Print in Progress: Little Bat

Hey everybody!  Here are a few images of a new piece I’m working on; a small linocut of a cute little bat.

Sketching out the design on the lino block in pencil.

Sketching out the design on the lino block in pencil.

 

As always, Tali supervises my progress.

As always, Tali supervises the process.

 

Going back into the drawing to mark where I will be making cuts.

Going back into the drawing to mark where I will be making cuts.

 

Carving away!

Carving away!  (OMG look at those fangs!  You can just tell that bat is so stoked to be a bat, you know?)

 

I will post more as the progress continues.  P.S. Do you enjoy this blog but would like to follow me on a social media platform that I update more frequently, has less text, more pictures, and a lot more selfies/ pictures of my cat?  Then you should follow me on instagram, homie!

Art Hop at Art House

Hey everybody!  This Thursday, Art House Gallery in downtown Fresno will be hosting the opening reception for their third annual Women’s Show.  I’ve participated in this show every year so far, and I’m very excited to be participating again this year.  It’s always a great event featuring amazing work from local female artists, great live music, and just tons of really lovely people having a lovely time. If you’re curious to see a little preview of what will be on display, here are some photos I’ve taken around my studio the past few weeks as I’ve been prepping for the show.  LeeAnnDiCicco_ArtHouse5 LeeAnnDiCicco_ArtHouse4 LeeAnnDiCicco_ArtHouse3

LeeAnnDiCicco_ArtHouse1

Sometime Tali likes to stick her butt on my artwork as a kind of stamp of approval.  She also uses her butt as a stamp of disapproval.  Basicall she just likes to stick her butt everywhere.

Sometimes Tali likes to stick her butt on my artwork as a kind of stamp of approval. She also uses her butt as a stamp of disapproval. Basically she just likes to stick her butt everywhere.

 

The Art House Gallery is at 1612 H St. in Fresno.  Doors open at 5pm on Thursday, May 7th.  I hope I will see you there!

Fresno Mini Maker Faire 2015

The Second Annual Fresno Mini Maker Faire is on Saturday, and this year I once again had the pleasure of designing, carving, and printing a custom woodblock for the event.  Commissioned by the Fresno Art Museum, the block was printed onto canvas tote bags that will be given as gifts to anyone who signs up for a Museum membership at the Maker Faire.

The block in the middle of carving.

The block when I was about half way through the carving process.

A few proofs on newsprint before fellow Print and Glory printer Christine Rea and I moved on to the bags.

A few proofs on newsprint before fellow Print and Glory printer Christine Rea and I moved on to printing the bags.

Just look at those beauties chillin' on the drying rack!

Just look at those beauties chillin’ on the drying rack!

 

Here are a few close-ups of the final product.  If you are in the Fresno area I hope that you will come by, and maybe pick up one of these awesome bags.  LeeAnnDiCicco_fmmf2015_3

Tired of trying to carry around loose produce and priceless family heirlooms with your bare hands? Well there's finally a solution, and it's these tote bags! At last  you'll be able to go out without accidentally dropping Grandpa's Purple Heart or a bunch of raw potatoes wherever you go, AND you'll look great doing it.

Tired of trying to carry around loose produce and priceless family heirlooms with your bare hands? Well there’s finally a solution, and it’s these tote bags! At last you’ll be able to go out without accidentally dropping Grandpa’s Purple Heart or a bunch of raw potatoes wherever you go, AND you’ll look great doing it.

 

I’ll be at the Maker Faire on Saturday along with Print and Glory printing this block (and a bunch of other amazing student designed, hand-carved blocks) onto t-shirts.  Want a preview of the printmakerly goodness!  Try this on for size!

LeeAnnDiCicco_fmmf2015_6

Get it? Try it on for size…’cause it’s a shirt. I’m hilarious.

 

The Fresno Mini Maker Faire will be this Saturday, April 11 from 10am to 6pm at the Fresno Art Museum and Radio Park. I hope you’ll swing by the Print and Glory booth and say “Hi!”

Printmaker Gift Exchange: Part 2

Hey everybody!  So this is the second part of the 2-part print exchange I participated in back in December and posted about here.    The first half was an exchange portfolio of small little postcard sized prints.  For the second half, each participating artist printed a single t-shirt that related to the image on their postcard print.  So in the end, everyone ended up with a complete portfolio of prints, and a unique, hand-printed shirt.  It was pretty awesome.

Since my little print was of the moon, it seemed only appropriate that my shirt should bear the image of the Apollo Lunar Module. Generally I like to carve wood, but lately I’ve been really into carving stamps out of super soft linoleum.  Here’s my cute little Lunar Module linoleum stamp!

LeeAnnDiCicco_LunarModule1jpg

Adorable!  As soft and pink as a mouse’s tummy.  Is that an expression?  No it is not.  But it should be. *

There are two things I really love about making these lino stamps.

1. Because the linoleum is so soft, it takes almost no pressure to get a nice, crisp impression. Just ink your stamp up real nice and apply pressure with your finger tips. How easy is that? (Super easy!)

2. You don’t have to carve out all of your negative space – you just chop it off with an Exacto knife! BOOM!

Here are a couple tests I did on newsprint before stamping onto the shirt.

LeeAnnDiCicco_LunarModule4 LeeAnnDiCicco_LunarModule2

And here’s the final product.

LeeAnnDiCicco_LunarModule3

This project combined my love of printmaking, space exploration, and half-drop patterns in a way that no other project has before.

And finally, here are some shots from the clean-up which I’ve always felt, visually speaking, was a very underrated part of the process.  I mean look at that!  So  inky.  So beautiful.

