Hand Pulled Prints, Books, Drawings and More

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ghost Hard

Bat Lady loves the darkness!
Were you able to see my work at the Inkhead's Ghost Hard group show at Sierra Tap House this October? They were kind enough to hold the Inkhead's last annual Halloween show. Yes, sad news indeed, the Inkheads are no longer going to show together - at least for the forseeable future. This doesn't mean that we won't meet up to poke fun, and other things, at each other, discuss our work, or our laziness, and generally promote better art in the city of Reno. We'll just do it for fun.

My little Skelly in the gold frame!

There's another one!

And another one!

Aww, there's the last guy right there!
Here are a couple shots of my work, sorry for the poor lighting - the Sierra Tap House is, in fact, a bar. They did a nice job with the work, however, and I'd be pleased to recommend them yet again.

All of my framed Skellytons will be available for purchase at the Indie Reno Holiday Show. Bat Lady prints will also be available for very reasonable prices! I will also be showing some of the work that was part of Belt and Braces. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Book Workshop

This past October I was lucky enough to take a course from Lisa Cheney-Jorgensen, a very talented and friendly book artist currently residing in Idaho. She bravely journeyed south to Reno to hold a two day intensive on completing a multiple-signature artist book sewn on tapes and with headband technique. For those of you to whom that was a bunch of mumbo-jumbo take a look at the pictures below. 
Alphonse inspecting the new addition to our library and providing scale.
First off we bound our book with lovely Stonehenge watercolor paper, a nice solid 180lb which is thick but not quite as pillowy as a 220lb. This is a versatile paper great for inking, drawing, painting, watercolor, guache, and many other mixed media. I myself am not much of a mixed media artist but I do love ink and that's a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to machine milled paper. Stonehenge is a cotton fiber blend which gives it both longer fibers, therefore more durability, and more cushion to absorb the liquids I'll be inflicting upon her pages.

Fantastic pattern, very large, great for a big book like this.
The paper I chose for the cover is a multi-color block print gift wrap on a lokta-like substance. It's label claimed it was acid-free but even if that was untrue the color and pattern were so appealing I'd've used it anyway. I'm a particular fan of the floral motif interspersed with gold accents. Bling isn't really my style but gild, apparently, is. Since purchasing this paper I've neglected to use it because it was so pretty and I felt it deserved more than to be used as a disposable cover-up for someone else.
Love that lokta, and the thread!
Each signature's spine is strengthened by the addition of decorative paper. I used a Thai lokta marbled green and gold. I had brought a fantastic orange one as well but ended up selecting only the green. I felt that paper worked with the colors of the cover paper and the orange competed. In the shot above we can get a fair view of the headband - the waxed linen thread bridging the head of the cover in a lovely burgundy and supplying a little extra support and visual interest for the signatures and binding. This sewing technique was very difficult to understand but once mastered quite efficient. As much as I love the look of the headbands I don't think they'll be a regularly appearing technique. They take more time than the binding of the book itself and twice the thread. That being said I may keep it in my toolbox for special commissions or friend and family gifts instead of trying to sell them for profit.

Nice shot of the binding threads.
This is the best shot of the binding. The yellow ribbon are the "tapes" beneath the blue waxed linen thread and the beads with which we embellished the binding. Sewing on a "tape" lends further stability to a multiple signature binding than just the binding threads themselves.  What makes this an "artist book"? Well, for one it was created by an artist. Being bound, folded, and cased in by hand makes a difference, but the purpose is also to become a piece of art. My intention is to fill those pages with images, inspiration, and even finished work. Who knows if I'll ever do that, it's a very nice piece and during class we all discussed that we appreciated the books so much we didn't want to sully our newly pressed pages with art like ours.

In total it took over fifteen hours to bind the paper, complete the covers, attach the tapes, secure the beads, and strengthen and fold the signatures. It took another five hours to complete the head bands, and a few more to add finishing touches. Worthy of pride and praise, this book may be used only as an example for future projects but I'm glad to have completed it. I intend to complete several more for the holiday season, should time allow, but not for sale. A huge thanks to Lisa for making the trip down and bringing extra patience with her, to Candace Nicol for hosting the class, to my friends Penny and Carol for giving me a great deal on their beautiful hand made glass beads, and the lovely group of people who made up this weekend class.

