It was an amazingly informative afternoon with regards to developing my visual arts curriculum. But, as an artist myself, and new to printmaking I was amazed at his interest in so many subjects from the religious, to classic literature themes, to poignant domestic scenes, all framed within the African American experience. I was also stuck at how he was constantly looking at art and experimenting with his own work. He was amazingly productive and often his techniques highly complex requiring a great deal of technical skill. It was inspiring too to discover that he never quit his day job being a social worker. I think my biggest take aways were the gestures of his figures as well as the use of line and planes of color. I know I'll be digesting what I saw and heard for many days to come! My favorite images from the exhibit, all screen prints, are below:
Last week I had the opportunity to attend a basic book binding workshop. The workshop instructor was the experienced artist, book binder, and calligrapher, Joan B. Machinchick. What I truly appreciated was the workshop pamphlet that Ms. Machinchick created for each student, complete with Japanese Stab binding! This was most appreciated because I often find that in note taking during workshops I often miss an important part of the demonstration. This way I could just listen and watch. Under her guidance, we created simple two signature sketchbooks using marbled paper as the cover. The project is shown here:
My design based on a number of different references from various French and English illuminated manuscript styles, decoration, and fonts. I first sketched it in pencil. Then, using transfer paper traced the final image on to 90 lb. watercolor paper. This was a cold press, however, in the future I will use hot press to insure as smooth a paper surface as possible in order to capture the detail and such a small scale. Note this image is only 4" tall! The gild was a liquid decorative gold paint applied with a watercolor paint brush. However, I have used real sizing and faux gold leaf. This process is faster more convenient for capturing small detailed areas. Also, the liquid leaf does not demand the expertise necessary for applying gold leaf well. The final was painted in watercolor and then outlined in India ink.
Recently, I had the good fortune to attend an afternoon workshop with the wonderfully talented artist, Jean Brinton Jaecks to design and paint an initial letter in the style of medieval manuscripts. This workshop was part of the Mitchell Gallery's (on the St. John's College Campus, Annapolis, MD) latest exhibit "Painted Pages." To see more about the exhibit click here:
The images on top are my project. The gallery of images below that are the step by step workshop demonstration. Ms. Jaecks used watercolor pencil. I am hoping to create more images based on these techniques, so stay tuned!
In my own work I seldom, if ever, find inspiration in societal observation or headline news. However, I greatly admire those who can and do employ their art in a meaningful manner as statement with regards to powerful social commentary and in sharing their personal experiences and musings of their own conscious. The recent Faculty Student Show at the Fashion Institute had several moving pieces that I wanted to share. I hope you find the work and artists' statements as the wonderful examples of the power of art to inspire compassion and understanding that I did!