Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Details

I never really enjoyed printing by hand but, without access to a press, my options are pretty limited. So I've been thinking I should make an effort to try it again. Luckily, I came across the No Press Print Exchange which gave me an excuse to pill out my baren and work something out. I carved a linoleum block over the course of two or three days and then printed out a small edition on the kitchen counter. I decided to wax the prints to make them a bit transparent and a little more complicated. They aren't the most elaborate prints I've ever made but there was a pretty tight deadline for the exchange. I do think they came out pretty cool. For such a simple carve, the amount of detail that comes out is surprising.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Last Ditch Microscope

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Navigated those Currents

Yesterday a package arrived containing my prints from the Interaction Exchange. My selection is especially nice and I'm proud to be a part of this project. I'm lucky to have received prints from S.V. Medaris, Jenny Roholt, Melody Knight Leary, Randy Arnold, Sandra Wimer, Craig Burkhalter, Stacy Elko, Scott Kolbo, Kathleen Piercefield, Pamela Bowens, Jonathan Stewart, Dinah Coakley, Elizabeth A. Jabar, and Stephanie Standish. The entire portfolio of 100 prints is available for viewing at Inkteraction.

I'll take the credit for co-coordinating this exchange but really Jonathan Stewart did the lion's share of the work. Sara Francis also deserves a lot of credit for helping Jonathan collate the prints and make up the packages. So thanks to them.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Navigating the Currents

All the prints for our long-brewing Inkteraction exchange have finally arrived and Jonathan down in Texas is sorting them out. They should be mailed to all the participants pretty soon now.

The donations from the exchange participants will pay for another year of keeping Interaction alive on the web. We have a good handful of shows of the entire portfolio planned for 2012. If anyone wants to put up an exhibition of one hundred 5x7 prints from artists around the world, let me know and we'll work something out.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

49.28%

I really don't know what else to say about this embroidery project. I've moved past the point where it is physically hurting to work on. My hands are fine now. A little stiffness in my shoulder but it is really fine. As it stands now, I'm just over 49% of the way done with this thing. Sp probably 5 more months if I can keep up this pace. I am thinking about taking a break to work on some smaller quicker projects even though I don't have any specific things in mind.

Friday, November 18, 2011

No Parking or Whatever

41.6% done. I guess that is almost halfway finished. I'm making my new prediction for a completion date: May 1st, 2012.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Still Stitching

I'm still plugging away at this cross stitch embroidery project. I've been working on it for about three months now and, if my calculations are correct, I'm almost 28% of the way finished. My whole right side hurts, especially my wrists. At night, my dreams have recently been incorporating elements of stitchery. I thought I would be bored by now, but I'm feeling more invested than ever. I can't wait to see how this turns out.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Stitching Time

So I'm still working on this big cross stitch. As of today, I'm just over 20% of the way finished with it. That's about 101,000 stitches so far. I was worried that it wouldn't look like anything when it was done, but now that I've finished a section with some recognizable detail (and it actually looks like something) I'm feeling a lot more confident about continuing to stitch. If I can keep up this pace I might be finished way ahead of schedule. I was expecting it to take about a year and a half or two years to complete but now I think more like 7 months. We'll see.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Jungle Gym

There was a possum on our porch the other day peeking into the kitchen and Jessica keeps seeing a skunk in the yard when she comes home at night. Its a regular jungle around here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Littlest Prints

This year's Littlest Print Exchange wrapped up nicely. It was the smoothest running exchange yet. No late drop outs, and all the prints came in pretty close to the deadline. We collated all the portfolios and shipped them out a couple of weeks ago.

The complete list of all fifty 2011 participants:
Chad Andrews, Arturo Araujo S.J., Caroline Battle, Stephen Belshaw, Adrian Chin, Christopher Clark, Aaron S. Coleman, Jean-Marc Couffin, Guylaine Couture, Josh Dannin, Bruce Docker, Allen Duffy, Judith Caroline Feist, Linda Germain, Rebecca Godin, Jessica Gowling, Eric Hansen, Stephanie Harvey, Jessie Horning, Ana Hurtado-Gonzalez, Ter├ęz Iacovino, Micheal W. Jones, Karen Joyce, Hem Jyotika, Rachel Kaiser, Melody Knight Leary, Stefanie Liles, Barrett Long, Brendan McCumstie, Nancy Mungcal, Candace Nicol, Alexis Novak, Carrie Ohm, Christine Panushka, Travis Paterson, Tiffany Patterson, Sage Perrott, Mark Renner, Aramas Ridge, John Ryrie, Sarah Sciba, Tessa Shackleford, Marsha Shaw, Shirily, Heather Smith, Amy Sterly, Jonathan Stewart, Peter Tudhope, Alicia Wierschke, Robin Wyss

As usual, there's a gallery of all the prints available on the LPE website so you can see what everyone sent in. A bunch of artists were nice enough to send an extra proof or two so there's also been an update of the exchange store. Prints are only $10 and I'll pay for the shipping.

