Category Archives: work-in-progess

Work-In-Progress (13.nov.07)

I’m try­ing to be bet­ter about keep­ing notes as I go along. (Click the thumb­nails forf ull size images.)

2 Goth­ic Arch­es pieces that are on my table at the moment.

poetry-toads WIP

Poet­ry-Toads. The back­ground is made up of pat­tern tis­sue and a fac­sim­i­le of the first page of an old edi­tion of Pride and Prej­u­dice. I col­ored the pea­cock with water­col­or pen­cils and then soaked it in mag­ic juice. ( a mix of left­over tea leaves and cof­fee grounds in luke­warm water.) A lit­tle thinned out ges­so and it’s ready to go. The quote is from Mar­i­anne Moore re the def­i­n­i­tion of a poem cut out and glued to some Japan­ese wrap­ping paper. The lady is col­ored and wet­ted and not glued down yet. It needs a final sur­face treat­ment of some sort to pull it togeth­er and mel­low the edges.

Flower-Bird WIP

I don’t know where this one is going. The back­ground is a paper tow­el that start­ed life a a brush wiper and then got paint­ed on it’s own mer­it. (Water col­ors — greens and browns and a funky amber that I love and will prob­a­bly nev­er be able to recre­ate.)

The flow­ers are from the front of a seed pack­et that is on some wall­pa­per I have a scrap of. There’s a cutout of an engrav­ing of a lit­tle bird (Car­oli­na wren?) that I think belongs on here.

I’m on my third time through In This House. I’m going to do mine as an accor­dion book with each page about nine inch­es tall. I’ve got some rice paper back­ings dry­ing on boards, cad­mi­um red this time. I mean to use it as back­grounds for the hous­es.

Work-In-Progress (26.nov.07)


Still work­ing on the flow­ers goth­ic arch. It now has birds on it. I have a pic­ture of my great grand­moth­er that I think will go in the cen­ter.

wip-birds and balloons

I have a new goth­ic arch start­ed. The back­ground is torn papers coat­ed with a wash of gel medi­um to get it all stuck down. I put a bird down and then decid­ed that a cou­ple of the back­ground papers where just too bright so I smeared ges­so over it all. Then the bird dis­ap­peared. I liked him well enough to cut out a sec­ond copy and past­ed it down. They over lap a bit but you can’t see it in this pho­to. The bal­loons are from a paint­ing (used on the cov­er of the SAM bul­letin.) I’m not sure what the key tags are going to be.

house boards

I got the back­grounds for the house book past­ed down. I sus­pect that once the pieces are fin­ished no-one will see them.

I’m also knit­ting a mohair scarf — a mid-not-very-red pur­ple in a sim­ple eye­let pat­tern. It’s to go with my grey coat. I try to knit in the evening but I’m get­ting so short sight­ed that I need a lot of light to see the stitch­es and some­times I’d rather not have the bright read­ing light on while we’re watch­ing tele­vi­sion.

edit­ed 25.june.2008 to cor­rect image links

Work-in-Progress (10.dec.07)

Been busy get­ting the house sort­ed. But I man­aged a cou­ple of hours here and there last week. This is the result.

WIP myth-house backgroundWIP Myth houseWIp myth house

Three of the back­grounds for the house of myth­i­cal crea­tures. You’ll notice that none of the red and orange paint­ed paper that I first put on the card stock cut-outs can been seen. That’s just the way it goes. I start in one place and end up some­where entire­ly dif­fer­ent. I have two more back­grounds that I am fair­ly hap­py with and one that failed utter­ly.

WIp myth house

I can’t imag­ine what I was think­ing when I put both the bright yel­low and bright orange on the same page. I’m blam­ing it on the fail­ing light. I can’t work with­out some nat­ur­al light and around here in the win­ter you lose use­ful light around 3 or 3:30pm. (On the days you get any at all. Today it isn’t bright enough out to tell brown from pur­ple and I’m in the office build­ing data­bas­es and web­sites rather than the work­room play­ing with paper.)

edit­ed 25.june.2008 to cor­rect image links

Work-in-Progress (19.dec.07)

Much progress has been made on the House of Myth­i­cal Crea­tures. None of which is vis­i­ble in the pho­to. I’m think­ing that I need to build some sort of press for hold­ing the pan­els flat while they dry.

work table picture

Also I noticed after how many weeks? (5, I think) that there is a typo in one of the main pieces of text. Oy.

edit­ed 25.june.2008 to cor­rect image links

Is This Really How You Make Art?

