Saturday, December 20, 2014

Nibblefest Art Contest Theme Books

This month's Nibblefest Art Contest theme is Books.  I've listed 3 items... some of my hand made one page wonder books.

A Little Book of Zen, the catalog for one of my exhibits of artworks created by the universe... book is made from one sheet of folded fine art paper that was giclee printed using epson fine art inks.

Flocked Butterflies, a set of 3 little sketch books. Insert made from single sheets of accordion folded fine art paper.

Flocked Flourishes, a set of 3 little sketch books. Insert made from one sheet of folded fine art paper.

All of these books are part of the monthly Nibblefest challenge on ebay.  In this theme based contest artists list up to three artworks (at least one of which must be an original) with a starting bid of 99 cents.  You can see lots and lots of great artworks by searching "NFAC" on ebay.  You're sure to see something you love and can afford!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Another Print in the "Printmaking Tools" Series

This is a photo of the next print in progress.  This is the printing plate carved into 10x10 inch plywood.  The image is of a Maru Bake, a brush used in the Japanese Hanga technique of printmaking.

The first edition of prints from this plate will be on 7.5x10 inch paper for a print exchange.  I will, of course, print only a portion of the plate and I will be printing it using the Japanese Hanga technique.

This is what I estimate the print will look something like...probably a little lighter.  I fiddled with the contrast, color and brightness in the above cropped photo of the printing plate.  I haven't printed it yet...I'm still carving.

This is an underpainting of an 8.5 x 11 inch acrylic painting on water color paper.  I did this painting a year ago while interning in Mick Sheldon's color theory class at American River College.  I wrote about the project in this blog post: 

This is the finished painting.

I so enjoyed making those painting of the tools I love to use that I decided to do a series of printmaking tools.  I'll do 6 woodcuts of tools based on the sketches I did for the color theory studies.

I then plan on using the carved plates as substrates to make encaustic paintings of the tools.  Who knows...if I haven't gotten sick of the project after that I may go on to make giant paintings of the images...

Last year I did a moka hanga woodcut of a baren...a tool used to burnish the paper during the printing process.  I wrote about it in the following blog post:

Friday, May 23, 2014

Universe: an Illustration Friday Submission

I wonder if tonight's "brand new" meteor shower is the inspiration for for this week's Illustration Friday challenge theme?

No matter, I immediately thought of "Foolish Mandala" a mixed media painting I did several years ago.  "Foolish Mandala" was inspired by the first card in a Tarot Deck, The Fool.
In the tarot card the subject is a youth with head in clouds ignoring the little dog that tries to keep him from stepping off a cliff.
I'm working on hand woodcut printing my own tarot deck and had developed several sketches.  Foolish Mandala is a derivative work from those sketches.  I wanted to convey the concept of taking a leap of faith with the fool having stepped off the cliff into the unknown-the void...  In my image I tried to create a paradoxical he falling away from the viewer or stepping out of the void toward the viewer?

You can view other artist's illustrations of the concept of Universe in the "Illustration Friday" website at:

or just click on the words "Illustration Friday" anywhere within this blog...

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

TIME Some Nibblefest ACEOs

I created a tiny print for this month's Nibblefest Art Challenge.  Nibblefest is a monthly eBay art challenge with a new theme each month.  The challenge is to create 1 to 3 works within the theme and list them on eBay with a starting bid of 99 cents.  The artists to get the most bidders (biddiers not bids) to battle over one of their artworks wins the challenge.

this is a little scrap of battleship linoleum i carved to make the open edition of ACEO size prints on various scraps of printmaking papers.

This was my setup while printing the ACEOs

a digitally watermarked version on a scrap of Rives BFK light. The text in the book is not in the original.  I put it in the scan.  I actually left the book pages blank so that I could personalize each print as I see fit...

blue time doesn't have any legible text in the book pages.  I did draw a bug on the left page when I colored the print using a new art product. To see the image without the digital watermark at the eBay listing click the following link:

I drew an orchid in the left page of Green Time. I really really really love the Inktense water soluble color pencils I used to color these little Nibblefests. You can see what this looks like without digital watermarks at it's eBay listing:

I drew some leaves on the left page of the book in Violet Time.  The Inktense color pencils are highly pigmented and brighter than standard water color pencils yet they are still translucent and can be layered and used with watercolor paints. This one is listed without the digital watermarks on eBay:

A lot of really great artists participate in the Nibblefest eBay Art Challenge.  At least on of three listing by each artist must be an original artwork so it's a great opportunity to collect original fine art at an affordable price!  Just search NFAC on eBay between the 20th and the 27th of each month to see the theme and artworks for that month.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

BarenForem Exchange 60 prints.

This weekend I printed an edition of block prints for a print exchange.  I'll be exchanging block prints with 30 other artists from throughout the world.  I try to participate in at least one exchange per year.  On a cold rainy day when I print indoors I set up on kitchen counter.  The counter's at just the right height to stand up and print. 

this is my test proof using Graphic Chemical water soluble ink on resume quality bond paper.  The lines were crisp and sharp and would have printed beautifully on the Reeves BFK light paper that I had planned to use.  But the ink would have taken too long to dry in the rainy weather we had this weekend.  So I decided to print them using the Japanese Hanga Technique.

