Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Day 126 - 365/2014

Day One Hundred Twenty-Six

Stupid allergies have forced me to stay home today, so many stupid (and painful) symptoms -- much Benadryl (so no driving)...and...lucky me...apparently the vacant lot two doors away from me is being readied for building.  LOTS of tree cutting and wood chipper action...lots of new dust and all kinds of debris on the wind and straight to my house.  It feels like there is a super fine powdery soft sand/dust coating over everything.  Waaaah...poor Took...and kitties who could not/would not eat this morning because of the monstrous wood chipper noise.  It is really weird -- sometimes you can't tell where the sounds are coming from because of the alley-like driveway(s) and fences and hill and stuff.

I really wanted to finish assembling the last thirteen Animal People collages and add phrases to them but I am just not feeling it today and I don't want to force the last of them.  So instead I decided to get busy on the prep work for another of my Art-o-mat series -- Penciled In.  This time I will be collaborating with my friend Terri and since she will be here on Thursday for our Second Thursday group I thought I could get them ready for her so she can take them with her and work on them at her own pace.

I transfer original drawings of characters I have made onto small MDF blocks.  The blocks I use are much smaller than the supply blocks that Artists in Cellophane sells to its artists...my blocks fit inside of AIC's supply boxes.  (The Animal People collages are made on the full size AIC blocks.)

My block is on the left -- AIC's block is on the right.

 I went "shopping" in the basement to find the bin with the last stash of my blocks.  Every time there is a project done at my house that requires MDF I have the person doing the carpentry cut blocks out of the leftover MDF.  I had boxes and boxes of them and now I am down to the last stash of them...but do still I have a nearly full sheet of this thickness of MDF out in the garage.

Anyway...the MDF blocks have a sort of papery top layer and if you sand the edges too much it disturbs the paper and takes out little chunks.  The edges can sometimes almost feel like suede -- it is pretty cool stuff, but can be irritating to prep sometimes...like when you want to paint or somehow colors the edges...more about that in the painting process which will come much later.  So today I grabbed out 100 blocks from my stash and did a quick "sanding" routine on each block.  I laid out a piece of fairly rough sandpaper and made 2 swipes across the edges (long ends and short ends) then a couple swipes across the flat surfaces of the long ends and the short ends...it gets pretty dusty.  It took about an hour to do 100 pieces...not too bad.  

My last bin/stash of already cut up MDF blocks.
Counted out and ready to get started.
The difference between an untouched block and a prepped one.
Sometimes there are still a few papery fibers left after sanding...
...those are easily snipped off with big scissors.
Halfway there!
Whew -- done!
Then I did fifteen more blocks -- ones for Terri to practice on and to give me a few for when I mess up a transfer...which happens fairly often until I get into the rhythm of the process again.

Fifteen more for practice and mess ups.
I am fighting myself tonight to not start transferring the images because my hands are probably more tired than I realize, although they do already feel better than they did earlier.  But if I start the transfers I will want to finish the transfers...and that is why I am not allowing myself to do it tonight.  Period.  

Here are three examples of the collaborators I have worked with so far.

Left:  Took, solo -- Middle:  Took/Juana -- Right:  Took/William

I did the original set (and maybe a second one) on my own.  Then my friend Juana and I collaborated on several, several sets.  Next my friend William and I did a set of I think 50 and he still has maybe another set of 50 to complete.  I am eager to get going with Terri -- I made a few new drawings for this series.  I can't wait to see some of the first guys in our collaboration!  

Here is a link for the Penciled In blog.  Oh...and I also did a DIY set...that included a blank block plus several blank trading cards for whoever purchased them from an Art-o-mat machine to color in themselves and "collaborate" with me.  Here is the link for the gallery for that series -- I haven't heard back from very many people (yet).

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