Monday, April 18, 2011

Another Young Artist

It occurred to me, since there's a Schwitters exhibit of collages at the Art Museum here in Princeton, which I have yet to get in to see, that these early works of another artist working in a similar vein would be good to see right now.

These collages were created, just for the sake of them, out of any available images and paper, with great skill and a massive sense of irony, by a young man in his late teens many years ago. They came to me when he was clearing up old stuff in a move, and I asked permission to show them way back. Finally I have a venue in which I can do that.

This is pure art in the sense that it was done just to suit his own need to express, at the time, and was uninfluenced by outside pressures of any kind. In one sense, he invented this form, since he was discovering it for himself.

The pieces are small, and the component parts, his drawings, paintings, comics, poems, are tiny -- sheets 8.5 x 11 are the base of all of them, so some of the drawings are minute. Endless material in there to look at and study and puzzle over.

The artist is my son, Andrew M. Adams, who has all kinds of talents, music composing, computers, photography, you name it. One of them is how he makes his living, and the others are his avocations, all self taught, and followed for the satisfaction of them.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Working with a young artist

A friend in the neighborhood, Tarang J., is working toward a major girl scout award, and asked me to advise on the art side of it. She has developed workshops on a series of art forms, origami, fiberart, mandalas and sand art, all using forms from nature and materials either recycled or acquired in the most friendly way to the earth. It's an approach to environmental art, which she hopes to share with younger kids, and adults, too, who could use a reminder to be kind to the earth.

She learned in my studio last week how to make yarn mosaics, weaving spiderwebs without a loom, and using those plastic can connectors beloved of this artist, as looms to create knotted and looped artworks. One of the best students I ever worked with, she has golden hands.

And she keeps on coming up with more ideas, I love this! today she started a God's eye using yarn from my stash -- one of the deals I struck with her was to avoid buying as far as possible, and I supplied a ton of materials from the studio, gouache, paper, yarn, strings, paper plates, all kinds of fun stuff to haul away and supply to her students when her classes get under way.

All this will be chronicled on Facebook and other places, and I can only say what fun it is to be corralled into this adventure!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Old monotype and new work in draft form

I was reminded of monotype making, a wonderful artform, the other day, when I was talking with Donna S, the star at the library gallery, who, a very good artist in her own right, also runs the gallery and its doings, including herding the artists, not unlike herding cats....

I was invited to share what I could about ideas for her teaching papermaking in her summer program this year, to the multitudes, so I went in for a meeting with her. Anyway we were talking about art and varying sizes of same, and she recounted how she'd done a huge handmade paper piece, long ago, as a project, and been unable to get it home from school, since it wouldn't fit in her little car. Somebody got lucky, I guess, if they happened to see it at the dumpster.

I have the opposite situation, usually, always driving a small car, and typically making rather small artworks. Years ago, I was given a corporate show, and arrived on the day they wanted the doings handed over, with 50 count them, artworks,framed, in my little Horizon hatchback. They were taken aback as I unpacked it like a clown car, and one of the officials asked "If you had a bigger vehicle, would you make bigger art?" and I explained that it was the other way around...

Anyway, those small works were monotypes of all kinds, and in the course of faffing around, I mean experimenting in design, with a piece I hope to send to the libe gallery for part of their summer show this year, I found a monotype from a series I did ages ago. So I framed it and it will finally be on our walls, instead of the walls of the various places it's traveled to on exhibit. I'll have to dig further into my archives (that mass of stuff under the worktable in the studio) and see if there are any other ones worth showing you.

I think this mono, done on black Arches cover, must have been around the time of my black gesso period -- it fits the motif pretty well. I used to do a lot of work with metal pens, drawing copper lines that resembled wire until you realized it was an optical illusion.

And while I'm on this hobbyhorse, I'd like to remind us all that the word for this work is monotype, not monoprint. A monoprint is a print of which the artist chooses to make one, but could in fact make more, because it's a different technique from putting down the inks directly on the plate with no other items involved. Thank you.

Incidentally, you know the Degas pastels that we usually assume are pastel paintings? most of those are monotypes, which he created then finished in pastel. The reason a monotype is so magical is that you're seeing the image from the inside. You put down the image on your plate, then pull off a single copy (sometimes you can get a second, a ghost, but not always). So what you see is the inside of the work. You can't paint that directly, but printmaking is such a different experience. He was a great draftsman and monotype maker, too.

And the other piece is a rough draft of a draft of an idea, the faffing-around piece I mentioned earlier, and doing it taught me about ten things not to do, but gave me a much better set of ideas anyway, so it's all good.

When the finished piece emerges, I can confidently say it will look nothing like this. But then I always claim that if you can plan and execute a piece of art, it's not art, it's shop! I have spoken.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

New knitting and crochet artworks

Aside from the felting mania, and the proposed tapestry and other fiberworks show, in progress, I have been committing knitting and crochet again. This is what I do when I'm thinking about bigger works.

Anyway, here are the slippers, shown on

and off human feet (my own not very glamorous ones, but nobody else would stand still)

showing the nice comfortable garter stitch sole and the shaping of the top. This fits a woman's 8.5 or 9 US, and is available to the lucky commenter in here, so take your chance now! maybe you are a PINOAP -- see below.

This is a crochet scarf/shawl

using a lot of different warm fuzzy yarns, which was executed in my favorite ds stitch, and presented to someone who needed a present, in my life known as a PINOAP. Person In Need of a Present.

If the slippers will fit your dainty (!) foot, and you feel like a PINOAP,comment in here and I'll make a pick.