Monday, February 9, 2009

New Focus


It has been a long time since I have been able to post on this blog. So much has been going on in my life over the last year since baby girl came into our lives. I still cannot believe it has been almost a year! I have lived a very blessed life to nurture and hold that little girl as close to my heart and as much as possible. I have had little time for art, although I grab a few moments here and there. In order to keep myself engaged, I entered a print exchange with the Four Oceans press which I worked on late at night and when I was able to get some precious studio time. Nothing like a deadline to get one motivated. I have also continued to work on the series of prints based on the silhouette of Mount Mansfield. I have pulled several prints, but have yet to find the time to photograph them in order to share them with you. I promise to get to it soon!
This leads me to the direction that I have been contemplating over the last few weeks. Due to the lack of time I have in the studio, I have been trying to devise a plan to meet all my studio needs as well as my need to nurture baby girl as much as possible. Although monotype is one of my favorite modes of expression, it takes a lot to get into the mindset in order to let my muse begin to work it's magic and channel my fullest creativity. With a now crawling and almost walking baby, its hard to find extended periods of time in the studio to find the groove and develop some work that reflects my minds eye.
I have been reading up on some blogs of other artists with the same issue of balancing art and motherhood. One common link of answers has been to find 'hidden moments' to steal away and work in the studio. Given this, I have decided to really focus on relief work over the next year. I work in several mediums but I am finding it hard to fully explore each idea or design without a lot of time to commit to each form of printmaking. My challenge has been getting completely relaxed and into the mindset late at night to connect to my creativity after giving baby girl my attention all day long. So, I am now choosing to focus on relief print because I think I will have the most success with using 'stolen moments' to fully explore the medium with each design or idea that comes from my muse.
With this new focus, I will also need to work on doing a lot of sketching to get the creative juices flowing. When I do monotype, the magic happens in the process of creating the plate and messing with the inks. With Relief, a lot of this happens on paper. The beauty of sketching is that you can do it anywhere, anytime. I can then work on cutting the plate in stages. Although I like to keep some spontaneity in my cutting process, I can easily do it in stages when there is a need for interruption to attend to my non-art life. Printing can be done late at night or when I have some childcare available to give me the time to pull the prints.
The other stage of this exciting new plan is to work outside the box of the formal edition constraints. Since running large editions can take a lot of time and is not the most enjoyable part of the work for me, I need to rethink how I can explore this medium. There are a lot of contemporary printmakers out there who follow the beat of a different drummer and fully explore each plate by layering different designs and utilizing different colors to make either monoprints or small editions of prints with repetitive images. This allows you to maximize each design by changing colors, composition, and layering other designs to create even more compositions. I think it also adds a really creative and joyful way to explore this medium, which is why I love printmaking. There is so much you can do with it!
I added this print above because it is entitled "hope". I have a new hope for my artwork as well as a new hope for our world and our country. So Happy New Year and here is to hope!

2 comments:

Amie Roman said...

Sounds great, Michelle! I think your analysis of how to be creative in stolen moments will hold true for you. Good luck, and enjoy both levels of creativity - your art and your family.

Michelle Turbide, Vermont Printmaker said...

Thanks Amie, I feel good about the direction that I am planning on taking.