Friday, August 28, 2015

Printmaking and Printing Test Pieces and Other Updates

There's inevitably a let down after completing a big project like Comfort/Discomfort. It's been difficult to settle into any kind of groove, and some exploration of half-baked ideas went nowhere.
So I went back to basics and revisited my interest in collagraph techniques. I also did some more exploration of digital printing on fabric.

 Meanwhile, The Edge of the Forest travelling show is working its way across Canada. It's currently in Newfoundland, then heads west in 2016. Details at

Edge of the Forest in Toronto, April 2015

Really like the postcard!

My notebooks, showing results of various collagraph print tests. And a teaser at top left, where I'm collecting images relating to hawks and falconry for an artist's book idea that is slowly percolating...

Contributions to good causes are always a fun challenge. The Bruce County Public Library does an annual "Reel Art" competition. Artists purchase a pre-cut wood fish form, decorate it and then return it to the Library to be juried and then auctioned. Entry fees and proceeds from the auction help fund the distribution of early literacy kits for each baby born in the county. As I was focusing on collagraph, I made 2 print plates from my fish. I used a mix of plaster and acrylic medium to create the plates. After pulling off a series of prints from the plates, I touched up the residual ink left on the plates, added some silver and gold leaf, sealed everything with varathane, and voila: GoldFish and SilverFish!

2 collagraph plates created for "Reel Art" 2015

Proud to report that SilverFish has been awarded "Best of Show". To be auctioned on September 23rd, 2015.

Some of the prints I pulled from these plates had various flaws, so I didn't want to keep them for future framing. Instead I cut them out and glued them front and back to foam core, then strung them on a fish creel ($5.00 at Canadian Tire). They are now hanging in my sun-room.

Preparing for upcoming shows:

The Comfort/Discomfort series is going to be at Quest Art in Midland, Ont, March 18- May 14, 2016.

Comfort/Discomfort at the Durham Art Gallery, September 2014

And this quilt is currently part of Hard Twist 10, the annual juried show at Toronto's Gladstone Hotel:

Back to printing. Here's the result of some tests of digital printing on fabric, using different digital grounds and various colour manipulations via Photoshop CS5. The original images come from photo's I've taken over the years at the summer cottage built by my grandparents. It will turn into a small quilted hanging that points me in the direction of  more layered and nuanced photo/fabric manipulations. Stay tuned...

Friday, January 9, 2015

Looking Back at 2014... and Forward to 2015

Hard to believe that my last post was March 2014. Catch-up is overdue. 2014 was busy and productive. My work appeared in 2 publications.

I was honored to have one of my books selected by Lark Books for Volume 2 of its 500 Handmade Books series. Although this was published in September 2013,  I didn't receive my copy until early in the New Year. My "Grand Canyon" book is on page 120.

In September, I was one of 30 local artists and fine craft makers to be featured in "Back Road Craft, Fine Craft in Grey and Bruce Counties." Each artist in this publication had 4 pages devoted to outstanding photographs of their studio and process, along with explanatory text. Here are a few pictures taken by photographer Becky Comber.

Much of my time in 2014 was spent completing the big quilt/book project referenced in previous posts. Six quilts and six artists books (each in an edition of 3) were finally completed. "Comfort/Discomfort" was shown at the Durham Art Gallery from September 13 to November 9, 2014 as part of a show entitled Adaptation, I shared the large gallery space with Iriz Paabo, whose approach to the quilt form certainly differs from mine, but our selection of work complemented each other beautifully. I'm proud to report that the show was well attended and generated many thoughtful and appreciative comments. And I must acknowledge the funding support of the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario. The project would not have been completed without that support.

With a successful show under my belt, I'm sending out proposals to other galleries. Meanwhile I will be participating in a travelling show of work by Canadian members of the Surface Design Association. I submitted 2 pieces to the jury. One was chosen to be one of 54 works exploring themes of boundaries and edges.

Forest_Fence_Field chosen for "Edge of the Forest" 

Detail from "Northwest Passage" not chosen