Sunday, March 28, 2010

.so far.

I realized that I hadn't posted the four images I've finished all in one place yet. I'm not sure about the third one, which was the first one I did last semester. It's much more zoomed in than the ones I'm working on right now. I think I'll do a couple that are more like that one to see if adding them in will make sense.

They will be gradating from blue and clear and open (like the one on the left) toward darker, cloudy, cluttered and chaotic (like the one on the farthest right).

This all started last July when I, for reasons I can't remember, began to think about prayer flags and did a little bit of research. I liked the idea (and still do) of creating an object that is supposed to emanate good will, which is a really dumbed down summary of prayer flags, I know. I wanted to make objects that would make people feel this good will toward the earth. I thought about different ways to install them (in the forest, in a public space, outside at the show, etc.) but didn't really have any clear ideas of what kinds of images they would have on them.

Then, I had second burst of idea when Eric and I went to Maine. Specifically, when we went on a whale watching tour. Being out on the ocean, surrounded by it, was one of the most incredible things I've experienced. I decided that was the feeling that I wanted my show to give people. A surge of peace and a feeling of vastness. I wanted to use photographs, mostly abstract images of sky and water, printed onto fabric with the big inkjet printer we have here at school to accomplish this.

This has definitely morphed. I decided that it wasn't quite enough to just have pictures on fabric. Initially, I decided that I would use silk organza because of its translucency and its ability to be scoured. When scoured, organza because shinier, more opaque and "silkier." I wanted to shibori the organza using the pole wrapping method and then scour it, so that the parts of the fabric that were resisted would stay the same and the parts that were exposed would become shinier and more opaque. I thought this would be a really nice way to create a layer of pattern on the images, relating them more to textiles. Well, the scouring wasn't really noticeable, which sucked, since I was really excited about how I thought it might look.

I ended up deciding that I would like to not only expose the viewer to a beautiful landscape, but that I would also like to talk about environmental degradation at the hands of humanity. So, that's what the power lines are all about. They represent our collective negative impact on the earth through landscape alteration. I chose power lines for a couple of reasons. The main reason being that they are so pervasive in our lives that we often don't notice them. As objects, they aren't usually on the list of major offenders when it comes to the environment. I think this makes them an even more powerful symbol, reminding us that the small things do matter. It also connects to our (over)use of energy, which is definitely on the list of major offenders. My second reason is that I think the way I'm treating them makes them beautiful. This, initially, kind of camouflages their negativity and makes a little bit more interesting when the viewer begins to really think about what they're looking at, mingling positive and negative feelings together.

The choice of fabric is very important to me. I chose a transparent fabric to stress the fact that everything affects everything else. I had originally intended to group them in a circle-ish shape that was big enough so that people can walk between the panels of fabric. When viewed from any angle, different panels would interact with each other, just as we interact with the world and it interacts with us.

At this point, I have no idea what kind of space I'll be hanging my show in, which will dictate whether I hang them in a grouping like that or if I hang them in a sequence. I feel like doing a gradation kind of forced me to hang them in a line, but maybe not. I need to get them all printed and play along with it. However, if I can't hang from the ceiling and have to use a wall, then I will be forced to hang them in a linear grouping.

Also, the department ran out of my silk organza. One of my teachers ordered it in the beginning of March and Fedex dropped it off on March 13th. It never showed up and when we called Fedex, the woman said the only note of the delivery said, "left at front door." This is Detroit! What was that guy thinking? The delivery address is the dorm building, where the mail room is, and it is open 24/7. What a jerk. So, we ran out. Which means I can't print for a while. Harumph. For now, I can continue to create more images to print, which I would be doing anyway, but it's stressing me out that I can't do anything physical. I can't even figure out my hanging system until I tour the new building, where the show will be, this coming Thursday.

So, that's that. I didn't really intend to write all of this out right now, but it happened anyway. I think an explanation of what the hell all these power line images I keep posting are for is long overdue anyway. Thanks for reading, if you made it all the way through!

What do you think? I'd really like to know your thoughts and reactions.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

.number 3 or 4ish.

Another image for my show finalized. I must keep up this momentum!

This will probably be 3 or 4 in the progression.

In other news, there has been a huge mishap in the delivery of new silk for the department and I won't have any more fabric to work with for at least a week. Eek! We had enough left for one print. Uuuggghhhhhh.... So, I'll print that tomorrow during weaving and then keep creating digital images until we get more fabric. Whenever that is...

Sunday, March 21, 2010


I am having a terribly hard time figuring out my color palette/placement for this next letterpress poster. These are just two of my finalist options. What do you think? Do you have any suggestions? I'd love to hear 'em!

