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.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Love and Babies

These prints are the beginning of what I hope to be a fairly substantial body of work wherein I have pages that look to be torn out of a book, displaced from their proper context which doesn't actually exist. I'm interested in dealing with how things that happen to people change based on memory, and how people remember things differently even when they experience them together.

These two prints are about my niece, who I was able to see for the first time in a few years at Christmas time. She was delighted to have someone to play Barbies with, and I was so happy to have someone love me wholeheartedly, without judgement or fear. 4-5 year olds are awesome that way. That girl just exudes joy like no one else. At the time, I was recovering from a serious heartbreak, and I was terrified to open up to anyone since it had hurt me so badly before. It was a perfectly timed visit for me.

At the same time, I was absurdly baby hungry for a while. I've always been one to get silly and distracted, making faces and smiling and cooing at children I run into. But for a few months, I was ludicrous. I would have been perfectly okay with either God or Satan using me as a vessel for the Chosen Child. My twitter feed was nothing but sadness and talking about babies I saw. As much as I adore my sister's family, having her four kids running around, screaming, and giving us all the stomach flu helped with this quite a bit.

My niece chose to share a room with me rather than her parents and brothers, and told me beforehand that she would ask me to help her feel better if she got scared. She's scared of the dark, so she came to cuddle with me and calm down a few times. It was adorable and really great for my emotional state. But she is indeed the wiggliest.

Technically, this print stretched me a bit. To start with, I used french chalk to get rid of any plate tone on the etching plate. That added to the time it spent to wipe the plate, and also made it difficult to get my aquatint consistent. It worked well, but definitely took some getting used to. I also decided to use the same copper plate for both versions of the etching, to scrape and burnish out the text and then to re-etch it. This was dumb. I thought it made sense conceptually, having both these prints come from the same place seemed to reinforce what I was doing. But it took ages, and the acid strength changed substantially, making the second round really dark comparatively. I had to register each layer of screen individually, which was difficult and did not work out as well as I would have hoped the first time around. Since I'd already scraped my plate clean, I couldn't really reprint it, and just had to pick out the least bad for the "Babies" print. I learned enough to make things work better the second time around. Unfortunately, my ink dried a bit while in the tubs between screen sessions, so I had more issues with it drying in the screen. From that I learned to always add some water to older ink to make it work properly again.

All in all, I'm pretty pleased with this one. You can see it in person at my BFA show, along with some other work. This weekend is the last time you can see the show if you missed the opening. It will be open friday and saturday, at the Felt Building. (341 S Main, SLC UT)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Nostalgia, Parts 1 and 2 (Also, more openings/receptions!)

At the end of my last blog post, I said my next post would actually include artwork I made. So here is some. Even if I am mostly showing it to get people to come see it in person at one of my artist's receptions tonight.

This was done for my life drawing class. The assignment was to do two drawings, wherein two or more figures are interacting to create a narrative. I did my drawing on frosted mylar, exposed it to a screen and printed it, then erased and changed a few things, and repeated. My professor was surprisingly okay with my cheating on this.
My friend Rachel, who is the other person in these prints, was one of those pretty girls making ugly faces that was making the rounds on the internet a while ago. (Third from the bottom on that link, the one with the shot from below her chin in the middle) She has the best face.
It's a fun and silly set of prints. I'm happier with the first one, but it was an enjoyable way to go about things. I haven't really used this aspect of multiplicity that print offers in this way before, and I think it was a good little exercise all around.

Also, you can see these two prints (and others) tonight at the opening for the U of U BFA/Alternative show. It's at the The Felt Building downtown tonight (341 S Main St. Salt Lake City, UT). Here's the facebook event.

I've actually got a small backlog of art to post about, so readers of this blog, you have seen almost none of the work that's there. This diptych is downstairs as part of the Alt show, but I have 4 pieces upstairs in the BFA show as well.

Also, 35x35 is having their awards ceremony/reception tonight. They'll announce winners of things around 8.

There's tons of other awesome art things happening around the city this gallery stroll, too. I have friends showing at Alpine gallery, and there's a bunch of stuff around 2nd south and 2nd east. It's going to be hard to get to all of it tonight!