Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Master's Update 2/25/09

This is a proof of the spot color plate for the Empress. It's very transparent but still too yellow; it obscures with the chair and the ottoman.

You can see above how the the purer yellow competes with the chair and ottoman. On the left we are closer but the addition of opaque white to the yellow ink has made it too opaque and since not enough of the white of the paper shows through it's still too yellow.

The one on the right is still too opaque, the one on the left is closer but still too yellow. I still need to add a whole lot more transparent base. It needs to be near imperceptible because when it's printed on the press it will become one with the paper and intensify.

Here we have the spot color for the priestess. On the left we have a warm silver. On the right a golden brown.

The proofs are made using the proofs from before so it doesn't reflect the changes I made to the plates. In the plates I took out the black outline for the moon and removed the black lines in the library. These proofs simply let me check registration and play with color. I can see that I will want to remove the library ceiling and all but a few lines of library floor in the brown plate. and then in the library ceiling on the yellow plate I will cut away some circles of light. I think I will hand darken the end of the hallway. These little tricks should help to emphasize the perspective.

The table top in the palest version works great after spot printing the brown, but I want the green in the tree to be a little richer. I think if I make the yellow a lot more transparent the blue will blend into better. Right now the yellow is so saturated that the transparent blue overprinting cannot subdue it into a green green. But I like it softer green in the columns so I may play around with making a light blue to dark blue blend with this...we'll see.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Zombie Casting Call...

Different Strokes and Abstract Homework

I combined my abstract painting class homework with the new painting challenge from

Different Strokes from Different Folks

Different Strokes is an artmaking challenge similar to Illustration Friday. The blog Different Strokes is maintained by Karin Jurick.

"A bi-weekly challenge for any artist who would like to join in - I'll post one photograph every other Wednesday evening and I want you to paint or draw or etch it your way. Sorry - no digital interpretations (and that includes paintovers) after Week 1. My intentions are for you to use different mediums (in the tradition sense) and not the computer."
you may click the image above to see it full screen, use your browser's back button to return to this blog

in this artwork I blatantly used complimentary color schemes; red/green, orange/blue and yellow/violet. Complimentary color are color that are directly opposite or across from each other in a color wheel.

I didn't intend for this painting to have a specific focal point. I wanted it to have a chaotic pattern like effect with each manikin head competing for attention with the others.

I started this painting just as Jeff (my husband) left for the gym. He goes to work out for about 30 min - an hour then plays basketball for a couple of hours afterward. I was just cleaning my brushes as he returned. He walked in stepped behind and me and went whoa...

Which was good because I wanted it to elicit a response from its viewers. I said "scary bitches eh." He said "uh yeah." Inside I high fived myself because Jeff is my greatest critic, if I made him feel what I wanted my viewers to feel it means I nailed it...if I hadn't nailed it he would have immediately let me know it sucked. Or if he didn't understand it he would have immediately let me know it sucked...

I think of it as a Rob Zombie casting call...or a goth convention. I was trying for a creepy starlet/super model effect, like they would gladly suck your brains out then purge... I also wanted each to have her own element of individual attitude.

The reference photo below was taken by Karin Jurick, moderator of the blog

Different Strokes from Different Folks

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Master's Update 2-18-2009

Empress proof red state and yellow state

Empress proof blue states. On the left I used lots and lots of medium for more transparency. The one on right was the 1st state which I found to make the sky a little too intensely purple.

Empress Keyline states

The four colors brought together in one. The one on left is the 1st one printed using the blue that I found to pigmented. Don't want the sky to be that purple. the one on Right is just right; although I believe I will carve out much of the moon.

Lighter blue proofs. The one on right is just right the one on left is too light.

tried to print a priestess block for spot color, specifically for the library perspective lines. Mistakenly grabbed an unvarnished block and the ink bled...If I can see the kentos (registration marks) well enough I will use this block, otherwise it goes unused...when I tried to print another one the ink started acting strange on the mylar. It was drying before I could transfer. Something must have gotten in the ink or on the plate and was reacting with the ink. I will try again as I need two spot color blocks for this print. The other spot color block I'm not happy with as it looks to be off registration -- although I may find this to be untrue after a proofing...

The priestess keyline with the old lines removed from the library.

The following documents are my research on the hermit card. I start by looking at the same card from 4 different decks and writing down every little iconic thing I think of while looking at it. Then I do more research with books.

the following documents are my research into the various meanings of the hermit card, modern and historical. I use several books from my own collection of books on the Tarot. See the bibliography at the end of this blog. Remember you can always click on any of these images to see them enlarged, afterward click your browser's back button to return to this blog.


