Monday, April 18, 2011

The End

It is such a relief to have the opening behind me. It was an exhausting day, but the show went really well and everyone's work looked great! This project has been an amazing process and a wonderful growing experience. I have learned more about myself than I knew there was to learn, and I am now confident with the direction of my work. I am so grateful to have had this experience, and for my professors, gsi's, and classmates, who have all helped me so much along the way, whether or not they realized it. Thank you to everyone who came to the opening Friday night! Go to my website to see all of my work:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Week 13 Reflection

It's hard to believe the show opens in one week. I did these two prints over the weekend, and I like the first, but really dislike the second. By that point, I was really tired, and my heart wasn't in it anymore. So I'm just going to let that one go.

My books came in on Monday! It's so exciting to see them bound and printed like actual books. So, now I'm trying to finish up my website, revise my thesis, and get my work installed.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Week 12 Reflection

I finished a large print today, and I also did two small ones earlier this week, but I don't have images of those because they are buried on the wall in my studio right now. I still want to finish another large print and two medium ones by Tuesday. My only concern is that my oil pastel supply is dwindling faster than I had hoped. I ordered some the other day and will get them tomorrow, but that still might not be enough. I'm going to try Michigan Book and Supply tomorrow, but they are always out of stock - so frustrating. So, I just hope I have enough to get me through the next three prints. It will be a busy weekend.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Week 11 Reflection

working on book: 16 hours
printing: 15 hours
drawing on print: 2.5 hours
photographing pastel drawings: 1 hour
preassembly of prints: 1 hour

I finished coloring this print at the beginning of the week. I'm really happy with the color, but as Erica and I were talking about today, I'm not sure how I feel about the drawing style/texture. I've drawn the last few prints tighter and heavier than previous ones. Although I like it, I kind of miss seeing more print show through. So, I'm not sure how I am going to approach the rest of the prints.

I've been working on my poetry book all week, as well, and I'm almost ready to order it. I can't wait to see it printed.

I also did a lot of printing this week, and I cut myself off now so that I can spend the rest of my time assembling, drawing, and figuring out what will be in the show.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Week 10 Reflection

Working on book: 5.5 hours
Pastel drawings: 6 hours
Drawing on print: 13.5 hours

This week I did a couple more pastel drawings. I'm going to have these drawings printed alongside the poetry in a book, so I'd like to do a few more drawings in the next week. I'd like to get the book ordered by the end of next week to make sure it gets here on time. So, I need to take better photos of the drawings, edit the poems, and get the book completely formatted by then. I'm going to need a lot of input next week about the poems, the order of the poems, font, titles, alignment, format, etc. It will be a busy week.

I'm still not finished with this print, but it's close. I need to finish it up so I can start coloring the next one and keep printing. Once I have the book set to go, I'll just be printing and coloring nonstop.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Week 9 Reflection

Photographing house: 1 hour
Assembling prints: 4 hours
Drawing on prints: 13 hours
Working on thesis: 4 hours

This week I finished assembling the prints that I did before break, and I colored the smaller two. I really enjoyed working with the smaller size, and I think I'd like to continue working with various sizes. For the book, I've decided that I want to have the poems printed along with the grayscale pastel drawings. I want to keep it simple and clean. I think I'll get it printed through an online site, but as Janie pointed out, I need to get going on it to make sure it's printed in time.

I'd like to stay
in today,
rather not open
the door
to step outside.
Inside it's warm
and quiet,
blinds turned
to let sunshine
bleach walls.
And the spot on the
couch, waiting
to hold me,
feet tucked

I used to sit
on the tan floral couch
while mom did aerobics
in the morning.
The living room
full of light, soft,
like the feathers we
picked up by the river
to make pillows.
The woman on the screen,
long blond hair with bangs,
demonstrating stretches,
a soothing voice
over soothing music,
timed breathing
to measure heart rate,
walk in place.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Week 8 Reflection

Printing: 10.5 hours
Assembling prints: 9 hours
Reading: 2 hours
Writing: 1 hour

The image above is the print that I did last week. I assembled it this week and did a lot more printing, as well. I've been playing around with the size of the prints. I don't know whether to continue with the two and four part prints, but it was nice to change it up a little. I was thinking about trying to print in nine and/or twelve parts after break. If anyone has any thoughts about the size of the prints, let me know.

