Hey ya –
Here are quick studio snapshots of pictures on the boards just now. All are perplexing me. I seem to be making mountain pictures as much through erosion now as by painting them. I’m ripping, grinding, twisting and sanding so vigorously in fact, that it has become standard to add a back up sheet underneath, and sometimes even a back up to the back up!
The picture above has three layers. I must flatten the whole deal before I continue assembly – or add more.
The next one may be my favorite of this batch. I’m in love with the BIG black marks running across – I think they’re a waterline/wave? I was actually thinking of Hokusai’s picture, The Great Wave off of Kanagawa, while I did it. As you can see, there is still sanding, edge blending and repair to do.
My third picture has a looooooong way to go yet, and I’m worried I won’t find my way to a finish. But I have to try particularly hard because there are wonderful things going on in there already. I’m in love with the upper right quarter. Oh what to do?
The scraps of paper laying on the lower left are me just playing with notion of adding more textural/gestural overlay. I could either paint or collage – or both. Still thinking.
I wonder if this might be a nocturne?
Finally, quite a few of my pictures lately have looked this raw to begin with. What you see here are scraps of other failed attempts that I’ve started trying to put roughly together, just to see if another mountain picture may be in there. Possibly!
Good things happening in the ol’ painting and paper destruction department! Just look at these two – they’ve taken me further down my creative road than I had expected, and it’s both thrilling and a bit scary! Feel like my thinking has to catch up a little, or maybe I really shouldn’t let it? Huh.
Once you see really good scans (these are just quick snapshots), you are going to be AMAZED!
CLICK THE FIRST TWO PICTURES TO SEE THEM MUCH LARGER!
There is sooooooo much going on everywhere in these. To keep working on both, I had to add backup sheets because I was so brutal in painting, ripping, scraping, tearing, soaking and twisting the top layer. Am I sculpting as much as painting now?
A dragonfly and a damsel fly that are as abstract as not – was trying for that, and like how these came out. Some very nice mark making in there!
Finished moments ago – – – I think. You probably can’t tell from my so-so snapshot, but there is a quiet ton going on there. Just wait until I get this one flattened and scanned!
CLICK IT TO SEE IT A LITTLE BIT BETTER!
This is just a quick snapshot of the picture I finished moments ago. Can’t wait to get it flattened and scanned, so you can really see how gutsy and dynamic the surface truly is. Perhaps in the closeup below, you can catch a hint of what I’m talking about, especially in the water!
Printing with India ink on an old iron press = printing with water = squishes out all over! Rust is bad!
I use paper folders to contain the mess, This is one of them. Pressure drove my ink clear through the sheets I was printing and into it – the result is a gorgeous bonus image!
I actually sent this picture through the press a second time to add more to it, so this is one of the first ones in which I intentionally started tweaking happenstance. That working partnership continues!
Here are closer views:
There are very subtle things going on in this one. I particularly like the sharp mountain textures in comparison to the more muted water below, in which I used sandpaper to grind in some wave highlights
The unrelenting, dense gray makes this picture sort of eerie, especially with a hazy sun (or is it a moon?) barely peeking through!
Here are close-up views of each sheet so you can see it all a little better:
Just put the scans for this one together, and it looks so damned fine that I had to show it to you. Beats the hell out of the studio snapshot I posted awhile back! NOW you can really see the complex interplay of textures and tones!
CLICK IT TO TAKE A GOOD LOOK!
And here are the two halves, so you can dig into ’em a bit – – –
I actually can’t quite decide what’s going on back in there – is that the most ethereal mountain ever, or is it sky? Dunno. But I sure like how this one sets up questions!
CLICK ON THE PICTURE ABOVE – SO WORTH A CLOSER LOOK!
I probably won’t post again for a few days – so much to do, and I’m trying to get it done. Until next time, here are closeups of today’s Norway picture, to give you something to wander around in.
One wonderful thing about working on a bunch of pictures simultaneously is that eventually (sometimes it seems like a reeeeeeeally looooong eventually) lots and lots of ’em wrap up all at once. It’s happening now and I am VERY happy with some of my new Norwegian mountain pictures!
