New Watercolors

Part of the flood of new work done in the last 6 months... I just love plants. Organic shapes in general, but plants... ahhh... Mother Nature at its most imaginative. 

Crassulae, 2014, 9x9", watercolor. Yep, that's the name of this plant. So beautiful!

Crassulae, 2014, 9x9", watercolor. Yep, that's the name of this plant. So beautiful!

Orchids, 2014, 9x9", watercolor. Who can resist orchids? They're gorgeous and oh so sexual. 

Orchids, 2014, 9x9", watercolor. Who can resist orchids? They're gorgeous and oh so sexual. 

New Prints

Starting in the late Spring, I started work on a number of new pieces. 

Here's my most ambitious one: Salsota de la Goldota, approx. 12x16", Linocut. It is a composite print of the same block printed consecutively while the paper was still in the press. The process by which the original plate was made is detailed in this blog entry. 

Here's my most ambitious one: Salsota de la Goldota, approx. 12x16", Linocut. It is a composite print of the same block printed consecutively while the paper was still in the press. The process by which the original plate was made is detailed in this blog entry. 

The ink setup for the print above. You have to work fast before the paper dries completely, so every color needs to be ready in advance. 

The ink setup for the print above. You have to work fast before the paper dries completely, so every color needs to be ready in advance. 

print in progress...

print in progress...

FROM DIGITAL TO PRINT: I had a lot of fun experimenting with some of the digital patterns I've been making and storing in my ipad for more than a year. I transferred them to the collagraph medium, which is very low-tech: cut, paste, shellack, that's how you get the plates done. More details here.  I like collagraph because it lends itself very well to experimentation with inking and layering. This time it didn't disappoint. 

FROM DIGITAL TO PRINT: I had a lot of fun experimenting with some of the digital patterns I've been making and storing in my ipad for more than a year. I transferred them to the collagraph medium, which is very low-tech: cut, paste, shellack, that's how you get the plates done. More details here.  I like collagraph because it lends itself very well to experimentation with inking and layering. This time it didn't disappoint. 

Pattern II, 12x10", collagraph. And after different color scheme trials, I settled on this one. I like the "distressed" look that the collagraph process did to this one. I wonder what the ancient Islamic masters who created the original designs that inspired this one would think. Would they like this version or would they feel it lacks perfection? I think that is what I like.

Pattern II, 12x10", collagraph. And after different color scheme trials, I settled on this one. I like the "distressed" look that the collagraph process did to this one. I wonder what the ancient Islamic masters who created the original designs that inspired this one would think. Would they like this version or would they feel it lacks perfection? I think that is what I like.

Here's another one. This one came out very tiny, just 3x4", so I experimented by doing another composite like the Salsota print above trying different inking schemes. I want to try this one again, but using more colors. 

Here's another one. This one came out very tiny, just 3x4", so I experimented by doing another composite like the Salsota print above trying different inking schemes. I want to try this one again, but using more colors. 

Pattern I, 6x8", collagraph. 

Pattern I, 6x8", collagraph. 

Mural in Progress

I thought it would be fun to see the progression of a mural I designed for a local School District. First, I prepared the approved design in the computer. Then I climbed on a scaffold and painted on the wall for a straight week. It's been a while since I've done that kind of work, and found out I still enjoy doing it. Painting letter shapes is time consuming yet enjoyable AND a little nerve-wracking. 

First step: we projected the digital design file on the wall. The tape marks the type's baselines, and iI used a level to make sure they were totally horizontal. 

First step: we projected the digital design file on the wall. The tape marks the type's baselines, and iI used a level to make sure they were totally horizontal. 

Priming the paint areas. The lines were penciled on the wall in white while the projection was available. 

Priming the paint areas. The lines were penciled on the wall in white while the projection was available. 

All priming done. Start work in the logo. 

All priming done. Start work in the logo. 

For achieving straight lines in this kind of work, tape is your best friend.

For achieving straight lines in this kind of work, tape is your best friend.

You start rough and keep refining the lines as you go. 

You start rough and keep refining the lines as you go. 

(Almost) finished! There's a little bit more refining needed, but this is one is pretty close to be finished. This is so different from working in the studio, it is a nice refreshing break!

(Almost) finished! There's a little bit more refining needed, but this is one is pretty close to be finished. This is so different from working in the studio, it is a nice refreshing break!

Now Showing!

If you happen to be in the San Francisco Bay Area, i will be showing my work at a few local venues. First is Arrivederci Cafe, 11 G St, San Rafael, CA 94901, from 8/23 to 9/12/14. Then it is time for SF Open Studios! We will open our studio doors again this November 8-9: http://www.artspan.org/artist/pitipua. Come over and take a look at my new stuff!

A very, very bad picture of work framing in progress... But you get the idea: busy, busy, busy...

A very, very bad picture of work framing in progress... But you get the idea: busy, busy, busy...