LeeAnnDiCicco_LunarModule5 LeeAnnDiCicco_LunarModule6

 

*It has come to my attention that mouse tummies are not pink.  That may explain why this phrase is not catching on…like, at all!

Printmaker Gift Exchange: Part 1

Back in December I participated in a really cool holiday gift exchange with some of the other printers affiliated with my local printmaking club, Print and Glory.  The exchange was in two parts. The first was an exchange portfolio for which we each printed an edition of postcard-sized prints.   For the second part we each printed a single t-shirt with an image related to our postcard print.  Everyone who participated got a cool little stack of prints and a one-of-a-kind shirt.  In today’s post I will be sharing some images of my little print. I’ll also be doing a post about the t-shirt I printed a little later on.

For my postcard print, I did a two-run stone lithograph of the moon.

Before being printed in color, the image was drawn onto the stone with black lithographic crayon.

Before being printed in color, the image was drawn onto the stone with black lithographic crayon.

Etching my stone, which means brushing a combination of gum arabic and nitric acid onto the limestone block, or as I like to call it, my beautiful baby limestone sheetcake.

Etching my stone, which means brushing a combination of gum arabic and nitric acid onto the limestone, or as I like to call it, my beautiful baby limestone sheet cake.

A big pile of the two-run lithos.  "But LeeAnn" I hear you asking "why did you print so many?"  Well, dear reader, I would love to answer you, but I cannot, becuase there are only lithotine fumes where my brain used to be. * *Lithotine is solvent used in the lithographic process.** **You should not breath in lithotine.

A big pile of the (almost complete) two-run lithos. “But LeeAnn” I hear you asking “why did you print so many?” Well, dear reader, I would love to answer you, but I cannot, because there are only lithotine fumes where my brain used to be. *
*Lithotine is solvent used in the lithographic process.**
**You should not breath in lithotine.

At this point it was looking pretty good, but just needed a few finishing touches.  First I trimmed it trimmed each print down, rounded the corners, and added a little hand-coloring. IMG_6127Then, in the tradition of the great masters like Daumier, I sewed on some sequins.*** IMG_6155 IMG_6156***Daumier never sewed sequins onto his lithographs.  He just wasn’t cool enough I guess.

 

And that’s my print: a tiny, sparkly tribute to my childhood love of space, space travel, and aerospace engineering, and my adult determination to keep that love alive.

Linocut Stamp Making Workshop

Hey everybody!  Here a few shots from my recent linocut stamp making workshop at the Fresno Art Museum.

We dubbed this guy "Christmas Crow." It's hard to see in the photo but the paper is full of ~*sparkles*~.

We dubbed this guy “Christmas Crow.” It’s hard to see in the photo but the paper is full of ~*sparkles*~.

Foxy!

Foxy!

Making some super weird wrapping paper.

Making some super weird wrapping paper.

A few demo stamps I made.

A few demo stamps I made.

Big Printing

Hey everybody!  Back in 2013 I posted some images of a giant woodblock I carved being steamroller printed at the Taste the Arts festival in Visalia, California.  But did you know that I also have video of this glorious printmakerly occasion!  Well I do!  And I finally posted it online! Check it out!

Did you noticed that at the end I sound really pleased and surprised that it actually turned out? Well that’s because as cool as steamroller printing is, it’s much more about making a spectacle, and not really a terribly effective way to get nice crisp prints. We only got about 3 decent prints of my block that day which was just not enough to satisfy my need to edition this sucker.  So just a couple months ago I got a hold some over-sized mulberry paper and thought I would try printing this monstrosity by hand.  And it actually came out pretty well.

Jammin' away on this giant block with my tiny spoon.

Jammin’ away on this giant block with my tiny spoon.

 

 

periodictable1

IMG_4012 Close-up of the final piece.

periodictable2

This wouldn’t fit on my drying rack so I stuck it on my easel.

 

The whole ordeal was pretty time consuming, but not as difficult as I thought it would be.  When I first tried hand printing this thing I only had enough paper to make two impressions.  But I just ordered a couple of new rolls of over-sized paper and am hoping to start making more of these beauties in the next few weeks. Also, the realization that hand burnishing a block this large really isn’t that difficult has definitely inspired me to keep working at this scale.   I’m already planning my next giant piece.  I’ll keep you guys posted!

Print in progress: Getting weird with the chine-collé

Hey everybody!  Here are a few pics of the Virgen de Guadalupe woodblock I’ve been working on.  Last night I had the chance to test it out and pull some proofs!

Proof on newsprint.

Proof on newsprint.

Looking serene on the press bed.

Looking serene on the press bed.

 

My plan was to print the block onto strips of neon paper, so I inked the block in transparent red.  The transparent ink would appear to be a slightly different color on each different strip of paper.  I’m pretty pleased with how this effect worked out.

colorguadalupe3

 

I then pulled a few versions with thinner strips of paper, which I liked a lot.  I think that is how I am going to proceed with the rest of the edition.

Strips of paper on the block, ready to be put through the press.

Strips of paper on the block, ready to be put through the press.

Woo! I'm pretty excited about this!

Woo! I’m so excited!

 

To finish this piece I’m going to trim down the strips to different lengths, and the paste everything down onto some nice rag paper.  And I’m considering adding some gold foil details.  You know, just to punch it up a little. We’ll see how it goes.  I will be posting updates as the piece progresses.

Print in Progress: Virgen De Guadalupe

GuadalupeWoodcut1 Guadalupe2New woodcut I’m working on.  I’m super excited to print this thing.  I recently found some acid-free neon paper and plan on using it to do some weird chin-cole with this block.  I can’t wait!

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