Thursday, February 28, 2013

you wanna fly

"you wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down."

- toni morrison

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

the gaps between the stories

"we were the people who were not in the papers. we lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. it gave us more freedom. we lived in the gaps between the stories."

-margaret atwood, the handmaiden's tale

vintage lady from mementomori:

Sunday, February 24, 2013


"and above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. those who don't believe in magic will never find it."

-roald dahl

Thursday, February 21, 2013

tutorial: mounting prints to cradled wood panels

As mentioned in my previous post, I've been displaying recent work by mounting the print to cradled wood panels.  I did a good deal of research on how to do this but ended up pulling it together from various sources.  This is the process that worked for me.

cradled wood panel (see Dick Blick art supply for various sizes and thicknesses):
wood stain
polyurethane wood varnish
sand paper (I used several different grits- 120 for basic sanding, lower grits for distressing)
cheap paint brush
foam brush
painters tape
Golden Soft Gel Medium (after researching this is the best in my opinion)
X-Acto knife and heavy-duty straight edge
black Sharpie marker (optional)
wax or freezer paper
brayer roller
Golden Polymer Varnish with UVLS (optional)
quality paint brush (optional)

Preparing the wood panel:

Sand all over to help the stain “stick” to the wood.  You can either wipe on stain with a rag and rub dry or paint on stain thickly with a cheap brush without rubbing dry.  The wipe/rub method gives you a nice even classic stained look- additional coats to make it darker.  The painted version gives you a thick/ dark covering  that looks more like paint and is better if you plan on doing a lot of distressing.  I suppose you could paint the block a color if you wanted but for my stuff I went with dark stain (Ebony).  There is no need to stain the face of the panel, just get around the edges that might show after your print is mounted.

Once dry you can choose to distress with sand paper or not.  I like the shabby look so I used a corner sander to randomly remove patches of painted on stain (sandpaper works the same).  Wipe the panel clean.

Using a foam brush varnish the wood (one coat).
Once dry wrap the edges with painters tape.
Apply one coat of the Golden Soft Gel Medium to the face of the panel.  This will help the mounting process later and require less Gel to actually stick the print on.
Let dry.


Preparing the print:

For some reason the panels are all slightly shorter than advertised (12” by 12” was actually 11.875” by 11.875”).  I resized my piece in Photoshop to match and then printed on matt photographic paper (I use Moab Entrada Rag Bright).  Let the print dry.  Next I applied 2 separate coats of Golden Soft Gel Medium (ok on inkjet prints-protects print-gloss to really make my blacks pop) to the front of the print using a foam brush (allow to dry between and after coats).  The backside of the print gets one coat done same way. On the front of the print I used up and down brush strokes going in the same direction for both coats.

Using an Xacto knife and a good solid straight edge I cut the print from the paper.  The resulting print feels like thick canvas and is pretty forgiving if you get something on the front- you can wipe it away- its nice and sturdy.  

Since my panels were stained dark and most of my prints are darker I took a black Sharpie marker and colored around the edges (so they won’t stand out white once mounted.

Mounting the print:

Apply one thin coat of Golden Soft Gel Medium to the front of the panel and the back of the print.  Carefully but quickly slide the print onto the panel and line up with the edges.  This is the tricky part to get it lined up correctly before it starts to stick.  Quickly cover the print with a piece of wax paper and start pressing down in the middle and rubbing out from the center to the edges.  Air bubbles are the enemy.  Take a brayer roller and start rolling from the center out to the edges all around the panel.  If you see a bubble start to form under the print try first to pull the print back up in that corner and replace, if it won’t move then keep rolling the spot with the brayer and the bubble might just flatten out.  Any gel medium that squeezed out around the edges of the print can be wiped away with a damp cloth.

Optional varnish to print surface:

Once dry you can use Golden Polymer Varnish with UVLS to cover and protect the print surface.  Be sure to thin the varnish before application as directed on the bottle.  Use a quality paintbrush here to minimize bubbles and avoid bristles falling out.  I put on 2 coats of varnish, brushing slowly and in the same direction as I did when preparing the print.

Once dry remove painters tape and you have a nice wood panel mounted print!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

making my unknown known

in preparation for the magic city art connection festival in birmingham in april, i am trying something new to me -mounting prints to wood panel boxes.  
in past festivals i have always matted and framed my photographic work.  wanted to try something new for my digital collages...
23 done so far and i'm loving the effect.

i'm thinking about posting a simple tutorial if anyone would be interested???? 

"whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. making your unknown known is the important thing." -georgia o'keeffe

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

dark thing

"i am terrified by this dark thing
that sleeps in me;
all day i feel its soft, feathery turnings, its malignity."

-sylvia plath

Sunday, February 17, 2013


"a few times in my life i've had moments of absolute clarity. when for a few brief seconds the silence drowns out the noise and i can feel rather than think, and things seem so sharp and the world seems so fresh. it's as though it had all just come into existence.
i can never make these moments last. i cling to them, but like everything, they fade. i have lived my life on these moments. they pull me back to the present, and i realize that everything is exactly the way it was meant to be."

-christopher isherwood, a single man

vintage stock of lady from mementomori:

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


"Herr God, Herr Lucifer

Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air."

-Sylvia Plath, Lady Lazarus

Monday, February 11, 2013


" is hard to forget, i said, when there is such an empty space when you are gone."

-brian Andreas

bees from the graphics fairy:

Saturday, February 9, 2013

the innocent

"the innocent are so few that two of them seldom meet- when they do meet, their victims lie strewn all around."

- elizabeth bowen

Thursday, February 7, 2013

when the clock stops

"clocks slay time... time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life."

- william faulkner, the sound and the fury

Monday, February 4, 2013

her heart was a secret garden

"her heart was a secret garden and the walls were very high."

- william goldman, the princess bride

yellow flowers stock: