Saturday, April 12, 2014

New piece underway.

Film positives on light box.

I've been playing around with sketches and images that deal with "a sense of place".  This particular piece deals with the shore, the open sky, and the tides.

I printed out the film positives this morning and hope to get a plate made before the weekend is over. We'll see what develops.

Day in D.C.

Back of Smithsonian castle.

Washing D.C. is beautiful this time of year. With everything in bloom and warm temperatures, it was a welcome respite from chilly Connecticut where NOTHING is in bloom yet.

As my husband headed off to work, I spent the day enjoying the sights, sunshine and museums. There's always so much to see and with a limited amount of time, I never know where to start.

Sculpture outside the Hirshhorn Museum.

I made the most of the day and managed to pop into the National Gallery, American Art & Portrait Museum, the National Museum of Women in The Arts and a few other galleries before time ran out and I had to head back to the hotel and airport.

I love visiting D.C. and the metro makes it easy to travel around the city quickly.

At home, I'm often comfortably working alone in my studio, easily stuck in a daily routine.

It's definitely beneficial to get out now and then so I'm making a note to take time out to do this kind of thing more often.

Getting Away

Thomas Jefferson statue.
 I had the opportunity to accompany my husband to Washington D.C. for a few days so we took a side trip to Charlottesville, Virginia to visit Thomas Jefferson's plantation home, Monticello. This is something we had always talked about doing and it was a great way to break out of our daily routine.

As we made our way through the visitor center and approached the boarding area for the shuttle bus to the top of the hill, we were greeted  by a likeness of Mr. Jefferson, standing in the rain.  Fog hung over the Blue Ridge mountains in the distance.

The home sat proudly on the hilltop and a long sweeping driveway deposited us to a brick pathway that lead to the front door.

We had a behind the scenes tour and our informative guide lead us on a two-hour exploration from attic to basement. It was fascinating to see how Jefferson designed and developed his home over the years and nice to see it so well taken care of today.

Front of Monticello

Back of the house.

The back of the home showcases the dome (an architectural feature Jefferson was very fond of) and is most familiar to everyone as the image depicted on the back of the nickel coin. The dome, an impressive yellow room with large round windows and an oculus was the only interior space where we were permitted to take photographs.

I would have loved to take the garden and slave tours that were offered and then walk through the grounds back down the hill, but the steady, cold rain really put a damper on any outside activities.

Jefferson's grave site.
On our ride down the mountain, we passed Jefferson's grave site and family burial grounds.

Even though the weather was less than perfect, it was a wonderful day trip and I look forward to possibly going back one day for a tour of the grounds.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Finally Finished!

Second Skin

Today I managed to complete my edition for the Printmakers' Network's upcoming portfolio entitled Print Cubed.  In addition to the initial printing of the three individual plates, each print then had to be machined stitched together to create the required 6"x18" format. Next, watercolor was added to accent the ribbons, the prints carefully trimmed and folded into thirds, holes punched into the image and finally a couple of metal eyelets applied.

Ready for the finishing touches.
Each step along the way, thirty-six plus times, is pretty time consuming and I often asked myself, "Why did I make this piece so complex?" My husband's reply to that was, "Because you could." (Ha, ha.)

Cut into print.
Back of print.
Anyway, today was dedicated to adding the finishing touches. First I cut away a few areas along the top edge of the print because I liked the idea of breaking up the long edge.

Punching Holes.


After punching holes in a few areas of the image, I added a couple of silver grommets, as accents.

Punch, grommets, and tools.

The completed prints were signed, carefully folded with interleaving and stacked. Counting them more than once, to be sure I had the required amount, I placed them in my book press for safe keeping and to keep them flat.

It wasn't easy completing the edition of 36. It seems like I was at it for a long time; probably because I was! You know how life's interruptions can cut into studio time but you just need to work when you can and try to keep the creative energy going. I will say, it sure feels good to have this project behind me!
As to my life's current interruptions; while on maternity leave, my daughter is in the process of completing a couple of administrative courses so I've been traveling to Boston each week to help out with Scarlett (7 weeks) and Phineas (2). The joys of being a grandma!!!

Very precious "interruptions".