Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lithos on an etching press!

One of the amazing things that I learned at Mariel's workshop was that litho plates can be printed on an etching press! And, the CAC, where I teach, has all the stuff needed to process and print this way, so part of my Christmas break (I'm finally, finally done for the semester) will be spent getting set up to make lithos. I'd post the litho that I made at the workshop, but it just stinks out loud. This coming semester should allow me more time to draw and print, and I'm really looking forward to it.
I also have all of the drawings for my second quilt well under way. I'll post them assembled very soon.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mariel's workshop

Mariel, my wonderful printmaking professor at Kendall (KCAD) held a workshop in litho this weekend. I spent all of yesterday printing a really awful print, but learning and remembering tons about lithography. It was kind of a refresher course, and Mariel is in such a state of discovery in litho, that there was a sense of exploration and problem solving in the workshop.
I follow the blog of Alicia Wierschke, a classmate of mine. Alicia was at the workshop, too, and provided excellent advice on procedures. She's a good teacher. Her blog is called Art of Alicia Wierschke. She is quite faithful about documenting her art life (which is considerable, since she is a full time MFA grad student in printmaking.
This workshop was the most fun I've had all semester.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Il Baccio

For IF: Afterward, she kissed him goodbye.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Be Careful What You Wish For

For IF: She could savour it more, if she weren't in such a hurry to eat!

I just saw the film Eat, Pray, Love, and in the Italy portion of the film (Eat), the Italians tell her that Americans don't take time to savour anything. I think they are right, and we'd be better off it we could.

This little drawing was the result of two class demos on using charcoal. It started with a pair of eyes and a ball and progressed into this.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Changed My Mind

Because this image has toys, and because I can make it the same size and format as the first one, I've decided to change the image for the next quilt to this one. It is from a painting called Dreamer in Training, and comes from my asking my son what he dreamed about in the mornings when he was a little boy. (It feels so odd, that he really isn't little anymore; he's a big boy of 12!) He sometimes said he dreamed of Thomas the Tank Engine, and so this came about. After a few conversations with Kendall folks, I've decided to drop the cat and add a train car, but this is basically the drawing for my next quilt. So far, I've drawn 6 of the panels, which I'll post soon.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Next quilt

I'm deciding between these two designs for my next quilt. Both are based on older paintings; Scaffold on the right and Dreamer in Training on the Left. I'm leaning toward the Dreamer image, because it matches Mrs. so well, and they can be the same size and about the same scale. Nice to have a choice.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

What I learned at Ox-Bow

I just finished a paper containing the information and techniques of lithography that I learned in Mark Pascale's class last summer. I'm going to try to make it available here, just in case, you know, you happen to have a litho lab in your garage and want to know how to use it. I learned all of the stuff in the paper in one week. Wow.

The News

I do have a new image to post, but not today, since I left it at school. It's a little charcoal drawing that is a result of a demo I did for my students.

The news is that the quilt is in ArtPrize, at the YMCA just off the Pearl Street exit on 131S.

And, I passed my "first-year" review at Kendall. Now I can really get busy on the work of the semester.

I'll post the drawing soon.

Monday, September 13, 2010


For IF: This quilt has roots in the story Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift. Perhaps it can cause a little Deja Vu about the story.

Here it is: Mrs. Swift Learns to Speak Boy. What a marathon this was! On to the next one!

Quilting bee!

The are images from our first quilting bee, held at the Rankin Center Art Gallery on August 23, 2010. Thanks to Marian Sakalauskas, Karen Stanislav, Tim Eldred, Mariel Versluis and her talented niece Clover, Carrie Weis and Diane Cleland for all their hard work!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Summer of Printmaking

For IF: I'm posting Tokyo Subway for this week's topic, which is artificial, for the light in the subway.

Since I last posted, I've been to Japan and South Korea, and briefly attended woodcut workshops in both, and I just got back from an intense week of learning lithography at Ox-Bow, with a wizard named Mark Pascale, who is also the curator of prints and drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago. I learned a ton, and found out that litho is mysterious, an almost alchemical process that is a big puzzle. I probably won't be able to leave it alone, now that the puzzle has been posed to me. I made two prints, one is a simple litho crayon drawing of a scene I saw over and over in Japan and Korea: salary men in dark suits, nodding off on their commute on the subway. The next is a tusche and crayon drawing. The image floated before my eyes shortly after I found out about the puzzle of litho. The title, "Looking for the Ding Dong Daddy" comes from the name of an intense acid wash of 36 drops of nitric acid to an ounce of gum arabic. A normal acid solution is about 8 drops. Mark told us that the term comes from a San Francisco cable car conductor who had a distinctive bell ring, and it was adopted by an artist who named the etch after him. I'm going to look this up again, to make sure I have my facts straight. Novice that I am, the tusche wash is very light, and the image looks a little burned out. But, oh, well. Live and learn. I have a feeling I'm at the beginning of another very long journey.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Close up

For IF: Birds are Prehistoric, right?

This is a close-up of the tessellation I used for my printed paper quilt, Mrs.Swift Learns to Speak Boy. It is a hand-colored photogravure print, and was used as the border for the quilt. If you'd like to see the whole thing, it is posted here:
This is how far I am: the tessellations have been sewn together and hand colored, but they are not yet sewn to the quilt face. I'm off to Japan and S. Korea tomorrow, so when I get back, I can finish it up. Then, I'll make paper for the batting and we can have our first quilting bee!

I'm so excited: while I'm in Kyoto, I'm going to a printing class taught by Michigan native and Japanese trained printmaker Richard Steiner. Can't wait!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Quilt Face

Here it is; not perfect, but the panels are in place. Above is the tessellation, which will form the border of the quilt. I'll make paper this summer for the batting, and I'll use the dark brown unryu for the backing.

I'm going to replace three strips; one medium value and two light values. I'll buy you a beer if you can figure out which ones.

So much for wabi sabi.

I'm also going to post this for IF's topic this week, which is cocoon. Because quilts are like cocoons, right?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Drawing for the quilt

Here is the completed drawing for the paper quilt I'm working on. It measures 28" x 40". Quilt blocks are on their way.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


This is the drawing I will use to make the prints that will be the border for my paper quilt. Looks like I might want to boost the contrast!

Friday, January 1, 2010


For IF: The dictionary refers to a phenomenon as an extraordinary event. My ears visibly cracking because of my headphones, would be a phenomenon.