Monday, July 18, 2016

Another Monoprint Class

I taught a monoprint workshop at the Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago on Saturday, and as usual, the students all produced some nice looking work. Even for people who have done some form of printmaking before, they are always surprised and pleased when they pull the first print from the plexiglass plate and see the unique marks that they've made.

First up, a contact (or trace) monoprint, in two colours:

two colour contact monoprint

Then a blazing full colour additive monoprint:

full colour monoprint of flower

Now a ghost print (printed from the faint residue of ink left on the plexiglass plate after pulling the main print):

ghost monoprint of girl's head

Bravo, students!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Going through my CD collection

I have hundreds of CDs of "classical" music, arranged alphabetically by composer on shelves in the bedroom of the Chicago apartment. My wife suggests every now and then that we move the shelves somewhere else, so I occasionally come up with schemes to justify keeping them there. My latest one is playing every CD over the course of this year, all of them in the car, because:

a) I drive every day, and that's the best chance to listen to music;

b) The sound system in the car is amazingly good. (In fact, I think back to the first stereo that I bought from my pocket money, in the 1970s, and the better ones that I got in my twenties, and marvel at the fact that the sound in the Toyota Corolla is better than they ever were).

Note that I put the word "classical" between inverted commas. It's not a term that I particularly like, as it comes with so many assumptions, particularly from people who say they don't like that kind of music. But whatever we call it (I prefer a term used by a musician friend of mine, "written-down music"), that's almost the only thing I listen to.

First observation: going through the collection alphabetically only lasted through the B's. After listening to Bach for several weeks, jumping straight to Beethoven was a profound shock to the ears. I love both composers about equally, and it was certainly interesting to realise once again just how different Beethoven's music is to the Baroque forms of Bach's music. But I decided to switch tack, and listen to the music in historical sequence.


It's good to hear music that I am familiar with, and it's better to listen to music that I haven't heard in a long while. One such is Bach's Musical Offering, which if memory serves me right can be played and recorded in varied ensembles, because Bach didn't specify the instruments in the score. The recording I have is scored for a wide ensemble of orchestral instruments, definitely not the stripped down version of the Original Instruments movement. It's similar in sound to the extract posted above. The chromatic tone row of the ricercar is endlessly absorbing, don't you think?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Water, water, everywhere ...

Last weekend, I taught a class about crafting blog content to eight participants at the Interlochen College of Creative Arts in northern Michigan. One of the participants, Brita, has spent much of the last couple of years sailing a 40 foot boat around the Caribbean. I gathered that her presence as a land-lubber at the class is only a temporary hiatus from sailing the high seas. Anyway, I asked people who took the class to send me links to any blog or blog posts they were willing to share, and Brita sent me this one, about a near miss at sea.

Hi definition photograph of moon over Caribbean and Tobago
Photo by Brita Siepker
The article also contains more photos similar to this gorgeous shot of a full moon near Tobago.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Student Images from my Acrylic Resist Etching Class

I recently finished teaching a five week course in acrylic resist etching. I and my six students explored how to make hard ground, soft ground, and dry point intaglio prints using non-toxic materials, such as floor polish for a hard ground, relief ink for soft ground, soy sauce for degreasing, soda ash for a stripping solution. Some of the students were experienced printmakers, some were first time etchers, and some were first time for both. Uniformly, they each produced some spectacular prints. They were honestly better than my first efforts using these new materials, partly as a result of my long trial-and-error research into this, but mainly because of their own willingness and talent.

Here are a few images from the class. First, a hard ground with chine colle:

nontoxic printmaking hard ground etching

A couple of hard ground images mixed with drypoint:

nontoxic printmaking drypoint intaglio

A softground etching:

nontoxic printmaking soft ground etching

A hard ground:

nontoxic printmaking copper plate etching

Finally, a hand-coloured hard ground etching:

nontoxic printmaking hard ground etching hand coloured

Monday, June 27, 2016

Six of the Best: Part 37

Part 36 of an interview series in which artists reply to the same six questions. Today's respondent is artist Kate Ingold, whose work encompasses media as diverse as poetry, photography, and object-making. She is currently in the process of relocating from Chicago to Los Angeles; however, people in the midwest can see her work soon at Perry Farm, in Bourbonnais, IL, in collaboration with artist Joanne Aono.

fabric art recycled art kate ingold
 “The relatively brief preponderance of moments,” antique mourning quilt embroidered with real platinum thread, wool batting, 69” x 69” approx., 2015

PH: What medium/media do you chiefly use, and why?

