Wednesday, April 23, 2008

New to the family

My brother, Kirt, and his lovely bride have two newly adopted babes!
Meet Kona and Kaia, 7 1/2 week old German Shepherd pups.
Welcome to the family!!

Sadly, this Auntie won't get to romp with the wee fluff balls as they live in West Sussex, UK. Still, I'm sure there will be good youTube videos coming my way. I'll keep you posted.

New Beginning

Counting down to the day I deliver my paintings for the show in Solana Beach at Susan Street Fine Art. I keep working on the paintings needing finishing but I find the closer I get to the deadline the tighter my brush marks get. It's important for me to keep loosening and letting go of the outcome of the painting, allowing it to evolve from out the end of my brush... which, I admit, is a difficult thing to do when you are focused on the show and your deadline. My trick, the way I get around my brain and it's wish to make "ART", is to start something new.

The beginning of a painting is freeing, it's play, and there isn't the same attachment to outcome when you are laying in color and shape. As far as I'm concerned it can all be underpainting later, so why not just throw the paint around. It's like stretching before you go for a run. It's a way to warm up and release the pre-show tension that gets in the way of finishing your work with the same energy you began it. I know, it's not entirely possible to finish as you began, our brain, our thoughts, our analyzing throughout the building of the painting makes that extremely difficult but there are definite means to softening around the pressure of finishing for a show.

There are other advantages to starting new work while in the midst of a deadline. I continue working from the same well of images using the momentum from the show to build out a strong body of work that can be marketed later. I also find when you at last deliver the work to the gallery you are not coming home to an empty nest, you come back into your studio with paintings waiting.

Now, I'm a believer in taking a break and celebrating the show and your achievement. At the same time, I also know that there is a lull, a speed bump, or a trough that often awaits me after the show is hung and the reception is a fading memory. Those half finished paintings are often the one thing that urges me to pick up my brushes when I'm feeling depleted or, more often, depressed after the opening of a show.

It is a circle that I never want to end. Ending and beginning, finishing work and starting anew are synonymous in my studio. For most entrepreneurs in any kind of business, when working for yourself, it's always a good idea to keep your eye on the horizon and be thinking "hmmmm, what's next?!!"

Saturday, April 12, 2008

It's HOT!

It's almost 90 degrees at 5pm! ... is it really only April? I'm just hoping that this is not the precursor to a long hot summer. I suppose I shouldn't complain ... others in this country of ours have record breaking rainfall and it is yet snowing in other states. Still... it is quite hot today.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

EZ Screen Print

Well... I've still been struggling with my screen printing. I can't seem to figure out the right combination of medium to ink, ink to paper, paper to squeegee pressure. I get the halo effect, which happens when one of these ratios is off or there isn't enough snap in the screen. I've tried myriad of combinations and still am not having great success.

I've looked through my screen printing books for trouble shooting and have not found my solution so I went to the internet hoping to find a tutorial. What I found immediately was a product called EZ Screen Print. It is similar to the solar etching but it's actually a screen attached to the emulsion rather than an etching plate. WOW! Who knew?!

They have tutorials on YouTube as well as starter kits to try listed on their website. It's all very fascinating and worth exploring. It looks so easy to make your own Tshirts and/or cards.

Check it out!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Belated Printing Post

Boy am I ever slack on posting.... I've been caught in the minutiae of home repairs and daily routines. Sara at Little Paper Bird sent me an email today mentioning the screen print I was working on... which I posted the first color in early March. I haven't gotten much farther on it because I discovered, like etching inks, screen printing inks also shift color once they hit the paper. The first color... which I thought would be a slightly shaded white color turned pink, and the very light grey color I mixed subsequently turned lavender when printed over the pink. Surprising!!

Here is the second color which is a slight blue grey, printed by itself to test.

Then, printed over the first pink, it transforms to lavender. Why did I not think of this before mixing? I just don't know. I plan to just keep going and see what happens, it's all an experiment anyway. It's my very first screen printing experience and I'm certain that I'm committing every possible serigraphic faux pas.

I have been putting off printing the third color until I get some of the medium my printing buddy recommended. It's a Createx product {Lyntex Paper Medium} sold at Renaissance Graphics which mixed with the ink colors helps to keep the paper from warping. I'm hoping the medium will also help with transparency and make the ink more fluid for printing.

I like the screen printing process but I must admit I have a lot to learn and my painting is going better.

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