Monday, July 30, 2018

Entitled

Vanguard, jigsaw reduction woodblock print, 16"x24"

For years, I titled my prints in a straightforward way. “Green Wave”, “Bright Day”, and "Appledore Evening” all describe the subject of the print.

But how many [descriptor] Waves can one have?

Well, not many before you accidentally try titles previously used by other seascape artists. Or even by your past self.

This wasn’t something that weighed heavily on my mind - when it was time to title a new print or painting, I'd settle on a simple phrase that would be easy to sign 20-60 times depending on the edition size.

At some point, that got boring. But what to do instead?

The inspiration came from the Navy. Not the American Navy, but the British Navy from their glory days.

And not really that British Navy from their glory days, but the space navy adventure novels based on that British Navy. And those stories are mostly based on the C.S. Forester novels about a fictional sailor, Horatio Hornblower, whose life closely parallels that of the real-life British hero, Horatio Nelson.

The first series of these contemporary stories that I read was David Weber’s "Honorverse". Instead of battling at sea, Honor Harrington’s character becomes a master at space war and she personally suffers the same famous injuries as poor Nelson as the novels progress. (I won’t spoil this, in case you don’t know about Nelson’s traumas.)

Several years later, I discovered Jack Campbell and Captain “Black Jack” Geary of the Lost Fleet series. Instead of describing them to you here, go ahead and look these books up. Every single one of them is a fun read, they are written well and the characters are delightful. You’ll love them. If you like science fiction space navy stuff. 

And you might not. That’s ok.

Because the reason I’m telling you all this isn’t to give you a summer reading list (though, you are welcome....).

It is to tell you about the list of ships in the front of each Lost Fleet novel. Space ships that are either directly named after British or American naval ships or in the same spirit.

Meaning, I don’t claim to know the name of every real commissioned ship in the real navies, but I do appreciate the creative use of the words these navies displayed.

The easiest thing for you to do is buy the Lost Fleet series and read it yourself,  but here is a taste:

Gallant
Indomitable
Steadfast
Dauntless
Vengeance

It goes on and on. My absolute favorite is

Indefatigable

And did the writers mentioned earlier invent this Space Navy based on Water Navy thing? Of course not. Whether or not you are a true fan, you all know that the show Star Trek’s Starfleet boasted the Enterprise. On top of that, they named other ships Endeavour, Intrepid and Valiant.

There is so much more to say about this. For now, I just wanted you to know where new titles are coming from.

And we start here with Vanguard, which is what the first force of a military action is called. The word now also means the leading edge of anything new - ideas, projects, missions, adventures. 

Which made it the perfect choice for the first print I started with this name theme in mind. It wasn't the first I finished, but that story is for another time.

Friday, July 27, 2018

New Digital Prints

Wet Dogs Jump the Waves and Wet Dog in the Sun

The two newest Wet Dog paintings are now available. Both are 10"x10" printed with a professional grade printer on fine art 12"x12" paper.

If you like original oil on canvas better, you can have that instead - these are both still available.

Think about it and let me know when you are ready to bring these pups home.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Ready to go

Pumpkin by the Sea, 9"x7", white-line woodcut

This pumpkin print and its buddy are now at Mount Sunapee awaiting the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen's Annual Fair. 

Want to see the other one? 

You could sign up for the newsletter - the subscribers will see it next week. 

You could go to the Fair - it runs from August 4-12.

You could wait until it shows up here...


Monday, July 23, 2018

Wet Dogs and Framing

Close-up of a woodblock print.

It seems like every summer, when there is a lot of framing to do, that the dogs get mucky and wet and want to shake all over the white mats.

Which turns this image of a happy dog into a nightmare for the framer.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Rocks, Waves, Frames

Intemperate, 24"x18" image size, and Vanguard, 16"x24" image size

This all took longer than expected, but these two very large prints are now framed and ready to hang in the Living with Craft exhibit at the League of NH Craftsmen's Annual Fair.

Two smaller ones are going too - Appledore Evening and Green Wave, but they were already framed.

The next two things to be framed are the new pumpkins for the printmaking exhibit in the other lodge. You will see that on White-line Wednesday.


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Pumpkin Print and Block


As you can see, this white-line woodcut is almost finished. It will be one of the many things dressing up in a frame before Friday. 

Because I told you I'd get some framing done by Friday... So I better have some framed stuff to show you Friday. 

I know I said this last week, but I really like how the wood grain is showing up in the print. Just a few more shapes to go.

Then you'll see some framed stuff on Friday.... 
 

