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