in the weeds

my p-cut vinyl cutting machine

i think it was karen who wanted to see a picture of my vinyl cutting machine... above it is. it doesn't have a name... maybe it should. suggestions?

i'm using it for 2 purposes at the moment. i'm making an edition which i'll talk more about soon... and i'm making a series of doilies for the show i'm having in november at angels gate . the one all about deforrestation.

the process of weeding

in one way this machine is saving me a ton of time/energy. it takes me so long to paint doilies on the wall and with decals i just get to stick them wherever i want. but there's been a learning curve with the machine.

trying to figure out the thickness that the doilies need to be so that they still look delicate but aren't a complete pain to weed has been a challenge. WEEDING - that's a whole thing too. weeding is the technical term for removing all the parts of the sticker so that the image is how you want it to be. it basically means sitting w/ an exacto knife and lifting all these areas off. in the end as far as for an installation - i'll save time in the space not having to paint all the doilies one by one. instead of having to be in the space for a week, i'm spending weeks prepping the stickers. it's a trade off. [the other good thing is that someone else can potentially do a doily installation for me now! woo hoo!]

it's also been a challenge figuring out how to set up the machine to cut at the right depth. too shallow and weeding is torture. too deep and it cuts through the design, not to mention the backing of the vinyl - which is no good.

i sit at night w/ my exacto on the floor [on a pillow] at the coffee table making doilies emerge. in a way it's a good metaphor for a lot of what is happening in my mind and in the studio. i've been thinking a lot lately about what i edit or remove and what i leave behind. in a sense it's basic composition, right? and everyone has their compositional tendencies. there's sort of a subtle difference for me in the trajectories of these actions. i can leave behind something that i'm not completely sure of - maybe in the end i'll remove it, but often if i let it sit it might make the cut. the process of editing for me, though, is much more cut throat. if i feel like something needs to be removed i often have this very strong impulse - like it MUST be gone now. fundamentally, though, i like this vinyl cutting process because it is about REMOVAL - what you take away ends up giving you an image. so often art making is about ADDITION - what you put down or add in order to make a final piece. it's nice to think about things from an opposite point of view.

when i sit there doing this mindless busy work my mind wanders. what do i "weed" out of my thoughts... which memories make the cut, which do i try to weed out, or allow to fade because they are hurtful or not as interesting? these days i feel like my brain is a jumble of plans, lists, obligations - i need someone to come in with the exacto knife and leave behind a pretty organized picture.

i am, though, really pleased at how i can make these look like they are hand generated. i did DRAW and scan them into the computer, but it's gratifying to see that the feeling translates. at least i think it does.

kite flying

what else is going on in the studio?

i've been playing some more with the discards/leftovers of print runs. above is a piece for an upcoming auction that benefits the Rock Paper Scissors collective .

it's really freeing to "rescue" these. for whatever reason [not straight, off center, bad print, or simply an extra] they didn't make it into the edition, and i simply didn't have the heart to throw them away. i like just adding imagery on a whim. the kite... just because.... and little glowing clouds [thanks to interference paint, they do really have a sheen].

kite flying :: detail

the countdown to the end of summer starts over here.... 2 weeks? yikes. shhhhh


blair said…
oh my god you could *never* throw them away! They are all so beautiful.
Hi Lisa, Interesting post. Your thoughts about weeding and removal are interesting. I often think about the same concept, in terms of distillation. The way I choose to distill something down to its essence and also the way memory distills for us. I find what remains after all of the conscious or subconscious removal is very intriguing. Also, I cannot believe the above is a discard. It's just too beautiful and delicate for me to see it this way.
gracia said…
Your machine! Aha! Magnificent. And I like what you say of removal as a step as opposed to making an addition. Often with collage, I think of it this way even though I appear to be adding a foreign element. I think of the part underneath, the part I am hiding or removing from view.

be well, g xo
shari said…
lisa, you write the most interesting posts. when you talk about weeding out and removal, i think of martha's work, too. i am looking forward to hearing more about the deforestation show. hope you are well. xo
bugheart said…
i love the idea
of weeding the mind...
but doesn't our
mind seem to do it
on it's own...
forget what
seems unnecessary...
i often wonder
how the brain "decides"
what is important to remember...
a smell, a moment, a fact.
how in control
are we of the weeding?

i love the doilies...
i would find the
weeding maddening
but perhaps it is
wish i could help.
Has it ever occurred to you that everything you create is immensely beautiful? Well it is!

A vinyl cutter ... oh my gosh, this tool, in your hands is going to have AMAZING results! I can not wait!!
abby try again said…
It must be so thrilling and interesting to see your work in this new medium. And the idea of being able to do installations without tons of travel for you is awesome! I love watching/reading about your process and how its evolved. Excited to see more of the deforestation project.
Hope you are well, Lisa and enjoying those final bits of summer!
Leililaloo said…
Delight is always the feeling I have when I read your thoughts...I love the concept of thinking backwards when we create. Instead of adding something to weed somethings, where would that lead us if we were sitting in front of an empty canvas? Very interesting theme to think of some more..Thx..Again :)

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