We Walk Proofs: Day 2

The second block is going to work as the mid-tones, so I am looking to mix a color that is a highlight of the previously printed green. So I use that green as a starting point; one part. To that I add white, initially eight parts, but I woud later add more to get where I wanted to be and the ratio ended up being one to twelve.

Mixed everything up thoroughly and rolled it out… I definitely remember a toothpaste this color when I was a kid.

After an initial print, I once again find a number of areas picking up ink that shouldn’t be. A little more carving and a smaller brayer is a must. I masked off the problem areas to finish the proofs.

Slight aside here, I thought it’d be funny to show off the “studio”. Below is the 4′ x 3′ area that serves as my carving bench, printing/inking table, drawing/design table and recording studio. You learn to make a lot of a little when space is tight!

And so, what this post was really all about and what most of you probably came here to see…

I can’t wait to start working on this edition!

We Walk Proofs: Day 1

I pulled the very first proofs for We Walk over the last two weekends. I ink up and run three sheets of paper when I first proof any newly carved block. The first sheet is always quite weak. The fresh surface of the board is like a sponge and soaks up a lot of ink. The second sheet  always looks better, but still not a truly accurate idea of how the block will print. By the third sheet the block is pretty well “warmed up” and transferring a print  consistently.

With these early proofs, I am looking for a number of things; to see if the colors I have in my mind actually work on paper, if I have registered my two boards properly and if I have missed any areas or left some areas too high while carving. Some sort of minor retooling is usually going to occur after these proofs based on things I learn by making them.

This first block is going to be the shadows and the night sky. I have planned on a deep green for it. The Phthalo Green I am starting with is much more blue than I want, so I start with four parts of that, and add two parts of the yellow leftover from The Lamb and The Goat.

After mixing them together thoroughly I roll a thin coat on some paper to see how it looks.

I like the tone, but it’s much too light, so I add one part black, mix and roll out a thin coat on the paper again. This time it’s right on.

With that done, all there is to do is mask up my edges, roll on my ink and pull up the masking tape.

And… It appears there are quite a few areas picking up ink that shouldn’t be. I will need to do a little more carving, making these areas a bit more shallow. I may also invest in a small two inch brayer to easier ink details too. Regardless, for now, I just have to resort to a Frankenstein’s Monster type of masking job before I ink for the final two proofs.

So, after inking and transferring…

There you have it. The first proof from the first block. Next time, the second block and the finished proof!

We Walk Finished Carvings

The social media experiment is over, and I think it was a success. Thanks to everyone in the Facebook community who followed along each day and as a result caused others to notice and follow along as well. As promised, for those without Facebook, here are the completed blocks.

Below are a slew of detail photos; posted in approximately matching sets as far as what area of the block is captured.







If you missed the background on this project, I posted about it back in August when I first started it. Click here to read that if you’re interested.

I pulled a few proofs from one of the blocks over the weekend, just testing the color and the block. I hope to proof the second block this weekend and then have more pictures up soon after!

We Walk Update, Facebook Scheme and Holiday Design Projects

Big news! The carving is complete on my latest project and I have given it a title as well, We Walk. I am waiting for some more ink to arrive in the mail, but the paper is all cut so I hope to be pulling some proofs soon to get the colors finalized.

I suck at social media  So, starting today I am releasing detail photos of the finished carvings through my Facebook page. Please take a look and hit the “like” button while you’re over there. Two photos will be posted, one from each of the two blocks, each day. The full blocks will be posted on the eighth day revealing the final artwork. Don’t have Facebook?!? It’s cool… Next week I’ll post all photos here too.

In other (old) news I worked on a couple design projects over the holiday season. The first was a redesign of last year’s Krupnik label. This batch was bottled on December 21, 2012 so I couldn’t resist altering the artwork to celebrate the Mayan Apocalypse.

I also worked up a logo and business card layout as a Christmas gift for a friend of a friend. I wasn’t given much to go on, just that the card would be for a woman who makes jewelry from found sea glass, the business name was Sea Saw and that it was a fairly new venture built out of her life-long love of the New England seashore. The logo was designed to feel light and delicate, but still feel hand crafted. The typeface and use of capitalization intentionally suggest a repetitive wave-like pattern. To echo that feeling, I divided the logo from the card information with a stylized wave border. Inspirational acknowledgment and a  big thank you must also go to my friend Ron Henry Wells whose recent work has been so incredible that I just had to steal his waves… kind of.SeaSaw_BC

Art Trip Part Five: Even more Storm King Art Center

OK, I do realize it’s been three months, but I have finally finished going through the Storm King Art Center photos  from this past fall.

