Monday, December 10, 2012

Amy Dean: Art Star!

In May, my beautiful wife Amy was chosen to be one of 150 local residents chosen to participate  in a special art project to celebrate the 150th birthday of the acclaimed Albright-Knox art gallery. After filling out a questionaire and being interviewed by the artists, each participant was made into a colorful "icon," and all 150 pieces are presently on display in the Knox annex, along with a color guide and video clips of the interviews.

Amy's icon is the blue and green picture. It looks like a butterfly, and I think they captured her perfectly. Congratulations on being chosen to participate in the celebration, Amy! And I promise to stop saying, "My wife's in the permanent collection at the Albright-Knox!"

To learn more about this project, please visit

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Loon-y Tune

I'm never sure I'm going to like a print until it's done. Reduction woodcuts -- where the colors are built up on the paper through successive cuttings and printings -- are particularly stressful, because not only do you not know how the print will look until you get to the end, but because the block is destroyed in the process, you can't go back...unless you go ALL the way back.

As I mentioned last post, the concept of the drawing was inspired by "Maroon," one of the color poems by voice artist Ken Nordine. My loon here is supposed to be singing a tune to an orange moon. Well, I lost the orange, but I really needed to do something with the block to get some ink on my fingers. It's been a remarkably dry few years, and being in our new home, I knew I needed to get back to work, to blow off the dust, scrape off the rust, and rediscover the passion for printmaking.

This is state #2, the color being a very dark muddy green. The lines on the moon are signifying sound rippling the air (the loon's cry). I agonized over how to make that work, and I can't say I feel successful about it. I wish I'd taken them out. Oh, well, that's printmaking.

Luckily, I only printed six. Pretty sure you won't find them on Etsy. But I'm feeling less rusty, less dusty, and ready to hit the next one out of the park.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

So, having moved back from the cruel city to our home in Hamburg, NY (where it all began), I now have a comfortable though incomplete studio setup in our very toasty basement. The first order of business was to try to get back to a woodcut I began over the summer. Unfortunately, the print wouldn't take the ink, so I had to scrap the prints I'd begun. However, I am still going to finish the print, minus the two colors I'd already printed -- gray and orange.

The design is based on mental imagery I got from listening to one of Ken Nordine's color poems, "Maroon." If you have a moment, pop over to Youtube and check it out. "there's a singer's she sings a an orange a crazy loon." Not a literal translation of the poem/song, but a fun little excercise. It will probably just be a three-color print, a little something to get me back in the water.

The picture here is one of the states of the print, the maroon layer, printed on linen as a test to see how well the material takes the ink. The intention is that Amy & I will collaborate on a future project, so stay tuned for that.

The Etsy shop is presently closed, and probably will remain closed until after the holidays. Please check back for updates, and "like" Napping Cat Press on Facebook to get alerts to the latest work.