Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Time to JUMP

Well, I've tried on different swimsuits, taken lessons, talked with all the experts, and  I'm finally ready to jump in the water.

The Inkodye is such an interesting medium. There are a variety of ways to achieve tone, resolution and color; a variety of application and exposure methods; and various effects from different in material. I'm going to use a combination of ink density with select lighting and exposure time to try to achieve a light or gradiated exposure.

As far as the 'object of exposure,' I feel that used as an art medium only, the best value for the use of Inkodye is exposure of complex images - otherwise, stenciling would be just as effective. Because I want to do large work, it requires large transparencies - something nearly unavailable in Vancouver, WA. Only one of the 6 vendors I contacted was able to confidently state the ability to print a large transparency and provide me an estimate within 24 hours of my request. Oh, how I would like to utilize their services - just for the fact of their customer service. But, the estimate was out of my budget for this project. I'm going to make the best of tiling 8.5 x 11 transparencies to compose my (2) 54ish" x 60" negatives. My hope is since I will be overlaying images, the lines that may appear from tiling will fade into the composite.

So, TOMORROW, I'll be taking the big dive and exposing my images at the open studio from 5-9.

"JUMP!" says Dad.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

17 days remain

I remember things people tell me... I may not remember exactly who told me, but I try.

I believe it was my mother who brought to my attention that I always (like her) choose to tackle the most difficult projects, and often work right up to deadline. I think it has to do with wanting a challenge, and to exhaust all possibilities in order to come to the most perfect solution.

I had a friend in High School named Nicole. She gave me the most wonderful compliment that I always remember when I am feeling inadequate as an artist. She said something to the effect of, "Sharon, whenever you start something, I think 'what the heck is she even doing?' But when you finish it, it's the coolest thing ever."

friends, jeff and nicole
I see the confusion on people's faces when I try to explain what I'm doing, and when I hear the ideas and suggestions of my peers, I sometimes interpret it as them trying to make sense of their confusion. I can always go back to my mom's notion and Nicole's compliment for reassurance that I'm on the right path. And now, for back-up I can reference Anne and Cameron who both mentioned that "it's all and experiment."

Well, my experiment continues. I'll be at VOCA tomorrow working on the same process but with entirely different imagery. After sending in $6 to the money order claim folks, I received an email today that my image was ready for download from the NY Pub Library. Note: account for at least 1 month when ordering imagery from such a source.

The timing is lovely. As I mentioned, I had moved past the image. The excessive bleaching of the fabric was one strike. Thinking that I'd never see the image was the second. Stress from the deadline was the third. It forced me to develop a new idea, which I'm pretty happy with and am excited to explore tomorrow during our open studio day. I'll be there noon to 6, with the exception of running off to get something I forgot, or grabbing a snack.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

the process of elimination

For the past few days, I have been debating on what direction to take my Art Lab project. My plan was to tackle a piece I have been putting off for about 6 months. I have spent the last 2 weeks trying to purchase the necessary equipment to complete it -- including a high res image that was only available by mailing $50 to the New York Public Library. I mailed the money order on December 29th, and as of Wednesday, they had not yet received the MO. I can't believe how many important things I've lost in the mail. In any case, without a high res. of the image, I'm not confident I'd get the results I want.

Today--my first day at Art Lab--I set up my space. I anxiously addressed the first task I had assigned myself for this project, despite the lack of an image to work with, or a decision on what to do about that. I very casually timed the bleaching of my canvas, and ended up with a canvas that was not only too light, but too frail. The old fabric ripped with the slightest touch. So, my decision was made for me. 6 months of staring at the piece I wanted so badly to finish, ended today.

Timing is everything, and it was very nice timing when just before this somewhat devastating episode, I admitted, "things are going well, but I'm still in my experimental stage." Anne, very quickly noted that aren't we always in an experimental stage... and that, isn't it all an experiment.

Reflecting on that made it easy to drop my 6 mo. goal. Without much effort, I took one step toward a new vision, and tested my colors on a different fabric - a newer material that would not require bleaching. I have some ideas about the direction I'd like to take, but am not as clear in my vision as I'd like to be. I think I can figure it out tomorrow though with a little bit of research.

Art Lab's first open day is this Sunday, January 12th, and I plan to be back on my feet by then. Come by 906 Harney between 12 and 4pm to check it out, meet all the artists and get a special peek into our processes, struggles and successes.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Year, New Approach

I was recently asked to take a new approach to my art production by participating in Art Lab. Art Lab is a "month-long creativity incubator" hosted by VOCA in downtown Vancouver, WA. Eight local female artists will work together in a shared space. The space will be open to the public on January 12th, 16th and 23rd. On these days, visitors can observe and meet a majority of artists. Since artists will be working there all month, other days may have open doors but a more limited number of artists.
I'm really excited to work next to these seven talented women! I'll be using Lumi Inkodye on a 60" x 30" surface. The product was introduced to me by Karen Madson and I've been experimenting with it for about 3 weeks. I'm discovering that I need to take a very methodical approach to accomplish my goals with this piece and to do it in within the time frame. So far, I have a good understanding of my ink to water ratio and exposure time. I'm nearly decided on what lights to use for exposure, but think I may do a few further tests  before I come to that decision. The lights alone could be up to a $200 investment, so I want to make sure I'm happy with my decision.

I've outlined a task list for the next 4 weeks, with plans on doing some of the more prominent tasks on the visitor days. It's sort of like a play - where every task is necessary, but only the main characters really get the spotlight.

If you're interested in checking out Art Lab, please come by 906 Harney Street in downtown Vancouver WA on any of the dates listed above. If those dates/times don't work out for you, but you happen to be downtown - just drive by and see if the doors are open. We'll be happy to visit with you!