You can buy books similar to this one as well as cards, prints, and framed art at the Indie Reno Holiday Show in just a couple of weeks! Free swag for the first 25 shoppers continues with the Indie Reno tradition, and we'll be full of cheer and beautiful locally hand made goods this year. I'd love to see you there! Don't forget to like Indie Reno on Facebook to keep up to date on our events.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Holiday Craft Fair

More art and photos to come soon, but a LOT  -  a seriously substantial number of prints - will be for sale during the next Indie Reno Holiday Fair. We'll be in Sparks this year, and are having a two day event. Please come on by and check us out, I'll have books, cards, prints and framed prints available. I am eliminating some of my collection so this is the time to avail yourself of my commitment to de-clutter the study.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Great Shows in Reno

"For Your Eyes Only" at the NMA
If you weren't able to attend the panels and discussions lead at the Nevada Museum of Art last Saturday then you missed a quick but well informed day of book arts, small press publication, and networking with local letterpress, printmaking, and art professionals. The show exhibiting some of the book art from the University of Nevada, Reno's special collections archive is still on display. Special collections at the University was curated by Bob Blesse of the Black Rock Press for nearly thirty years. Titled "For Your Eyes Only" this exhibit includes outstanding examples of artist books and book arts by local creators, including Professor Eunkang Koh, as well as nationally recognized book creators. This will be up through the end of the week and I highly recommend taking a look. These books run the gambit of structure, content, and image. A lovely little example of book arts.
"Undercurrents" by Bovey Lee
 Also at the Nevada Museum of Art is a collection of works by paper cut artist of Bovey Lee. Titled "Undercurrents" there are many intricate images carved in paper and beautifully suspended. If you've never had a chance to see this kind of paper cutting before this is a great time to go. Some of Lee's images depict slice-of-life scenes made majestic by the material, other images are ethereal and intriguing in subject matter alone.
"The Fox with the Golden Fur" Ultra Chocolates
If you like paper cuts get a load of The Fox with the Golden Fur. Seen through the G+ account of Lisa Cheney-Jorgensen, from whom I'll be taking a book arts workshop later this October.

This is chocolate packaging.

There are several different paper cut scenes for the different chocolates that come in a small package of chocolate. Each scene narrates a different moment of the story. I'm stunned, honestly, not just the effort but the precision of this project is exact and very impressive. I love the concept of the chocolate telling a story as it's unwrapped. Also, did you realize that each chocolate looks like a little story book? I'm in heaven over here.

While I'm here, let me tell you about the next show!

Tell me which paper cut piece you liked, ask about which of the panels I attended last weekend, or just drink and enjoy the fabulous Sierra Tap House. It'll be a great time and costumes are encouraged. This is all printed work by the Inkheads and is our third Halloween show as a group - last year almost 200 people came to Dickerson Road - we always rock the haus.

Sierra Tap House (Downtown Reno - West St.)
Thursday, October 25th 7-9pm

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Print Day with Friends

Sam pulling a print from "Madonna"

Many people have the time and money to devote hours and expense to their favorite hobbies. Viki LoSasso is one of those enthusiasts who does her best to keep up-to-date equipment and supplies for some of her favorite activities, one of which is printmaking. Her beautiful Ettan etching press is in need of occasional exercise and so every once in awhile she invites a few friends to take "Madonna" for a spin.

Sarah keeping things clean!
After a lovely day of printing we had a delicious meal accompanied by a very appropriate vintage. Good times were had by all!
Excellent stuff!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

After a Brisk Retreat

Long has this blog lain fallow. Languishing in the time I've spent on things less deserving, this site has twiddled it's thumbs and passed the time as any lonely html code may. Luckily I've begun to dust off my tomes and treasures so back into her lungs will I be breathing fresh air! And from this kiss of life I hope to find many new and wonderful creations.

Very soon I'll be meeting once more with my friends to print. Our group seldom meets more than once a month and I have pictures and stories of our last gathering. For now, however, I'd like to highlight the beauteous work of one Marina Terauds.
etching by Marina Terauds
First I saw her work connected to a book exposition, the Pyramid Atlantic Book Arts Fair, to be visited by the Corcoran College of Art and Design in the eastern United States. Here etchings have beautiful movements, deliberate focus, and are beautifully wiped. Seeing her images has re-kindled some of my own desire to etch!

Coming soon will be photos of my group's last meet up.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Getting By

My apologies for the lack of updates this summer. I've been busy at my full-time job and haven't made nearly enough time for my art. I get by with a little help from my friends, particularly Candace Nicol who is still teaching small size classes - I'm registered for a great "visiting artist" book arts class in October at her studio - and Vicki LoSasso who generously allows myself and a few friends to visit her lovely Madonna, a 26" Ettan etching press, once in a blue moon.

