Prints, rats, and blooms

So, today’s weekly update blog.

I spent today taking a gelli printing workshop today up in Ladysmith.

I had picked up a couple Gelli plates last year after I took that monotype class at MISSA and intended to get to using them, but kept getting sidetracked. Then I spotted the Ladysmith workshop at almost the last minute and jumped on it.

So, here’s a bit of what I was up to today:

It was suggested towards the end of the day to use the prints for collaging into a book project, and I like that idea. I haven’t started on that yet, because I was thinking I’d do something along the lines of Mickey B.’s Ricky B.’s* ABCs… which requires me to write some filthy rhymes, lol… plus the prints need to fully dry so I can cartoon over top of them along with collage and embellishing/embroidering (no beads or the book won’t close, of course.)

* at the time of this writing he was still called Mickey B., but I changed his name to Ricky B. since then.

Well, that brings us to ol’ Mickey Ricky… so, in the last week or two, much as the whole “draw Bono with mouse ears, a tail, and an obsession with cheese” project is loads of fun, and ongoing, I’ve started to think of “Mickey B.” “Ricky B.” as his own mouse-man, visually inspired by early ’90s Bono, sure, but… well, let’s just say Mickey’s Ricky’s a rat and not just visually.

So, I’ve separated him out from the whole Bono-as-mouse sketchbook project. Let’s see a couple versions of our new mouse-man:

The first official non-Bono Mickey B Ricky B. drawing… that it was drawn on the day U2 announced yet another goddamn limited edition special colored vinyl version of the meh-at-best acoustic album Songs of Surrender Your Wallet is I’m sure pure coincidence.

As such, Mickey’s Ricky’s started to evolve a bit more elongated rat face. And I did start messing with Procreate versions of him, too… and tried different brushes so he looks distinct from my other Procreate cartoon project, Noah’s Archipelago.

The first digital version of Mickey Ricky. You know you wanna touch his tail… and buy his album.
So far my favorite Mickey Ricky… he reminds me of someone from the music biz… actually several someones.
I’m liking the background and linework on Mickey Ricky here, starting to feel more distinct from Noah, though his hair is a bit upside down, should be wider up by his ears. But definitely an improvement in digital rendering of him.

That said, I feel like Mickey Ricky is more of a hands-on (heh!) project, not a digital one. I have ideas of rendering him in lino cut prints, then scanning those and messing with it further in procreate. Or just working the lino cuts over top of gelli printed backgrounds, etc.

Mickey’s Ricky’s got a lot of rough edges, and that’s better/easier to do with analog methods.

Anyway, so there’s one chunk of that project’s evolution. The silly Bono-as-mouse sketchbook continues as well, because it’s fun, because it’s good practise, and because it’s a good troll for a couple friends who really can’t stand Irish Jesus, lol. Favorite of those from this week:

All hail the cheese moon.

What else… still dealing with the fraud bullshit, spent half the week still getting over last week’s cold, still think daylight saving time is asinine like every year… but hey, it’s almost spring officially and stuff is finally starting to bloom, so let’s wrap up with some flower pics from my garden:

First daffodils of the season – Tete a Tetes, always the first of the year… but I swear in previous years these bloomed just after Valentine’s.
Crocuses abound this week, these are my favorites in the garden… will I remember in October to buy and plant more just like these? LOL…
It’s working! These were planted last fall in the planting bed outside my desk-window. A white/cream Iris reticulata swoop/stripe with purple irises on either side… it’s a bit dinky now, but these will clump out and start to naturalize in the next few years.
First of the chionodoxa (I probably spelled that wrong).
One of the survivors of the primulas I planted in 2019 or 2020 that is hanging on to life and just bloomed now. I resisted buying any new ones this year, at least so far… usually if I buy them when they first come out, we get a nasty cold snap that kills them within a week before they can root in and establish themselves against the elements.
This viburnum is starting to open up and gives off a lovely (if slight) perfume.

Lastly, not flowers, but let’s check in with the potted herb garden I made last August. The goddamn squirrels dug into these pots a lot in the fall burying their nuts and other mischief, and a couple of the rosemaries in the back didn’t fare too well, but overall pretty much everything survived and thrived on this side. The other side of the steps weren’t as strong but still a fairly good survival rate, though I will need to replace some thyme and oregano due to a combo of squirrel damage and drowning in the heavy rains… dunno why it screwed the one side and not so much the one 4 feet away.