Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Second Remedy

The first version of "The Remedy" sold quickly so I'm going to finish this one up as fast as I can and make it available on etsy. This version is pretty much the same as the first, except I added a sound hole and scuffed up the box for a vintage, well played look. I put it together enough to record a sound sample and after a bit more polishing, it should be for sale tomorrow. Hopefully it gets picked up as fast as the first one did.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Here's a quick rundown of the things I listed on etsy today: The above prints, Einsteinium and Indium were done as part of the 2007 Periodic Table of Elements Printmaking Project. Einsteinium is an early, color proofing print made with wood blocks and wood intaglio plates. The final version came down much differently in its color palette and included a photographically produced plate to make the text elements a bit crisper.

Indium, on the other hand is a second edition of the project-print using different processes and colors. It was basically an experiment to see whether water based screen printing ink would hold up to the paper soaking needed in order to print from a copper etching plate. It did.

I also relisted Ladies' Lunch, a triptych of drawings/collages of my mother, aunt and grandmother seated at a table together. They come in small frames and are ready to hang right up in your kitchen.

Finally I relisted Girl's School, a quartet of collages featuring drawings from a vintage yearbook and color chips cut from the cover of a nazarene school record cover. I've mounted these four small pieces onto clear plywood panels for a simple, clean, modern presentation.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Update: Completely Devastated (Updated)

Whichever one of the geniuses working in the pharmaceutical industry it was that invented NyQuil should be really proud of himself. I love this stuff. That's my official endorsement. Here's how my day went:
  • Wake up to coughing fits.
  • Take a dose of NyQuil, immediately start feeling better.
  • Feel healthy for 1.5-2 hours, in which time I start reworking this old piece (which like "I'm Not Homesick" needed some extra work)
  • With no notice whatsoever, fall asleep soundly
  • 2 hours later, wake up feeling healthy: finish working on this collage
  • After 1.5-2 hours, start coughing again
That's where I am now. I just got out of the shower and was hoping to just pretend that I'm not sick anymore, but I think I'm actually going to have to hit the good stuff again and repeat the cycle.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I'm Not Homesick, I'm Family Sick - Take Two (Also I'm Legitimately Sick)

Today was supposed to be spent with family and friends feeling thankful. Instead, it was spent wallowing in self pity between fits of coughing and nose blowing. You should know that non-drowsy cold medicine is a waste of time. In the future I'm skipping right to the "do not operate vehicles" stuff. Still, I managed to record the short song posted previously and then rework this collage with which I became dissatisfied after looking at it for the last twenty one days. I think it is much more interesting now than the earlier version. Tomorrow I plan on buying some Nyquil. Then, hopefully, Saturday and Sunday, I'll be able to be a bit more productive.

The Partagas Two

Another guitar went up on etsy today just in time for the unofficial start of Christmas shopping season tomorrow. This is a simple one string deal, known traditionally as a diddley bow. A bunch of famous musicians supposedly started out playing hand made, one string guitars like this: Carl Perkins, Jimi Hendrix and BB King for instance. Surprisingly, Bo Diddley refuses to acknowledge the influence of the diddley bow on his career.

If you want to hear what it sounds like, I recorded this sound sample (with traditional guitar accompaniment) a few minutes ago. It should be noted that I usually record these samples on the first take, only a few seconds after coming up with a short song structure. So if you think the playing or recording quality is bad, you're probably right.

Myth: American

The informal show/critique scheduled for December eighth is coming along slowly. We've had some problems getting access to the space for setting up and getting permission to drill holes in the walls. There are really only two walls for hanging things on. The other walls are glass and/or metal. I've managed to hang up an installation of small frames on the metal wall using magnets, but the glass walls are completely out of bounds. There are supposed to be some partitions available to hang on, but the building maintenance crew has been pretty uncooperative about providing them. Most of the stuff I wanted to show is too heavy for them anyway. Regardless of the complaining, you should come check it out just to see if we manage to pull this thing together. Plus, pizzas are semi-confirmed, and I know you love free pizza.

