Friday, December 26, 2008

Lou, cont'd

I like this sort of slow revealing of photos from a shoot. Now that I've all but stopped trying to work with photographers, the occasional unpaid shoot with a great photographer is more pleasant, and seeing the photos is a lovely unexpected surprise as opposed to an eventual end to waiting for my share of the TFP work, or seeing if the paying photographer will even deign to let me see them at all.

Anyhow, photo by Lou O'Bedlam:

Photo by Laura
Photo by Laura
Photo by Lou

Cover-alls over thermals I wear today, to venture to the unoccupied print shop to hoard the solitude.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Never alone

Look at him, so wee and perfect:

drawerman clutches even smaller man

I'm absurdly proud of him. Truly, I've been volunteering information aboutt this print to students who I've never spoken to before.

He's an engraving, using a Resingrave block from McClain's, carved with a burin graver, and printed on Rives BFK on a Showcard letterpress.

drawerman open

Backside of Drawerman

The engravings as they print

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Shop shop shop

Monday, December 01, 2008

Nobody else does it. Not ever.

Monoscreenprinting is a medium I see few to no people working in, but I always adore using it whenever I get to it. The specifics of is can be a bit tricky, so I'm not going to get into a technical description of it here, especially as I'm working up a proposal for IMPACT to do a demonstration of it there next year.

I mixed my own black in watercolor, using complementary colors mixed together instead o just using the blakc out of the tube. This way, the black reticulated into slightly varying shades and color separations as the paint settled and dried.

Here are my screens, painted and drying:

This one is just monoscreen, nothing else:


And then with these two I added flat matte areas for the clothes, trying to create that dissonance between soft painterly areas with hard edged solid areas:

Grey Hoodie

Grey Coat

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I shot with Lou O'Bedlam a couple of weeks ago, and he posted one of the polaroids from the shoot up on his meticulously maintained blog.

Tom Jones is on "Morning Becomes Eclectic", the morning music show on 89.9 that I listen to sometimes. It's funny that I feel the need to clarify that I like Tom Jones sincerely, not ironically--that enjoyment could somehow be ironic.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Underwater camera action

It's still there, in my neck, bothersome, achey, and invisible on the surface. I was told that it doesn't need to be removed, at least for now, so instead it's there, slowly expanding and contracting like a heart which takes days to complete a beat. Sometimes I forget it for a while, and then it heaves a great lazy demanding child sigh, and I recall it again--rub up against it with my hand to remind me of the mystery there, the unknown nestled up against my spine.

Underwater camera action

Underwater camera action

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Metro Rail

Los Angeles

I don't live in Los Angeles. When I travel, I sometimes tell people I do, but then add the addendum "Well, I actually live just outside of Los Angeles in Long Beach." You can see their faces fall a little. They thought they had just met someone who had made it, who had arrived in the glittering city to the West, but then they found out they were just talking to another plebian like themselves. LA isn't far from me, 15 to 25 minutes in a car in good traffic, but I don't have a car which means it's 2 hours away on the Metro.

Ah, the Metro. Think of all the strange things you've witnessed on public transportation and then put them all together in one single trip. The homeless man who keeps dropping little plastic packages and then shooting across the train car to retrieve them and then breaking into deafening laughter; the smelly man sitting across from you who openly and ostentatiously picks his nose and then runs his fingers through his hair; the tall young man with the looks of an Adonis who regaling boards the car to hoots and whistles from the teenage girls, he nods at them only briefly before taking his seat like it's a throne.

J lives in LA, and I had yet to visit him up there. I have school every day, but Tuesday was Veteran's Day so I had no class. This seemed an ideal time to make the great trek up to the 7th and Flower stop, plus I was motivated by the opportunity to shoot with Lou O'Bedlam.

His friend Laura Taylor came too, and the above shot is by her. She, with a sleek digital camera, and he with a persnickety little double lensed antique punctuated by the rare use of a polaroid camera. It was fun, though I haven't really modeled for anyone in ages. Maybe I will be able to work with them again, given they're aowed love of hotel rooms and my easy access to one.


I returned home to Long Beach, again on the Metro, and finished printing the accursed thing you see above. I wanted to make something pretty for the print exchange Tyler and I set up to help fund a trip to Southern Graphics Council this March, because I wanted to make something that would sell. What I did not anticipate was that a great many people see someone drowning in that image. I did, however, finish another print on Tuesday that I am happy with which you can read about in the print blog. If you want one of these prints of a person swimming lazily/drowning, they are available for $20 and there are ten available for sale. Shoot me an email and we shall discuss.

