Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bird Clock Silk Screening!

I've been busy in the studio adding to my bird clock line.  I'm pretty excited about the results!  Silk Screening in this fashion is very similar to mono printing in results, and I absolutely love the way mono prints look.  I cant deny it, I'm a printmaker at heart.
There are a few more to come, like the King Fisher and the Phoebe, they are sitting on my workbench right now patiently waiting for me to get home to take pictures. 
Let me know what you think!

Cork numbers are fabulous, but a pain to cut on my new machine.

Nothing like shiny silver numbers for the king of thieves!

The cork was too  much of a pain to cut so I switched to copper vinyl covered board. 

I have a lot of trouble getting the dark blue to capture correctly.  Need more camera experience.

Shinny black numbers for this appropriately colored Red Robbin clock!
With each screen I print I'm getting better and better results.  Silk Screening is truly a fun process. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mothers Day Art and Craft Show

Check me out at this event.  It's the same day as Harbor Days in Downtown Olympia so make a couple of stops for local arts!

Monday, March 28, 2011

NW Art and Fine Craft Show

Homework for this weekend was to investigate the Northwest Art Alliance 23rd annual Spring Best of the Northwest art and fine craft show.  I kidnapped a couple of my good friends and headed to Seattle to check this even out.  I call this homework because I am investigating events I am interested in showing in.  It’s hard to say what kind of arts & craft are at these shows.  Sometimes it’s fun unique modern arts and crafts and other times it’s knitting and soap making. 

I was pleased to discover this even was one of the fun modern and absolutely beautiful arts and craft shows.  I could have spent some serious dollars there if I didn’t have any self control.   As is I was very tempted to purchase this cleaver moon pin that I fell in love with.  I will have to nudge someone about this item for my birthday this year.

I talked to many of the vendors, they were all very nice and willing to tell me about their experience with this particular show.  From what I was told it was a brand new director this year and they were doing an outstanding job.  Everything was well organized and the people were easy to communicate with.  I asked about the fall show and discovered that it’s a different location, also a brand new location as of last fall but usually draws just as big of a crowd.

My friends and I showed up in the afternoon and am glad we did so because we were told there was quite a line to get in that morning.  If you were one of the artists I talked to I’d like to thank you for your encouragement you have given me.

Not only did I talk to artist, but I spent some time talking to a group who has just launched a new online marketplace called Meylah.  They are based out of Seattle which is nice compared to the East coast based Etsy.  I will have to dive into their site for homework today, and perhaps I can report on that tomorrow. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Fish Story

The first story from Yukon I have to tell is about the fish that was suppose to be my dinner.

The first year Dad and I went up north we found our road and followed if off the highway to the river that had washed the road out.  
"We were there on the rode up to are clame (claim) but, we were up about 2 1/2 miles and the river had cut the rode (road) of from the flude (flood)." (July 12, 1992 )
We were already a solid two hours from the tiny little town of Watson Lake, the town of the sign post. 

We made camp at the end of the washed out road and forged our own road back to the claim.  I road my bmx the first year and dad the Trail 90.  The second year I got my own motor bike so I could keep up with him.
Every night I would try my hand at fishing with my little compact fold up pole. I knew there was this giant fish in that hole because I would occasionally see him, but never got anything past a nibble.  I wanted to eat that fish for dinner.  I wanted Dad to be proud of me.
Half way through summer we had stumbled upon some abandoned trapper cabins and decided to relocated camp there to be more comfortable.  On the day we packed up I had done my part and was waiting around for Dad to finish so I grabbed my pole for one last hopefully whack, at that fish.  I was out there for a good amount of time before Dad hollered at me to load up.  By that time I was so frustrated with that dam fish that on my very last cast I reeled it in as fast as I possibly could.  And then something miraculous happened.  That fish jumped completely out of the water over my line and then vanished back into the water.  My would be dinner had mocked me. 
I loved my Garfield.
If it wasn’t for the fact that I caught the biggest fish at the next camp I would have abandoned fishing entirely after that summer.

"Today are traler brok (trailer broke) down.  But dad siad , "Don't worry I'll fix it."  And he did. (Aug. 15th 1992)
My dad next to a sign on the highway as we traveled north.  My family name is Hyde.
The truck and trailer in the background was our home and work horse for those two summers.

