Thursday, December 20, 2007

Flick! 3.0.2

Flick!
The amazing art database has just updated
the program from the 2.8 version.

Check it out HERE

You can download a trial version.
Once you purchase... upgrades are free.
At $29.95 how can you not! It's an easy to use tool that tracks clients, art work, galleries, inventory, sales and much more. I can't recommend it highly enough. I've got 500 works entered and counting. I'm in love.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

At last, the rain

The plants on my stoop are finally getting what they want... rain. It has been too long since our last good soaking in Southern California. Many had feared yet another extremely dry winter. The fact that we have some weather in December gives rise to hopes that there may be a relatively wet winter in our near future, a much needed wet winter indeed.

I have been spending my time elfing in my studio, printing cards for new year's wishes and holiday greetings. My desk is a mess of failed attempts and a few successes. I am midway through and have another 40 cards yet to print. Happily, I made the decision years ago to send New Year tidings which takes some of the pressure from the already stress induced holiday energy.


Still, the rain pitter pats on my skylights and a hot cup of tea keeps me company as this wee elf continues on.

Friday, December 14, 2007

NEW on Etsy

I just added two new items to my etsy shop. New 5x7" blank folded cards newly arrived from the printer.

One listing is a set of 5 of the same image, the image is of the painting Sentinel 02. The other listing is a set of 3 with all different paintings represented.

Check them out HERE.




Thursday, December 13, 2007

Holiday Making

Finally out of bed and back in the studio after 7 very long days. My boredom of chicken soup and hot rice cereal helped me get better. It's wonderful to be eating something more colorful and tasty for certain. Two furry beasts are happy that I'm better, it was a long week for them as well, patient though they were.




Now the dilemma of holiday cards and gifts. With the lost 7 days I don't know if there will be enough time to make all that I had dreamed of making, perhaps with some late nights I should be able to make something!

In the end, I'm just grateful for my health and wagging tails.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Laying Low


All has been quiet this week recovering from the flu bug ... or flug. The furry beasts were all nestled in, patiently waiting for me to rise. It has been 5 days on the couch and the clouds are at last parting. I see light and sunshine calling me outside. Slowly, moving, eating, more sleeping and plenty of tail wagging.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

An image at last

I have been trying to figure out a way to photograph the new print with embossing. At last I figured out that the natural sunlight and shadows would give me the best image. Taking a photo of white on white is difficult, especially when the line work is detailed.

Here it is, one of my experiments with the combination solar plate and borco board embossing, all printed together on the press at one time.



When I print again I will document the process and substrate so that it's easier to see what I've done.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Wednesday's Worktable


I have been working daily with my small printed images, making many plates with a variety of matrices using the same drawings of my jasmine vine.

The process can be a long one before even getting to the printing of the image. It's hard to know if what I have will work, definitely one of the pluses AND minuses of printing.
















Sometimes I just want to see color and results. This past weekend I pulled out my old tray of gouache..... an old Pelikan, double tray, school set that I bought years ago to play with. It's actually quite good for being student grade.

















I made copies of some of the prints and then used a Chartpak blender pen to transfer the image into my sketchbook, applied Frisket to the areas I wanted to keep clean and then went at the images with my paint. Happiness is color.

This was a means of instant gratification, color study for future prints and a nice way to spend an afternoon.

Seurat at MOMA


Inspiration for the day.....

Seurat sketchbooks at MOMA in New York.

View them online HERE


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Variations on a theme

A carving in Borco board of the undergrowth images.... this matrix is like working with unmounted linoleum only it's thinner.... this makes it easy to mix the solar plates on the same printed paper without worrying about differences in thickness.


Vellum placed over the carving block , using a water soluble pencil this image was created like a rubbing....
This image is one of my carvings scanned into photoshop then inverting the black and white. I then printed out the image on acetate and made a solar plate for an etching.

These three images are the actual plates... prints will be shown once they are dry.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

technicolor undergrowth


I'm still working with the images of the jasmine vines, making many varied color studies, embossings and solar plate variations. The more test plates that are made, the more convinced I am to make a patch work quilt style print with all the myriad of plates on one sheet of paper.

These two images were printed with four plates, inked in four colors, placed side by side on the press and run through twice. It sounds more complicated than it is, printmaking is an interesting medium with endless variations on a theme. It is always my goal in printing to explore colors and textures while mining one subject for all it's worth.

How it translates into my painting you ask? Firstly, the instant gratification of making a brush mark on the panel is ever so much more satisfying after a frustrating day at the press. You see, the printing process can deliver many, many duds before the treasure is discovered in the just right combination.

