Sunday, October 24, 2010

Passive aggressive non-art making

Wow, last weekend was exhaustipating.

I wanted to just be in the studio this week, binding a batch of Transmigration to fulfill a purchase order (only buying one copy, so there's a nice fresh batch if anyone's interested), but of course, life got in the way, so while I got the batch done, I didn't get a lot else done. Bumblebee's laptop died, 6 months after purchase, so luckily it's within warranty, but the kerfuffle getting it to the techos and then the extra kerfuffly kerfuffle trying to pick it up again hasn't endeared me to the magical world of PCs, no matter how much I love The IT Crowd (that link is to a fun TIC game). I should have bought him a Mac, the techos are closer to home.

Combine that with the Aged Poet needing extra attention, various chores I had to run and some extra argy-bargy when Bumblebee accidentally took my studio keys to school with him and I had to jump through hoops to get them back because high schools don't like parents just wandering into school to talk to their children (unlike Primary Schools, which think you're an anti-social weirdo if you don't pop in once a week... year 7 is a transition for parents as much as the kids), not much art-making got done.

[breathes in]

[breathes out]

Which reminds me of that fabulous Ben Folds Five line: all this breathing in, never breathing out... (from the song FAIR)

And then yesterday I spent the morning helping Bumblebee clean his room. Five shopping bags full of rubbish, two vacuum cleaner bagless cannisters full of crud and a number of plastic boxes full of toys deemed too young for him (one of which is scrawled over with thick black marker saying DO NOT THROW OUT DO NOT SELL), a window open and the removal of sundry dirty clothes (socks thrown behind the bookcase, etc) and fetid towels, his room has finally temporarily lost its goaty reek and you can actually see the floor.

It was with a huge sigh of relief, then, that I went to the studio yesterday, closed the door on the world, rolled my sleeves up and spent a few happy hours playing with type, paper and yellow ink.

You'd think it would be a simple task, but yellow ink needs very clean rollers to print clean and bright and not a dirty olive colour. In fact, the day before, I'd inked up Kitty the Press with said yellow ink, and been very disappointed, even though I'd cleaned the rollers and all the bits around them scrupulously. I decided to abandon the machine's rollers and went out to the local art store (Maureen's, not Eckers-crap, of course) and bought a brand new spotless hand brayer. It is now my Yellow Roller. Not a spot of anything else will touch it.

And thus I progressed from this:

dark yellow

to this:


And I hope you can tell the difference in brightness and clarity. I was completely inspired at the Print Symposium by Tim Maguire's amazing CMYK work, and am embarking upon a spot of colour play as a result. This particular piece is for the latest Book Art Object project. One layer done, five to go.

Today we decided to have a family day, so I stayed away from the studio, even though I'm longing to get back to play with magenta ink. We haggled all day over things to do together: no-one wanted to ride at the lake, all the good movies were over by the time we thought of it, with no afternoon sessions, and we didn't want to stay home and attack the garden. Then I remembered that the Old Canberra Inn, which is basically our local pub apart from anything in Dickson, has free pool tables on Sundays. Bonus! Within half an hour we were happily playing pool, helping ourselves to the free jukebox with its bikie-inspired playlist (I taught Bumblebee the informal and very rude chorus to The Angel's Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again, to BB's vaguely disapproving look, and fell in love over again with Ian Moss and Don Walker, wishing that Jimmy had choked on his own vomit sometime in the 80s), but still, in the back of my mind there was a 'I could be printing right now' sensation. I swallowed it, but it's slightly bitter as it goes down.

I came up with a wonderful music trivia question, and you're welcome to use it if you have to compose trivia nights or whatever:

What have these three songs got in common:

and you play excerpts of 'Bow River' by Cold Chisel (or 'Saturday Night'), 'Errol', by Australian Crawl, and a third one, which you can make tricky by adding your own third or you can make it easy by making the third one a Ringo Beatles song.

Answer? They are all songs not sung by the band's lead singer/s.

What do you think? Got any better or additional examples?

Sigh. Now Bumblebee looks like he's got some horrid throat swelling thingy, so I've dosed him up with garlicky chicken soup and am mentally preparing to not go anywhere tomorrow except the doctor. Sigh. I'll get back to the studio sometime. At least it's waiting there for me, patiently.

Next weekend I'm teaching a book class at Megalo, and there are spaces, if anyone's interested. I'm trying to rustle up participants, because the more people there are, the more I get paid, and I'm not earning anything regular until I start back at the BookStud next year. So if you know anyone that would love to learn how to make booky things, let them know. My bills will be most grateful.

Best Beloved just said goodnight, as he's having a Sleep Head-start (I've worked out a great system: if he goes to sleep solidly first, I can creep in and read an e-book under the sheets for a while, which beats him whinging at me to turn the light off), and as he kissed my neck he said 'mmm, you smell nice, what is it?'

'Hogget.' I replied. It must be, because I slow-cooked it all afternoon. It was delicious, cooked with green olives that had been marinated in preserved lemon & garlic. I guess there are worse things to smell of, but it's not very romantic.


Fiona Dempster said...

Love the Angels - AND that chorus line. My BB is considering if he dares have it played at his funeral! Hope you get some time in the studio soon - its so amazing how easily life's demands can drag you away. Loving the CMYK approach to Clare's poem!

Ampersand Duck said...

Wow, wouldn't it be great to have that at the funeral and the whole congregation (or gathering, or whatever) yelling the unofficial chorus back? Now THAT would be a send-off to remember...

yeah, I figured if she was exploring the nature of paper, I could explore the nature of colour printing! I love the fact that BAO is a forum for experimentation.

ronnie said...

I suggest you play the Angels toon as a requiem for the PC.... (I will happily repeat THAT chorus for a nasty little Peice of Crap.... oops am I showing my mac snobbery again?)

ps - nice yellow printing - looking forward to seeing the whole spectrum

Anonymous said...

Yes! I love this game... When the General's Talk was sung by Rob Hirst and not Peter Garrett! I may need an overly loud listening of Red Sails in the Sunset this afternoon!

Rhubarb said...

Ah yes, the art of not getting into the studio. My weekend was full of it as dearest husband decided the best way to kick off Sunday morning was to announce that he REALLY wasn't feeling well and needed to go to hospital! So we did, for hours, and bang went my day - and I spent the whole time in the damned waiting room thinking "Oh shit" and "I wanted to spend the whole day in the studio - damn", one after the other. Anyway, he's fine, they didn't want to keep him so today's version of the same game involves me driving him round lots of doctor's appointments! Grrr - and yet of course I love him dearly and want him to be well. * sigh * I'm sure he'll be OK but he gave us all a big scare a couple of years ago so we take these things seriously... Hope you get into your studio today! Sara x

Mummy/Crit said...

Love your yellow. And love the idea of slow-cooked hoggett as a scent.Good luck with teh teen-boy bedroom. I'm not looking forward to that.

Anonymous said...

I remember a story told long ago about a certain uni students bedroom!

Adele said...

Sign seen on teenage boy's bedroom door:
"I don't live in this room, I infest it".

Marshall-Stacks said...

Melbourne blogger Pareidoliac Eyes is restoring an old press and links to the similar one at SLV exhibition 2009.
Please stroke your ADORABLE kitties from me.

Lynette Weir said...

I have had to regularly use the 'excavator 'approach to my sons rooms over the years - so KNOW the feeling!!
Also know the frustration of 'life interfering with art'- seem to have been in this phase all year!!
Heading my studio to print the iPod loaded!!