Sunday, August 10, 2014

Paper in Action - Peace Lantern Festival

I was a late arrival to last night's Bay Area Peace Lantern Ceremony, held on the 69yth anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki. These photos aren't the greatest, shot only with my phone. However, it's always exciting to see paper-based community events! (Ok, and with my boat obsession, FLOATING PAPER!!!)

I was working on a grant application recently, writing about how my studio work as a papermaker is this act of standing up against hegemony. It struck me that to most people, paper is this ubiquitous thing, easily discarded or recycled, and yet that most people intuitively understand that it has a certain delicacy. Due to the choices to make something by hand, to manipulate something that is fragile and easily destroyed, the incredible time commitment of it all, that this take on it might be a little hard to understand.

To me, it is this response to and affect on light where the art of paper gets its power. These lanterns were made of rather cheap drawing paper, but when illuminated and floated on the water, the viewing experience is transformative. Their power comes from their delicate simplicity. It conveys a quietude that invites a viewer to pause, to catch their breathe, to feel a sense of awe.

In the context of last night, it was all that was needed.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Workshop in Half Moon Bay!

Last weekend I went across the water and "over the hill" to teach Pulp Painting at Judy Shintani's Kitsune Community Studio in Half Moon Bay. Outside her studio, her neighbor had lovely garden, much which was watered that day with our leftover water. Part of the garden was the amazing hanging cabbage garden above.

As we were setting up, one of the two studio cats, Winky, decided to get comfortable on Reed's station.

However we were soon off to a very productive day.

Reed did some interesting experiments with veil pulp and thread - laying thread down before the veil layer, then pulling it away to create a negative mark.

I even got to play! I left the thread in this piece and a few like it; it made me think of rhumb lines. I did trim the ends after the paper dried.

It was a warm, sunny day, and as we wound down, I think Lisa's piece below summed up what we were all thinking.

Before heading back to the East Bay, several of us stopped to see Judy's show at Harbor Books and Gallery. This picture really doesn't do the pieces justice - they are powerful and sublime.

Both Judy and Reed took some great photos - you can see them here and here respectively. It was one of those workshops that left me exhausted and exhilarated; so much so that Robert commented on it when I got home. For me, it was fulfilling to work with a small group of very interested (and interesting!) people. And of course, to talk papermaking all day.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Upcoming Workshops Summer 2014

Pulp Painting at Kitsune Community Art Studio!
Studio of Artist Judy Shintani, 514 Kelly Ave, Half Moon Bay, CA
July 27, 10 AM - 4 PM
$80 Covers class fee and all materials

Join us in July to learn the basics of making handmade paper in the European tradition. Students will learn the basics, from dry fiber to sheet formation, as well as techniques for embellishing bare sheets into works of art using a technique called Pulp Painting. Pulp painting uses finely beaten paper pulp that can act almost like paint to make brilliant imagery in handmade paper. When dried, the painting is an actual part of the paper, which can stand alone or be transformed further through drawing, printing, traditional painting, or whatever you can think of for a mixed media creation. This class will cover various pulp painting techniques including direct painting, stencils, collage inclusions, and other means of pulp-based mark-making. Techniques for making paper at home will also be discussed. No experience necessary. Limited to 6 participants. Please bring a lunch.

After the workshop, consider enjoying a walk on the beautiful beaches of Half Moon Bay!

To pay and register for this workshop, please follow this link. Enrollment limited to six participants.

Handmade Paper and Pulp Painting
Gualala Arts Center, 46501 Gualala Road, Gualala, CA
August 2, 2013 10 AM - 4 PM

$100 Members, $115 Non-members, $20 materials fee
Join us in beautiful Northern California to learn the basics of making paper by hand! Students will learn to form sheets in the European tradition, and to embellish these sheets using finely beaten pulp in a technique called pulp painting. No prior experience necessary. To learn more about this workshop, visit here.

To register for this workshop, please call the Gualala Arts Center at 707-884-1138.

Please note, these are wet classes. Please wear shoes and clothing that can get wet.

Friday, July 4, 2014

"Hallowed Grounds," Upcoming Solo Exhibition in Michigan

Happy 4th! It's been a hectic week, getting stuff ready for the my upcoming show! It runs from July 21-September 19 in the Baber Room Gallery at Central Michigan University. There will be an opening reception on Monday, July 21, from 2-4 PM.

Today, however, I'm off to Redwood Canyon for a picnic day with friends, a dog, sun, and trees!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Visit to the Wounded General and more!

Two weeks ago, Robert and I finally made it out to see Heather's studio and her gallery, The Wounded General, out in Point Reyes Station.

It's a small space, but is doing rather well. While we were there, there was even a surprise encounter with Anne Beck, who happened to wander in!

Heather's work is influenced by 19th Century Art, narrative, wordplay, and playfulness, in paint, prints, and textiles (in addition to being a poet!) The image directly below is part of a series that she is doing in response to the Bayeux Tapestry. She described it as a woman's story of survival compared to a male story of conquest.

The Wounded General also features work from local Marin County artists, and a few familiar East Bay folks - like the Don and Era Farnsworth piece centered on the wall below:

Other works:

After a lunch at Marin Sun Farms, Robert and I popped into Gallery Route One, a space I've driven by many a time but until now had never wandered in. In their Project Space, there was an exhibition called, Disappearing Act, Our Role in Species Extinction, with works by Marie-Luise Klotz and Xander Weaver-Scull. I was very excited to see Weaver-Scull's 30 foot long accordion book, printed with stencils:

Not only a pretty cool piece, a helluva way to display it.

Every time I visit Point Reyes, I feel like I could live there happily, if I only had a paying job that could keep me in plenty of cheese from Cowgirl Creamery. Right now, it's way, way too long of a commute for me.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Work continues

Above, I finally organized the beater corner of the studio. Efficiently using the wall space around Dulcinea, check! Below, papermaking viewed from the loft.

Work continues on Future Tense.

So far, invasive plants that have been used are French broom (Genista monspessulana), pampas grass (Cortaderia jubata) and ice plant (Carpobrotus chilensis).

In addition to making the paper, printing continues.

I am enchanted by the fibers of the handmade paper viewed through the negative spaces in the printed image.

When I started this artist book, which technically was years ago, finishing seemed a faraway, near impossible task. Yet lately, it seems to be rolling along, and I am excited by the progression.