Now that the 2011 exchange is finished, we're already looking at submissions for the 2012 exchange. If you're interested in participating, simply send a link to a gallery of your work.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Squirrel

One day last week, we were sitting on the couch watching TV when I heard a little commotion coming from the kitchen door. I glanced over to see a wild squirrel running straight at me under our dining table. I reacted a little badly with a mild yelp and the squirrel high-tailed it out the door. Jess wanted him to come back in, but I haven't quite forgiven him for eating our squash and cucumbers. The next day Jessica and I were exploring Bradbury Mountain State Park. I heard a screechy noise above us and looked up to see a large bird flying away. Something dropped down unto the boughs of a tree a foot or two over our heads. I assumed it was a branch or a clump of leaves or something like that but, in fact, it was a tiny little chipmunk. I guess he was dropped by the bird.

Today were were coming home from shopping and that squash eating squirrel was hanging out in the backyard. I brought out a bag of pumpkin seeds and some raisins. As soon as he saw the bags, the squirrel seemed to know what was happening and came running over to me. I sat on a chair and threw him some treats. He was a little skittish but was certainly willing to get pretty close. I tried to feed him from my hand but he just touched my finger with his nose and scooted off. I think he'll come around soon enough if we keep working on him.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Hang Your Hat

Here's my submission to the community print exchange Johnathan Stewart and I are coordinating in order to raise the funds needed to keep the print maker's network Inkteraction up and running. I ran a sheet of fairly translucent mulberry paper through an inkject printer multiple times on each side to create a transparent effect that is pretty tough to see in this scan. We're hoping to get the entire portfolio of 100 prints exhibited somewhere so hopefully someone will have the chance to see it in real life.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Three Tomatoes, Two Lights

Our first tomato finally ripened and was picked a couple of days ago. I think Jessica sliced it yesterday for a sandwich. I hope she enjoyed it. There are only two more so they had better be delicious. The cucumber plants have a bunch of tiny, little cucumbers growing still and a couple that could probably be picked even though they are really strangely shaped. The squash plant only had two fruits and they were both eaten by the squirrel. Or it could have been a possum, some seagulls or slugs. I think it was the squirrel though. I suppose you heard a lot about the hurricane traveling the east coast. By the time it got here it was pretty mild. A little rain in the morning and then some wind in the afternoon. If you were worried about us, we're fine.

Jason and Rachel were here all week with Celeste so we all survived the storm and then took the opportunity to see some things around town. We rode the narrow gauge railroad along the bay and finally made it down to the proper Atlantic Ocean where the park ranger uses his old age to get away with overcharging people entering Two Lights State Park. We had a lot of fun climbing on the rocks, looking into tide pools and searching the woods for mushrooms.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Crossing

I'm taking a break from it while sorting out the print exchange, but, for the past few weeks I've been working on a large cross stitch. Its about 30 inches square and contains a half a million stitches. It is going to take a while to get completed. I'm estimating 2 years if I don't take too many days off. I'll let you know how it goes. By the way, the prints are all collated and ready to be packaged for shipping.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Littlest Prints

All the prints are in and we are working on sorting the Littlest Print Exchange 2011 for distribution to the contributing artists. This is the part that takes the most time but hopefully, everything will shipped out within a week or two. I looked into stamps.com as a solution for buying postage but it seems unlikely that we'd use it more than once or twice a year, so the subscription fee would be cost prohibitive. Anyone have any good discount shipping suggestions?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Propagation

After just about two weeks, the first tiny cucumbers have started to appear on my plants. Three tomatoes popped out of that plant on the first day they hit the dirt and they've steadily (but slowly) grown to the size of golf balls. I hope it produces more than three fruits.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mystery Beast

A new record for the month of August, sampled entirely from local Maine musicians. Check out the links to the original artists and listen to their music please.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Standing Room Only

Over the last few days, I've been working on ironing out some t-shirt designs for Kitchen Experiment, my friend Nate's band. It looks like budgetary concerns have helped forced us to go with a single color design on a light colored shirt. That's fine with me, but I'd love to see the two color design printed on a nice burnt orange shirt.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Urban Homestead

