Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Biggest painting yet! Roadrunner--no Coyote.

I started a How-I-Made-This last week and here's the continuation. I think this piece is *almost* finished. (Pic by Lars Frazer)

I'll just repeat steps I already covered for those that missed it.

Step 1: Get an idea!
It started with the cartoon drawing. I was knitting on the long drive home and this idea just popped into my head so I jotted it down. I knew I'd lose it otherwise.

Step 2+3: Gesso some paper and start working on the background.
I started with a huge piece of printmaking paper--36"x48"--and slathered on a layer of gesso. After it dried I added a wash of phthalo blue. It's a boring pic, I know, but it's the starting point.

Step 4: Start gluing down papers. 
I used a heavy gel medium for the thicker papers and some liquid medium for the thin rice and tissue papers. I have several boxes of papers sorted by color, and you can see one open and exploded here. 

Step 5: Apply weight to flatten glued papers before it fully dries. 

I used some trash bags between the artwork and heavy books, then placed a heavy tray of lead type on top. It would have worked.... BUT... there were gaps between the stacks of books. I had some wrinkles right in those spots. Keep scrolling and you'll see how I fixed this. 

Step 6: Add Roadrunner using pencil and acrylic paint. 

Step 7: Make the pencil juicy by brushing liquid matte medium on top and basically turning it into paint.

Step 6: Add some fishies.  I choose fish that are from West Texas. It goes along with the narrative I wrote for the piece, which I'll jot down in a bit. I just use a mechanical pencil. HB lead, so nothing particularly special. (Same stuff as a No. 2)

Step 7: I didn't want the fish to get all smudgy, so I sprayed fixative on top. 

Step 8: I added some paint to blend the papers into more of a background since I wanted the RR to really shine. (You can see how wrinkled up the bottom area is. Sigh.) I wanted the fish to be Easter Eggs of a sort. Just some eye candy should your eye wander. I added some charcoal pencil marks in there too, and this is where I think I'm not quite done--I think more pencil/charcoal marks would be fun.

Step 9: Attempt to flatten. I used a wet rag and dampened the back of the work and reapplied weight! Instead of books I used some pieces of drywall. I had to dampen/dry in shifts (24 hrs for each) since the drywall wasn't large enough to cover the entire area that needed flattening. 

I think it worked pretty well! Here it is again with the narrative in the caption. 

This is the largest I have ever worked! I was inspired to do this piece after our recent trip to Big Bend Ranch State Park. I was enamored by the colors of this desert landscape. Did you know that part of Texas used to be covered by an ocean? Yep. For a period of at least 200 million years, ending some 300 million years ago in the Paleozoic Era.  Note the fish at the bottom of the piece honoring this history. What are the vertical lines at the bottom? Scaffolding. Acrylic, graphite, and charcoal  on gessoed paper. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Oh my gosh. I haven't posted anything since 2015! That's kinda funny/sad/whatever. At the top of 2016 I had a health scare that took up a lot of time and energy, and unfortunately it had me sidelined until mid-2017. But I'm back now, and with a vengeance! My studio mate moved out in February and at first I was freaked out about paying rent all by my lonesome, but I AM LOVING THIS! Carolyn and I didn't cross paths much at the studio, but I love, love, love not having to clean up after myself upon departure, and there is just something very cool about knowing it's all mine.

I worked on some pieces in the fall of 2017--a Kepler box and a Marie Curie painting on panel, shown here.

OH! And another painting that I just love. This is was about our family vacation we took a few years ago to 8 National Parks. The painting is about our trip, really, but the trees are from Glacier. I have some hidden words in the back of the painting, which I covered up since it was personal stuff. I really enjoyed working on it and would love to show you some process pics, but they only seem to exist in my mind. I can't find them! You'll have to trust me on this. 

I have a new painting that's kinda fun--inspired by my family's spring break camping trip to Big Bend. I def have process pics for that and want to show them to you.

Step 1: Get an idea!
It started with the cartoon drawing. I was knitting on the long drive home and this idea just popped into my head so I jotted it down. I knew I'd lose it otherwise.

Step 2+3: Gesso some paper and start working on the background.
I started with a huge piece of printmaking paper--36"x48"--and slathered on a layer of gesso. After it dried I added a wash of phthalo blue. It's a boring pic, I know, but it's the starting point. (Step 3 coming, I promise it won't take 3 years.)

Monday, May 4, 2015

Ahhh. Good to be back.

I've taken a seriously long hiatus from my studio. Sure, things have been happening here and there, but nothing really worth noting. I was swamped with PrintAustin 2015 and there's been some residual work post event that I'm still dealing with, but things are more or less wrapped up. I did go into the studio the other day and finished this piece.

Io, acrylic on panel, 22 x 30"

I started it in Jan 2013, and I know that because I found this post. I'll post some close up pics this week--there's some interesting stuff going on...

So, if you're feeling like you haven't much in awhile, I suggest picking up a dusty piece and finishing it. It does wonders for the insides. 

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.