Friday, June 27, 2014

Salida ArtWalk, and other mysteries

It's that time again.... Out of the studio and on to the street. Or in to the woods. Or out on the ocean. Or some combination of all of the above.

It's ArtWalk weekend here in Salida... My linos and I will be hanging out Saturday night at cultureclash gallery, so come on out and say hello.

And the Month of Crazy looms:

July 8-10: I'll be offering field sketching and illustrated journal classes at the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival. The western slope has had lots of water this year, so the flower show should be spectacular!

July 11: Linocuts grace the walls at the awesome Laughing Ladies Restaurant here in Salida. Through August.

July 16: Opening reception (and probably a little gallery talk) at the Project Puffin Visitor Center in Rockland, Maine... where all those seabird linos are featured for the summer.

July 19: Introduction to linocut workshop, "Seabirds in Relief," at the PPVC and Farnsworth Museum, Rockland.

July 20-25: I'll be on staff for "Sharing Nature: An Educator's Week" at Hog Island Audubon Camp, Bremen, Maine.

August 1-3: Crested Butte Arts Festival.

Ooph. I'm tired already, but it's gonna be fun! Hope to catch up with some of you along the way....

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Linocut in Progress: The subtle finish


The last phase of the sunset linocut was trickier than I expected. I wanted one final transparent color to add a little more contrast to the sky and a subtle suggestion of additional shapes in the mountains.

My first attempt was WAY too dark... It overpowered the entire image. (Even with wet ink glare in the middle, sorry.) Thankfully the test was made on a print that had torn and already been rejected. (You can see the big ol' hole halfway up on the right side.)

Oops. That color is TOO DARK.

So. Plan B. I scrubbed off the block, the roller, and the inking slab and added a ton more transparent base to the blue I started with. The good news about that bad color was that it showed me I didn't really like the shapes I had left in the sky, either... So I went back and did a lot more carving of small, energetic strokes in the clouds.
Sunset linocut, Step... 7? I think.
I'm happy with the sky now, but that same color applied in the mountains didn't really show at all, except as a shiny patch. So one more attempt to mix a transparent purple-blue that will be subtle in the lower half of the image.
Sunset linocut, Step 8, final
The last color looks a little more contrasty in this image than it does in real life, but I suspect that's a limitation of the camera phone. (It seems to struggle with blues.) When everything's dry enough that I can take the piece outside in good light I'll get a proper shot and share it.

At any rate, glad that's finished and able to dry for a couple of days now. I'm headed to the Front Range yet again tomorrow... to deliver sold work to the Governor's Show, and to a collector, and to teach a little workshop for Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory's "On the Wing" youth camp. Back on Wednesday and ready to tackle the next set of tasks for this busy summer.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Catching up, moving on

The problem with going out of town to participate in an art festival (for me) is the amount of time it takes to get re-organized when I get home!


I am pleased to say that last weekend's ASLD Summer Art Market event in Denver went really well... and would have likely been even better had the skies not opened up and poured rain and hail starting mid-day Sunday. There were even tornado warnings! Ugh.

But lots of linos found new homes, and I got to see friends I hadn't seen in ages. Ten or twelve years, in some cases! The response to my work was fantastic, which always feels good. Many visitors recognized "Coot du Jour" from its tenure as Best in Show at the League's Pressing Issues/Mo'Print exhibition this past spring, and I had a chance to enlighten lots of folks about the process of reduction printing.  In all a worthwhile endeavor.


Today will be the first time I get back into the studio to finish the sunset linocut. To get myself back in the proper headspace I went straight to work in pajamas this morning... drawing carving notes on the block. It's ready for tools, now... and my plan (!) is to accomplish all the carving today and finish printing tomorrow.

The rest of a busy summer looms on the horizon. I'll be on the road for almost all of July, so studio time will be practically non-existent. (sigh)  But hey... there will be plenty of workshop and exhibition reports to share... and hopefully some fieldwork done along the way.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Linocut in Progress: The mountain

So  here it is... proof that I was not kidding when I said that crazy purple was going to be snow.

Sunset linocut: Step 6, the mountain emerges. I left this image file
embiggenable with a click if you'd like a better look.

Fun, eh?

I think one more dark is in order... in the lower parts of the mountains and maybe just a wee bit in the clouds. I like the tone of the clouds as it is now, but I'm afraid that another dark in the foreground will kill the drama.

With the snow fields defined, Salida-area locals ought to be able to identify the peaks.  At least I hope they can.

Unfortunately the big finish will have to wait until next week, since I'm off to Denver for the weekend. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Linocut in progress: Dark snow

I am madly packing for this weekend's Summer Art Market in Denver. The challenge will be fitting art and show gear in my (17-year-old) car, which is not the least bit practical for this sort of thing. I conceded my difficulties and paid to have a tent and display panels installed by the event (more expense, ugh) rather than rent a truck to haul the ones I have... but this means trying to cram everything else into a little 4-door Geo. It's like clowns in a toy car, except in reverse and not nearly as amusing.

Sunset linocut: Step 5, dark snow
But, hey... the sunset lino is going well. I had hoped to have it finished before departing on Thursday, but that's not looking too likely now.

Step 5 is a rich purple-y blue, which right now seems a bit overdone.... but remember we thought that about the orange, too. Believe it or not, this is the color of SNOW in this image. Trust me. It's gonna work. (She says. Boldly. With only a minor twitch to indicate that she's all swagger and no substance to back up her claim.)

I'm definitely having fun with this one.... if it turns out the way I hope it will, I can imagine a little series of sunset prints. Mayyybeeeee.......

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Denver-area peeps! Join me next weekend at the ASLD Summer Art Market!


This will be my first time sharing linocuts at the Art Students League of Denver's Summer Art Market. I'll be in booth #40, on Third Street between Grant and Logan. (Three blocks east of Broadway.) Come by, say hi, and share some lino-love!