This is result printing Japanese Hanga style.  I used Createx Burnt Sienna pure pigment mixed with rice paste and printed atop Black Ink's unbleached mulberry block printing paper.  I don't think this paper was sized so even on the smooth side the medium was absorbed into the paper, blurring the lines.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Snakes, Knives and a Spaceship...

It's Been a while since I've here's a little update on the projects I've begun for the new year and a few hold over's from last year...

Year of the Snake inked plate waiting to be printed.
My snake went out a year late.  I had the plate carved for a year but other projects kept popping up and delaying its I printed it up with my Horses...


Back in the November of 2013 I blogged some under-paintings I started while volunteering as a Teaching Assistant for Mick Sheldon's Color Theory Class. Below are the finished acrylic and digital paintings.
 Blue Digital Gouge
 Etching Needle
 Green Digital Gouge
 Maru Bake
 Orange Digital Gouge
 Twisted Needle
 Violet Gouge
Vintage Brayer

I'm currently carving plates to make 10x10" woodcut prints of six of the above images.  Once I've printed the editions I'm planning on cancelling the plates by doing encaustic paintings on top of them.

Here's a sketch for the woodcut print I'm about to start carving for a print exchange with fellow printmaker members of the group.
It's inspired by a passage I read in the book Agents of Ki by Anna Erishkigal. The book hasn't been formally published yet but you can purchase the previous books The Chosen One and Prince of Tyre in the Sword of the Gods series at Amazon.  They're available as printed and e-book versions.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

How I Fell For Another Artist Abusing Auction...

I have participated in the Placer Art's Outside the Box exhibit in the past.  I enjoyed the challenging and the substrate, a box, was provided by the art center the auction raised funding for.  When I received a request to participate again I wasn't sure if I'd return from summer travels in time to pick-up the box but I found I'd be back a couple of days before pickup so I thought "why not."  Also this year the Auction coordinators offered to do something I stated would be one of the few reasons I would participate in an Art Auction...they offered a moderate 20% of the final bid to the participating artists... So when I returned from my travels I picked up the box and started ruminating on what I'd do with the 6 pieces of plywood they gave me.  I decided to do 6 encaustic paintings over the holidays during the winter semester break based on the 6 sketches of printmaking toos I shared in a previous blog and the acrylic paintings I did from them. 

A few days after the semester ended, just as I was prepping the plywood for painting, I received an email from the art center with important dates and other info about the event.  At the end of the email was a paragraph stating:

"This is a ticketed event. *A special ticket price of $25 is offered to participating box show artists who purchase tickets through the office by Jan. 16."

Wow I thought that's interesting and highly insulting to the participant artists...asking us to pay for the privileged of a night marketing to raise money for someone else... But I thought that perhaps I was misinterpreting the message... Maybe they're offering extra discounted tickets to the artist so I emailed the auction coordinator to clarify the paragraph. And I decided to put a hold on painting the panels until I received a reply. 

10 days later, a mere few days before the works are due to be turned in I finally received an answer and yes the event planners decided to charge the participating artists to attend the auction.  

Once again a charity asks artists to donate works of art worth hundreds of dollars; donations we cannot deduct from our taxes.  The 20 percent cut of the final sale might or might not cover the artist's pickup, delivery, materials and presentation costs (framing, bases, etc) but it does make an attempt to honor the artist's contribution.  But charging the artist to attend the event is beyond rude!  

First of all one or two comped entrances for artists to an event they contribute artwork they worked hard on is customary in these events. 

Second waiting a few weeks before deadline to disclose participation fees to artists who have probably been working and spending money on materials -- if not criminal -- should be!  

Third requiring someone to pay to work is unethical...

The collectors who attend an auction attend an event they get to enjoy.  For artists we have to work to market our work to strangers in order to get the most amount of money possible for the organization we contributed our artworks to... It's not a fun evening of drinking, dining and socializing for most of us!!!  It's a long night of standing on our feet, smiling, schmoozing and selling selling selling... IT'S WORK!!!!!

This new example of artist abuse by charity auctions has only driven a big rusty spike into the coffin of charity auctions for me.  I swore that in the future I would no longer contribute artwork to charities unless they offered a portion of the sale to the artists but now I can't even trust that... I'm disgusted that these coordinators failed to disclose that the artists would be required to pay to attend the event in which their donation would be auctioned until months after the artists agreed to participate.  Personally I see that as a breach of agreement and I feel no regret in not contributing the artworks.  Even though I drove 40 miles round trip to pick up the cheap plywood, I'll send the art center $10 and consider us even...

See my previous blog for reasons why charity art auctions are bad for an artist's career:

How Charity Auctions Can Do More Harm Than Good For AnArtist’s Career