Thinking about printing fills me with horror right now. I do not want to assist great hordes of undergrads on how to not destroy their awful poorly done prints today, and so I look forward with great anticipation to National Indiginous Persons Day, only because I can have the printshop all to myself.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Victory Potato!

potato prints

Oh, Mr. McAbee, I've tried to live up to your high standard in the noble art of potato matrix printmaking. But over and over I have encountered defeat and failure. Today, though, today, Mr. McAbee, I have victory.

 the potatos

Three color potato reduction. I was shooting for five colors but the potatos just couldn't hold up past three.

potato prints

I printed them in my studio with watercolors when I was sick to dying of helping undergrads not make total fools of themselves. I used watercolor left over from some mono-screenprinting when I mixed my own blacks, and linocutting gouges--printing them like stamps, with little lines down the sides of the potatos and onto the paper for registration.

potato prints

I added a fourth color (or rather, fourth shade of grey) by rolling up a sheet of plexi and covering the faces with wax paper.

I made another reduction print this same week, a print of a swimmer, and done a bit more traditionally, using type-high lino, but I far prefer the potatos.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


We fucking won.

I've never, in my entire life, voted for winner before. I'm told this is what cocaine feels like, only better.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Ape? APE!

Table 202!  THat's me!

APE=Alternative Press Expo

I'm going to be at APE this year.

Will you be at APE this year?

I'm at table 202.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

2D vs. 3D

houses and patterns, 4

This print is in a suite of 8 that are apparently my break out hits of the semester. Three people want to buy this specific one, but I haven't told them the price I'm asking for it, and another would like one from the suite donated to a permanent collection. I think I'm going to shoot pretty damn high and just see who stays interested after that. Mind you, pretty damn high for me is probably rather low.

The prints in this suite are one BFK white with a first run with a simple collagraph, and then a few subsequent runs with inked plate.

Here's an example of an inked up plate prior to printing it:


The half of the suite that are 2-dimensional:
houses and patterns

The half of the suite that are 3-dimensional (and my studio mate Tyler's legs):
houses and patterns, 5 6 7 and 8

I've been interested in subtle interplay in processing 2 dimensional aspects into 3 dimensional aspects without being overt about it. The whole intent of some of my prints lately is to get a viewer to understand how a 3-dimensional print is made without being didactic about process.

Well, my few and mostly disinterested readers, if I were to sell my prints online whigh venue would be better: Etsy, Cartfly, or Big Cartel?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Girl Twice

I will share a secret with you. The persons in the plate below are actually the same person twice.


Another collagraph, this one with fabric making up the background and my ubiquitous carborundum grit painting for the faces. I was uncertain about the fabric, it being so much taller than the rest of the plate. The embossing could have been overpowing, as could have the texture been. In the first inkings of the plate, the fabric was just way too obvious, but I think it worked out pretty well in the end.

The press at school is giant. I do big prints just because I can now, eating through paper with great rapidity, and seeing my savings dwindle in $2.50 increments with each print.


The image itself is 14 by 20, which only seems big because I'm a printmaker. Painters scoff at the miniaturized images in printmaking, the dictates of paper size and press ever present in the artist's considerations when working on a print.

double c, printed

I included this print in a portfolio for a grant application from the Los Angeles Printmaking Society, along with five other prints, three of which were three dimensional. So far, I only know that one of the graduate students in the program recieved the grant, but which one is still unknown. I hate hate hate waiting to find things out.



A week and a half ago, I stayed up late making a portfolio case because my other case was in my professors office containing prints awaiting grading. I needed the case in order to apply for a scholarshop grant. I found out yesterday that I recieved one of the three scholarship awards from the Los Angeles Printmaking Society. I shall be buying so much fancy papers and great sheets of wood in only the finest grains with this money.

houses and patterns, 4

The LAPS requests a print, a flat one on paper, for their collection from awardees. I get to choose the print, and I've got till December to figure it out. In the meantime, I'm trying to find any images of mono-screenprints online. There are none!

houses and patterns, 5 6 7 and 8

Oh, and also, new glasses:

new glasses

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Mono vs. Mono

I'm feeling foul towards monotypes, but monoprints, my friends, those I adore.

A monotype is when you have no reproducible matrix. A monoprint is when only aspects of the print are unique to each impression, and a reproducible matrix is utilized in conjunction with it. For example, the David print below is a monoprint because the inking is unique to each impression, but the matrix is permanent and so reproducible. The prints of Cein below are monotypes, because they are paintings made directly onto smooth plexiglass in graphite etching ink and then printed.

cein * 2

But, they're still pretty good, at least for monotypes.

I also did two of Nate. I rather like his hat.

nate martin twice

Friday, October 03, 2008

Print of the week

It's back up and running. I post a print every Friday, along with a little work history on it.

