Saturday, December 05, 2009

Linos from Leftovers

This week I wanted to work on some small linocuts made from little doodles I've drawn. I've had a few small leftover pieces of linoleum, as well as some leftover odd-pieces of Asian paper (Kitakata, Mulberry, and Lokta) that were too small to use for my normal 8 x 10 pieces. What to do with all this 'leftover' stuff? I hated to throw it away (or, in the paper case, put it in the recycle bin) so I decided to sketch some small-sized drawings to use the extra supplies up.


I used to be an incorrigible doodler, but all of this changed in college. I remember my freshman year economics professor announcing to the class one time, "I see my lecture must be really boring because Jennifer is drawing dogs all over her notebook." Of course, as a shy, impressionable freshman I was MORTIFIED. He totally meant it in good humor and for the rest of my undergrad years would tease me about this EVERY time he saw me. Even today, working at my alma mater, he will run into me at faculty/staff receptions and lectures and tell anyone who will listen, "I used to have Jennifer in my economics class and I always knew I was getting boring when I looked over and there she was, drawing dogs all over her notebook..." And the other faculty members will laugh and nod their heads, and I realize they must have seen me doodling all the time too, lol. But they were discreet enough not to publically call me on it. :o)

Anyway, I came up with some small doodles this week at work (during lunch hour, NOT meetings- I was good!), transferred those to my leftover pieces of oddly shaped linoleum pieces, and used some of my leftover water-based Daniel Smith ink (I switched to oil-based Graphic Chemical a few years ago) and printed on leftover pieces of paper. I didn't use a press, but instead brought everything to my downstairs drawing studio and worked by hand.

Here's the setup, on my fake Oriental rug (NOT the best idea when you are messy like I am!! But thankfully I didn't get any ink on the carpet). My little linocut, all inked and ready to print:


Once inked, I turned my linoleum block over onto a piece of Kitakata paper, and rubbed the two together with a wooden spoon:


 Yay! This is the fun part- pulling the block and paper apart and seeing what you get. I was a bit nervous because I usually "mount" my piece of linoleum to a piece of plywood or MDF for stability, but the lino alone seemed to work this time:


 Lots of little "adopt" doodles, laying out to dry!:


I did another little linocut doodle of a little coy girl (Lucy was my model) - the photo of the block is at the top of this post. Here it is all printed on my scraps of leftover paper and set out to dry:


No laughing at my Mac Davis record in the background!!! "Hard to Be Humble" was my first LP- my Mom bought it for herself back in the day and eventually gave it to me sometime when I was in elementary school. I listened to that thing until it was scratched to pieces and absolutely unusable. A few years ago I found a company in Canada who had a non-scratched version of "Hard to be Humble" and they converted it to CD for me, and then sent me the CD and album to go with it. Score!! My original album, scratched to pieces, is framed in my bedroom and this copy sits in my art studio. Ah, Mac Davis. The only country singer I ever loved.... sigh. He just rocks.

My studio company for the evening:

Lucy Goosey (or, "Stinky Mouf") was such a good girl and napped on the couch all evening while I printed, snoring and farting away. Her dental is scheduled for December 10. To encourage her to eat, I've been trying to get ANYTHING into her system, including the crappiest dog food Ever (That Moist N'Meaty garbage, and Beneful wet food that comes in those plastic tubs). When that fails I give her "DogSure", which is a canine version of Ensure but must be made with pearls because it is $8 PER can (which is half a serving for a greyhound), Banquet TV dinners, cups of yogurt, Turkey Pot Pies, Chicken nuggets, Little Cesar pizza and Crazy Bread, ice cream, etc etc. This means she has the worst gas on Planet Earth and my wallet is the lightest wallet in the county but I'm feeling so guilty about her mouth. It must really be sore. :o( I can understand why she wouldn't want to eat certain things and to be honest, I'm so worried she might pass away during surgery that I want to make sure her (potentially) last week on earth is totally awesome and she gets to splurge and eat whatever garbage she wants. Am I totally insane? This upcoming dental surgery is making me a nervous wreck.

Speaking of nervous wrecks, my parents' house went up on the market last week. And it suddenly occurred to me that my 3 childhood dogs, buried at the back of the property, are also being sold with the house. I had (what I thought) was the great idea to have their bodies exhumed and moved to the pet cemetary about 30 miles away which is not a big deal, right? That way, they will be in a beautiful public cemetary with kindred canine spirits, and I can visit anytime I want. Well, Mom and Dad FLIPPED when I told them my plans. I started balling, Dad was yelling at me (I believe some of the phrases were: "They are dead and gone, why do you want their bodies!" "They don't have souls!" "What are you so upset about, it's been years!" "Maybe you need to see a mental health specialist!" "You are WAY too attached to animals!" "You need to see a doctor!" "What is it with you and those dogs!" "Why are you crying, they're dead and don't matter anymore!"etc etc). This, coupled with their not-so-subtle insistence that I need to euthanize Lucy instead of pay to have her teeth cleaned and abscess taken care of, because you know she's old and doesn't matter anymore apparently) has TOTALLY pushed me over the edge. Suddenly I've become the family freak. How did that happen?

Which, I mean, hello. I know I'm a bit crazy about SOME things (Am I the only one who wants to be tazered, just to see what it feels like?) but I'm NOT crazy about my feelings towards dogs. I mean, they are the best things on this planet and I just adore them to pieces. Yes, I would max out my credit card on their vet bills. Yes, I will spend half my paycheck on their food, toys, rawhides, vet care, treats, stuffies, coats and collars. Yes, I will build my vacations around doing fun outings with them. Yes, I consider them my family and on equal terms with any human being. Yes, I believe they have souls and deserve the absolute best care I can provide to them and I consider it a true blessing for them to share their lives with me. I would rather spend time with my greyhounds than anyone else on this planet. Cuckoo, cuckoo! Whatever.

Well, this post has turned into quite the venting session. Sorry about that.

Signing off for now,
Your friendly blogging Lunatic  :oP


Sarah said...

oh Jen! I am thinking about you and Lucy, and hope everything goes well. You are not a freak (well at least not anymore of one then the rest of us:)
Nothing wrong with loving your pets...hope you are feeling better! Don't get yourself too worked up...
miss you!

Katherine said...

The changing attitude toward pets is a generational thing. Your parents mistake a change in the culture's values for a mental health issue. Dental care for dogs and other specialty health maintenance surgeries are no longer considered outrageous and it seems you are doing exactly what you committed to: providing a happy, healthy life to the dogs you adopted. You love your greys, you don't have kids to support, it's your money, you're generous in dozens of ways. Take care of Lucy the best you can and remember that the holiday season magnifies family differences. And your small 'doodle' prints are great!