Thursday, January 31, 2008

Okay. Here's the deal.

Are those even complete sentences? Yes, by George they are.

Anyway as I was on the bus going to school this afternoon (printmaking class. etchings continued. did 4 prints; 3 sepia 1 colour; next week: intro to soft ground) I could not maintain a happy frame of mind. Unusual for me. So I had the trusty free metro paper at hand and as I was leafing through it, getting caught up with the latest celeb to check herself into rehab after talking loudly through the director of The Butterfly and the Bell Jar's award speech at some Hollywood thing, (I didn't know this actress...) I thought I'd read the horoscope and see what it says for me today. Here's the guidance it gave me:

SCORPIO | Oct. 24- Nov. 22

A meeting is the setting for foul language. A man rubs somebody the wrong way. An awful event leads to a lucky break.

WTF? It seems so off the mark. Sometimes the horoscope feels neutral, at best I hope for it to be true somehow,or sort of true, but this one? It sounds more like a poem to me.

Foul language
wrong way rubs a man
an awful event but
lucky break

I may have stumbled onto something. Maybe I'll try and make a poem from the metro horoscope more often. I've had the urge to write lately. It's good to heed your urges. Keeps the old creative fire burning.

On another note, I was surfing this site and looking through the various "how to do art" videos uploaded and apparently it takes 41 seconds to learn the basics of colour theory, and a minute to tell you how to be a self taught artist. And it takes 5 minutes and 43 seconds to teach you how to get out the door in 2 minutes (This is in the beauty section. I think we can all get out a door okay right? Do we need a video?)

Love this site. Tres amusant.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Illustration Friday: Tales and Legends

acrylic on canvas approx 8"x10"

I've heard tell that all mermaids are
divas of the deep blue sea.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Want to see my etchings?

I've been exploring etching in printmaking class. We take a zinc plate, cover it in hard ground (a wax-like substance that coats the plate) and then take a pointy thing to scratch through the ground and reveal the zinc metal beneath it. Once you have your image, you put it in a bath of 8 parts water to 1 part nitric acid for anywhere from 20 minutes to 45 seconds, depending on how dark you want your line to be.

The longer the etch (time in the bath) the deeper the etch, the more ink it will hold and so it will be a darker line in your print.

Here are examples of my first line etching. The image is based on an etching from 1516. When I make these prints I felt in direct contact with the people who worked in the 16th century. I like that feeling.

Bad Dreams
zinc plate, line etching,
sepia ink on stonehenge paper

Bad Dreams
zinc plate showing line etching

Today we started aquatints. Using black spray paint, we can add tones to our plate. I made a new line etching, and then covered the areas I wanted to remain the brightest/whitest with soft ground. Then I sprayed the plate really lightly with black spray paint. It was very grainy and you could see the plate below it as well as my etched line drawing. After this, I dropped the plate into the acid bath and etched it for 1 minute. I then covered the areas I wanted to remain light grey with ground and etched it again for another minute. Once more I covered the next darkest tonal areas with ground and brought it into the acid bath for one last etching of 3 minutes to create the darkest darks. In this way it's just like the reduction woodblock prints. You are always taking away from your image until you are done. I haven't printed my plate yet but here's a look at it. It has a lot of gradations of tone. I can't wait to print it.

Bad Dreams No.2
aquatint etching on zinc plate

Monday, January 21, 2008

Illustration Friday: Plain

The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.

Book #22 The Wandering Eye

I've been lax with the one page books. Hope this helps make up for it.

And so, how can I really view this properly you may ask... well... Print it onto a sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 paper, fold, cut and re-fold, and enjoy this word snack. If you don't know how to do this see making one page books.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Better than being called Ma'am.

I was over on Peevish Boy's blog and followed the links to discover my long lost aristocratic title.
It really does beat being called Ma'am.

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Lady Katie the Indefensible of Divine Intervention
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

New Ebay Auctions

I've been away from ebay for a few months and over the Christmas break I thought about returning. I never know what I am going to make for ebay. For me it really is a dry run of the year ahead. I have created some of my best work for an ebay auction, a piece that I'll re-work later in a larger format for my live art shows. Ebay has been invaluable to me for that reason.

Here's what's up for auction now:


8" x 6" original acrylic painting on canvas board, signed titled and dated on the back.

and also

9 Lives...Cat Size

8" x 6" original acrylic painting on canvas board, signed titled and dated on the back.

Click here to go to my ebay auctions.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Ridiculous

I was at the dollar store this afternoon and found two aisles of Valentine's Day stuff. Already! Even worse, there was a half an aisle of St. Patrick's Day paraphernalia next to it. Nary a Santa or a Rudolph to be found. All gone, whisked away on Boxing Day no doubt.

As I was walking among the shades of brilliant red I stumbled upon this:

I think this is the worst Valentine's Day item I've ever seen.
I had to have it.
It's a stressball heart!

Nothing says I love you like "stress".

Nothing says I love you like
"I can take your heart and crush it in my hands,"

or "I can stomp on your heart at will."

I love the ludicracy of this item. And for a dollar. How can you go wrong?

So after I took the heart pictures, I was going to make supper and wanted to use the cookware I got for Christmas. I took it from its box and found this on the pots:


What is that? Oh, it's this:

What could I possibly cook that would require my pots to be reinforced with titanium? Makes me want to find something to cook that would make me feel really good that I had titanium and not, say, stainless steel, or copper, or Pyrex. But that's a quest for another day.

And I just wanted to mention this. On a recent shopping trip over the border to an American Price Chopper I picked this up solely for the label:

If you look close, you'll see this is Lee Iaccoca's Olivio Margarine.
Lee Iaccoca?
All I remember about him is that he was the saviour of Chrysler Corp a few decades ago. Maybe all that high level stress did him in and he looked for a good heart-healthy margarine, couldn't find one, so he made one.
I don't know.
Cars, margarine, corporations, stress hearts, quantanium. It's a lot to ponder on a frosty January day. Sometimes the world seems ridiculous to me.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Pear-shaped girl gets a space of her own

I've decided to do one pear-shaped girl comic strip every week this year.

I started a new blog just for her, (she loves her own space), and I invite all who care to to take a peek and see what she's up to. Thanks to all of you out there who have encouraged me to go forward with this fascinating little character. It's going to be fun.

I have the link to the right for her blog or you can go there from here:

The Weak Winter Sun

weak winter sun above us

Yesterday I forced myself to get outside and get some sun. We've had so little sunshine the last month. Today we're snowed in again and it looks like we are getting some cold arctic air over the coming two or three days so I'm glad I got out and made some vitamin D for myself.

we are always shovelling

You need 10 minutes in the sun to manufacture this vitamin. I didn't wear a hat, and I took off my gloves, holding my face to get maximum rays while the sun was shining.

Made Fresh Today - Jan 1, 2008 - Bull

Here's another experimental piece. It's supposed to be a bull, but the horns seem so long it reminds me of a Texas Longhorn. It was supposed to be menacing but those big eyes seems so wanting, so needy, so adoring!

I didn't cook the plastic for this one, just melted the edges together. This method of attaching friendly plastic to itself is really a temporary one. Over time it'll fall apart.