I spent this week working on some small scale gardening projects. An old tenant left this planting barrel sitting out by the tree in the back of the apartment. I dragged it over to the part of the yard that actually gets a little bit of sun and planted a yellow squash, a couple of cucumber bushes and a tomato for Jessica. These are all varieties bred for small gardens so they should be ok for this little container. I might have jammed too many plants in there though. We'll see. Luckily I found a couple of tomato cages in the garbage, in case anything needs some support. Yesterday, I scrabbled together some lumber from the basement and put together some planting boxes for our porch. I stopped by the farmers market and picked up some herbs. Oregano, thyme, basil, chives and sage. Today I cooked some zucchini with fresh basil and chives. That tasted pretty good. Now all I have to do is revive the grass in the backyard.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Best of Both Worlds

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Porch

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

I'm home alone again so I decided to hang a few more frames. Then I made the bed and cleaned up the room a little bit so I could take a nice picture. At the bottom of the bed you can see the really great quilt Mrs. Douglas made us as a wedding gift. We haven't had to use it yet, but I'm sure it will be a lifesaver when the winter comes.

Early, I went to the Goodwill and bought and awesome painting of a poodle and a frame to put it in. I don't know where I'm going to hang it yet, but when I do, I'll post a pic. The new 57 Splits record is up at bandcamp now. It is supposed to be the record of July, but I'm not very good at holding back.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Home Alone

Jessica started school today so I stayed home and hung some pictures on the wall. I also freed up the painted-shut bathroom window to clean all the glass the best I could. I took care of a few other chores too.

Other than that, I've been working on some new mixed up music all about our move. Its almost finished and should pop up on Bandcamp pretty soon. Jessica's been working on some tiles, but mostly we've just been doing new apartment stuff. I heard that June 20th is the 2nd annual Six-20 Camera Day, so I'll try to get an old camera out and shoot a few rolls of film around town. I'm hoping the Walmart here has the same cheap film developing system as the one back home.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Flea Tape

Since we got married and made the big move across the country the music production has had to slow down a little. Luckily, a record I made a few years ago (just for friends) has resurfaced. I reworked it a little bit and now it is the record of the month of June. Hopefully, a new record will appear on bandcamp around the first of July.


Monday, June 6, 2011

I'm Married Now

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Controposto Pose

Well we made it halfway across the country and are getting everything unpacked here in Portland Maine. When I was packing I rediscovered the tape recorded by my old band, Controposto Pose.

My first band, Cosby, broke up after a member or two decided we should actually learn to play our instruments, a complete betrayal of the Cosby Mission Statement. Mark Foltynewicz, Matt LeRoy and I decided to continue on with a new band. We wrote a couple of songs, but really needed a bass player. Someone told us about Jamie Stutevant, a friend of a friend who had just taken up the bass. He was already practicing with another guy, Andy Bradley. So we all joined together as a five piece band. I came up with the name Controposto Pose after taking a survey of art class. We played a bunch of shows in basements and churches and then Jamie moved to Rockford so we stopped playing together. Mark and I worked on a lot of songs for years after that, but we never tried too hard to be a real band again.

I think the tape must have been recorded in 1993. I know I was listening to Hum's Electra 200o a lot and the Cranberries were on the radio. Jamie and Andy were into Hole's first album. That all adds up to 1993. If I remember right, we recorded in a public access TV station that was closed for the weekend. Ron Romano had an eight-track and a bunch of microphones. I think we were only the first or second band he ever recorded and I'm pretty sure we had only been playing together for a couple of months, so you'll have to excuse the quality. I listen to the tape every few years, sometimes feeling embarrassed, other times surprisingly impressed, but mostly nostalgic.

Right after finding the tape again, I found Jessica's old Walkman. So I put the two together and plugged it into my computer and copied the songs as digital files. I left in any clicks, static or tape noise to make the sound as authentic as possible. I also scanned the original cover liner and lyric booklet. The tape originally came with a couple of stickers that I don't have anymore, maybe they'll turn up.

