Archive for block prints

The Open Sky

Posted in Art, dreams, etsy, music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on August 14, 2008 by darcyarts

Carved Blocks of the Week!

This is the block print I carved this week. I printed it in sepia. I need to try it in black.

It’s a bas-relief of an eagle eating heart that I made look like a flower. Our hearts are the flower that blooms inside of us. 

The original is carved into the east side of pyramid B at Tula, Hidalgo in Mexico.

The Toltecs made it during what is considered their early post-classic period, said Michael D. Coe in “Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs.”

I once had a dream that a newspaper flashed onto the screen of my mind. The headline said Man Cuts Out Daughter’s Heart. I then saw a scene of the ritual occurring atop a pyramid structure. That was 1973. Long before I became fascinated with and learned about the early mesoamerican cultures.

From Coe: “Also in the temple (at Tula) and in other parts of the ceremonial precinct were the peculiar sculptures called “chacmools,” reclining personages bearing round dishes or recepticles for human hearts on their bellies: these were probably avatars of the Rain God.”

This image is a man with a bird hat.

I’d like a hat like that to wear for a special occassion. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the great desire to live in a more theatrical world. A world where we routinely make large gestures and do things to surprise and delight one another. A world where we dress up.

Not to the degree that they did in France in the 1700s but something more than normal daily wear. I wish people in the course of their day felt they were allowed to slip into some subtle satire, some acting, more good-natured silliness.

Along the same lines I’m continue to be bothered by the desire to make large decorative items from papier mache (chewed paper). I could paint them in bright colors and stick them on the wall. Bigger and brighter is sometimes better.

Ruby’sLounge over at Etsy makes beautiful large sculptures of deer head.



I just had to write a little bump post about Sky Saxon and the Seeds.

This is a fairly recent picture of Sky (right) with the great Arthur Lee.



Sky’s wife Sabrina commented on the last post and left really great info on how to check out Sky and the Seeds current efforts.

Their myspace has new music and I was stoked to hear their cover of the Stooges “I Wanna Be Your Dog.” They also do a cover of “Gloria,” “Wild Thing,” and the greatest Burt Bacharach song, blown wide open by Love, “My Little Red Book.”

He’s still looking good and rockin’ out. If you read the comments for the last post you’ll see that Sky’s first-born daughter lives in Redding. More Syncronicity.

Who could make me feel the things that Arthur Lee has made me feel? Who’s creations could win my undying admiration.

Burt Bacarach wrote that one. But no one did it like Arthur Lee and Love. That was back in the day but he could do it till the end.


R.Crumb Gets Blocked

Posted in Art, music with tags , , on June 27, 2008 by darcyarts

I finally got to the mighty Robert Crumb yesterday.

Observing his work and work ethic was one of the most influential factors in getting me to put something on the page.

So here is my Crumb immortalized as a block print.

This is the test sheet. All my changes on this block were very subtle and may not even be noticable at this size. The test sheet is essential to refining the block. I carve little bits away until I get it right.

In the last two prints (l to r) I shaved away just enough of the nose line to decrease the false-nose look I was getting in the beginning.

These blocks are cut small to start with and were intended to fit onto an ACEO size sheet of paper.

I also use small blocks because I’m frugal. I try to do the most with what’s at hand.

I’m still learning about materials. I always manage to come up with unique solutions as bumble my way through the process.

When I get the vision of something I want to do I eventually find my way to the right supplies.

If I really need something it will come to me.

I have been thinking of a shelf for my growing collecton of stamps. I keep making them and I need somewhere to store them. ideally somewhere centrally located in my work space.

I walked into the All Saints thrift store yesterday and found this beautiful old printer’s box.

I paid $12 for it. People have, in the modern day, placed small knick knacks or collectibles in them but they were made to hold print blocks. Back in the days of typeset printing.

This box is well made and small enough to fit right against the wall on my work table.

I am stoked, chuffed and tickled magenta.

New Andy Miniprints

Posted in Art, etsy, music with tags , , , , , , , on June 14, 2008 by darcyarts

Yesterday, in concert with a trip to the downtown post office, I stopped by Ellis Art to grab a large soft carving block. My latest image of Andy was too big to fit onto a small eraser block and I really wanted to try it.

I photographed my test sheet process. I refine the block image until I get the print just the way I want it.

In the last print on the bottom right I have added (by subtraction) little radiant lines around his head halo.

These measure about 2.50 x 2.75 inches. I guess that means I can list them on Bittypix.

When I opened the Bittypix shop I meant for it to be the toned-down alternative to the Whabam! color joint that is my Darcyarts shop.

You can see by looking at My Flickr photos posted on the right that I love color.

Color has been sneaking into my Bittypix. My Bootsy for week 6 is chartreuse and aqua!


I guess I just can’t help myself.

