Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Two Line Etchings

Today we handed in our first assignment, which for me were these two delicate line etchings. (At some point, I'll take some pictures for you of the process, but right now I'm still too focused when I'm printing and always forget that I have the camera with me.) For this assignment, these plates were finished and I pulled editions of three prints from each of them. What you see here are my artist's proofs - not quite as good as the ones I handed in. 
Gingko Leaf
Then, also today, we learned how to do aquatint, which is great for getting uniformly darkened areas. So, I am going to work into both of these copper plates again and maybe again to slowly add more depth and value.
We also got to observe a visiting printmaker pulling an edition of woodcut prints (it was a busy class), but I'll tell you more about her after I attend her lecture tomorrow evening. Tonight though, we get to meet and have dinner with Glenn Brill (click here for his website) another great artist and printmaker. I have so much to share with you that it'll just have to wait for subsequent posts...

In the meantime and on a more mundane note, I am so looking forward to this tropical rain system leaving us and cooler and dryer weather arriving tomorrow. Daniel is preparing the back porch for us! Saturday morning it's supposed to be in the 50s. The 50s, people!! It seems like a dream at the moment (still 83 outside) and I can hardly wait. Fall is coming and not a moment too soon!!!

Wishing you a wonderful few last days of September...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wednesday Mish Mash

This morning, I finished the Angel's Trumpet flower. It's also in the square format like my previous flower paintings, but on a larger canvas. I've listed it in my Etsy store here. I've got another one started, so flowers will remain on the menu for a while it seeems...
Now on to printing class, which I am still not sure about. On the one hand I love it, on the other it seems to push a lot of buttons for me and I am trying to sort through that. I love the professor and the etching part and the finished prints. The printing process I am not so sure about yet. Our professor is having us do exploratory writing and that is really helpful in sorting out my thoughts and feelings. 
The building we are in is the school's painting building, an old warehouse right  under the beautiful bridge to South Carolina in the commercial harbor of Savannah. I LOVE that location - I've always had a thing about commercial harbors - and every day when I am there, I peak around the corner to see which of the big freighters is docked at the moment.
Tomorrow, we have to turn in an edition of three prints of the plate(s) we have etched. This proof I pulled on Saturday, but it's an image I will not submit for this assignment. The two images I will hand in I have to print today. If they turn out, they will be gorgeous! Keep your fingers crossed!!
Now, something totally different! I prepared broccoli a couple of days ago in a way that tasted great - if you like broccoli that is. Inspired by a similar recipe I found in Everyday Foods, I sauteed it in olive oil until it was slightly browned, then added some garlic, a little lemon peel, some toasted walnuts and parmesan cheese. Seasoned with salt and pepper, it was delicious!!

That's it for the moment. I am going to hang out with my sewing machine for a while and then head into town and hopefully get my prints pulled. There are several classes using the same printing press and all having projects due around the same time, so it can get very busy.

Wishing you a most wonderful Wednesday!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Never say never...

5 x 5" original painting (gone to a good home)

6 x 6" original painting

By now I should know that often when I say I am finished with something, I'm really not at all. So it is with the square flower paintings (well, one heart snuck in when I wasn't watching...). The canvas size has increased a little, but I'm still with the flowers and may be for a while. This last one, an Angel's Trumpet flower, isn't quite finished yet, but I like where it's heading. I love drawing and painting - it is so soothing to my soul!
The plant theme also seems to expand into my etching class. Here is a copper plate covered with a heard ground, into which I "drew" the image of a dandelion seed head with a scraper. I'll make a couple of changes this morning, then head to the print studio to etch it and then print a proof to see how I like it. I'm starting to make friends with the etching/printing process and that's good! For a while there we weren't sure we were going to like each other...

I hope you all are enjoying a beautiful weekend!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Maybe the Last Flower

Well, friends, another flower and I think my last for a while. Painting flowers is really not the direction I see myself going in. Maybe occasionally, but for now, other subject matters are calling me.

