Tuesday, October 27, 2009

...And Things Just Get More Interesting

I did not get a chance to take photos of the Handmade Nation event. I was soooo busy AND I had a flat tire on top of it all! All that aside, I did not sell out, but it was a good time. I sold some magnets, made contacts, & learned more about the DIY movement. It's different. I'm used to creating art and having to think about the archival quality; the paper, framing, storage, blah. The crafty side of art is much more relaxed and eclectic, not stuffy, like a majority of the fine art community. Overall, the experience was nice.

6t'9 Social Aid & Pleasure Club's Halloween parade on Saturday, Oct. 24th. It was a great time as well! Our Dia de los Muertos theme was a hit with the crowd and I surprised myself with my makeup job. That parade was 3 miles long!! I had a lot of candy and felt crappy about that. I really didn't want to hand out a bunch of sugar to kids. Unfortunately, I never made time to create any throws. Mardi Gras......definitely.

Upcoming events for me (most of them are "up in the air"):

Fringe Fest: November 11th - 15th: specifically for me...Saturday, November 14th. There is a parade on St. Claude Ave from Poland Street down to Marigny Street. After party at Hi-Ho Lounge. Someone told me a little while back that we're also doing an art market that coincides with Fringe, but I haven't heard much about it since.

Photography show: December: Exact date pending. I'm having a photography show for my apprentice and occasional partner-in-crime, Sarah. She has some great photos and I want everyone to see them. I also think this will give her some experience with the public as she is considering art as a career. This show is more of a learning experience for her than anything. As soon as I get a date, I'd LOVE for everyone to come show some support for a local, young artist.

One Day Workshop in Relief Printing, Book Arts, & Letterpress: This date is also pending, but we're considering November 21st. Since the holidays are upon us, it is more convenient to have an all-day workshop than spread it out over four weeks. There's actually a few things pending about this, including the price. Just wanted to put the bug in your ear. There may also be a one-day workshop in screen printing.

To top all news, though, is something that happened on Sunday. My friend and I made an impulse buy at a junk shop in my neighborhood. After conducting a small search online, we discovered our prize to be an 1860s Galley Proof Press! Excited? Absolutely! It was in a junk shop! The guy in the shop gave us some story about how people may want it for decor in their gardens, homes, etc. My friend replied, "You're talking to two printmakers here. We plan on using it."
.....and we can't wait!

That's about it for now.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Selling Opportunity for Me...YAYY!!!

I'm selling my magnets at New Orleans premiere of Handmade Nation, a "documentary about the rise of DIY and the new wave of art, craft and design, plus craft market with local artists!" The event takes place at Delgado Community College on Friday, September 18th from 5pm to around 9:30pm (that's approximate). Come see me!

I really have not had time to make my "special" magnets, but I will have ones similar to the throws I made during Mardi Gras (see picture).

I love my visual art, but I think I'm going to explore more "crafty" avenues. It seems to put money in the pocket. Hmmm, maybe incorporate the two?

Will keep you updated on whether it's a success or a complete flop. Pictures too!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Documentary About Printmaking....Yayyy!

I was introduced to "All About Prints" the other day via conversation with a colleague. No, I have not seen it yet, but plan to in the near future. Sharing this link to its website however, is something I felt I must do as a printmaker.


If there is a screening in your area, I highly recommend you check it out. YES, even if I have yet to see it.

Update coming soon.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Breeding Chaos


I cannot deny it anymore.

My brain is so full of "things to do", being able to focus on producing anything artistic seems too far to grasp right now. There's a blank canvas sitting on my easel and it's been blank for months now. All I do is stare at it. Funny how that canvas somehow reflects what my imagination IS NOT doing. I have a couple of shows to get ready for and the deadlines are fast approaching. I'm starting to wonder if I'll have anything to put up on the walls by these dates. Honestly, I've had this problem since Hurricane Katrina. Artist's block. No ideas. No inspiration. Nothing. I see the work of others and I think to myself,"what the hell have I been doing?"

Then, I read an article about clutter.

Now, I know the psychological reasoning behind household clutter. Actually, my apartment is not THAT bad, but the rest of my life is. Take, for instance, the office I work in. It is so insanely cluttered that I am ALWAYS trying to find new ways to organize my files and paperwork. This interrupts my ability to get things done. I never want to be there. It takes me forever to get started on things. Also, my car needs to be cleaned out, the trunk in particular. It's really just a bunch of art stuff, but I need to get it out and do something with it all.

I read a comment on someone's blog today and I feel this will stick with me:

Movement is the energy exchange, so uncluttering is MOVING rather than HOLDING. As time frees up and clutter frees up space - there is room for something new.
I absolutely agree. Clutter veils our minds from our best potential. It is a visual portrayal of our psychological chaos. A fellow blogger referenced a friend of his: "Clutter is nothing more than indecision". Yep, I get it.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Jumping on the "Green" Boat

I've been researching the nation's green efforts.

Which brings me to my next point: I'm in beginning stages of creating a small line of t-shirts. I'd like for them to be on organic cotton or bamboo fabric. Yes, I said bamboo. I found these guys:

Organic Clothing
bamboo, hemp & organic clothing

I'm going to order a small amount of shirts from them and see where it goes.

Any thoughts?

Monday, April 13, 2009


Financial troubles have hit me hard over the last two months. Unfortunately for me, this puts a halt on any artistic endeavors I anticipated. For now, all I am doing is sketching and drafting ideas for projects, as well as finding anything around the house to draw on.

I've been talking to the folks over at The Studio at Colton. That place is full of so much potential!! The studios are still in their infant stages, but things are happening over there. If you get a chance to visit, they're in the Bywater/Marigny neighborhood, on St. Claude Ave about a block or two past Elysian Fields. I plan on volunteering some time to the printmaking studio, both on an artistic and organization level. We need a lot of equipment and supplies to get it up and running, especially a press! Hopefully I can land an opportunity to teach classes soon.

I moved into the Bywater Art Lofts about three weeks ago. Nice place. I now have no excuses to NOT be creative. I've surrounded myself with artists! There's an impressive list of names in the call box. For me, living here is all about networking, networking, networking! Oh, and cheaper rent!!

A website is in the works. Of course, it is all being notated on paper. Something is wrong with my laptop. I can't access the internet. That being said, I'm looking for decent deals on hosting. I do need to take better photos of my work and get some new contact cards made. There's a lot of work to do.

Just found out today that Krewe do Craft will participate in this year's Halloween parade on October 24th. I believe there are two parades, but we'll be with Box of Wine, just as we were during Mardi Gras. I'll keep you updated.


Friday, February 27, 2009

Xerox Transfer Printmaking

I tried my attempt at xerox transfers about two weeks ago. Honestly, I was not too impressed then. After trying it again yesterday, I don't think I had enough faith in it that first time. Yes, it took some tweaking and re-printing, but they didn't come out that bad:

I need to focus more on how much I'm wiping the ink. The first print had a lot of ink on it. I wiped the ink off too much for the second print. After the other instructors and I played around with it for a bit, we discovered that graphic images work better than hand-drawn ones. The heart came out nice, detail and all.

Incorporating this method of printing into other traditional methods may be beneficial to my work, especially since I use text a lot.

The method of xerox transfer I used is with gum arabic. It tends to act as a less tedious version of lithography: the gum arabic resists the ink on the white sections of the print and the black toner serves as an absorbent of ink. Maybe I'll go into a little more detail later. I'll also post more photos of more transfers as I get better.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Printmaker's Dilemma

What defines a true printmaker?

By definition, a printmaker is an artist who designs and makes prints.

So, what is printmaking?

Webster's Dictionary says that printmaking is "the design and production of prints by an artist."

That's it, Webster? That's so very general and it sucks. I like Britannica's version better:

Art form consisting of the production of images, usually on paper but occasionally on fabric, parchment, plastic, or other support, by various techniques of multiplication, under the direct supervision of or by the hand of the artist. Such fine prints are considered original works of art, even though they can exist in multiple copies. The major techniques are relief printing, where the background is cut away, leaving a raised image; intaglio printing, where the image is incised directly into the plate; surface printing such as lithography, where the image is painted or drawn onto a stone; and stencil printing, where the design is cut out and printed by spraying paint or ink through the stencil. The history of printmaking parallels the history of art and is one of the oldest art forms.
Damn skippy!

Here lies the dilemma: To giclee or not to giclee

Personally, I prefer not to create giclees. If you do not know what a giclee print is, just go purchase an official Jazz Fest poster or Mardi Gras poster, or reproduction of Van Gogh's paintings. Those are giclees. Now, I have no problem with giclees, if they are used for what they are meant to be used for. I don't mind mass reproductions of things like the above mentioned, but if your intentions are to make ONE hand-pulled print and then reproduce all the others while still signing those prints as editions, my friend, YOU are a sell-out. Too many people do not fully appreciate the hand-pulled print anymore. There's a sense of accomplishment with that edition of 50 you pulled one by one off of the press and then proceeded to sign each one. A real printmaker can tell if your print is original or not....don't even try to fool them! No indentation around the borders.....giclee. No embossed edges or images with the ink....giclee. Unless of course, it's a lithograph. That's something a bit different. MUCH more time consuming than etching or relief printing. There's no embossments with silkscreened images either, but you can still tell.....you can "feel" the ink.