Pattern prints

I am fascinated by the million ways in which digital art, the cmyk commercial print scheme and printmaking all can interact. This latest experiment involves a digitally-generated pattern, a 4-color printing process and 4 collagraph plates. One of the coolest things in exploring this process is that the color separations and the generating of all the different parts of the plates can be done using the computer, which saves some time. One of the challenges I am finding is keeping the print artistic, fresh and unique while taking advantage of the precision of the technical medium. 

Here's the pattern I made in the ipad. It's inspired by the amazing geometric patterns found in Islamic architecture. You can see what i mean here: http://tinyurl.com/lkg75mf

Here's the pattern I made in the ipad. It's inspired by the amazing geometric patterns found in Islamic architecture. You can see what i mean here: http://tinyurl.com/lkg75mf

4 collagraph plates done by printing the different colors separately from the computer, then gluing the different shapes from the printouts to the matboard. 

4 collagraph plates done by printing the different colors separately from the computer, then gluing the different shapes from the printouts to the matboard. 

First proof pulled tonight. Clearly more work needs to be done with registration and inking, but is a start!

First proof pulled tonight. Clearly more work needs to be done with registration and inking, but is a start!

Fun With Groceries

I went shopping for some fun-to-draw groceries, with a linocut in mind.

The original.

The original.

Here's the drawing in tracing paper, ready to be transferred to the linoleum with help of carbon paper.

Here's the drawing in tracing paper, ready to be transferred to the linoleum with help of carbon paper.

Design transferred. The drawing has been flipped so the text is carved backwards. If that's not done, it will not read right when printed.

Design transferred. The drawing has been flipped so the text is carved backwards. If that's not done, it will not read right when printed.

I want to make it a 2-color print, so i split the plate into parts for ease of inking.

I want to make it a 2-color print, so i split the plate into parts for ease of inking.

The fun part begins. Carving in progress. I am using gomuban, a linoleum alternative.

The fun part begins. Carving in progress. I am using gomuban, a linoleum alternative.

Inking setup. I am using magenta and black inks at this time.

Inking setup. I am using magenta and black inks at this time.

The separate plates in between inkings.

The separate plates in between inkings.

Plates assembled on the printing template, ready to go.

Plates assembled on the printing template, ready to go.

Finished print! 

Finished print! 

New Pastel Work

I have been busier than usual lately, getting new work ready for the Aug. 23rd show at Arrivederci Rest. in San Rafael. Here's the process for my latest, a still life in pastel.  

Studio setup, ready to work...

Studio setup, ready to work...

Closeup of the original.

Closeup of the original.

Tools at the ready...

Tools at the ready...

Go! Preliminary drawing down...

Go! Preliminary drawing down...

Basic drawing done.

Basic drawing done.

Blocking in progress... 

Blocking in progress... 

Base colors are laid down. 

Base colors are laid down. 

Pineapple done!

Pineapple done!

Almost finished! Fruits are done. Blocking of the towel colors begins...

Almost finished! Fruits are done. Blocking of the towel colors begins...

Finished work.

Finished work.

More daily sketching...

Daily practice = the name of the game. 

Old favorite subject. You can never draw hands too much. 

Old favorite subject. You can never draw hands too much. 

I forgot how much I loved flair pens... especially this one in dark fuscia.

I forgot how much I loved flair pens... especially this one in dark fuscia.

These exotic flowers from the park needed the color treatment...

These exotic flowers from the park needed the color treatment...

Hard lead pencils are invaluable when doing this kind of detailed drawing.

Hard lead pencils are invaluable when doing this kind of detailed drawing.

...and so are fine point "pilot" pens.

...and so are fine point "pilot" pens.

I love drawing at the public library. Most people don't notice or don't mind when you're drawing them. 

I love drawing at the public library. Most people don't notice or don't mind when you're drawing them. 

Ink brush drawing is not my forte, maybe I should only do that next month...

Ink brush drawing is not my forte, maybe I should only do that next month...

Working on a logo

As I worked on this new website it became clear to me that a new logo was needed, one that expressed my redirection as more of a printmaker and less of strictly a graphic designer. Which is ironic since the process began with a digital concept and ended with a digital file, but the juicy middle was all print, the lo-tech way. 

From here... Digital concept

From here... Digital concept

Linoleum block after transferring the design and carving it with tools that badly needed sharpening.  As my Grandma used to say: "La prisa es hermana de la desgracia (Haste is the sister of ruin)".

Linoleum block after transferring the design and carving it with tools that badly needed sharpening.  As my Grandma used to say: "La prisa es hermana de la desgracia (Haste is the sister of ruin)".

First proof. Lots of problems to correct. I should have listened to my Grandma.

First proof. Lots of problems to correct. I should have listened to my Grandma.

Thank god for photoshop. Problems?  I do not know what problems you were speaking of...

Thank god for photoshop. Problems?  I do not know what problems you were speaking of...

To here: Colorized and beautiful!

To here: Colorized and beautiful!