Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Santa Fe -- days 9 & 10: Saturday Nov 30-Sunday Dec 1 (Monotypes with Sasha)

Santa Fe -- days 9 & 10: Saturday Nov 30-Sunday Dec 1

Except for disastrous Clemson game, yesterday was a pretty wonderful day.

Got up and put in a wash and ran over before breakfast to the Saturday farmers market to pick something up for Josh.  Quite a difference from last week which was slow and local; the tourists had arrived in droves, but I lucked into a street space and was able to get my business done expeditiously.

Went back for breakfast and ran a dryer cycle.  Was packing up car thinking I'd go to my monoprint studio at 4:30 straight from town, when a call from Sasha informed me that I had times wrong ( I swear they were reversed on web site) and class was starting at 10:30 AM.  I flew down the highway SW to Cerillios, the beginning of the Turquoise Trail, winding through great expanses of juniper past several roads named "coyote something," to a long dirt road winding to the studio. 
Sasha's Studio

 So much mud I had to park halfway down the driveway so I wouldn't get stuck coming out.   I worked on my black boots with cleaner and a brush for about 15 minutes this morning, but not sure they will ever be quite the same again.  Problem with only bringing yr favorite shoes.

View from Sasha's Studio

Sasha has same press as I do

I was the only one at the workshop, so being  late wasn't too bad -- there was a lot of stuff that Sasha didn't have to go over with me as I have already been well trained in studio technique.   (Thanks to Syd) My first couple of mono prints were pretty ordinary, but when I began to get the hang of reversing stencils, using the backsides which had picked up random impressions from previous layers, things started to get exciting. 
Print 3

Ghost of Print 3

Print 3: ghost of ghost wi reversals

Syd -- Sasha is going to try to get in touch with you.  She has  a 29 year old, level 4 dressage horse named Teddy.  Retired now, he has a companion goat named Shreck to keep him lively.  We broke halfway through the day's work to slog thru the mud to visit the animals.  The goat took to me immediately b/c I figured out his favorite scratching spots. 

 The horse not so much.  But today's gift of an apple made Teddy my friend too; I guess when a horse leans on you and licks yr hand it means they like you.... Lots of Sasha's prints are of horses.  She rode dressage for many years and used to take her prints to sell at big shows.  Here's her web site:

Sasha and I got along well.  I am very envious of her hair, which has wonderful streaks of dark red, orange, purple and white.  Too bad I'm only one more day in Santa Fe or I might fulfill my dream of getting green and purple stripes, though I'm not sure how that would go wi my current psychic trend towards red and black.

Had so much fun and made so much progress yesterday that we decided I'd come back today for a half day after going to the winter Indian market.  Got up pretty early this morning and was at the convention center at 10:00, before it had gotten at all crowded.  

Had plenty of time to stroll and chat at length with various artists.  Met a Navaho painter, Roland Chee,  who also does monotypes; we had a great talk: I showed him what I'd been doing and later went back and bought some prints from him ( digital prints; the real things start at $800 and go upppp from there).

Bought a little clay rabbit from a student, and a gorgeous silver and turquoise corn maiden pin.    Saw Debra, Preston Dewayne's wife but the plate of hers I liked was $1200.  I just find it really hard to shake my moderate ways with money....  Clearly many of the artists know one another; it's old home week with lots of chatting and hugging and joking with each other. And, well I just like Indians, or maybe it's that they are artists, but I felt particularly at home and at ease --like I belonged in some nearly spiritual way. I loved people's faces. Ah well, it's Santa Fe, city of psychic convergences.  

Brought a bunch of my extra food out to Sasha's and we spent an industrious afternoon as I learned some new dry printing techniques and did an exciting experiment wi chin colle (gluing on layers of Japanese rice paper to intensify color spots ).  With monotypes, first you create an image on a plexiglass plate, often with inked stencils on top of the plate. 

Print 4
Then after you've run the plate through the press once (Sasha has the same press as me, only a little bigger) and have pulled the print, you run it through again on new piece of paper to get the "ghost print," which is often a subtler, softer version. 
Print 4: Ghost

 Then you start flipping and/ or adding more stencils. The ones you flip have color on the back picked up from the plate and other stencils, so things can become quite complex. 
print 4: ghost of ghost with reversed stencils
 And you can ink another plate very lightly and print it back on top.  The process is pretty endless.  And pretty instantly gratifying.

  I can see how it will be a really fun diversion from woodcut, which takes a really long time.   Needless to say, I am really excited abt getting home and experimenting.  I grew so much in two days, it is intriguing to think how much more I'll discover.

Two Day's Work
Resting up now after two pretty intense days. Tomorrow is housecleaning day. I'll pack my bag and see how much I need to ship home and take the rest to Fed Ex. Trying to decide whether to put prints in my bag or mail them.... Bought a print from Sasha, of course.

It's been a wonderful trip, but looking forward to getting home and seeing many of you.  Though I may disappear into the studio for several days....

Love to all,

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