This week's Illustration Friday word is Liquid and I'm working on a drawing that would be perfect for that prompt. But these days I work so slowly because of having a newborn baby that there's no way it would be done! So just for the fun of it, here's a print from last year that's full of liquid.
Here's a drawing from my sketchbook that I'm going to turn into a linocut. Lots of places around the country are already in full spring season, but in my town, the early flowers are just starting to bloom. I LOOOOVE spring flowers!
I've also been wanting to do some more decorative pieces, so this one and the next sketch I'm working on have a more decorative flavor. Two of my inspirations in that area are artists Julie Paschkis and Pamela Zagarenski. Check out their gorgeous artwork!
Our baby girl Tessa arrived on April 26th! We got to bring her home yesterday afternoon. We're tired, happy, frustrated, confused, and thrilled! I made this little rubber stamp print about a week before she was born. Here's a photo of the block made from Speedball Speedy Carve.
It's the end of Earth Day- so, actually it's Earth Night! Here's a photo composite image made from a loose stamped and painted piece, and a drawing of stars.
The concepts behind Earth Day are really important to me but I wasn't able to do anything specific to celebrate today. Just dedicating one day a year to the beauty and health of our planet is obviously not enough to make a difference. But wonderful people are making big and small changes to improve our world daily. Knowledge about the health of our planet is so much more detailed now than when I was a kid. In the 1970's I remember my father ranting about people who refused to believe that global warming was a reality. We've come a long way in understanding our impact on our world.
One of my favorite photo books about our planet was published in 1988- amazing that it was that long ago! It's called The Home Planet, edited by Kevin W. Kelley. There are beautiful photos taken from space, but I especially love the quotes by astronauts and cosmonauts. These are emotional statements made by people far from home who were able to look back at the Earth and see it as a whole. The quote in my picture by Edgar Mitchell was taken from this book. I wish someone would make a new version of The Home Planet with new quotes!
Here's the sunshine! This was really fun to put together although I had to rework it because my original layout was too long- you had to practically stand inside the mobile to open the drawers of the dresser. Now it's up and out of the way. I hope it's low enough to catch some sun though the window for the prisms to make rainbows!
And here it is in my studio with my big pregnant belly. My due date is in one week!
I was too busy to work on the mobile for a while, but finally it's coming together! I felt like I was channeling my inner 12-year-old while painting these rainbows. I've painted all the parts for 2 sunshine mobiles and I just started putting one of them together.
Here's my assistant Zoe helping me with the beads and wire. Years ago my mother gave me a bunch of brand new chandelier crystals. I thought it would be fun to incorporate them into the mobile along with other pretty beads. That way we can have real rainbows made by the prisms in addition to my painted rainbow.
A few years ago I made this book about Western Bird's Eggs. I wanted to try making a book with encaustic pages. Encaustic is a wax-based paint and it has to be warm to manipulate it. While painting you usually have puddles or jars of paint on an electric griddle and you can apply it with brushes, pieces of cardboard, palette knives or whatever works. You can carve into the paint, scrape it away, or add other color with oil sticks.
To make these pages I painted on mat board because whatever you are painting on has to be pretty rigid. I didn't want the outside of the book to be waxy, so I painted a sheet of paper with watered-down acrylic paint. I really like how the full sheet of paper turned out but I didn't take a photo of it.
This was a fun experiment for me but not one I tried again. If you want to see beautiful encaustic work, check out my friends' websites:
Laura Wait www.laurawait.com
Susan Thompson www.susanjthompson.com
A loooooooooong time ago when I was 8? 10? I started braiding this rag rug. The cotton gets folded neatly as you braid with little metal cones- these ones were my great grandmother's, I think. Every 5 or 10 years I rediscover it and braid some more. The last time I pulled the rug out I decided to start sewing it together. But I must have been crazy because I made it super long and skinny! In rearranging the house for our baby due soon, I found the rag rug again. But when I laid it out on the floor like this, I decided I need to undo the stitching holding it together and make it a MUCH shorter oval.
So even though I'm still working on the mobile, I've started working on the rug, too. It's a good thing to do when I'm exhausted from the day and I'm sitting on the couch with my husband in front of the TV. I hope to get back to printmaking soon, but in the meantime my other oddball projects sure are fun!
Here's a sneak peek at the next project I'm going to tackle. It's not printmaking or books, but it's going to be a lot of fun! Years ago I got several mobiles started at once, but I only finished one of them- this rainstorm that has been hanging over our couch.
I have parts for two sunshine and two nighttime mobiles that are ready to go. So I'm going to finish a sunshine mobile to hang in my baby girl's room!
I finished my top secret project! It's a sign for my friend Barb Gueldner's office door. Barb is starting her new child psychology practice here in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Her thoughtful husband asked me to make a sign with her name and lots of children posed around it. This is what I came up with.
It's not a linocut! Just pencil and paint. It was challenging going back and forth between the sketch and text printed on the computer. I wound up printing the letters with only a thin outline and painting them with dark blue gouache. And then I painted the people with lighter watercolor. Here's a photo of it part way done.
Today I printed the new linocut of crows carrying stars into the sky. And because the Great Blue Heron print has been selling really well, I also needed to print some more of those. I was hoping they would look good together, and I think they do in their black & white, unpainted versions. I'm looking forward to painting the Crows and seeing how it looks finished!