I also started reading some poetry books that Elly was kind enough to lend me. I think they will be helpful for learning more about poetic forms and also about how I might put my poems into a book. The books are Harmonium by Wallace Stevens, The Making of a Poem by Mark Strand and Eavan Boland, Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, T.S Eliot's The Waste Land, and The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst.

I'm going home for part of break, so I'm planning to take some more photos while I'm there, rest up a bit, then get back to work.

I'm not here.
I'm where cream of wheat
cooks on the stove,
Saturday morning.

I'm not here.
I'm where sunshine
blinds me across the table,
Sunday paper.

Sunlight bleeds
through the window
and spills
onto the floor,
caressing my shoulders
and dusting
my knees, golden
honey slowly sliding
toward my toes
atop glossy floorboards.

The stairs weep at night,
"Don't step so hard,
we are old and worn
and tired of your feet."

"But I must get to bed," I say.

"Oh please, don't burden us
with your weight. It's far
too much for us to bear."

"But I've already begun my ascent."

"Turn back now," pipe
the steps up above.
"Come back as a child," one says.
"Oh nonsense, hop over the railing,"
moan those below.

Their bickering rises
and they swallow my feet
sunken in swollen warped
wood grain covered
in thinning lacquer
under a film of dust.

Light leaks around
the corner at the landing,
peering through spindles
and onto the railing,
reaching my fingertips.

And the wall whispers,
"Don't fret, dear,
the stairs are just whiners.
Don't mind their complaints."

"Thank you for letting me know," I say,
as I climb the rest of the way.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Week 7 Reflection

Drawing on print: 4 hours
Printing: 5 hours
Drawing: 8 hours
Working on postcard: 1 hour
Writing: 1 hour

This week I continued drawing on the print I was working on last week. I'm still not quite happy with it. I'm wondering if I should tone down the red-orange color on the left wall. I love the color, but I'm not sure it's working for this image. I've also realized that this is the first print I've done where the floor is not visible, hence the ceiling takes up a large portion of the composition. I think that might be part of my problem with this image because it doesn't feel as grounded as some of my other prints. So, let me know your thoughts about the color, composition, and any ideas about how I might be able to make this image work better.

I did another print this week, but I haven't assembled it yet. It's based off of the second drawing in last week's post. I also continued with more pastel drawings, and I'd like to print some of these images next week.

I did a little more writing this week, but I still haven't really figured out how I'm going to display the writing in the show. I'm still thinking of putting it into a book and possibly including the grayscale pastel drawings with the poetry, but I haven't decided much else. What are your thoughts about the book format? If I go that route, do you think the book should be handmade or professionally printed? Or should I display the poems and drawings on the wall, somewhat separate from the large prints? I like the idea of a book because it would be intimate and tactile, but on the other hand, I don't have much confidence in my typography/graphic design skills. So really, anything involving visible text scares me, and I could use lots of input. Also, if you have any comments on my writing, please let me know. I seriously won't be offended.

Your heat,
like velvet,
brushing against
my skin.

Your heat,
so softly
up from the vent.

Your heat,
a gentle tickle,
my knees
bent over top.

Your heat,
so smooth,
but short
and evasive.

Your heat,
my vice
on early winter

Your heat,
mine to capture
pajama shirts.

Your heat,
the moment,
each morning
I remember.

Your heat,
I felt, as light
dripped down
the stairs.

Your heat,
so quiet,
a whisper
in my ear.

Your heat,
my icy

Your heat,
the space
I go the most.

Your heat,
still blowing,
if only a

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Week 6 Reflection

Text experiments: 7 hours
Drawing: 5 hours
Writing: 2 hours
Critique w/ David Chung: 1 hour
Meeting w/ Endi: 15 min
Coloring print: 7 hours

I did some experiments with text this week. The first one is stitched, the second one is screen-printed. I don't dislike them, but I'm not in love with them, either. Endi made an interesting observation on Tuesday - although my writings, drawings, and prints are all a related body of work, they are each individual projects. I've been struggling to find a way to present the writing alongside the prints, but I don't think that is the solution. If the text is at the same scale as the prints they will compete with each other, and if the text is small on the wall, it will most likely be ignored. So, I'm leaning toward Janie's idea of putting the poems in a book. Now I'm wondering if the book should be handmade or printed.

I also did a couple more pastel drawings this week. I think it's good for me to keep doing these in between printing.

I started coloring the print from last week, but it's still in progress.

Here are a couple of options that I'm considering for my postcard image. I think I like the second one better, but I'm open to suggestions.

