Process Photos for the Bee Paintings

I put this together for my faculty committee but will post it here for all to enjoy. 

Experimentation and Failure

I've never really like posting process photos because I am always terrified that whatever I am doing will go horribly wrong and then I'll have to explain what happened to the 5 people who may read this blog.  However it also feels artificial to leave that part out. On one hand, no one likes to fail and certainly not in public. On the other, it is called an artistic "process" which implies that there will be some missteps along the way.  All this to say, I've been trying to be more comfortable posting actual process photos. Along with that comes being able to share when things go horribly awry.

Some of you may have seen pictures of this piece while I was working on it.

It is a semi-large piece, roughly 50 inches by 30 inches.  The whole thing was sort of an experiment with flat shapes, color and a rather well-drawn rabbit.  My intention was to mount the drawing on canvas which would provide more stability for the piece and make it easier to display.  So I bought my supplies and stretched my canvas.

I had watched several videos and read about mounting paper onto canvas so I was confident I knew what I was doing.

I didn't.  I was overconfident and certainly should have tried it with a smaller piece.  Let's just say that after some bad moments and some swearing, I ended up with this.....

When it became apparent that the drawing was not adhering to the canvas smoothly, I tried to pull it all off aaaaannnndd tore it to bits. Now, I haven't completely destroyed a drawing to this extent in some time so I was not very happy with this turn of events.  But after leaving things in piles for a few days I decided to see what I could salvage.

First I started working with some of the paper pieces, specifically the rabbit drawing which I had managed to save.  I don't have any process photos of this but here is the final piece.  After messing with the pieces for a bit I decided really loved how the the paper curled when I tore it off the canvas and wanted to work with that. I used the curled pieces to construct a 3 dimensional environment for the rabbit that conveys the sense of being hidden better than my original drawing.

In one area, I cut around the frond just enough to add something intentional to the collage.

I am very excited to get this piece framed up.  I am extremely pleased with the way it turned out although I probably couldn't pull this off again if I tried.

I also had the canvas.....which was pretty messed up after I peeled the drawing off it it.  I sanded the surface slightly and then began trying to figure out what I could do with it. It laid on the table in my studio for a few days and I would come in every morning to glare at it.

Finally I began working on it.  I started by adding layers of ink to the surface.  Then I collaged pieces of the original drawing on the surface along with some new frond/quilt pattern elements.

I've been slowly bringing along the collage elements from the original drawing along with new drawing. I'm finally starting to get a sense of where this is going.

This is the drawing/painting in its current state.

I am not sure where this will end up.  Hopefully not in the trash although that is always a possibility.  I suppose not all experiments and failures turn into happy accidents but I think both of these pieces will end up begin more interesting than the original piece which is really the best part of any process. 

If you want to see more process images, I will post semi-frequently on my Instagram account. Click the icon on my site or search for jodi_hoover on Instagram to follow along.

Prototypes 5 & 6

Before I write about my current book project, I need to invite you all to an event.

If you've known me for awhile (and even if you haven't) you have probably heard me mention Betty & Edgar's book collection.  I've had the privilege of working with this collection for the past 15 years.  Basically I knew as soon as I walked in their door that I would do whatever I needed to do so I could spend time with their books.  If you would like to see why, come check out this exhibition. Seriously.

Which brings me to my current book project. Betty was gracious and trusting enough to give me three of her poems to work with.  I've had them for quite awhile but as usual I needed a specific deadline in order to get moving.  In this case, the upcoming exhibition.  Ideally I would have had it done in time to go into the show but that didn't quite happen.  Nor is the book actually finished.  Instead I have the 6th and hopefully final prototype.

All book projects have prototypes, this one required more than most. I needed to learn the binding and because of how the book needs to go together, it is difficult to get a sense of what it will look like unless you actually put the pieces in place. To see how things can change from one prototype to the next, let's compare prototype 5 & 6.