Print of the Week

I just spent way too long trying to track down the origins of the Lilith myth and just how apocryphal it is for my art history class, then I got sidetracked finding out that the story of Cain and Abel as I knew it, the one I was raised with, is not the traditional version at all. And then I read about Nephilim, which are not the offspring of my brother in law Nephi, but the angels who walked the earth and got it on with earth ladies. And now I haven't got any work done today at all and must make up for all of this tomorrow.

Men, print 1

David Collagraph

Holy crap, I'm back!

I'm working slowly on a series of portraits of men I'm friends with. This is the first finished one, and it's a collagraph of David Bessent. There are loads more prints besides this one, but I'm going to try to stick to a schedule of posting a new print, and a pretty ok one at that, every Friday. I'm back in school as a graduate student at CSULB, so it really shouldn't be hard to keep up with.

Here's the plate:
collograph plate

and the history of inking before I arrived at the top image as the final print:

Various inkings of the David print

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


collograph plate

I've been working, in a rather desultory manner, on this series of prints of men I know. This idea is a blatant rip off from a couple of friends of mine, who were doing paintings and drawings of women he's kissed and another of women with whom he's friends.

The trouble with my endeavour, I've found, is that most of the men that are important to me do not live in the same state as I. Because of this, I've been getting source material from the internet, but most of my male friends are apparently very virtuous in that they display no outwards indications of physical vanity. This dearth of photographs has brought my project to a halt for the time being, to be resumed when I can personally photograph the individuals. I did consider simply asked everyone for pictures, but what if they take terrible ones and I can't use them but they think it's personal? What then! For now, though, I've got three fellows all finished with. The above picture is the plate, after printing, for a collograph of David Bessent, done with carborundum grit and tape. It looks a little like him, though apparently it also looks a little like Lenin.

parasols and umbrellas

This week has been one of many packages. My new camera arrived (witness above photograph), as well as my new knives for relief print carving. Yesterday, bis for Veganerotica were left on the porch, which isn't terrifically exiting, but today an entire couch and chaise showed up, all wrapped up in plastic. My camera can perform its function underwater without any deleterious effect to itself. How wonderful is that? Very.

Did you know that a few months ago I got a tattoo? Despite it being significantly more painful than I had anticipated, almost immediately after its completion I wanted more. Like the reasons for which cigarettes were abandoned, financial reasons are an impediment.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008


A little poem surfaced yesterday, perfectly preserved in the recesses of my brain, reappearing now as waters shift in there.

O Sternenfall
von einer Brucke einmal eingesehn--:
Dich nicht vergessen



Oh, falling star
once seen from a bridge--:
to not forget you

to endure.

~Rainier Maria Rilke


I don't know any German, not really, but I'm rather good with remembering seemingly meaningless ephemera--foreign words; the precise dates of occurrences inconsequential to me, happening to strangers; someone's face, still puffy with sleep and the old narrow bed; tiny objects held only briefly.

Figure modeling is excellent for memorizing things. You scan through reams of text in your brain as you hold still, so still, and when you come upon something you don't quite recall, caught on a snag, you worry at it, like a bad memory or a bad tooth, thumbing that page over and over in your brain until you can resolve the inaccuracy. I don't know what disturbed that snippet and made me recall it so vividly and suddenly. I stopped working and said the German words aloud. Rather poorly, I suspect, but there was no one else there to hear me torture the language. After writing it, Rilke changed it a little and ended "Der Tod" (Death) with those lines. Rilke said that the last three lines (the ones above) burst in on his brain unbidden, and resolved it suddenly.

Just won an Arty award for being a super genius. Sadly, I probably can't attend the awards party, complete with tantalizing open bar, because I don't actually live in Utah. Maybe I will allow myself a rare beer tonight to celebrate and make up for what I'll miss.

Someone keeps buying things off of my wishlist on Suicidegirls, but sending the gift to themselves or it is lost and absorbed by the postal system. I keep expecting these phantom gifts, in a continued state of mild expectation, checking for little brown packages on my return from school. No packages ever arrive, no stop motion animation DVDs to fill me with the half poison nostolgia from when Tommy and I had a non-dialogue film festival just for us two and his cat, the three of us curled on his couch having thought better of sex and diverting it into obscure sensualities, no behind-the-times comic books for my niche friends to remark on how I just barely started reading that. Is the phantom the gift?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Ping pong


I played table tennis, or rather ping-pong, at the group studio of my friends. The men are kind, gentlemanly, with me when we play. They compliment a good hit, and fail to keep score, patient when I repeatedly lose the tiny white ball. With each other they curl back their lips and expose their incisor teeth as they serve.


