Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Post

Very quick post today, I just wanted to share those last two print variations. My printmaking professor made class yesterday optional, since most people bail the day before Thanksgiving anyway. And once again I was the only one there! It was just me, the teaching assistant, and the professor. This happened last year too, just me and the teacher. Very awkward. 

Anyway, here's the 3rd version. I like the color on it's own, but I think it washes out the print a little. 

Here's the last one, and probably my favorite variation, aside from from the original one of course. I think it makes the topic of "Skin" more obvious. 

Last, I just want to show that my mom made a Pintrest project, and it actually worked! 

Apple pie roses. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Adventures in the Foundry and New Print

I'd like to announce that this last Tuesday, Nov. 17, I participated in my first real art show! "Real" here meaning one that I was not just in because my whole class was required to participate in it. Unfortunately, I did not take a single picture! Maybe because I was too distracted by the free snacks or maybe because I was too cold to think straight. I am still kicking myself for that. 

In other news, I've been creating a little trophy for myself, as part of a sculpture class, not because I'm that full of myself. The interesting part though is that we are metal casting! Using a found object we made a silicone mold which made a wax cast which made a sand mold which will make a bronze cast. Very simple, I know. 

This is the silicone mold, encased in plaster for stability. In it I poured liquid wax. An old tire is holding that mold together, such advanced technology. 

After using the wax casting to make a sand mold, we had to melt the wax out of the pour-cup, which is basically a funnel for the molten metal later. A bunch of us students went to do this without anyone supervising us and it was both hilarious and nerve wracking. 

This is the sand mold after it was fired in order to melt the rest of the wax off and strengthen the mold. It looks a bit weird right now but it's a pill bottle attached to the pour-cup. 

And finally! Pouring in molten metal into these thin molds. It was amazing to watch people handle a F 2000+ degree liquid. 

After the metal hardens and cools I will break off the mold with a hammer and clean up my piece with a sandblaster. I have a base ready for it too. Hopefully it will be finished by the end of next week!

Moving on to printmaking, I finished another set of prints. Here is the final product:

This print was a lot of fun to make and the end result is amazing! For this assignment we were supposed to purposefully break the rules of printmaking, which include having good registration (alignment), clean boarders, using printmaking paper, etc. People got really creative with this, printing on magazine pages or fabric, some are combining mediums by painting on their prints with watercolor. 

I decided to keep the idea of a print still, but mess with the borders and registration. When I explained my idea to my professor she was skeptical to say the least, and watched me print with worried look in her face. And today she she told me it was "fabulous"! It's so nice when things go my way. I'm so proud of this print. 

And since I only messed up a couple of prints of the 10 I originally made, I have 3 left over to experiment with. I'm going to try a couple of different colors and also try printing the background off registration. I will do that this Wednesday and try to post the pictures the same day. Here is one I had just enough time to do before class ended. 

I think the teal background works better than this faded yellow one, but it's still interesting. 

Bye for now!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

On How Printmaking Has Taken Over My Life and Other Art Related Things

     I feel a bit like I'm in an episode of the X-files and time has stopped functioning as it usually does. I'm not sure how, but all of a sudden it was Halloween, and then all of a sudden we're halfway through November. These last few weeks have been a bit of blur. 

     However, I do have evidence to suggest time has passed as usual since I have been handed back tests, I have pictures on my phone with dates between Halloween and now, and I have produced some art. So maybe this is less of an X-files moment and more of an Adam Sandler in "Click" moment. 

     Let me start catching up by presenting the last relief print I made, "Major Tom." 

     I really dig this print. I am impressed with myself, especially because this was such a chaotic, weird process. As I mentioned before, this is called a "suicide" or "reduction" print, where you print as you carve and every carving is final, every inking is final, there's no going back. I started out with 9 prints, and barely had 5 left by the end. I ripped one, printed one upside-down, and added a black outline on a couple which turned out too terrible to show in public. I really wish I had more, but life is unfair, so I'll just have to treasure the few I have. 

     That print made me realize a couple of things about printmaking. First, that it's more about the process than the actual image. Second, that a lot of wiggle room is necessary with each idea, you can't create a print to look just a drawing you make (unless you're a printmaking god or something). And lastly that you should be really open minded, if all of a sudden a mistake leads to something better than your first idea, do it. 

     With these free-spirited ideas in mind, I thought for the next print I'd wing it a little. The theme for this one is "Skin," so I thought about how stretchy skin is, which made me think of other stretchy things like bubble gum, silly putty, and rubber bands. So I created an image that looks like those things being stretched. That's the idea, as for the colors, the background, the lines, I'm improvising it all as I go! I hope it goes well, so far I have only two colors and I already love it. 

     Here is a picture of the inking process and the giant ink mess I made; it took a long time to clean up. 

     I have to admit that I have a love/hate relationship with printmaking, the results are amazing and the inking/printing process is meditative in a weird way. Yet, actually carving the wood. . .I'm often tempted to trow the plywood across the room! And also, sometimes the press handle spins out of control and hits me when I try to grab it, I have broken several nails from this! Regardless, I'm really glad I'm in this class. 

     Anyway, on to non-print things! Here are pictures of me drawing with my toes, because it's art school and nothing is off limits. (Don't get me started on how last semester I went dumpster diving in order to create a "fun house" of trash. . .)

(At least it sort of resembles a human, yes?)

     My figure drawing professor hung up a bunch of my class' drawings, some done with hands, some with feet, and a few done by drawing with piece of charcoal taped to the end of a long stick. I had 7 pieces up! 

     They are a lot of fun to browse, regardless of the fact that they are mostly drawings of nude, old men (We need some ladies to pose for us!). Well, this post has become a bit long, so I'm going to stop here. However, I will try to write about once a week since there's always a new project in the works or new doodle in my sketchbooks. More pictures on my Instagram!