Wednesday, November 26, 2014

"Snowflake Blanket" - Linocut

In between my huge woodcut of Joey (which is turning into more of a project than I thought!!) and my colored pencil pet portrait of "Cody", a Havanese (winner of the Team Inch Pet Portrait auction!) I decided to do a quick little linocut of my Alaskan Malamute Nelson. Nelson was my first real show dog, a gorgeous guy from Northeast Kennels in Western New York. He garnered about 6 points towards his Championship before we neutered and retired him. I was leafing through one of his ginormous photo albums when I found an old photo that I thought might work for a simple linocut. I had a few pieces of 3x5 lying around so I thought, why not?

 I used to be obsessed with drawing Malamutes. In high school, my dream was to move north and live off the land, running races like the Iditarod and John Beargrease with a team of purebred, championship Mals. I ended up living in New York City with a greyhound instead --but that's another story LOL.

It's funny how easy it was to draw Nelly again. I haven't drawn him in over 10 years. Closer to 12 or 13 probably. But he rolled off my pencil like I'd been sketching him all along. The Jack Richeson linoleum (which is more rubbery than linoleumy) cut like butter. What a fun little lino to do!

After printing in two colors, I meant to go in for a third but when I printed the black layer, I found I didn't like it. Too much "definition" and it just felt overdone. So I left it at two.Sometimes less is more, right?

"Snowflake Blanket" - 3 x 5 reduction linocut

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thoughtless Thursday

My beautiful wooden spoon--!!! For years I've used it in my printmaking. When the press doesn't do the job or the job's too small- my Dollar Store spoon comes out to save the day. It's back has been worn smooth as glass after rubbing the backs of hundreds of papers.


I'm pretty sure Joey is the assbag who stole it off the counter. Now I'll need to head over to Dollar Tree and plunk down another 4 quarters for a new one, and spend another few years rubbing with it until the back is uber-smooth and perfectly-perfect.

Keep your mouth off my art supplies, Mr. Joe!


Monday, November 17, 2014

New Studio

Last month I moved my studio upstairs to the loft. I've been in the house for almost 5 years now, but always resisted moving it up there because it felt so "far away" from the rest of the house. I dunno what changed my mind, but suddenly a few weeks ago I got the hankering to move. So... I tore out the old carpet (that Joey had defiled, sigh...)... stuck down a vinyl floor (harder than it looks...)... and moved all my art stuff up.

I'm surprised at how much I'm enjoying an upstairs studio. It's away from everything, but being a loft... it's so close. All I just have to do is look over the railing to check on what's going down below if I want. Nice.

Now if I can just remember where I organized and unpacked everything...


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thoughtless Thursday

We had a tense moment this morning when a marauding egg carton decided to hone into Lela's territory. Luckily she was on alert, and managed to get the upper hand.

Sadly, I couldn't get her to pick up the pieces and put them in the recycling bag..

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Carving Away...

I have such a love-hate relationship with printmaking. It constantly frustrates the crap out of me, and one mistake can ruin the whole piece. You can get so deep in, and suddenly- Boom. Your chisel slides and make a wrong cut. The color you print isn't right, or dries to the wrong tint. You mis-register your block and ruin all the prints. Run out of paper. Have to keep sharpening your knives and sharpen them correctly or else send them back to the factory for fine-tuning. The wood splinters. The linoleum's too hard and dry. Ruin it with too much negative space. Ruin it with too much positive space. God, I've destroyed more prints that I can count the past few years.

I picked up a piece of basswood at the local craft store recently and this weekend I decided to do a woodcut of Joey. The basswood is nice and soft but also splinter-y. I'm not getting the kind of clean lines I like. Deep breaths. The wood is talking. I need to let *it* be part of the process, too.

(And we can't end a post about a Joey-woodcut without a photo of real-Joey. Or, as I like to call him, "Joe-EEEEEE!" LOL)

"Yep. Embarrassing."


Team Inch Pet Portrait Auction

I'm taking part in the 2014 Team Inch Pet Portrait Auction! Several of us dog-crazy artists are auctioning pet portraits in several different media -I'm doing colored pencil- with the proceeds going to greyhound rescue. If you're interested in bidding, click here!

A recent colored pencil portrait I did of "Dash"

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Photographing Foxhounds

I've been a greyhound person for the last 14 years. Joey is my first foxhound. I have to say, he's a total trip. But photographing him is tougher than whale poop. He zips around the yard like a road runner and my camera just isn't fast enough to catch him. He never stands still!

That was the best of the bunch- me trying to hold him still and him trying to whip around, knock me over, and continue on the hunt for squirrels. Well practice makes perfect. Maybe in time I'll do better.

Greyhound BRUCE in Charcoal

Sweet Dreams- 6x8 charcoal
Was fooling around with my charcoal pencils the other evening- such an overlooked medium! I had such a fun time with it. Something elemental about sticking to black and white, you know? This is Bruce, a greyhound mix I fostered a few years ago. He was found emaciated down in the southern tier -an older gent, incontinent- and we really thought he was going to take FOREVER to find a home. Nope, he was only with me a week! Now he lives in the lap of luxury, with owners who have 2 beautiful homes and spoil their pups rotten. I smile for him every time I think about it. :)