Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Jigsaw Puzzles--always a good time.

I've always been good at puzzles. I don't think my method is different than most people--I go about them in a very systematic way, edges first, then grouping by color. My kids will ask for help on a puzzle and then shoo me away because I'm fitting in too many pieces. Yeah, I feel smug around children. :)

I also like reconstructing a piece in print, which I liken to solving a puzzle. I've done this a few times now, and enjoy the problem solving. Take this piece for instance. It's a collage.

© Cathy Savage, Doodles in Math Class, 22 x 30", mixed media

I'm attempting to redo it in print for a show I'm in early next year. I'm under a bit of pressure because the holidays are fun but time sucking, so I decided to stick with an image I already have worked out and go from there. 

Today I made the background:

Then covered it a bunch of time with opaque white. Getting there...

The colors look more vibrant in real life, I'm telling myself right now as I type this. All I know is I had an absolute blast in the studio today. I must have run this print under the press 10 times and I was free and easy unlike my usual pent up neurotic self. The paper feels super heavy with all the ink, or maybe that's just my imagination, but I'll be back at it hopefully tomorrow to add in some graphite or charcoal (I'm leaning charcoal). I'm going to try and transfer the graphite/charcoal to my plate using tissue paper, then flip it onto to my paper. Fingers crossed! If I'm successful, I'll be telling you more about it. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Stamps! Speedy Cut Officially Rocks!

Wow. This stuff is excellent. I carved today, inked, and then even fixed my plate. Here's what went down:

Carved. (I eventually cut the birds out so they are separate hunks.)


Oh no! Mini accidental line incised right smack in middle of bird. How did that happen? OK, this stuff maybe shouldn't have been thrown in my backpack with all other kinds of crap. How did I fix? I gently rubbed it with my finger, and I removed enough of the eraser-like material down so that it wouldn't show when printed. See below.

All better

I know you're wondering, why is this bird green? I was lazy and the green was already out. On Friday I'll have a beautiful black+blue mixed up--to print a perfect male grackle!

Monday, November 3, 2014

I Have a Plan

E.A.S.T.--East Austin Studio Tour--is right around the corner. Yikes. I plan to be in my studio every day for the next two weeks trying to get ready. (Do put me on your list of studios to visit for Nov. 15-16 weekend, or Nov. 22-13.)

Step One: Map Out Space
I have to admit I stole this idea from my studio mate who has her space already mapped out.

Step Two: Determine What Needs to be Finished
Step Three: Get Things Done

Step One is done and I've kinda started on Step Two. But because of a really fun but ill-timed commitment, I need to get ready for an event on Friday before I can really kick some butt on my list.

Enter Speedy Cut--oh hell yes
So, I have an event this Friday and, well, I've been completely underwater of late with PrintAustin, so I haven't given it much thought until now. I need to come up with a hands-on activity that uses reclaimed materials and my art.

Voila! I'm going to whip out some stamps and use old textbooks and maps for folks to "Put a Bird On It." Here's more info on the Austin Creative Reuse's Raise the Roof event:
20 bucks for food, brews, wine, art, crafts, music, live entertainment, and more! You're coming to our Raise the Roof event on Friday, right? 7-11pm at South Austin Brewery!
You have seen these birds before, but they've been woodcuts that I've cut out and collaged onto maps and monotypes. That will really be impossible for a large group hands-on activity. Speedy Cut will be my savior and I can cut the birds out like rubber stamps after I carve them. Stay tuned--I'll be posting results.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Kepler with cyanotype

I finally did this. I used Lumi dye as the sun-sensitive ink. LOVE!

WPA is having a demo on Lumi dye + relief + screenprinting on Nov. 8. It's free. Here's a link to their Facebook page where you can get more details and RSVP.

I've been knee-deep in PrintAustin business, but plan to get into the studio to start a new plate this week. (Have you joined PrintAustin's Print Exchange yet? You may get a Kepler!)

