Friday, January 28, 2011

Artist Sergej Jensen

I've just discovered the wonderful work of German artist Sergej Jensen, whose show at MoMA PS 1 is reviewed by Roberta Smith in this morning's New York Times. She describes his show of fabric collage paintings as "quiet but fiercely beautiful."

Jensen describes his stitched cloth work as "painting without paint." Here are some examples:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happy 91st, Bob!

My step-father, Robert Shuff, turns 91 today. A very impressive 91, too.

The March to "First Print Day"

Our screen cabinet is filling up with freshly prepped new screens from the intro class mixed with the well used ones of the advanced students. On Wednesday, I'll do the "how to print" demo for the new students and then, the fun is all theirs!

Swapmeet Roundup

Joe's been having a good time at the swap these last couple of weekends. Here are a few of the goodies he's brought home:

 A series of ARTFORUM magazines from the 1980's. What fun to review some recent art history!

 A pair of cast iron crowned frogs. These guys look like they think they rule the world.

 An old, graciously shaped teapot

A stunning traditional still life painting. No wonder flowers are a favorite subject matter.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Great Studio Day

I'm working on an idea for a new series of screenprints about my garden. The technical part will focus on making transfer drawings by hand on paper and then translating them at the computer into stencils for photo-emulsion screens. In the picture below, you can see a sketch for my first one.

Transfer drawings are challenging because, by nature, the results are hard to control and unpredictable. Even though it usually takes many attempts before arriving at a good one, a successful transfer drawing is always much more interesting, to my eye, than a straight-forward one.

In the picture above, I've used the brayer to roll out a thin, even layer of ink on my glass topped work table. Next, I'll lay a sheet of paper over the ink and draw on the back. The pressure of the drawing implement pulls ink up on the other side. Along the way, ink transfers unpredictably in other areas, too, creating an atmospheric effect, which is the beauty of transfer drawing.

There are examples of transfer drawings on my website.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Intaglio Class Portfolio Exchange

During last night's session, the ten of us participating in last semester's portfolio project completed our exchange of prints. Each of us now owns a portfolio of ten gorgeous prints:

Tamara Carlin
viscosity print

Shu-Yun Shih

Mary Coromelas
soft ground etching

Roger O'Leary-Archer
hard ground etching with aquatint

William Kenah
linoleum/monoprint/etching with aquatint

Lorraine Papadopoulos

 Scraped Off My Knees
Bryant Schumacher

 The Insatiable Beast
Katharine Gross
etching with aquatint and drypoint

Lone Sentinel 
Martin Salazar

Annie Stromquist
Etching with aquatint and added watercolor

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hello! I'm Back!


All is well here, just terribly busy with the beginning of school and what seem like a million other things.  I've been racing around this last week and not feeling the least bit "blog creative." I'll be back tomorrow with some new stuff...

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Fresh Semester, A Ready Classroom

Here is the way the screenprinting classroom looked at 7:53 this morning. By 9:00, the tables were full of new students. Today's agenda: review the syllabus, assignments, and supply list. Like most first days. Thirty students...looks like a good group, so far.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The International Printing Museum

I'd heard from many enthusiastic people about the International Printing Museum in Torrance but hadn't yet made a trip of my own.  Yesterday, I did. What an impressive place!

Located in an industrial park, there is plenty of room for all the vintage presses and cases of typeface. 
Many of the presses, no longer produced, are still in good running order.

This is an old fashioned newspaper printing press.

This operator is typing on an old linotype machine which sets rows of type.

Here, the crowd is watching the press operator print on a letterpress.

The International Printing Museum is open on Saturdays from 10 to 4. Tours are given to guests and you can also nose around on your own. There are many, many fascinating things to see. 

Last fall, the new Book Arts Institute moved in to one of the building on site. The Institute sponsors many excellent montly programs on printing, bookbinding, papermaking, and more. Yesterday's program was a collagraph demonstration by artist Sandy Cvar.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

One Final Plug for Hot Springs, Arkansas

Hot Springs is named for the natural springs of the area. These springs inspired Bath House Row, built in the early 1900's, which provided bathing areas, massages, and other health related services to many, including the most popular movie stars of the era who flew in for vacations. Beautifully renovated today, Bath House Row is a wonderful place to visit in Hot Springs.

While in Arkansas for the holidays, we visited Buckstaff Bath House for two hours of warm, natural springs soaking, steaming, and massages. Buckstaff is one of the few remaining active Baths; the other historic buildings along the avenue are museums, hotels, and more modern spas. In operation without break since 1910, Buckstaff still has it's original plumbing, tubs, and elegant marble floors and walls. It is a beautifully maintained piece of history.

And.... we got "TV Parking!" (A term applied to that uncanny ability of all characters in TV shows and movies to always find parking spots in front of their destinations.)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Vintage Optical Test

When viewing through a special lens, some people would see the dog positioned in mid jump halfway through the loop on the pig's back. So, proof that sometimes we all see differently...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Funny Animal Voiceovers

I think you'll enjoy this segment from the BBC. Just click on the picture.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Art for All Purposes

My artist niece, Susan Stromquist, is completing a post-baccalaureate year at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. The Printmaking Department there goes all out each holiday season with a show and sale, and here are some of Susan's creative finds there: 

 An original screenprinted card by alias Dunno

Another original screenprinted card by alias Dunno

a screenprinted card by alias Dunno

an original screenprinted card by M. Knabelsdorf