Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Return of the Bottle Jack Press

Clockwise from top left: woodblock with transferred drawing, plein air oil painting from Appledore Island last summer, tracing paper with line drawing, pencil drawing/value study with Sharpie outline

The DM Penny Press is still evolving into a bigger, better space. While it finishes this lovely transformation, the bottle jack press is helping in the home studio. Small things like a little 6"x8" are perfect for it, though, technically, it can handle something as big as 16"x16".

Anyway, the new little wave and the marsh scene must wait for the Conrad Mchine Press to be ready for us again, so I started this little one at home. Before the DM Penny Press opened, my homemade bottle jack press got me through about 10 prints (you can see some of them here), including some Collector Christmas cards. 

Yesterday, after a long day of printing, I finished layer 1:

Soon, I will be printing in a studio overlooking the Merrimack River. Last time, you saw a bright scene of New York. Yesterday, this was the less than inspiring view from the home studio (taken when it wasn't sleeting):

At least it wasn't tempting to play outside.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Travels and Working From Home

 New York City; photo taken from Williamsburg

There is so much going on around here that I don't really know where to start. 

At the beginning of April, I went to New York for a few days. Along with a nice visit with family, I saw the Degas Monotypes exhibit, the Whitney Museum of Modern Art in her new home and ate lots of great food. 

I also paid a visit to Guerra Pigment and bought a little starter kit for myself. There will be more about  that adventure and my new toys at a later time. 

A trip to NYC is always enjoyable. A small break from printmaking was probably needed, but there is a lot going on here in NH. 

The biggest news is that the DM Penny Press is moving to a larger space within the Waumbec Building. Everything about the move is exciting - more space, better location for events, and three large windows overlooking the Merrimack River. 

However, I haven't been able to use any of the equipment for a few weeks. I don't know when I will have access again. We also had to host the first Trolley Tour of the year in the new space which isn't ready yet, but everyone who came was very understanding about it. 

Some folks visited us specifically because they had seen a nice article about the printmaking studio in the Hippo the week before! You can read it here.

Of course, I can't just stop printing because the studio is moving. I am getting some work done here, starting with a small change in the marsh scene. Instead of laying on the giant drying rack, they hang from the laundry lines in the studio.

This is just the beginning - there is lots more to share! First off, there is an opening reception this Friday from 5-7 pm at McGowan Fine Art for a printmaking exhibit - I hope to see you and catch up!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Marching On with the Marsh

© 2016 Hannah Phelps

The marsh print you have been following no longer looks exactly like this - there is now a tiny bit of a light brownish-green on the right hand side.

The whole story is that this print is really close to completion. Really very close. Nearly there. But there is something not quite right about it all. Yesterday and today, I went to the press to work on it, but I wasn't sure what to do. Adding the tiny bit of greeny-brown seemed like a good idea. Like it might ground the right side in a magical way. I guess it did - I don't have a good photo to share yet and I only just printed it so I don't know how I feel about the whole thing.

Ink I added to the right side of the marsh today. Looks better on.

I might have decided to add a smidge of something in the water and a little pinch of color to the trees on the right next. Or maybe not.

I just want this print to be done. At the same time, I am afraid to finish it. I loved the early stages, when everything lined up perfectly and even if layers didn't act like I'd expected them to, all the changes were exciting and seemed headed in a positive direction. 

Now there is so much to preserve. And printing more layers can go really wrong by slipping in the press, not lining up exactly right, colors that don't look nice together afterall,...who knows what else.

I feel very cowardly. And through a pre-planned trip, I'm even "running away" for a few days so I won't be able to see it or work on it.

When I get back, it is decision time. If the print needs more, just do it. If not, just sign it. 

Scary stuff.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Layers of Ink, Layers of Prints

© 2016 Hannah Phelps

Two solid days in the studio and we have layer two done on the small seascape.

They have to sit for a few days, but then blues, browns and greens galore!

Just a quick reminder - if you are looking for something to do this evening, come to the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen Headquarters in Concord, NH tonight from 5-7 pm for the Opening Reception of Continuing the Tradition. You will see some great stuff, including three of my jigsaw prints!
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