Friday, August 14, 2015

Recent Non-traditional prints

It still surprises me sometimes that I became a printmaker. I like to experiment and traditional printmaking can become tedious and by definition... repetitive. I branch out and produce prints using experimental or nontraditional techniques.

The Antithesis of Mud - Letterpress / Smoke trails 
Statement on the four elements. Mud is made of earth and water, smoke is made of water and fire.

Bound Crow - Relief / Skimming / Collage 
When I am printing relief and stencils I will sometimes flip the plate over and run a ghost print in positive and negative. 

Communist Crow - Relief / Stencil   
I acquired a Russian book published in 1956. I have no idea what it is really about but the maps and diagrams look like old weather patterns. I tear out the pages and print on them. This was a spur of the moment print when I was working on a different crow series and used the crow plate as a stencil on a black plate just to see what it would look like. The the the star was just a little plate sitting around on my table. 

Spiritual Truths - Relief / Letterpress / Collage    
Not as much experimental as a combination of techniques. The yellow and lace are each separate relief runs and the skull and text are letterpress. The purple band is collaged and the diamonds are stenciled. Jewels have been used to symbolize spiritual truths. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Week in St. Louis - Printbangerz Ball Re-cap

   Printbangerz 3 - St. Louis

After a rough start at the St. Louis airport the trip to Printbangerz Ball 3 was great. I met Carlos Hernandez and Oscar Gillespie for the first time. Most workshops at Evil Prints are week long affairs but these were each two day workshops for the first time. Tom Huck, the instructors and the participants were well pleased with two days. 

    Carlos demonstrating

Tom Huck

    Custom designed Takach presses

Engraved logo

The BIG Takach press    

Oscar showing how difficult it is to be a printmaker.

    Oscar's portfolio presentation

Tom has some really kick-ass assistants that were invaluable help. I can’t remember all of the names so I’ll just show their work unidentified. The prints I did were OK but nothing really special. Sometimes it is hard to learn new techniques and make high art at the same time but I will definitely continue with the methods. I did print a second silkscreen, Soul, that is worth showing though.

Workshop gig poster    

Workshop gig poster

Soul - Craig Burkhalter, silkscreen "mash up"

On Wednesday we went to the St. Louis Art Museum and had a close up, private look at some of their print collection. We were treated to Rembrandt, Durer, Kollwitz, Goya and others. I had seen master prints before but these were unframed, original editions in mint condition with a curator for any questions or information. Saturday night was Scratchfest Art Show and Sale at The Atomic Cowboy. This is a show made up of the participants of the workshop and the Outlaw Printmakers group in memory of a fellow printer, Bob Reuter.

The Three Trees - Rembrandt

From Many Wounds You Bleed, O People - Kollwitz

Outlaw Printmakers, St Louis

Friday, July 24, 2015

Some Printmakers I Like

There is an intimacy to prints that I really enjoy. I have many prints hanging on my walls but I also like to pull my collected ones out of my flat files to hold them and look at them. Most print collectors I know feel the same. The tactile sense of holding them is great and feels one step closer to the artist. In contrast to the intimacy of holding a print there is the whole dissemination of knowledge concept that is inherent in distribution of multiples. Whether printing a daily newspaper or limited edition etchings the concept is the same only on different scales.

Printmakers are generally a gregarious group. I never met one that didn’t welcome other printmakers into their studios, share techniques and want to hear about new stuff. Check out the facebook page SHOW ME YOUR PRINT SHOP. Neat-o stuff. There are several connected with this area I am particularly fond of. I urge you to check them out whenever you can.

Hannah and Blake Sanders are both incredible printmakers and often merge into one entity during workshops and projects. They are located in Cape Girardeau, MO. and Hannah teaches at Southeastern Missouri State University. Hannah is from Macon and the daughter of Meg Campbell. Several years ago Hannah showed eight foot woodcuts from her MFA thesis show at the Arts Exchange. At the same time Blake was showing his dinosaur woodcuts at the 567 Gallery. Their work can be humorous and biting political statements at the same time.

Hannah Sanders - Story Map #4

Hannah Sanders - Stolen Pride

Blake Sanders - Our Summer Adventure

Blake Sanders - Frog

Chris Johnson is another printer we showed at the Exchange. His large scale woodcuts are great. He is a professor at Andrew College in Cuthbert, GA. I met Chris when he exhibited at the Arts Exchange. I immediately fell in love with his work. For the first One City Art Festival each participating gallery selected one artist for the invitational exhibit, I chose Chris for the Exchange. He also participated in a group printmaking show at Macon Arts curated by Heatherly Wakefield. I don’t know if he has a website but his facebook page has some good photos.

Christopher Johnson - Horse Block

Christopher Johnson - Crow

Jason Frost is Modern Giant Design. His studio is right below mine at the Exchange. He prints T-shirts, stickers and other items but is best known for his concert posters. His sense of design is great and his craftsmanship is top notch. He has a hard core DIY philosophy. He needs new equipment…. he builds it when possible. He has designed and produced posters for Moon Taxi, Tame Impala, Big Head Todd and the Monsters and the BBC among others.

Jason Frost - Chuck Leavell 

Jason Frost - Black Lips

Art Werger was the printmaking professor at Wesleyan College when I met him. He is acknowledged as being one of the top five etchers in the world. He has produced the largest etchings I’ve ever seen, seven feet long. His attention to detail is incredible. The color work in his cityscapes and swimming pool series is very impressive but his mezzotint work is phenomenal also. Besides being a professor at Ohio University he is an extremely prolific artist also. One of my favorite series is The Seven Affordable Sins.
Art Werger - Muse

Art Werger - Contemplation

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

New Color Prints

A large portion of my prints is social or political in nature. Some of it has been produced as guerilla art, some as exhibition works and some as personal, never intended for showing. After so much yelling, screaming and poking fun at our illustrious leaders I find I have to take a break and catch my breath. The prints I have been working on are much more based on the formal aspects of art with many having a symbolic theme to the images. I’ve used color throughout my career but these latest prints are really bright. The prints are on a small format that gives them an intimate feel. I am using a combination of techniques; including relief, stencil, letterpress, and collage. The editions are very small usually four and an artist proof.

Attribute of Apollo – Relief / Collage / Type / Thread

Cannon Fodder – Relief / Stencil / Letterpress

Considered a Messenger – Relief / Stencil / Letterpress / Acrylic

Denotes Accumulation – Relief / Type / Collage

From My Studio Window – Relief / Stencil

Profound Yearning – Relief / Letterpress / Collage / Thread

Weather Patterns in the Soviet Union Mid-Twentieth Century
     Relief / Letterpress / Collage