Monday, September 12, 2011

Napa Valley Open Studios 2011

Napa Valley Open Studios 2011 catalog cover  •  fluted glass bowl  by Ed Breed
It's that time! I've been counting down for months now, but it's hard to believe that Napa Valley Open Studios begins this Saturday.

Map to Studio # 9, 1734 Scott Street, St. Helena

You can find me in St. Helena this year, at Ed Breed's glass studio, at 1734 Scott Street. Ed is this year's catalog cover artist, and he'll be giving glassblowing demonstrations during the weekend, too. (You know, last year I shared space with Yvonne Henry, last year's catalog cover artist – lucky me!)

Ed is also creating a mini-pumpkin patch, made with his glass pumpkins. And I'm bringing sketches and block prints in addition to painting. I considered giving relief printing demonstrations, but I don't think I'll have time! I will, though, have a painting in process, and I'll be glad to explain how my painting process works. We'll be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, Saturday and Sunday, September 17 - 18 and 24 - 25. Will we see you there? I hope so!

Knights Valley View

Knights Valley View II  •  © 2011 Karen Lynn Ingalls  •  11" x 14"  acrylics on canvas
This view looks across Knights Valley from Spence Lane (one of the most beautiful parts of a beautifully scenic valley). I can't tell you how many photographs I've taken along this road.... This is actually the second painting I've done of this view, though it looks quite different from the first – in different colors, and more layered.

Every painting takes its own time – some come more quickly, and others come as slowly as molasses in wintertime. This one came slowly, like a truculent adolescent with its own ideas. Sometimes painting does seem like child raising. After plenty of tugs-of-war and lots of patience, I think it's finally come of age, and I do like how it's turned out.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"My Calistoga" - completed at last!

My Calistoga  •  © 2011 Karen Lynn Ingalls  •  36" x 36" acrylic and collage on canvas
Sometimes it just takes awhile to figure out what a painting needs. I sit and listen, because at this point in the conversation between me and the painting, it needs to tell me what it really wants. And sometimes the painting is quiet. Sometimes they're quiet for months... or years. Sometimes I just say, "Okay - we're done!" and it becomes a moot point.

At last I figured out what My Calistoga needed – it needed gold. So here it is, photographed on the easel, with its added gold (and a little copper). And now it's ready to go out into the world.

And it did – you can see it at the Calistoga Visitor's Center (the Chamber of Commerce) in Calistoga for the next few weeks. Proceeds from its sale will benefit the Calistoga Art Center.

In case you haven't seen the story of its creation, it began as a demonstration piece at the Napa County Fair this summer. Here is its beginning, in my earlier blog posts about it:  Painting Demos at the Napa County Fair  and "My Calistoga" – continued progress.

Pepper sketches for Napa Valley Open Studios

Bell pepper  •  © 2011 Karen Lynn Ingalls

So, of course, I've got sketches of peppers, too. Here are some sketches of bell peppers I'm pulling out of the sketchbooks for Open Studios.... (By the way, the copyright sign, year, and my name I've added digitally to the images for the web – my signature and the title at the bottom of the page are actually on the drawing.)

Bell pepper  •  © 2011 Karen Lynn Ingalls

Aren't peppers lovely?

Bell pepper  •  © 2011 Karen Lynn Ingalls

They're deceptively simple, but if you look closely you'll see within each pepper are curves and planes, concavities and shallows, in a compact architecture.

Bell pepper  •  © 2011 Karen Lynn Ingalls

The next time you hold a bell pepper in your hand, I hope you'll pause just a moment to appreciate the beauty of its form.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pear sketches for Napa Valley Open Studios

Pear sketch  •  © 2011 Karen Lynn Ingalls
Since I seem to be in a little–original mode with the block prints, I thought I'd get out some of my little sketches for Open Studios, too.

Pear sketch  •  © 2011 Karen Lynn Ingalls

I love to draw pears, apples, and peppers – and to use them for painting demonstrations for my classes, too. I think it's because they're so figurative... they take me right back to my figure drawing roots. If you want to learn how to draw people, start with a pear.

Pear sketch  •  © 2011 Karen Lynn Ingalls

You don't believe me? Look at these little sweeties – they have hips, they have attitude, they have saucy little stems....

Pear sketch  •  © 2011 Karen Lynn Ingalls

These pears came from my friend Heidi's tree. They were little, and sweet. And they had such personality!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Songbird block prints for Napa Valley Open Studios

Songbird block print  •  © 2011 Karen Lynn Ingalls
Since I'm bringing out my dragonfly block prints for Open Studios, I thought I'd bring a few of my songbird prints, too.

Songbird block print  •  © 2011 Karen Lynn Ingalls

These were my first experiments with printing on special patterned papers. Some of these have two or three printings, and I was mixing the ink colors as I printed, so the ink colors were constantly changing.

Songbird block print  •  © 2011 Karen Lynn Ingalls

These papers were slightly textured, a texture that was enhanced by the block printing process – not something you would find when you use mulberry or other more traditional block printing papers. Like the dragonfly block prints, they are 4.5" x 6.5" in size. These are three of seven I'll bring out to share.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Dragonfly block prints for Napa Valley Open Studios

Dragonfly block print  •  ©2011 Karen Lynn Ingalls
Last year I experimented with printing soft blocks on special papers, mixing different colors of inks as I went along. Most of these actually have three layers of color, with two printings, and the third layer of color between the printings an iridescent or metallic color.

Dragonfly block print  •  ©2011 Karen Lynn Ingalls
I thought I'd bring them out for Napa Valley Open Studios. There's quite a variety in the papers, in color and pattern, and each one is completely different from the others, even though I was using the same block.

Dragonfly block print  •  ©2011 Karen Lynn Ingalls
I printed these in one of the printmaking sessions a group of us plan every few months or so, depending on our schedules. The others originally took the Soft Block Printing workshop a few years ago; then we did a two-day workshop last year, with multiple color printing. Since then, we gather for wonderful all-day printing sessions, setting up inking stations, comparing prints, and chatting around another table as we carve our blocks.

Dragonfly block print  •  ©2011 Karen Lynn Ingalls
I'll have twenty-two different dragonfly prints at Open Studios – these are four of them.

From the Soft Block Printing workshop...

Sean Scully from the Weekly Calistogan came by just as Franci was about to ink and pull a print, during last week's Soft Block Printing workshop, and he included this photo in this week's paper.

Franci Claudon is a glass artist who is also a part of Napa Valley Open Studios, and she's now experimenting with how she might incorporate block printing into her glass art. This is new – she doesn't know of any other glass artists who use block printing in their work. I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out!

And thank you to Sean for the press!