I also did some more writing this week. All of the poems I've written so far are still works in progress, so if anyone has any suggestions or comments, I'd love to hear them.

I once lived here,
and for many years I slept
beneath the window
by the chimney,
for which there never was
a fireplace.

I turn the knob, but
the deadbolt is stiff, and
no one will answer. It's the door
that speaks to me and tells me
to leave.

"It's too late," says the door.
"There's no room for you anymore."

"That can't be right," I say.
"I've only been gone since the fall."

But the door turns
off the porch light,
and I stand there,
where to go unknown.

I stand with my feet
planted parallel
atop gray 2'x4's,
which I did not build
but wish that I had.

I stand, and I look at this house,
at its gray siding
and red door,
at its
body and
gently sloped
shoulders, and such lean,
peering windows with strong eyebrows.

I look at this house, and I see
that it is not mine, but merely
an echo of where I had grown,
still bouncing off the silo walls.

It doesn't share my bones,
and the flesh I see
is not mine. Perhaps
a resemblance,
but this is not the place
I left: home.

I look at this house
and take my hand off
the handle. I turn
and walk down the steps,
and I do not look back
to see if the lights
switch on.

The wind licks my cheeks
and bites my nose, and
the alley stones kick
my shins, but it's a good night
for a walk, and I think
how exciting it is
not knowing
where I might end up.

Dear House,

Your coffee
tastes good today,
not like yesterday:
bitter and stale.
The grinder woke me up.

Dear House,

You are my favorite
movie, and I've seen you
hundreds of times.
Etched into my memory,
I replay you over
and over in my head,
watching our days roll by.

Dear House,

You were best
on stormy nights,
when thunder
and shook
your foundation.

I was adrenaline,
eyes sharp
to catch each bolt
of lightning
stretching down
from the green-gray sky.

And the roar of rain
against your shingles;
pulsing, rising,
flowing down my spine,
into my chest and
through my legs.

Lying in bed
together we felt
flooded, your roof
the sky, your windows
my eyes, each crash
my heartbeat
chasing flashes of light.

And never did I
wish it to end, but last
forever, a fleeting
ecstasy prolonged
in the deep night
where darkness settles
into its corners.

Your darkness
so inviting, I find myself
that I'm inside you,
warmth saturating
my bones engorged
beneath blankets
I watch dripping rain
cast shadows
across the slanted ceiling
falling onto me
into sleep
and back to everything
I ever wanted
and out-

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Revised Poem

I realized after talking to Janie, that I haven't posted the revised version of my initial letter to my house, so here it is:

Dear House,

We've spent so many wonderful years together,
and you've watched me grow
inside your walls.
So many times I've lifted my feet
to climb your yielding wooden steps.
I've slid my hands along your glossy railing,
ascending and descending.
I've lain across your creaking golden floorboards,
and you held me there: sturdy.

When I was with you,
it was okay to just be silent,
to sit inside you and breathe.
And I knew that you didn't expect anything from me.
You never asked me to explain myself
or to listen to your aches. And at night,
I slept well,
knowing your sloped ceiling would rest above me,

Perhaps I shouldn't have slammed your doors
or stomped my feet against your floor.
I never meant to hurt you;
you were always so giving.
And it's hard to say exactly
when we grew apart.
But still, I think about you.

I have your angles memorized,
where your walls meet your ceilings
and your corners form.
And your sounds are embedded deep -
the back door's thump,
the heater's purr,
the window's whine, and your soft whisper
that echoes through the vents.

I still love your smell of heat,
on summer afternoons,
and the feel
of your seeping chill on winter evenings.
I still walk through your narrow path in my dreams
and feel you in the dark.
And we still recognize each other when I visit,
that faint familiarity.

But it's distanced now,
as it should be,
because you are not my home.
You may not understand.
But I think, in time,
you will no longer miss me.
We will become old acquaintances,
who sometimes stop to say hello.
And I look forward to that day,
when we can greet each other with cheer.

