30 December 2013

B2B Monday - Recapping the year

Happy last Monday of 2013! Before we sail into a brand, shiny new year and set a few goals and pick a new word to guide us, now is the perfect time to look back on this year and take pride in all that we've created. Make a list of all of this year's art-related accomplishments. How many works were started? Completed? How many proposals were written and submitted? How many shows were entered? How many new techniques were learned or old ones honed? What kinds of art "field trips" did you take? When you sit down to think about it, there's always more to write down than occurs to you at first thought.

Creating this list also helps you figure out what you might need to focus on for the year ahead. I'd love to see all or part of your list if you'd like to share it here!

Happy New Year! Bring it, 2014, we're ready for you.

16 December 2013

B2B Monday - Art Field Trips

With the year drawing to a close and the holidays upon us, this week's tip is simply to set some time aside to enjoy some art. You can take an actual field trip, by yourself or with others, or a virtual one. I recently had the opportunity to visit DIA Beacon in New York with a group of friends and it was so creatively stimulating. We had interesting, in-depth discussions about what we were seeing and what it made us think. I highly recommend the experience!

If you don't have time to get in the car and head off to a museum or gallery, take a tour of a museum's website or visit an art blog. In the midst of the holiday craziness and preparation and stress, a creative time out can be very refreshing and inspirational.

Here are some virtual favorites of mine:

This is Colossal
Google Cultural Institute
Virtual Museums

What's your favorite place for an art field trip (real or digital)?

09 December 2013

B2B Monday - Are Your Tools in Top Shape?

Happy Monday from very icy Connecticut! This week's tip deals with your equipment and tools and getting them into the best shape they can be in for the coming new year. If you are in the thick of creating for holiday gifts, disregard this tip until you've wrapped up (har har) your work for Santa, but then hop to it. Because we are all busy with parties, family, and holiday preparation for at least the next few weeks, this is the perfect time of year to send your sewing machine for a "day of beauty", your scissors to be sharpened, to spend time re-organizing your Dremel drill bits and replacing the ones that need it, stocking up on needles, new brushes, and whatever else will put your basic supplies and tools in fine fighting shape to hit the studio in January running and ready to create!

Here's a small list of tools to check over:

  • Sharpen scissors
  • Send sewing machine for a tune-up and cleaning
  • Soak and restore paint brushes (did you know that using a drop of hair conditioner in the final rinse water can keep your brushes soft and the bristles behaving?)
  • Clean iron
  • Clean or replace painting palette
  • Sharpen pencils
  • Discard dried up paint jars and tubes
  • Check all lightbulbs in your studio area and replace any that need it (fluorescents lose luminosity over time, for example, and become dim gradually enough that you don't notice unless you're really paying attention)
  • Stock up on blades for Xacto knives, bits for a Dremel, sandpaper, batting, basic thread, and any other consumable supplies
What is on your list of tools to service and equipment to check? Let me know in the comments.

New for 2014! - I'll be offering one-on-one mentoring for a limited number of artists. Find all of the details at the bottom of the Studio Workshops page.

02 December 2013

B2B Monday - Revisit Your Prices

Good Monday afternoon! As we enter the last month of the year, busy with lots of holiday doings and the anticipation of a brand shiny new year, now is a good time to re-evaluate a number of things to do with your art business. This week, your mission is to revisit your pricing. If you sell your work, or teach or lecture, revisit your prices to determine whether they will increase in the new year or remain the same.

Have you sold a lot of work at your current prices? Have your prices remained steady for 2 or more years? When was the last time you raised your fees for teaching or lecturing? It might be time for a modest increase. Check out what other teachers are currently charging for similar classes. Add 10-15% to the retail prices of your artwork and see if the number seems reasonable and comfortable to you. Revise price lists and any online shops to reflect the changes.

Are you looking for an in-depth online course to focus on your art business in the new year? Consider signing up for my Jump Start Your Art Career workshop. All the details can be found in the Online Workshop tab at the top of this blog, or by following the link.

Do you want to see all of the tips in the Back to Business series? Follow the link to see them all!

27 November 2013

Workshops - Online, In Studio and One-on-One Mentoring!

I'm pleased to announce a new line-up of classes that will be starting in the new year! One fabulous online course plus a number of workshops to be held in my studio in Connecticut. Tell Santa - a workshop makes a great gift!

