Extinction Rebellion-The Climate Emergency

So I have been thinking about Climate Change and Greta and why we as humans are so reluctant to do anything to stop the climate crises from becoming a humanitarian night mare for our planet. I also was introduced to reductive wood cutting by Chris Wallace at Maud Morgan and have been intrigued by the potential of it to help me with my imagery. I do love printing. So this summer was all about exploring reductive wood cutting and an image that I feel captures my emotions about climate change. The image was inspired by a fresco we saw at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from around the time of Pompei.

From the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/247006?&searchField=All&sortBy=Relevance&ft=Globe+fresco&offset=0&rpp=20&pos=2

From the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/247006?&searchField=All&sortBy=Relevance&ft=Globe+fresco&offset=0&rpp=20&pos=2

First attempt at Reductive Wood Cut Print

First attempt at Reductive Wood Cut Print

Second attempt (on Right)-had trouble with wood splitting. And Third and final attempt for the summer

Second attempt (on Right)-had trouble with wood splitting. And Third and final attempt for the summer

I like the group better than I like one individual print.

I like the group better than I like one individual print.

I did a drypoint workshop at Harvard Art Museum’s Material Lab and made this thinking about my reductive wood prints.

I did a drypoint workshop at Harvard Art Museum’s Material Lab and made this thinking about my reductive wood prints.

What happened next

What happened next

After doing the collages I decided to challenge myself to paint from them just to see what happened and in hope that I might have an artistic break through. I started with some very small watercolor sheets of paper (6”x8”) and made a series of four acrylic paintings using the thin liquid golden paints I had lying around. The result was exciting. My fellow artists were enthusiastic about them saying they reminded them of fairy tales and I myself loved the way they captured so much of what I love about vintage golden books. So then I challenged myself to get bigger but not by much. These two sheets are 9” x 12”. And admittedly I worked as much from the Breugel reproduction as I did from my own collages. But I feel the work is finally going somewhere. I am not sure where I am going but at least I am enjoying the journey and this in turn makes me want to be in the studio, which is a shift from where I have been where I was finding any excuse I could to avoid the studio on days when I was not meeting up with a fellow artist. I do think I need to think about switching to a nice smooth large gessoed board and using better brushes is in order.

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Collage

Collage

All spring I have found myself "stuck" artistically.  I miss not being in Joel's drawing group and was feeling a bit of ennui about contemporary art I was seeing.  I returned to Bernini's clay sketches of Angels at Harvard Art Museum and forced myself to draw and redo exercises I have been taught over the years by various teachers.  Then a week ago Sally Casper and I started doing collage at Turtle studio and I chose to use a large reproduction of Breugel's Fallen Angels painting as a starting point for my composition.  I had to have an imaginary "teacher" on my shoulder telling me to stick to large blocks of color and to not get fussy or tight.   Interestingly my collage bag has the remnants of many old golden books that I have used over the years for collage.  I have a love affair with the palette of old golden books and have often used them in my collage work.  Somehow the children's book fairy tale theme and palette made their way into these collages.  

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Attack!!!

Attack!!!

I am not sure how I feel about this drawing.  I think I would like to see the range of grays pushed more in it.  But I do love the chaos and the variety of spaces created by this tangle of tools.

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Monoprint Workshop

Monoprint Workshop

The saw edge occurred because I used a rough bristle brush and painted around the edge of the saw with a clear mixture of oil and setswell.  the Hammer repeats were done using Joel's vicosity technique.

 

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Four sheets One Still Life

Four sheets One Still Life

In Joel Janowitz's drawing group we worked for a second week on doing multiple drawings.  I once again set up a still life with tools on the table.  Instead of jumping into using ink right away Joel suggested I block each of the sheets out with pencil.  That was wise because when I did go in with the ink I was able to make decisions about the range of washes I would use to bring together the whole piece.  I ended up loving the fan in this drawing and also the clamp that holds the two pieces of paper together.  More ideas to pursue when working on my own.

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Back in the Studio

Back in the Studio

Because of the wrist fracture and then our daughter's wedding I had not been in the studio (except for Joel Janowitz's drawing group) in months.  Deciding to go in and work was daunting and I immediately felt myself tightening up.  So I tried my best to repeat a mantra I have heard from so many other artists:  Just create and don't worry about the outcome.

And so I decided to just draw a dustpan and broom and not worry if I liked it or not.  I drew with ink so I could not get fussy or erase.  I listened to bad 80s music and at the end of the day I left feeling eager to return, which was the only goal for my going that day. 

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