Cover- except for some color differences, the two covers are the same.  I'm using hand painted tyvek for the cover and binding. The book is a gate-fold binding and opens from the center.

Page 1- The text is in it's final location but will ultimately be letterpress printed. I screen printed text on one sheet of each page just for the final prototype. It isn't perfect but you get the idea.  Prototype 5 is at the top. The mask is too quiet and the bands (which are part of the binding) are too loud.  In prototype 6, the masks are enhanced due to some extra printing and the bands are matte.  They also have a speckle pattern which doesn't come through on the pictures. I also don't think I'll cut out the eye holes in the final.  I don't think it needs it anymore.

Page 2- Possibly the biggest transformation.  Prototype 5 was again too quiet and lacked movement.  It also didn't help that I failed to correctly read my own notations and printed an extra mask piece on the right edge.  Prototype 6 is much better.  I worked with my mistake and added some extra masks.  The poem is about a parade and now the image actually reflects the mood of the poem.

Page 3- The final mask is supposed to be wild and fun.  It also has mirror eyes....which looks creepier in the photos than it does in real life.  Top mask is getting there but I really love how the bottom mask turned out.  The gold sparkles and the colors are far more intense and vivid. No plain masks here!

The edges of the book can be pulled to expand the final image. Initially I had dreams of doing something very clever so the edges of the pages all joined together to make a final image. Alas, I am not that clever and became content with just having the extra space for the final mask.

So far, without counting the text, I'm at 33 layers.  I think that's probably enough.  Betty hasn't seen prototype 6 yet but I am super excited to show it to her this week.  I'll post updates about the book as I finish the project.  Hopefully I will see some of you at the show on Thursday!

Drawing Progress

Friday I made some progress on drawing two of three.

I did waste a bunch of time trying to paint the trees before remembering that I am a terrible painter.  So I drew them instead.

Here are a few more detail shots.

I'm not exactly sure where this drawing is headed but I'm pretty sure it needs an ogre.

Snow Day Musings

There are a few reasons why I haven't been posting. One, between school and work my free time is limited. Although if I am being truthful even with with acres of "extra" time, I am an infrequent blogger. Two, grad school has been a somewhat frustrating experience but I have difficultly pinpointing exactly why so I prefer not to write about it. 

However, the most hilarious reason why I haven't been posting?  I have been taking crappy pictures of my work.  Seriously.  The color is off, the focus is weird and so on.  To make the whole thing even worse....there was a very simple solution.  We got a new camera and I never read the directions on how to properly set the white balance.  Funny, right?  You would think that after all this time I would have learned how to correctly operate a camera (or read the directions) but you would be totally wrong. 

So here are some pictures of recent work and while they are not perfect, they are much better images than I have been shooting.  I have a fair amount of things to re-shoot from the past year so you will notice a jump from the work I have posted previously to what I am doing now.  I hope to go back through and post some other images soon.

I started out the semester with a few small pieces as an exercise to explore "painting" on board and to get back into drawing images that I like. I still think of these as drawings although I suppose technically they could be paintings. Does it matter? Probably not.

I get in a weird head space when I am in school in that I think I need to be serious and make serious things.  So for a part of last year that's what I did. The work is not terrible and I will post pictures but I also needed to clear some of that out.  I won't say these are funny or happy images but I am happier making them.

Dream Whale, 2015. 8" x 8" Acrylic ink on board

Fever Sketch, 2015 8" x 12" Acrylic ink on board

This was the first larger drawing I worked on and it is a bridge between some of the work I did the previous semester and what I wanted to work on this semester. I never really finished it but I don't think I ever will.  I got the image out of my head and on paper so that is enough.

unfinished, 2015. 22" x 30" Acrylic ink, oil pastel and pencil on paper

So we come to a large drawing.  This is the largest drawing I've worked on since 2008 or so.  Coincidentally that is the year I broke my leg. I always worked on the large drawings with the paper on the floor and since it was now physically difficult for me to work that way the size of my work changed. 