KI: I consider myself a multi-disciplinary artist, but I suppose my primary medium is photography because I often start each project by making photographs. I print my photographs one time only and then treat them as substrates for drawings by tearing, scratching, sewing, and in other ways manipulating their surfaces. I also work in textiles (old and new), video, collage, and occasionally I write poems, either to go with the visual work or to stand alone.

Why photography? It’s a way for me to visually explore an idea. Often I find myself photographing one particular thing (like little repairs on buildings, for instance) and then I begin to build a body of work off of that interest. I take a lot of photographs. Sometimes I wait a decade or longer before I use a photograph in a series or project. I often go back and look at my photographs when I’m crafting a new series, or I’ll go back and look over them when I remember a photograph that I think will work with a current project. Every now and then I actually have the discipline to go through them and get rid of the absolutely awful ones, but mostly I save them. I just started going through some of my old film photographs (I’ve shot digital exclusively since 2003 or so) and realized that I shot 35 rolls of film on a trip to Thailand in 1994. Ridiculous! I have well over 20,000 images in my Photos app on my computer.

PH: What piece are you currently working on?

KI: My current project/series is “Damaged Goods/Small Repairs,” which so far includes scratched photographs and discarded, hand sewn quilts that I’m mending or embellishing with gold, platinum, and wool thread. I’m finishing up an elaborate quilt piece tentatively called “Night Quilt” and have just begun working on one inspired by Agnes Martin’s painting, Friendship. It’s a horribly damaged quilt that I’m covering with real 24k gold thread. I’m also scratching concentric circles into photographs. I’ve got ideas for a video or two for this series as well and have made a dozen or so collages from beauty and travel magazines from 1989 and 1990, a year that I traveled to Europe. I write poems with the text from the magazines and match the words with images from the magazines. They’re really fun to make.

altered photograph digital art kate ingold
“Head, Floor,” scratched drawing on archival inkjet photograph, 9” x 12,” 2016

PH: What creative surprises are happening in the current work?

KI: I’m coming up with more ideas than I have time to execute. All of my work is really time and attention intensive. I practice Zen and I’ve been surprised how many ideas I’m getting that are in answer to that practice and/or the history of Zen. I hope I have time to make two in particular this year. Both involve quilts and gold leaf and reference Hideyoshi’s Golden Tea Room.

PH: What other artistic medium (or non-artistic activity) feeds your creative process?

KI: Reading, cooking, and practicing Zen all feed my creative process. I read a lot of poetry and nonfiction. Rebecca Solnit’s books have influenced my thinking a lot the past couple of years, particularly The River of Shadows, an incredible look at Eadweard Muybridge and the expansion of the railroad west, and A Field Guide to Getting Lost, in which Solnit weaves in Yves Klein and his blue into an exceptional book about meandering and the unknown. I’m also in love with Brandon Shimoda’s new book of poems, Evening Oracle. The past few months I’ve joined the rest of the country in reading one political screed after another. It’s amazing how much time I’ve lost to political diatribes since the presidential election began.

collage photography fine art kate ingold
 “Many Years Later,” image/text collage made from vintage TV Guides (1968-1982) and scotch tape, 7” x 7” approx., 2011-12

PH
: What's the first ever piece of art you remember making?

KI: I drew portraits my whole childhood. I think the oldest one my mom has is one I drew of her when I was 6. It’s ridiculous and huge and colorful and I have her wearing the giant bauble earrings that dangle down to her shoulders. Yet I think it’s rather spectacular! In high school I’d stay up all night listening to music and drawing portraits of my favorite dead movie stars, like Marilyn Monroe and James Dean.

