Artist Journal 3 & 4 ~ February 15-28

WOODCUT PRINTING!! Finally being back on familiar ground feels so nice. We have moved into the ‘crash course’ on woodcut prints. This is a method of teaching that I quite like, giving the students the opportunity to try a material and see what they can do with it before really getting trenched in what a woodcut should be. Doing a woodcut in roughly a week often feels clunky and like there are a million and one issues but the students come up with the most brilliant solutions to these road blocks. By the time they get to their second woodcut where they’re given more time for designing and planning as well as execution of the prints the entire process seems less daunting for the students.

I worked on my own woodcut alongside the students and came up with this little raccoon design. The prompt they’d been given was to show their ‘Avatar’ some form of representation of themselves from spirit animals, deities, and portraits to scenes they resonate with. Its always interesting to see the paths they take when given an open-ended prompt like the avatar. Raccoons are one of my favorite animals and I thought it would be the best way to demonstration some techniques with woodcut carving as well as planning and designing for a woodcut as it deals more in shapes rather than line. Part of this project Rhea gave me the opportunity to do a live demo, my first for a college level course. It’s crazy all the little things I do while working on my own prints that are so second nature I’d forget to mention them, luckily with Rhea I was well guided and like to think my first demo didnt go half bad. Additionally I was able to push this woodcut a little beyond the project and show the students a glimps of the type of printing i myself have gotten into a lot lately. Reduction prints. Using the same block and layering colors to get the finished print. I did a quick and easy 3 colored on for my raccoon (I say 3 because i include the paper tone when i count my colors),

Artist Journal 2 ~ February 1 – February 7

This is my second entry and I am already stumbling, but I’m determined to get the hang of keeping a blog and getting my thoughts down not just for my own use in the future but perhaps my trip ups will aid someone else. This is also teh (<— if you see this just know I meant to type ‘the’ and for what ever reason muscle memory has now made my fingers want to hit the ‘h’ last, I will try to edit these as much as possible but that tends to be my most common and overlooked mistake) second week of classes. It’s strange the way my brain looks at tasks, while I am a TA in printmaking and it is technically a class for me I dont have the same drag to work on stuff for it or wake up in time to hold my own version of ‘office hours’ for the students. Instead Mondays and Wednesdays I’m up before my alarm ready for the day. I experienced a similar situation roughly two years ago now when I was give then opportunity to student teach at my old high school. It’s crazy how when you truly enjoy your work it no longer feels like working. These situations have only solidified my desire to be a teacher in the near future.

Currently in the Printmaking 1 class, an intro into various printmaking techniques and methods, the students are working on drypoint prints, and intaglio process where a sharp scribe/needle like tool is used to scratch lines into plexiglass (What the students use) or more commonly metals such as zinc or copper. These scratched lines then act as little trenches to hold ink. The intaglio process is the most closely related to drawing as the marks you make on the material is what will print, as opposed to relief printmaking where it is the surface left over that makes the print. This isn’t a form of printmaking that I have had a lot of experience with since I myself took Print 1 almost two years ago, but its been a fun experience being able to work along side the students and see what theyre coming up with and to see how they individually respond to the materials, ive found it hard so far getting out of my relief printing mindset. David, our lab tech for the studio spaces, made an excellent point about the importance of understanding the style of printmaking youre using and what type of print it will give you. Dry points often have a scratchy jagged quality to them as getting smooth lines and flat areas of value can be difficult. This is why I believe Davids wolf print turned out so well. He leaned into the dry point and what it could give him and in the end he made a print that has a Erie sort of life to it, every time I look at the print i feel as though I’m out camping in the winter time (Something I’d never actually do unless its in a well heated cabin) and then through the almost whiteout snow you can make out the figure of a black wolf staring back at you. It’s a very successful print in my eyes. I went with an amulet design with a sigil in the middle and most of my issues came from trying to work against the material. I am enjoying how its turning out so far tho and am excited to continue pushing on it.

Hello!

This is my first post on my new website and I’m so excited to start this new experience. Here I will be able not only share my art with you all but also document my journey becoming an educator. I am currently enrolled in SUNY Oneonta as a BFA Studio & Digital Art undergrad student and then after I graduate I will be moving on to grad school to get my masters in education. This semester I will be working as a Teachers Assistant in the Print 1 course at SUNY Oneonta. It is an introductory course giving students the opportunity to try a wide range of print materials and techniques, now with the added bonus of teaching them how simple it can be printing with materials readily available around them. This will be my first time in a college classroom on the ‘other side of the isle’. I look forward to helping students develop their skills as printmaking and hopefully show them how fun and limitless printmaking can be, maybe even help them fall in love with the art the same way my mentor helped me. One challenge I think I will face will be reacquainting myself with some methods and techniques in printmaking, such as intaglio printing. I have already started to watch videos on it as well as getting use to the new tools and I’ve found its a lot like riding a bike, only this bike has a sharp tool that I may or may not have stabbed myself with on accident in the past. All things considered I am beyond grateful and excited for this opportunity to not only continue developing my skills as an artist but also continue my path to being an educator