For the past few months, I was feeling a little lost and unsure of what to do next with painting. I thought working on prints and collages would get me back on track, but I was still not as productive as I used to be and just as lost. Part of the reason was because I couldn’t quite adjust to having to schedule studio time around two jobs. The other part was my own paralyzing fear that stemmed from having to structure my own studio practice, coming up with my own “assignments”, so to speak, without any idea how. (My previous attempts to hold myself accountable included a monthly Studio Log post on this blog. But the last log I posted was from two months ago. So...)
Ultimately, after talking to my best friend (and she’s the bestest!), I was spurred into action. She was right. All my insecurities, all my hesitancies, all my doubts, all my worries about what would people say about my works, mean nothing if there are no works to show. I realized that I needed to treat my studio time just like another job because it is just as important than my day jobs. The first important step I took toward achieving this was saying no to a part-time job offer (which I have to thanks another amazing friend who pushed me toward this absolutely right decision). Taking on that job would mean I’d be juggling 3 day jobs, which would add up to 50-55 hours work weeks, and I’m so, so done with that life.
As for painting, I’ve set up a new still-life that I’m super excited about. I’m still using those foam scraps I found in the trash a year ago (which were used in the still-life for As Is). I’m working on a preliminary drawing of it now to prepare for the painting. I enjoy drawing these shapes so, so sooooo much! I'm definitely going to make more drawings of this still-life from different perspectives. Also, I need to figure out how I can make more of the little guys so I can use them in other still-lifes.
Now, about printmaking:
I’ve been working, slowly, on a hybrid print project, using both etching and woodcuts on one print. I chose a simple image of a few mushrooms. I’ve always been interested in organic/natural forms, especially in the style of the illustrations in old textbooks. Formally, this image provides just enough details/textures for me to play with without going insane.
The plan is to make 1-2 blocks for the colors in the mushrooms’ caps. Plus, an etching of the gills to create a more dimensional effect and to introduce a different kind of marks in the print. So far, the key block (picture below) is carved and proof printed. Next, I need to carve the color blocks and proof the etching. Then, with some luck, all the plates will line up just perfectly. Or not. But I will cross that bridge when I get there.
I started this print project to reacquainted myself with printmaking after a long period away from the printshop. My old prints, done mostly during my intro classes, are very flat and graphic. They actually look similar to this key block. Which I like just fine, but it is time to push my limits and get out of my comfort zone.