Friday, October 2, 2015

Prints that are, actually, maybe not good enough to eat.

This week I screenprinted chocolate frosting and buttercream frosting onto Sugar Sheets, a form of edible paper. The prints turned out something like this:

Today, I made this video:

Saturday, September 12, 2015

(Steam)Rolling Right Along

I have a new print to talk to you about! Obviously. It's that one, right there, pictured above.

This print was made for an event and exhibition in the Ulrich Museum of Art that will be happening on September 16th from 4-7 PM. Here's a link to the Facebook event with some more information.

The event is a steamroller printing event. There are other places involved apart from Wichita State University and the Tornado Alley Press guild (which are the things I am a part of), and I believe it will mostly be their blocks that will be printed with the steamroller.

The exhibition in the Ulrich is an Exquisite Corpse themed show. Everyone involved carved three blocks, (a head, torso, and legs) and museum visitors will be able to interact with the work and move the prints around, creating new figures with various parts. It's going to be great! Please come to these things if you can!

I didn't want to spend all that time carving something that I didn't feel anything substantial for. And as I drew my figure to fit on these blocks of plywood, the kneeling form had a very specific resonance for me. So the print is based on my struggles with leaving the Mormon church. I'm not going to talk at length about that here, partially because the print hopefully says anything I wanted it to on its own. But it has certainly been something, to finally have that decision unhampered by familial obligations or desire to keep from hurting those around me, to make a choice for myself and then to have to deal with the consequences on a personal level.

On the print itself, it was just a matter of taking the hours and carving. It's a fairly straightforward process and I've done it enough to know what will show up. I left a lot more noise in the skin than I often have before, and I like that fairly well. One of the things that took me the most time is that dark but not black area just below the speech bubble, down to where the lines in the background begin. For that, I took an awl (a bookmaking tool with a large needle that has a handle attached) and just jabbed at the board to make hundreds and hundreds of tiny holes. This was a terrible idea. Don't do this. Unless it's for a much smaller area. I spent at least 6, maybe closer to 8, hours banging holes into my board because I'd already committed to it at that point.

That's all for this particular work, but I've been running and working nonstop nearly all month since I moved to Kansas, so I will have more to show soon. I pulled my first lithograph yesterday. It needs some edits before I blog on it, but I'm excited to share more with you all soon.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Newish print and newish plans

Let's start with life news. In August, I'm moving to Wichita Kansas, to go to graduate school. I'm excited and terrified and a bunch of other feelings, but it is entirely good news. I'll be studying printmaking at Wichita State for the next three years. My favorite teacher I ever had went there for his graduate degree in the same thing, and it's everything I really wanted from a program. Plus, I got a sweet funding deal.

Now, the print part.

It's been a few weeks since I finished this thing, but I just now got a digital image of it. I've cut my hair since this print was done, back into the Rosemary's Baby do, so that's sort of weird to me. Because I do so many self portraits, changing a hairstyle freaks me out a little bit. But the last time I got the undercut done they shaved up into my cowlicks, so it had to go, even if I decide to grow it back. We'll see. (Not that that matters at all to anyone but me.)

This print started sort of like "Hold Me" from my previous blog post, where I just drew right into the hard ground with very little planning, then etched it. I spent a good while after that touching it up and getting it where I wanted it. The amount of proofs pulled was unreasonable. By the time I thought I was ready to print it had a very light touch to some of the areas, things that were pretty much gone after printing about 10 times. Of course, I started editioning thinking all was well when someone pointed out that my apostrophe was in the wrong place, so I had to scrape and burnish that out, and by the time that was done most of those subtle contrasts were gone. So I redid them. So much for a quick print.

All in all, I'm happy with it now. I actually did edition it immediately, which is something I have a habit of putting off, so it is as done as it will ever be. I painted one of my proofs, but immediately afterward my nephew decided he wanted to paint in the same area, so it's no longer what it was. He didn't paint on it directly, just near it enough to splash a bit. Maybe I should just have him paint on it at this point, though. It would probably be better than I could do anyway. I sound self deprecating, but that kid is a fabulous artist.

That's all for now! I'll be in Utah this summer before the graduate program takes off, so drop me a line if you're in the area, everyone. I miss people that aren't children/family desperately, so let's see if I can get sick of them before I go off to a new place where everyone is a stranger.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Prints and Plans

"Hold Me"
"The Descent of Auntie Madness"

I've been applying for graduate school the last few months, and soon it will be done. I've got one school left to finish up on my list and then it's just waiting. I can handle waiting.

Friday, September 19, 2014

"To Those Who Leave"

A few months ago, I was contacted to fill a small exhibition space at Brigham Young University. In mid August, I helped install it. It's still up right now, at the Harold B. Lee library on the 5th floor.

Friday, April 11, 2014

"I Grew Up Mormon"

I did this 4 by 6 inch postcard print for Iowa State's University Print Society annual postcard exchange. It's not my best print by any means, but I'm pretty happy with it for what it is.

Since my last blog I've started to work at Columbus College of Art and Design as a model for their drawing and painting classes. I asked if, given the circumstances of my experience and whatnot, I could use the printmaking facilities on campus. This was the first print I pulled from one of their presses.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

All The Boys I've Ever Kissed

This little book was my summer project, completed as part of a residency with the Book Arts Program at the University of Utah. It is currently for sale in my etsy store, along with a couple of other prints. I printed and put together an edition of 150 of these things, along with 15 artist proofs.

I've never printed such a big edition, so that was a fun challenge. It definitely began to wear on me when I got to folding and gluing, but it is an accomplishment to have a box all done and ready to go out into the world.

The book has a little portrait of each of the 5 men I've kissed in my life so far, along with a little information about what happened or what I was feeling on the bottom of the page. The last page is a chart and some statistical information. The chart, which shows the level of intimacy with each person over time, is one of my favorite things I've ever done.

The funnest thing about this book was what I did with the cover. Rather than producing an image to print, I put on my brightest lipstick and kissed the front of each book, creating unique prints from my lips for each book. Some of them look incredibly awkward, and others are really pretty, or even sort of sexy. I had to seal them with some Crystal Clear spray afterward, as lipstick doesn't dry like paint or ink, and it would continue to offset without this step.

This also got me into thinking about other projects. As I moved across the country recently, and I am currently unemployed, I don't have studio access. But I've started to have some fun with using my body as a printmaking matrix. I'll share some of that with you in my next post.