Soon there will be snow in the air and the grey will set in

cleaned-up ink version of house drawing

Here is the cleaned-up inked version of the house. Next is time to trace it and then transfer the revered version of this to the plate, below:

pencil tracing of the house drawing
Here is the tracing paper after transferring the image. As you can see, I replaced the original trees. I used a white charcoal pencil on the tracing paper to show up on the dark surface of the ‘wax’ ground into witch I’ll scratch the drawing. (I’m hoping the pre-made transfer paper I ordered will leave crisper lines, as this is fuzzy.)
the copper plate, with image transferred
After finishing the transfer to copper, I realized that I left all of my etching tools at the studio! So, I guess I’ll be working on that portion at class. I’ll try to take some decent photos of the line work in progress. You’ll see how impossibly fine the lines can be compared to pen or pencil. Stay tuned!

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Day eleven: three crows perched in a tree

drawing of crows in a tree

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After I posted this (elsewhere), a friend quoted the Wallace Stevens poem, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird,” to wit—

II
I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.

So now I rather look at these guys as blackbirds. Enjoy the poem.

Day five: Cat took long naps away from the chaos of unpacking

drawing of a cat sleeping on a boxDay five: After three days of cleaning painting unpacking arranging, amid an atmosphere of dust, sundry piles of boxes— she’d quite forgotten her discovery. 

Cat, on the other hand, had discovered a perfect spot for afternoon naps.

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Day Two: she moved house in the early days of autumn

Ink drawing of a woman carrying a boxIn early fall that she finished moving into the house. It’d seen better days, but its bones were strong, and she was determined to bring it back to life. As she was cleaning, she came across a leathery old box in an upstairs room; retrieved it from the shadows of a closet.

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If you’re interested, here are the archives from Inktober 2017.

Fun with monograms: the Chi-Rho

monograms based on the chi-rhoA little hubris in the night: dabbling in a redesign of the CHi-Rho to make my own “I Rule” monogram. 

So there I was, watching another Waldemar Januszczak Art/History documentary; this one exploring the emerging art around early Christianity. Before there was a single image of Christ, there were symbols. The fish, of course, we know from ancient Rome, when it was illegal to be part of Jesus’ disruptive little one-god cult. Then, after Constantine came the Chi-Rho, a monogram formed from the first two letters of the Greek word for Christos.

It was often supplemented with the Greek letterforms, alpha and omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, to signify the beginning and the end of all things. The combination of these four letterforms created the word ARCO which, in the Roman language, translated to “I Rule.” This is powerful logo making; and powerful propaganda on Constantine’s part, who adopted the new religion, and transformed the Roman Empire forever.
early christian hand signs seen in art
Drawing hands is fun.

Anyway, check out the series. As with all WJ’s films, it’s terrifically illuminating (pun intended)— a fascinating exploration of the branding and marketing of an entire religion, using all that had come before, and remaking it to serve new times, new purposes.

A long overdue revisitation

Scene of a country lane done with etching techniqueAlong A Path, 2011 (intaglio and aquatint)

I’ve just signed up —at long last— for another printmaking class! Difficult to believe it’s been seven years since my scholarship to learn copperplate etching (intaglio) at Manhattan Graphics Center, which was my first and only foray into this fantastic ancient method of picture-making.

The class begins in November, with my same instructor as last time. I’ve still got a huge slab of copper which I didn’t get to last time, and I hope it’s still in good nick. Gotta check out my supplies to see what else I’ll need to resume the practice.

This time, I’m keen to get more exploratory in my work. In 2011 I focused on pieces that were intricately detailed and traditional (as you can see from these two prints). My approach involved a lot of hand work, using a magnifying glass to see as I worked. It was incredibly time-consuming, even before the acid-etching stage— which is where a lot of magic can happen, much like going into the darkroom with one’s negatives.

Continue reading “A long overdue revisitation”

Candles emitting a cadmium glow

watercolor sketch of some candlesThese candles, clad in two layers of glass, reflect and shimmer beautifully in the dim interior and caught my eye. I didn’t spend as much time truly observing them as I may have; rather did a sort of lazy caricature or symbolized portrait of them.watercolor sketch of some candles, in normal colorMy scanner has a really tough time with these new cadmium paints in my kit, so I worked in Photoshop to try to return the colors to how they look on the page, but still not really accurate.
watercolor sketch of some candles, in filtered monochrome colorDecided fuck it and went fully another way with a Nik filter, which produced the monochrome image. I learned from that. While it may be less true to the many colors in the glass, it feels truer. And looks more interesting.

Twin angels, their bisque trepanned; eyes empty

photo of two bisque dolls heads

This image, a detail of one of my assemblages involving old porcelain dolls. Their halos are of sterling wire.

two assemblages, with porcelain dolls and metal bits

Circling back to that red oak tree on the farm, amid snowfall

Beyond the Red Oak v6 from Elizabeth Daggar on Vimeo.

I haven’t had time the past two weeks to get much farther with this, but I’m hoping to get back to it on the weekend. Here’s where I left off in my motion tests and atmospheric meanderings.

Focal lengths and depth of field on pencil drawings

pencil snowscape with oak tree

Here are a couple stills from a scene into which I’m working that oak tree drawing and the landscape I’ve been working on. I’m still getting the hang of working with cameras, and messing about with focal lengths and such, to get the depth of field. It’s slow going, but enjoyable.

pencil snowscape with oak tree and fence