Col­laged paper can get rather thick and lumpy. Get­ting the pan­els stuck down to the mat board took some doing.

Clamping the collaged panels to the mat board

So the House of Myth­i­cal Crea­tures pan­els are now mount­ed on mat board and the back­ers are made and mount­ed. It’s all sit­ting in the press get­ting flat. Tomor­row I’ll fin­ish up the hinges and title blocks.

I’m almost done with this piece of work. I’m hap­py with most of it. That’s as good as it gets. I’m ready for some­thing new.

edit­ed 25.june.2008 to cor­rect image links

Family Photographs — It’s All Grist for the Mill

I’ve been col­lect­ing up the old pho­to albums and sort­ing the pic­tures. There are a num­ber that I’d like to use in the col­lages. But of course I don’t want to glue up my only copy of great-grandmother’s por­trait so… It’s time to get scan­ning. I’ll leave the has­sles of get­ting an elder­ly scan­ner to talk to any of the new­er com­put­ers. It’s all con­nect­ed now and that’s all what counts. I start­ed with the pho­tos that the MiL put togeth­er in a frame for my hus­band. They’ve been sit­ting on the wall for too long and the col­or ones (50’s — 70’s) have fad­ed bad­ly. picture frame with jim’s family photos We had won­dered who some of the peo­ple in the old­er pic­tures were and hoped that iden­ti­fy­ing infor­ma­tion was on the backs of the pho­tos. Of course it was. Yeay Emmy! back of photos left sideback of the photos right side I got the pic­tures out and start­ed scan­ning them. I did a few at 600 dpi but it was tor­tu­ous­ly slow so I switched to 300 dpi. I think it’s suf­fi­cient for what I need. Now that the pic­tures are stored away from light (and oth­er evils) I can go back and res­can at high­er res­o­lu­tions if I want to. TBC edit­ed 25.june.2008 to cor­rect image links

W.I.P. fishy-fishy flag book

Play­ing catch-up while away from home. First up, a book that is slow­ly tak­ing shape.

It com­bines a for­mat (flag book), a mate­r­i­al (water­col­or wash­es) and a bit of dog­ger­el that wrig­gled into my head (and sketch­book) a cou­ple of years ago.

The for­mat is the flag book bind­ing. I made a goofy test ver­sion using a tacky post­card from Iowa. As you can see here.

tacky postcard flagbook

If you want a much bet­ter look at the con­struc­tion I sug­gest look­ing over the Bone­fold­er issue . A large col­lec­tion of exam­ples can be found in the gallery of work sub­mit­ted to the 2006 bind-o-rama.

The mate­r­i­al is Arch­es 300# water­col­or paper with wash­es of sev­er­al greens and blues and a bit of some­thing dark. I’ve done two large dou­ble sided sheets so there should be plen­ty to work with.


The dog­ger­el goes like this:

Fishy-fishy in the sea.

Fishy-fishy bring it to me.

Damned if I know what it means.

At the moment I’m imag­in­ing 8 folds in the accor­dion and five flags per “page.” With the flags being irreg­u­lar­ly shaped — per­haps as waves or per­haps as fish. Or maybe wave shapes with fish images that cross waves — or — or…

And that’s how it goes — three ideas thrown togeth­er on a work­ing tray and just hang­ing out togeth­er until some­thing starts to hap­pen.

edit­ed 25.june.2008 to cor­rect image links

New Techniques

I’ve got a shiny new copy of Pho­to­shop CS3 and have been exper­i­ment­ing.

In Pho­to­shop Cre­ative Col­lec­tion v3 (no link avail­able) there’s a tech­nique that mim­ics pen and ink. Some­thing that is sim­i­lar to some water­col­or and ink work that I did a cou­ple of years ago.

I did the tuto­r­i­al and got this effect.

section of tutorial exercise

Which I liked well enough but I think the ink lines are a bit crude. Per­haps as a result of my not being a true ace with the graph­ics tablet, yet.

