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New Prints and a Gallery Visit

I made two prints last week of kapotasana, one of the deep backbends of the the Ashtanga yoga 2nd series.  Here’s the first print:

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Then Pam showed me how to roll plate oil over the ink that was left on the plate to loosen it a bit and we ran it through the press a 2nd time, creating a ghost which I like better then the print:

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It seems that I can’t really get away from painting, not that I was trying to, but this is such a painterly process.  I painted this image directly onto an acrylic plate with brushes and rollers, then ran it through the press.

Also last week I went to the Soprafina Gallery to see the work of Catherine Kernan.  Kernan is a printmaker, a founding member of the Mixit Print Studio in Somerville, MA, and the director of the Chandler Gallery in Cambridge.  I had seen an image of hers in Artscope Magazine and looked up her website.  What struck me in the gallery was how big some of these prints are.  Here’s a picture I took in the gallery, with permission:

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This one is called Afterimage #1 and it’s a woodcut monoprint on two panels of Hannemuhle paper.  As I understand it from her artist’s statement she uses multiple woodblocks to get these images.  The gallery website had the images up but now that it’s April they’re gone, and I like my picture better because it gives you a sense of how the piece actually hangs on the wall.  The paper billows a bit and you can see the shadow.  They’re printed right to the edge of the paper, and pinned to the wall.  There’s a sense of water and reflections, of course, but she continually subverts the representational image in various ways, creating something that resonates with familiarity but tugs at the edges of your sight with abstract shapes and patterns.

Here’s another:

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I’m afraid I don’t know the title of this image, but it’s a similar style, also printed on two pieces of paper.  Once again in situ you have the sense of the paper flowing, as paper does, billowing away from the wall.  The colors here are glowing and fiery, the bright orange toned  down a bit by the presence of green and dusky blue.  Black-ish strands of sinuous lines hang down the middle and frame the sides, holding the image.  It’s almost volcanic, flowing lava swirling around the page.

I was pleasantly surprised to see an old friend in the gallery, not literally, but on paper.  Here is an installation of works on paper by Anne Krinsky:

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And one of the pieces up close:

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Anne makes small and medium sized paintings using transfers and patterns in a variety of ways, on paper and on panels  This piece reminds me of Chinese brushwork, the subtle tonalities are interesting as well.

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Ruth Lockhart Kimber

This is the 2nd page of my grandmothers book, most likely made for her by her father, Sidney Arthur Kimber.  Sidney worked in the printing industry in Cambridge and wrote a book about printmaking practices in Boston in the 17th century.

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The neat even writing is amazing in and of itself.  The attention to font is noteworthy also.

Here is the text:

Ruth Lockhart Kimber

Born, Easter Sunday, the 12th of April, 1903, at nine o’clock in the morning, at 93 Ashmont Street, Dorchester, Boston, Massachusetts.  Weighed nine pounds and a quarter.  Blue eyes, black hair.

Doctor — Robert B. Scales

Nurse —- Mrs. Garnage

Her first outing — April, 29th

Her first call — on Mrs Fraser with nurse

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My camera isn’t quite up to the task here.  The ink is gold with a bit of a sheen to it, and the hand is sure.

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Forsythia, Old pages

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from my grandmother’s book, made by Sidney Arthur Kimber, her grandfather

This morning I made rings of forsythia for the doors.  It wasn’t that long ago that the evergreen wreaths with the purple bows came down.  Debris strewn pockmarked snow still covers much of the yard, but the vibrant forsythia blooms I forced indoors add their bit of promise and hope.

While rummaging and cleaning I found myself in the basement noticing a few old paintings, not mine.  They are from my grandmother, and one, at least, is much worse for wear.  Mr. Sidney Arthur Kimber has a puncture wound.  Thankfully it’s not in his face which is beautifully done, in the Boston School style I believe, which makes sense given the time period.  I’ll post a picture later.

Then I found some very old photographs, and wondered who they all were.  I realize that I have to get my father down here to tell me what he remembers.  It wasn’t long before I found a journal, an indiscriminate gray cover, yellow pages.  But what is it?  Inside, here is the title page:

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Ruth Lockhart Kimber Hardy, b. 1903, d. 1989

 

There are pages and pages of hand colored illustrations.  I’ll post more soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rollers and Spoons

I went to Pam Lawson‘s for a printmaking class today.  It is an informal monotype class, a small group with lots of individual instruction.  I’m free to work on my ideas with the help of someone who knows what she’s doing and the added benefit of a press and lots of rollers.  With a big roller, you can ink up a plate with a pattern on it and transfer the pattern on top of a 2nd image, which is what I did below.  After the first one I used the ghost impression left on the plate as a guideline to make a new, more abstract version.  Mostly I wanted to get the hang of using the big roller.  In the first one the roller a jumped a bit, you can see it if you look at the bottom edge.  I’m going to try next time with a darker ink in the background, probably an indigo or a deep violet, and a lighter figure, to see if I can get more contrast.  The model is Peg Mulqueen, in Laguvajrasana.

