Each year, during the block printing lesson, I make a new image for my demonstrations so I don’t up pulling the same prints. This time, I was less prepared with my imagery, so I did a quick sketch of my kiddos while they worked (well, at least one of them. The other was daydreaming so I made him stay super still while I drew) Although there a few more chunks missing from it than I would like, I like how it turned out overall.
Kiki Smith Birds with Stars & Satomi Kawakita star earrings
Yay! So happy that Soixante Neuf, a comics inspired by Serge Gainsbourg and written by our dear friend Mairead (drawn by David Lansky) was included in this year’s Best American Comics. It got a nice review here. Congrats & happy birthday :)
Cover by Jillian Tamaki.
We took a break from cleaning to view Seeing Stars at the Menil this weekend. I thought this section from the exhibit catalog was a good intro to the show:
The exhibition’s title, taken from the familiar experience of “seeing stars” refers to the physiological anomaly in which the stimulation of the retina by the brain creates the illusion of flashes of light, colors and shapes. Evoking this phenomenon, the works on view suggest that creative vision is perhaps most interesting when one’s eyes are shut to the outside world and inspiration is allowed to well from within.
The room was dimly lit, I’m guessing because with a lot of outsider work they wasn’t archival? Upon entering, I was excited to see a Henry Darger piece in person (a huge 9-foot scroll), but around the wall was the highlight for me, works by Charles A.A. Dellschau, an outsiders artist whose work was discovered in a landfill by a furniture dealer, lost under carpets, and then found by a student at St. Thomas. His combined so much of my favorite things: circus-inspired letter and imagery, watercolor and collage, secret societies, and a fascination with early flight. Read more here.
My other favorite pieces were tattoo drawings by I.E. Requier that also had a touch of circus imagery. Unfortunately, I can’t find anything about the artist online and photos were prohibited at the Menil. I need to remember to go back a few more times before the show ends!
Guess who? I always find BJ’s sketches of different figures laying around the house – and always on the back of articles/scraps. This one was on the closet floor, staring up at me when I flipped the lights. I wonder if I can convince him to do these in a sketchbook so I don’t miss any of them.
I love when people share their process. Sometimes it’s a struggle for my kids to generate multiple, different ideas for a project and it helps when they see professionals do it too. These book cover thumbnails from some of my favorite illustrators are just as good as the final images themselves.
Josh Cochran for The Borrower
Christopher Silas Neal for May B
I’m pretty sad this summer is coming to a close. For the first time in a while, things were wonderfully uneventful—no graduations, no moving trucks, no wedding planning, etc.—so the slow pace took some getting used to. As a teacher, I usually get up at 5:45, then I’ll get home between 4-5, and afterward I do some grading/planning in the evening. So, when my day isn’t crammed with things to do, I feel like I’ve been unproductive. I know, a little crazy. It took some adjusting, but I’m so grateful for the chance to travel, see family, celebrate other people’s weddings, and have some lazy days watching shows on Hulu. These past two months flew by, and this weekend will be my last “free” for a while.
Visiting Installations Antiques has been on my to-do list for some time. Located just a few blocks away in a former textile factory, it’s a hidden treasure. Before we stopped by, we had a hearty brunch next door at Krafts’men Baking. I’m pretty sure my jaw fell wide open the moment we walked into Installations. The quantity of unexpected and beautiful things just overwhelms you. We met one of the owners and her down-to-earth warmth made you feel at home, like you were a friend and not merely a customer. I couldn’t stop thinking about all the unique antiques, furniture, and trinkets they had (and staged so beautifully) in the rooms.
I left with some canning jars from Germany to store supplies, but this flat file is the first thing I’ll buy when my pockets deepen.
We finally updated our neglected etsy shop. Like I mentioned before, I tend to start up a lot of projects and hoard them. Right now I have work from this summer and a little before that, but hopefully BJ will have things as well. I still feel like my work continue to evolve and change, and the shop will probably reflect that. Shoot me a message if ya’ll have any questions!
I’ve been working on some new still lifes with objects around the house. Growing up, my friend compared our big family to bunnies so I’ve always had a soft spot for them (except the ones with the red eyes).
These are from yesterdays workshop. I actually like the plate on it’s own, especially the shiny duct tape, although I’m sure it will discolor over time. I have a bad habit of picking up new mediums and projects and forgetting about the ones that still need to be finished. So although, my first time with collograph was years ago at a summer session in Ox-Bow, I’m glad I got the chance to do it again. This time around, I really learned how everyday objects such as mailing tape, sandpaper, painter’s tape, etc. could produce a rich and wide range of texture and tones. And since there’s a new print shop that opened down the street- I really have no excuse not to continue working on some new plate.