International Printmaking Day – Working On It

Today I was going to make a new dry point etching to stay in tune with all the other printmakers busy in their studios. BUT. Sidetracked with other things. This past week I did get all the white line prints out from my recent trip to Australia where I taught and demonstrated the technique. I love the carving into wood. It is that “scritchy” sound and with white line I can dip into the watercolors made from various travels. In this case, Australia.

What I wanted to do was make a stitch line all the way around each print. Just a couple left to do. The thread I am using was purchased in the little town of Goolwa, South Australia from a fabrics and sewing shop where I found this French mercerized cotton just the color of Eucalyptus leaves. Here is another image of some of them.

I would love to print more of these and will later on. Now I just have to figure out what to do with the ones I have. Do I mat them? Mount them on museum board to tuck into archival sleeves and take them back to Australia next year to sell at a vendor’s table?

Actually what am I supposed to do with all the things that accumulate in the studio?  The things I make to keep my hands and mind busy as distractions of enthusiasm from other less exciting realities of life.

So on International Printmaking Day I spent the morning framing in deep frames each of the small houses I made with clothes lines a while back. They seemed unfinished somehow just hanging there on the wall. They were waiting for something I think. And then I thought maybe they should be protected behind a glass.

So naturally I framed up each and every one of the five houses. Then hung them back on the wall. It took all of five seconds before I thought they needed something else. (I really should have just done the dry point etching). Anyway now each will have a turn at getting an environment or yard surrounding the house. I don’t think I liked the plain white space around them….not much different than the white wall in the studio. And of course I had to not do just one and give it a good look. No, I had to frame them all before it became clear that I did not like them. Sometimes I think I am getting a bit slow.  It could also be the influences of living with dementia. But those are just excuses for being impatient. My “let’s just whip this thing out” days may have come to an end and I am just now getting the message.

So thinking about last week and my skeptical view of so many authors devoting time to telling the rest of us how to be creative, I did decide to gather some sticks. Stones will be coming. But with the addition of sticks from my wind blown yard and some thick PVA, I am landscaping the houses. Here is a detail of the one and only one pretty well finished today.

And here is what I have learned.

  1. I am not as patient as I once was.
  2. Glue takes longer than I thought to dry.
  3. Not just any stick will do.
  4. Cleaning the glass on the inside is a royal pain.
  5. Covering up glue smears require more sticks, more moss, more leaves, more time, more patience.

Next week I will get the other four finished. Then it is back to those watercolors on gessoed boards. Those wonderful combinations of sticks, stones, pods, etc. that make up my specimen series. The dragonfly will be the first one I get to.

And you can consider this week’s blog a creativity lesson for free on Sticks, Glue and What You Can Do. 

I am going to finish off today with a scotch and toast all my fellow printmakers who actually did stay on task today and likely ended up with some great editions.

And I will quite easily resist purchasing a “Let’s All Be Creative My Way” book while cleaning up the mess I have made in the studio so I can get on with my desire to be distracted with enthusiasm.

Next week some more newly landscaped houses and the watercolored dragonfly specimen.