Speaking of PrintAustin, the deadline to apply for their juried show is quickly approaching--Nov. 9. Sign up or get more info here.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Cranking it OUT!

I slapped Kepler on some hankies for PrintAustin's exchange using Speedball Fabric Block Printing Ink. It worked fine, though the ink "rolled" differently and it took a few Keplers to get the hang of it. I'm going to try sun sensitive Lumi ink next, putting in some celestial stuff in Kepler's background. Stay tuned for a full report on Lumi. I'm super excited to try it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hankies and Flags!

PrintAustin has an upcoming print exchange which was inspired by these flags, which were once part of an installation by Women & Their Work titled THIRST. They had 14,000 or something flags strung up around Townlake during the installation and at one point were selling the flags--possibly still are. 2 bucks a flag I think.... Anyway, I own some and they make me happy every time I walk inside my door.

Now, regarding PrintAustin's print exchange. You can find more info about it here with two other calls. The deadline is Dec.15 to enter and you don't need to turn in the prints until January, so you have time. Basically the prints are supposed to be on handkerchiefs so they can be displayed Tibetan prayer flag style. LOVE IT! I'm buying some of this ink this weekend so I can try printing a hankie with a linocut.

Luckily I'm in charge of PrintAustin's hankie inventory (insert evil laugh here) so I have plenty of test subjects.

Update on this Tree piece
I've posted on this thing a few times (suppressing yawn). Basically I'm redoing a recent collage as a drawing/watercolor. A drawing fits more into the budget of the individual who commissioned the piece. Plus she wanted to tweak the color palette--something more subtle. Here's what I have going on in the drawing so far. Tomorrow I will finish it. Without a doubt. Done-zo. I'm ready to work on some new prints that I dreamt up today, so I really need to move this piece off my desk.

But still good news because I found a buyer for the original collage, Yay!

And now completely off topic
I'm considering rethinking how I check email. I've become somewhat hooked on my phone that can grab emails when I walk into WiFi zones, but they still manage to pile up. And then my inbox gets nuts and I miss dates and it all goes to hell. One art marketing coach I follow, Alyson Stanfield, checks email only at certain times of the day so she can focus on reading and responding at the same time. She downloads her emails when she's ready to handle new email vs. having them arrive automatically. Food for thought anyway. Here's a link to her blog post on managing email.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Open Studio at WPA every Tuesday!

Great news! The WPA studio will be open every Tuesday from 10am - 1pm through December. You can come by and print during that time for a little bit of cash ($25/3 hrs if a WPA member, $35 if not) and get press assistance from printmaker Ashley Salinas or myself--we can offer basic press setting, but won't be instructing, so it's for the individual with some printing experience. You're also welcome just to swing by and check out the shop. Ashley and I are swapping Tuesdays. I'll be there on Sept. 23, Oct. 7, 14, Nov, 4, 18, and Dec 9, 23. More info about WPA's shop here.

Greater news for me: The WPA studio is in the same complex as my own (Canopy, 916 Springdale Road, Bldg. 3, right next door to the place pictured below.) As for my own studio, I've made a stab at setting studio hours--Bldg. 1, studio 218.

I'll be in my studio on these days:
Mondays, Tuesdays (when I'm not at WPA), and Thursdays from 10am - 2pm.

I love studio visits, but I suggest a call or text before popping over in case I'm on a walk or enjoying a coffee at our new Canopy coffee shop (my cell is 512-680-6281). Hey! Let's grab some coffee together!

Yay! The long-awaited cafe!
Sa-Tén is a Japanese-influenced cafe from Komé partner Kayo Asazu and East Side King co-founderMoto Utsunomiya. In addition to espresso, coffee, and tea, the cafe will serve pastries like donuts from Red Rabbit Bakery and Japanese-inspired "light fare." Hours are 7:00 a.m to 10:00 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 8 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Sundays.