Jump Start Your Art Career, my intense action-packed, knowledge-rich, six-week online course, will begin on Monday January 13, 2014. This class can help anyone with a creative business - working artists in any medium, art teachers, people wanting to get published in magazines or write a book, anyone wanting to start an art retreat, and so many more. We dig deep into a wide variety of topics and, through worksheets and homework, you'll develop a plan for your own business moving forward. Find more details and a sign-up button for Jump Start Your Art Career here.

The Jump Start class is an online class with extensive written material, informative blog posts every week day for 6 weeks, interaction with your fellow students, focused advice for your creative business, deep thinking exercises, and great resources! I hope you can join me.

Workshops held in my loft studio in Bridgeport Connecticut are of both the learn-new-art-techniques, make-cool-stuff variety and the nurture-your-creative-business variety. You can find classes in gyotaku (fish) printed collages, creative stamp making, spirit flags, and a sampler of all of the fun surface design supplies. Plus workshops in building a website, creating and editing videos, making art connections with social media, and as a special bonus - I will be offering one-on-one creative mentoring in 2014!

If you'd like a chance to work directly with me on your art business, either online and over the phone or in person, this is your opportunity. There are only a limited number of mentorships slots available for the first quarter and I'd love to work with you.

If you have any questions about the online or studio workshops, or about the one-on-one mentoring, please contact me at info @ janedavila dot com

25 November 2013

B2B Monday - Retire Your Art

Happy Monday! This week's tip will help you prepare for the coming new year with some cash in your pocket and some space in your studio. Evaluate the inventory of your art to see which pieces can be "retired" and sold for a lower price than you'd normally offer. You may find that you've moved on from certain pieces or series and are ready to let them go. Having a sale, with a definite beginning and ending date, can clear space in both your studio and your mind to explore new directions. The holiday season is the perfect time of year to offer a sale like this.

List work, with prices and photos, on your blog, website or in an Etsy store or other online venue. Advertise your sale to your email newsletter list and on social media sites. State that the sale is on pieces that you're retiring and emphasize that each piece is being sold at a price below that which it would have normally sold. Add an ending date to your sale to create a sense of urgency. 

Come the new year you'll be ready to work, knowing that the older, retired art has moved on to good homes, freeing your creativity!

11 November 2013

B2B Monday - Sort Your Supplies

Happy Monday! If there's one task that needs doing on a semi-regular basis, it's sorting through your art supplies. Throw away used up or dried up paints and mediums. Store "like things" together to prevent re-buying things you already own (I'm guilty of this one!) Check your scissors and cutters to see if blades need replacing or sharpening. Evaluate supplies to see if they're still needed or wanted. If not, donate them to someone who will use them. As our interests and skills change and grow, our need for certain supplies may change too. The space you make can be filled with new supplies or supplies that don't currently have a "home".

When was the last time you sorted through your supplies? Have you outgrown any? Found that you have 3 of something that you only need 1 of?

28 October 2013

B2B Monday - Keeping Track of Work

Good Monday evening! This week's tip to help your art career has to do with record-keeping and organizing.

You may have a system for keeping track of all of the bits of info that are important to your art - prices, shows, awards, etc -  that works just great for you, but you may not have a system at all and now is a good time to set one up, add in all of your older work, and use it with new work moving forward.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started. Create a page in a word processing program for each artwork. Add a photo of it to the top of the page (this is a good way to make sure you remember to shoot all new work too!) Below the photo record the title, the dimensions, the price, and leave room for any exhibitions, sale date with name and contact info for the new owner, publications it may appear in, awards, statement, and any other relevant category that you might need.

A simple page created in Open Office or Word

When you've finished creating the pages for each individual work, print them out and place them in a binder. You can sort the pages by series, by size, or any criteria that makes sense to you. When you are looking for work to enter into a show, flip open your binder and all of the info is right at your fingertips.

You could create a master list of all work for the front of the book, add columns to each page for exhibition submissions, ship dates, and return dates, etc. Keeping a book like this will take the pain out of submitting to shows, keeping track of prices, remembering to take photos and write statements, and locate work wherever it may currently be.

Do you have a system to record all of this info? What works for you?

14 October 2013

B2B Monday - Collaborate!

Happy Monday! This week I have a great tip for you to get your creative juices flowing. Consider a collaboration with another artist or other artists. There are SO many different ways to collaborate with others and all of them can lead to an invigoration of your own work.

You can choose to work on a joint piece or each work on your own pieces, but watching another artist's process and techniques can cause you to find a new approach to your work moving forward and give you food for thought that pushes your work in new directions. Plus it's fun! Most of us work in solitary in our studios and miss out on the interaction with other members of our "tribe". A collaboration is an ideal way to connect and dispel the isolation for a time.

