This is as much about what’s not there, or only suggested – I think it’s almost a picture of emotion. And I miss my Sweetie this morning, so when she wakes up in Kangaroo land she’ll see this.
Just a quick few marks and moves – and we’re left with a odd, energetic sort of bloom. A minor moment, perhaps, but with a little tap dance in it!
Have the finest day!
This one’s a bit wild but still quite to the point – a seemingly impossible bloom pokes up after an achingly long winter. It happens every year, and it’s always a small wonder.
I love my Sweetie far away – the birds are chirping here, turkeys are clucking and the deer are so shedding right now that they all look like they have mange. Sun is sunshining. I’m thinking of you!
PS: here’s a closer look – – –
The blurred, soft edged flower still has enough graininess to look just right on top of the more graphic, gritty looking stem. It’s very pleasing to me.
Here’s a closer look at that quiet bloom:
GOOD MORNING to my Sweetie, who is half a world away today!
There’s something so very innocent and gutsy about this one, which is from very early in my flowering series. I did it before I began trying to be so clever in my mark making. Should I perhaps revisit that mindset?
I particularly like this part:
I’m so pleased with the textures in this, and now that it’s not raining so much, I like pictures of it!
Yep, the title of this post is right! It’s Monday here, but it’s a big world and a long way around to tomorrow, which starts first on the other side (where my Sweetie is). But don’tcha just love the Internet? I can send her a flower the evening before, from here. I know, it’s confusing, but true love isn’t.
CLICK IT TO REALLY SEE IT!
I know, yet again I said there would be no Norwegian mountain show-n-tell for the next few days, but I had to show you this!
Good things are happening here in my hermit’s attic workspace. I’m pretty jazzed! But I’m also surprised by an extreme jump in how much I’m scrapping, ripping and collaging. That’s exciting image making, yet it also means that when I’m “done” with a picture, I’m actually not. These are barely holding together with tape and clips – I have a whole lot of sanding, fitting, flattening, gluing and reinforcing ahead of me.
It’s a quiet bloom with some gentle, lovely moves in it. Just right to start the day – have a fine one.
My Sweetie Pea is off on a month long work trip on the other side of the world, which is why I’ve become a total art hermit. But I also miss her a thousand tons. So, I’m gonna start posting a bloom a day, just for her when she gets up each morning! This is the first – – –
I still don’t understand how to make this whole printing with India ink thing really work. Mostly, I make big messes, but occasionally I also get images like the one above, and wow oh howdy, do you see why I keep at it?
It seems one trick is to rapidly wet portions of my paper and slam ink down, then layer in my printing materials (and often more ink or water) before cranking everything through the press. If I do that, some of the image prints, and the rest of it is achieved when the ink is either lifted off the surface or driven into the sheet. And of course, there’s a lot of ink that squeezes and squishes around too. That can be particularly interesting.
Did you notice the center crease in the top picture? My press isn’t large, so I’ve been printing a 17″ x 24″ sheet by folding it in half and doing both sides at once. When I’m finished with a picture, I trim out the fold ugliness, and end up with a two sheet image like the next one (which I just did this morning):
You should click each picture to take a close look – very worth it!
I often layer painting and printing, which is kind of fun, and also nerve wracking. False moves kill pictures! BUT I have a big secret: there is so much press pressure that my ink is driven clear through the sheet. Even if a picture really tanks, the back can look utterly exquisite!
Case in point: the picture below is actually made from two different ones. Look carefully and you’ll see a ragged, torn edge separating the top of the image from the bottom 2/3rds! Now get this – that bottom is the back of a really bad picture. I ripped and taped it in place, then wetted it, brushed and spattered ink right over top, laid in my printing material dry, and ran it all through the press! I also did some printing via hand rubbing – I get completely different effects going that route.
Now, I must flatten, and assemble this one, before tweaking it to the finish line.
Okay, are you ready for things to get even stranger? Keep scrolling down!
In the next picture, I’ve begun putting a top on two smaller lower sheets! Yes, of course, I’ll have to add more on each side at the bottom. Trust me, that’s the easy part. This picture is such a big mess right now, but if I can pull this off, it might be amazing. I’m excited and confused.
I saved the best for last! This morning I was just messing around with scraps and the remnants of losers, when this weird, assembled image fell into place Actually, I’m collaging more and more, so that’s not new, but this time I may have sprained my brain a little. I don’t know what to think of this hint of a picture. Some vague, marvelous idea is floating around in it. Now I gotta find it!
I’m going back in. Might not post again until next week – I’ve got my hands full!
I’ve been adding digital picture albums to this website. It’s the first stage of my Picture Album Project – which will result in just that: bound albums of original paintings that will be truly wonderful. But first I must figure out how to do it, so I’m sorting and designing online!
You should take a look – because it’s fun! CLICK HERE – – –
I must be getting really smart as an artist, because I’ve sure had a string of stinkers these past several days. Baaaaad looking pictures, but the laws of stubborn determination and averages say I’ll have some good show-n-tell for you at some point this week! Meanwhile, here is an odd bloom to tide you over!
Make it bigger – click and enjoy – – –
In the middle of all this gritty, grainy, mountain painting seriousness I find myself in, it’s nice on a glorious Saturday filled with Spring sunshine to just love a bug!
This is a damselfly. When you see one for real, it seems impossibly delicate, yet like dragonflies, I’m sure they’ve been around A LOT longer than we have. They do just fine, and so did I, when I made this simple, sweet picture!
