Saturday, September 15, 2012

Of Bird Art and Duck Demos

The day before the exhibition opening is like a big reunion party.
Here the exhibition's artists gather for a welcome luncheon with
museum staff. Imagine trying to get this bunch to quiet down
long enough to give instructions for the weekend.
It's a bit surreal to realize that a week ago today I was in Wausau, Wisconsin at the opening of the Woodson Art Museum's international Birds in Art exhibition. As always, it was a spectacular weekend of inspiring art, excellent colleagues, and extraordinary professionalism on the part of the museum staff.

The exhibiting artists get a sneak peek at the exhibition before it opens to the public.

I think almost 75 of the 125 artists with work in the exhibition were present last weekend, including several who made the long trip from countries in Europe, Asia, Australia, and other parts of the Americas. Last Saturday fourteen of us spent some time in the museum's sculpture garden giving demonstrations and, yes, I finally got back to work on that little duck piece.

A shout out goes to sculptor Miki Harder, who had the
presence of mind to take pictures during the "Artists in
Action" sessions on Saturday morning. Recognize that
partially-finished linocut on the table?

If you were following along a couple of weeks ago you'll remember that I was working on a small linocut for this demonstration. I always like to have something "almost done" for a demo, especially since the last stage of a reduction print is frequently the most dramatic. I had just over an hour to do my bit, so I planned to carve for the "last" color and then ink up and pull a few prints.

Yep, ring-necked duck.

The "last" black was, indeed dramatic, and since I'd had the presence of mind (for once) to to pull out a sample print at each stage of the reduction process, I think the demonstration went well.

Except that I didn't like the black.

It's okaaaayyyy..... but just a bit too flat. I wanted something simple (oh, stop laughing), but this just didn't quite do what I wanted it to. Thankfully I only pulled 4 of the edition this way during the demo, and I resolved to apply another color before the black on the remaining prints when I got home.

Of course when I did get home and back to work I completely forgot to take a photo or pull out a print at the intermediate stage. You'll have to try to imagine everything that was black at the demonstration was printed instead in a sort of purple-brown. After that I carved some more, and THEN I printed the last black.

Click to embiggen for comparison.
MUCH more satisfactory, don't you think?

I am finally home now for a goodly stretch and anxious to get some quality studio time happening. There are still a few contract projects to finish and lots of administrative tasks to catch up on, but at least I'm not having to repack my suitcase any time soon. In fact, I put my suitcase in the closet! Bring on the brayers, I'm ready to get rollin'.


  1. That is indeed a huge difference! You are amazing--what you print just leaps off the page, and those of us who are lucky enough to see your work get the treat of a Sherrie-view of the world. Congrats on a successful Birds in Art (again) and on being home for a while. I'll look forward to seeing you around the 'hood more (when I get home--am in Lakewood getting Dad organized for the Big Move to Western Washington....)

  2. Hi Sherrie,
    Great blog post . . . thanks for the kind and enthusiastic words for Birds in Art, the Woodson Art Museum, and the staff. It was great to welcome you back; we especially appreciate your willingness to participate in Artists in Action. Great demo -- super instructive. Wishing you all the best as you hunker down in the studio, Kathy

  3. Hey, Susan! Give your dad a hug from me for the start of his new adventure. And come home soon yourself!

    Kathy, thank YOU once again for a spectacular weekend and top-notch exhibition. I'm always proud to be part of Woodson Museum events.

  4. how did you guess some of us were laughing? ;)

    that does look better with the extra colour on the head :)