Monday, July 16, 2018

More Distractions... I mean, New Projects

Close-up of a new painting

Last Friday, you saw the very beginnings of a new print. One of two new prints based on a foggy marsh last autumn.

This is the very beginning of a new Wet Dog painting. This is just the dog butts - they do show their faces in the final painting.

Why are there so many new things beginning around here?

Because painting is more fun than framing, that's why. 

But framing can't be avoided forever and so I will say right now, today, that you will see the fruits of framing labor on Friday. Of this week. 

If you don't see any framed pieces here on Friday, bug me about it ok?

Friday, July 13, 2018

Much to Do

Plein air painting of fog, tracing and outline on wood for a new print.

When you have to frame seven things in less than two weeks, one of which needs to be finished, the logical thing to do is start new prints, right?

Well, for some reason that seemed like a good idea to me. This painting is from last fall - remember the story about the day it was painted? 

Now it's the inspiration for two new prints. The goal is simplicity and efficiency. That is always the goal, but this time I mean it.


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Another Pumpkin gets Pressed



As promised last week, here is the second of the two pumpkin white-line woodcuts I'm making for the printmaking exhibit at the League on NH Craftsmen's Fair.

The grain from the pine board is distinctive in this print, which is giving it some interesting textures.

Next week, you'll see more!
 

Monday, July 9, 2018

Dog Butler

Measure and Coast waiting for me to open the door.

I haven't been completely honest with you and it is time to come clean.

You all think that my primary occupation is Artist - that I spend all my time painting and drawing and mixing ink and carving wood and printing. Sadly, that is not true.

I have this completely separate life that I have hidden from the outside world for years.

My primary job is not Artist. It is Dog Butler.

Most of my time, I am at the beck and call of the two Golden Retrievers who live in this house.

When they demand to go out, I rush to the door to open it for them. When they wish to come in, I open the door before they can bark in reprimand.

Their meals are prepared and set for them on a regular schedule and cleaned up after by me.

I ensure they are properly attired for the day’s activities. Some days we need the collars with the embroidered phone numbers and other days we need to wear our peacocks and pandas. There are harness occasions and slip lead occasions.

And they have appointments they must keep - to the veterinarian, the trainer, competitions, training dates, hikes, masseuses and chiropractors. It is I who make these appointments and keep the Little Masters on schedule.

I heartily apologize for keeping this a secret for so long. Now, when the blog seems light on new artwork, you will know what has kept me from my studio.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Da Da Da Daaaah

Intemperate, 24"x18", jigsaw reduction woodblock print, available

The print that was in production for 9 months is complete. Soon - next week - it will get all dressed up in a frame and be ready for the Living with Craft exhibit at the League of NH Craftsmen's Annual Fair.

This will be the last large print for a while. I started it on a press with a 24"x48" bed and when I couldn't use that any more, I printed the last few layers by hand with wooden spoons a LOT of elbow grease. 

These prints are too large to dry in the studio. The spare bedroom is littered with drying prints now. (So it isn't a good time to visit.)

Without this print taking up space in my studio and my brain anymore, I feel free to plan new projects.

Some of those are more Wet Dog paintings, some are jigsaw prints that will fit on my press with its 12"x24" bed, and some are more white-lines. 

It is going to be an exciting summer in the studio and I am looking forward to it.




Wednesday, July 4, 2018

A Finished Pumpkin Print

Pumpkin by the Sea, 9"x7", white-line woodcut print, available


The first of two pumpkin blocks in the works this summer is complete.

It is enjoying its view of the calm Atlantic Ocean on a clear, bright day. Certainly, it can see the Isles of Shoals on the horizon. Maybe even parts of the north shore of Massachusetts. 

The granite on which it sits is a bleached pink, speckled with minty green lichen and some grasses stoically growing in cracks.

This image will soon be joined by a second composition of a pumpkin enjoying an ocean view. You will see pictures of that next week.

Until then, stay cool and Happy 4th of July!


Monday, July 2, 2018

Wet Dog in the Sun

Wet Dog in the Sun, oil on canvas, 12"x12", available

Here we have little Measure staring down at me while I paint the ocean. The sun is descending fast, and she's telling me that we should leave soon because it is nearly dinner time. 

Of course, she'll wait for me to finish and pack up - what else can she do? Take the keys and drive herself home?

And she can pass the time by taking another dip in a tide pool, chasing the other Goldens, eating seaweed or ripping a stick into a million pieces - lots to do on the coast of Maine for an adventurous red head.

Plus, I have dog cookies in my pack...




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