The view of the washed out river bank from the window over my bed.
I used a brief case that summer for my books and my art supplies.
The land where the sun never went down.
I took a lot of pictures that summer.  But by the time I got home in September to develop it, the film had been destroyed.  What I lacked in photos I made up for in drawings, I just have to find that folder.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Excitement

I finished all my printing last night.  Both experimental printing and a couple editions I've been working pretty consistently these last two weeks to finish.
The one print I've been posting about sure has brought me a lot of insight.  Something I'm grateful for as I start to reorganize my studio life and delve deeper into art as business.

I feel great, and after I spend this weekend organizing my studio and the house, I'm diving right in to make clocks!
I've been getting materials lined up and prepped for some new clocks that have been in the works.  I will finally have time next week to produce these new clocks!  Yay!

Wish me luck!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Finished Dandelion Print

I did a bit of printing last night and I am happy with the outcome of my color choices on this particular print.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

The Borrowers as my Insperation

Just last night I finally printed a block I’ve been working on for some time.  In the midst of carving this block I was hit with several ideas.  The tile was the first idea; I decided I will name it The Borrowers.  I don’t know much about the books anymore, but as I child in the 80’s I had a few of these books and I remember having a copy of the animated movie recorded on VHS.  After I thought of the name, there was no other option, it’s too perfect. 
Fresh from the press as of last night.

This led me to start thinking about where my inspiration comes from.  I never gave it much though, in fact I would usually blow the question off stating something like; inspiration comes from wherever I may be.  But after some careful examination of my work I can pinpoint patterns in my inspiration and most of it comes from the carefree days of being a kid.  The rest of it comes from some very interesting and unusual adventures I participated in as a child, teenager and young adult.

When I was 15 I skipped across country with some friends of mine.  At the time I knew I was putting myself in danger, but I wanted to have adventures.  I felt like I was a boring, vanilla girl.  (Don’t get me wrong, vanilla is my favorite ice cream, I like it so I can spiff it up with other toppings)  I wanted to be an interesting person who could tell all sorts of stories and that people would remember.  I also wanted a change of scenery.  So I hopped in an old Volkswagen Van with some friends and went to New Mexico.  

I met a lot of new people and did some great art with some oil pastels and colored pencils I took with me.  Some of the people I ended up living with that summer became intrigued by my drawings and began to ask those silly inspiration questions.  I didn’t give their questions much though before dismissing them as my usual.  One day one of the fellas that always hung around started to talk about how he longed to go north to the Alaska/Yukon area.  And that’s when it happened.

I simply told them I spent a good amount of time up there.  All of a sudden everyone wanted to know my story.  Up until that point I thought it was just a silly, unrelated event from my childhood.  That summer in New Mexico I realized I had been more places than many people my age.  Hell, my childhood stuffed animal Pancake Popple had been more places than most people my age.  Between growing up military, moving around Europe, having a father that believed in getting rich quick, and gold mining up in Yukon I had a very adventurous childhood.

Standing on the front porch of a hippy house in New Mexico hundreds of miles away from my parents disapproving eyes, I realized why I skipped town against their orders.  I was looking for what I was use to having, adventure.

It wasn’t until many years later, back in Washington, attending college that I started to delve into the stories I accumulated up in Yukon.  I even went back to the journal I wrote in every night.   Journals are amazing, I am always flabbergasted at the things I wrote and I don’t remember.  I even have some drawings from those adventures I’ll have to dig up when I begin to share these stories.
But first I have to dig up my prints and writing I did back in college.   

