Category Archives: Stuff I Made

Companions and Progeny

The Sub-Arctic Expedition continues to spawn new work.  These two images are the latest product of my month in the cool, grey, green Faroe Islands.

Companions 5.5" x 4" multiple plate etching

Companions
5.5″ x 4″
multiple plate etching
$100

Progeny 5.5" x 4" multiple plate etching

Progeny
5.5″ x 4″
multiple plate etching
$100

 

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Another Faroe-based etching

I was in the studio yesterday, drawing on the key plate for a new piece:

fugloy house plate

This is based on the Fugloy House painting I did while in the Faroes.  So far, both post-Faroe etchings I am working on are based on paintings I did while on my trip.  At first, I was worried that I was just copying myself; however, I’ve noticed two things:

  1. The resulting print is much richer for having started out as a painting.  Having worked out many of the composition and content issues in the painting, it is easier to explore technical issues more in the etching.
  2. Re-working the image on three copper plates, rather then on paper makes the image evolve a bit, plus it lets me correct side-effects of the initial burst of creativity.  The original Fugloy House image started as a seemingly random green blob.  The etching version features a closer approximation of the actual Fugloy coastline.

Here is the first proof, from just the key plate (this proof is actually a side effect of transferring the image from the key plate to the other two color plates).

fugloy house proof

Over and Up

Finished another piece this morning:

Over and Up, ink and gouache, 12" x 16"

Over and Up, ink and gouache, 12″ x 16″

I think this is a continuation of my ongoing giraffe series.  I didn’t really expect much to happen with those while here in the Faroes.  Silly of me to think that I am in charge of my sub-concious.

Some details:

Over and Up det1

Over and Up det2Yes, that is a puffin.

Over and Up det3

I see the images I am creating here as mostly experiments, which will turn into etchings when I return to Albuquerque.  I think this image may end up turning into three images, more or less corresponding to the parts in each detail.  In fact, I’ve already begun the gouache and ink versions:

3 starts

Fugloy!

The title of this post is what a Faroese friend, one of the teachers at last week’s Outer Island English Retreat, exclaimed upon seeing the green blob on the piece of paper on my studio table.

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Blot/grot tekneeursk við grunt blob (possibly that was Faroese for blue/green paper with green blob)

I hadn’t meant the green blob to be Fugloy, though by this point I was pretty sure it was an island.  The green blob had begun life as a ghost image from another piece of paper that I had applied too much grey and green gouache to.  The white boat shapes had shown up just an hour or so before my visitor came by.

I worked on the image more today.  I don’t know that it is finished, but I am done working on it for now.  Working on it has been yet another trip through “Why the heck would anyone do this artist thing?”.  For almost the entirety of working on this piece, I did not know what I was making, let alone why I was making it.  No one asked me to make it, and I had no idea if anyone would look at it, let alone like it in some way.  To work on the image at all, I had to shove these questions to one side of my brain, while still keeping enough of my logical brain turned on to create something besides random marks and splatters.  If I worry about what I am making, and why I am making it, and what it means, while I am in the middle of making, then I would never make anything at all.

One thing just followed another, and it was only the shape resonating with someone that kept the piece growing into something besides a green blob.  It is not quite the shape of Fugloy, but it is remarkable close.  Fish (herring, in this case) seemed important, and the boats were something I wanted to draw more of.  I wasn’t sure what to put on the island.  At the point I left off last night, the association with Fugloy was getting in the way of deciding what to do with the drawing.  Then, as I was waking up this morning, I realized that a giant Faroese house, with a turf roof, would work just fine.

I still don’t know what it means, other than “I went on a trip to the Faroe Islands.”  But maybe it isn’t my job to figure out what it means.

Island House, 16" x 12', ink, gouache, colored pencil

62.3 N Ladder

Lots of fog in Torshavn today, so I mostly stayed in the studio.

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I have four pieces in progress.  I think I finished one today:

Ladder at 62.3 North, 16" x 12', ink, gouache, colored pencil

Ladder at 62.3 North, 16″ x 12′, ink, gouache, colored pencil

My Career as a Coloring Book Artist

I spent Thursday through Saturday at the G! Festival, in Gøta.  I could go on and on about Nordic musicians enfolded in mist on a North Atlantic beach, but that is outside the scope of both this blog and my writing abilities.

wtf at g

I got to be at G! by helping out with Watch That Film, a series of screenings of Faroese music videos, experimental films from the Orkney Islands, Faroese short films, a new silent film by Faroese musician Teitur, a documentary about the metal band Hamferð, and Barnafilmar–four short animated films screened for children.  The “opening act” for Watch That Film was Read That Book–readings by Faroese authors/poets.  Everything took place in a barn converted into a lounge for the occasion:

My official job title was “Minion”, which mostly meant some schlepping and some driving; however, I also created coloring pages for Barnafilmar.  Children in the audience voted for best of the four children’s films by selecting a coloring page for their favorite.  Rabbit and Deer, an exploration of friendship and the metaphysics of 2-D versus 3-D, won.  We set out markers and children colored the pictures (or created their own on the reverse) and entered them in a drawing for a mobile phone.  The much-improved-by-coloring pictures will be displayed on familjan.fo.

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Rabbit and Deer, directed by Peter Vácz

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Ormie, directed by Rob Silvestri

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Much Better Now, directed by Phillip Camarella and Simon Griesser

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Premier Automne, directed by Carlos de Cavalho and Aude Danset

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Collecting the finished artworks.

During my spare moments, I also found myself creating small sculptures out of masking tape.

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Voyaging Penguin

Faroese Voyage, ink and gouache, 12" x 18"

Faroese Voyage, ink and gouache, 12″ x 18″