At this point we had just walked down the hill from viewing the Wave Field, which is the southern most part of the Art Center. We chose a route back toward the parking area that would take us through the west side of the South Fields that we hadn’t seen on our way in. The first thing we ran into on that route was the Mermaid; a large mast-less boat (almost an oversized canoe) adorned with cartoon style imagery that was instantly recognizable as Roy Lichtenstein. I really love the reflections created by the iconic artwork floating above the lake.
A bit further down the path was a special installation by Spencer Finch called Lunar that was temporarily on display for the Light and Landscape show. It features solar panels that absorb energy from the sun all day. When the sun sets, photo sensors trigger the globe to glow in the same hue and intensity as the full moon (as measured over the city if Chicago). Interesting concept, but i was more interested in it’s resemblance to a classic sci-fi alien craft that secretly touched down in this sleepy Hudson Valley field.
Further on, we were treated to some more Mark Di Suvero works as well as some different views of pieces we had previously seen. Below is Mozart’s Birthday with Mother Peace in the background.
As we climbed Museum Hill, the slight elevation gave way to more sweeping views of the South Fields. Here, Di Suvero’s Mon Pere can be seen with Pyramidian in the background.
Museum Hill turned out to be a celebration of all things Alexander Calder. Black Flag was a fan favorite with our group… although we never did see any evidence of “the bars” despite very careful investigation.
The placement of Five Swords against the rolling hill and fields, with groves of trees behind is the one thousand word picture for me that sums up what Storm King is.
then close by, Gui and The Knobs make you feel like your in a land created by Dr. Seuss.
Some other things on Museum Hill that I really liked were works by Ursula Von Rydingsvard. I was totally unfamiliar with her work, but it looked very cool. Only after I got home and did some research did I find that it is all created using 4×4 cedar beams; textured, shaped and colored so that they look like unnatural rock formations. Now I’m even more impressed. Below are LUBA and For Paul.
After descending Museum Hill, we found ourselves back in The Meadow and finishing our trip to Storm King Art Center right where we started, with Alexander Calder’s The Arch; pictured here with Tal Streeter’s Endless Column living up to its name by splitting the frame.

And that about wraps up the Art Trip. Sure we had another night at the Lazy Meadow that included a pseudo-celebrity sighting at a vegan restaurant in Woodstock and a lost-and-nearly-out-of-gas-on-a-dark-backroad-with-no-civilization type of horror movie moment but sadly I have no photographic evidence of that so it will remain only a story.

All in all, it was nice to get out and see other people’s artwork. Even when it’s totally unrelated to my own, it can be inspirational and motivational. Sometimes I need both. Thanks to Alex and Maren for inviting us. We’re ready for another Art Trip anytime.

Up next… I actually have been working on stuff. Just not posting about it. I should start doing that more.

Art Trip Part Four: More Storm King Art Center

Still working through the Storm KIng pictures. I left off as we were cutting through the South Fields, surrounded by Di Suvero works, so how about another one? Below are a few of Pyramidian. A little further south, and we reached the reason I was told to visit here, the Storm King Wall by Andy Goldsworthy. A stonewall laid carefully by hand and made entirely of rocks pulled from the site. It winds, serpentine and unbelievingly in and out between trees that are only a few feet apart. It’s path takes it down to a small pond where it disappears into the water, only to reappear on the other side where it sheds it’s previous winding nature and dashes straight up the side of a hill to disappear on the other side. Following the Wall up the hill leads to a viewing point for a fairly new installation, the Storm King Wavefield by Maya Lin. A pretty amazing feat of large scale landscaping, especially when viewed from the hill.

Still more to come. I think I should be able to finish up with Storm King with one more post.

Art Trip Part Three: Storm King Art Center

After a good night’s rest at the Lazy Meadow, and a home-cooked breakfast where Alex proved himself to be King of All Homefries, we drove an hour north to Mountainville, NY to visit Storm King Art Center.

Storm King is like nothing I have ever seen before. 500 acres of landscaped meadow and woodland containing an enormous collection of large-scale sculpture. It’s all spaced out beautifully and the landscape is obviously designed with careful attention to best walk the viewer through the many works, most of which allow you to approach closely as well as view from a distance. It’s a lot of walking, but it is well worth it and quite rewarding.

One of the first things we saw as we set out (still trying to orient the map) was Alexander Calder’s The Arch

I got some interesting shots from up close too.

and of course, I just thought Calder’s signature was pretty bad-ass.

