Thursday, October 10, 2019

A Slow Start Builds to PRINTMAKING! BONANZA! this weekend

current mood, courtesy TripAdvisor
I suspect I'm in the middle of a post-holiday slump. I'd like to nap and snooze and not do much of anything. Which doesn't really jive with reality, but one can dream. Or one *could* dream, were one to rest for more than 20 minutes, at any given point of any day. The time of easy napping has long since left me.  Last Sunday was a local art event (Westside Art Hop, interesting interview with event creator here), for which I was a venue organizer --  a happy affair, with a worthy end goal of art promotion and community building. As it often does, the role of "organizer" expanded to fill any available time for a couple weeks. But the event pulled itself together well, Michigan unrolled one of its perfect Fall days, I made some new friends, and sold an encouraging amount of recent card designs.

This is the first year I took a more serious stab at Holiday cards (Judeo-Christian). In the past, whenever I trained my sights on a design for a specific purpose, my brain always faked me out with something appealing but irrelevant (Christmas, hunh? …What about a hedgehog? Or a paranoid/appropriately afraid/ armadillo?). But this time, with a little encouragement, I tried to push through. I came up with some cynical ornaments giving side-eye, and an utterly dire family bingo; sadly, neither surmounted their initial roadblocks. Rick shared the germs of ideas for Hanukah cards, two of which made it to actual production. Between sketches of angels and penguins with hobby horses, plus the 4 y.o. spitfire, I have been busy since our return from Pennsylvania at the end of August.

Some glimpses into design evolution:

original angel treetopper was mildly babushka-like
sketch plus foliage
I decided to add wing detail to the key block, but left dress details to the color blocks
how does a sheep earn its wings? This, I do not know.
the backside of the mousie design, on its last color block
More of a classic holiday card, free and swoopy.
Two variations, each one printed on three blocks

My Dreidel/Gimel (“Take all the chocolate" side of the dreidel) card was the surprise hit at Westside Art Hop, along with “Dark & Stormy.” 

Holy *!” said one future customer, “It’s the ONLY CLEVER HANUKKAH CARD EVER!”

Right !?!” replied Rick, later that night, “And it’s so weird. Because we’re such a funny people.”

So, I’m feeling good about the Hanukkah cards. I have another, which is still drying in the basement.

Dark & Stormy: It’s not quite a Halloween card, but it IS a nightmare of our modern life, so I also just printed this in orange and black.

The more books you look in, the more surprises you find
Otherwise, the Art Hop was good for a few overheards (nothing outrageous). A professor, gesturing to the armadillo, said to his colleague, “…Yeah, I’m going to hang that IN MY LAB  -- though he failed to buy it, alas. I hovered in the background, wondering what is studied in his lab. A woman walked past wearing a black tee shirt, with white lettering which I thought Anne (co-author of this study) would appreciate: Not that Kind of Doctor.
If you missed Westside Art Hop, you have another chance to catch me this Fall, this Saturday at the downtown Ann Arbor Library, at the PRINTING EXTRAVAGANZA known as Wayzgoose
Printing demos, talks (including the amazing Amos Kennedy), and workshops, as well as a bevvy of printmakers, displaying and selling their wares. Come visit!

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