Speaking of which, I successfully etched two copper plates yesterday and am going into the print studio this afternoon to print a proof of each of them.
As soon as I let my fingers run over the etched copper, I was in love with this technique (I am such a tactile person!) and keep staring at the etched plates. I can't wait to see how they print! I'll take photos and share...
Pretty in Pink - 5x5" acrylic painting on gallery-wrapped canvas.
I leave you today with much love and hope that you are having a beautiful day that keeps getting better and better and better!!

P.S. Today is Friday and I can tell you that this was NOT the last flower. I should have known... :) I'm off to the print studio for now, but I'll be back later today...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Still on the Red Flower Kick...

Poppy 2
Acrylic painting on 5 x 5 inch gallery-wrapped canvas
 While the first poppy I painted is getting ready to be shipped to wonderful Audrey, I absolutely had to paint another.
Of course, it is not the same. Similar, but definitely not the same. And again, I really love it!
Napthol Red and Paynes Gray and just a little Green Gold in the center of the poppy. Amazing what you can create with such a limited palette! It was hard to get the color to show correctly on the photos though. The scan (top photo) shows the colors best.

We have been enjoying cooler days and can hardly believe our luck. I got to wear long pants yesterday and socks! I was so happy!! And Ramses is sleeping in his little basket again, curling up and keeping warm. I think this winter I need to make a pretty cover for his pillow...

I am off to paint another little painting, sew some more clutches and scratch something into my copper plates for etching class on Tuesday.

Wishing you and beautiful, creative and peaceful Sunday!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Giveaway Winners!!

I decided this morning to make the drawing of the winners more fun (and certainly prettier) than using
So, I wrote everyone's name (for those who also posted on Facebook or their blog, I wrote the name out twice) on pretty paper, cut them all to the same size, folded them up and put them in one of my favorite little bowls.
And then I drew four names in order of what I was giving away - and here are the happy results (all of them will travel far away from Georgia)!


The painting is traveling all the way to Germany to Sabine. Her beautiful blog is Liese and if you visit (click here), you'll see that she loves the color red. How fitting that this painting is going to live with her. You'll love her photos, all the things she makes and if you translate the blog (or speak German), you'll love her writing!!


The little poppy clutch is going to go live with Char in Canada. I've been following Char's blog, We Blog Artists, from the very beginning of my blogging life. Char is incredibly creative, making anything from fine art to whimsical crafts. Both of my nephews have one of her beautiful Once Upon a Time watercolor illustrations. Click here to visit her blog.

3 & 4. 
And Beth and Georgina both win one of my loopy, funky flower pins that I can't seem to stop making!
Beth and I have been great friends for a long time now - in fact, it feels like we've always known each other. She lives in Maine and her blog, Beth's Take on Life,  reflects her love for that part of the country. Her photos are just gorgeous and her writings wonderful. Go visit (click here)!!
Georgina lives in El Paso and is larger than life! Her writings on her blog, La Llorona Arts, often make me laugh, always make me think and for some reason always make me homesick for New Mexico. And her art is fun and happy! Right now, she is making wonderful colorful skeleton masks (after all Dia de los Muertos) is not far away (can you tell I miss New Mexico?).

I wish I had had something to give to everyone who entered, but I'll have another giveaway soon. For today I want to congratulate the winners and hope you are happy with what I'll send you. I'll be in touch with you via e-mail to get your mailing addresses.

Wishing you a wonderful Saturday!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Painting

This morning the alarm clock woke me up so suddenly and from such a fun dream that I started me day off on a very grumpy note, which isn't like me at all.
So, after Daniel left for school, I immediately went up to my studio and painted for two hours straight.
Out came something quite unexpected. I've been in such a red-color phase lately and the poppies from the little bags I recently made have obviously stayed on my mind...
I'm not usually a flower painter, but this one I really love! If you love it, too, you can find it in my Art Etsy Shop. {Sold already!! Thank you, Audrey!}

Painting did the trick! I feel so much better! Now I even feel up for a little tidying around the house before going to my etching class.