Secondly, being able to focus on color once the plate is made is astounding. Having the subject and composition resolved allows pure focus on the use of color. With paintings, there is always the adjustments to color and composition throughout the process. There is some of that in printing, but most of the plate adjustments occur early in the process and then it's just printing for printing sake.

At the end of the day, you are looking at a stack of prints, same image, different techniques of applying ink and innumerable color variations. Fantastic!

Look for these soon on my SHOP at Etsy.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Not to be Missed - Huntington Library


“Pressed in Time: American Prints 1905–1950”

The MaryLou and George Boone Gallery
at the Huntington Library, San Marina, CA

Oct. 6, 2007 - Jan. 7, 2008

The first half of the 20th century was a particularly fertile moment in the history of American printmaking. Throughout this tumultuous period, which saw two world wars and the Great Depression, printmaking served as a cost-effective form of artistic expression and means of communicating artists’ observations and ideas. A new group of urban realists, some of whom were members of the so-called Ashcan School, began to depict scenes from everyday public life in prints as well as paintings. At the same time, some print-makers started to explore modernist aesthetics. Outside of urban centers, artists focused on rural communities and landscapes as the source of subjects. America offered limitless opportunities for the imaginations of printmakers and they, in turn, captured this exciting phase of United States history with dynamic, innovative work.


“Pressed in Time: American Prints 1905–1950” presents rarely-seen material from The Huntington and from two important private collections. Hannah S. Kully, who has promised her collection of American prints to The Huntington, lent nearly three-quarters of the pieces included in the exhibition. All of the examples of John Sloan’s work on view were lent by Gary, Brenda, and Harrison Ruttenberg, who have promised and begun donating their extensive John Sloan collection to The Huntington. The 163 prints selected from these three collections for this installation, represent the work of 82 artists who expressed distinctive aspects of the American experience. As Benton Spruance declared in 1937, he and fellow American printmakers sought “the symbols that mean ourselves, the way we think, the plans and hopes of our lives,” regardless of their choice of style or subject.

The exhibition begins with prints that show various aspects of cities such as Chicago, Philadelphia and, particularly, New York. Artists attracted to modernist styles influenced by Cubism tended to portray the architecture of the city rather than its inhabitants, as in Samuel Margolies, Man’s Canyons. Other printmakers, such as John Sloan, were attracted to the people of the city as their primary subjects. Sloan began his career as a newspaper illustrator in Philadelphia and later drew on his talent for capturing fleeting incidents of urban life to create lively images, peppered with social commentary. His print Barber Shop shows two barbers and a manicurist at work on customers, while a waiting patron reads the satirical weekly Puck, with the socialist magazine The Masses at his side. Also in this section, works such as Miguel Covarrubias’s The Lindy Hop reflect printmakers’ attraction to new urban modes of entertainment: nightclubs, amusement parks, movies, and prizefights.


Both urban and rural communities were affected by the Great Depression, the economic downturn that began in 1929 and lasted throughout the 1930s, and was exacerbated by a drought that devastated much of the agriculture and society in the Great Plains. Artists such as Robert Gwathmey captured the endemic transience of the time in prints such as The Hitchhiker from around 1937. Despite these hardships, farming and other aspects of rural life continued to captivate artists who employed a variety of styles and print techniques. Bernard Steffen’s screenprint Haying uses color and composition to evoke the kinetic motion of farmers pitching hay.

While dealing with diverse themes, the exhibition focuses on prints in which the medium and message come together to made a strong, unified statement. In the case of Paul Landace’s Death of a Forest, the stark contrasts of his wood engraving dramatically suggest the white-hot flames and dense clouds of smoke of a forest fire in the mountains near Los Angeles. Just as Landacre creatively depicted a topical subject, one that is still quite common, all of the artists represented in this exhibition created powerful, iconic works of art that captured various aspects of the innovative, turbulent, and vital culture of their day. Additional information and illustrations can be found in the book Pressed in Time: American Prints 1905–1950, available in The Bookstore & More.