I'm trying to figure out another palette, too... We'll see.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

.a few more.

...And here are the beautiful sepia-ish prints I told you about. I love the deep golden brown ink. I accidentally printed a crooked one, so I'm keeping it for myself on my sort-of inspiration wall. I very much love these.

Friday, March 19, 2010


For the solar plate project in my letterpress class, I decided to print my mom's chicken, Badger. Because she's awesome. Solar printing is a very rare process these days. The way we did it was by first printing out a digital negative. We used that negative to expose the orange solar plate in the darkroom. Once the plate is exposed and developed, you can print from it just like you would any other plate. My friend Kaitlin and I have been solar plate fiends the past couple of weeks, with Jessica joining in this past Wednesday. Each plate only provides about 25 prints before it starts to deteriorate :( This first run was with a black ink, and this past Wednesday we printed with a really beautiful brown ink. I'll have those pictures up either tonight or tomorrow.

I will probably be selling these prints, especially if anyone expresses interest.

I plan on making another plate this week. I haven't quite decided on an image for it yet, but I'm leaning toward one of my Greenfield Village images from last year... Which I can't find. I know I posted at least a couple of posts of photos. Do any of you remember them? Hmmm, mystery. Anyway, I'll be making another plate for another edition of 25.

Hope the weather has treated you as nicely as it has treated me these past few days :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

.to print.

I posted just the blue sky image last night, after many hours of computer work. I was lazy and a zombie. So, here are both images that are ready for me to print for my senior show. There will be 9 in a gradation from open and blue to claustrophobic and stormy.

These are probably number 2 and number 7ish.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


This is about two weeks late, but...

I got x-rays! For the first time in my adult life, too. I was really hoping I would have to get one when I went to the orthopedic office, and lo and behold. However, the actual x-ray process was very disappointing. I just sat there with a thing on my lap. I don't know why I thought it would be different from x-rays at the dentist... I was so excited about the image, though, that I bought a copy for $15 and took it home! I love it and have it hanging on the ceiling beam in the living room. I'd love to have it on a window, but figured that might be too creepy for people walking by. Would you be creeped out? I would probably think it was really cool, but my opinions are often not those of the greater populous.

Anyway, my bones are fine (I kind of knew they were, but my doctor wanted to check for arthritis and other bony stuff).

So.... I went to a physical doctor last week to check out my softer tissues. They looked at my spine (apparently I have mild scoliosis! Thanks for not finding it, middle school tests...) and tested the strength (or, in my case, lack thereof) of my arm and hand and finger muscles. My pinkies can't resist even the slightest push, I should be working them out. Really.

The diagnosis is over-use syndrome. No fancy words or anything. Just over-use. Like I didn't know that already! He gave me some wrist exercises to do everyday (I need to go do those for today!) and said that in a few months, once I've built up the strength in these puppies, my pain should decrease and then go away. Hallelujah! This semester will still continue to be painful, but at least there's a fix.

And some cool new art.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

.impromptu sledding.

To get to the beautiful Lake Michigan beach, my friend Ashleigh and I had to foot-sled down the snow-covered stairs that are so prevalent in this park. There were no falls! I love this park (Rosy Mound State Park in Grand Haven, MI) the most out of all the parks in Grand Haven. Yes, way more than the Grand Haven State Park. Far too busy for me. And half of it is a parking lot for RVs. Sadly, you can't camp at Rosy Mound, but it is a beautiful hike. The trails first take you through the woods, where there are valleys and hills and sneak peeks of the beach. Once you get down the hill on the edge of the forest, you can either go straight to the beach or you can wander along the sand first, saving the best for last. We were tired and eager, so we went straight to the beach this time.

If you're ever in the area, this park and P.J. Hoffmaster in Muskegon are so worth it.

I hadn't really intended for this post to be like a sales pitch... It just kind of ended up that way. I try to walk Rosy Mound every time I go home, except in the deep winter.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Hello from the ladies here at the Broas residence in good ol' Grand Haven. They are busy pecking stuff, laying eggs and making funny chicken noises. As always, I love being home and am feeling sad about my departure tonight... At least I have a lovely boyfriend to go to my "other home" to!

Coming up this week (it's my spring break, so I have some time to post!): step-by-step images (kind of) of my last two projects, the rug I dyed and wove and my solar plate print of Badger (the black and white chicken). Hooray! Either this week or next (most likely next) I'll update you guys with my senior show, I'll have five more images ready to print, yippee! I've been freaked out these past couple of weeks what with midterm and all... Only 6 more weeks left. Arghhhh!