Other notable things about this drawing.  I didn't have a sketch to work from when I started which for a drawing of this size is unusual for me. The paper is gessoed (as it is in the drawing above) which gives me a different, much more durable surface to work on.  Again I am using elements from my research last semester, most prominently the fern/frond quilting patterns along with imagery that I am more attached to. Mostly I revisited my enduring love for fairy tales and illustration (the combining of text and image).

the little blue house, 2015. 42" x 34" Acrylic ink, oil pastel and pencil on paper

Perhaps not a happy image but my own jokes are there even so.  For instance, the house is deliberately yellow thatched and blue to reference Goldilocks or any other blue-eyed blond damsel in distress.  This might have been the thing I momentarily forgot.  While I can create things that are purely serious ART, the thing that keeps me coming back is the humor.  I'm not sure that is always obvious to the veiwer, nor do I think that particularly matters to me.....but I generally need to find the end product amusing. 

I plan to make two other drawings that complete this story but I am concerned that the other two will look too dissimilar from this piece.  Stay tuned!  I really will try to post more frequently. There is also a book project that is mostly printed and which you will be hearing much more about soon-ish.

OH! While many fun things happened this year, one of the high points was getting the chance to meet one of my heroes. This guy always reminds me that you can be smart and serious about being ridiculous. 





Happy New Year!!

As usual I completely failed to keep up with blog posting.  However, people have asked to see what I've been working on for the past few month and so here it goes!

A few drawings:

birdsketch.11x14.2014.small.jpg

Two new chapbooks for Furniture Press.  Both are still available to purchase from the Furniture Press site.

Blumore by Andrew Klein, edition of 60.  Each cover features an original drawing framed by a denim square cut from a pair of my old studio jeans. 

Views from the National Forest by Alicia Puglionesi, edition of 75.  Screen print with hand colored bee. 

There you have it.  Things I have been working on since my October post (the chapbooks were done earlier).  Many thanks to all of you who came out to Monster of a Show and made purchases over the holidays!!

Keeping up

I had promised myself that I would start updating my blog every week and already I'm two weeks behind.   Oh well so much for promises and consistency. 

First of all MONSTER OF A SHOW is coming soon.  Seriously, mark your calenders.  Take a scroll through the Facebook page to get a sneak peak of the cool stuff that will be there. 

Many cool things (and few annoying things) have happened over the past few weeks but I especially want to post a couple of pics of Paul Johnson's work. I was lucky enough to be able to hear Paul speak about his amazing books during a lecture at Goucher last week.  I can't say enough about how much I love his work but I was particularly inspired by the fact that he is making his most ambitious and interesting work in his 70's.  Here a picture of his Noah's Ark book.  THE WHOLE THING FOLDS FLAT!! 

And here's a close-up of the cutest octopus

I would have taken more pictures but Paul and his work were completely swarmed after the lecture.  I was lucky to get these!

Priorities

I wrote this whole long post about how I've had a rough week filled with doubts about this whole grad school thing because I'm picking up a "you're not truly dedicated because you aren't doing this full time" coupled with a "your work is a tad too commercial" vibe.  I went on for a little bit about different paths and second guessing your life choices....but even I got bored because it is a boring conversation that I need to stop having with myself and others. 

This week I had three pieces accepted into a painting show.  A painting show that I accidentally entered because I screwed up the entry form. I've never been in a painting show before and wouldn't have normally even tried to enter.....so that's an exciting and happy accident!  Details can be found here: Strokes of Genius

Mickey and I also went to a special screening of "For No Good Reason" the recently released documentary about Ralph Steadman.  Steadman is one of my artistic heroes and the chance to see him working....amazing!  There was also a lovely panel discussion that revolved around arts entrepreneurship which I especially needed to hear.   

