Friday, October 25, 2013

Drive-by Posting

Lacawac Sanctuary, PA

Hi everyone.... It's going to be a few more days before I can regale you with a proper post. Tomorrow will be the "final" push to move my stuff into storage... then I have until next Thursday to unload an entire room full of discards and get myself schlepped to temp digs. Argh.

I stopped in to the studio today for the first time in more than a week and it was all I could do to make myself walk back out again to come home and finish packing. Want to print. Now.

As a peace offering I share with you two photos from last week's exploratory trip to northeastern Pennsylvania. More on this later.

Yay! A day of canoeing and visiting with a buddy on the Perkiomen.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Studiowork Saturday! American Robin linocut

Okay then!

I've been feeling a bit punky the last few days– a combination of changing weather and physical and mental tiredness, I think. I feel as though I've been packing and moving forever.

So none of that on Saturday! I did a couple of tasks first thing in the morning and then went off to spend the day in the new studio. No surprise, I guess, that I felt better than I have all week.

I finished carving the little robin and decided to go ahead and print it. Elvis (Press-ley, the baby press) got into the act because it was a large (for me) edition of 65 and only a single color.

The image was printed in a dark brown on a cream-ish Rives paper. The drying prints all show a frame, but that will be trimmed off once they are dry. I don't usually work this way, but it seemed prudent to have this extra material all the way around to support the press roller evenly across the block.

Here it is all trimmed up:

Technically these prints are a surprise, commissioned by an organization that shall for the moment remain nameless. (To help preserve the surprise.) They aren't going to be presented until December, so I'm hoping that if an intended recipient happens to be reading Brush and Baren now they will have forgotten all about this post and still be surprised when the time comes.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fits and Starts (Mostly Fits)

Apparently getting the studio moved and set up before moving the rest of my belongings into storage was an idea that could have used some more scrutiny. Yes, it's nice to have the space more or less functional, but it's killing me that I can't get in there and USE it yet! Too much packing and moving still happening at home.


But all is not completely lost. Today I hit that stage of packing in which nothing either fits together or makes sense to be in the same box together, so I gleefully called a timeout and packed myself off to the studio.

As predicted, I abandoned the also-ill-conceived-but-desperate-to-carve-something piece I started last week and started something new. This is a commission piece, just black-and-white, but it's going to be a largeish edition (60+). I'm carving on unmounted lino because it seems prudent with an edition that size to enlist the help of Elvis* rather than baren print all of them.

 Tomorrow will bring a little more packing, a little more moving... and hopefully a little more carving.

* Elvis Press-ley is a Richeson "Baby" Press.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Not-so-Fieldywork Friday

Guess what this is:

Yep. It's a pile of lino-kanoodles. Guess where it was made.

Yep. Here! In the new Studio F!

Posh, isn't it? Maybe a wee bit too posh... I'm nervous about the carpet, but I bought another rug (Look! It matches! Sort of.) for the area directly under the print bench, so hopefully it will be okay.

That long surface on the far wall will ultimately hold computer, scanner, and printers. Right now it's just a lovely clear space. There's also a folding table that may or may not inhabit the center of the room. In a perfect world it will only come out when I need extra horizontal surface.

This room is roughly the same size as the one I came out of, with the minor problem of no closet storage. The biggest disadvantage is that this studio is again upstairs, so my big, heavy flat files for paper and print storage are not here. Thankfully the unit I have rented to store all my household goods is downstairs in this same facility, so the cabinets won't be far away. I've got some archival boxes to hold my immediate needs upstairs and will just get more exercise when I have to replenish.

The advantages include better light and a proper professional space to host the occasional open studio. And without the monstrous flat files taking up so much real estate I have more room to move about, stand back from the work AND give the drying rack its own wall.

And my one window has a pretty darn nice view, once you get past the industrial buildings below.

It will feel "homier" once there are prints drying on the rack and after the computer and its varied equipment gets in place it will feel like a versatile workspace. (My contract work requires a lot of computer time, and it's nice to be able to do bits and pieces while waiting for ink to dry.. or sneak a few minutes to carve in the middle of something more tedious.)

The one "lifestyle" change that I've yet to manage is that this space is far enough from where I'll be living that it's not convenient to just pop home for lunch. If I want to avoid too many trips to the nearby fast food joints (bleah) I'm going to have to plan ahead. No more random grazing trips to the fridge... which could be a good thing.

All things considered I think it will be an interesting new way to work. The carving I did today probably won't come to much... the design was thrown together without much thought... but I wanted to at least go through the motions of working to see what I might have overlooked in this setup. But I started to draw up a new seabird lino, and got a workable idea for a small print commission, and it felt good to be thinking about something other than packing and unpacking.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Closed for relocation

Today's the day... The bulk of my studio is stacked in the front room and friends are coming to help me shift it all to a new location. Feeling pretty anxious about the whole thing.... I hope I can settle into the new space quickly and get my printing groove on. I have work to do!

Linocut in Progress: (Lucky 13th) Final Step

 I am off next week to head up the Arts & Birding session at Hog Island Audubon Camp in Maine , so I have been feeling the pressure to w...