Impromptu Residency (Day 1)

Jul 3, 2018 / Photography / experiments

My day job unexpectedly gave Monday and Tuesday off prior to the July 4th US holiday (Wednesday). I then decided, why not take Thursday and Friday as vacation days? That’s what I did, so I’m off for the entire week!

This opportunity is pretty rare for me, so I’m taking advantage by doing a 5-day concentrated burst of art making. I’m calling it an “impromptu residency.”

And I’m going to blog about it every day.

The inspiration for this is my artist colleague Rachel Brask who blogged through her recent residency. I enjoyed reading it and seeing her progress everyday. So I’m challenging myself to do the same. Mine is not an official residency obviously, but I think it would be interesting to document what I get done in the next five days.

Main Goal for the Next 5 days

I recently came back from a Casey Roberts workshop. He is a painter whose medium is cyanotype. He does magical work. I’ve been following him for years, and luckily enough, he had a 2-day workshop in Columbus, Indiana. How often do you get a chance to meet your hero? Of course, I signed up.

So for this impromptu residency, my goal is to experiment with Casey Roberts’ methods of handling cyanotype: toning with bleach and baking soda, and applying multiple layers of images.

Day 1

So I started the morning with writing in my journal and planning my day. I sat at Starbucks writing and drinking my coffee. After writing in my journal, I opened up Scrivener on my iPad to write this blog post.

It’s 90 degrees outside so I’m definitely not shooting today.

Going back to my in-home studio, I coated 3 papers with cyanotype and waited for them to dry. I also decided to do an inventory of the images I’ve done for Part III of A Million Suns, and list out image ideas that I still have to shoot. By the time I was done, it was already lunch time.

In the afternoon, I went by the art store to pick up one of these art boards I saw recently. I think this will be useful. I could pin my wet cyanotype print to this board so that the paper doesn’t shrink as it dries.

What did I accomplish in the afternoon?

I developed one of the cyanotype papers by exposing it to UV light for 12 minutes. Here’s the wet cyanotype pinned to the art board. This is just a straight cyanotype with no image. I’m experimenting with color for now and not an image.

Once dry, I brushed pure bleach on the cyanotype print. Bleach turns cyanotype blue to yellow. It’s amazing, right? I knew bleach would turn blue to yellow before, but I’ve never thought of pushing this to the max as Casey Roberts does in his paintings.

Could I use this technique in my work? Find out what I do with this tomorrow.

About the Author

Jonah Calinawan

Hello! I’m Jonah Calinawan, an accountant turned artist.

I create art that makes you think and write about the creative mindset to help and inspire you.

My favorite free finance tool is Personal Capital. Subscribe and receive a PDF where I talk about how I use this tool to financially stay on track.

When not shooting photos, I teach myself piano and recommend Josh Wright’s Propractice video tutorials (affiliate link).

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May 2019 Studio Update
Impromptu Residency (Day 5)
Impromptu Residency (Day 4)

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