Sorry to go on a bit of a rant here, but I'm tired of it all. I know that most people can't tell the difference and nor do they really care. Most are just interested in the image. But it's the ethical nature of a true printmaker that will get you an original, hand-pulled, editioned and hopefully damn valuable piece of art.

There. I'm done.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Krewe 'Do' Craft

After living here for the past 14 years, I can finally take a more active role in Mardi Gras festivities! A group of local artists and craftsmen created a walking krewe, appropriately named Krewe 'Do' Craft. We are all supporters of local arts and big believers in handmade throws and other trinkets. It's a great idea, if you ask me. I joined a week and a half ago and met a few of the members on Sunday. Good people. I really need to surround myself with other creative minds.

I took some photos of things I'm making for the parade, which by the way, happens right before Bacchus on Sunday, February 22nd. We are walking with Box O Wine. There's a great crowd that day so we need to be on our toes. I've posted some photos of just a handful of my throws.

On a similar note, I need to start working on my costume! Our theme for this year is "Alice in Craftyland" so yeah, you get the idea. I'm still undecided and I need to stop procrastinating and pick something. But that being said, I'm no seamstress.

Update soon.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sit and Ponder

At times, my thoughts get so overwhelming and numerous. I find it hard to focus at work. When I'm at home, I notice my mind pondering on the same exact things, repeatedly...

over...and over...and over again. Constant pondering slowly becomes obsessive analyzing.

Are we designed to become prisoners of our own minds? Do you ever sit and think that maybe, just maybe, our thoughts hold us captive from absolute freedom?

Does meditation really work in regards to "thinking too much"?

There was a point in my life when I thought so. Yoga and meditation became an everyday part of my life. Granted, I had no educated teacher or Indian Guru...just me, myself, and I as both instructor and student. I've read about complete inner peace. I'm just not sure if I have ever achieved it. I feel I've come close on occasions, but never anything life-changing.

Hmmm, I wonder if this rolls off into other aspects of living......

Monday, January 19, 2009

Thoughts of the Day

I am not sure about most of you, but once you hit your 30s, time seems to play catch up.

Tomorrow is my 32nd birthday.

I feel like I should have more to show for myself by now. I should have more exhibitions under my belt than I currently show. Procrastination is my nemesis. I honestly try to make an effort, but somewhere along the road, something sidetracks me. This is something that I hope to overcome in 2009. I need to let go of a lot of disappointment that's occurred in my life and just do the damn thang! Time waits for no one.

Prospect.1 closed yesterday. The first biennial in the States. New Orleans has its hands full for 2010. This year being the first (opened in 2008), I'm sure they'll iron out any kinks for a more successful international event. I plan to have some kind of representation at Prospect.2, whether it be in a local gallery or finally opening up my own place and getting to be one of many satellite exhibitions. Yeah, that would be nice. I'm working on it..........


Aside from all of that worry, I do feel that 2009 will be a magical year. We have a new president! The Louisiana Division of the Arts is getting ready to give out a mass load of money! I am currently drafting a grant! By year's end, I would like to have a business registered and apply for 501 (c) 3, non-profit status of my aspiring print shop. Something HAS to go right......right?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Why Write About It?

I don't like artist statements. Let me explain:

As much as I'd love to have that one, single artistic focus, it is not there. My work changes so often and so suddenly. There is almost no time to keep up with a new statement each time my mind switches gears. I guess one could also say that I have yet to find a consistent theme or concept in my work, but when discovered, THAT will become part of my statement.

At the moment, I'm researching ways to bring printmaking into the realm of 3D, or sculptural, work. It isn't too hard to figure it out, but I want to investigate all possibilities before diving head first into a project.


Research. It becomes roughly 80% of my work. One month, I begin my journey into an idea and then three months later, after I've exhausted much of my reading materials, the visual representation begins. This is particularly so when it comes to language. I do enjoy the idea of language as both text and a visually aesthetic stimulant. On a similar note, I've been doing a lot of reading on illiteracy.

As much as I despise having to state my artistic intentions on paper, I am trying to create a meaningful and universal statement for my work. Most of my postings will lean towards that goal.