Wishing you a non-grumpy, very creative and most excellent day!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My Sister's Blog

Can you tell who this is?! :) She sent this to me for my birthday!
I haven't introduced a new blog in a while and this one is super special to me. It's my sister's!! Sometime last summer, Caroline decided to pick up a pencil and start drawing - just like I did a couple of years ago.
Like me, she never did any art before and, wow, isn't she good?!?  She and I both signed up for the Gritty Jane workshop "Portraits and Papers," which I think is just so exciting. While I haven't done anything yet, Caroline has been working her way through some of the exercises and I'm totally impressed!!
And I'm happy that she started her blog "Kunstversuch" (An Experiment in Art), which has been a well-guarded secret until now...
With two energetic young boys and a full-time teaching job, she doesn't have much time to write, but she regularly posts her art, her kids' art and her beautiful photography.
The blog world is amazing, isn't it? It allows us all to be in touch so closely no matter how far apart we live. And when I see Caroline's photos from her backyard and around Germany, I feel like I just visited yesterday...
So, please go visit her blog and say hello! Her English is excellent, so feel free to leave comments for her even if you don't speak German and welcome her to this amazing blogging community... Simply click here and it'll take you to her blog!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Two days in the life of...

Well, this post is going to be somewhat all over the place as that is sort of where my mind is at right now. These last couple of days have been interesting. Good, a bit up and down, and definitely filled me with much thought, which I am sure will express itself creatively somehow.
Yesterday I had one of those super productive days where I crocheted, made another little poppy clutch (this one for my store -- sold already - might have to make more), went to the grocery store, the post office, cleaned house, and cooked a wonderful Moroccan meal in our tagine!!
Yet, by the evening I was feeling out of sorts a little. I had made cookies in the afternoon and ate a bit too much dough and felt kind of frumpy and unattractive. You know those niggling little thoughts that find their way in sometimes.
Anyway, I thought I'd look at a magazine before going to sleep, one that usually inspires me. But before I even got to anything mildly inspiring, there were about 10 ads for products to make me look beautiful and young. That sparked a flood of thoughts of "not-enoughness:" my skin is not smooth enough, my age spots not hidden enough, definitely not de-wrinkled enough, especially around the eyes; my stomach isn't flat enough; my muscles not toned enough; not enough exercise; not enough discipline - you know the list!
Not surprisingly, I woke up with thoughts of "not-enoughness" this morning, but not about me. Rather they were about not enough time, not enough done before class started, not enough mental prep for class, etc. Well, I put all that out of my mind and went to class.

My first etching class ever!
And there again - roller coaster all the way. During the safety walk and talk about the acids we'll be using, dangerous tools, the power of the printing presses, rosin that could ruin our lungs and such, I was convinced I had to quit immediately lest I get maimed, impaled, blinded or burn off my skin with acid.
But then my wonderful professor, Deb Oden, who is simply INSPIRING, talked with us about etching and printing. Her love for this process and the work that comes from it oozed from her to all of us. I felt inspired, I felt excited about learning this craft from someone who does not teach it the traditional way. She's having us learn the different steps, but then put them together in ways that inspire us.
She's having us write papers about what in life inspires us as artists. She's having us write three entries for art shows or exhibits or competitions. She's having us write a "I'd love you to love me" letter for something wonderful we want to do, like an internship or an artist in residency program somewhere.

So, you see a couple of days of little ups and downs.  After all of that I decided that I am out of the phase of my life where I have to look perfect and flawless with every hair in place and looking years younger than I am. So much time and resources spent on projecting a certain image. And to what end?

I am 45, my hair is silver, my face has laugh lines, my hands have age spots, I'm growing a pimple on my nose at the moment, my nails are not perfectly manicured ... and that's all ok!  I am proud I made it to 45 through a life that wasn't always easy, I now completely enjoy my life, I feel creative, I am healthy, I am happy, I get to love, I am loved, I get to learn how to etch, I am living exactly how I want to live and THAT's more important than anything!!

And THAT's what I wish for all of you!!!