Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Scoop Painting

I spent a few hours yesterday painting at Feed. It turned out to be a bigger job than I thought. Yellow paint is surprisingly hard to cover with white. I wanted to paint the whole place, but only managed to get one wall done. Painting is more fun when you have a partner to help out.

I've been thinking about inventing these shoes with soles made out of those small plastic furniture movers they sell at the hardware store. Today I found out that somebody beat me to it. I've never been more angry. My other shoe-based invention involves putting blocks of salt on the soles to make them slip-and-fall-proof in the winter time. I guess I better patent that idea pretty soon before I get scooped again.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Lower Level Levens

Tonight we collected all the finished collages from the first workshop at Feed and hung them on the walls. In the end, there were fourteen pieces including those from Michael and me. All of the artists agreed to offer their work for sale at the low, low price of only $50.00. The exhibit officially opens this Saturday with a reception from 12:00 - 4:00. It seems like Alexa, Luke, Alissa, Caroline, Ally, Kenzie, Bea, Megan, Megan, Claire, Amy and Josie are all planning to be there. If you can come, I'm sure it would mean a lot to everyone involved, except for me.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

English Dumptruck

I made a few prints of this dump truck from England today. It was a quick demonstration of the "cardstock drypoint" printmaking technique that I made up. A couple of guys wanted to see how to do it. It is so easy that doing a demo is pretty much unnecessary.

Here's how you do it: Get a piece of thin, glossy cardboard. I used a postcard today, you might use a piece of a cereal box. Use a pen or pencil to make a drawing on the glossy side of your cardboard. The drawing should be pretty heavy, incising lines into the cardboard. When you are satisfied with the drawing, use a little piece of mat board or cardboard to cover the surface of the drawing with some etching ink. Scrape away as much ink as you can, then take a couple of sheets of paper and lightly rub the surface of the drawing, leaving the ink only in the lines from the pen or pencil. Get a nice, damp piece of paper and lay it on top of the drawing. Pass it through your etching press with a bunch of pressure. Voila! You made a print. I made a small edition of four prints of the truck. Including the drawing time, they only took about ten minutes. If four people ask nicely, I'll send them each a print for free.

Oh yeah, I also posted a new exhibit at Captive Werewolf.

Gouge Away

I'm planning this block printing workshop in January. Pretty much everything you'll need to design, carve, and print a single color edition of prints will be provided. And then all the prints will be exhibited at Feed. The whole thing is only $45. I think it is going to be a lot of fun.

Next Saturday, Michael is hosting Feed's first real exhibition. The show will include all of the artists who took part in his mixed media workshop. On the same day, Santa Claus is supposed to be hanging around the Majestic Centre taking pictures with his fans. I'll be in Missouri that day, but don't let that discourage you from coming by. Michael will be there to talk to you about what's coming up, and I'm sure these new artists would appreciate your support.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Remember Printmaking?

Hopefully in the coming weeks I'll have a lot of time to get in the studio and make some prints. The last five weeks or so were relatively unproductive print-wise. I guess I've gotten a lot of other stuff accomplished, but I'm feeling pretty antsy to get back to my real work. I'm going to look at the three photos above for a while and see if they deserve to be translated into prints. Right now I think they do, but it is three o'clock in the morning.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Feed Cards

I made these business cards for Feed. I'll have to see what Michael thinks about them, but I know we need to have some cards to give out with a link to the website. Speaking of websites, I registered today. Right now it redirects to the original blog which I think is fine. Maybe in the future we'll design a regular website.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Michael's first workshop at Feed seems to be going good. I hung around tonight while it was happening and joined in a little. I posted a progress report so you can read all about it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I don't think too many people have been stopping by here lately but for those that have, sorry about the lack of posting lately. Despite taking a few minutes tonight to post an exhibit from Michael Costanza at Captive Werewolf, I haven't had time to do much creative stuff. Things have been pretty busy with the end of the semester coming and so much required crap to get done for my classes. I've been putting together presentations, self-promotional materials, and the obligatorily useless research papers. In the midst of all that was Thanksgiving. In years past, "when asked how was your holiday?" I've typically responded, "fine" with little thought to the truth of that answer. This year I could honestly answer "great." I really enjoyed the double dinners followed by Mr. Fantastic, the Fox. Right now I'm going to bed so I can get up early and get back to the tedium of typing. At least I've chosen a subject I'm interested in, William Eggleston.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Eye Candy

