A Few Updates

I haven’t posted much on the blog of late, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy. Besides all the cooking I’ve been doing (trying to take advantage of the last few farmer’s markets of the season–they end in October around here), I’ve been occupied with coordinating a printmaking exchange for Baren Forum and finishing up my Tweedy Aran Cardi, which is virtually complete.

I signed up for Baren Exchange #29 back in April. It was an oban-sized themed exchange centering on The Nude, a venerable, rich—and sometimes imposing— subject for artists, evocative of heroism, vulnerability, and everything in between. As you might guess, I signed on hoping Jeremy would collaborate with me on this exchange, and he did so, to the extent that he let me use some of his life drawings and oil sketches as the basis for my designs. Because of the popularity of this particular subject with artists, there were enough participants for two exchanges, the official Baren exchange #29, and a Baren salon de refuse, #29a. I signed up to participate in both exchanges, so I did two different prints.

Neapolitan Man

The first one, entitled “Neapolitan Man” is based on an oil sketch Jeremy did for a class and did not have an opportunity to complete. You may remember it from this post. My version is a 4-color reductive woodcut; I tried to keep the feel of this print loose and painterly to evoke the tone of Jeremy’s original sketch. Sorry for the bad photo…

Veiled Reference

For the second print, I wanted another standing figure to complement the first one, so I chose a female figure done in a very linear black-and-white woodcut with a bit of chine colle for color and a sense of space. Again, the figure is based on one of Jeremy’s old drawings, here. At Jeremy’s suggestion, I called this print “Veiled Reference” because the chine colle background serendipitously reminded me of women changing clothes behind a screen or curtain, like the “walls of Jericho” in It Happened One Night. I am participating in one more nude figure print exchange, and I think I am going to expand on that idea for that print.

Somewhere along the way, I also found myself agreeing to be the coordinator for the official Baren exchange, which just means that all the participating artists mailed their sets of prints to me, and I collated the sets so that everyone got one of everyone else’s prints, and mailed them back to each artist. It was a lot of work, and our house was full of partially collated sets of prints and packing materials for over a month while I waited for stragglers to turn in their prints, but the experience was certainly a worthwhile one. Besides getting to see all the prints sooner than everyone else, it was really great to feel that I was contributing something back to the forum, which has been such a useful resource for me (not to mention a source of many wonderful print exchanges that I have been honored to participate in). Everyone that participates in a print exchange should be a coordinator at least once, for the sake of empathy, if nothing else.

Moving on to knitting content, despite my sorry lack of progress photos, I have been working steadily away at my Tweedy Aran Cardigan, and am very happy with how it is coming out. As I mentioned earlier, it’s a bit of a slow knit due to the slubby yarn and proliferation of twisted and cabled stitches. Since my last post, I completed both fronts, worked the shoulder seams with a three-needle bind-off, and knit the collar. I finished off the sleeves after what seemed like an eternity of twisted rib, and completed the seaming. All it needs to be complete are some good buttons (and maybe a grograin ribbon band, since the front edges are very flippy). Since we’re renting a car this weekend to take the ferrets to the vet for their annual exams and booster shots, I’m hoping to talk Jeremy into stopping by a fabric store or something. Photos forthcoming once I get those buttons…

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