Love always,
Your third daughter

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Week 5 Reflection

Printing: 6 hours
Coloring: 8 hours
Attaching print: 2 hours
Writing: 1 hour
Text options: 1 hour

This week I colored the print I had made two weeks ago. I had a really hard time getting the color to work for me, but I think I'm pretty happy with it now - I'll have to sit on it for a while to decide. I also put another print together that I'm going to color next week. I've been thinking more about how to solve my text dilemma, and I came up with some options to try. One option is to hand stitch the poems. I tried it with plain thread, but it is too thin and not visually appealing. I also tried it with a little scrap of yarn, which I like much better. So I need to get some more yarn, or possibly embroidery thread, and see what I think. I also thought I might try screenprinting the text using my handwriting. I still don't know what scale I want the text to be, but I thought it might help if I could decide what process I want to use. So, I have more experimenting to do.

Dear House,

Wake me up
in the morning, please,
or else I'll sleep until noon
and miss your morning

Your third daughter

Dear House,

Please leave the light on.
I'll try not to wake you
when I climb up
the stairs
to bed.

Your third daughter

Dear House,

Don't take it personally
if I don't visit. It's just that
I'm busy, and I've lost track of time.
I'll see you when I can. I'm sure
it won't be much longer.

Your third daughter

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Week 4 Reflection

Writing: 2 hours
Drawing: 4 hours

So, this week was not extremely productive because I was sick, but I think it was good to take a break from printing. It gave me some time to draw and write, which I had been neglecting. I have to remember to make time for the little things. I'm still looking forward to printing again next week, though.

Dear House,

Sometimes you crowded me.
You woke me from my sleep
and pushed me through your doors-
forceful love,
but I was overcome.

I needed distance.
But still, I love you-
your crooked angles and warped floorboards,
your sunny light and dancing shadows.
I still need your heart.

Your third daughter

Dear House,

My chalkboard is gone,
and I don't stand behind
the backdoor to draw
anymore. Did you notice
that it was replaced with a mirror?

Your third daughter

Dear House,

Your nightlights glow
in the darkness, lighting my path
to bed. Thank you for remembering
that I was coming home late. It's nice
to know that you care.

Your third daughter

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Week 3 Reflection

Printing: 7 hours
Coloring print: 8 hours
Attaching print: 3 hours
Experimenting with text: 2 hours

I colored the print that I made last week, and I really like how it turned out. I also put together the next print that I'm going to be working on. I played around with different ways to present the text, and I've concluded that I'm still not happy with anything. I got a lot of mixed feedback from the critique yesterday about how I could present the text (large on the wall, small on the wall, in a book, multiple poems, a single poem). I'm feeling pretty indecisive about how I want it. I want the viewer to pay attention to it and read it, but I don't want it to be visually distracting or disruptive. So I still have a lot to think about. I also need to figure out how I'm going to hang these prints in the show. Last week Amanda mentioned mounting them on foam core and/or artist's board, but I'm not sure yet. So I'm going to keep working on my prints while I ponder these questions.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Week 2 Reflection

worked on thesis: 6 hours
printed monotypes: 7 hours
joined monotypes: 4 hours
large scale poem: 5 hours

It feels good to get back to work this week. I started another large monotype print, but have not gone into it with oil pastel yet. I'm so excited for this direction of my project, and I want to make as many as possible.

I also wrote a letter to my house at the same scale as the large prints (3'x6') to see how they work with each other. I like having the text at a larger scale, but I'm not really happy with this format (oil pastel on Rives BFK). I got a lot of great feedback during small critiques, though. One possibility we talked about was writing the text directly on the wall. Amanda also suggested using vellum and possibly floating them. I think both options are great possibilities that I need to explore. So I'm planning to continue with the large prints and experiment more with the text.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

2nd Semester Week 1 Reflection

Took photos of house interior: 1 hour
Drawing: 2 hours
Writing: 1 hour
This is a large monotype that I drew on top of with oil pastel. I made this at the end of last semester, and I'm really happy with how it turned out. My plan for this semester is to continue with this process. This print took about 15 hours to complete, so I'm hoping to work on one each week. I also want to incorporate writing into my final work. I'm going to try writing the text at the same scale as the large monotypes to see how they relate to each other.

I'm also going to continue with the grayscale pastel drawings of the photos I took while I was home over break.

Dear House,

You used to hum me to sleep
with the heater's
bouncing up
from the basement.

I remember the murmur
of a lone car
driving down the street
through the blinking yellow light
at the corner.

And the springs on my bed
wretching beneath
my turning body
as I curled up tightly
to sleep.

I miss the light
cast on your walls-
moonlight behind branches
in an envelope
of darkness.

But mostly, I miss
the freighters' foghorn
resonating from the river
and the rumble of trucks
crossing the bridge at night-
your lullaby.