Yesterday was very long. I went into the studio about ten in the morning and exposed a bunch of screens for my next print. Then I went to work in the school gallery de-installing a show and installing a second show and then taking that show down again because the artist decided she wanted to re-paint her frames. Almost immediately after that the reception for my graduate class's group show started. It was actually pretty well attended and I met and spoke with quite a few interesting people. I also got the chance to talk about my work. People seemed to get my point of view without me needing to talk too much about it. So I mostly answered questions about the process. That's perfectly fine with me. That reception lasted until 10:30 and I didn't get home until after midnight. Tiffany took some pictures of the show, so I swiped one from her flickr stream. I did a bunch of photoshopping to make the wall look less dirty. I also removed the electrical outlets.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bella Vida

I'm working on logos, business cards and post cards for Josie's import shop. Here's where I am now: Front and back of a business card.

Monday, November 16, 2009


A couple of days ago, the final edition came in for the Littlest Print Exchange. yesterday, Jessica and I printed up some boxes to house the final portfolios. She did most of the work. I also conned her into designing a colophon with information about the project and all its participants. I'll probably be transferring the blog to its own domain name since I plan to continue this project on an annual basis.

This morning I worked on revising my resume and stuff again even though I've done that a hundred times. I also I posted a new exhibit at Captive Werewolf from Harry Diaz. I had been sending out email announcements about new shows, but I didn't know if anyone really wanted me to do that. It turns out they did. So I'm going to have to get back on top of that. Anyone that is interested in having a show should contact me with a proposal.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Things are afoot. Thanks to my longtime friend Josie Alaniz (nee Hernandez,) Michael Costanza and I have been offered the opportunity to take over a small space in a new retail development downtown. Over the last few years, the Majestic Center, once home to the Town Cinema, has been under renovations. While the theater is no longer active, there are a lot of small shops and offices in the building. Just over the last few weeks the lower level has begun transforming into a Town Mall. Josie's space, Bella Vida, a store specializing in goods imported from South America and Mexico, includes a second smaller space, which she is generously allowing us to use. Our plan is to host art exhibitions and lead small workshops to help energize the local art scene. With very, very little advance warning we were asked to have the space ready for a grand opening today. We threw together an exhibition of our work and spent the day answering questions about our plans and trying to promote Michael's first workshop. It is so early that we haven't even decided on a name for the gallery but several hundred people passed through today and, for the most part, interest seemed high. At the very least, now they know we're here and that we're doing something.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Second Chance 007

Blah, blah, blah. I finished printing this yesterday. Today I went with Rhiannon, Jessica and Carrie to SOFA on Navy Pier. I brought my camera and only took one picture. It was of an ID label cause I didn't want to forget the name of an artist, Dusty Wolf. Thinking of SOFA made me realize that I've been writing this blog for more than a year. 2159 page hits is probably pretty lame for that amount of time.

I got new glasses and I guess they must look pretty much the same as my old ones because nobody noticed.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Second Chance 006

As I'm starting to get better at really making these prints look the way I want them to look, it seems more and more likely that I'll want to reprint the earlier ones. If that is the decision I make, it will severely affect my plans for having a thesis exhibition of my graduate work in the spring. I've known a few people that finished all of their required courses and then held off for a semester or two (or even a year or two) before finally returning to finish their degrees. I really don't want to do that. It seems like, lately, I've been at the studio or in class or manning the art gallery pretty much all day every day. I know I don't want to burn myself out, but honestly, I guess there are a few more hours on the weekends that I could be working in the studio. I'm not crying about it. In fact, I finished this print yesterday, and I got six screens ready for the next print. I'm hoping to sneak in a few color layers tomorrow when I'm supposed to be in the gallery.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Eye Candy

Here's an upcoming show of thirteen graduate students, like me. November 18 through December 9 at Governors State University's Gallery F1617 with a public reception on November 18, from 6-10 p.m. Included are, Sharon Burrink, Christopher Clark, Veronica Cook, Rick Edwards, Brenda Farris, Tiffany Gholar, Karen Keorpes, Russel Laske, Becki Moffett-Moore, Stephanie Monroe, Gail Pachyn, Craig West and Emmet V. Reeb Jr.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Nothing Else, Ever

