Saturday, July 24, 2021

Sketching Over a Mono Print

We've had a couple of rainy days at the cabin this week.  Adding some gloom and darkness to the repertoire of summer days.  We've been SO lucky this month of July to have day after day of sublime weather that it feels unfair to have to endure rain and wind. 

It's about 66 this morning but will be warm and the weather man hints that this will blow off later this afternoon and give us back at least part of the day for outdoor things.  

It is the weekend of the Northwoods Art Tour so having a rainy Saturday is really ill-timed for that.  But hopefully we can enjoy that later in the day.  

We are blissful in the quiet between two sets of guests...all as welcome and delightful as can be.  BUT having some quiet time is essential for both of Greg and me.  So I wander down to the pier/dock area by the lake to listen to "loon chatter" on the lake and do a little therapy of sketching.  

I remembered that I had glued one of my gel-plate prints into the pages of one of my larger journals.  I really had no idea how I would respond to the pages later but this week I was inspired (in the quiet) to try an ink and water soluble graphite sketch on top of the muted print.  

The original print is acrylic on deli paper (which as a tiny bit of wax on it).  I wasn't sure how ink would respond to that surface.  Actually the ink went on fine but wetting the graphite was interesting and there was a little resist to that. 

It's a common view for folks here at the cabin...the lake was off to my right and I was sitting on our deck.  The boathouse is actually a center of activity for playing at the lake as it houses all the fishing equipment, boat supplies like oars and paddles, life jackets, hammocks, a small sailboat, swim noodles, goggles, and swim fins.  It seemed right to immortalize it that day. (note, the old clock on the side is forever running out of is now permanently set for afternoon tea time now at about 5:45 pm).  


Working with the gel prints reminds me that I haven't done any for quite a long time but when I was cleaning in the studio last week I came upon a stash of "first drafts" that I left here years ago.  

For those of you not familiar with mono is quite common to take first prints or ghost prints (2nd prints) and then re-purpose them with another layer or two of prints or stenciling to complete them. 

So I think that most of my mono-printing will now be done at home in Madison, I am taking all the first drafts back with me and hope to get inspired this winter to go down to the University Woods art studio and spread them out and finish them!  

We have about a week left here (with fun company) and then back to Madison for two weeks.  We hope to come up the end of August again.  

The first acorns are falling on the cabin roof now.  

We had 8 loons visiting on the lake this week!  (very common in July) but all but our pair have gone now.  This summer the loons raised a baby which has been fun to watch.  

Monday, July 19, 2021

Happy Days at the Northwoods Cabin

The month of July has been hazy but not lazy.  Weather here at the Northwoods cabin is splendid.  Absolutely NO complaints about this at all.  One day of rain the whole 19 days we have been up here!  Temps in the 70-85 range every day and cool nights for sleeping. Who could complain????  

All our guests have been happy and helpful and fun.  The wine on the pier in late afternoons has been glorious.  Who can say that about all the guests?  Many of listed "projects" are getting done (although a few have popped up that I didn't have on the first list.  You know how THAT goes.)  One thing leads to another.  A leak in the roof needed fixing that we did not know was there...stuff like that.  

I found a new bird (King Bird), we were able to gift our old boat to someone on Craig's list that was happy to have it, and the loons have a baby this summer.  I must report they are behaving very oddly.  We think there is another loon trying to use our lake.  The birds are very territorial and so they have been "wing paddling" in agitation all over the lake.  You can see videos that on google if you look up "loon behavior".  It's quite amazing and we have never seen it before.  We hate to see them distressed but apparently it is normal behavior for agitated loons.  

I've been out canoeing several times, swimming, and enjoying lots of puzzles and card games.  The guests have been doing most of the cooking so no complaints there!  We are about half way through this first vacation time.  We hope to come back several more times this summer in August and September!  

The sketchbook has not been used as much as I would like and I've not been able to squeeze in time to join the sketch group up here as I hoped.  We are having more company than first planned and that's okay.  We love seeing everyone.  And it's fun to share the lake with folks.  So my sketching is somewhat scattered.   My list of "to do" is NOT getting done at all!  Sigh.  But we'll have about 4-5 days between guests later this week and I am determined to get onto some of my chores.  

Below is a Zentangle I did before I left.  I can't remember if I posted it before.  I probably did.  But I found it on my desk top where I leave things for the blog and so I'll just include it in case.