In other news, I spent a good chunk of the day preparing package to send off for juried shows. One in Colorado and one in New York. Earlier in the week Michael, Jessica and I dropped off entries for a show closer to home and in January, I'm pretty sure I'll be accepted into a really local, photography show which I fully intend to win. Don't let the above reported frustrations fool you. Things are actually looking up.

Tomorrow I'll be thankful with my family in the morning and then with friends in the evening.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Benjamin Harrison

This is actually a pretty old print but I just mounted it today in order to make it presentable. I like mounting directly onto plywood panels like this. The raw texture of the paper without any glass or anything in the way is really exciting to me. Unfortunately, this method isn't very archival. Sunlight, pollution and dirty fingers could really mess up the print surface. Oh well, everyone and everything dies. Have a great day!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Remedy

"The Remedy" is the latest in my series of cigar box guitars. It was finished a little while ago, but I just got around to recording a short sound sample tonight. Cigar box guitars are almost as fun to make as they are to play, and they were once the mainstay of my etsy shop, but I just got a bit too busy to keep up with production. I was hoping to get a few finished in time for Christmas but time is running short. This one, and maybe two or three others, should hopefully be available for sale in the next few days.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Budgetary Concern

Here's what my ongoing lightbox project currently looks like on the inside. I was hoping to make it work with only two fluorescent tubes in there, but after plugging everything in, it was obvious that I needed three. Today's trip to the hardware store for the extra fixtures added another $40 onto this already over budget project. Woe is me.

Criticism not Cynicism

This date is set for this deal. If you are free, come by and rip us a new one. We'll probably get some pizzas or something. Directions.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Rest of the Jacked Up Santas

Administrative red tape, ceramic ear-hanging and lunch at Panera accounted for most of my day. I did manage to get a bit of work done on my light box project but they are at least a few days away from completion. I can't find any frosted plexiglas anyway, so I shouldn't be in such a big hurry. I also magnetized the backs of some frames full of America's Son prints (see here) that will soon be stuck onto a metal wall for all the world to walk past without taking the time to stop and look.

Last night I finished off this little 4" x 4" collage, matted it and placed it lovingly inside an eight inch, white, wooden frame. If you love it (and I know you do) you can buy it right now at my sparely stocked etsy shop.

Field of Darwin

Currently finished with three colors (out of seven) in this edition of prints, I'll try to get done with a few more colors this weekend.

I'm trying to get my hands on some more of this pink paper. The google found only one online store that carries it and I bought their last fifteen sheets. That will probably be plenty but I might want more. It is a scrapbooking paper produced by a company called "Remember When". The model number is 28272 and the color is "Bubble Gum". If you know where I can get some I'd love to hear it. Thanks for the camera loan.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Who Else is Hopped Up on Milk Duds?

Today was relatively productive. After settling on the final version of these Darwin prints, I finally started editioning them today. I made it through two colors on 45 sheets of paper. I probably could have got a third color done, but decided not to push my luck (also known as being lazy). The final edition will probably be a bit smaller than 45 prints due to screw ups on the next five colors - but so far, so good.

After that I ate some mashed potatoes and worked on this masterpiece.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fire in the Pie Hole

Yesterday I spent most of the day with motor vehicle related chores. I needed to get a title transferred so that I could continue having insurance on my car, so between the time spent at the DMV and the insurance agent, a good portion of the day was used up. I also needed to get a money order to pay off the speeding ticket I got a few weeks ago. $75 isn't the end of the world but I hated paying it when I don't really think I deserved the ticket. The issuing officer apologized when he gave it to me (a first in my experience) and I noticed a few other pullovers so I'm assuming it was one of those (supposedly mythical) ticket quota days.