I’ve gone on to exper­i­ment with some oth­er images and am slow­ly devel­op­ing a ver­sion of the tech­nique that I like.

For some pieces I’m build­ing the col­or in Pho­to­shop and then print­ing the piece and ink­ing it my hand. I like the results I’m get­ting from print­ing on 140# cold press water­col­or paper. (Usu­al­ly the smoother side.) It takes ink from the inkjet well and the slight tex­ture gives the hand inked lines a nice vari­a­tion.

I’m also try­ing to find ways of cre­at­ing a black-line lay­er with­in Pho­to­shop. It’s tricky to get the over­lay to have enough infor­ma­tion to pick out the details of the image with­out over­whelm­ing the nice blocks and blobs of col­or that I work so hard to make.

balloon seller

This is part of a piece based on a pho­to­graph that my hus­band took in Oax­a­ca. I used a hand­ful of fil­ters to cre­ate the black over­lay. (I can go back and look them up if you want the gory details.)

I think this has promise.

Oh and if you were here with me look­ing out my win­dow you’d see this.

view out of my window

snow — Yikes!

One Finished and One Not-So-Much

Work on the bal­loon sell­er pic­ture is com­plete. You can see a full-size dig­i­tal ver­sion here.

(no small ver­sion today — can’t get it to resize cor­rect­ly — maybe tomor­row)

The image in the gallery is a dig­i­tal ver­sion that I made for Jim to use on his desk­top. It mim­ics the effect of being print­ed on Arch­es 140 CP water­col­or paper by using a col­ored back­ground and an applied tex­ture. It’s much clos­er to the actu­al print­ed ver­sion that I can get with a cam­era.

Anoth­er of the Oax­a­ca pic­tures that I’ve been work­ing with is not so com­plete.

I start­ed with this pic­ture of the old pow­er house in Vista Her­mosa that is now the Taller de Arte Papel Oax­a­ca. (Art paper work­shop — mak­ers of very cool hand­made papers.)

jim’s original photo of the power house

The block­ing for the piece isn’t great on screen:

murky art work

It prints as an even murki­er mess. I think the prob­lem is los­ing the detail in the shad­ows in the foliage. I’m going to leave well enough alone for a while and work on some oth­er images. I like this one too much to just aban­don it but I’m not mak­ing any progress for the moment.

WIP — The Loop Road Project (pop-ups)

Our recent vaca­tion gave Jim the chance to take a lot of pic­tures of motor­cy­cles and rid­ers on the prover­bial “closed course.” Some of them are in fact “pro­fes­sion­al rid­ers.”

I now have tons of unclut­tered pho­tos to work with. Hence the cre­ation of a new series of work, this time in engi­neered paper.

First up:

Solo Red Bike

Not a very imag­i­na­tive name I know.

I had to remove the rid­er from the orig­i­nal pho­to in order to have a clear back­ground. Now that I’ve seen the piece assem­bled I think that I could have left the rid­er on the back­ground and sim­ply built the images out from there. It wouldn’t be as dynam­ic an image but it would have saved a bunch of time eras­ing the rid­er and bike and rebuild­ing the back­ground.

red solo rider - closeup

red solo rid­er — close­up

Assem­bly began with print­ing and cut­ting out six copies of the rid­er. Tabs are attached to the fronts of 5 of the images and the base (shad­ow) is fold­ed for­ward so that it will show when the rid­er group is attached to the card.

all six rider images

all six rid­er images

Here the rid­ers are attached to one anoth­er. I used a strip under the shad­ows to give the bases some­thing to stick to while I was attach­ing all the pieces. I left the strip under the rid­ers because it made glu­ing the bases down in the right spots eas­i­er. (I should have got­ten a pic­ture before I glued it all down!)

Red Solo Rider rider images linked

Red Solo Rid­er rid­er images linked

Here’s the fin­ished pro­to­type.

Red Solo Rider
Red Solo Rid­er

It was a lit­tle con­fus­ing in Mary­hill with every­one switch­ing up the bikes and rid­ers. To the best of my knowl­edge that is Tim Keene on Rolf Vitous’ pret­ty red record hold­ing bike. I’ll ask for the details next time I see Rolf.

I have a num­ber of oth­er pho­tos that I’ll be using over the next cou­ple of weeks.