My opening on Thursday was great… so great that I wasn’t able to take any pictures! I was so busy talking with people I didn’t even have a chance to get my camera out. My mom was there taking pictures so if she ever gets them online I’ll put them on Flickr.
Wow, I can’t believe it’s all done… (except for taking the show down and figuring how to store my prints) I actually have one offer for a trade and one possible sell. I still need to finish editions on my small prints, though, so those will have to be done before I start selling them/giving them away.
It’s done! It’s done! It’s done! Now on to the next thing, whatever that may be!
Tonight! Spent 3 hours with my gallery director hanging the show. She did the measuring, then I did the hanging, then she did the lights. Hooray, it’s finally UP! The hard part is over! (Except for when I have to take it down and find a place for everything in our apartment!)
I’m going to make one more entry after the opening, then I’ll consider this ‘Thing’ done! I finally feel like maybe now I can catch up with some of my other goals.
This week I started a new job with longer hours & a commute – so I didn’t do any more work on my show until Friday evening. I really just needed to catch up on sleep and some other work. But I did print up my postcard announcements, 200 of them. I’m going to send cards to everyone on my mailing list this week, and I’ll still have a lot of cards to just hand out to people who might be interested.
Friday I cleaned and flattened all the prints that will go in the show. So basically it’s all ready, EXCEPT…
... after the big printmaking marathon, I was cleaning out my drawers at school, when I found two of my small plates that I completely forgot about. Two of my favorites, too (I guess I had 26 small plates and not just 24!). My friend runs a printmaking co-op in town and I might ask if I can print them one night this week. Such a head-slapping moment… I can’t believe I forgot about them. But even if I don’t get to print them, I’ll still be happy with what’s going up.
Show goes up in one week!
I actually had to delay starting my new job at the newspaper (Monday instead of Wednesday), but I finally got all my printing done for the show. Most of the day Wednesday and about twenty hours straight on Thursday/Friday – 10AM Thursday until 6:45 AM on Friday with some breaks for food. But really, that’s no different than any of my other ‘end-of-the-term’ printmaking marathons. I pretty much always stayed all night Thursday before the Friday that portfolios were due. The only difference this time was, I wasn’t taking any other classes so I didn’t have to worry about other homework or going to classes on Wednesday/Thursday/Friday. It was really a HUGE help that I didn’t have to work and/or go to school those few days.
But still, it was absolutely exhausting. I just didn’t realize how much work I still had to do. Plus, it’s really hard on the body to be physically working that much. My hands were raw and red, despite wearing super nitrile gloves (they were like rubber gloves, went up to my elbows almost) – I still had to wash my hands a lot, plus my hands would get sweaty in the gloves and that would in turn irritate my hands, especially the knuckles. I also got shin splints and bruised feet from standing/walking around so much without taking breaks. I wore my Chaco sandals which have great arch support – but almost too much for standing/walking for 20 hours. My back is sore from having to handle the large Takach press (and it started acting funny halfway through the night so I had to push it there and pull it here to get it to not fight me all the time). PLUS, only getting about 4 hours of sleep per night… and already being in sleep debt… I almost couldn’t take it, but I fought through it with lots of caffeine and positive thoughts about my show.
LONG STORY NOT SO SHORT: The hard part is finished, I’m catching up on my sleep, ready to start my new job on Monday and confident that my show will totally kick ass. Now I just need to: clean, flatten and prep my prints for hanging; and make and mail my postcard announcements. I’m not going to write an artist statement for the show – I think it’s pretty self-explanatory and I don’t want to risk adding any cheese sentimentality to the work. That sounds like a cop-out, but I’ve really thought about it a lot.
Thanks for the cheers and comments! I’ll make sure to put up some pictures of the show on Flickr when it’s all finished!
... but it’s doable.
I start my new job on Wednesday, so for my last day at my current job I asked for half the day off. So I’m going to be doing LOTS of printmaking, along with some catch-up bill paying and organizing.
I have one more set of three plates to make (going to do that tonight). Two plates in one set need to be burnished in some areas. One set is ready to be printed. So I have three more editions to make (each having three plates) plus I need to print my 18-24 small prints which will be running the entire length of one wall in the gallery. With those I think I’ll do 4 plates at a time, put enough extender in the ink so I can wipe them all without worrying about the ink drying, and run them through the big press all at once. I think once I get into the groove of it I’ll be able to whip those suckers out really quickly.
But for now I just need to concentrate on getting my big plates ready to print. Well, better get to it!
I’m getting a little worried. I still have lots of plates to make and lots of editions to print. I know in my head that I’ll be able to print at almost every free opportunity, and I will get everything done – but I don’t know if my hands will be able to take the constant acid-water-ink-soap-water brutality several days in a row. Better stock up on Neutragena hand cream.
The office I work at isn’t open on bank holidays, so all day President’s day I was in the printmaking studio – about 10 hours. Add to that 5 hours on Saturday and you’ve got a pretty good weekend o’ printing. I’ve changed my ways a little bit: I used to try and finish all of my plates in a series before I started printing. But Saturday I finished one set of four plates so today I went right to it, did about 8 ‘state’ proofs to get the colors right, and ended up with a pretty good edition of 4, with an artist proof. I also test printed two other plate sets. All in all I am feeling pretty optimistic about things, but I still need to work my ass off.
Five weeks left until the show goes up; but only 15 available WORK days left! (the print studio closes during finals week and spring break)
This Saturday was not so productive and a bit frustrating. I wanted to go home early but I made myself stay in Printmaking for 6 and a half hours. I possibly have two more plates finished – but I haven’t printed them to see if they’ll work.
When things don’t work out it is such a waste of my time and money! But I guess I’m learning, so it’s a valuable experience, right? But after a year of doing this you’d think I’d have gotten all my learning out of the way.
Six weeks until my show goes up.
Today I finished five plates: two were good, two not good, one I haven’t printed yet (I THINK it will be okay). I am still trying to feel my way around this new film; at times it seems vastly superior to the old film, but at others it seems to act the same way (in that it frustrates me to no end). There are just so many factors in this kind of photo-printmaking, that if something goes wrong I can never pinpoint exactly what happened… unless I do controlled experiments, and those take TIME (which I don’t really have!).
One thing that I will definitely try next time is making up new developer for each plate. Things seemed to have gotten worse as the night wore on – and I think it might have been because my developer was getting weak.
Seven weeks until the show goes up. (So probably five weeks until I need to have them finished – so they’ll be dry and I can flatten them before I do the framing)
Yesterday I sequestered myself in the printmaking studio for about 8 hours. The night before I had prepared some images in Photoshop to start working on – I know exactly what I’m going to do, and how big the plates will be – it’s just getting it all done in time, that’s the big question.
I cut my plates and printed out some positives, but I didn’t have enough film to really do much yesterday. I called my prof. from work last week asking her to cut some for me, but then couldn’t find it. Plus they are using a new photopolymer film, so I’ll probably have to do some tests first before I really get started anyway. I’m not sure if it’s a new ‘upgraded’ film from DuPont or a completely different kind. It’s supposed to be a little easier to use, but it is even more sensitive to UV than the old kind. It’s definitely a different color of blue.
I did get one plate of one set finished, using an old piece of film. I’ll be printing it tomorrow.