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Six colors printed on Friday, maybe I'll get the final four done this weekend.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Second Chance 005

This was finished about a week ago and I just finally had time to scan it. I ate some tri-colored hummus today and it was pretty good.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Second Chance 005

Six colors down and four more expected to be done within the next week. Meanwhile, I've watched the first season of the West Wing, and five or six episodes into season two.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Second Chance 004

Except for finishing this print, I haven't done much in the last few days. I did about 20 loads of laundry over the weekend.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Slideluck Potshow

I just found out today that a series of photos I submitted were accepted for showing at this year's Slideluck Potshow Chicago. It is a one-night-only photography exhibit in the form of a 2 hour slideshow. It also includes a potluck dinner. So pack up something good to eat and come over to 1287 N. Milwaukee Ave next Saturday, October 17th at 7 pm. It is only a week away.

Friday, October 9, 2009


I finished designing and updating all the information on the GSU Artsfest blog, and while I'm thinking about it, I thought I'd invite both of my loyal readers to stop by the school next Wednesday and check out the activities. I'm not sure right now where I'll be spending most of the day. Last year, and the year before that, I helped visitors to print their own t-shirts. That was a lot of fun. This year, I might be expected to deal with gallery responsibilities. There's also a student art sale that day, so I might have to run that. In any event, the blog looks pretty good to me. I designed the promo cards and posters and I think they look pretty good too.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Things are moving right along these last few days. Here, I'm four colors into my next print. These posts are going to be pretty boring if I just keep saying "two colors done, three colors done, etc." Maybe we can liven things up with some reader suggestions. Anyone know a good, free, Spanish language teaching podcast? I want to learn Spanish. Not Spain Spanish, but Mexican Spanish. The last podcast I tried was teaching a northern Spain dialect, and it was produced by a pair of native Scots speaking with a Scottish accent. That was too much.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Le Tigre

These things always take a little longer than expected. Anyway this one is finished and I am really happy with it. I printed the tenth and final color today. I was considering leaving it off because I thought it looked pretty good without it, but the last black made a real difference. I made an edition of 17 prints. Four or five are going to Canada for an exhibition themed around the year of the tiger. I don't know what I'll do with the rest.

After finishing this print, I started on my next one by preparing my screens, emulsifying them, exposing them, and even printing the first color. Not bad considering how lazy I am.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Eight Tenths

Only two more colors to go. I was hoping to get the final five colors printed today, but I only managed three. I was up at seven again today, so I should have just gone straight to the studio and started working. Later tonight, I'll post a new show over at Captive Werewolf.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Halfway Home

It might not look like it, but that is five colors. That leaves five more to be printed. I wanted to get this done before Tuesday, but I left my color reference chart at home on accident so I spent the day in the studio Sunday working on de-dusting some scanned pinhole negatives instead of printing on this project. It turned out OK since I really needed to get those pinhole shots in the mail today for submission to an all-pinhole photography show at Purdue University. I hope they accept them. I think they look pretty cool. Anyway, I'll hopefully be able to print a couple colors on this project tomorrow and then finish it up on Wednesday.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Littlest Leftout

I just wanted to announce that there are two spots open in the Littlest Print Exchange. As I should have expected, a few people were not able to complete their prints by the September 1st deadline and decided to drop out of the project. I replaced most of them quickly, but there are still a couple of spots to be filled. So I'm taking a look at portfolios again. If you want to get involved, send me a link to some examples of your work as soon as possible. The new deadline is going to be Halloween, October 31st. I'll be picking the final participants on October 5th. That is a week from today. All the guidelines are available on the Littlest Print Blog. Check it out.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Second Chance 002

I finished this a few days ago and am just getting around to showing it here. It took longer to print than I expected due to the busyness of the print studio. I've complained about that before and I think I've worked out a solution now, so I won't bother complaining about it anymore. I also needed to add an unexpected eleventh layer of color to warm up her flesh tones, separating her skin from her shirt and her hair from the trees in the background. So that added a little extra time to the project. The color here looks a little dark and dirty. In real life its a bit brighter. I think it has something to do with blogger's image compression.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hours of Operation

OK. My new hours are officially set for keeping the gallery open. Monday and Wednesday 2:00pm - 7:00pm, Tuesday and Thursday 11:00am - 4:00pm. If you need me before two o'clock on Monday or Wednesday, I'll be working in the print studio. In celebration of these new hours I posted this picture that I found on my memory card while trying to clear off all the old junk on there. There are a ton of pictures on there too good to delete, but not good enough to do anything with. I also found some photos from Michael's show and posted them on flickr.

