Thursday, February 13, 2020

The First Batch

   I'm so proud of these guys. These are three of the images made by my students that I'm planning to send in for publication of the program for The Journey of Harriet event in March. The top one is by Jesse, the middle one by Dex and the last one by Haley. 
   So, even though I only get to walk by my painting and rub the belly of the mama like she was a lucky Buddha, it's all good.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

The Logic of Stencils

   For the Harriet Tubman Project, my classes are designing silhouettes based on the life story of HT. My intention is to have them design their images as stencils, and then we will print them on boards.  
      We have a wonderful new machine that will cut the stencils for us; the Silhouette Cameo 3. There is a bit of a learning curve to make it work, both in the design process and in learning how to use the machine, but we are all making progress.
    On the left is a double sized cut from one of my students' thumbnails from last class, and on the right is one of my own images.
    The student's work is pretty close. It has some design issues and it needs to be blown up and cleaned up, but this one gives me hope that this will actually work.
    I'm counting my image a success as well, even though instead of a silhouette, it is a line drawing/cut, and I lost some areas during the process. But, I'm really impressed with how fine the lines are, and it would just take another session of making the image fit the logic of stencils  (all negative areas have to connect somehow; no islands!) to make it work. Also, next time I might make the lines cut a little thicker. Right now, I'm not so sure the ink/paint will have enough of an opening to make a mark in some areas.
    Tomorrow, I'll try to print both of them a la poupee, which means dabbing the paint into the openings of the stencil.
    I will confess that it's a bit of a relief to get this far with this much success.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Scored a Couple of Gigs For My Students

   A few days ago I mentioned that my students will be making silhouettes with Harriet Tubman as the subject. I found out this week that their work will be part of the printed program for the Harriet Tubman event we are preparing for, and will also be used in a couple of ways during the She Persisted exhibit next fall, in honor of the anniversary of the 19th Amendment. We have a lot of work to do, but we are going to hit the ground running and do our best. We are very lucky to have this opportunity. I will post our progress.

Some Changes

   I'm not sure what came over me, but after all that time being happy with the mother having no face, I decided to add one after all. I've flipped back and for between this image and the last one I posted (there were quite a few intermediate versions) and I'm still not sure which one I like best.
     This is in a bit of a tricky spot, because I don't have a direct reference shot for the top third of the painting. I don't mind winging, but I worry that the styles between the two parts won't match.
      I also don't exactly know what the man will look like yet, either. But, I'm making progress, one session at a time.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020


   Well, I'm back at school, but I am trying to fit some easel time in when I can. Yesterday, I was able to work for almost 20 minutes. It doesn't sound like a lot, but it was enough to settle myself and also to work on refining the shadows in the pregnancy painting. There is a lot of paperwork to do in the first week of the semester, so I'm hoping I will get more time on a regular basis. I think I will.
    In the meantime, my classes are doing a project based on the life of Harriet Tubman, a conductor on the Underground Railroad. Tubman escaped to freedom herself, and then went back to the plantations many times to help others escape. She also worked as a spy for the Union during the Civil War, as well as having duties as a nurse and a cook. She topped off her career with work as a suffragette and helped bring the 19th Amendment into being. My community and school are focusing on Tubman as part of the centennial celebration of the 19th Amendment. My students will be making silhouettes with Tubman as the subject. We are just getting started, but I will share their progress as it happens.
     In other news, litho is stalled, because Graphic Chemical has still not sent the very stiff Senefelder's ink that I ordered way back in November. We are stuck without it. I've called and inquired again, but I'm just about ready to cancel the order and get it from Takach.  I'd hate to do that, but I don't want to wait too much longer to print. I'm worried I will forget something about the process!

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Making hay

I'm trying to fit in as many sessions as I can, because Monday, school starts. There are lots of projects cooking, and I'm worried that this work will probably start to take a back seat to everything else. It's time to make hay while the sun shines, I guess.
   Every time I sit down to work, I'm reminded of how much of my process depends on drawing. That isn't the only way to make paintings, but it's the way that works for me. 
   Next up, I'll focus on the mom's neck area and her left hand. And then I think I'll be just about ready to let the paint get a little fatter.