Monday, June 16, 2014

Weekend Trip to the Big City

Last weekend my husband and I headed off to New York City to see the Akua Ink "Pushing The Limits" exhibition at the Central Booking Gallery. It was the last day of the exhibition but as they say, "Better late than never". The show looked great and I was pleased to have my piece on display.

There were a number of familiar printmakers with work in the show; Susan Rostow, Dan Weldon, Melanie Yazzie and Catherine Kernan, to name a few.

We stopped in to Forget Me Not for lunch; a great little restaurant run by artists.

We stayed over night in The Hotel on Rivington. where the views from a corner room, on the sixteenth floor, were fabulous!

After spending the day popping in an out of galleries, we found a great little Italian restaurant where we sat outside, enjoyed a great meal and watched life in the "big city" pass by.

Monday morning, in the pouring rain, we headed back to Grand Central for the train ride home.

All in all it was a great little trip and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing my work on display in a New York gallery.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Just being a "gramma"


Our grandchildren accept us for ourselves, without rebuke or effort to change us, as no one in our entire lives has ever done, not our parents, siblings, spouses, friends — and hardly ever our own grown children. ~Ruth Goode

Not a whole lot happening in the studio, as I help out with a toddler and a four month old.

It's amazing how quickly grandchildren can take hold of your heart and few things are more delightful than spending quality time with them. It's like having a second chance raising little ones and I've become acutely aware that this shared time is fleeting.  I just enjoy the moments .... and sneak naps when I can. (Someone once said that the reason grand kids are so full of energy is that they suck it out of their grandparents.) Funny, but I'm beginning to think it's true.

The studio will always be waiting, but time goes by too quickly to pass up spending quality time with these two.

Friday, May 2, 2014

AKUA Exhibition

My print "Second Skin" was selected to be included in the upcoming Akua ink exhibition "Pushing the Limits" and will be exhibited at the Central Booking Gallery in New York City.

When I was working up ideas for the PNSNE portfolio project, I had originally thought that it would be interesting to have a double sided print. The size of the edition and time constraints changed my mind but I had printed extra prints to play around with so I was able to try out the double image idea. The finished mono-print was submitted for the AKUA show.

Because the original print is folded in thirds, I didn't really want to frame it in a traditional manner and was hoping to have it displayed as a free standing work. Creating a second image for the back gave the original print more stability. I used an archival bookbinding paste to adhere the two prints together and the two layers of Hahnemuhle Copperplate made the piece quite rigid. It stands up nicely without flopping in on itself.

Back of print.

I liked the idea of figures for the back of the original print so I made a few body prints by inking up a sheet of plexiglass with Akua intaglio ink, pressing myself against the surface, and then transferring the ink on my body to paper. I photographed the prints and then reduced them to the appropriate size using Photo Shop. Transparencies were made and the plate was created with ImagOn film adhered to a sheet of plexiglass and inked as an intaglio print.

I'm really pleased with the results. The print became more "book like" and it's interesting to be able to view both front and back.


To present the piece, I made a pouch out of the Akua wiping fabric. It not only protects the print but keeps it folded. The translucent quality of the fabric adds another layer of "skin"; a nice gossamer third skin. 

So here's the final transformation of Second Skin; from a portfolio piece to a free standing, two-sided accordion print.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

New piece underway.

Film positives on light box.

I've been playing around with sketches and images that deal with "a sense of place".  This particular piece deals with the shore, the open sky, and the tides.

I printed out the film positives this morning and hope to get a plate made before the weekend is over. We'll see what develops.

Day in D.C.

Back of Smithsonian castle.

Washing D.C. is beautiful this time of year. With everything in bloom and warm temperatures, it was a welcome respite from chilly Connecticut where NOTHING is in bloom yet.

As my husband headed off to work, I spent the day enjoying the sights, sunshine and museums. There's always so much to see and with a limited amount of time, I never know where to start.

Sculpture outside the Hirshhorn Museum.

I made the most of the day and managed to pop into the National Gallery, American Art & Portrait Museum, the National Museum of Women in The Arts and a few other galleries before time ran out and I had to head back to the hotel and airport.

I love visiting D.C. and the metro makes it easy to travel around the city quickly.

At home, I'm often comfortably working alone in my studio, easily stuck in a daily routine.

It's definitely beneficial to get out now and then so I'm making a note to take time out to do this kind of thing more often.

Getting Away

Thomas Jefferson statue.
 I had the opportunity to accompany my husband to Washington D.C. for a few days so we took a side trip to Charlottesville, Virginia to visit Thomas Jefferson's plantation home, Monticello. This is something we had always talked about doing and it was a great way to break out of our daily routine.

As we made our way through the visitor center and approached the boarding area for the shuttle bus to the top of the hill, we were greeted  by a likeness of Mr. Jefferson, standing in the rain.  Fog hung over the Blue Ridge mountains in the distance.

The home sat proudly on the hilltop and a long sweeping driveway deposited us to a brick pathway that lead to the front door.

We had a behind the scenes tour and our informative guide lead us on a two-hour exploration from attic to basement. It was fascinating to see how Jefferson designed and developed his home over the years and nice to see it so well taken care of today.

Front of Monticello

Back of the house.

The back of the home showcases the dome (an architectural feature Jefferson was very fond of) and is most familiar to everyone as the image depicted on the back of the nickel coin. The dome, an impressive yellow room with large round windows and an oculus was the only interior space where we were permitted to take photographs.

I would have loved to take the garden and slave tours that were offered and then walk through the grounds back down the hill, but the steady, cold rain really put a damper on any outside activities.

Jefferson's grave site.
On our ride down the mountain, we passed Jefferson's grave site and family burial grounds.

Even though the weather was less than perfect, it was a wonderful day trip and I look forward to possibly going back one day for a tour of the grounds.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Finally Finished!

Second Skin

Today I managed to complete my edition for the Printmakers' Network's upcoming portfolio entitled Print Cubed.  In addition to the initial printing of the three individual plates, each print then had to be machined stitched together to create the required 6"x18" format. Next, watercolor was added to accent the ribbons, the prints carefully trimmed and folded into thirds, holes punched into the image and finally a couple of metal eyelets applied.

Ready for the finishing touches.
Each step along the way, thirty-six plus times, is pretty time consuming and I often asked myself, "Why did I make this piece so complex?" My husband's reply to that was, "Because you could." (Ha, ha.)

Cut into print.
Back of print.
Anyway, today was dedicated to adding the finishing touches. First I cut away a few areas along the top edge of the print because I liked the idea of breaking up the long edge.

Punching Holes.


After punching holes in a few areas of the image, I added a couple of silver grommets, as accents.

Punch, grommets, and tools.

The completed prints were signed, carefully folded with interleaving and stacked. Counting them more than once, to be sure I had the required amount, I placed them in my book press for safe keeping and to keep them flat.

It wasn't easy completing the edition of 36. It seems like I was at it for a long time; probably because I was! You know how life's interruptions can cut into studio time but you just need to work when you can and try to keep the creative energy going. I will say, it sure feels good to have this project behind me!
As to my life's current interruptions; while on maternity leave, my daughter is in the process of completing a couple of administrative courses so I've been traveling to Boston each week to help out with Scarlett (7 weeks) and Phineas (2). The joys of being a grandma!!!

Very precious "interruptions".