Other than that, I spent most of the day making a 4 hour playlist on itunes. I have to listen to the end of each song a bunch of times before deciding what the next song will be in order to make them flow together nicely. I'm just as good at making playlists as I am at wasting time.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Pursuing Progress

It looks like I'm going to have to change the gallery hours so that I can work in the print studio in the morning, before going to work. I don't think anyone will have a problem with that. Today I went in on my day off and printed a couple of colors and prepared my screens for printing again next time. I only have two more colors planned, but I think the skin tone of this poor woman need some warming up so maybe I'll print an eleventh color before I'm finished. After closing up the studio, I met Justin at McDonald's and we drove up to the city together to see Owen at the Beat Kitchen. I think this might be the first show I've been to since the city-wide ban on smoking. The clean air was pretty nice. Since the set was mostly acousticish, I came home without a ringing in my ears. That was nice too. We also stopped in at Nate and Elaine's bakery, Fritz Pastry. Today their shop was featured on the Hungry Hound segment on ABC news. I hadn't been there yet and was really happy to see them doing so well. It's an inspiration.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Prints in Progress

When I actually get some time in the studio things move along pretty quickly now. A few hours on Sunday and about an hour today and I'm five colors in, halfway finished with this print. I think I'll buy a few more screens so the process can move even faster. I'm pretty excited about the way it is turning out and think this direction is going to work out well for me. I'm also excited that the planned edition of 14 is still holding up. I haven't made any drastic mistakes. Hopefully I can keep it going for the next five layers.

Today I also opened a new exhibit at Captive Werewolf. For the first time the show is made up of artwork by someone that I actually know in real life. I love Kristina's creepy dolls. And if you are wondering who took the awesome photos of them, it was me.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Windy Citizen

This old TTV picture and a few others others were featured yesterday on Windy Citizen's "Today's Photos" Blog. I guess Windy Citizen is a social networking site specifically for residents of Chicago. Coincidentally, I was in Chicago yesterday checking out some gallery openings in Pilsen with Jessica. My favorite stuff was at Logsdon 1909 where we saw a lot of wooden robots and porcelain dolls. We just stayed in Pilsen rather than heading up to the more established galleries, because the Pilsen places stay open later and we had another reception to attend yesterday evening at "my" gallery which is exhibiting the work of some local art educators (including Jessica.) During the reception I had time to sneak away and expose a couple of screens for the photo/silkscreen series I'm trying to get going on. Before that we visited friends and had lunch. Before that I cleaned up a bunch of my stuff damaged in a leaking water pipe incident. The whole day was really pretty eventful, so I think I'll just spend the rest of the day, today, hanging around and maybe just do a little bit of laundry.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Potpouri of Banality

Missy PrinceI spent most of the day today looking for a couch that I could steal for my office. I guess I should have done that during the summer when there were fewer people around and I could have gotten away with it easier. The only one I like is in a much too conspicuous location and it would probably be missed quickly, even though I don't think it gets sat on very often.

In other news, the Littlest Print Exchange is really moving now, with 31 of the 50 editions in my possession. Tomorrow's the official deadline, so we'll see how many holdouts there are after the mail comes. I ordered supplies for the finished portfolios a couple of days ago, so I'll be ready soon to put everything together and send them out to all the participants.

Most importantly, I posted the new exhibit at Captive Werewolf, and it is a really good one.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Second Chance 001

Here's the first finished print from what I'm planning on turning into a long series. You can see me working on it in the video I posted earlier this week.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My First Movie (Not Really)

I bought a cheap video camera at Big Lots for about $20. It is a Jazz DV153, basically a cheaper version of those Flip cameras all the kids love. I think it is discontinued, so if you want one, you'll have to get the newer, fancier version with a screen that revolves so you can see your own face and look directly into the lens at the same time. Or else buy an old one like mine on ebay. Anyway, this camera has been sitting around here for a few weeks and I decided I should probably do something with it. Today I videotaped my shirt doing some screenprinting.

