Monday, January 30, 2012

Change Afoot and Two Shows Opening in February!

 The year is starting out on surprisingly positive footings so far.  A few days ago we signed to put our house on the market.  It is time for us to downsize.  I was encouraged by what the realtors we interviewed said about our chances.  So big changes are coming on the home front and also on the art front as well.  Marlys will be moving into the studio house so I need to vacate my space there.  While it is really sad to think that we won't be together in that great space anymore, I am holding all good thoughts that I will end up where I need to be.

Manny Burruel, Artist

Diana Hartley, Artist
Rossitza Todorova, Artist
On the excellent start front, I have two shows opening this month.  A LITTLE RELIEF opens Friday at Copper Star Coffee.  It was the exhibition Marlys and I conceived and took to Flagstaff last September.  We held it over to show Phoenix.  This invitational show features reduction linocuts, by artists from Arizona, California and Nevada.  These great little works of art are priced the same, unframed at $100 and framed at $140.  The opening reception is from 6-9 Friday, Feb 3rd.  Come by for a cup of coffee and some truly original works of art.

Susan Hartenhoff, Artist

The second exhibition, at the Shemer Art Center is a Statewide Juried Print Competition.  The print I just completed, "Sunbather", was accepted into this show, which made me very happy!  The artist reception is Tuesday, Feb 14th from 7 to 9 pm.  Bring your sweetie by to see some excellent printmaking by Arizona artists.  See the sidebar for more information.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Final updates on my 10 x 10 inch print:  Colors 9 (green) and 10 (medium blue) went down on Friday.  I originally planned a bright blue swimsuit and pool tile but it just looked out of place, so I toned it down with some grey.  Feedback along the way has been to stop with whatever color is there on the bushes/trees.  But I continued with my original plan...and printed the darkest color (11, a dark blue/green) on the bushes/trees, and the inner part of the pool.  But it was too harsh and put it all on the same plane which just looked wrong.  So I added a bunch of transparent base and it lightened just right.  That added the 12th and final color.
I have forgiven my mistakes on this print, and there have been several.  Most you won't notice.  One mistake I did have to make up for was cutting off the wheel of the front lounge before I printed the last color.  BIG oopsie.  So I cut out a hole in the gomuban and popped in a new piece and carved out the proper wheel remainder and voila!  Fixed!  I just realized that this is the most colors I have ever used on a reduction print. It was nice to be able use all the layers I thought I needed.  But I also like the challenge of doing prints with 2 or 3 or 4 colors.  Getting your image across with just a few colors is more of an artistic challenge, rather than the technical challenge of more colors.  Anyway, I love this print.  For me, it felt like I was spending time with my Mom everyday I worked on this.  It was wonderful having her around.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

More on the 10 x 10

I am tardy in posting my progress.  The non-printing parts of my life are piling up as I try to finish this print.  I surprise myself with my color selection.  Muted tones.  I am happy with the way they look.  I ended the year printing December 30th and 31st and have begun the new year also printing everyday:  Color 5 on New Year's Day, Color 6 on January 2nd and Colors 7 and 8 on January 3rd.  I have decided not to fix some of the mistakes I have made.  The color 2 cutting mistake, well, in the end it isn't so noticeable and might have been a blessing.  Happy accident.

So my New Year is off to a good start.  I hope the same for all of you.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year

Back to work after returning from Christmas in Cincinnati, I printed the 3rd color on my 10 x 10 print.  I carved a small piece of gomuban with the shape I wrongly cut away and have reserved the ink I mixed of that color.  But after 5 colors now, I am waiting to see if I really need to use it.  Here is the 3rd color pass.  You will note that I am not printing the whole area of the print.  This is a change for me...I am trying to think more about putting the color where it is needed and not building up too many layers.  Too many make for shiny areas.

Color 4 is the first of three colors for the pool.  I forgot to add cobalt drier to the ink and hoped it would be dry enough to print today.  A color-a-day is the goal since I have returned.

I am printing on Rives BFK and a kozo paper.  The Rives version is turning out clearer, the ink spreads out smoothly.  With the kozo there is more of the underneath color showing through.  I haven't adjusted to the rougher surface but I kind of like the differences.

Color 5 covered up the brightness of Color 3 pretty well.  Certainly enough for what will come next.  I had another brain fart carving away this one and had to glue back a piece.  I will learn tomorrow whether that worked or not.  See if you can spot my error!  It will show (or not) after either Color 6 or 7.  When I look at the print at this stage, I am tempted to leave it this abstract.  But I can't do it.  There is something in me that can't wait to see what it will look like after the next color...and the next.  But this stage inspires me to think more abstractly and to really try to do fewer colors.