Looking for something cool to do this weekend? As a member of CAFAM you can attend a walk through of "Chapters: Book Arts in Southern California" at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles. As one of the artists in the exhibition, I'll be sorry to miss it, but there will be many other artists there and the show is terrific. If you can't make it this weekend be sure and check it out before it closes on May 7th!
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.
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.
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!
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.
A faux aquatint using sugar collograph. Unexpectedly, where the print is quite raised up from the sugar impression, the scanner can't "see" it when I scan it, and it blurs. So, using a very elemental earth-based medium with a technologically inexpensive scanner, not only do I have a faux aquatint, but a faux Photoshop "blur" filter is born. Can you have a faux filter? Isn't that what filters are to start with? Fake? The idea of a digital fake filter caused by a replication of a tangible print of a fake printmaking method kind of wraps itself around in circles in my mind. Time to get out Walter Benjamin's, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction again.
The other day I ran a piece of iceplant through the little press to test the limits of 3d objects. It was a little hard to crank but I think when I bolt the press to a table it can handle some soft 3d objects nicely. It squashed the iceplant well and there was a nice bright green imprint and splatter. I left the print lying around for a few days and most of the green turned a rusty brown like dried blood.
A favorite poem printed on library cards. It is amazing to me that you can still buy blank library cards.
It's not about tiny houses, its about tiny presses! A few years ago I downsized several things in my life, my large etching press being one of them. I've missed it though, so this summer, to fit my current smaller house, I decided to get this tiny press.
I just set it up and in the spirit of the last month of summer decided to print whatever and wherever I wanted with this portable little press. Putting deadlines of other my art projects on hold for a bit and throwing caution to the wind.
To start off tonight I pulled a rune at random from the beautiful set my friend Kibi Schultz made for me and got the blank rune, (Unknowable) Although this rune is often said not to be a "true" rune, since it is without markings, I like the idea of it and it seems perfect for the start of the month and this project.
From The Viking Runes, "blank is the end, blank is the beginning…what beckons is the creative power of the unknown". Here is the inkjet monoprint of the rune. I like this method of monoprinting, that is based in photography, since you have little control over in how the image ends up. When the plate and the paper enter under the roller, there is a strange alchemy that happens. Here my image has bled, changed color, and become a mystery in itself.