My Calder fix satiated for the time being, we continued on through The Meadow (now that we figured out where we were on the map), where we saw Robert Grosvenor’s Untitled. From a distance it had the appearance of a footbridge, but upon approach you realize it is only about one half inch thick.

Next, we walked through the South Field, where many Mark Di Suvero works could be viewed. Pretty incredible sites to be seen too.

A picturesque Hudson Valley meadow suddenly interrupted by Di Suvero’s large, orange, steel I-beam construct called Mother Peace.

Although not orange, Mon Pere is no less impressive

Below are two Di Suvero works, Beethoven’s Quartet in the foreground with Pyramidian in the background.

and a shot underneath Beethoven’s Quartet looking up at what I hope was supposed to be a resonator…

You see, we found a rubber mallet underneath this piece and with it’s name being musically oriented and all, I figured it must be to bang on the metal hanging in the center, right? It didn’t have as much of a ring as I’d hoped. In hindsight who knows… could have just been a lost tool.

A LOT more Storm King pictures coming. I just have to finish going through them.

Art Trip Part Two: The Lazy Meadow

Two more hours in the car heading northwest and we arrived at our weekend residence, Kate’s Lazy Meadow. Owned by Kate Pierson, member of The B-52’s, the Lazy Meadow is a wild little motel in Mt. Tremper, NY. It’s decorated in a retro 50’s and 60’s motif (which my wife loved immediately), but sits in a quiet little valley of the Catskills, surrounded by residences and farm stands, all about 20 minutes outside Woodstock. Our little suite came packed full of a combination of mid-century and 80’s pop-culture artifacts everywhere you turned. It also came equipped with a gas fireplace (very nice on what turned out to be the first really cool fall weekend) and a full kitchen which we made use of a number of times.

Outside the place is set-up with three buildings, the main motel (the suites) and two cabins. There’s a salt-spa on the grounds with a tiny shed that looks like it is losing the war with the elements and a big backyard (with a sly and elusive bunny).

There have been some changes at the Lazy Meadow though. The Airstreams shown on their website have been moved elsewhere, and the area where they once stood is just an open pine grove. One old and neglected trailer was left behind.

As it seems, I was lucky to stumble across it. The next morning a work crew arrived, had the old Airstream towed out and were starting some sort of excavation out back at the old trailer sites. Who knows what the Lazy Meadow has in store? I did appreciate that even the construction machinery had to match the retro color palette to do work on site

Art Trip Part One: The Glass House

I’ve been traveling a lot lately, which is fun, but I haven’t been accomplishing as much as I’d like to. I have still been carving whenever I get the chance though and I am almost done with the first block for my next project. Hopefully I can post pictures of that soon. For now, a three (or four) part photo spew from last weekend.

My wife and I were lucky enough to be invited on what friends of ours call an Art Trip. Alex and Maren (our friends) take a day, a weekend, or a long weekend, they travel somewhere and seek out what that city/region/locale has to offer for art. I thought it was a great concept, and the two of them planned a particularly great long weekend for us.

After loading up a car in Boston, we drove about three hours south to New Canaan, CT to see The Philip Johnson Glass House. Here are some pictures of and in the house itself.

But, in addition to the house, there are a vast grounds including many old farm stone walls, wooded areas, landscaped fields containing large scale sculpture, man-made ponds, an art bunker (yeah… an art bunker) as well as several additional and distinctly different structures.

Here is just a small sampling of the grounds. Also showing some of the sculpture and other out buildings.

The art bunker I mentioned, was just that. A large modern gallery for paintings that included a unique large-scale rotating display mechanism to easier switch up the artwork whenever wanted, all buried bunker-style under a hill. Here is the entrance.

Yet another gallery, this one for sculpture, featured an interesting multi-level staircase and a very unique roof that cast incredible shadows.

And these images don’t even come close to showing everything  I urge anyone who has a chance to go take the tour. It really is amazing.  After the tour, we grabbed lunch downtown in New Canaan and then hopped back in the car. Our Art Trip was only beginning.

Party in Prouts Neck

Last weekend, friends of ours celebrated their engagement with a party in Prouts Neck, Maine. I had a great time there and met a ton of really friendly people. I got to see Winslow Homer’s studio (at least from the outside) and the party was actually on the site of his painting, Cannon Rock. I brought along my camera, shot some photos for our friends and their families at the party and also ended up with a couple of landscapes I liked too.