Monday, August 20, 2018

Workshops everywhere, and some linos, too!

Whew! July and August... what happened to them?

After two weeks of workshops on at Hog Island Audubon Camp and a short workshop at Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge I immediately... led more workshops!

The first week of August I was joined by eleven fun and inspirational women for a week-long field sketching adventure, hosted by the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland. Naturally it was a week of record heat and humidity, but we were fortunate that our class met mornings and we were able to avoid the worst of the oppressive afternoons. We spent time at Owls Head Light, the Rockland South Beach, and in the garden (complete with chickens!) of one of our group members.

Sketching at Owls Head Light

We spent the hottest morning inside the museum, first drawing from Ai Wei Wei's Circle of Animals gold zodiac heads, and then taking a close look at the preliminary drawings for a number of Andrew Wyeth's paintings. Fun!

Sketching in the Ai Wei Wei exhibit at the Farnsworth Art Museum

The group had such a great time that we've scheduled a "reunion" sketch date next week in Rockport Harbor. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again and filling a page or two of my own this time!

I thought I'd be getting back in the studio the following week, but I was called to sub for some workshop sessions back on Hog Island for Family Camp. This time I was sketching with kids and parents and grandparents...

Sketching in the gardens on Hog Island

Whew! All done now, right? Not quite! I had a pile of framing, packing and shipping to do for upcoming shows at Ann Korologos Gallery in Basalt, Colorado and Oh Be Joyful Gallery in Crested Butte, Colorado. It was the first time I had to manage all that in my new place, so it took extra time to figure out new working systems. But I got it all done, and I know at least some of the work has already made it to its destination.

At long last I got into the studio last week, to work on two small linocuts for Project Postcard, coming up during the Birds in Art exhibition at the Woodson Art Museum in Wisconsin. Carving went well, but the morning I set up to print... disaster!!!!

If you've been following along since my move you might know that Presston, my lovely 30 x 60 Takach press, came out of his 6-month storage adventure with a buckled laminate surface on the bed. After some panicked correspondence with the good folks at Takach I was just about to order a new press bed when my neighbor asked if he could take a look at it. 

He pronounced it fixable, and proceeded to help me pull up the loose portions of the laminate and re-adhere them. Hoorah! I got a couple of editions through the press in between the chaos of workshops and workshop prep and kept my fingers crossed.

Unfortunately, no doubt encouraged by our two weeks of record heat and humidity, the portions of the laminate that had been intact in June decided to pull up, creating a big bubble on half of the bed. There was enough flat space for me to print the two tiny (4 x 6) pieces I was working on, but once again I was dead in the water for anything else. 

This time when my neighbor came by we agreed that the best thing to do would be to remove the laminate across the entire press bed... including the areas we had fixed in June... and stick it all back down again. 

As you can imagine, this was a multi-hour, multi-day project. The old adhesive came up fairly easily, but the new stuff we put on in June? Ooph. We finally finished it yesterday. So far it all seems good... so tonight I tore down some paper and started to prep for a new, largeish lino! What a relief. No pun intended.

As for the little pieces created for Project Postcard, I'm afraid I can't show them to you. At least not in full until after the event. But I can make a silly warped image of them...

Assuming I don't run into any more press-related disasters I expect to have this new piece underway tomorrow, so hey! It looks like we might be getting back to our regularly scheduled... schedule. Stay tuned!


Linocut in Progress: The Finish and the Rescue

 In the first post about the process of this linocut I mentioned that I was distracted and unfocused during the time I worked on it... whic...