A couple of ideas for collaborations to get you started-

  • Pick up a random book and choose the 11th word in the 3rd line down from the top on page 47. You and a partner each make a piece of art in response to that word.
  • Arrange a day in your studio and invite some artists over to "play". Spread a canvas or large piece of paper out on the floor or on tables. Everyone starts working on the section in front of them and after a half hour or so, everyone moves to another section and adds to the previous artist's work. The end result could be cut up and divided among the participants.
If you  start a collaboration or have recently finished one, please leave a link to photos or a description in the comments. And let us know what you got out of it artistically.

07 October 2013

B2B Mondays - Update Class Materials

Here's a good tip for all of the teachers out there: Check over each of the supply lists for your current workshops and update, add, subtract, and tweak as needed. If you're like me, you're constantly on the lookout for ways to make classes go smoother and to insure that every student has as good an experience as possible. A well-thought-out supply list that doesn't contain items the students never use and does contain everything a student does need goes a long way to providing an excellent experience for teacher and student alike. Classes evolve over time so be sure that your supply lists reflect the most current iterations of your workshops.

And while you're at it, take the opportunity to review the description you've written for each class as well. A good class description entices students to sign up. It will contain an appealing explanation of what a student stands to learn and perhaps include something about your teaching style or other specific information that helps "sell" that workshop.

If you provide photos for workshops to organizers, double check to make sure they are all as appealing and relevant as possible. If you haven't yet organized all of these files (supply lists, descriptions, and photos) into one single folder on your computer yet, now's the moment! The next time you're contacted to teach a class everything will be at your fingertips and ready to go.

And I'm off now to take my own advice and get my class materials in order!

01 October 2013

B2B Mondays - Enter a Challenge

Here's this week's B2B Monday (er...Tuesday, don't ask) business tip: Enter a challenge or answer a publishing call for submission. This can be the very best and fastest way to bring your work to the attention of magazine editors and book publishers.

If one of your goals is to write your own book, contribute to a book, or pen a magazine article or two, look for a challenge or contest to enter. Even if your work isn't chosen as a finalist, your work will be studied and noted by editors and others. If your work is chosen and published, even better! More people will be exposed to your work. Answering a call for submission on a book publisher's website can also lead to good things. And seeing your work in print is such a rush! There are a variety of opportunities that can arise from publication - teaching opportunities, invitations to appear on television or radio, request to submit a book or dvd proposal, and a lot more.

Here are a few resources to get you started:

Quilting Arts magazine challenge page
Cloth Paper Scissors magazine challenge page
The Artist's Magazine contest page

Stampington magazines challenge page

500 Series books page for LarkCrafts
Calls for collective books for LarkCrafts

23 September 2013

B2B Monday - Take a Scary Step

Happy Monday! This week's tip involves scaring yourself. I'm not talking about ghosts and goblins here, but getting out of your comfort zone and taking a step in your career that you've been putting off because it makes you nervous or scares you a bit.

I always tell my students that real growth, both personally and as an artist, occurs when you are trying or doing something outside of that zone where you feel comfortable, the zone where you know the outcomes before you start, and where boundaries aren't pushed very hard. By definition you will feel uncomfortable outside that zone. That's the stretching and growing you need to do as an artist in order to progress, to expand your skills, and to make the zone that much bigger.

So this week, take a scary step forward on your career - submit an article idea to a magazine if you never have before, enter a big show, attend a meeting of a new-to-you group of artists, approach a gallery about showing your work - do something that makes you feel a little nervous and a little uncomfortable (or even a whole lot uncomfortable), and take comfort in the fact that you're growing and stretching and moving your career forward!

Please report back after you've taken your scary step and let me know how it goes. Onward, peeps!

16 September 2013

B2B Mondays - Professional presence

Today's business tip for artists has to do with your professional presence. Your business cards (and postcards if you use them) are an excellent marketing and networking tool that you should carry with you at all times.

You have no idea where the next opportunity will come from and being prepared with a snazzy business card with all of your contact information printed on it means that you won't miss the opportunity and you won't be scrambling for a napkin on which to jot down your details.

Keep in mind that your business cards should be in alignment with your brand so tie them in to your blog or website design, colors, and fonts. Use the space on the card to highlight a photo of your work, even a thumbnail is great!

If you're low on business cards, or if you haven't printed any yet, take time this week to design and order some. Think about adding links or icons for social media so your contacts can connect with you on the platform of their choice.

