ddrees art

My art work and thoughts

Archive for July, 2008

Fish and Fowl Show Preparation

Posted by ddrees on July 27, 2008

I 13 have been making pieces on the subject of fish, for an October show in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia in which my former colleague Jane Morais invited me to participate. The show is to be called Fish and Fowl or something close, and Jane is making ceramic chickens. She has some ceramic pieces up at the Maryland State Arts Council site. I had been making shell pieces for a while before she asked and have quite a few fish and shell subjects dating back. Actually I made some cast paper shell pieces with marbling while taking Jane’s handmade paper class, I think in 1992. I made shell molds from my shell collection for the paper shells.

Terra Cotta Shell  ©1992

Terra Cotta Shell dd ©1992

My “stuff” is like a wunderkammer collection with shades of Andy Warhol and Joseph Cornell. Not as much stuff as Warhol, but if I had the money it might be. This is my OCD heritage. I would love to do more handmade paper work but the labs are not set up now and my house is too much of a mess already. Too bad Pyramid Atlantic is not closer so I could make paper there. I met Helen Frederick, the founder and leader, back in the seventies when she had started her atelier in Baltimore, but she moved to DC for more traffic. She has made it a superb place and has managed to retire from it recently.

wunderkammer engraving

Some of my artworks for the show will be all digital and some will be watercolor and marbled paper. The marbled paper is a good fit because it is so watery. I can scan my marbled papers and use them repeatedly and they also can be tricked up in Photoshop. But I like the look of the actual paper, with raking light catching the paper texture and all.

My marbled paper samples

My marbled paper samples


I have been collecting public domain fish pictures along with other natural history pictures for quite some time. I have a few old engraving books on the subject, the first of which I inherited from my grandfather many years ago. I love these old natural history books for not only their science but for their reverence and wonder at the creatures that were being discovered and catalogued. There is way more to the planet than people.

Here is a watercolor and marbled piece, not digital, that i made this spring.

Seafoam green fish ©2008

Seafoam green fish dd ©2008

Here is a digital piece I made this past winter.

Shellhead ©2007

Shellhead dd ©2007

I am currently playing with some Adobe Illustrator pieces that shall emphasize the gorgeous variety of fish styles. I think of them as decked out in couturier clothes. I am hoping to have time to make some flat shape oriented fish pictures that will be finished in time and also to do some dimensional things with my scanned marbled papers. The design concept of repetition and variation fits well here. Visual comparison of fish types held together by their being a set of fish. One can expand the meaning from there.

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Starting my Art Blog

Posted by ddrees on July 25, 2008

rt and literature are about sharing important parts of life, expanding the lives of others and partaking in other’s lives. We cannot seem to get enough. Before the web, archives on various subjects were put together by people gathering paper files at great expense of time, money and effort. If you wanted to see the files you had to travel to them and make arrangements for access. To see the actual items you still have to make a greater effort but the web helps you locate them. I wonder what DaVinci would think of the web!! Vanevar Bush wrote the seminal As we May Think in 1945, a year before my birth. I know he would like blogs.

My blog shall be my gathered up record of artwork and thoughts added to in pieces, like, well, a blog. I have not previously managed to gather a “finished” site. Organizing it seems overwhelming. So happy about word press features especially topic clouds! I started keeping a record of my work on file cards and slides about 1970. The record is a patchwork. After Macs came along, I started keeping computer records. Periodically I have updated file formats and media, reminding me that this is an ephemeral record like all the rest. I just got a new Canon EOS Rebel XSi SLR digital camera to replace my Zeiss Contaflex SLR from the fifties. I do not know how to use the digital camera yet and am still grieving for the old camera, which is still excellent and familiar. But I shall be able to avoid the film scanning step to get images into the computer. I think these files have a chance of developing into a more coherent record than my previous attempts.

All my posted art work shall be copyrighted by me unless otherwise stated.

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