Phew, done! That’s a wrap on this year’s #25printsproject. Oddly, it was not at all as stressful as I had anticipated. I started out with preparing weeks in advance, then it was only one week and in the end Tuesday had been established as project day pretty much without any hassle. I kind of found a nice rhythm that works for me so well, that I plan on keeping it for a while. Minus the show and tell on Wednesday though. For that I will think up something new in January.
When I started the #25printsproject this past summer, I wanted it to give me some structure and motivation to work more regularly and with more purpose on my art. That worked out quite nicely and I totally recommend it. Going with only half of the year instead of a whole yearlong weekly project seems to have been a great decision.
Looking at all of my 25 prints at once you can clearly see how unfocused I was when I started and how much I’m not able and/or prepared to just choose one subject matter to work on. The most recurring theme are patterns, that’s one of my great takeaways of this experiment that I like to create, print and work with patterns. I also quite like the more illustrative pieces I did in the beginning and I plan on dedicating some time in the new year to exploring that a bit further with other media. And then there are the faces, I still have no idea where that road will take me, but from time to time when I feel like it, I’ll be going down that particular path a bit further.
When I ordered all those different fabric paints to test, I also got a tiny bottle of gold paint. I thought that has to be the perfect thing to end this project at Christmas with a small bang. I went for triangles cause why not and I decided to print on two pieces of jeans leg that I had lying around. The gold paint was not an instant friend, but after some trial and error, I figured out how to get a print I liked. Subtle and irregular generally is fine by me. I gave sewing the perfect clutch another shot and what I like about this one is, that you can fold over the flap more or less, gives the piece some variation. I used two layers of denim, but I’m still not happy with the sturdiness of the bag. The gold makes it a bit more fancy then the houndstooth, too. All in all, I think it’s quite Christmassy.
I had some plastic lino blocks left over that I actually already had discarded as material I don’t like to work with. So I made them into a bunch of circle motives to print a pattern, as you do. I especially like the blue grey color. Also without aiming for it it’s a little christmassy, makes me think of Christmas ball ornaments.
With Christmas around the corner, my triangles somehow became Christmas trees. (That’s where I immediately start singing “Oh Tannanbaum” in my head.)
Those would make great Christmas cards I thought and stuck some fabric scraps onto cardstock. (The paint I used was Marabu in blue and Creall in yellow, still too runny for my taste. But I’ll keep looking.)
Don’t you just love how simple shapes can become more interesting just by stacking them on top of each other. Can you wear a dress made of tree fabric? For Christmas maybe, if only it didn’t take forever to print enough yardage.
I ordered a bunch of different textile paints to do a test series. First one up was Marabu fabric paint in black. I’d really like to know why fabric paint is so much more liquid compared to lino printing ink. Is that a necessary property? I would like it so much better if it was more solid.
I’m in love with triangles, that too is a motive I will come back to over and over again. I thought it was quite interesting to see how many different patterns you can achieve in combining the stamp in different ways. This surely has not been my last experiment with this pattern.
I didn’t really feel like cutting a larger lino block. I felt more like experimenting and I think the faces work really well as a pattern.
Another face, more abstraction. I love how each print turns out different. In the beginning, I was aiming for a well saturated print to make everything more uniform.
Now I think it’s far more interesting to see how the same motif can become something new with each print just by varying pressure and/or amount of color.
My sketch, for comparison.
For a long time my go-to motive was lettering. Then I discovered faces. I did one or two portrait classes and even bought the odd book on the subject. My accordeon teacher way back when used to tell me “If you want to dance, you’ll have to learn to walk first”. I hated that. I’d rather draw ten faces with awful proportions then spend even ten minutes on messing about with guidelines. Sure I did that too in portrait class and my pieces even turned out adequate enough, but having to concentrate too much on not messing up the rules my perfectionism will sooner rather then later kill my spirit and my expression. Also I stop feeling it pretty quick. If I’m not in the right state of mind I can’t create. So I draw faces disregarding proportion or variations in perspective or trying to achieve a good linkness with a subject.
After my motivational slump last week, I went back to faces and decided to try something different from my usual pen drawings, with lino printing in mind. I love how similar yet different the painted and the printed version look.
More large blooms in today’s print. I like the color combination, the grey though needed to be a little more visible. Mixing color is a whole new ballgame is what I’m learning right now.
I feel like week 18 has me reaching the inevitable motivational low point. I have started making plans for new projects, that’s a sure sign of motivation burn out. Maybe it’s time to try something new again and give the patterns a rest for a while. But I don’t even feel like looking at inspirational pictures. I’m guessing a little break is in order, that’s often the best way to go.