I've started to work on some new drawings that I'm excited about.  I'm playing with materials and content in a way that I haven't in a long time.  Its good for me.  Pictures may follow soon.

Today I did an unassisted headstand in yoga class which is something I probably couldn't have done even 2 months ago. 

So onward, forward and all of those things.  Life is good and I like my priorities just fine.  Take that grad school! 

ANXIETY!!!

For the past few weeks I've been increasingly anxious about the start of the fall semester.  While I'm excited to be starting the MFA program, I'm also very concerned that there are just not enough hours in the day to work, go to school, see my husband, clean my house and in general deal with my life.  Once I enter this particular thought cycle it becomes difficult for me to concentrate on much of anything, which means I waste time, which means I get more anxious about not having enough time.

This afternoon I had some time that I was determined not to squander.  While there are a few things I need to do, I decided to work on something that I have been really wanting to do.   So for the first time, I unpacked my 3Doodler

After some initial messing around to get the hang of how the pen worked, I started working on something more substantial. Here's what I ended up with.

My first 3Doodle!!

My first 3Doodle!!

It's been years since I've done anything sculptural but I had a lot of fun with this.  There are definitely some possibilities for future projects.  While spending a couple of hours in the studio doing something didn't completely dispel my anxious worry, it did help.  Hopefully over the next few weeks I'll find my routine and balance.  Fingers crossed!! 

Working hard!

Working hard today on block painting and assembly. These will be heading to the Smithsonian Museum of American Art and will be available during the Art-o-Mat Swap Meet. The Meet will be held on July 26th from 1-4pm. 

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Art Show at Independent Tattoo: Saturday, May 24th

You know its funny.  I get so worked up about posting that I don't do it very frequently.  I spend too much time planning what to say, I avoid sitting down to write and in general make the whole thing far more complicated than it needs to be.  So with that in mind, here are the important details.

A show of my work will be up in the Gallery at Independent Tattoo in Selbyville, DE from May 24th until June 19th.  The opening will be on May 24th from 8pm - 11pm.  You will see some prints, some tiny paintings and some drawings like the one below.  In fact, this show will have more new drawings than you've seen from me in awhile.

I know Delaware sounds like a far away place but it isn't really.  Hope to see some of you there, invite your friends!

Oh- here's the link to the FB event page....https://www.facebook.com/events/296047263905188/  Pass it along!

Welcome to the Neighborhood, 2014

Welcome to the Neighborhood, 2014

2013 Wrap-up

I've been trying to write this post for about a week and hopefully this is the final version.  If I had been better about keeping my blog all caught up and current then it might not be necessary to do a giant end-o-the-year post but that's not the way this year has worked.  Perhaps next year will be better......

With that said, here are a few of things I have managed to accomplish art-wise this year. 

Valentine, 2013

The year started off with my 2013 Valentine print.  I keep thinking that I'll stop doing them and yet somehow I always end up with "just one more".  I do like the project and I generally really like the final prints. However, designing, printing and mailing 200+ Valentines every year is a giant task.  That being said, the sketches have started for the 2014 valentine so if you aren't on my mailing list and would like to be, fill out the form here and I'll get you all set up.  Sooner or later I may have to put a cap on the list but we haven't hit that point yet. 

Valentine, 2013

Valentine, 2013

36th Annual Art on Paper Exhibition, Maryland Federation of Art

In April of this year, my latest book "darts of love" was included in the Art on Paper exhibition at the MFA gallery in Annapolis, MD.  Miriam DesHarnais (the talented author) and I both got a chance to speak about the work at the opening reception.  The show was filled with wonderful pieces by artists from across the country.  Since I was in such fine company, I was stunned to fine out that "darts" won a Merit Award! 

Since then the book has sold well to both private collectors and libraries.  I haven't given up on putting together a trade version, I just have not had a chance to sit down and really work through all of the details. 

