25 October 2011

Print Raffle 2011

Every year, in conjunction with "Print Fair North" open studios, Zea Mays Printmaking in Florence, MA, holds a print raffle to benefit the Ruth Chalfin Memorial Scholarship Fund. The fund allows individuals who have financial constraints to take printmaking classes.

There are some great prints this year, including two works by Barry Moser, an internationally recognized illustrator and master wood engraver. Also included is my Blessings Kite print (seen at left) and works by studio member artists Anne Beresford, Liz Chalfin, Scott McDaniel, Pam Crawford, Meredith Broberg, Lyell Castonguay, Maya Malachowski Bajak, Lilly Periera, Claudia Sperry, and Joyce Silverstone.

The raffle prints can all be seen at this link. Tickets cost $10 each or 3 for $25. You can buy as many tickets as you want, and can direct them all towards one print, or spread them out over several. Tickets can be purchased in person during studio hours or, if you're from out of town, by phone.

The drawing will be November 13, 2011.

19 October 2011


Japanese-method woodblock (moku hanga)
Image size: 35" x 21" (89 x 53 cm)
Paper size: 38.5" x 25" (98 x 63.5 cm)
2 shina plywood blocks, 1 birch block
10 hand-rubbed color layers
Paper: Shikoku White
Edition: 5

Car image is from a news photo of a burned-out automobile in Iraq.
Smoke design is adapted and enlarged from design on the back of a U.S. dollar bill. __________________________________

I meant to invoke all the money that the United States has wasted on war for the past 10 years, but as I worked with the image I began to see other meanings as well -- the money we spend to maintain our petroleum culture, the collapse of the auto industry, the costs of both war and oil relative to our environment. Maybe there's more. I'm trying not to over-think this series, trying to follow my initial self-assignment of using a dollar bill as my starting point and allow images that appeal to me to be just that -- images that appeal to me. This one felt right.

On a technical note, and this is one of the big drawbacks of publicly blogging my process, many of my fellow printmakers commented on the beautiful wood grain that appeared in the smoke after four layers of brown. I hadn't expected that, but I liked it and I was upset and conflicted when it disappeared upon adding the carved dollar design. It was a really hard decision for me to go ahead with the carved design, but I felt that without it the piece didn't say what I wanted it to say. I wanted to talk about money, not wood grain and not woodblock printing. So the wood grain is gone. And if I hadn't blogged it, you would never have known it was there… At least now I know how to control -- and not control -- wood grain. Always learning.

The other thing I'm grappling with is that I started Loaded, this series about money, on July 7 and on September 17 Occupy Wall Street began. I like to tackle topics that are timely, but this is maybe a little too timely. I feel a lot of pressure now. Yet here I am.

Here's the series so far:

16 October 2011

Lots of Brown

BrownSmoke Last week I added four layers of brown to my "Smoke" print. One more layer to go and the print will be finished. I think.

11 October 2011

Show in Worcester MA

Two of my prints, Borders #1: U.S./Mexico (left) and Borders #2: Great Wall (right), have been accepted into a show at Worcester State University called The Global Perspective. I'm also happy to announce that Great Wall has received an Honorable Mention from the judges. The recently remodeled Worcester State Gallery features 2500 square feet of exhibit space and is building a reputation as a primary gallery for arts in central Massachusetts. I'll be attending the opening on Thursday, October 20, 2011 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and I hope if you live in the area you'll join me!

The Global Perspective: Understanding the Past, Looking to the Future
Ghosh Science and Technology Building, First Floor
Worcester State University
486 Chandler Street
Worcester, Mass

Opening reception, Thursday, October 20, 6-8 pm

Gallery hours: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday 1-4 pm
On view September 11 – December 2