PH: Finally, and you can answer this in any way that's meaningful to you: why are you an artist?

KI: My husband’s an archaeologist so I go to a lot of archaeology-themed lectures and events. A few years ago at the Field Museum, Bill Parkinson gave a lecture on his work in a Greek cave and talked about how the presence of art is one of the primary ways that archaeologists determine if an ancient site is human or not. Crows make and use tools, as did some of our pre-human ancestors. But art? That’s pretty much a people thing. So it’s a deeply human expression and though it’s a cliché to say it, it’s one of the things that gives us sustenance. I’m the daughter of a painter so I’ve been exposed to art and art-making my whole life. I’ve always felt that making art is one of the most important things a human being can do. While I’ve always had to make money doing something else, I’ve always made art and expect I always will. Sometimes I make artfully useful things (like blankets and clothes) but mostly I make art that has no non-art purpose. What else is there to do?

If you liked this interview, and you'd like to keep up to date with the series, why not Subscribe, or sign-up via Google Connect, using one of the options over on the right? Thanks, and keep creating.

Six of the Best: Part 37

Part 36 of an interview series in which artists reply to the same six questions. Today's respondent is artist Kate Ingold, whose work encompasses media as diverse as poetry, photography, and object-making. She is currently in the process of relocating from Chicago to Los Angeles; however, people in the midwest can see her work soon at Perry Farm, in Bourbonnais, IL, in collaboration with artist Joanne Aono.

fabric art recycled art kate ingold
 “The relatively brief preponderance of moments,” antique mourning quilt embroidered with real platinum thread, wool batting, 69” x 69” approx., 2015

PH: What medium/media do you chiefly use, and why?

KI: I consider myself a multi-disciplinary artist, but I suppose my primary medium is photography because I often start each project by making photographs. I print my photographs one time only and then treat them as substrates for drawings by tearing, scratching, sewing, and in other ways manipulating their surfaces. I also work in textiles (old and new), video, collage, and occasionally I write poems, either to go with the visual work or to stand alone.

Why photography? It’s a way for me to visually explore an idea. Often I find myself photographing one particular thing (like little repairs on buildings, for instance) and then I begin to build a body of work off of that interest. I take a lot of photographs. Sometimes I wait a decade or longer before I use a photograph in a series or project. I often go back and look at my photographs when I’m crafting a new series, or I’ll go back and look over them when I remember a photograph that I think will work with a current project. Every now and then I actually have the discipline to go through them and get rid of the absolutely awful ones, but mostly I save them. I just started going through some of my old film photographs (I’ve shot digital exclusively since 2003 or so) and realized that I shot 35 rolls of film on a trip to Thailand in 1994. Ridiculous! I have well over 20,000 images in my Photos app on my computer.

PH: What piece are you currently working on?

KI: My current project/series is “Damaged Goods/Small Repairs,” which so far includes scratched photographs and discarded, hand sewn quilts that I’m mending or embellishing with gold, platinum, and wool thread. I’m finishing up an elaborate quilt piece tentatively called “Night Quilt” and have just begun working on one inspired by Agnes Martin’s painting, Friendship. It’s a horribly damaged quilt that I’m covering with real 24k gold thread. I’m also scratching concentric circles into photographs. I’ve got ideas for a video or two for this series as well and have made a dozen or so collages from beauty and travel magazines from 1989 and 1990, a year that I traveled to Europe. I write poems with the text from the magazines and match the words with images from the magazines. They’re really fun to make.

altered photograph digital art kate ingold
“Head, Floor,” scratched drawing on archival inkjet photograph, 9” x 12,” 2016

PH: What creative surprises are happening in the current work?

KI: I’m coming up with more ideas than I have time to execute. All of my work is really time and attention intensive. I practice Zen and I’ve been surprised how many ideas I’m getting that are in answer to that practice and/or the history of Zen. I hope I have time to make two in particular this year. Both involve quilts and gold leaf and reference Hideyoshi’s Golden Tea Room.

PH: What other artistic medium (or non-artistic activity) feeds your creative process?