On the airplane ride home, I surreptitiously watch Olympic women's single table tennis on my seat mates television. Young asian girls with manly, unflattering haircuts play an awkward and ungainly game, and for some unknown sportsman's reason, players must retrieve errant white plastic balls by themselves. Climbing over barricades, and scrambling around after the ball only serves to make the sport that much more undignified. These girls, however accomplished they may be, will never be the subject of the fantasies of men too old for them, the realm reserved for half realized Amazonian women like countless gymnasts and volleyball players.


I attended the orientation for incoming graduate students three days ago in the courtyard between the college buildings. I don't yet know the better routes to take, and had to carry my bike up stairs in various places; sweat begins to gloss my forehead and back as I arrive at the half circle of unoccupied chairs, the little folding table of juice and chips. Early, I arrive early but am uncertain until I ask. Other people mull around the little galleries ringing the courtyard, filled with the artwork from other schools. I compare my age to their percieved age. Am I old, or young, in comparison to this group? The same question is better translated as "Am I accomplished or am I slow comparatively?" I do not come to a conclusion. My foot is trod on when I try to find a seat, and still I go unnoticed until I bring it to the attention of the person still standing on me. It's a photography student, which I find predictable in the way that personal prejudices are always noted when confirmed. Of course a photographer fails to observe her surroundings. I prefer to feed this dislike of people who have skills I don't have, rather than admitting that I'm the one who made myself omittable.


When the Olympic table tennis player serves the ball, she twists it in her hand, cupping it and turning her wrist around, concealing the action behind the paddle, flicking the ball out suddenly--graceful and deft, like a magic trick, like a promise. I doubt what it will be before the ball reappears, struck by the ready paddle and bouncing across the tiny taut net--perhaps this time it will be something else instead.

Graduate Student Open Studios
September 7th
2pm till 9pm

PS I just broke my camera. I was considering making some thing, like more teacups, to raise money to replace it and then realized that I now had no camera to photograph the items to sell to buy a working camera. Damnit!

Monday, September 01, 2008


Consider this entry a break between the ridiculously overwrought and obtuse entries, because you know that's precisely what the next one will be.
Demon Tamer went live this morning on Take a looksie, should you want to and are in a place where naked girls are ok to look at.

Do any of you have pictures of the gallery during "Secret"? My pictures of it are predictably horrid.


Open studios this coming weekend at my new school. It's on the 7th, and by the 7th I will have been a graduate student for 6 days. Because of this, all of the stuff I'll have in my studio will not have been made at CSULB, but I'll also have the cleanest studio. Come and gawk at me and my stuff.
GLAMFA and Open Studios

Monday, August 18, 2008

All is Well Within the House

Years ago, before I moved to the terracotta dust storms of Phoenix, before I moved to the small big town Long Beach, when my life was still unpredictable, when two full meals a day seemed almost extravagant and cheap wine and gin weren't inconsequential expenses, I was spending an evening at house of a man whom I had known briefly, but in that sort of way that lets you imagine you knew them better than most. He had a beautifully preserved beetle in his house, hung on the wall in a glass case. I had taught a mutual friend how to re-constitute and move the limbs of dead insects without shattering their exoskeleton, slowly hydrating their tiny strange reverse muscles till it was possible to pose them. I saw the beetle, alien in its perfection, in it's completeness, and I wanted so badly to smash it. The desire to destroy to, to make it into tiny pieces no longer recognizable as perfect and wonderful or even as beetle bits--I could taste that penny taste in my mouth that you get in a fight when you know you will lose but you keep on anyway, because to run away, to leave and preserve yourself, is unthinkable in that moment.


I recall it now. And it tastes the same.

For the first time in over ten years, I heard an old family lie. Initially, I was so saddened and outraged by it, this false image of me. But now, I envy this fabulism, and I dream about that glowing, fictitious naked child, so strong with nascent victory, and feel the reality of me to be so wormlike in contrast, cowering as I am, and recieving unprotesting, where she took what pleased her and destroyed when she had tired of it. She is powerful and full, like a new butterfly over filled of potent new blood so that it drips out of the ends of its wings.

all is well within the house

But so many, people who knew me the best I thought, believed in her, in that shining ideal evil, all bright eyed and deliberate. Believed, that at least briefly when I was pushing my nymphette years to their last, that I was her. In "1984," Winston is asked where the past is. He responds that it is in memory.

I did not destroy the beetle. I just saw it a few days ago while on a trip to Salt Lake City, in a different house but still owned by the same boy.

"You look so healthy." I told him.


"It is because I am full of poison," he said.