Saturday, February 28, 2009

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3...

Oooh, aren't they pretty? And they're just test blocks. The one on the right is on paper and unmounted; the other two are mounted on boards:

So horizontal rows, from top to bottom:

Spectrum Red
Ultramarine Deep
Cadmium Orange
Windsor Green
Raw Umber
Madder Carmine

Then I layered colors in the vertical columns, from left to right:

No layering
Permanent White, Zinc White
Primary Yellow, Lemon Yellow
Golden Yellow, Windsor Emerald
Ivory Black, Lamp Black

Then I took an angle brush and blended the bottom halves of each rectangle of layered colors.

So the next step is to airbrush one of the mounted ones with a Liquitex medium, and the other a GAC500. Then we'll see how they look compared to each other, and compared to the unmounted and un-airbrushed one on paper. That probably won't happen for another few days, the airbrushing. If even then. More likely to be another couple of weeks before I do that.

In the mean time, I've already mounted 2 other boards, just to play around with. And I've been doing more than updating websites for Portland Open Studios (now we're partners with Powell's Books & Amazon!) and Katy McFadden, although it will be another day or so before I'm finished with that. And I finally sent in my application for the GBW's Marking Time exhibit, due March 1. But of course I waited until almost the last moment.

And yesterday, Patricia, who's buying art for Pacific University, came by for a studio visit, and left with 6 prints!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A relaxing day of...

...gesso'ing boards and reorganiziing the studio...

Found some extra time

Hey, after bemoaning that I wasn't going to have a relaxed couple of weeks as I had previously thought, I got some extra time today. Looks like my class with Jobs Corps won't happen until March 13, so that gives me an extra week, and my volunteer gig at the library was cancelled today because Jim is on vacation.

I caught up on some errands that I was late on, and I sent out more books to Vamp & Tramp. They've been doing a GREAT job selling my books. They've sold 19 of my books since the start of the year. And this box I sent today was my 4th box to them in about 2 months. The Good Prince says "if I ever decide to make a book, for sure I'm going to send it straight to them...I'm not going to be shy and wait years before I contact them."

Had a couple of hours to catch up on some Portland Open Studios email and my secretarial duties too.

Monday, February 23, 2009

No down time

After finally getting the last bits done for the Cedar Crest show (including the CD and a script for Anne), I figured I could take it easy for a couple of weeks. I have 3 websites to update and also the piece I'm exchanging with Artist X, so I figured no problem.

Then today was my trip out the Troutdale to meet with the staff at the Jobs Corps training center. They were interested in having me come out and do a workshop with the students who are training to be aids for the elderly. Today was to meet the students & staff and do a presentation. Then I figured I would come back within a couple of months to do a workshop.

Turned out, the way the students rotate through the school, if I want to work with the same group of students I met today, I'd need to do the workshop within two weeks! Yikes! Since they have some pretty specific needs, I would need a couple of days to work up several different models that would meet their requirements, write up the notes, and get the paper supplies.

So all of a sudden, my next two weeks don't look so relaxed after all.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

It's sort of done

The final bits and pieces to Superfoodland!: the scorecards, the napkin, the 2 decks of cards, the fortunes, and the rule book.

I wanted the fortunes to resemble chocolate squares, and I think they look ok, but they're way too light (I made them with archival foamcore). So I'll have to redo those with mat boards when this all comes back from Cedar Crest. I had been saving real chocolate foil wrappers to wrap the fortunes with, but I couldn't clean all the chocolate off them. And guess what?! Special Collections always seem to have that no-food rule, so I had to give up on the chocolate foils and use fresh aluminum foils instead.

There are so many little bits & pieces to this game. I hope I didn't forget anything. I did remember to include the die in the package...

You can see the game board here, the glass & bowls here (although I'm actually using smaller glass bowls that Helen lent me), and the utensils and blueberries here. All of those items shipped out about 10 days ago.

And of course I did forget something—I was supposed to make a CD of about 10 images for the talk that Anne's giving. So it's another trip to Anne's tomorrow before she takes off for PA.

Friday, February 20, 2009

A productive week

My cohorts (Anne, Helen, and Diane) and I went up to Seattle for a couple of days. It was a whirlwind trip of visiting a binder, an artist, an antiquarian/rare books dealer, art galleries, the SAM's Sculpture Park, and the UW Special Collections. Wow, I can't believe we fit all that into 2 days, and that included driving up and back.