 

"darts of love" & I at MFA Art on Paper Exhibition  

"darts of love" & I at MFA Art on Paper Exhibition
 

Furniture Press Projects

This year I also had the great fortune to continue my association with Furniture Press.  I printed a cover for the second edition of "Day Cracks Between the Bones of the Foot" by Jesse Nissim. "Where to From Out" by Chris Mason was a fun new project and I am really happy with the way the final project turned out.  These and other Furniture Press chapbooks are available in my shop.

Where To From Out, 2013 Text by Chris Mason

Where To From Out, 2013 Text by Chris Mason

This year Furniture Press celebrated its 10th Anniversary.  To celebrate this amazing milestone I created a special broadside print.  There are still a few available, they can be purchased here.

Furniture Press 10th Anniversary Broadside, 2013

Furniture Press 10th Anniversary Broadside, 2013

The Birds! Berlin, MD

In October I had several pieces included in a bird themed exhibition at the Berlin Coffee House in Berlin, Maryland.  The show was curated by the fabulous Patti Backer. The opening was a blast and I loved the chance to explore Berlin.  Hopefully there will be more such opportunities in the future!

The Birds! Berlin Coffee House

The Birds! Berlin Coffee House

Pop's Short Stories

This was an odd project for me to take on and I really wasn't sure how it would turn out.  Thom Shipley asked me to do these illustrations and after reading his charming short stories I agreed.  I did make it clear that I was concerned since it has been awhile since I have tried my hand at black and white illustrations like this. Below you can check out some of the final drawings and the pencil sketches they were based on.  The book is available on Amazon and I will have a few signed copies in my shop very soon.

Wedding Invitation

I don't often do this sort of thing but this summer I was thrilled to design and print wedding invitations for my lovely sister Hannah and her fiance Asher.  I was given free rein but keeping Hannah in mind, this was my final result. 

The wedding was very beautiful and I am excited to have Asher in the family!

Hannah and Asher Wedding Invitation

Hannah and Asher Wedding Invitation

Hannah & Asher, Invite and response card

Hannah & Asher, Invite and response card

That's a quick run down of a few of my 2013 projects.  I also drew a few drawings, painted a few paintings and was included in the City Paper Gift Guide but I can't cram everything into one blog post!  This year has been full of change and unexpected surprises but all things considered, its been a pretty good one. I am looking forward to 2014 and really will make more of an effort to keep the site and blog up-to-date.  Happy New Year to you all!!

Drawing Harold

Those of you that have followed me for awhile know that I very seldom post drawing progress photos.  I'm not really sure why.  Part of it might be the fear that this will be the drawing that won't turn out well. Or maybe I just don't think about documenting the progress of a single drawing all that often.  Whatever the case, here's the rare occasion where I not only documented the progress and I am now posting the pictures for your perusal.

So here's how the drawing starts.  It is on Rising Stonehenge paper milled before Rising was purchased by Legion Paper.  The texture is very different from the current Stonehenge milled by Legion and I'm running out of the old kind.  I'm not quite sure what I'll do then.  But for now......

So here's how the drawing starts.  It is on Rising Stonehenge paper milled before Rising was purchased by Legion Paper.  The texture is very different from the current Stonehenge milled by Legion and I'm running out of the old kind.  I'm not quite sure what I'll do then.  But for now......

The original drawing is done with a water-soluble calligraphy marker, so naturally the next step is to wet the paper and the drawing and let things bleed together a bit.  This also helps establish some areas of light and dark.  

The original drawing is done with a water-soluble calligraphy marker, so naturally the next step is to wet the paper and the drawing and let things bleed together a bit.  This also helps establish some areas of light and dark.  

Now its time to start adding some color.  I use F&W Acrylic inks.  Using a hake brush I wet the paper ONLY where I want the ink to be.  Then I drop the ink onto the paper and use the brush to push it around.  

