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Friday, July 1, 2016

Art in Public Schools- Something New and Wonderful is Happening in California

Hi friends!
Yes, I'm alive- just taking an art break!
Here is a really cool article about art in schools! How science is changing the way schools think about art
Enjoy the holiday weekend,

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Making Art Safely in Santa Fe:The Painted Intaglio with Lennox Dunbar

I had the extreme pleasure to finally be able to take a printmaking workshop from Scottish artist Lennox Dunbar in Santa Fe, NM earlier this month. Lennox is a painter and innovative printmaker with a distinctive style. A short bio about Lennox Dunbar is here. 

One of Lennox' prints. This one is called "Wire"and is #4 in an edition of 10. 

Lennox inking a painted intaglio plate
Lennox has invented his own method of non-toxic plate-making, creating a technique that is both intuitive and elegant. His process is easy to grasp if you have knowledge of basic printmaking techniques. That is where it ends though. His way of working and making plates often defies description- it's not a collagraph- these are intaglio plates.  His plates are not assembled from bits glued onto a surface matrix. They are carved, painted, sanded, and cut out. He uses shaped plates like "paint brushes" (his words) and layers plates, colors and images to create rich, textured surfaces. This method of plate making is edition-able, unlike monotypes. Plates can be worked and re-worked, similar to a traditional intaglio plate. You can proof them, see what you have and make changes to the plate.
A collection of some of his shaped plates
Lennox demonstrating how he prints his shaped plates

Oblong shaped plate printed over another shaped plate.
(This print was created for demo purposes and is not finished)

This workshop was all about experimentation, so we made plates with the idea of seeing what would work. We tried different substrates for plates, including PETG plastic and melamine-coated MDF as well as numerous paintable materials for creating a texture that would hold ink. I made step-scale and plates testing different materials on PETG and MDF, made multi-plate prints, made a shaped plate, and learned to incorporate a shaped plate into a printing sequence.
Rough MDF with successive coats of Golden Self-leveling Gel medium. 
I took many videos at this workshop rather than notes, so I will be uploading video to YouTube over the next few weeks. Most are decent, but I'm new to creating, editing, and uploading video made with an iPad, so these are not professional quality! They were made for my own reference and to share with other workshop students, so I will only share a few.  

In the meantime, here are some of my experimental plates I created and printed. Keep in mind that these are not necessarily art; these are prints created from learning a new process.

"Tornado I", 1st state, intaglio print. 

"Tornado I", 2nd state, intaglio print. 

"Tornado I", 3rd state, intaglio. 

I will add more photos soon and video when I'm finished getting it all edited!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The 3 C's of Making Art

The "3 C's" isn't my concept; It's from artist and educator Ron Pokrasso. 

I took a monotype workshop from Ron last year (blog entry here) and was going through my notes again and came across the 3 C's. The 3 C's are really important concepts for any kind of artist (Musicians too), so I thought I would share. 

Ron Pokrasso's 3 C's

  1. Craftsmanship
  2. Content
  3. Composition
1. Craftsmanship.
Craftsmanship is learned. This is how well you can draw, paint, register plates, mix colors, keep your paper free of ink smudges, or hit a drum. It's about technique and honing your craft. Excellent craftsmanship will not make you a great artist but the ease in which you do it will make it easier to become a better artist. Craftsmanship requires discipline and awareness on both a micro and macro level. Craftsmanship can be taught and learned in a classroom but often takes years to really "get" it. Don't let less than stellar craftsmanship hold you back from your Content though since it's often the last of the C's to come forth. 

2. Content
This is who you are. They way you express yourself. What's inside you- your personal vision. Don't worry about what you are "saying" in your work- just put it out there. Oddly enough, it's not the most important of the C's. 

3. Composition
This is what engages the viewer. An art or musical piece will fail if the composition isn't there. Composition trumps the other two C's. "Love" will not make your art better, composition will. Composition can be learned. 

The interesting thing about the 3 C's is that each must be present in order to make a great piece of art. 

A great example of the 3 C's in context is the work of Arizona artist Rose Cabat. There is a retrospective of her work at the Tucson Museum of Art through September- she turned 100 years old this year. Here is another article about her work here. 
She is truly a force of nature. 

From, 6-25-14

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Origami- A Show in New York's Cooper Union

If you happen to be in New York, 

go see this art show- an unusual medium used in unexpected ways. 

Astonishing origami exhibit displays dance of art and science

Story courtesy of CNN

Origami can also be used to make avant-garde fashion creations, such as this one by Czech designer Hana Coufalova.