printmaking

Someone long ago had painted “ONLY DEAD FISH GO WITH THE FLOW” on a sidewalk at the University of Michigan. I don’t know if it was something I walked over once or everyday while I was there, but it was forever etched into my memory.

Struggle against the flow. Go with the flow. Fight. Surrender. I don’t have the answers. Some days it’s one. Some days the other. 

Making art is a struggle. Sometime you find that flow and go with it. The painting comes easy. Some days not.

But I understand the game. “Don’t fall in love with the background!” The “ugly teenager” phase. It’s temporary! The “click” when it starts to come together. And  I know the materials. I feel competent that I can make them do my bidding. No big surprises. And then I started painting with encaustics, and the unknown is as vast as an ocean. I am a beginner here. Any sense of control that I may feel is false. With heat the wax becomes fluid and unpredictable. The lines move. Too much heat and you melt through to the wood panel underneath all those layers. You blow a hole into the painting. And you have to remember what you learned in printmaking – “you can’t go back, you just have to roll with it”. Go with the flow. damn.

I really struggle when I work on an abstract piece. I need the painting to “be” something. I like a narrative. Even if no one else sees it. I started this painting 4 months ago. People who saw it said it was great, but I knew it wasn’t finished. And I was stuck. Didn’t know where to take it next. So I would walk by and doodle on it out of frustration. Carve into it, or draw more lines on it as I explained encaustic painting to visitors. It sat on the workbench and I would glare at it. And then a couple weeks ago I started working on it again, found the story and was able to finish it. finally!

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Ophelia” 18″x18″

Of course I have started another encaustic painting. Another struggle. I am letting it sit. Giving it the stink-eye as I pass. In the meantime I’ve been making encaustic monotypes. A printmaking technique that allow me to make quick and easy prints with wax on paper. I had been using thick printmaking paper, but picked up some rice paper after attending the last Sierra Wax Artist meeting and seeing a monotype demo by Barbara Nilsson.  I must say I am really loving the results I get with this thinner paper! These are all 6″x9″ encaustic and graphite.

monotype001

Photo Aug 11, 1 04 27 PM

Photo Aug 11, 1 41 39 PM

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Wow. The Big Names, Small Art event at the Crocker Art Museum last Thursday night was a blast! Saw a bunch of friends, was out-bid on all the pieces I tried to win, and met people who were actively trying to win my piece! It sold for $185. sweet. But the best part of the night? Going inside the museum and seeing this:

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 Yep. A really bad cellphone pic of my print hanging on the museum gallery wall!

TriptychandMe

Pretty freaking awesome! oh and even thought the auction isn’t until June 6th, you can bid online here!

And my encaustic painting “Holy Wound Five” went to it’s new home.

HolyWoundFive

 

Friday was a day of rest (read: headache) and then Saturday we got the keys to our new house! Greeting from the pool. :)

Photo May 24, 10 32 35 AM

And believe me, that pool is mighty nice after a day of moving garage stuff in the 95 degree heat!

 

 

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crap. We still have 2 more weeks of May. Each month I hope our stress levels are gonna drop back down to “normal”. It hasn’t happened yet. My fear is that this is the new normal; a crisis a day. And that would suck. My adrenal glands need a freaking break here!

Kyle sprained his ankle at volleyball practice on April 30th – the day we closed on the new house. Instead of celebrating, I spent the evening with him in Urgent Care. So April went out with the combo good news/bad news emotional slaps upside the head that life is now dealing us on a regular basis. May has been much of the same. All good things must be offset with an equally bad thing. There is a Buddhist lesson in all this about walking the middle path, but my balance is totally shot. So it goes.

2 days later I got 31 injections of botox in my head, neck, and shoulders to help with my migraines. It hurt. I can’t move my forehead. I was in constant pain for over a week. I had migraines. Last week I  finally started to feel “better”, but I don’t think I can do that again. Let alone every 3 months! We’ll have to see how the migraines play out over the next 2 months. I am not optimistic. So it goes.

Last week the buyers closed on our house and we are now renting back until the end of the month. (I should insert a ::happy dance:: here but ugh… I’d probably break a hip) Packing is happening. Logistics for the move have been coordinated. So everything is moving along. ha! Of course last week we got a call from the tenants at the new house about a leaking balance tank on the hot water heater. Quick call to a plumber to get that fixed. ka-ching. So it goes.

Kyle’s ankle is on the mend and after a couple days of scrambling for doctor appts,  fights about splints and crutches, and tears (mine of course), he was released to play last Friday. Just in time to finish up the Section  championships this week and then hopefully on to NorCal’s next week. I hope they can take it all the way! I haven’t even seen one game this season. So it goes.

This weekend there was nothing on our calendars. Nothing. That was surreal. Our heart rates dropped. Coffee was drank in leisure and not chugged as we ran out the door to put out another fire. So we took a run to Ikea to buy new desks and spent the rest of the time packing and catching up on all the things. We were in the home stretch yesterday evening and trying to figure out what to have for dinner when the neighbor’s dog jumped on Erin and scratched her back pretty bad. Back to Urgent Care with another huge adrenaline spike. Erin is fine. No stitches thank goodness, but still… we all could have done without that scare. So now I’m thinking forget the dishes, I’m gonna wrap my family in all that bubble-wrap and wait for June. I am the only one who hasn’t been to that Urgent Care this year. So it goes.

But like I said, May ain’t over yet and this week we are back to busy. A couple volleyball play-off games and this Thursday is Big Names Small Art at the Crocker!! Something awesome indeed. And this is the last week of my Printmaking class. It is kinda of amazing that through all that has been going on these last 3 1/2 months, I have ended up with a really nice portfolio of work to turn in. So it goes.

And I’m almost afraid to mention that my woodcut “Split” was accepted into this year’s California State Fair Fine Art Exhibit!

SplitWoodcut

::taps out::

 

 

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As long as “this thing” continues to be good news  like I received in today’s mail. I just found out that one of my prints was selected for the Crocker Museum’s annual Art Auction!

I will have a piece of art hanging in a museum.

That is all kinds of kick ass!

And I needed that. Now we just need to get our house sold so that life can be all kinds of wonderful again! Cause March was kind of exhausting. On so many levels. The unplanned and accepted offer we put on a bigger house here in town, putting our house on the market, my friend Lisa passing away, the constant packing and cleaning and showing of house. ugh. All of which means I have not been able to make any art except when at class. Thank god for my printmaking class. Keeping me on the right side of sane.

woodcutSo, let’s hope this one piece of good news rolls into more good news: revised offers and our house under contract. No more Open Houses. No more always being ready for realtors to come through. Then I can get my desk out of storage and get back to work!

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You gotta keep ‘em separated

January 30, 2014

or not so much… My printmaking class started this week so I’ve been thinking about what images I want to create. Since I am in the “advance” class – 40B, I can pretty much do what I want. And you must have picked up by now that that kind of artistic freedom can be kinda […]

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Septem … what do you mean it’s October?!

October 11, 2013

hells bells How did that happen?! I swear I was still writing August on things when suddenly it was October! What even happened in September?! ::consults Facebook wall:: oh. right. September was full of crazy – good and bad – and it flew by. Everyone was back in school – here is photo proof: Wow. […]

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