Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Proofing a Large Linoleum Block

The linoleum block
It can be frustration to proof a large linoleum block.  You have to ink the entire surface, make one or two pulls of the block and then, if you want to work the block more, you have to clean off the block which can be a mess. A simple solution is a very old fashioned method....take a rubbing of the block!

The example here is a block approximately 8 inches wide by 18 inches long.  Though I am sure most readers of this post have done rubbings of something or other (leaves for example), I will go over the basics.

First, you must always use the SIDE of the rubbing instrument, which could be a peeled crayon or, as pictured above, a graphite stick.  If you are using a crayon, choose a dark color because the contrast against the light paper helps you better see your cuts.  Use thin paper, such as newsprint.   Press firmly when taking the rubbing.  It is also not a bad idea to anchor the paper so it doesn't move all over when you are rubbing.  This is easily done by grabbing something from your studio or kitchen shelf and putting it on each corner of the paper to hold it in place (example: a can of ink, a stapler, a can of soup, whatever).

Taking a rubbing
/The other beauty of this method is if you only want to proof a small area of the block, then you save lots of time and effort by not having to apply and clean up ink.  Too see a finished version of this block, check the post above this one.  Happy proofing!  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Art Futures 2014: Northeast High School

For the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Art Futures Program in 2014, I was paired with students from Northeast High School. Yep, the same one where Tony Danza did his reality show (no, I did not run into Tony).    I worked with a wonderful teacher who wanted to emphasize the concept of fantasy and make believe as subject matter.   The students looked at lots of art from the PMA's collection dealing with surrealism, fantasy, and other schools of art that did not focus on realism. 

The students developed a "character" that was drawn and cut from a linoleum block.  A "character" did not mean it had to be a creature; it could be a car, a house, a plant.  The characters would be collaged together into a larger fantasy land.  I think we actually ended up with five fantasy land collages.  Three of them are pictured in this post.  To the students and Ms. Thompson at Northeast High....Great Job!  Also thanks to the  Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company, whose foundation helps fund this program. 


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Bird Sketch Journal Found!

Off and on, I spend time at the Academy of Natural Science studying and drawing birds from their extensive ornithology collection.   Recently, I came across some of the sketches I made from visits during the summer of 2005.   Normally, I do not draw this tightly or with this much detail as it always has been more interesting to me to capture the essence of birds while they are in motion (click here to see this type of work). However, I felt this would be a worthwhile exercise to try to draw as much detail as possible in order to better understand the structure of birds.  Here are some of the sketches:
Rose Breasted Gross Beak


Cardinal & Blue Jay