"Cabbage" woodcut prints

Today in my studio…

The first print…always so bad. At this point I am wondering why I spend time printmaking.

The first print…always so bad. At this point I am wondering why I spend time printmaking.

checking to see if I need more pressure

checking to see if I need more pressure

Ok. Some more richness here…

Ok. Some more richness here…

Cabbage woodcut check Namita Paul.JPG
I managed to get nice dark black here (added some yellow too) but I like the grainy texture in the earlier prints. This looks flat. Be careful what you wish for, right?

I managed to get nice dark black here (added some yellow too) but I like the grainy texture in the earlier prints. This looks flat. Be careful what you wish for, right?

ooh! This is gorgeous!! I love this one and its space-y feel! This is ‘double exposure’ or print with the same plate twice.

ooh! This is gorgeous!! I love this one and its space-y feel! This is ‘double exposure’ or print with the same plate twice.

Here I started playing with the beren and varying pressure on tracing paper and really like the mono print effect.

Here I started playing with the beren and varying pressure on tracing paper and really like the mono print effect.

More printing on tracing paper

More printing on tracing paper

the edge is wobbly because I tried to press down the edge with damp paper. Not a good idea.

the edge is wobbly because I tried to press down the edge with damp paper. Not a good idea.

Overall a good day at the studio!

Overall a good day at the studio!

Workshop with Heather Wilcoxon

I do love to draw and at Heather’s workshop we did just that. Using graphite, cold wax, ink, the whole day was one of wonderful mark making! We drew with sticks, graphite and charcoal, with eyes closed and open(!), with our dominant and non dominant hands. One of the biggest things the exercises did for me was to help me get out of my head, relax, and just draw. Most importantly, the exercises got me started down the path of looking at marks on canvas and responding to them. Sounds simple, but I didn’t really do that, until I took this workshop.

I highly recommend this workshop!

Leaf drawing graphite and ink by Namita Paul.jpg
'Stormy Weather' charcoal, graphite and ink drawing  by Namita Paul.jpg
exquisite corpse with ink Namita Paul Heather Wilcoxon workshop.JPG

work, work work, work

Barfi

Barfi--36 X 24 Acrylic on Canvas by Namita Paul detail.JPG

You might remember this piece from a few posts ago—yes I am still working on it. And loving the process (doesn’t always happen that way—I am more often than not in a funk about quality, quantity, content and what have you). Anyway, here’s a detail; I went back into it with stencils and thoughts of layering. Certainly seems to be gaining a life of its own, don’t you think?

"The Context of Art"

My preoccupations this week:

I recently started helping a friend teach figure drawing to her class, reaching into my fashion illustration skills from fashion school. The experience has been a refresher and I revisited the notion of extracting from that knowledge base and applying to my current art practice. One of the things on my to do list has been to construct a visual record the current political environment, and with a Senate hearing last week, I was taken back to another contentious, blood curdling one of some months ago—that of a new Supreme Court justice. So, I decided to depict an image from the protests that were taking place in DC at the time . The results, I thought, were underwhelming (but not distressing, like the fact).

Sticks and Stones    15”X30”    Acrylic on Canvas

Sticks and Stones

15”X30”

Acrylic on Canvas

My ambiguity about this image surfaces from, I think, the dilemma between “art” and “illustration” and the associated hierarchy within the art world. I looked for solace, and explanation in Nell Painter’s book, Old in Art School. She narrates an experience of wanting to paint her friends as subject matter (an impulse I share, often) but was told by her instructor, simply, “no.” Here is an excerpt of her working through the dilemma:

Teacher Stephen’s objection, I ultimately figured out, echoed The Art World’s prejudice against “illustration” as opposed to “art.” Illustration to make a point, illustration for pay, illustration as following someone else’s direction—someone with money—illustration as mere design, illustration as hack work, not fine art. In The Art World, illustration is inferior to art on account of serving an end that is not art. Illustration serves subject matter, in my case, my intention to depict my friends. Illustration belongs to the verbal world of meaning, serving verbal meaning’s purpose, whereas painting comes from the “context of art” (77,78).

That helps me define my discomfort and that’s where I plan to marinate for sometime. In “the context of art.” I think, like Painter, I will look for resolution in craftsmanship and technique, readily available through transcription, although I haven’t figured out which paintings to transcribe yet!

Inspirations...

This week has had quite a few!

This piece of wood has been sitting in my studio for a while; it finally got some form this week as I remembered  Niki De Saint Phalle.  Also a throwback to art school, which brings me to my next inspiration this week (what can I say, I have been drinking from the fountains of knowledge),  Nell Painter’s Old in Art School!

This piece of wood has been sitting in my studio for a while; it finally got some form this week as I remembered Niki De Saint Phalle. Also a throwback to art school, which brings me to my next inspiration this week (what can I say, I have been drinking from the fountains of knowledge), Nell Painter’s Old in Art School!

Nell Painter.jpg

inspiration #1

Old in Art School by Nell Painter

Stormy the Studio Dog.JPG

I heard Nell Painter before I read her on one of my favorite sources for things art, Tyler Green’s “The Modern Art Notes Podcast.” I started reading her to learn about her art school experience, and it didn’t disappoint! I heard echoes of my own experience as an undergraduate, of being “Old in Art School.” especially, these words:

I wanted to create images, to make art that can express my own mixed up character, to forge a truer me than one confined by exciting categories of sex-race and widely circulated as necessarily true (14).

Inspired by this reading, I decided to do my own version of 100 paintings. The drawing above is one of those. The rest are here, a mix of charcoal, pencil, transfers and ink. More on this work in the next few posts.

25BD255C-E8EA-4FBF-B0D2-0BB7633EC57A.JPG