Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Woodcut class done, and so's my dancer.

Last night of my class with Richard Tetrault.  I laid down the final plate on this little reduction print, so her legs are no longer disembodied. I ended up with 6 of these. There are lots of things I think I'd like to do a little differently on a print like this, but hey, that's what classes are for, right?  Not just for what you can get done during a few sessions but how it affects what you want to do after. The class filled me with ideas of other things I want to try too; like jigsaw prints and more gradiated or ombré type rainbow inking ideas.   I will definitely go back for more. 

A big bonus is getting to know some other printmakers. It was a really great and talented group. I learned something from everyone there. Here's a shot of all of our prints from tonight 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Go Canada! (... But I'm off to Italy!)

Yes, I'm really off to Italy for an art adventure!  I'm so excited. This is the first page of the sketchbook I'll be taking with me on my trip.  I actually do have a birthmark in the shape of Italy on my calf. And, I've been told not once but twice by psychics that I have to go live there one day.  Not that I put much merit on a psychic reading, but in this case they happen to support my impulse quite nicely. 

Arte Ginestrelle in Monte Subasio invites artists to apply for a one month residency to work on a creative project. They host 5-8 artists at a time, all sharing space but doing their own thing. I applied and got accepted last fall for 2014, but didn't really know if I'd be able to make it work. Once I decided I really wanted to go, I wanted to go right now!  They said I could wait until May and stay for the whole month, or they could squeeze me in between other groups for two weeks in March.  Since 'wait' is not in my vocabulary in any language, I decided to take them up on the now idea.  I did a quick trip to the passport office for a renewal, bought a ticket with my points, went to the art store to load up on my fave supplies and now all that's left is the packing. I'd already been studying italian for a couple of months with Rosetta Stone.  Now I'm ready to take my new language skills for a test drive.  

My plan is to fill my sketchbook in Rome and Perugia, then once I'm tucked in up in Monte Subasio I'll transfer my sketches to linoleum, carve them and do some hand printing and painting there.  When I was booking,places to stay outside of the residency I stumbled on an opportunity to join in an international cultural exchange for my final week in Italy. It's on the amalfi coast; a place I've always dreamed of going to paint.  I love it when a dream comes together like that.  


Monday, February 17, 2014

Dr Sketchy in reduction print - in progress


My last trip to Dr Sketchy left me feeling like I was 'off' drawing-wise. I just couldn't concentrate, so I stashed the drawings and forgot about them. 
Then I needed a subject for a reduction print for my printmaking class. I tried laying out a drawing of the Paris rooftops from my sketchbook. By the time I mapped it all out it was way too complicated for the class. Then I tried a simpler subject; the signage from the old Seymour Billards that so intrigued me when I was little. Also ended up being too complicated. I'll save them both for future printmaking sessions, but I needed something dead simple; a few lines and max three colors. I picked up my ditched drawings and composed this sketch.  Only one more plate to do.  Makes me want to dig out the sketches from my other dr sketchy sessions and try some more of these. 

Here are the other two layouts. Once I know a little more what I'm doing with reduction cuts I'll definitely attempt them. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Vancouver Urban Sketchers at Canada Place

How to spend a perfect rainy Vancouver day?
1.  Take the Skytrain to Waterfront 

2.  Buy a Japadog from the cart outside the train station (if you don't know what that is, come to Vancouver immediately and get one. It's a game changer)
3.  Eat it on the run, dodging raindrops and the pokey bits from other peoples umbrellas
2. Meet up with the Vancouver Urban Sketchers meetup group 

3.  While away a couple of hours curled up in a pub with an old friend from college (hi Inez) sketching the soggy blend of grays that is the convemtion centre. 

4. and this is the best part:  Get together at the end with the whole group and see everyone's sketches.  

It was an awesom array of scenes in different mediums that collectively told a story better than any one image could.  There were lots of us, maybe 20 sketchers, and the range of styles and choice of subject matter was interesting. Wish I'd taken a picture of all the sketchbooks together. And, it's just fun to be around other creative types. Very inspiring all around.  A big thanks to the organizers, like Sigrid, who make it all happen. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Two new prints and a big sale!

A big thank you to Ali at Zientte in Gastown, who sold the whole gallery of 14 pieces she displayed in her shop to a single buyer!  I'm framing them now and will drop them off in the next few days. I hope I get a chance to see them all hanging together in their new home at some point. Here are a couple of newer ones that didn't make the blog earlier, but are part of that gallery.   

I did this cut if the Hollywood Theatre on Broadway just after my show in September. It's such a classic part if Vancouvers past, and hopefully its future as well. There's a 'Save The Hollywood' coalition that's working hard to keep it alive, unlike the Ridge Theatre in my 'Midnight Showing' print, which is already gonzo. So sad. I'm glad there are people out there who care about these things and work hard to preserve the cultural fabric of our city. Rock on you protectors of our past!  Hey, if you're one of those people and you're reading this, contact me. I'd be happy to offer up a print from this run if you're doing any fundraising auctions or anything like that. Go heroes!

The other print here was done for the community street banner competition in Deep Cove. I finished it with plenty of time to spare, but the contest required a summer scene and a winter scene, and I honestly have never been there in the winter and have no idea what it looks like, so never finished the second print for the contest. Maybe next year, but I'm glad they inspired me to do this first one.  These little boats are just like the ones Greg and I sailed (and flipped) during our sailing lessons on Lake Okanagan. So fun!

Richard Tetrault, the man who's work first got me interested in making prints, is doing a woodcut workshop at Malaspina right now. Tonight was night two, and we did our first two-plate print.  Im not ready to throw away my stash of linoleum, but so far it's been fun. It's making me want to try all kinds of new things. Pics to come.