P.S. youtube's magic computer can tell that I used copywritten music in the video. How does it do that? Hopefully I won't go to jail. I'm not too worried. I'll just tell you this, Elvis Live at Madison Square Garden is a good record and it is only $8. You should buy it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Popcorn Party

Until I have access to a decent scanner again, I'm not going to waste too much time with photography. It just isn't worth the effort to scan and color correct and dust off negatives when I know the resulting images will be worthless for anything other than posting on the web. I'll probably keep shooting, but will wait until I have a good scanner around to do the digital parts. The pictures above were scanned from the small prints that I picked up today. Normally, I just use these prints as a reference for which negatives I want to fool around with. But I decided to quickly scan these and post them here since I've been pretty lax on my internet activity lately.

I have been doing some screen printing stuff though. Today I printed the first two colors of what will ultimately be a project of at least ten screens. Tomorrow I hope to get another two colors finished and maybe even four. I could do it all a lot faster if I bought a few more screens. Right now I only have two, so I'm exposing and printing, then clearing off the stencils and getting the screen ready to start again the next day. The waiting time in between while the screens dry is the worst part.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mr. Ali

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fair Grounds

I think I'm going to spend the next few weeks working out a good way to translate the photography I've been working on this summer into a screen printing project that can occupy me while the weather is get colder. Hopefully, I'll have access to a good film scanner again soon.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Captive Werewolf - Mike Egan

Even though the plan was made several weeks ago to open Mike Egan's exhibit on Captive Werewolf tonight, his paintings are surprisingly reminiscent of my mood right now.

More on Captivity

The other day I registered to make that whole thing just a little bit more legitimate. Right now the address just redirects to the same old blog, but I might do a ground-up redesign of the gallery for the sake of practicing my web design skills. I also whipped up some business cards that I can pass out to unsuspecting people on the street. I gave away two today.

Friday, August 14, 2009

You'll Never Need a Better Friend

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Little Prints

Portfolios have started coming in for the Littlest Print Exchange. As of today, I've received 15 out of 50. What's that, 30 percent? Whatever it is, it seems like a pretty good percentage with more than two weeks left to go til the September 1st deadline. I'm sure there will be a few holdouts that I'll have to put pressure on in order to get them to finish their prints, but so far, I'm pretty content with the project's progress.

The other day, I took out this old CD rack (that I'm planning to someday turn into a stand-up bass) and, using some cardboard dividers, made it into a collating device. I figured it would be easier to organize these prints as they trickle in rather than wait and have to do it all at once.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Last Sunday I bought a box of vintage cameras at an auction for $27. Included in that box were these two awesome 35mm cameras, an Argus C3 and an Argus C4. Neither of these cameras is especially well regarded among aficionados of classic cameras, but I really like them. The C3, on the left, was the earlier model and was one of the most popular cameras of its day. Some reports suggest that the C3 was the best selling camera of the 1940s, 50s and 60s. According to its styling and serial number, this particular camera was probably produced in 1949. I can't get over the awesome "brick" shape, from which this camera gets its nickname. It is also quite heavy and solidly constructed, which probably has something to do with why there are so many of these cameras surviving in perfect working condition. I think the rangefinder on this one is a bit cockeyed, but otherwise it seems to be in pretty good shape.

The C4 seems to be in even better condition. Argus released it in 1951 with a non-changeable lens, which is a step back when compared to the lens options of the C3. However, it has a beautiful viewfinder/rangefinder combination which makes focusing much easier. That viewfinder is also a lot larger and brighter than the C3. The shutter resets itself when the film is advanced and, unlike the C3, it doesn't need to be cocked before shooting. Argus also changed the design drastically. The camera is lighter and easier on the hands than the big heavy "brick." Unfortunately, these changes make the C4 seem more like a boring, regular camera than a scientific instrument that might look at home on a WW2 submarine. In my opinion, the C3 is a much cooler camera.

I picked up a few box cameras and some folding brownies too. I think I'll just unload them on ebay. I've got so many old cameras sitting around here it is getting stupid. I like them a lot, but if I'm not using them regularly to take pictures, then I think I probably shouldn't keep them.

Finally, when I was taking pictures of the cameras, with my digital (which I haven't used for months) I found this picture I took in the rain of a dirty dinner plate on a dashboard.