This exhibition is co-curated by Jessica Todd Smith, Virginia Steele Scott Curator of American Art, and Kevin M. Murphy, Bradford and Christine Mishler Assistant Curator of American Art. An illustrated catalog and audio guide have been produced to accompany the show.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

NEW on Etsy

I have just finished listing 7 new items in my Etsy shop.
4 etchings and 3 lithographs.
Check them out HERE.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Urban Review - Newspress

ART REVIEW: 'Urban' outfitted-Perspectives range in the impressive 'Visions of the City'

By Josef Woodard, NEWS-PRESS CORRESPONDENT

'THE URBAN MYTH: VISIONS OF THE CITY'
When: Through Oct. 7
Where: Sullivan Goss, 7 E. Anapamu St.
Gallery hours: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily
Information: 730-1460, www.sullivangoss.com

In local galleries, landscape art flows freely, and contemporary art of different ilk can be found in many exhibitions. But locals might not realize how rare it is to encounter art about urban realities in Santa Barbara, until a show like the large exhibition at Sullivan Goss, "The Urban Myth: Visions of the City," goes on display.

Around here, the city takes a backseat to the landscape. For that reason alone, what's seen in the pleasantly rambling and visually tonic "The Urban Myth: Visions of the City" wins points for freshness of purview.

More importantly, though, this is the strongest group show yet in the new, improved and expanded Sullivan Goss gallery. Gallery director Jeremy Tessmer has engineered a feat of smartly pitched variations on a theme, using available resources wisely.

Tessmer has organized the vast and varied show into three categories, each in its own gallery space. But while there are clear delineations and artistic codes among the rooms in "Romantic Cities (City of Lights)," "Gritty Cities (Gotham)," and "Deconstructed Cities," ideals spill over, as well.

Romanticism filters through the show, urban grit is of the palatable, soft-edged type and even the "deconstructed" concept can be applied to most of the art: It's generally deconstructed, the better to soothe the senses. In the first room, the very idea of a city is a gentle one, as seen in Brian Reynolds' small canvases with cryptic detail views of Italian cities and Sarah Vedder's "Western," which is only peripherally urban, with its soft-focus view of a vintage train car, an emblem of Americana.

Fittingly, one of the four photographs in the show belongs to the rightfully celebrated architect Julius Shulman, whose classic image "Case Study House #22" fools the eye, beautifully. He depicts a glass-lined house in the Hollywood Hills by night, the canny blend of angle and light making it appear as if two women lounging in a living room are in a floating spaceship, about to descend on a city below. A sense of utopian splendor and ease are implicit in the image.




A different tale is told in James David Thomas' "Empire of Light #1," a tall vertical painting in which the Hollywood sign below is almost a footnote to the vast, color-changing sky above. Toward the top, stars render the machinations of Hollywood trivial by cosmic comparison.


In the larger, middle gallery, the artistic eye is often trained more on the geometries of crowded architecture and grids verging on chaos. Nicole Strasburg's long panoramic New York City views, circa 2007, tap into a timeless tradition of artists bedazzled by the city's post-industrial mazes.

From a similar sentimental place, Peter Ruta's huge paintings, from the 1970s and '80s, nod to the '20s-era NYC painting lore of Charles Sheeler and Stuart Davis.

Ex-urban, small-town life is more the subject in John Davies' picturesque early regionalist painting "Stevenson Street" (1931). Interestingly enough, '30s-esque regionalism sneak into Bo Bartlett's cagily desolate 2005 gouache-on-paper "Santa Barbara Greyhound Station." He takes the local bus station out of context, away from its location across the street from the swanky Hotel Andalucia. No harm done: It's the artist's prerogative to fudge details for the sake of the narrative.

Romanticism, in another form, hovers again in the final of the three rooms, despite the "deconstructionist" affiliation. If a deconstructionist ideal is at work, it's never enacted in a cool, intellectual way. Irma Cavat, one of Santa Barbara's most gifted painters, celebrates and metaphorically charges up the visual clutter with "Storefront Window." The goods and junk in the window signify kitsch and randomized nostalgia, while serving as fodder for the artist's roving eye and hand.

Patricia Chidlaw is another local painter with sensitivity to the poetic power beneath seemingly bland urban surfaces. Here, her crisply realized "House of Spirits" conveys a certain spiritual equipoise, in spite of the painting's subject: a gaudy liquor store -- temple of a different type of "spirits."

Architect Barry Berkus' "New Urban Form" are speculative sketches of what might be; challenging forms nodding to the gravity-defying recent work of Frank Gehry and Rem Koolhaas. Abstraction makes its way into this show only sparingly, notably in the large puzzle piece of a canvas that is Matty Byloos' "Cube Houses, Rotterdam: Remembered Year." With its exploding and imploding structures, the post-cubist image oscillates between the abstract and the architectural. This could be the one piece in the crowd that questions urban stability while bowing to urban ingenuity and planning.