They’re incredibly rich in textures and you can really wander around in them. Wow, I’m certainly going somewhere with these, and that’s a great way to feel.
MANY more are on the way, so keep an eye out! Here are some closer views for you too:
Don’t know why – just felt like posting them. They’re fun to draw!
Hope you had a fine weekend – – – I did!
I sure like dragonflies! Everything about ’em is too cool. Should do more of these soon, right?
Actually, this one is a damselfly. Looks like a skinnier, more fluttery-colorful cousin, and it folds it’s wings over it’s back – – –
Lately, I’ve been using an antique printing press to create some textures and portions of my pictures, but I work with India ink. Squishy, watery ink + an old iron press = RUST = BAD!!!
To contain the mess, I put what I’m printing inside paper folders – LIKE THIS ONE! The pressure drove the ink clear through what I was printing and into it. WHAT A BEAUTIFUL, UNEXPECTED BONUS PRINT!!
I should also mention that I’m printing images twice as big as my press bed. I manage it by folding what I’m printing in half so I can do two sheets at once. Here, let me quickly diagram what we’re really seeing here:
A hi-resolution view of my first larger 2-sheet Norwegian mountain! It looks so much like an etching but nope, just India ink, lots of surface alteration and some other sneaky stuff!
Back to frantic work I go. If I get enough done by lunchtime, I’ll play hooky this afternoon and go fishing!
Here’s a closer look at each half:
THIS IS A FAILED PICTURE – – – BUT IT ISN’T!
Confused? Well, here’s a little background: I’m using a 100 year old printing press to create portions of my new mountain pictures, but printing with India ink is like trying to control squeezed water! It’s messy, and even in the best instance, barely predictable. But I’m gaining a VAST range of new pictorial and textural possibilities.
It’s no surprise that many pictures tank, and the one above is a perfect, miserable example. Nothing worked, not the pressure I used, the ink I applied or even happenstance. So, say goodbye, pitch it in the corner and start over, right? Yep that’s about how it was gonna go, that is until I turned the sheet over and . . . WOW!!!
I’m using such thin paper that my watery ink is being driven clear through my sheets! And it turns out the backs are sometimes MUCH more interesting than the fronts! The next snapshot is the reverse side of what I had thought was a horrible picture:
Pretty damned HOT! Obviously, I’ve done a lot more work on top of the ghost image I started with: further printing, plenty of brushwork and even a bit of digging and ripping along the bottom (that’s why you can see a patch in the top view). I can’t wait to flatten and scan this, so you can really see how rich and ethereal it is!
I’m going back in – lots and lots to try to get done this week, so posts may be sporadic – – –
Your Buddy Bill
This one is finished! So you see, progress is being made on a more regular front too! The two views below are close ups of each sheet.
CLICK THE TOP IMAGE TO SEE IT BIGGER – VERY WORTH IT!
Do I have at least 50 pictures finished or still in progress of this Norwegian mountain I’m stuck on? Bet so. Every flat surface in my workspace is piled high with them – or the debris of a gazillion failed attempts. I’m being BURIED!
The flip side is that I have a TON of bits and parts to mess with. Rip, tear, tape & temporarily collage – – – it’s actually become kinda fun. And mind bending. Some of my creative paradigms are being shuffled around too!
The snapshots above and below are of two of the assemblages I’m talking about. They require A LOT of imagination and forgiveness on your part, but try hard and you might see pretty daring graphic ideas lurking in there. Yes, I know the big crack in the middle of the mountain belos can’t be straight like that, and all the ponderous black must somehow settle in more. And the picture up top? Sheesh, I don’t even know what to say – – – I’m learning here!
This one lived in the scrap pile for awhile, then I rediscovered it and started messing with it more.
Not sure I like it, but then for some reason I can’t dislike it either. I think it has to do with the crazy juxtaposition of textures. At first glance, you might not even realize the dragonfly is there!
CLICK IT TO TAKE A CLOSER LOOK!