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Studio Possibilities

I love my husband.  I know he has ulterior motives, but I don’t care. 
This last weekend he put more lighting up in my studio and we traded all the bulbs out for natural light bulbs.  WOW! I can see!
I mentioned what a huge difference it would be if I painted the walls white, or some light color compared to the ugly dark fake wood paneling that exists already.  Without missing a beat he agreed to it but not just painting.  He suggested tearing down all the paneling and putting sheet rock up.  He is slowly redoing all the wiring in the house.  The studio has been on his list, but he treads softly because I have made it pretty clear how I feel about my space.  So he jumped real high when the window of opportunity opened.  He even suggested we do it right after Olympia Arts Walk, since that is the next adventure I’m gearing up for.
before additional lighting
From there my mind just went a million miles a minute.  I could then build a better work bench, put cupboards in and get rid of the nasty tiles on the ceiling!  It took awhile before I could force myself to concentrate on the block I was carving.
after lighting was installed 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Little Things

I have recently added a piece of high tech equipment to my studio.  I bought this piece of equipment to help me stream line and perfect the little things in my art and projects.  I have found that in life if you pay attention to the all the little things, the bigger picture lines up a bit straighter.  I’m hoping this idea transfers into my arts and crafts.  The biggest little thing is numbers for my clocks.  So far I have a great start, especially for still being in the learning stage of this machine.  But there are a couple of things I’ve learned so far that has changed my project outline.    

Lesson #1
Fun foam is a witch to cut.  You have to have an extremely sticky mat, and even then the pressure from the wheels makes it bow.  The physical attributes of fun foam is stretchy and flexible, and any intricate cuts end up jagged.  I still managed to get some usable cuts, but I will be searching for an alternative material for the application I am striving for.
Even with all the trouble I had cutting fun foam, I still managed to put something together.  Don't think I'll use it again.  This clock may end up in the seconds box.

Love the way the cork turned out.  Still needs some fine tuning, not bad for the first try though.

Lesson #2
When importing an image from a program like Corel, make sure you cut through the color select tool or have your background translucent to begin with.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Update on Dandelion Block

Just about done with my block I decided to carve on a whim.  I should do more blocks on whim.  They turn out really fun.
Click here to see the original post.

This was the last block I did on a whim as a demo years ago.  With a little bit of water color it has been a  success.

Starting to carve on the block I've been planing for awhile.  I feel I've already screwed up.  I get trigger happy.  I'll find a way to fix it though.

My Book Wish List

Bellow are a few books that I've had my eye on lately.
I have a shelf full of art books that I will weed out this spring for the Artist Garage Sale.  Many of the art books I have I never use anymore, I've simply outgrown them.  The only reason to hang onto them would be for teaching purposes, so I will have to make some decisions about which ones to sell.  Depending on how well my old unused books move at the Artist Garage Sale, I might invest in books listed below.

New Acrylics: Essential Source Book
By: Rheni Tauchid
I've had the pleasure of reading through this book pretty extensively when I was working in art retail many years ago.  I fell in love with it then and should have bought a copy but didn't.  There is now a new version out that I have not had a look at.  If it's anything like the first, I highly recommended it.
This book looks at all the mediums available for acrylics, and the possibilities.  For example all the sculpture techniques, transferring mediums, glazes, and so much more.  I learned how to use absorbent ground to prep canvas or any surface to accept water color.  Or how to pour acrylics into sheets to cut up for mosaic application.

The Printmaking Bible
By: Ann d’Arcy Hughes and Hebe Vernon-Morris
The second book on my list I have also had the pleasure of thumbing through although not so extensively.  I found it at an art store in Portland, and once again I should have bought it but didn't.  This book tells you everything you would want to know about printmaking processes.  It's a great resource to refresh skills and learn new skills.  I would like this book as a reference as I start to expand my printing techniques and look at inviting people to my studio for lessons and demos.

By: Cathy A. Malchiodi

The third book I have on my wish list is for my own learning.  It's an art therapy book.  Once upon a time I played with the idea of going into this field.  I don't know if I could be a psychologist on any level though.  I expect too much from people, and this makes me awfully grumpy.  But I am a firm believer that anyone can do art, and that art can have healing, eye opening effects on the creator.  I would like to learn more about this subject and this book seems to be recommended all across the field.  That and there is a whole section of different activities.
On a side note of this subject, I truly dislike when people dig too deep into a meaning of a painting/print.  I've run across people who think they have me pegged from one picture and try to analyze me.  This makes me very grumpy.  Perhaps the image was telling a story of someone else and has no relation to me.  Or perhaps I just wanted to vent.  Sometimes a picture is just a picture, and has no hidden agenda.