If there is a moral to this exhibition's story, it has to do with romantic visions of the urban landscape, with indictments of urban life kept to a minimum. Maybe that approach is easier to take in Santa Barbara than in the thick of a metropolis with inherent conflicts beneath well-maintained surfaces. Another message is that myths are easier to maintain than infrastructures and complex urban systems, and artists are ideally suited for the myth-keeping task.

Images in order:
Julius Shulman "Case Study House #22"
James David Thomas "Empire of Light 7"
Peter Ruta "New York Waterfront"
Bo Bartlett "Greyhound Bus Station"
Patricia Chidlaw "House of Spirits"
Barry Berkus "New Urban Form 2"

Monday, September 10, 2007

Indy Review

The Urban Myth: Visions of the City.

At Sullivan Goss, An American Gallery. Shows through October 7.


Thursday, August 30, 2007
City air makes free” was the slogan of medieval serfs, who could escape their enslavement to the great rural landowners by migrating to the city, where such customary obligations did not apply. Out of this early modern political anomaly has risen what this group show terms “the urban myth,” a complex and ever-evolving set of ideas and assumptions about what city life has to offer. The exhibition is organized into three sections in order to show the urban myth in historical process.

The first room is devoted to romantic ideas of the city, and contains both the show’s oldest image: a marvelous Fernand Lundgren gouache from 1888 depicting elegantly attired ladies and gentleman promenading through a gas-lit Central Park; and one of its most self-consciously modern ones: Julius Shulman’s iconic 1960 photograph of Case Study House #22.

The second section, labeled Gritty Cities, brings the analytic and descriptive tools of realism and precisionism to bear on the urban landscape. Although the work included once again spans a long stretch of time, the dominant note in this room is one of isolation. Even the riders on the subway in David P. Cooke’s “Downtown Gig,” who have the instruments and the talent to communicate, appear to be each lost in his or her own thoughts. Peter Ruta and Nicole Strasburg both contribute stirring visions of the so-called border vacuums that grow up where the city meets its limits, whether these be natural, as is the case with the waterfront, or artificial, as with the empty concrete foreground of Strasburg’s monumental new painting, “New York” (2007).

The final room is termed Deconstructed Cities. Often fragmentary or otherwise interrupted, these pictures and objects attempt to conjure a vision of the urban present and future. Barry Berkus contributes some spectacular drawings for New Urban Forms, and underlines them with a model/sketch made from a single sheet of crumpled paper. Wayne McCall’s “Bifurcation” (2007) captures the unlikely appearance of a wrecked automobile stood on its end and bursting through one of the interior walls of an otherwise average-looking apartment. It’s a great and haunting image — sort of John Chamberlain meets William Eggleston. The entire show is of genuine interest, particularly now as Santa Barbara faces the reality that, like it or not, the urban myth includes us.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Back to the presses


I have been working on a series of images taken of the underbelly of our newly removed jasmine bushes. I have begun 6 12x12" oil paintings (seen here in THIS post) and now I continue the study in ink.

I am working on several different plates so that they can then be printed using transparent inks. My hope is to create a multi-layered effect capturing the intertwining twigs and branches, the chaos that is the hidden treasure under each plant.

The black and white images are two separate images created and then burned onto the solar plate by exposing them in the sun. (To learn more about this process... visit Dan Weldon's book Printmaking in the Sun. He is the master and pioneer of the process).


Here is the test plate of the two images printed together. Using two different, transparent inks and printing the plates one on top of the other makes a lovely mess of branches. It's a beginning. One of the things I love most about printing is being able to manipulate the colors on the plates... many variations on a theme. It's so different than putting down marks with the brush and a fascinating way to study a beloved subject, over and over again in different media.





Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Im(press)ions @ Edward Cella

Im(press)ions: Contemporary/Modern Prints 1960-Today
At Edward Cella Art + Architecture
Shows through September 16


Santa Barbara Independent
Thursday, August 16, 2007
By Charles Donelan

While the ubiquity of reproductions of great modernist classics has made it easy to imagine that the late 20th century was dominated by large images and grand statements, connoisseurs know that some of the best work of even such familiar names as Jasper Johns and James Rosenquist was done in the more subtle but no less imaginative arena of the print studio. In Santa Barbara, the tradition of the painter/engraver is particularly vital due to the presence of Atelier Richard Tullis, an important print studio that has been located in the Funk Zone for more than 20 years. The quirky and high-caliber character of this particular show is largely due to the dense network of connections within the printmaking world, and the generosity of printers with the often unusual works they collect personally.

