Here are the photos of my sister that I mentioned in my last post. These are the images I'm using for the Birdwoman series. I draw them on vellum and layer them over painted images of birds so that it looks like the figure is in the process of transforming. Melanie makes a fabulous model because 1) she just does exactly what I ask and never complains, and 2) does a really, really good job at whatever I ask her to do, and 3) she's free! She also pointed out to me recently that she doesn't ask questions. I'd never thought about this before, but she's right. And not having to explain myself is comforting, particularly when I'm not entirely sure what I'm doing!
I'm taking a monoprinting class at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, in the room right next to my studio. This was my favorite print that I made today. I've always avoided printmaking because I tend to be more comfy with direct processes like drawing and painting, and also because it looked like a whole lot of cleanup. But my studio neighbor, Deb Putnoi, was making some really amazing images using some monoprint techniques, so I decided to take her class. For me the process is a complete mind trip, and I love it. When I'm painting, I oscillate between wild, impulsive experimentation and tightly controlled, hyper-realistic rendering. I relinquish control, take control, relinquish control, and finally take control to resolve the image. In printmaking I feel like I NEVER have control over the image. It's really interesting for me to make something without expectations, to just submit and see what happens. This print was the result of a series of accidents. I think I said, "Oops," about four different times while I was inking the plate. Serendipity!