My favorite online resource for business cards is Moo. The quality of their cards is outstanding and their customer service is amazing. I have ordered cards from them for years and have been more than impressed every time. If you'd like a 10% discount on your first order, click here. Disclaimer: I receive a credit to my account when you click that link, but I love Moo so much, that I'm just as happy if you visit their website directly and bypass the affiliate link (there's no discount if you do though, lol).

There are, of course, many other places to have business cards printed, both online and locally, so I encourage you to explore all of your options. Think carefully about using a "free" printing service if the catch is that they print their logo or web address on your card. This option appears much less professional because it gives the receiver of your card the impression that you aren't serious enough about your business to invest money in it.

Another great option is to design and print your own business cards. Most office supply stores carry business card blanks - sheets that you can print in your own inkjet or laser printer that snap apart easily and look clean and professional. I did this for years before discovering Moo (and still sometimes resort to this option when I've run out of cards before a new order arrives). One drawback I've found is that the paper isn't quite as thick and luxe as the paper used by a commercial printer.

If you design and print a new business card, please add a link in the comment section here so we can all see it!

09 September 2013

B2B Mondays - Connect your Social Media Accounts

Good Monday morning! Are you ready to start off the week with a tip to help you network and keep the door to opportunity wide open?

Now's the time to double check all of your social media outlets to make sure that you've taken the opportunity to connect them together and lead visitors back to your website so they can contact you.

For example, if you are on Facebook, you can edit your profile to include the web addresses of your page on every other social media site you belong to (and most importantly, to your website and blog addresses). Add the urls for your twitter account, your Pinterest boards, your Instagram feed, and more. On Pinterest, edit your profile to include your website address. Check your Instagram account to be certain that your profile lists your web or blog address. Add the addresses of a few ways to connect with you to your email signature so you won't need to type it each time.

And of absolute, primary importance, make sure that your website and blog both have contact information so visitors can reach you! Either a contact form or a link to an email address is perfect. I can't tell you how many times I've had a cool opportunity to offer an artist, visited a beautiful blog or website, and have poked around for way too many minutes trying in vain to find SOME way to contact the artist. I'm more persistent than others might be but I've given up many times without having finding contact info. If there's no way to get in touch with you, who knows what wonderful things you're missing out on? So go now to your blog or website and look at it with "outsider eyes" and see if there is an easy and obvious way to contact you. Check your social media sites to be certain that they either link to each other or link back to your blog or website or both.

26 August 2013

B2B Monday - Update your bio!

Welcome back to Back to Business Mondays!

Today's tip is about keeping your professional biography up to date. If you haven't done it recently, take some time this week to add any new publications, exhibitions, and other relevant news to it. Add a reminder to your calendar on December 1 to update it again. It's an excellent idea to update a biography every 3 months (if you're really active, it could be more often). This way you aren't scrambling if you need a biography for something plus updating it on a regular basis keeps the news fresher in your mind so you aren't struggling to recall details from 2 years ago, and it will take moments to do rather than a potentially much longer time (ask me how I know!)

When was the last time you updated your bio?

21 August 2013

Mixed Media Paper Puppets

Here's another new blog feature - Tutorial Tuesdays! I'll be posting new tutorials on Tuesdays (maybe not every Tuesdays, but on some Tuesdays).

This week's tutorial is inspired by palm leaf "Dancing Man" puppets from India. I recreated the puppet using bristol board, paint, stamps, and more.

Materials List:
  • Bristol Board (I used a sheet 9" x 12" and had enough to cut two puppets)
  • Acrylic paint
  • Acrylic glazing medium (optional)
  • Foam brush
  • Commercial stamp or a marshmallow stamp and an X-acto knife
  • Pattern (*below)
  • Smooch pearlescent ink or other pearlescent ink or paint and a tiny paintbrush
  • 10" bamboo skewer
  • Scissors for cutting paper
  • Embroidery floss
  • Chenille or tapestry needle
  • 1/8" hole punch, awl, or large needle
  • Glue

Step 1:
Mix acrylic paint and glazing medium in equal parts. The glazing medium makes the paint more transparent and allows the texture of the paper to show through. 

Using a foam brush, apply the paint and glaze mixture all over the surface of the bristol board. Set aside to dry.

Step 2:
Create a small circular stamp design on a foam marshmallow or use a commercial stamp. If creating a marshmallow stamp, use an X-acto knife to carefully cut a design or pattern into the foam, testing the stamp with a stamp pad on scrap paper to determine when it is complete.