Anyway, if you feel like it, take a listen to the tape and download it for free.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

More News from Germany

Another couple of reviews have appeared on the web, this time from Germany. Both written about the Kubrick album available for free on Bandcamp. I think they are pretty positive but again, it is hard to tell for sure.
Progolog (translated)
Das Kraftfuttermischwerk (translated)

LPE In Germany

The 2010 Littlest Print Exchange packages were sent out many months ago but, apparently, Johannes Mundinger has been traveling around and never found time to open the portfolio. He has some unpacking photos on his blog. Even though I'm a bit biased, I still think it looks pretty cool. The site is in German, but it seems like he was happy with it too.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dr. Doom

Another review of my music project, 57 Splits, has appeared on the internet. This one comes from the Latvian blog, Vilnis Kronbergs. Even after running it through google translate, I'm not 100% sure what the reviewer thinks about the music. The translation is pretty cryptic. It does end with the pretty definitive, "If a single word, then - brilliant!" so that seems pretty positive.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Inkteraction Community Portfolio Exchange

I've been working as an administrator for Inkteraction, a social networking community of more than 5000 printmakers across the globe. There are some annual costs for keeping this network afloat. We've decided to coordinate a portfolio exchange among network members to raise the funds needed to cover those subscription costs. If you are a member of Inkteraction, and want to participate, all the info is available on a dedicated, portfolio page on the site, inkteraction.ning.com/page/portfolio-1. If you aren't a member, it is easy enough to join. We'd love to have you.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A New Band A Day

While we were out of town, a review of my music project appeared on A New Band A Day. It is a pretty positive review with references to De La Soul and The Avalanches, not to mention the Beastie Boy's Paul's Boutique, an album that surely influenced me to try making this kind of sample-based music. I haven't had a chance to check out everything on ANBAD, but the bands posted over the last week or two sound pretty great. Of course, my stuff is still available for free on bandcamp.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Portland

I'm sitting at the library applying for jobs since I can't get the internet at home to cooperate. We got home from our Portland trip yesterday and seem to have secured a decent apartment. I think we're both pretty excited about the move. The picture above is from our new neighborhood. The port (or the bay, or whatever it is) is only about three blocks away. You can see a little sliver of it in the background. There are a few more pics from the trip on Flickr.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Interim

All of my student's grades are in for this semester. We're driving out to Portland, Maine tonight to look for an apartment and we're hoping to be moved in by the first week on June. It might be a while before I have anything to post here. In the meantime, get out and take some pictures or make a movie or something. Start a website and let me know about your project. Here's a couple of pictures I used for film developing and/or scanning demos this semester.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Stanley Kubrick

Speaking of bandcamp, I finished a new 57 Splits release for the month of May and never mentioned it here. It is a tribute to the films of Stanley Kubrick. As usual, you can stream it, or download it for free. If you really like it, I wouldn't be opposed to accepting payment.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Kitchen Experiment

Kitchen Experiment put out a new album on Bandcamp. It is totally free to download or you can just stream it if you want. In any event, they asked me to make some cover art again. They provided the Alva Skates photo as a starting point. It reminded me of the Alley Picking series of photos I made a couple of years ago so I used a few of those and made separate art for each track. I hope you like it.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Merchant Street Musicfest 2011

The Merchant Street Musicfest is coming up again soon. I haven't been able to help out as much as I would have liked, and I probably won't even be able to attend, but I still feel pretty invested in the whole thing. The line up of musical acts is just about complete but applications from food and art vendors are still being taken. There will be thousands of people passing through the festival grounds so it is a good opportunity for vendors.

Check out merchantstreetmusicfest.com for the current music line up and, while you're there, check out vendor forms for for food and for artists. And let me know if you have any photos or videos from last year.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Littlest Prints

Since moving the Littlest Print Exchange website from blogger to its own, official domain, traffic has increased on a month my month basis. There are only a couple of days left this month and the visitor count is sadly, about 80 less than it was last month. I'd prefer that the upward trend continues. If you want to help out, simply visit littlestprintexchange.com.

While you're there you might as well look around. There are galleries of the last two portfolios and a list of all the artists participating in the third. Links to everybody's websites are provided. Look around and you'll find an exclusive song from Yea Big. There's also a store featuring prints donated by some of the artists. Prices are super cheap too.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hellhound

A new 57 Splits Album. I'm going to try to release six full length records this year. Every track on this one is based around one or more samples from a Robert Johnson song. Hence the title. It is set up for a free download, if you like it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Extended

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Leftovers

A package arrived the other day with a stack of prints from the Leftovers II Print Exchange. My selection contained a couple of real standouts including this really nice lithograph from Kathryn Polk. There are some plans to exhibit the entire portfolio so keep an eye out to see if it comes to your area.
In more self-serving news, I came across a nice write up about my work at The Print Perspective. It makes me want to get started on a new body of work.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Max Black

I made these little xeroxed photo books a couple of years ago. Inside there's about sixteen pages of badly half-toned, black and white pictures. The covers are screen printed, white ink on weird shimmery, black card stock. They were completed in an edition of fourteen books. I want to give them away. Send me an email with your address. The first fourteen will get some low-resolution goodness in the mail.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Champ

