Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Coming up for air

It's been a long time, but who is counting? The month of August was spent in dutiful letting go, lightening the crush that surrounds us. Betwixt and between the papers, memories were found. Pounds of paper reduced to smaller bunches but why no increased elbow room? Why? No doubt we will have to do this again. I have not been ruthless enough. Raised by depression era parents - my excuse.

There have been some moments of pure bliss. Times spent in pleasant play. It was summer after all and the blackberries were ripening. One afternoon was spent making and playing with blackberry ink. Unfortunately it is light sensitive, but what fun to use for a harvest festival invitation.

It comes out different colors on different types of paper.

Then there was the one afternoon when I had had enough with making decisions about OPS
(other people's stuff) and got silly.
I used some limbs to make this cheeky sculpture.
Perhaps I was delirious - but they look like the feminine form to me.
With the celestial skies in the background maybe they are Roman goddesses?
I spent one weekend this month at a workshop -
Expressing your ideas on Paper and Cloth.
 It was taught by Deborah Greenwood, Lucia Harrison, and MalPina Chan, 
all members of the Puget Sound Book Artist group.
What a wonderful experience.
We printed using handmade gel plates, paper lithography, and making hand printed book cloth, plus a dozen or more side track paths of learning.
Needless to say, I came home prepared to get busy.
I made big chart with a long list and immediately started cranking stuff out.

 I have always used water-based printing inks - that is up until this class,
because of the possible mess.
But watch out now.
After instruction from MalPina clean up could not be easier!
I am now a double fisted printer. 
 A tube of oil in one hand, water-based in the other!
The oil ink just slides right over the wood blocks.


Today I spent the WHOLE day in the studio.
I used rice paste and glued my rusted pellon.
I used two different types of rice paper just to test the process.
I think the pieces will make beautiful book covers.
The surface of the pellon captured the shiny rust and it
shimmers and is all purpley
(what you don't know that color?) 

I haven't tried gluing the fabric onto boards yet,
but I am pretty sure it will work well.
 I know... famous last works, I probably shouldn't have said that.

I've had a grand time burning wood rounds and ends,
printing over waste papers and gel prints.
Doesn't sound like work at all, does it?

I will have to figure out a way to keep the block in alignment... or not. We will see.

Frankly I am a little spent, but nothing a cup of tea won't cure! 
The smile of contentedness will surely be there for some time.  


  1. WOW!WOW!!WOW!!! Your work always shows so much passion.But then when we love what we do it is not work.And yes your limbs do look like some women I know.LOVE IT!! g.a.s.

  2. Your prints are so, so fabulous, Jan!!

  3. Jan, your work has always fascinated me! I love the female sculptures...I see their form too and the tree ring prints are just stunning! Such a creative place....you encourage me to try printmaking again...it used to be my passion!