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Obsession and Art Head July 2015

Obsession and Art Head (the short version)
I have been obsessed with clearing my art drawers. Deciding what I will work on and what gets cut up to fill creative clipping bags. Once I began painting on old ghost prints and embelishing the old images with more color and detail I have been totally absorbed in the process. I told myself that I can’t do new work until I resolve and move these older pieces on. What am I saving them for?, This was my question.
Come to find out, I love painting.
I can’t stop. I don’t want to stop. When I come out of the studio it is hard to switch gears because I am in total “art head”. Making decisions and follow through with the art is all consuming. It is hard to leave the works in process and attend to life outside the studio.I love how the paste paint looks on the ghost prints. It is like magic. Here is a little sample of a paste paint print.

I will demonstrate this process at the annual Ashland Studio Tour, October 10th and 11th.
I am obsessed and absorbed with working on these pieces. I am gluing them on to wood and layering wax on top giving them a wonderful glow. I will be displaying them on the featured artist wall upstairs at the Ashland Art Center in August.
Here is one of the finished pieces that will be on display in August:

Coyote Window

 

Obsession and Art Head (the long version)
I have been obsessed with my art lately. Yes, more than usually. It all started when I promised a “Creative Clippings” bag to a customer. These are 6 X 9 plastic bags filled with bits of prints, bits of paste papers, cards, card flyer images, and a variety of things from my studio for collage, scrap booking, and art projects. Before creating the bag for the customer I went through all my drawers and art bins culling prints and ghost prints deciding which pieces I wanted to draw or paint on, which pieces will become book covers for my handmade books, and which pieces will end up as part of the “Creative Clippings” bags.I knew that I was avoiding creating new monoprints. Still, I needed to clear the drawers and I needed to make some Creative Clippings bags. Sometimes I have to clear the decks before new work can come through. So this is my excuse to myself for not creating new images.I separated the ghost prints that I wanted to work on. Some of these prints I have saved for sixteen years. Ghost prints are the second, third, or fourth monoprints that are printed from the same plate, each print becoming lighter and ghostier. I like the ghost images for many reasons. I like working on the ghosts because I can take the original idea of the first print to another level or I can take the original idea and completely change it. The piece becomes less of a print and more of a drawing or painting or a mixed media piece. I find this very freeing and a lot less pressure than creating new monoprint images from scratch.About five years ago, by accident, I discovered that using paste paint on top of ghost images creates a unique and vibrant piece of art. Paste paint is acrylic paint in a paste medium. Generally paste paint is used for making paste papers with patterns and surface design used in book making and other projects. I have made and used paste papers in the making of my books for close to thirty years.I have been working for two weeks solid everyday on six ghost prints. First I painted on them with the paste paint creating atmosphere and some surface design. This process is bizarre and also magical because I lay lots of colored paste over the print. I hand press carved stamps onto the print. Lastly I paint a layer of black paint over the entire print. Once this is done I scrape all the paint off and see what is there. It is hard to describe. I may do a demonstration of this process during the next annual Ashland Studio Tour that will be held October 10th and 11th. I will keep you posted on this.Next I began painting details using gouache and paste paint. I have been enjoying this process a lot. I carefully paint the details and add elements that were not in the original monoprint, sometimes pulling ideas from forty years ago. I have felt really good about working on these unfinished pieces of art. When there is an excess of work in my art drawers I feel weighed down by them. The obsession comes from not allowing my self to print anything new until these are finished and when I am away from the studio all I think about is getting back to these works. Once the paintings are finished I glue them on to wood panels. Next I coat the paintings with bee’s wax. I have four of the six completed and will be showing all these pieces at the Ashland Art Center for first Friday, in August. I will be the featured artist for the month of August. I will be showing the new work at the top of the stairs.Since I had the bee’s wax heated and ready I have been re-working some older pieces and working on some new encaustic pieces that are on display upstairs in my studio #8 at the Art Center, just in time for the First Friday Art Walk this week July 3rd.I have been so utterly focused and absorbed by all these art pieces that I am barely aware of anything outside of my studio. When I do come out I can barely carry on a conversation much less decide what is for dinner. I call this state of mind “Art Head”. I know that I am missing a lot of great things happening in town and with my friends. This is the price of “Art Head”. Hopefully my friends and clients will understand.  I am loving being in the “creative can’t stop mode”.  More on the “Creative Can’t Stop Mode” next time because right now i have to get back to the studio.

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