Nancy Stahl
After twenty-two years on the computer, I decided it is time I informed my digital work with more tactile attempts once again. So I enrolled in a printmaking class.
But the first real session was cancelled due to snow. I'd done linoleum block printing in high school. Why not spend the same class time cutting on my own?
Well, it isn't as easy as I remembered. The linoleum is tougher and I keep skittering off course, making little digs into areas I want left untouched. Anyone have helpful hints on controlling my Speedball?

Update: I finished cutting the linoleum and another for a second color using tips from you guys. Keeping a lightbulb on the work was a big help. And one of my own: use a lightbox, too, to get an even warmth. Like butter..!
With class cancelled for Presidents Day next week, I wanted to get an idea of what I had so did a rubdown of the two blocks. This is fun..!

For John
My brother, John, lives in Southern California overlooking the Pacific with a spectacular view from high on a cliff. (He went into business, not art.) John isn't exactly an animal lover so it was surprising to see how enthralled he was by the hummingbirds that would come to feed on a bottlebrush plant outside his condo. He knew their habits. When they would appear, how they would go clockwise around the plant, gathering nectar from each blossom for a set amount of time. He talked about their colors, the speed of their wings and ability to hover.
Then the Homeowner's Association decided that the landscaping for the community needed to be uniform or something and they took out the bottlebrush (which would have been just left of where I stood to take this photo). It's still a mystery to me what was so offensive.
Six years ago I began this stamp for the Postal Service as part of what was called an "unofficial series" of animals. I chose the hummingbird hoping that I could give a printed pane of them to my brother. The series came to an end without the stamp being unveiled, so I thought it was dead. But still, I couldn't show it to him as that isn't allowed by contract.
I no longer have to keep my big mouth shut..! Yippee..! The stamp has been previewed and will be out as a postcard rate sometime in 2014.

Looking to work in a more contemporary way and one that will allow me to fulfill assignments with tight deadlines, I decided to practice by doing some portraits. This is the singer Janelle Monae.

Anyone who is friends with me on FB has seen this version of the cast of Breaking Bad. I've fiddled with it all summer, animating it, adding sound... it's part of my obsession with the show.
How I Spent My Summer: Part Deux
July means teaching a week at Murray Tinkelman U... actually University of Hartford / Hartford Art School (before that, Syracuse). This year I wanted to give the students something that they may not have experience with... animation. The problem was that my experience was pretty limited, too. So, I asked if they would hire Chris Georgenes as my co-teacher. I'd never met or spoken to Chris* but his book on Flash is what finally allowed me to make use of the program despite attempts every upgrade since Macromedia first acquired it.
In order to get up to speed for teaching, I animated a bunch of drawings that I had around. See the Kims and more here.
One of the few daylight sightings of our hard-working class. (Chris is the one with a circle around his face.)

Things couldn't have worked out better. The students were excited and very willing to try something new. Chris was a patient and wonderful teacher. And everybody got along like blueberry pie.. ala mode. I wish I had made a website of their work, it was fantastic. Exceeding all expectations, they did amazing things in one short week. I finally understand what teachers mean when they say that thing about learning from their students.
*Chris is too popular a name among illustrators. We had four within reach and often people referred to C.F.Payne (who teaches the second week up there) as Chris also. Somehow it all worked out.
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