Coming soon are images of our last adventure in printmaking with Vicki, Sarah, and Sam!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

La Calacas Press Print Exchange

Very excited to be accepted for the second La Calaca Press International Print Exchange, curated by Carlos Barberena. Despite a mishap or two the generous Senor Barberena accepted my edition! See the list of accepted artists here at the Press' blog. Sneak peek pictures will be here soon.

My next exchange isn't due until August - the Green Door Studios IPE 2012 - but in the mean time I have the artisan craft show with Indie Reno, my Etsy team, on Sunday, June 24th. Just printed a bunch of posters to get the word out about this and look forward to making things for the fair. It will be at the Holland Project space in Reno and looks to be lots of fun!
Calaca Riendo sneaks a peek at you!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Book Arts Display - See it Soon!

The fabulous Rachel Armstrong, who works with the Sheppard and MacNamara Galleries on campus, generously allowed me to display my book and box making skills in the Joe Crowley Student Union at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Sneak peek!

In addition to several books and boxes there are letterpress and relief printed works on display.

Wednesday, May 23rd this will be coming down, so if you're in Reno stop by the JCSU to see what I've been doing.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sketching for Calacas

My submission for the Calacas print exchange is due at the end of this month. I'm deciding what methods I'd like to use for my print. Intaglio is unarguably my favorite printing method right now, but I worry that a plexiglass intaglio plate wouldn't have the resilience to print an edition of at least 12. Nevertheless I've been doing some sketching.

These complimentary color combinations are really juicing me up for a multi-color print. I may play around with multiple plate or a la poupie for this edition. Thanks to Vicki for her loan of fine-tip Sharpie brand markers! So bright and full of ink!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Print Exchanges!

My lovely Calaca print was created for the CALACAS Exchange, curated by the wonderful Carlos Barbarena of La Calaca Press. It was one of the best exchanges to which I've submitted and I am lucky enough to be working on another print for the second iteration of this exchange!

So much fun!
 Last year I signed up for Maria Arango Diener's City of the World wood block puzzle print project. I'm very excited to see that they have done printing and are getting ready to ship out the results! Taking part in opportunities like this are really rewarding artistically. Here is a peek of the blocks all arranged together.
UPDATE: Just got a notification that this print has shipped! Can't wait to see it in person.

Thanks so much for Maria's patience and willingness to collaborate!
I look forward to signing up for more exchanges this summer!
UPDATE: My package finally arrived! Five beautiful panels of relief prints from around the country. Thanks again to Maria for allowing me to participate. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Southern Graphics Conference International: 2012

This year I was able to attend the seminal printmaking conference in the United States - the Southern Graphics Conference International. To attend one must be a member of the Conference which generously allows students to participate at reduced prices. The convention was held in New Orleans, Louisiana and ended last week. For five days printmakers from across the nation and the world met to discuss techniques, learn about new opportunities for education and employment, and discuss products with industry vendors. A unique opportunity to view and explore the art of others arrived in the Open Portfolio sessions. There were five hour-long sessions of about 100 artists during each session. Students, graduate students, post-grad printmakers, and professors or professional printmakers all participated in the open portfolio displaying a wide range of art.

I purchased a beautifully printed journal from the expressive Firecracker Press, art from several student printers, and was given some lovely samples by Hanco Ink and Arches Print Papers. My favorite experience from the conference was probably the open portfolios or the vendor and publisher fairs. I was able to meet and speak with a variety of people in different places professionally from students, masterprinters, professors, and publishers as well as those who were just invested in printmaking as a hobby or expression of work outside their professional careers.

The best part of the experience as a whole was traveling with the printmakers from Reno. As many people as we met we really had the best time hanging out with each other after the conference and other activities concluded for the day. Ashlea Clark was indispensable, the trip would not have come together without her organization, leadership, and fundraising abilities. Alana Berglund, Jesse Green, and Andy Gallian also attended.  Alana is responsible for my showing experience at the Sierra Tap House in Reno. Our teacher, Eunkang Koh, a current professor at the University of Nevada, Reno was also present and had several beautiful pieces showing in a couple of events through SGC. here recent work has included some fascinating book art prints.
My Portfolio Review at SGC 2012

There were two book exchanges in which I was asked to participate so I look forward to learning more about them and thinking about the books I might create. For now my book arts are on display at the University's Joe Crowley Student Union. They will be coming down at the end of this week.