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The spoon and napkin here is from daily drawing practice.  Daily drawing is more of a goal than a reality, but I keep coming back to it.

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Teapots and Hands

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This is Ursula, in Ustrasana, the camel pose.

I’m taking some sessions with printmaker Pam Lawson.  It is a joy to have access to a press and the wisdom of an experienced printmaker to go along with it.  That night I told my husband the bad news, I’m going to need a press.  He says fine, stop fooling around and let’s fix up our house and sell it, and then I can have a press and maybe a space of my own to work.  The problem with that is that I’m up against time constraints.  When I start fixing up the interior of our house, that’s going to eat up my studio time, at least for a while.

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Same pose, Peg Mulqueen this time.

There is so much potential here, I want to work with multiple plates, layering the figures in their yoga poses against Islamic tile patterns.  Meanwhile, Ellen Olson-Brown reminded me to get back to daily drawing, and I’ve been doing more or less that for a few weeks now.  Here are a few sketches.

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After a few sketches the teapot wanted more attention, so I’ve been working on this one for several days:

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The handle is a bugger, let me tell you.  What’s nagging me about the prints above top is the hands, I’m not drawing them terribly well and they need to be good, so once the teapot is done I’ll practice drawing the yoga poses for a bit, and try to get those hand positions down.  The two teapots here are a good illustration of a frustrating drawing phenomenon.  Quick sketches often have a life to them, a vibrancy that is hard to maintain in a longer more detailed drawing.  You can kill the darn thing so easily, and it becomes lifeless and dull.

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Elegy, part II

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Here is the latest print from the Elegy series.  I made this by tracing the actual tree/photograph, editing/ simplifying quite a bit, and using transfer paper to transfer the design to the Speedball speedy cut plate.  The first concern that I saw immediately was that the design on my original tracing was more interesting, almost ornate, and I feel it’s oversimplified here.  The 2nd concern is that what I thought was a problem on the 1st plate (not including the smaller, test plate) the white/ uninked areas where I had carved away inside the tree, is actually graphically interesting and I can use more of that here.

On Monday I am taking a monotype class with the amazing Pam Lawson, whose work with rollers is just incredible.  Take a look at one of her red-winged blackbirds.  And I’m thinking about signing up for a web design workshop at the Danforth Museum with the inimitable Jeanne Williamson.  It’s called “Creating a Web Presence and Making the Most of It.”  This would be great because Jeanne is one of the most professional artists I know, from a marketing standpoint.  She simply does the best job of managing her web presence that I’ve seen.  I just saw a few of her pieces in the “Cotton” show at Fountain Street Art, and since she showed her work in the Owen Shuman Gallery here in Groton, she has continued to find new approaches to her material, working in 3 dimensions, deconstructing the material into lacy tatters, etc.  I never get bored of seeing what she does with it, and it’s a real lesson for artists who are trying to build a cohesive body of work to just look at hers.  It takes a real single minded dedication to a subject.

I spend a lot of time looking at other artist’s websites.  This is excellent for keeping one’s ego in check.  Do you have any idea how many awesome artists there are in the New England area alone?  Just here, in Massachusetts.  It’s astounding, it really is.  I think we may well look back on this period in time as a Golden Age, from a creative standpoint.  Seriously.

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Elegy

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There was this beautiful old tree in Shirley Center, healthy and vibrant, a twin trunk White pine tree that was probably not an intended planting.  It’s roots were extensive, they were shifting and even engulfing some quite striking 18th/ 19th century gravestones.   Despite protests, the selectman cut down the tree.

These prints are part of a new experiment with carving into a Speedball speedy cut plate, a journey which began with making stamps for gelatin printing.  Unfortunately, after these prints were made, I washed the “plate” and set it out to dry in my dish rack, but it broke in half when I moved something else and it got knocked around.  I would have been more upset but I was already thinking that the negative spaces don’t quite work, and I’d like to do it over.  I’ll try again this week.

I’m now using Golden Open acrylics for these prints, and they are delightful, everything the speedball inks weren’t.  These are slow drying acrylic paints, suitable for monoprinting. The paper is a lightweight Rives BFK, which is also pretty perfect, although it came with labels right over the watermark that are difficult to peel off without taking some fiber with it.