KI: Reading, cooking, and practicing Zen all feed my creative process. I read a lot of poetry and nonfiction. Rebecca Solnit’s books have influenced my thinking a lot the past couple of years, particularly The River of Shadows, an incredible look at Eadweard Muybridge and the expansion of the railroad west, and A Field Guide to Getting Lost, in which Solnit weaves in Yves Klein and his blue into an exceptional book about meandering and the unknown. I’m also in love with Brandon Shimoda’s new book of poems, Evening Oracle. The past few months I’ve joined the rest of the country in reading one political screed after another. It’s amazing how much time I’ve lost to political diatribes since the presidential election began.

collage photography fine art kate ingold
 “Many Years Later,” image/text collage made from vintage TV Guides (1968-1982) and scotch tape, 7” x 7” approx., 2011-12

PH
: What's the first ever piece of art you remember making?

KI: I drew portraits my whole childhood. I think the oldest one my mom has is one I drew of her when I was 6. It’s ridiculous and huge and colorful and I have her wearing the giant bauble earrings that dangle down to her shoulders. Yet I think it’s rather spectacular! In high school I’d stay up all night listening to music and drawing portraits of my favorite dead movie stars, like Marilyn Monroe and James Dean.

PH: Finally, and you can answer this in any way that's meaningful to you: why are you an artist?

KI: My husband’s an archaeologist so I go to a lot of archaeology-themed lectures and events. A few years ago at the Field Museum, Bill Parkinson gave a lecture on his work in a Greek cave and talked about how the presence of art is one of the primary ways that archaeologists determine if an ancient site is human or not. Crows make and use tools, as did some of our pre-human ancestors. But art? That’s pretty much a people thing. So it’s a deeply human expression and though it’s a cliché to say it, it’s one of the things that gives us sustenance. I’m the daughter of a painter so I’ve been exposed to art and art-making my whole life. I’ve always felt that making art is one of the most important things a human being can do. While I’ve always had to make money doing something else, I’ve always made art and expect I always will. Sometimes I make artfully useful things (like blankets and clothes) but mostly I make art that has no non-art purpose. What else is there to do?

If you liked this interview, and you'd like to keep up to date with the series, why not Subscribe, or sign-up via Google Connect, using one of the options over on the right? Thanks, and keep creating.

Six of the Best: Part 37

Part 36 of an interview series in which artists reply to the same six questions. Today's respondent is artist Kate Ingold, whose work encompasses media as diverse as poetry, photography, and object-making. She is currently in the process of relocating from Chicago to Los Angeles; however, people in the midwest can see her work soon at Perry Farm, in Bourbonnais, IL, in collaboration with artist Joanne Aono.

fabric art recycled art kate ingold
 “The relatively brief preponderance of moments,” antique mourning quilt embroidered with real platinum thread, wool batting, 69” x 69” approx., 2015

PH: What medium/media do you chiefly use, and why?

KI: I consider myself a multi-disciplinary artist, but I suppose my primary medium is photography because I often start each project by making photographs. I print my photographs one time only and then treat them as substrates for drawings by tearing, scratching, sewing, and in other ways manipulating their surfaces. I also work in textiles (old and new), video, collage, and occasionally I write poems, either to go with the visual work or to stand alone.

Why photography? It’s a way for me to visually explore an idea. Often I find myself photographing one particular thing (like little repairs on buildings, for instance) and then I begin to build a body of work off of that interest. I take a lot of photographs. Sometimes I wait a decade or longer before I use a photograph in a series or project. I often go back and look at my photographs when I’m crafting a new series, or I’ll go back and look over them when I remember a photograph that I think will work with a current project. Every now and then I actually have the discipline to go through them and get rid of the absolutely awful ones, but mostly I save them. I just started going through some of my old film photographs (I’ve shot digital exclusively since 2003 or so) and realized that I shot 35 rolls of film on a trip to Thailand in 1994. Ridiculous! I have well over 20,000 images in my Photos app on my computer.

PH: What piece are you currently working on?