Akron & Banzhaf, Hajo. The Crowley Tarot: The Handbook to the Cards. Connecticut: U.S. Games. 1995
Berti, Gianluca, Gonard, Tiberio. Tarot of the New Vision. Italy: Lo Scarabeo. 2005
Greenway, Leanna. Simply Tarot. New York: Sterling/Zamezi. 2005
Hoeller, Stephan. The Fools Pilgrimage: Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tarot. Illinois: Quest. 2004
Huson, Paul. Mystical Oringins of the Tarot: From Ancient Roots to Modern Usage. Vermont: Destiny. 2004
Jayanti, Amber. Living the Qabalistic Tarot. New York: Weiser, 2004
Laurence, Theodor. How Tarot Speaks to Modern Man.
NY: Bell. 1972
Levitt, Susan. Introduction to Tarot. Connecticut: Us. Games. 2003.
Lionnet, Annie. The Tarot Directory. New Jersey: Chartwell. 2002
Pollack, Rachel. Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdon. London: Element. 1997
Wang, Robert. Tarot Psychology. Canada: Marcus Aurelius. 2007

Sunday, February 15, 2009

IF: Tay Tay Celebrates Sound

Tay Tay Celebrates Sound

This weeks Illustration Friday challenge is Celebrate. A think a recent photo of my 1 year old granddaughter Taylor playing drums on a popcorn tin and singing loudly to Sevendust illustrates beautifully how children celebrate sound. And so I did a little painting of it (16x20").

Abstract Painting Class

I used another photo of Taylor playing drums to create the following painting. It's for my painting class. We had to use only 4 colors that illustrate contrast using color contrast, temperature contrast and or chiaroscuro (light and dark). The four colors I used were blue, black, red orange and yellow ochre.

Oh obviously it's not Taylor...its the boots and chair legs that are to the right and behind her (see the 1st photo below). I included the original photos below. What I love is how both of these photos show her experimenting with different sounds; in the photo on the left she's hitting the sides of the can, in the photo on the right she strikes the top. Any of us who have ever beat on a can know that the sides sound different from the top...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

New Semester, New Class

Principles of Design

I'm taking a class this semester titled Composition for Abstract Art. The paper making class I wanted was canceled. I'm hoping a little bit of paint slinging will help loosen me up. The Tarot project is so process driven and complex in subject matter. Some non-objective creation will do my tired brain some good. Anyway the first homework assignments were to paint three 6x6" pen and ink drawings demonstrating three of 13 principles of design. the three we were supposed to express were balance, contrast and focal point...(descriptions were taken from: Wikipedia; Design Elements and Principles The ink drawings were to be objective and we were to submit photos of the subject matter. The photos are above, my drawings are below. I executed the drawings in black magic marker and Japanese brush/calligraphy pen (like a fountain pen except the writing/drawing tip is paintbrush like).

Can be either symmetrical or asymmetrical depending on if the right or left side is identical or not. Also refers to a sense that dominant focal points are balanced and don't give a feeling of being pulled too much to any part of the artwork. Balance can be balance by location of objects such as windows on a house, balance by volume or sizes of objects, balance by color (like desired brightness in a room).

Contrast is the occurrence of contrasting elements, such as colour, value, size, etc. It creates interest and pulls the attention toward the focal point.

Focal Point
Areas of interest. Guides the eye into through and out of the image through the use of sequence of various levels of focal points, primary focal point, secondary, tertiary, etc. Emphasis hierarchy may give direction and organization to a design, and avoid subconscious confusion to sometimes improve the design's (like a house) visual appeal and style. Emphasis hierarchy or focus is not giving each object (like a bed or curtain) in a project (like a bedroom decor) equal dominance. Emphasis or dominance of an object can be increased by making the object larger, more sophisticated, more ornate, by placing it in the foreground, or standout visually more than other objects in a project. Avoid style confusion.

I had fun doing these drawings. I struggled with the image for contrast and re-did it three times. Getting the light values just right for that setting sun and the halo that illuminated only a small sliver of the log was very tricky. This photo was taken by my husband on a recent bird watching expedition in Lodi. He also got some beautiful pics of the January full moon over the marshes where the sandhill cranes roost. Those pics will show up in later semester paintings.

The little doll my son bought for me in Japan; the burlap bags she sits on were given to us by my husband's friend Kevin. The string is just something I have in the studio. I thought the string would make a good contrast study but when I noticed the curve of the bottom of the sting spool repeated by the curve of the draping hankerchief I decided to make it a study in balance. Of course the little doll could have been a contrast study with the rough burlap juxtaposed with the sleek doll. And the sunset log could have been a focal point study...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Empress: Getting Ready to Proof the 4 color blocks

"Hook 'em Horns"
Happy Year of the Ox
Hope it Rocks!!!

trying to work out ways to get deep perspective back into the Priestess' library

Yellow Empress Block

Red Empress Block: workin' the cut marks here!

Blue Empress Block

Empress Keyline block

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Priestess: 4 color proofs

I've hand printed proofs of the priestess. In the proof on the left I mixed a lot of transparent base into the red and blue pigments to make the colors softer. The proof on right has more "saturated" pigmentation; meaning I have a lot of pigment in the trans base making the colors richer. I like the deeper green in the tree and the deeper brown I get in the trees trunk and pot but I like the softer colors in the atmosphere of the proof on the left. I believe I will also mix up a warmer yellow for this one, that will mute the intensity of the greens and help to enrich the depth of the library behind the priestess. I will also play around with ideas to bring back the deep perspective in the library. I will create a stencil to hand color other areas of the print. For instance a silvery gray for the legs of the table and the laptop and mice, perhaps even the owl. Over all I believe I will try something my adviser suggested; print a very transparent layer of yellow ocher (an earthy yellow) over the whole. this will neutralize the pastellyness of the violets.