Divination

After a few months of moving and still getting settled in my new home and studio, it feels good to be back to work. Here's a shot of my mini-press, now residing next to my printer and flat files, but still ready to go mobile when needed. 

nancy_haselbacher_2_2015

I'm working on a small series of prints of animal trails that I've found walking in the local LA hills. Here are some works in progress of those. Some silkscreens, drypoint engravings and drawings. I'm currently sorting out the medium, size color etc. to proceed with.

nancy_haselbacher4_2015
nancy_haselbacher_2015

This fork in particular stands out for me. It reminds me of a dowser's wand. Apparently my grandfather on my mother's side was a dowser. So this calls to mind an instinct for direction and path-taking- all very relevant to me right now. We'll see where it goes. Oddly I just saw that there is a movie being released this month called The Water Diviner. Collective consciousness I guess!

nancy_haselbacher_1_2015


Untethered

Yesterday I took the subway in Los Angeles for the first time.

Graffiti scratches.

Graffiti scratches.

Granted they only put a line in my neighborhood last year. And only in LA within the last twenty years and I've lived here for sixteen of those. But it was an odd sensation to bid adieu to my car in the lot from the high rail and I was reminded of how dependent we are on our cars here. Getting into my car is like breathing. It is like a second home and feels like an extension of my body sometimes. I tote food, water, earthquake supplies, beach stuff, art supplies, school supplies and more daily. I know a car isn't a complete necessity here, but most days it feels that way in this expansive sprawl.

The lot.

The lot.

I felt afloat in the city and oddly apprehensive today getting on the train with only one small bag. When I got to the museum and met my class, my T.A. asked me alarmed, "Where's your car!?" Only three people out of the 20 or so students that I talked to at our museum visit told me they had taken the subway in LA. Everyone will tell you that the public transportation isn't easy here. And it is true for most people. It's not close to anything you need to get to or come from, the distances are far, the trips slow... 

LA River

LA River

But today, what I took for granted in every other city I have lived in, felt novel here. I had to figure out the ticket machine, look at maps, and actually walk in LA. I felt a little silly. I was a stranger today in my own beloved city where I confidently drive the long streets to the beach, the hills, the canyons. I love driving in LA. I always have. I was the youngest of my family and my parents never let me drive when I was growing up in rural New England. I lived in New York and Boston afterward and rode my bike and the subway for years. Something about moving to LA and driving myself has always meant freedom and adulthood to me. Much of my work incorporates images I see while driving. Representing that liminal space is something I go back to again and again.

When I went overseas this summer for the first time, I walked and took public transportation all over Paris and London. But it was only when I got to Finland (a country where I could not even read a single road sign), and needed to drive 4 hours north immediately, that I relaxed and breathed a sigh of relief as I got into my rental car.

I enjoyed turning over the wheel today and seeing my city from an different angle, on rail and foot. Although it was disconcerting to me that I was just a little bit uncomfortable as I started out and I am reminded of how we must always break our own boundaries and challenge our sense of place.

In the garden on top of the Disney Hall

In the garden on top of the Disney Hall

Common Ground tests

In June of this year I received a travel grant to go to Finland to work on a body of work about walking through landscapes I have lived in, and the effect it has on my body and memory.  In Finland I explored a forest landscape that I had never lived in but one that was from my mother's ancestry and is visually very similar to the one in Connecticut that I grew up in. 

It is probably well-known to world adventurers but it was my first time traveling overseas and I was struck by how simultaneously alike and how different the people I met were as well. Certainly the internet has connected the world visually in a whole new way, but I didn't expect the actual "mirror world" experience described by William Gibson in one of my favorite books, Pattern Recognition. Where everything is the same, but just slightly askew. 

I'm editing images now and deciding how they will fold into a larger scale installation I am working on about this idea. These are some photo "sketches" for an piece called "Common Ground", which is loosely about the land in both places looking so much alike that it is hard to tell where each one is located,  but one is imbued with deep memories, and one has nearly none.


Day Two Printing By the Shore

Once again I set up by the Philip's camper by the shore. They were kind enough to store my press inside for the night so it wouldn't get rusty, and give me a choice shady spot for a really sunny day. It was amazing to just hear the surf and feel the breeze. As printmakers we are often in enclosed shops with our large heavy equipment so this "plein air" printing was a treat.

The morning swim's haul.

The morning swim's haul.

LIve, dying, and dead seaweed.

LIve, dying, and dead seaweed.

Pam printing.

Pam printing.

Phili and Pam with their prints.

Phili and Pam with their prints.

More prints of the day. They ended up looking a lot like cyanotypes. We were inspired by the blue of the sea I guess!

More prints of the day. They ended up looking a lot like cyanotypes. We were inspired by the blue of the sea I guess!


Mobile Indelible Press @ Carlsbad Beach

Inspired by the wonderful Drive By Press, who travel around the country with an etching press in the back of a truck printing woodblock prints on tee shirts, I decided to take my little press on the road south for a few days to Carlsbad while visiting my friends that are camping here. In the regular vein of my work, I was interested to record the mark of the natural world around me while traveling through it. You can't get a better studio view than this!

My picnic table printing set up and seaweed from my morning swim.

My picnic table printing set up and seaweed from my morning swim.

Kelp ( I think ) ready to print.

Kelp ( I think ) ready to print.

Rolling up the kelp with some ink.

Rolling up the kelp with some ink.

Ready to run through the press. 

Ready to run through the press. 

The final image.  I like how it looks like some ancient viking helmet.

The final image.  I like how it looks like some ancient viking helmet.

Sandy pulling some prints while lunch is served. Just goes to show you- you don't need a lot of space!

Sandy pulling some prints while lunch is served. Just goes to show you- you don't need a lot of space!

Paul pulling a sand print.

Paul pulling a sand print.

The sand plate. Looks good against the light too.

The sand plate. Looks good against the light too.

After printing we went back to our hotel. The heaviest item in the room helped to flatten the prints nicely.

After printing we went back to our hotel. The heaviest item in the room helped to flatten the prints nicely.

Prints of the session.

Prints of the session.