Saturday, August 30, 2014
Saturday, August 23, 2014
For this printmaker, it seemed appropriate that Oakland's 2014 Printmakers' Picnic took place on my birthday. It happened in Mosswood Park, and I had to restrain myself from running up to complete strangers all excited like, because these were my people, ya know?
The event was fairly straightforward; any printmaker was welcome to come, set up a blanket and vend their prints. Since it was a sunny afternoon with everyone catching whatever shade they could, these phone pictures aren't that great. Click on any of them for a larger image.
Overall, it had that DIY/DIT atmosphere that I love, yet always makes me a little wistful for Philly.
The artist that first really stood out for me was Bernadette Martinez of Artery Press. While eavesdropping (rather obviously, I think), she was discussing carving the repetitive detail that's present in many of her pieces. She said that often, she must carve all the detail in the same go, even if she wants to rest, because the consistency of mark will change if she stops and starts.
A pair of printmakers, Sanaa Khan and Deena Hashem were vending together. I was first drawn to their blanket by Deena's large, intricately patterned woodcuts.
Sanaa's work seemed related in content, but more searching and youthful. I wondered if they shared a studio or went to school together; the similarities in their work had the feel of the intimacy and influence of overlapping space and time.
Another printmaker who caught my eye was Kate Klingbeil. What drew me over to her blanket were her lithographs, full of delicate, marvelous tusche washes. (I miss litho).
She also had a clever series of prints that were adhered to magnets - I think she said these were monoprints? (Kate, if you ever read this - please confirm!)
Zines and artist books abounded at this event. Two that stood out to me were by Alyssa Townsend. The first was Grave Transportation.
The second was A Vivacious Vixen's Divine Doodads and Nifty Necessities for a Rock n' Roll.
There was much more printed matter than this blog post can contain. The whole event had a slight tendency towards controlled chaos, with wind trying to blow papers away and the occasional dog running across someone's work. At the same time, it gave me chills.
I was happy to see a real mix of techniques and methods - for edgy, anarchy events like this, often screen print dominates. It was also great to learn that day about some independent print shops in Oakland of which I was unfamiliar - places like Team Print Shop, Tiny Splendor, Rise Above Graphics, and Max's Garage Press (ok, that last one's in Berkeley).
Which has made me consider - in the wake of SGCI, and events like this, I'm considering putting together a list of artist print shops in the Bay Area. In Philly, we had Philagrafika which served as an umbrella organization to bring everyone together. Seriously, printmakers in Philly are like a family. I don't have the money or time to start a nonprofit, but I can do a webpage list, and periodically update it. It's a start.
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Sunday, August 10, 2014
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
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.