Now in two sheets and except for one or two fussy tweaks, I’ll leave it alone and move on – – –
I had intended to put a water line in this one, thinking I was making a picture of a headland on the fjord, but now I’m wondering if, aside from small fussing, it’s done?
This is another folded print – basically the next step from the makeready folder prints I showed you this morning. It had to be folded to fit on my press, though I printed both sides at once. Yes, it’s 100% printed – and in only two passes!
Does the fold – and all the activity in it – bother you? I can’t decide. I could separate the sheet into two halves, or maybe bind it into a picture album, in which case the crease would suddenly make sense. We’ll see. I’m a long way from those decisions yet.
You MUST look at this bigger – CLICK IT!
What the heck is this, you’re asking? Wow, do I have a story to tell!
First though, you need a little background: I’m using an old letterpress to do an etching press’ work, and I’m printing with watery drawing ink, so each time I run something through the press, ink squishes and squeezes out everywhere. That’s bad! I don’t want my poor old press to start rusting! So, I must contain a complete mess, and I also have to control the pressure on a press that has no adjustments. You would think I need to be goofy ingenious but nope!
Now, here’s a new printing term for you: makeready – in letterpress printing, the final adjustment of the pressure exerted on all parts, by using overlays and underlays in different areas as required.
Holy crow, that sounds scary technical, but all it really means is you need lots of extra paper! By putting little pieces of it over or under what you’re printing, you can increase the pressure as it’s being printed. In my case, all I’ve done is expand on the idea. I not only add scraps and sheets of paper to tweak pressure, but I place what I’m printing within paper folders so that when my ink squishes out, it has no where to go. THAT’S what the picture above is – the makeready folder that enclosed the picture below while it was being printed!
Because my ink is sooooooo thin, the pressure during printing forced it clear through the actual print and into the folder too! It’s a print printed by the back of a print! Here’s another one:
These aren’t just kinda cool – they’re gorgeous images all on their own. It didn’t take me long to realize I had a lot more than just a surprising side effect happening. So I started to intentionally set up more squish. I inked the back of my plate so it would print directly on a folder. And of course, it didn’t take me long to start running my folders through the press all on their own, printing additional layers. These next two are examples of that:
And now the inevitable: of course I would have to start painting and scraping and grinding on one of these. I mean come on, I’m me!
My final picture is the biggest question mark of all! Buried under there is the original makeready image, all but run over by all sorts of frantic activity. If you think the whole right side of that picture is confusing – you’re right! I’ve temporarily taped on bits and pieces of inked scrap, as I play with the idea of doing some collaging.
You know, at this point in my pandemonium of a workspace, I can’t tell what’s art and what’s not as it’s lying around!
Hey, these are all worth clicking on to get a better look!
I promised show-n-tell for today, but I’m not feeling great, so no new landscapes. Fear not – I hope to be wildly back at it tomorrow. Meanwhile, here are two pictures to hold you over, and something interesting that I’ve discovered.
Apparently, I retain a sense of moves or marks I’ve made, long after I’ve forgotten making them! It’s only now, as I sort out the scans of almost 300 flower pictures, that I see how they have resurfaced here and there without my realizing it.
I remember liking the picture above quite a lot when I made it, but I was worried that it was too whacky to be recognizable as a bloom. Now look at this! Close to a year later, almost the same flower popped up again (below at right), but this time it’s in context. That picture tumbled out so fast, and I was pleased, but I guess it wasn’t quite as spontaneous as I thought! I wonder what else is drifting around in my noggin, waiting to reappear?
CLICK EACH PICTURE TO TAKE A CLOSER LOOK!
I hope you’re into a pleasurable and satisfying weekend. I’m looking forward to more studio time, where I’ll continue to use my printing press to paint as much as print with. Since I’m working with drawing ink that is as thin as water (which has not been helpful) it’s clear that success must come from turning this drawback into advantage.
So, I’m over doing it applying water and ink too, but strategically, so that I intentionally set up areas of squish and squash. I’ve been switching directions on my press halfway through a pass, doing some frantically quick painting so that the marks I slam down will pick up impressed texture or even double transfer themselves, and anything else I can contrive. I’ve also figured out how to print both sheets of my images at once, even though together they’re twice as big as my press bed! Things are unhinged here!
Although there was a bit of manipulation and good deal of surface alteration after running these through the press, all are still about 95% printed – and from the same plate too! Well, I’m not actually using a printing “plate.” That’s a chat for another time, but for now, isn’t it amazing that as different as these are, they all came from the same basic set up?
More show-n-tell is coming – but not until Tuesday. See you then –
Your Buddy Bill
THESE ARE REALLY WORTH SEEING LARGER – CLICK ‘EM!
I’ve been up and at it for quite awhile, so I’m taking a little break to show you quick snapshots!
I’m really using the press I moved up into my studio, and am still printing with my good old drawing ink (India Ink). Man-o-man it’s crazy time! Watery, out of control and barely predictable – – – kinda. I mean, I know if something will come out gray, for instance, but how it’ll print in gray and what weirdness will be in it? That’s always a surprise, sometimes bad. BUT the best part is that the unfortunate stuff makes me attack and mess with my pictures more aggressively than ever.
So, good is great and bad can end up pretty good too.
All of these pictures were printed, painted upon, and had their surfaces very badly abused. I’m pretty darned excited. I’m pretty darned elemental. And I’m getting back to it!
More to come –
Your Buddy Bill