Wednesday, September 03, 2008

just a lot to say

Okay, I'm still not sure this is going where I want it to go but I'm about ready to call the sky done. At least for now. I'll start on the foreground tomorrow. I'm still iffy about this though...

9x20 inches
colored pencil

So while I'm struggling with that landscape, I am (stupidly?) considering working back into some of my older drawings and adding backgrounds to try to make them more interesting. This has challenges, like they've been sprayed with fixative, and signed, and I'm just not sure it'll look good, but I'm thinking about pulling a few out of the frames and seeing what I can do. Why not, I guess, other than it's mildly terrifying to add stuff to something I always considered finished.

I bought some mammoth ivory on ebay today. I feel I need to clarify this. By "mammoth" I don't mean large. I mean, literally, mammoth, as in the wooly kind. As you might guess, it's rather old stuff. No restrictions on import or export either. And a "slab" is pretty small. The ones I got are about 1x2.5 inches and less than an 1/8 of an inch thick.

You know, the downside to scrim is there's no way to reproduce it. I mean, on one hand that ups the value of the original, but with a lot of other art you can make more than one. Sculptures can be cast in bronze, drawings and paintings can be printed and you get something that looks just like the original. I *have* seen cast scrimshaw, it's usually done in resin or plastic I think. Metal engravings are pretty commonly cast, but it's (I think) easier to remove the ink from metal than from ivory, and of course the piece would have to be un-inked to have a mold made, but if I don't ink as I go then the values don't turn out right. A quandary indeed. And besides that I'd hate to spend a zillion hours making some fantastic art piece only to have it damaged in the the casting process. Metal has the advantage of durability. I can't print scrim, whereas metal engravings can be printed (directly from the engraved plate onto paper). Then again a paper print is not the same as holding the engraved piece in your hand. I suppose I could make photos or something, but it's just not the same as the object itself.

So pretty much everyone just needs to have their very own scrimshaw art, I think that's the obvious answer. ;-)

The horses got shod and trimmed this morning, and I am mortified to report that Shylah was bad. Well, not like maliciously bad but she kinda freaked out about the hot shoeing (that has to be strange having smoke come off one's this does not hurt them) and she was clearly thinking "OMG what?!" about all the hammering. I'm really surprised about this, she's always been totally ho-hum about foot handling. So I will be hammering on her feet daily until her next appointment later this month. She's never been shod before. She's 5 years old. She has good feet and normally does not need it but she's going to a location that's very rocky and it's made her sore in the past.

I was not able to do much riding on Blue Top, the TWH. He's having some lameness problems (foot? knee? arthritis maybe?) and I only rode at a walk long enough get a sense of what was going on. I hope it is something that can be treated, he's a good old boy and a very steady horse, it would be a shame for him to have to retire. So I'll be splitting my time between Dusty and Shylah for a while. Looks like the English saddle will fit either horse. Tee hee!

Draft Horse Classic is Sept 18-21 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley, I'll say more when I get the announcements (if I get them).

To do before then (thinking out loud, bear with me):

lots of framing
finish landscape
start graphite horse drawing
new note cards: Jessie, Thankful, maybe more but those are definitely on the list
new business cards! scrim image perhaps
add background to The Saddle Horse, The First of Spring, Hamish???????????
make NICE labels/price tags for each piece, including artist statement on each (trying to "showcase" work a little more)
need black card stock, velcro dots, photo corners
do framed scrims need brass plaques with title? hmm
all the usual last minute packing
determine what art to take, not as much this year, it looked too cluttered
deliver entries
start next scrimshaw, yes, need by end of month eek!

Oh, I know! Go to bed! Zzzz.


Adventure Prone and Co. said...

No, don't work back. Move on.

Katherine Plumer said...

Normally I wouldn't, but as my style of drawing changes a bit over the years I have to think I might be able to make some improvements, and therefore increase the marketability of certain pieces.

It's a thought. I think I'll doodle around in Photoshop with them.

Anonymous said...

I think you could photograph your scrim work for cards and things. The main problem is their size and shape. You'd have to reproduce them at larger than 100%, and a long narrow piece like the bear cubs doesn't fit a standard card size. You could use it on one side of a card front, with a message on the other, maybe. Or on stationery.

I pulled out an old painting of mine a couple of weeks ago and have been looking at it with an eye toward improving it. That's a little harder with watercolor, but I think you could do it with your pencil work. And of course you can use tracing paper to try out ideas. I think one way you grow as an artist is to know how to improve your work. Hamish would be a good one to try. First of Spring tells its own story, I'm not sure a background would add anything to it. Saddle Horse already has a fence in the background, doesn't it?

Probably your trip to Idaho, seeing all that gorgeous background country, has inspired you. Great! You added some wonderful background to your cubs scrim, I'm sure you're off to a great start. Plus you'll have a way to use all those reference photos and prove to the IRS that the trip was for professional reasons.


Katherine Plumer said...

It would be nice if there was a way to reproduce the scrims as some other type of fine art (like castings or something). Cards are neat and usually what gets me through the shows, but...well, they're just cards. I dunno, we'll see.

Yes the Idaho/Wyoming trip was definitely inspiring. :-) The Saddle Horse has nothing behind it, it might look rather good with a bit of Wyoming prairie back there. Hamish would be the right one to experiment with, it's the one I'm least attached to.

But for now, I need to go draw some snow and mountains....