So I spent the morning today routing a decorative edge and filling holes on a pair of light boxes I'm making for these Supreme Court/Apollo Program prints that I hope to have finished up sometime this week. In the meantime I made another one of these collages. This one is a single panel and is only 4.5" x 4.5" square.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Please Describe For Me the Perfect Person

Whatever bacteria it is that causes multiple bodily eruptions kept me from doing much work this week. Despite my affliction, I managed to make it into the studio today to cover the previously mentioned Goldwater plate with silicone and then wash away the drawing. I didn't ink the plate however. Instead, I came home and finished working on this little collage. I hope you like it. I'm going to bed now.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Waterless lithography is still a pretty experimental process to me but I think it goes like this: 1. Using a water soluble drawing tool create a design on a piece of aluminum. 2. Heat set the drawing 3. Thin down some silicone caulk with paint thinner and cover the aluminum with a thin coat of it. 4. Wait for it to cure completely. 5. Under running water, rinse away the drawing along with the layer of silicone over it. 6. Brayer-rolled ink will theoretically stick to the exposed plate but not the silicone. 7. Print.

Tomorrow I'll cover this plate with silicone and then maybe print it the next day. Honestly, I'm not very optimistic about it working properly but I've got to try it out for myself.

Another Question About Sexiness

Here's what was messing the place up in the last posted photo. Four collages on panels slightly smaller than the others on which I've been working - 4.5" x 4.5" each.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Here's what it looks like in my studio right now, and by "studio" I mean the floor in front of my television.


Most of today was spent walking around SOFA Chicago, the15th annual Sculpture Objects and Functional Arts show. It seems that a popular trend among the decorative arts involves showing a rough texture on the back of a block of glass through the smoothly polished front. Actually, glass block of any kind seemed to be really popular. The "F" from SOFA seemed to be fairly under represented in comparison to the last time I went, when the place was full of awesome handcrafted chairs, lamps and chests of drawers.

Almost everything exciting I saw was represented by the Jane Sauer Gallery of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Especially interesting to me were these animal sculptures made from wax and found objects by Geoffrey Gorman and these embroidered pieces by Cindy Hickok mixing modern pop culture with images from classical painting.

The best part of the day was probably the awesome dinner cooked for us by Carrie's husband Ron. Thanks Ron.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Update: Completely Devastated

Friday, November 7, 2008

I'm Not Homesick, I'm Family Sick

After a long, long day helping people crank out screen printed t-shirts, I should have come home and gone straight to bed. Instead I worked on this. I set it in front of a fan to get it dry enough to scan but in fact the surface is still a little bit gummy. Deliciously gummy.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Coverage

I'm not a big believer in the current popular notion that everyone should exercise his or her right to vote. I think the "JUST VOTE" advertising campaigns that are so popular among the MTV-type television stations are doing a disservice to the country. Maybe the campaign should be "JUST VOTE (after doing a little bit of research about the issues and where the candidates stand on them. Think about what is important to you and to the country as a whole. Don't rely on the advice of Kanye West or Natalie Portman. And remember that not voting is a defensible option if none of the candidates meet your requirements.)" Personally I voted today because I'm aware of the imminent deaths/retirements of a handful of supreme court justices and wanted to help keep the court as politically balanced as possible.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Slumber Parties Now On Naked Tuesdays

Guess what. After spending most of the day working on some light boxes that turned out to be much harder to make than I expected, I finished this project up tonight. Its a quartet of interlocking collages on plywood panels (each 7.75" x 7.75")

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Slow and Steady Part Four

Here's the latest progress on Darwin. Above you can see each state as additional layers were added. I skipped the first one since it was all yellow and incomprehensible. In the latest version, I added a screen of hand drawn lines to fill in some of the background and balance out the composition a bit. I'm not sure if it is the ultimate end of the project. Part of me likes the messiness of the loose line, while another part wants to keep everything clean and lay in some digitally created lines reflecting the vertical ones on the left of the image. I think I'll try that and then decide which I like before working up an edition.