Visits to the binder and the UW Special Collections were just overwhelming, in a good way. There were SO MANY amazing books to absorb. Most of which will soon slip my memory, I know, but it was still a pretty amazing experience. The binder we visited keeps a copy of each book she has worked on, and has an incredible collection of books, some by pretty famous artists. What a gig!

And some good news—the UW Special Collections bought a copy of each of the books I took up to show, that includes one each of the Relay Replay books, Calypso, and S/N. And even more good news—I heard from Vamp & Tramp that they've sold 6 copies of Martha, which means Martha is now sold out (other than the 3 copies I'm keeping for myself). I'm both very happy & excited, but also wondering if that means I underpriced the book? Heck, pricing is an impossible task.

I was pretty out of it the day after we got back from Seattle, I think it just took me a whole day to decompress, there was so much to absorb. I did manage to make it to the Clemens-Tobias Lange talk at 23 Sandy—fabulous books, and even more inspiring, he does all the prints with photopolymer plates. And since I've been talking about getting a baby etching press and learning how to use solarplates (I'm pretty sure this is the same as photopolymer plates), I now have much to look forward to and learn.

And on finishing Superfoodland!

The backs of the cards:

The Fortunes:

The Fortunes are supposed to look like little chocolate squares. I printed on both the foil and paper, just in case the foil doesn't stick.

I'm definitely getting there. I've printed the booklet cover, too. I'm pretty close to finishing the rule book. I do need to print up the scorecards, but I think I'll inkjet those. So tomorrow, I laminate & trim the cards, add the '!' to the embroidered napkin, pack (and don't forget the die for the game!), and deliver the package to Anne in the evening.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I'm gonna make it!

This is the part that absolutely had to be done today, and I got it done. These are the faces of the cards to go with Superfoodland!, and because they're being printed over acrylic, it will take them days to dry. The backs of the cards and the 'fortune chips' (still haven't come up with a better name) can be printed after I get back from Seattle, that's not a problem.

I'm printing 4 of each card. Here one of the Shark's Fin cards is being lined up under the transparency. I'm using a screen that had been partially used for Marion, one of the Relay Replay books from last year:

All 15 cards (4 copies each) lined up on the drying boards:

Details of some of the cards:

And although I am getting this done just in time (finished at 10:45pm tonight), I haven't been avoiding it, not exactly. I've just had a bunch of other things that needed to get done too, and this actually required a lot of research time; and I did know I had until today to do this. Looking back at my timesheet, I've been clocking in at 45 hours a week since Jan 1 this year. Not too shabby!

OK, now I better go pack up my books for my Seattle trip tomorrow. Since they're one big reason why I'm going, wouldn't want to forget those.
Remember the whole reason why I bought the airbrush, way back when?

So that was part 1, and here we now have parts 2, 3a, and 3b:

And all that is still required is me doing the actual work of putting together the test strips and airbrushing them.

And of course, in my typical style, I have put the cart before the horse, having already (almost) completed my "Prosperity Soup" piece that I'm trading with Artist X, and just trusting/assuming that I'll find a workable solution to mount my gouache pieces on board without glass.

So the airbrush and the items you see here are all part of the experiment that is yet to come. I have 3 sheets of paper, 2 mounted on board (1 using pva and another using gel medium). I will paint them up with test squares of different colors and layer combinations. I will leave the unmounted as is, airbrush 1 mounted piece with the GAC 500+airbrush extender, and airbrush the 2nd mounted piece with the Liquitex Gloss Medium.

Turns out, no local art supplies stores carried GAC 500 (I wonder why), so I had to order it. And now I have all the pieces to the puzzle, I just need to finish 3 website updates, complete the gocco printing part of Superfoodland!, and work on my response to Artist X's piece...I'm figuring the first week of March I'll be able to try my new airbrush!

And speaking of Superfoodland!

I should've been finished with printing the text part already, and here I am, having just finished the research. Which means I still have to put together the actual text that will go on the cards and then print them. I wonder how much I'll get done tomorrow? Tuesday and Wednesday, I'm heading up to Seattle with my art cohorts to visit the library, some galleries, a book dealer, and some museums, so no printing then. And Anne's supposed to take them with her when she leaves to install the show on...the 21st, I think? Ack!

Website updates

Portland Open Studios homepage has the new 2009 application information up. I still have more changes to make (Powell's partner program link, Amazon partner program link), and I'm having a hard time deciding how to go about cramming all those things in on the front page.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Goofing off

After I finally got my boxes off to UPS yesterday afternoon, I took the rest of the day off, and then proceeded to do not much today too. Met with some friends for lunch, which was fun, and then spent a considerable amount of time at the Goodwill. I actually had things that I was looking for—some dinner dishes and bowls, cause I'm gonna have more visitors this summer; and a large purse with a long strap that I could wear across my shoulder. The big black purse Sundry sent me has gone to Taiwan with my sister, and I've been using the one she left behind instead. It's actually not a bad purse, but the strap is just a wee bit short and I find it difficult to get it on and off across my shoulder. And it's short enough that I have a hard time unzipping it when I'm wearing it. And with gloves on, it's even more frustrating.

