically hated it. Then I got the idea to redo the whole thing in oil paints. The entire color scheme changed and the background went from a rusty orange color to the bluish purple it is now. The flowers themselves changed a lot too as I lost the photos I had taken of them.

The final product is more from my imagination than most paintings I have done. I like it a lot better now. I think there are at least 6 or 7 layers of paint on the thing since I repainted it so many's kinda heavy.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Getting Sketchy: India Ink Drawing

I now look at quick drawings as a type of test for my perceptive abilities.

When you draw, there is so much to think about all at once: line, shape, form, value, depth, style etc. When you do a longer, like 8-10 hour drawing, there is time to think of everything and go about it in a systematic thing at a time (and even then I mess it up). But with quick drawings I usually give myself 15-20 minutes. Half an hour at the most but I usually start to screw it up at that point.

While I draw I try to think of every concept about drawing that I have ever learned. It forces me to make decisions quickly and the shapes are reactions to what I am looking at, filtering through me and about 2 seconds later there is a line or four on my paper.

I like using straight india ink and a brush (as used in the drawing above). It forces me to make bold lines and be confident about my composition. Once you make a mark in dark ink-that's it, you gotta let it stand.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Commissioned Artwork

I just finished this 26"x32" (roughly) oil painting on a wood panel. It was a commission so I'll have to let it go as soon as it dries.

The client wanted a painting of something that represented change and transformation or a journey. I started thinking online i.e. and somehow got into the phases of planets.

The twilight zone came up, also known as the terminator line, which is the boundary between the illuminated and unilluminated hemispheres of a planet...basically sunrise and sunset. It was interesting to read that the sun may rise or set, in flat land conditions, at a speed of 1,000 mph (faster at high altitude because if there's a mountain in the way the horizon line is a lot higher) and as slow as 0 mph at the poles creating full days of sunlight or darkness. Pretty sweet.

I wanted this painting to ambiguously represent both sunrise and sunset.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Love and Marriage

I don't know if there's a lot more I can say about this picture. It kind of speaks for itself. What I can't believe is how perfect of an engagement ring it is for me. It is white topaz and there are diamonds on the prongs in a silver setting. I love it!

The Scoop:
Conor proposed last night at the Broadmoor. He told me when I got back (from that drawing class in the mountains) that he wanted to take me out for a nice dinner to celebrate me coming home. Ok, Conor and I have been talking about getting married for a while, but I didn't think this was all gonna happen last night. I was just excited to be going out on a sweet date!

We got to the restaurant, Charles Court, half an hour early. He said we could just walk around for a bit. I was like, ok I'm starving- but how often do you get to go on a date at the Broadmoor? 5 Star hotels really get me going. Funny.

We came into this decked out room with a mongo fireplace and a fountain. It was like a living room from...well, nowhere I've ever been or imagined. I sat down in one of the chairs and Conor came over and sat down beside me. He pulled out a letter he had written about 6 months ago when we first started dating. It was still sealed. It was a letter to God and he had written down all of the things he wanted for our relationship and for me (I wrote one too but it's a rambling, tangent riddled entry in my personal journal. Not quite so smooth).

It is the most perfect letter a girl could ever receive. Made me want to cry, well I kinda did about 5 seconds later when he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. As I was saying "Yes, yes, of course! Conor, You!" gushing basically, he pulled out this ring from his pocket (designer: Stephen Webster). I was speechless. Really I didn't know what to say for a minute. There was a lot of gasping.

Then we went to dinner and he told me all about where he got the ring and when he went to talk to my dad about marrying me etc. It was an awesome night. I will never forget it. I never knew "happy" could be this good.

Landscape Drawing

This is the final drawing I did for the Landscape Drawing class. I used diluted india ink and a brush. I had never drawn rushing water before so it was definitely a challenge.

When I picked this spot it was somewhat strategic because I was completely hidden down by the river. We were staying in these cabins at the Mt. Princeton hot springs resort in Colorado, and as my friend Kate said, I have a crazy knack for picking up the sketchiest guys. So...I was hiding.

I am glad I was kinda forced to go down there since I usually don't pick this type of imagery to draw or paint. I generally pick more open spaces. I really enjoyed doing the bushes and trees in the back and the water turned out but I struggled with it the most. My butt was frozen by the end since I was sitting in the snow...there are worse things I suppose.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Artistic t-shirts

These images are designs I created for a t-shirt I took the original logo (above) and redrew it in a more loose/abstract way. I came up with the idea after writing down words that described what bombbomb does. Among them I wrote the words "exciting and easy," as bombbomb is an online resource that helps businesses build, track, send and measure email marketing campaigns. It's pretty sweet. mmm hmmm!

So what comes to mind when you think exciting and easy? For me it was the chick to the left. Sassy. For the shirt, the figure would be on the back and my handwritten would be on the front across the chest.

Then, what appear to be phases of the moon (below) are phases of the bomb! I drew them on a piece of paper and then edited them a bit using photoshop. I imagine them to be printed on a black t-shirt. email since day one baby.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Drawing the Winter Landscape

Hey ya! I am currently in Nathrop, CO taking a class called "Drawing the Winter Landscape." This is my first drawing in progress with a picture of the actual scene below. I will be here with 12 other students and our professor for another 4 days. The class is short, just 10 days total, but I am learning a lot!

This drawing is a combination of both ink and brush as well as reed pen. A reed pen is a thin twig of bamboo that I carve the tip of to make it work like an old fashioned quill pen that you dip in ink. The textures you can make with it are fabulous! I used it most in the foreground (the bottom of the paper). A lot of the lighter areas are done using a brush and diluted ink.