to catch the summer breeze

new curtain fabric

This image (which is blurry–I’ll replace it soon) is of my new curtain fabric; I dug out an old lino I’d used for a reduction cut handprint, and inked it up. I started by printing this fabric on the press, but it was just too much fabric and I started running out of time, so I just went ahead and printed it by hand (which still took some time, actually) and got adequate-plus results. I’ll run them up by the end of this long weekend, and they’ll be ready to brighten up the bedroom for the new week!

Here is the print that the design came from:

IMG_2244

My day’s results

 

This is the stuff going on in my scene: Here are the paddle fans I’m almost done with; this is what they’ll look like, mostly (I’m still figuring out the heart–a lino stamp, or a block on the letterpress, or maybe a cutout heart of other paper? hmm…). I’m pretty tickled so far, gotta say.

The two prints are from some letterpress practice as mentioned below. The purple one will be a book cover, I think. The blue and mustardy one I think can stand alone–I really like the accretion of ink and textures there and will pursue that effect some this summer.

IMG_3563

The little flower picture shows what I was treated to when I opened up the kitchen door this morning–Huzzah! The first poppy on that side of the house. Lovely!

my favorite Amendment!

graphic/type design, free speech postcards
letterpress printed postcards

I had a few extra minutes in the printshop yesterday and the type on the bed was for the First Amendment paddle fan I’m working on, so I quickly dug around for a few large letters and some cut-offs from the local university’s copy shop and got to it! It took a bit of time adjusting the spacing, but I find that, just a couple of weeks back in the shop, I’m getting faster and more accurate, comfortably.

Anyway, write on!

‘Appaloosa’

Appaloosa_nearly finished!
The table’s done except for a missing drawer face. The holes are for s-hooks and other hanging tools. The drawer is for pencils, etc, so it’s cool that it’s so shallow. Because of the coloring and how I did the legs, I’m calling it “Appaloosa.”

Here’s my table, just about ready to roll on home!

brain+art

Screen Shot dance

“Using brain-imaging and other tools of neuroscience, the new field of neuroaesthetics is probing the relationship between art and the brain.”

Here’s a link to a Washington Post article entitled, “THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON ART.” (It seems to be a re-print from 2017.) It’s a little hard to read (I just hate the format it uses–but it does have some really neat action graphix, so it’s a trade-off, I guess), but it’s very interesting and supports my intuition that art is part of our animal experience. Give it a read!

beauty!, in abundance

guggenheim_afklint

image from Guggenheim Museum website: https://www.guggenheim.org/exhibition/hilma-af-klint

Once again, one of my favorite radio shows, On the Media, talks about something vital in my world; the other week, it was mass transit and this time, it’s gorgeous, illuminating, exciting art! On their December 21st program, OTM discusses the fabulous Guggenheim exhibit of the mystical work of Hilma af Klint, “Paintings for the Future.” This OTM segment is fascinating and informative about an artist I’d been hearing/seeing things about here and there for a little while–I regularly listen to On the Media, and, amid the expected stories on politics and media, there was this gem! This segment explores not just the art itself, but how it was positioned in history and how it came to be in the Guggenheim. I urge you to listen and be inspired! (The first several minutes of the segment is solicitation of donations, but at about 4 or 4.5 minutes, the segment about af Klint starts.)

1/18/19 Hey, here’s another radio show on af Klint! Studio 360(PRI.org) has an exploration of her work and its place in (art) history. It’s a nice piece about the history of af Klint and her work and it also mentions some of the work artists have done in response to her work. 

MFA program positionality, re-considered

I just saw this review for Gary Alan Fine’s book Talking Art (University of Chicago Press, 2018) on The Chronicle of Higher Education website–I urge anyone who’s interested in arts education, particularly at the college-level, to read it. I know how I feel about my experience at grad school and was interested to come across some critical literature on the process. According to the review linked above, in April, 51 of the 54 graduating MFA students at Columbia confronted the provost to demand that their tuition be refunded because they had not gotten what they were paying for…*

I haven’t read the book, yet; my local library doesn’t have it, but I’ll put in a request at my community college library when the new semester begins. I am convinced that it’s past time to re-configure our higher education system.

             *Seriously; $63,961 for one year’s tuition? $63,961 American? When you cannot use the facilities and have no access to instructors? Really? 

Read the review! Forewarned is Forearmed!

Thank you for your work.

Artist/activist Shan Goshorn has died and she will be missed. She was a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and, although her basket work received a lot of attention, she was an accomplished multi-media artist. I admired her work and her way of being an artist on her own terms. 

In her own words from her website, http://www.shangoshorn.net, she says this about her work and her ideals: 

My intention is to present historical and contemporary issues that continue to be relevant to Indian people today, to a world that still relies on Hollywood as a reliable informant about Indian life.

It was a thrilling accident to discover that the vessel shapes of baskets are a non-threatening vehicle to educate audiences.  But even more exciting, I am observing viewers literally leaning into my work, eager to learn more about the history of this country’s First People which can lead to the next wonderful step of engaging in honest dialogue about the issues that still plague Indian people today. America has believed a one-sided history for too long. Acknowledging and addressing these past atrocities is movement towards true racial healing… which has always been the goal of my work as an artist.

Shan Goshorn

July 2016

one more try!

3-legged plywood chair

Here’s my third chair for the semester. A couple of classmates made three-legged chairs this term, with spoked legs (I’ll try those next semester!), and so I wanted to try the three-legged chair form, myself. I got the design from the book Ply Design by Phillip Schmidt, a great resource. By the end of this snowy day, I’ll have drilled a couple of more holes and put this flat-pack chair together!

La Pina!

It’s done! Huzzah!

Imperfect, but beautiful–and it sits nice! I’ve learned a lot during the process of designing and building this and I’m already planning another special chair for next semester using what I’ve learned…

I’m pleased with the finish I devised for the ‘leaves’ of the chair: I made a very dilute yellowy-green solution of milk paint, sparingly applied one layer and then applied one layer of wipe-on poly, which darkened it slightly. The seat and legs are finished with Watco Danish finish, which I use a lot because you can still feel the wood after it’s applied. The seat back is cypress and the seat and legs are hickory.