Obama and His Spud Friend

Posted in Art, etsy, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2008 by darcyarts

 This image came across our television screen today and I just had to capture it. Priceless. Barack is so happy to be hanging with Mr. Potato Head and that makes me happy.

I’m listing this BittyPix on Etsy tommorrow. After I finish this post my right hand will be finished for the day.

I was very active today. No, not like that. I was making Bittys.

I did another Robyn Hitchcock for my friend. I want to show you the picture of it here because I found that an interesting thing happens when you cook the Shrinky Dink just a little too long. The Ruff and Ready Shrinky becomes transparent and looks like glass.

This would be very good for jewelry. I’ll have to try a pair of earrings cooked to crystal perfection. You can’t really see the effect too clearly because of the white paper frame here but it looks just like a window pane.

I was all up in the cutting and drawing and such today.

I made two star stamps for printing.

I want to use them to put tiny stars on myself cuz I love stars. If I put stars on my body everyone will think I’m a Kat Von D groupie, which I am but I wanted star tattoo before I even heard of Miami Ink and then became enslaved to watching the brilliant girls and guy on LA Ink.

I draw tattoos onto my hand and wrists with permanent markers because with my love of variety I have never been able to come up with something I’d enjoy forever. Permanent markers are not permanent on skin by the way, but they do last a day or two. 

These are the two star stamps I made today all on one piece of paper.

I can use the new stamps to make cool borders on things.

Or as, I said I can dot myself with them when I get in the mood.

I am going to try stamping fabric with my silkscreen paint someday.


These are stamps of a Mayan head I made last week. I may need to carve a little more white onto the face for contrast.

But now that I’ve mentioned Kat Von D, I’m going to have to think about making a BittyPix of her.

It will happen.

I think she is beautiful and I love the way she squeals with delight. Does that make me gay? 


My boyfriend, Frank and I decided along time ago that we were in-betweenies. On that scale that runs from supermasculine to superfeminine we feel we are about in the middle, kinda girl, kinda boy in just the right degree that together we really click.

That’s him on my devotional Love candle. Beside the candle is a really cute red Toadhead he made me.

You can see more of his work at his etsy shop Tiddinips.

Here is my current fave. Cute lil dragon head.

Block Prints and Fine Art

Posted in Art with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2008 by darcyarts

The philosophical problem of the day is centered around terminology.

They called Warhol’s soup cans pop art.

If I create something and in my mind I call it “art” how do I get to the place where I label it “fine art”?

Art with a capital A is something that I imagine we create in connection with a mandatory number of years in academia, a bachelors in Fine Art and probably, most important to the equation, the expectation that some agent will be taking a fairly large percentage from the sale of said Fine Art.

I have made paintings, portraits I should say, and they were all born of a passionate affection and deep appreciation for the work of the person I chose to paint. This is where you see me tapping my fist over the area of my chest beneath which my heart lies. Respect.

 This Andy portrait was painted out of love and admiration. I took great pains to make him beautiful and to try to catch the innocent, insouciant yet calculating seductiveness of his personality. Those qualities were steeped in a stew of old world catholic guilt and fear. Still, despite that ingrained sense that certain things were forbidden. Andy was the bravest of makers. He lived his life boldly. His “shyness” was, I think, rather a distaste for being controlled by anyone or anything mixed with a deep concern that he not give anyone the power to hurt him.

I think he asked this question. How does a flawed, less than perfect person transform themselves into a beacon? By what energy or algebra can I turn on that inner light and draw others to me? He was drawn to and studied people who managed to do this.

 He did a smashing job and he did it with the simplest tools. You could make the argument that he was the first recycler. He repurposed everything. He borrowed and rearranged and did the great art trick of making strange. He took the most common items and recontextualized them. And everytime in doing so raised the questions What is Art? and What are you willing to pay for it?

It was a game. He was fascinated by the psychology of Fine Art and celebrity which is sort of the Fine Art of bodies.

I must spend some time reading what others have to say on this subject. Art Blogs, here I come.

Let me get my head out of the clouds and back to Low Brow, another can of worms for later.

Today I posted a new batch of pix on Flickr. See them up there on the upper right hand corner of this blog?

And yesterday I got very into making stamps out of 50 cent polymer erasers. There is a size restriction in using them. They come in a standard eraser size, 1 x 2.50 inches. They cut like butter.

I stamp them and then make adjustments until I get what looks right.

This one is sort of a self-portrait profile. I later cut that eylash line on the far left a bit shorter so it looks less like the figure has an object impaled in the unseen eyeball.

Light and dark areas are read differently and subtle changes alter the meaning.

I ran out of room on the edges. I probably shouldn’t say such things.

I believe the artist can suffer from being too straightforward or too attached to telling the unvarnished truth. He/she will not do as well as the artist that consciously allows myth and mystique to carry them. My artistic temperament is born from the big, red hair of a flagrant fantasy. I made a world out of glitter and glam and gender-bender values and I’m still trying to squeeze into those platform boots.