Hand Pulled Prints, Books, Drawings and More

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

The long awaited photos are here! Some of the books I made, students from my etching workshop, and Christmas photos.  I'd like to thank all the wonderful people who gave me gifts this year - not just the material kind. The support of my artistic community has been overwhelming since I began at Oxbow Press seven months ago and my family has been really stellar. Thanks also to my partner for allowing me to pursue my dreams, however strange to him they may seem.
yay for accordion folds

these books went to live with my new friends at the RCO

The Christmas Cards I made this year!

Alphonse and Ahab are watching it snow

Miles and Carol look at a print

John and Barbara pull a print off our press Harold

Mark's first etching - doesn't it look swell!

Look what I got in my stocking- Sparkly Santa Hat!
embroidered ornament for my mom
 Thanks to everyone who attended my workshops this fall! Etching students: I promise to make Member Etching Wednesdays a fact of life in 2011 and to never have more than 5 of you in one class at a time ever again! Thanks for your patience, support and confidence. Have a wonderful New Year!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Cheer

Having a nice December, everyone? You should be! In times of turmoil such as this the spirit of Christmas (aka: the brotherhood of man and charity) is essential to being forthright, virtuous and conscientious human beings. 2010 has been a blockbuster year for me for many reasons. I was among the lucky (or at least well-planning) folks this year; I volunteered with an ecological and humanitarian organization in New Zealand, went from being un-employed to being over-committed, became dedicated to two prominent non-profit organizations in Reno, taught my first class, bought a car (for which I did the negotiating, yay!), rescued a stray, started my Etsy store in earnest, and began a blog.

Many of these things were only possible because of the many great people who came into my life. Some of these things I achieved with the support of my family and close friends. None of this year would have happened if I weren't a spendthrift. As much as I hate money (and love barter) it's an unfortunate necessity. Every decision counts - get fast food or eat ramen noodles at home (save $17.25), get your nails done or buy polish at the drug store (save $35.00 including tip), buy a big screen TV for your sweety on Black Friday or have a conversation about Christmas before November hits and decide to save for something big - like a trip to Japan or a wedding ring (save dignity, relationship, $480.52)

This may come out of the blue compared to the rest of my posts, but I can only print if I have paper and ink and I only get ink and paper with money. Printmaking is an expensive art form (compared to drawing anyways) but I am not happy or complete without printmaking in my life. Since I was a child it has been my ambition to become an artist, but I never thought about how to finance such a life. The solution was messily pushed into my face this year as I started at Oxbow Press - do something I love and find a way. Much of my success was networking, luck and devotion of time and muscle (especially a lot of time) but I did need a few dollar signs to back it up. The theme of this post is finding a way to live happy - money isn't the answer but it helps. If you save as much as you can whenever you can you'll soon find yourself able to do the things you love with greater frequency and professionalism. Use your funds to pay for workshops, supplies or studio space, or be a miser like Rachel and hoard until something REALLY amazing asks you to become involved.

Don't let money get you down. People understand, especially when they've been in your shoes themselves. So even though Christmas was a holiday invented by capitalist pigs in Britain during the mid nineteenth century, don't think you have to celebrate that. Spend wisely, not frantically, and your reward will be sweet. Remember, a gift you make by hand can't be bought in stores - it's special and you can personalize it for those you love. Happy Holidays everybody :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Busy Busy Busy!

Coming into Thanksgiving weekend I thought "I have a plan and am well prepared." The one thing for which I forgot to account was that plans must, and do, change. So! Thanksgiving was a nice holiday for me after the nail-biting weeks leading up to the Indie Reno Craft Fair. Encouraged by my success with the Fair I made many custom orders which were printed beautifully and are being picked up by their respective owners in the last few days before Christmas.

My work with the Reno Chamber Orchestra is stimulating, I've learned more about classical music in the last several weeks than I ever expected to know, and I've only just begun! The big event for the RCO is the Nevada Chamber Music Festival which is held every year in the last week of December. This year there will be several soloists in the Festival who will also perform later in the regular RCO season - Orion Weiss and Joan Kwuon - as well as many other great musicians.

Teaching has taken up quite a bit of my time - Intro to Intaglio:Copper Plate Etching and Aquatint was December 4th and 5th, and I just finished co-teaching a basic relief class focused on T-shirt printing this weekend. Intaglio was a lot of fun, though a bit more difficult to explain that I'd anticipated the students absorbed the information well and seem quite excited to continue developing their technique. T-shirt printing was also fun, though we only had a few people in class everyone printed very different designs. I now have seven Xmas gifts in the bag (thank you  - printmaking!) now I just have to remember how many more I have left....

My mind is like a sieve these days - but my trusty journal has been more than adequate to make up for my lack of memory. How do you keep up with the challenge of daily life? I find myself grappling with reality daily, but for people who aren't constant daydreamers that may be less of a challenge. I explained to my friend awhile back that I have relatively regular cycles of attachment to the "real" world. Lately I've been far to absorbed with the details of my life, it's time to step back and work from square one again.

Stay in touch! More thoughts on keeping track of my stray brain cells and pictures from my last two classes are coming soon.