Pulse and Tremble

September 12, 2014

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This new piece was made for an invitational group show at Linda Matney Gallery in Williamsburg, Virginia. The show, called Matter, was put together by Elizabeth Mead, Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at William and Mary. The guidelines were the size (8 ½” x 11”) and a consideration of the use of color in one’s work. My friend and poet Kasey Jueds and I had hoped to work collaboratively but were unable to do so because of time and schedule constraints. In the end my piece, Second Skin/Pulse and Tremble, was a sort of collaboration with Kasey, as I used her poem “The Selkie from Shore” as a starting point. The text itself is an element of the piece, although not completely readable. As I copied the poem numerous times, the words began to murmur and hum in my mind while I worked on the piece (much as the hum of the bees in the poem!), thus weaving into and becoming part of the making. (I loved the good luck that there were bees busy coming and going in the flowers outside my studio window at the same time!) The piece is made from paper, ink, and oil stick on wooden panel. The show opens next Friday, September 19 at 5:30. Stop in if you are nearby!

Although it is not necessary to read the text of Kasey’s poem while viewing the piece, I can’t resist including her lovely poem here for your delight:

 

The Selkie from Shore

 

You will tell me what I long for is God.

But I say it is bees, their pulse and tremble

in flowers slackening toward summer’s end,

daylilies spreading rust under dusky oaks.

I say I want a garden for them,

so what is small might return

and be sufficient again. Not God, or sky

streaming light, cathedrals, a wish

I am not big enough to hold – not those

but the slightest tremor of air, and a humming

that has no need of me.

 

Kasey Jueds in Keeper

 

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Foxgloves

April 11, 2014

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Yesterday I finally printed an edition of my first broadside. I printed the edition of twelve prints by hand on my kitchen counter, and I am happy to say that all of the prints came out reasonably well. After mixing a color I liked with some older ink, I ended up ordering some new ink for the edition to ensure the same color intensity. So much for trying to use up supplies on hand! But, I am SO happy with the water-soluble relief ink that I got from Graphic Chemical – wonderful consistency and pigment rich! And the ink stayed open long enough to print the edition. It might even make a convert of me from oil-based inks.

 

Here is a picture of the prints drying on the dining room table.

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See the previous post for more information on this broadside and the class I took in Charlottesville.

 

Can’t wait to start the next linocut!

BROADSIDES

April 4, 2014

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For four Saturdays in March I traveled to Charlottesville for the afternoon for a class on printing broadsides (“Printmaking with Purpose”) at the Virginia Arts of the Book Center, a program of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. The teacher for the class was Josef Beery, one of the founders of the VABC. You can read his excellent article on broadsides here. The VABC is a gem of a place with a spacious and seemingly well-equipped print room, a good size workroom, and some display space. Josef in his very kind and knowledgeable way managed to guide our small group – each of us with different backgounds, different levels of experience, and different sorts of projects – towards completing our chosen project. For this short course, the typesetting was done on the computer (as opposed to printing on letterpress) and the images cut into linoleum. The image above shows the cutting process on my unmounted linoleum plate. I am working on an image for the poem “Foxgloves” from Kasey Jueds‘ book Keeper (see earlier posts about Kasey’s book). Our class will meet again in May so we can trade our completed prints. Stay tuned for more images. And if you aren’t familiar with the Virginia Arts of the Books Center check it out and take a class. It is good to get out of town!

POETRY ON THE ROAD

January 28, 2014

CAVE LIGHT: A CONVERSATION ABOUT CREATIVITY AND COLLABORATION

Next week my friend Kasey Jueds is coming to Richmond! In an earlier post I wrote about Kasey’s new book of poetry, Keeper. Kasey very kindly chose one of my drawings, called Cavelight, for the cover. The book launched in Philadelphia in November and now folks in Richmond and Williamsburg have a chance to hear Kasey read some selections from her book. In addition to the readings, Kasey and I will talk a bit about creativity and our collaboration on another project (see previous post), and I will show a few of my images. Details for the two events (which we are calling Cave Light: A Conversation about Creativity and Collaboration) are listed below.

To learn more about the Pitt Poetry Series and read one of Kasey’s poems, have a look at the NYTimes ArtsBeat blog: http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/22/poetry-profiles-university-of-pittsburgh-press/?_r=2.

And to hear Garrison Keillor read a selection from Keeper on The Writer’s Almanac, click here: http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php?date=2013/12/29.

Of course, if you have any questions, please contact me!

Cave Light: A Conversation about Creativity and Collaboration

Wednesday, February 5, 5:00 PM, 101 Andrews Hall, William and Mary, 601 Jamestown Road, Williamsburg, VA (enter through Phi Beta Kappa Building located next to the Muscarelle Museum of Art).

Book signing and reception following.

Thursday, February 6, 7:00-9:00 PM, The Dominion Room, The Visual Arts Center of Richmond, 1812 W. Main Street, Richmond, VA 23220.

Book signing following.

Copies of Keeper will be made available at this event by Fountain Bookstore (1312 E. Cary Street, Richmond, VA 23219, 804-788-1594).

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Learning how to make the work is one of the primary aspects of a creative life. It might even be right to say that it is the whole point. Every drawing, painting, or project involves learning: learning how colors mix or work together, learning how a new material goes down on the paper, learning what the work is about, learning the ways that I work best (or the ways I don’t!), and on and on. I am fairly certain (and I tell my adult drawing students) that if one ever feels as though it is all figured out, understood, and under control then that is the time to worry, because the work will die – quite literally cease to be alive. Making art (and I mean here all creative efforts) is messy and uncomfortable stuff, and that awkward and unfamiliar place, that is where the learning and the life reside.

Beginning a new project often involves an especially steep curve for learning how to make the work. And it is not unusual to encounter the conundrum that it is difficult to begin without knowing what the work is/is about, but one can’t know what the work is without beginning. Apparently this puzzle can be just as true for a collaboration as for a solo project. My friend Kasey (a poet) and I have just begun working on a collaboration that we know very little about. Actually, our conversation began about two years ago, and finally we have begun to trade bits (my scraps and scans of fragments) and pieces (Kasey’s word combinations) as a way to learn how we will make this work and have this conversation. This is a lovely way to roll into the New Year: a delightful adventure with a dear friend as fellow traveler!

Read more about our bits and pieces at Kasey’s blog (http://kaseyjueds.com/pieces/) and find other treasures there as well! The images above are some of the bits that I sent Kasey, and you can see them in the photo on her blog as well.