Now its time to start adding some color.  I use F&W Acrylic inks.  Using a hake brush I wet the paper ONLY where I want the ink to be.  Then I drop the ink onto the paper and use the brush to push it around.  

Using this method, I put down the first layer of ink.   

Using this method, I put down the first layer of ink.   

Next I start to layer different colors of inks in different areas.  The acrylic inks are great because they not only have nice intense colors, but they come in different opacities so after you've worked with them for awhile you can really play with out the colors lay on one another.

Next I start to layer different colors of inks in different areas.  The acrylic inks are great because they not only have nice intense colors, but they come in different opacities so after you've worked with them for awhile you can really play with out the colors lay on one another.

Now comes the first layer of the colored cont crayons.  These are dry drawing tools more commonly seen as earth tones.  However conte crayons come in a wide variety of colors that are (you guessed it) water soluble. That means I can draw with them and still wet down the drawing to add layers of color. 

Now comes the first layer of the colored cont crayons.  These are dry drawing tools more commonly seen as earth tones.  However conte crayons come in a wide variety of colors that are (you guessed it) water soluble. That means I can draw with them and still wet down the drawing to add layers of color. 

I decided things were getting a little too flat so I added in a few areas of dark using some red ink.

I decided things were getting a little too flat so I added in a few areas of dark using some red ink.

Okay so now we get to the downfall of my documentation abilities.....I forgot to take in between pics so there's a little bit of a jump.  Basically I go back in using a combination of inks and conte to build up the layers and depth that I want to see in the finished piece.  It's like a series of small tweaks that make a big difference in the end.

Okay so now we get to the downfall of my documentation abilities.....I forgot to take in between pics so there's a little bit of a jump.  Basically I go back in using a combination of inks and conte to build up the layers and depth that I want to see in the finished piece.  It's like a series of small tweaks that make a big difference in the end.

Now we have the finished piece, mounted on board and trimmed down a bit.  As you can see this changes the composition and makes the piece a little more dynamic. 

Now we have the finished piece, mounted on board and trimmed down a bit.  As you can see this changes the composition and makes the piece a little more dynamic. 

And finally here is the official image taken with a decent camera, not my cell phone.  

And finally here is the official image taken with a decent camera, not my cell phone.  

So if you've made it this far, I'm sure your next question is "How might I see that drawing in person?"  I'm glad you asked.  "Harold" will be on display at the Berlin Coffee House  in Berlin, MD starting on October 11th.  He will be there as part of "The Birds" a group show curated by Patti Backer who is a fantastic artist and all around nice person.  Check it out if you find yourself on the Eastern Shore.

Omni Arthouse

If you haven't already, click on over to the Omni Art House.  There you will find works of art by a number of artists.  The artwork is arranged into galleries by themes which range from "Mr. Bones" to "Sketchbook Page".  The most amazing part?  All the works or art are 4 x 6 inches and all the works are available for just 40 bucks a piece.  That's right, 40 bucks.

Even better, in a week or so you'll be able to purchase this guy, on the Omni Art House site FOR JUST 40 BUCKS!!  

 

Bernard, 2013

36th Annual Art on Paper

I'm using my new blog format on my new website to share some exciting news.  As many of you know, I recently finished printing a new book written by the talented and lovely Miriam DesHarnais.  That book,  "the darts of love" has been accepted into the 36th Annual Art on Paper Exhibition at the Maryland Federation of Art. 

You can see pages from the book below or you can come see it in person at the Maryland Federation of Art from March 29th - April 28th. 

Opening: April 7th 3-6pm.  I'll be there and would love to see you!

Last Minute Shopping

As of last night my SHOP is completely restocked with everything I have left after the December round of shows.  For all of you last minute shoppers, if you place your order before Tuesday morning and live in the continental US, I should be able to get your package to you in time for Christmas.  In other news, "darts of love" is now officially up on the Joshua Heller Rare Books website.  HERE  Although my name is spelled three different ways on a single webpage, I'm still very proud!!