A big part of the appeal of Im(press)ions is seeing things that really deserve the label “genius.” Josef Albers was never more focused or successful with his iconic squares than in “Day and Night Study” (1963). It employs the strict formal conceit of squares within squares that is Albers’s artistic signature, and it investigates color in a way one would expect from the author of the widely respected Interaction of Color (also 1963). But spend some time with these squares and let the uncanny effect of their complex balance of shades between day and night work their magic. These four squares may be the most interesting landscape painting currently on view in Santa Barbara.

Nearby and on the same wall, Nicole Strasburg’s “Overpass Series” (2001), printed at Tullis, commands a similar response. Strasburg crops these views so the space behind the figure opens at the same time the surface achieves an admirably abstract overall flatness. Walton Ford’s wacky and more than a little kinky “Nila” (2000) is surely the most elephant-positive image I’ve seen, celebrating as it does the “eight excellences of [elephant] must.” It’s a great image — subversive, hilarious, and beautiful.

Finally, Richard Diebenkorn’s series of Five Aquatints with Drypoint Portfolio, Plates 5-1 is shown in its entirety, and demonstrates something essential about the role of printmaking in modern art at the same time that it reveals Diebenkorn’s exquisite mastery of multiple techniques. The Cella gallery has provided a useful glossary of printing terms for those who wish to know more about aquatint and drypoint.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Tree love... of another sort

I was roaming some of my favorite blogs while sipping my morning cup of coffee. Orange Beautiful always has fabulous finds for the creatively minded. Scrolling down was this beauty from Small Stump.

I immediately went to their SHOP on etsy and ordered this print when I discovered my first love was sold out.

I sent word that I was interested in ordering if there was a plan to make more of the little stumps and was directed to Jill and Lia's BLOG. Where, to my happiness, I see there are more stumps lined up to be finished. Lucky me.

What great finds on a sleepy Sunday morning.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Root Obsession

After spending time clearing old jasmine plants from the front yard, making way for the new patio, I couldn't help taking pictures of the intricate underbelly of the plants. Beautiful intertwining webs of branches from the big ball of each plant. These are the beginning studies of those branches and experiments with different colors. I'm thinking in the end they will make fabulous multi-plate woodblock prints. Hmmmmm.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Tales of the City

On Exhibit in our Vollmer and Cooper Galleries
Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery
11 East Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara
August 11, 2007 through October 7, 2007

Opening Reception Saturday, August 11th, 200 from 5-7pm

Download the show catalog HERE

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Forsythia intermedia

With a blank canvas that is our landscaping, I am obsessing over what to plants to choose. My primary goal is to find specimens that bloom in variable seasons ensuring a plethora of color year round.

Forsythia is a wonderful spring blooming shrub with many varieties. It grows both as a low lying shrub, as in the dwarf variety, or up to 10 feet in the Lynwood Gold. All specimens seem to be fast growing which is also desirable when you have nothing but bare soil everywhere!

















F. x intermedia spectabilis ‘Lynwood Gold’
Forsythia's yellow flowers add a burst of color to the late winter or early spring landscapes. Branches can be picked in midwinter and forced into bloom indoors, making it one of the earliest of cut flowers.

The plants when given enough room to grow without pruning, they take on a graceful appearance.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Cercis Occidentalis

















Tree Love! The summer has been full of home construction, mostly hard scape in the yard and readying for new landscaping. A trip to the nursery in our local foothills yielded this find. It's a tree or it's a shrub, depending on your pruning skills. The one at the nursery grew in a shape reminiscent of a menorah. It's small leaves are heart shaped and how can you not love that? I was ready to sit down and start drawing. I was captivated.

Here is the official encyclopedia entry on this lovely specimen:

The western redbud (Cercis occidentalis syn. Cercis orbiculata Greene) is a small tree or shrub in the legume family. It is found across the American Southwest, from California to Utah.

The thin, shiny brown branches bear shiny heart-shaped leaves which are light green early in the season and darken as they age. Leaves on plants at higher elevation may turn gold or red as the weather cools. The showy flowers are bright pink or magenta, and grow in clusters all over the shrub, making the plant very colorful and noticeable in the landscape. The shrub bears 3-inch-long brown legume pods which are very thin and dry.

Native Californians used the twigs of the western redbud to weave baskets, and even pruned the shrub to encourage growth of new twigs. The bark provided a faint reddish dye for the finished basketry.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

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