A cut and uncut foam marshmallow

Step 3:
Use a stamp pad in a color a shade lighter or darker than the painted bristol board. Cover the bristol board with stamped images.

Don't re-ink the stamp after every stamping. Instead continue to stamp it 2-3 times for progressively lighter impressions. This adds depth to the overall design.

Step 4:
Cut out the pattern pieces from the PDF provided. Flip the painted and stamped bristol board over and trace the patterns on the reverse side with a pencil. Trace one body, two arms, and two legs, remembering to reverse one arm and one leg.

Step 5:
Using scissors meant for paper, cut out the pattern pieces from the painted and stamped bristol board.

Step 6:
Fold the body in half along the dotted line, as shown.

Step 7:
Using the Smooch pearlescent ink (which has an applicator brush in the cap) or another pearlescent and a small paintbrush, add the face to one side of the body piece, following the diagram on the pattern.

Even slight variations in line when drawing the face results in different facial expressions. Fun!

Step 8:
Paint the bamboo skewer with acrylic paint and set aside to dry.

Step 9:
Punch holes in the body, arm, and leg pieces, following the markings on the pattern, using an 1/8" hole punch, an awl, or a large needle.

Step 10:
Thread a large-eyed needle with three strands of embroidery floss. Tie a large knot in the doubled floss. Starting at the back of the body piece, sew each arm and leg in position with the arm or leg sandwiched inside the folded body piece. End with a large knot on the front of the body piece.

Step 11:
Apply glue to one end of the painted bamboo skewer and slide it up the center of the folded body piece. Set aside to dry.

Step 12:
Play or decorate with the completed Mixed-Media Paper Puppet!

*The pattern for the Mixed Media Paper Puppet:
Click on this image to embiggen and then print out at original size (8 1/2" x 11")

NOTE: Yes, it's Wednesday and not Tuesday. I had two more photos to shoot and ran out of daylight on Tuesday. And Tutorial Wednesday didn't have the same ring to it...

19 August 2013

B2B Mondays!

I'm excited to start a new feature on my blog - introducing Back to Business Mondays! Every Monday I'll be offering an art-related business tip to start your week off with an action you can take on your art career.

This week's tip is for all the smart phone and tablet users. Create a new photo album and upload some images of your most recent work into it. Then, when you meet someone who wants to know what you do and what kind of art you make, you'll be all ready to go and won't be scrolling through a million photos looking for the right ones. A little work up front will result in a more professional encounter! This is also a really excuse to make sure that you've taken photos of your recent work.

Remember when you're processing your photos to save the original image separately, and then, leaving that one untouched, save the image at different sizes and resolutions for various purposes (websites, blogs, Facebook, etc). You can always go back to that original, untouched image and create a new size or resolution as needed, without loss of image quality.

18 August 2013

Kimono Inspirations

My art quilt group, FiberArt Northeast, has an exhibit called Kimono Inspirations at the Art Quilt Gallery adjacent to the City Quilter in New York City for the month of August. 

Yesterday a group of us met at the gallery to celebrate the show. It was fabulous to see the kimonos hanging in a gallery - and they were hung absolutely beautifully - with such excellent lighting.

The first venue where we displayed the kimonos was our local quilt show and we constructed nearly 30 stands on which to hang them. Half of the stands are 36" high and half are 48" high. The kimonos were draped over the stands and could be walked around and viewed from both sides. This meant that both sides of a kimono were finished and some artists choose to have slightly (or very) different designs on each side. We were uncertain how that original intent (the double-sided kimono) would translate to hanging on a wall with only one side visible.

While many of them are just as interesting on the reverse side, we were thrilled with how well they worked hanging on a wall in the gallery setting. Four of the kimonos were displayed on our stands and showing the three-dimensional aspect of just a few of them really added to the exhibit.

The pieces aren't meant to be actual kimonos, but are inspired by the shape or form of a kimono. The guideline given to each artist was the size of the three pieces needed (the "sleeves" and "body" of the shape), and then they were given free reign in creating either surface-designed cloth in the appropriate sizes or actual stitched art quilts, or a combination of these. Some artists chose to stitch the three pieces together to form one unit, while others left them separate. Some works are sheer and layered and others are heavily quilted. Some are heavily embellished and others are not. A number of the artists chose to be inspired by Japanese imagery or techniques as well. The wide variety of expression is given cohesion by the common shape.

If you have an opportunity, please come visit the gallery to see the exhibit - now through August 31.