Two part box now on display at the JCSU

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Nevada Museum of Art: Second Saturday and Faculty Display

Join me today, Saturday March 10th, for the only day admission is free at the Nevada Museum of Art this month! Come see their beautiful exhibits and meet some of the E.L. Cord Museum School faculty, including myself. I will be demonstrating intaglio and relief techniques for my upcoming one-day workshops.

At the Nevada Museum of Art
Today, March, 10th
160 West Liberty

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Book Arts Solo Show

Currently working on a number of pieces that will be displayed in the Joe Crowley Student Union on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno. Going up next week will be a series of boxes and books as well as a number of prints all created by me! Only a few days until installation, so I am pushing my nose to the grindstone.

Special thanks to Katy Govan for the beautiful boxmaking workshop she allowed me to attend last week. Was able to use the most amazing bookcloth from Colophon Book Art Supply. Hoping to order some of that for my next series of art books.

a taste of my theme for the book arts display

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Spring is Sprung

Can't tell you how excited I am to be attending the Southern Graphics Conference International in New Orleans, Louisiana in March.

The Sierra Tap House has also made my show a great experience, they are really considerate and supportive of the local artist here in Reno.

Coming up in just over a week is a show going up at the Joe Crowley Student Union on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno - my alma mater. Not only prints but some of my book art creations will be on display. Keep up to date on this and other projects by checking the Happenings tab.

Did I mention that I have a couple of classes coming up? Check the Nevada Museum of Art's website to find out about their current Tiffany's Glass exhibit and sign up for either my Intaglio or Relief printmaking classes.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Solo Show: Update

Come down tonight to see my work!
After the stress of preparing everything for the show I'm so excited to be at the reception tonight. The Sierra Tap House has been so generous to let me show in their space. At first I was dubious about showing in a bar, but I've been to the Tap House before and I know it has great energy. After this experience I can't recommend them highly enough, if you look at the update they just posted on their Facebook I think you'll understand why:

Tonight at the Tap House starting at 6pm and going to whenever, we are hosting the Art Opening for Reno's own, and very talented, Rachel Kaiser! Come on down and check out her thoughts, forms, creations and talents tonight! We'll have some free munchables as well as our usual and oh so incredible $5 Thursday's Food Special. This means all menu items are $5+ Nevada's humble sales tax. That aint all though, y'all. I've got some bad-ass drink specials for you as well. $2 Pabst bottles. $3 House Cab and House Chard, and we serve Cycles Gladiator as our House wine...so it's crazy legit! Then I made a special fruity yet powerful special martini that I'm calling the "Skeletini" in honor of Rachel's show tonight. If you're wondering why it's named the "Skeletini", then, well, you'll have to cruise on down and check out the Gallery! I'll See you tonight at Sierra Tap House!!!!! Word.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Solo Show

Well it's certainly been long enough! I must admit the holidays hit me like a tonne of bricks and it's taken awhile to sift through the rubble. Gleaning the repairable bits, and  friendship with the amazing Alana Berglund, has landed me a solo show at the Sierra Tap House in downtown Reno, Nevada.

a sneak preview!
Belt and Braces: A Print Show
Art by Rachel Kaiser
at the Sierra Tap House
253 West 1st Street  Reno

Thursday, February 16th

Meet me in person, drink great beer, and see my work. Warning, this art will feature skeletons. I know that comes as a huge surprise to those of you who've been reading my blog since last summer. This show I'm taking as a turning point in my artistic focus. I became heavily entrenched in concepts of validation and subject matter. Those concerns moved me to a very tenuous place and I've decided, both consciously and subconsciously, that I can no longer afford to invest myself so thoroughly in what other people take seriously. Belt and Braces is about letting go, yes the title is ironic and the subject matter is a little too. Anatomy, skeletons, and the idea of copying and reproducing have been present while I dealt with many different issues last year. The concept of building blocks -  upon those slim bones are hung the rest of your body and soul - and the idea of fundamentals - it all goes back to anatomy - are things I needed to work on, they are things in which I still find comfort. 

The time for comfort has passed.

There will be no resolution written here, nor any insubstantial fluff about my commitment to improving my work. Instead I will write simply that I aim to produce. What is the result of my production may be uncanny, childlike, serious, or macabre but it won't really matter if it doesn't jive. Perhaps that's the nature of my work - things trying desperately to fit together, trying so hard that they are making their own adhesive out of hair and using friction to stimulate a melting of the pieces that won't fit. We'll have to see, for now - skeletons!