KI: My current project/series is “Damaged Goods/Small Repairs,” which so far includes scratched photographs and discarded, hand sewn quilts that I’m mending or embellishing with gold, platinum, and wool thread. I’m finishing up an elaborate quilt piece tentatively called “Night Quilt” and have just begun working on one inspired by Agnes Martin’s painting, Friendship. It’s a horribly damaged quilt that I’m covering with real 24k gold thread. I’m also scratching concentric circles into photographs. I’ve got ideas for a video or two for this series as well and have made a dozen or so collages from beauty and travel magazines from 1989 and 1990, a year that I traveled to Europe. I write poems with the text from the magazines and match the words with images from the magazines. They’re really fun to make.

altered photograph digital art kate ingold
“Head, Floor,” scratched drawing on archival inkjet photograph, 9” x 12,” 2016

PH: What creative surprises are happening in the current work?

KI: I’m coming up with more ideas than I have time to execute. All of my work is really time and attention intensive. I practice Zen and I’ve been surprised how many ideas I’m getting that are in answer to that practice and/or the history of Zen. I hope I have time to make two in particular this year. Both involve quilts and gold leaf and reference Hideyoshi’s Golden Tea Room.

PH: What other artistic medium (or non-artistic activity) feeds your creative process?

KI: Reading, cooking, and practicing Zen all feed my creative process. I read a lot of poetry and nonfiction. Rebecca Solnit’s books have influenced my thinking a lot the past couple of years, particularly The River of Shadows, an incredible look at Eadweard Muybridge and the expansion of the railroad west, and A Field Guide to Getting Lost, in which Solnit weaves in Yves Klein and his blue into an exceptional book about meandering and the unknown. I’m also in love with Brandon Shimoda’s new book of poems, Evening Oracle. The past few months I’ve joined the rest of the country in reading one political screed after another. It’s amazing how much time I’ve lost to political diatribes since the presidential election began.

collage photography fine art kate ingold
 “Many Years Later,” image/text collage made from vintage TV Guides (1968-1982) and scotch tape, 7” x 7” approx., 2011-12

PH
: What's the first ever piece of art you remember making?

KI: I drew portraits my whole childhood. I think the oldest one my mom has is one I drew of her when I was 6. It’s ridiculous and huge and colorful and I have her wearing the giant bauble earrings that dangle down to her shoulders. Yet I think it’s rather spectacular! In high school I’d stay up all night listening to music and drawing portraits of my favorite dead movie stars, like Marilyn Monroe and James Dean.

PH: Finally, and you can answer this in any way that's meaningful to you: why are you an artist?

KI: My husband’s an archaeologist so I go to a lot of archaeology-themed lectures and events. A few years ago at the Field Museum, Bill Parkinson gave a lecture on his work in a Greek cave and talked about how the presence of art is one of the primary ways that archaeologists determine if an ancient site is human or not. Crows make and use tools, as did some of our pre-human ancestors. But art? That’s pretty much a people thing. So it’s a deeply human expression and though it’s a cliché to say it, it’s one of the things that gives us sustenance. I’m the daughter of a painter so I’ve been exposed to art and art-making my whole life. I’ve always felt that making art is one of the most important things a human being can do. While I’ve always had to make money doing something else, I’ve always made art and expect I always will. Sometimes I make artfully useful things (like blankets and clothes) but mostly I make art that has no non-art purpose. What else is there to do?

If you liked this interview, and you'd like to keep up to date with the series, why not Subscribe, or sign-up via Google Connect, using one of the options over on the right? Thanks, and keep creating.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Blog Love: John Tomlinson

I've known the artist John Tomlinson for a few years. And by known, I mean "known", in that we so far have only become acquainted with each other via social media (though there was one near miss in New York City a few years ago). Such is the way of things, one feels after a while that one knows someone in the old fashioned way, too, after sharing and reading about each other's lives and works over a period of time.

He is a phenomenal draughtsman, as this image of a graphite drawing shows:


You can see a lot more of his work over at his website.

I've also just become aware that he has begun a blog, and a handsome affair it is too. As a former professor of art at Parsons, and the director of the New York Studio Residency Program, what he has to say about art is going to be worth listening to.

So in order to share the blog love, here is a link to John Tomlinson's nothing but art blog.

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