07 August 2013

New Workshops in a New Studio

The new studio space at the Nest Arts Factory is all set up and ready for visitors. I've put together an exciting roster of classes - a good mix of surface design and art business topics. I've been wanting to teach the business workshops more in depth, with each student bringing a laptop and working on their own website, blog, images, etc. Now this is finally possible! It's one thing for me to explain how to do something to a large group and give you a handout and send you home to try it on your own, and me standing next to you while you try it so you can ask questions as they arise and we can troubleshoot any problems.

Won't you join me?

22 May 2013

A new studio! Workshops! Mentorship Group!

I have big news! Carlos and I are moving into a new studio in Bridgeport CT. We're combining our two studios into one giant shared space and we're beyond excited. The loft is at the Nest Arts Factory at 1720 Fairfield Avenue. It's a vibrant and energetic building full of visual artists and musicians, a really neat antiques market (mixed media heaven!) and plenty of parking. This area of Bridgeport is about a block away from the border of the town of Fairfield and is very conveniently located just off of route 95.

And now for the really exciting part: in addition to teaching workshops in our new studio, I am starting a new mentorship group that will meet at the loft one Saturday a month and I'm holding an Open House on Saturday, June 22. The goal of the mentorship group is to work on the business side of being an artist. Some topics that will be covered in future meetings are:

  • writing an artist statement
  • taking effective photographs for web and show entry
  • using social media to develop your audience
  • learning how to approach a gallery
  • tips and tricks for getting published in magazines and books

I lead the group in discussion, in exercises, and in challenges, and there is a lot of hands-on work in each meeting where you are working on your art career with the knowledge I'm providing and the discussions that result. If you're looking for a supportive group that will help you boost your career and give you in-depth, industry specific information, this is it.

There will be a small fee for each meeting beginning in July, but the Open House meeting will be free to all. If you're interested, please email me and I'll save a space for you (info at janedavila dot com). I'll also have a class schedule for the summer ready for sign-ups (more info on the blog this week!)

Now on to the photos! These are the "before" views of the loft. This one is from standing in the doorway and looking into the studio toward the windows.

This is from standing in one corner near the windows, looking back into the studio toward the door.

Today we took a hard look at the floor and decided that before we moved any of our things in, that we should paint it. We hopped in the car, located the nearest Home Depot (always a priority anyway), and picked up a couple of gallons of flooring paint in a warm light putty gray. Once we got back to the studio, we taped off the floor with painter's tape and cracked open the cans. I cut in along the walls with a small brush and Carlos rolled the floor. We were done in about an hour and a half and now have to wait overnight for it to dry.

While the floor is still in a "well-loved" state, it is infinitely better with a fresh coat of paint. Hopefully tomorrow we'll hang lights and start assembling our studio furniture.

Stay tuned for more progress reports from the Nest.  ~ Jane

27 March 2013

Free Webinar for Quilting Arts

Hi! I'm popping in to let you know about a free webinar I'll be giving for Quilting Arts today at 1 pm EDT on using social media to promote yourself as an artist. We'll be covering a lot of really interesting topics  like choosing an effective avatar and alias, how to add a watermark to your images to better protect them, how to use each platform to its best advantage, and much more!

If you preregister here you can ask questions and watch the webinar live. If you're tied up today you can always watch the recording later (I'll add the link as soon as we have it).

I hope you can join  me!!

20 February 2013

Start the press!

I've taken a detour back to printmaking. And I'm having a blast!

I started out as a printmaker, and although I incorporate a lot of printmaking techniques into my fiber and mixed media work, it's been quite a few years since I printed onto paper with a press.

I had a revelation for a new series that is based on combining classic yet quirky patterns (like the fun hexagons below) with nature forms, in almost silhouette-like dark colors. I mixed up a set of colors in a refreshing palette.

I began by etching my background plates and applied them with two different colors to create the pattern.

It's amazing how old skills can sometimes come back to you so easily, like muscle memory, where your body remembers what it feels like to perform a task, plus the smells bring you right back.

If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen some sneak peeks of this series in progress (and if you're on Instagram, please let me know in the comments so I can follow you - I'm addicted!)

The first in the series, escarabajo i, completed and signed. The image size is 4" x 4" and I immediately cut a mat to see what it looked like (another hold-over skill).

Then I decided to try another pattern, a sort of modified chevron, on a smaller scale. I auditioned different color combinations for backgrounds.

Then I added a block printed beetle to each background. The completed images are just 2" x 2".

I will be adding these prints to my etsy store soon, stay tuned! (mats included :)