Anyhow, I found 3 dinner plates to add to my stash; I'll probably get a couple more before my visitors come this summer. Unfortunately, I didn't find just quite the right bag.

But I tell you, goofing off just isn't what it used to be—the whole time I was thinking, I really should be working on my text for the game.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Finally, something to show

As always, it's the last minute push to get something done right before the deadline, and in this case, it's the game board, which I was supposed to have shipped out this morning. As you can tell, I didn't make it. But it will ship out tomorrow, which will still get there in plenty of time, so I'm not too worried.

However, I'm just not that happy with it:

And here's a detail of one of the 6 eyes:

I am going to ship it out as is though, since I'm not coming up with solutions to my problems. I'll probably work on it some more when it comes back.

I was up until 2:30am last night trying to finish it, but didn't make it. Finally finished it tonight. That's just the board part. I still have to gocco up the 6 sets of cards that go on the board and also the 4 'fortunes'. Those Anne can take with her, so I have another 10 days to complete those.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Meetings and more meetings

Wow, I didn't realize how many meetings I've had in these last 3 days until I just looked at my calendar. Plus other meeting related activity, like finally doing up the Portland Open Studios minutes tonight, which took me 3 hours. I record those meetings so that I can fully participate, but then I get to live through the meeting all over again by listening to the recording in order to type up the minutes.

Some of the meetings were really just for fun and socialization with other artists, or a combination of work and fun, and others were pure work. And I'm glad I finally got the minutes done, it was 2 weeks over due.

But anyhow, the upshot is that I haven't gotten terribly much done in the studio in the last few days. I did install some shelves today in the studio though. Now that I've looked at the wall mounted shelving at both Storables and Lowe's, it's definitely A LOT cheaper at Lowe's (like by about 1/2), although the choices are more limited, but who's studio furniture!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

"Prosperity Soup"

That's the temporary title for the piece I'm exchanging with Artist X tomorrow. Actually, we're just exchanging printouts of the images and meeting to talk. I'm still not finished. It's been 2 days of 8 hours of painting each day, my eyes have had it. Images to come, eventually.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Studio remodel, phase I complete!

In the morning, after the rug was removed:

In the evening, after the floor went in:

Several people have been surprised that I chose such a dark color. Well, most light color laminate or wood floors tend to be yellowy, and I'm just not that crazy about a yellow floor. Another corner of the room:

There were a few unexpected hiccups—many of the Pergo boards had slight defects in them! Ugh. I'm not happy about that. So there are 3 boxes of the boards that have been set aside. I'll have to see if I can exchange them. But there's no guarantee that, even if there are more boxes available for me to exchange, they won't have similar defects. Ugh again. I guess I can at least console myself that I did not pay a whole lot for them.

While the floor was being installed, I worked on the painting that I'll be trading with Artist X on Thursday. It's not going so well, and that's all I have to say about it.

Helen came over after dinner and we worked on the banner for the Food Confessional, this is for the Cedar Crest show. At least that's going pretty well. I'll need to get back to the game board really soon now.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Look at this mess

Tomorrow, the floor is going in in the 'new' half, so all the furniture is now in the old half (and the bathroom too):

And here's the big empty room where the kitty can spread out:

Fortunately, I can still find my way to the table where I'm working on my collaboration with Artist X, who shall remain nameless for now, as requested; and also as requested, no images of work in progress. This is important, being able to get to the table, because I hope to be working on it all day tomorrow while the guy's putting in the new floor.

And on the Cedar Crest show—I've been trying to figure out what containers to use to hold the blueberry chips. Finally decided that they have to be clear glass as to not obstruct the painted blueberries. I searched around on ebay for a bit but didn't see just the right things, so I checked out Value Village this afternoon (a thrift shop). And wouldn't you know it, I found 4 little glass cups and a drink 'thingie' (I don't think it's a wine glass, but I don't know what it is).

The 4 little glass cups are kind of in the way of the utensils, so maybe I won't set them on the board itself but rather put them on the sides. No, the board is not finished yet, but I have to finish the painting to trade with Artist X by Thursday, so the game board is on hold until I get the painting done.