I finished these today with a layer of clear ink over the top of several screen printed layers and an inkjet layer. Getting the inject to print exactly where I wanted it was pretty hit-or-miss and I only ended up with exactly the number of good prints needed for a print exchange meant to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I need to get them packed up and put into the mail to meet the May 1st deadline. Eventually, one print from each edition sent in will be offered for auction. I'll post more info once I know when the auction will be.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I Almost Had an Idea

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Party Balloons

Just a couple more old negatives "scanned" with the negatizer. I really need to get out and shoot some new pics now that the weather is getting nicer. There's the Rhubard Festival coming up this month that I hope to check out, plus the Farmer's Market is opening up again soon. I should also start going to auctions again where interesting people often congregate and they're so engrossed in what they're doing that they don't notice when they're being photographed.

Also, today, after many months of non-activity, I opened a new show at Captive Werewolf. So check that out.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Littlest

Yesterday the fiftieth member of the 2011 Littlest Print Exchange secured his spot. The complete list of participants can be seen on the 2011 portfolio page. A few diligent artists have already sent in their editions. It is shaping up to be another great portfolio. There are still a handful of exhibitions planned for the 2010 portfolio as well. Any ideas for exhibitions of the portfolio in the Chicago area would be more than welcome. Prints from last year and the year before are still available for a ridiculously low price in the exchange store.Link

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Eff Stop

All my plans for the day went belly-up because of the rain and my incapacity to properly store the screens I wanted to print today. Oh well. I did manage to do some testing with the Negatizer, running through many f/stops to find the one (f/11-f/14) that gives the best sharpness but doesn't reveal the texture of the laptop screen beyond the negative. I also ran through a lot of white balance settings to find one that gives the truest color (2500 kelvin) and therefore needs the least amount of digital color balancing.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Negatizer

More from the Negatizer. If you look at the full size image you can see some texture coming though the image. I think that's actually the pixels from the laptop screen I'm using as a light box. I think I can solve it by using a larger lens aperture for shorter depth of field. I might also just shoot into a better light box with a nice clean white surface.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

DIY Negative Digitizer

So I don't have a scanner at my disposal that can handle 120 negatives but I want to get those size negatives into a digital environment. What am I to do? Today, I devised this contraption for shooting negatives with a digital camera. It is basically just a tunnel to keep out any unwanted light. I've attached an old flash extender as a camera mount to keep everything lined up and steady. (A strip of wood with a tripod adapter sized bolt through it would work pretty well.) The negative carrier is nothing more than a folded piece of mat board with a negative sized hole cut though it. The negative is placed inside the carrier and then slipped through a slot through the sides of the tunnel. Once everything is together, you can just point the whole thing at an even light source and shoot away. I pointed it a blank white screen on my computer. I think a white piece of paper with a light shining on it would work as well. The results probably aren't as good as you could get with a decent scanner, but after you get the file into photoshop, invert it and adjust the colors, it doesn't look too bad.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wampa

Printed and ready to be shipped to the 5th Annual Oregon Ink Spot International Print Exchange, another of the portfolio exchanges I'm participating in this year. I do have a couple extras if you want one. 5" x 7" screenprint and inkjet. The typical paypal button follows.

$10.00

Monday, April 4, 2011

Paste Up

I've been using some Liquitex blending medium and/or drying retarder to add transparency to my screen printing inks. Locally, transparent base is impossible to find and I just haven't gotten around to mail-ordering any. I've been toying with the idea of using wallpaper paste as an ink base. Today I finally made it to the hardware store to check out their selection. I wanted a powdered paste so I can mix it to my own thickness preference. It took a couple of stores before I found paste which wasn't already in paste form. The only brand available was Zinsser Sure Grip.

The instructions list several different water to powder ratios for use with different types of papers. Their ratios also call for the use of the entire package of powder. Obviously I don't need that much ink mixed at one time so I decided to just figure out my own recipe. I came up with mixture of 2 cups water and 3 tablespoons of powder. The package says, "It readily dissolves in cold water without forming lumps". However, my first attempt formed one huge, unworkable lump. So I tried again with hot water, mixing the powder in very gradually. After stirring for about 10 minutes the paste was still fairly lumpy so I poured it into an old blender that I only use for making paper. A few blast of the blender and the paste is smooth as could be. I'll experiment with some printing tonight and see if it needs to be thickened or thinned.

I'm not sure how archival this new ink might be. From what I've read it should be pretty good. I found a Zinsser technical data sheet online which says the paste is "starch based" so I guess it should be fine. The package of powder was about $3.50 and should make at least a gallon of ink. So that's pretty cheap.