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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Homemade Artist Retreat--Part I

We can see from the length of time between my last post and this one that neither New Year's Resolutions nor public shaming have a tremendous effect on my posting behavior. Inspiration does, though,

My family and I recently spent several exciting days in New York City.

From Roosevelt Island toward Manhattan on the 4th of July.
Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline.
One World Trade Center behind the South Tower Pool.
Tibetan street party including folk dancing to celebrate the Dalai Lama's 80th birthday.
From the High Line in Chelsea.
The Guggenheim.
 Along 5th Ave. on the Upper East side.
Glass bamboo forest in the Met.
The vestibule in the iconic NY Public Library building.
The sky the morning I left NYC.
Then they drove back to Tennessee while I took a train to visit my dear friend Lynda for three days of nonstop art, great food, and stimulating conversation and I’d like to share a bit of that.

Preview--a little piece of paper that looked like a landscape at the bottom of my Moleskine journal page.
Lynda does beautiful art journaling and I thought this might be a good opportunity to learn to let go in my art, to be free and spontaneous, to not work things to death. And it was, but it was not always easy. 

I’m really glad Lynda was willing to take the lead and teach me—it’s good to be a student every once in a while and she is a patient, enthusiastic, creative teacher.

The day I got there we had a lovely dinner on the ocean with her daughter—it was lovely to catch up with a delightful young woman I’ve known for so many years and to hear about some of her future plans.

Madeleine and me chatting at dinner, manipulated by Lynda.
I woke up the first full day to smell scones, Lynda's homemade sour cream scones! 

We enjoyed a little feast of scones with blueberry jam and clotted cream and Assam tea, and then we got to work. In the morning we gessoed, I pages for my hand-stitched art journal and we pages in Moleskine notebooks we used to document our time together.

After walking to Gregory's in Douglas for yummy calzones Lynda explained how to sew my journal together then we gelli printed all afternoon. 

The table before we started.

Printing well underway.
I’ve gelatin printed before, and though I do miss the gradual breakdown of the gelatin plate and the artifacts that leaves, I do love not having to make a plate and skim the air bubbles off and I certainly like the fact that it’s always ready and doesn’t mold. I will definitely be getting at least one—just have to decide what size/s and shape/s.

We took turns creating prints and passed the gelli plate back and forth, leaving the ghost images from earlier prints so there were artifacts of Lynda’s choices in my prints and artifacts of my choices in hers. Interesting how each of us is distinct despite that in color and pattern. We made 41 prints altogether. Had a great time creating secondary patterns with the way we applied the paint.

Lynda's prints
My prints

We also began our little Moleskines.

Paper towel bits from our work surface, paper resists, and a stamp made out of a foam food container plus leftover ink from the brayer.
That evening she took me to Minado, a fantastic Japanese buffet in Natick, MA. First of all, the food was amazing.

First trip to the sushi/sashimi bar.

Second of all, the variety was stunning.

1/3 of the Salad Bar
Steak and salmon tataki, etc.
1/4 of he hot bar

Third of all, Jen and Tom Wahlund I got you a gift certificate as a housewarming present. It’s a bit of a drive from South Hadley but you won’t be sorry I made you drive there.

1/4 to 1/6 of the sushi bar
Fourth, conversation all day, while driving, and during dinner was lovely, by turns deep or light-hearted, absent or heartfelt, practical or whimsical, and it was all good.


Lynda Shoup said...

Ah shuckin's! Thanks for the lovely compliments. We had a wonderful time, didn't we? It was delightful to see the pictures you took. Some of them are similar to ones I have, some completely different. Seeing your handwritten words interspersed with text and photo made me smile. It was a great choice. I also noticed that while you were looking to loosen up, you were the one who wrote in big, loopy, vibrant cursive in your moleskin so that it could look so beautiful in print. My writing was dense and confined. While you were loosening up, you were teaching me to as well!

Looking forward to more opportunities to create art together. I know we will make new ways. Can't wait to see more!

Cindi said...

I found as I was creating these posts that you were much better at remembering to take pictures than I was. I think I need to retrain myself--I get so lost in the moment that I forget to document stuff.