We are in the process of clearing out as much of our basement as possible. Why? Well, my wife and I are getting older (and yes, we are all getting older), and would like to limit the number of floors we live in, in our house. The kids are gone, and it's just the two of us ... for now. ;-)
And I had lovely studio setup in our basement; plenty of space and lots of light. Now I'll be sharing a room on the first floor with my wife, a joint studio. I don't mind, but we do have different approaches to studio spaces. We both like lots of room, but whereas my wife appreciates keeping her space tidy, I'm ... well ... rather messy. I see nothing wrong with leaving materials out for a project that's in-progress.
Still, it's very, very nice to be back out of the basement.
P.S. What you see is not my studio.
Friday, September 10, 2010
My wife and I spent a week on Cape Cod, this past summer, in Wellfleet which is full of wonderful galleries and artists. On Saturday nights, most of the galleries are open, often hosting receptions for new shows. As I was walking around the area of town where most of the galleries are, I visited the studios of two artists, Robert Henry and Selina Trieff, husband and wife for almost 50 years.
Most of my visit was with Selina, a frail women with a mind as sharp as can be. Turns out she knew the director of my school's MFA program very well, and had actually been a guest lecturer at my school in the past. She had a marvelous sense of what it meant to create art and even though she was advanced in years and physically impaired, there was a spark in both her eyes and her voice.
Inside the studios were paintings she had been recently working on. Born in Brooklyn in 1934, Selina began her studies at the Art Students League in New York in 1951. Since then, she has created many amazing works. Robert was also born in Brooklyn, in 1933, and received a BA from Brooklyn College. He and I spoke for a short while, partially about a series of monotypes he had created at a recent fundraiser. Three of the series were on the studio's wall.
Both Selina and Robert, though "getting on in years", showed a distinct enthusiasm for life and their work. I only hope I'll have as much "spunk" when I get to their age.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
It seems, that at least for now, I'll be using this blog to mention (briefly) various print artists I run across, mostly surfing the web. Gordon Mortensen is one I discovered when looking for reduction woodcut prints. When I first ran across his work I stared in amazement. I thought, there's no way these can be reduction prints. But, amazingly, they are.
To quote his gallery's website ...
"Gordon Mortensen (b. 1938, American) is one of the best known reduction woodcut print artists working in the U.S today. He works from watercolor studies to understand the color dynamics needed for the woodcut. The artist uses up to sixty-four colors and takes as long as three months to create the woodblock image. Although the final outcome has a painterly feel, it is unmistakably a woodcut with rich layered colors and wood grain textures. His early images mostly represent the upper Midwest landscape, and areas around where he lived in North Dakota. His color preferences in these early works is more muted compared to the brighter colors he favors to present his current home in California."
Think about, folks - sixty-four colors! I mean, most of us would be satisfied with maybe a half dozen colors at best, but sixty-four? No wonder it takes him up to three months to complete a woodcut.
Nevertheless, I do think at some point in my development I will need to attempt this technique. I love color prints, which is why I gravitated towards white line prints. And reduction prints are yet another single block technique for me to try.
BTW, the gallery's website is http://www.davidsongalleries.com/artists/mortensen/mortensen.php.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Ran across a new artist, at least new for me - Kathryn Lee Smith. She creates wonderful white line prints, and also seems to break the rules (as if there ever were any rules).
For example, her print, "Three Poppies", breaks away from the rectangular print style most often seen in these sort of prints, to create a more engaging image. She also plays with the colors in her prints to create various types of shading effects.
I strongly encourage your visiting her website. (http://www.kathrynleesmithwhitelineprints.com/)
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
This was my first attempt at a white line (Provincetown) print. I printed it on Cape Cod a few summers ago. I had brought my watercolor paints with me and decided to give the technique a try. So, I went into the village where we were staying and headed for a local lumber yard. There I picked up some scrap boards and a box cutter. Yep, that's what I used to cut the block. It's amazing what a little ingenuity can yield.
Anyway, I only pulled one print but I think it turned out pretty good. Don't you agree?