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Two openings and a goat

“The Hunt” is finally here! Opening reception Thursday, July 7th from 4pm-7pm.
Showing from July 7- July 27, 2011
The Hoffman Gallery on the
Oregon College of Art and Craft Campus
8245 SW Barnes Road,
Portland, OR 97225

This group show documents a gentle “scavenger hunt” within Oregon Health and Science University?s Historical Collection and Archives. The item “found” was interpreted or utilized as inspiration by each of the artists into the creation of a new piece (without any harm done to the item “found.”) It will be a great opportunity for artists and viewers to reflect on the importance of these collections. Artists will be on hand at the opening reception to speak about their experiences working on this project. For more information check out www.robinpress.com or www.ocac.edu

Also opening July 7th,
“If We Shadows” works from the PAN collection
Reception from 6pm-9pm
Showing through July 31st
Gallery 114
1100 NW Glisan
Portland, OR. 97209

Pertinax


Last but not least, new work! Executed as part of a larger group of work to be released later this year, the block gave me a surprising amount of trouble during printing, thus it has been dubbed:
Pertinax

Edition of 15 hand pulled woodcut prints
Signed and numbered
Oil-based ink on acid-free cotton rag paper (all archival materials)
4×4″ block 6×6″ overall
Available for $30.00 plus shipping (Note, for shipping outside the USA please select the “International” option.


"Pertinax" limited edition woodcut print




Sea Serpents

Inking the serpent

Remember this guy? He’s done now!

Sea Serpent

Edition of 100 hand-pulled woodcut prints
Signed and numbered
Oil-based ink on acid-free cotton rag paper (all archival materials)
4×6″ overall

Sea Serpent

I couldn’t resist matting and framing one for myself and it looks fantastic! Works well with standard frame sizes (5×7″ frame size shown) as well as photo and ephemera collection media.

Want a little Sea Serpent of your own? Visit Raineysmith on Etsy.

One last look at the block

Time to retire the block

Wrapped up carving yesterday afternoon and immediately headed to Atelier Meridian to print. The session went smoothly, though slowly. Although I do use certain design tricks when planning my prints to reduce inking problems, they can’t always be avoided. In this case, I’d removed two text blocks in addition to all of the detail work, so the large roller I’ve been inking with had two new white sections to potentially dip into. The thumb in the photo is actually pointing towards a small spot of ink where this happened. To prevent messing up a white area, I used blue tape to cover these up before printing, then periodically carved away dirty sections. Not terribly difficult work, just a bit time-consuming.

The prints will now be left to dry a few days before I sort through them to chose the final edition. Then comes clean up of any smudges in the margins, titling, numbering, signing, and finally, delivery to The Hoffman Gallery for “The Hunt”.

July 7th-31st, 2011
The Hoffman Gallery
8245 Southwest Barnes Road, Portland, OR 97225
Opening reception July 7th 4-7pm

Many thanks to Beth Robinson for curating this incredible show.

Still carving

This is what I do at night

Reading this review of Tom Huck’s work, I came across this quote from Mr. Huck regarding why he works in wood, “Woodcuts are an inherently expressive medium. By that I mean when one carves and image out of wood it fights you. God or whatever didn’t make trees for us to carve images out of, and that struggle shows in the resulting printed image. This is why the German expressionists loved woodcuts so much, for it heightened the emotional content of the work. The quality of the lines are more jagged, and heavy black. Another big reason: DÃœRER!”

Huck speaks the truth, one of the great the joys of woodcut is the personality of the wood. Challenge does come with frustrations, but it is ultimately rewarding. Speaking of which, here’s the block after the final carving, but before the final printing. This final layer has been slow going, the red ink remaining on the block has remained wet, and you simply can’t rush when carving around fine lines. Or rather, you can, but don’t expect most of the fine lines to remain on the block.

After the 2nd color

Where'd my red carbon lines go?


Printing the 2nd color of “The Hunt” project went much smoother than the first. Woodcut can be a temperamental medium, but once you have a handle on how a particular block prints, you just need to repeat the formula until the edition is complete. Of course, something new could always go wrong, but that wasn’t the case this time. I’m now at the last stage of carving and hope to print the final color no later than Thursday. There’s just one little stumbling block.

If you compare the photo here with the photo to the right, you might note the red lines in the former. Those are my carving guidelines. My now very hard to see guidelines. I knew this was a risk, but I had hoped the shellac I coated the block with would repel enough ink to not obscure the lines. Whoops.

Fortunately all is not lost! The lines are still slightly visible, and I do have my sketches to refer to as I work, so I just have to be deliberate in my carving.

“The Hunt” continues

Carving resumes after the first layer of color is printed

After a problematic 8 hours in the atelier on Wednesday, I returned Thursday night to finish printing the first of 3 colors. I’ll be spending today carving away all of portions of the block meant to remain yellow, and plan on printing the second color tomorrow. Here’s hoping for a smoother session than the first!

Another peek at “The Hunt” block

The hand of the artist makes an appearance

Most of the large paper white sections have been removed from the block at this point. There’s now one last text block to carve as well as the hands and some other little details. I’m looking forward to inking and printing the first color layer Tuesday or (more likely) Wednesday.

June projects

Small text is the bane of my existence

I’m working towards two major deadlines this month. First, my contribution to “The Hunt”. This piece is based upon an antique medical apparatus in the OHSU medical archives which I examined at length earlier this year. Researching its usage has lead to many revelations regarding past medical treatment — and increased my gratitude for modern medicine! Hygiene in particular stands out as low-tech yet major innovation. (Just look at the history of Puerperal Fever some of the most rampant outbreaks were caused by doctors attending births immediately after performing autopsies.) We now take it for granted that doctors will wash their hands and tools will be sterile. Of course, not all we do in treating illness is perfect; I’m certain in 100 years people will be looking back at modern practices as quaint and primitive.

The photo in the upper left is just a small portion of the block in progress. The end result will be a three color reduction print.

Also in the works is a new piece to debut at The Congregation Gallery’s “Necropolis” show opening July 16th.

Sea Serpent proof

Sea Serpent woodblock & proof

Here’s that little sea serpent block and one of the proofs. To give you an idea of scale, he paper measures about 4×6″. It really is a very small block! I have a couple of larger projects due for completion in June, but I think it is taking the time to print an edition of this block as well. I personally enjoy collecting small prints and feel I’d be remiss in my duties as a printmaker if I didn’t produce some of my own.

A breath of fresh air

Sea Serpent mini-block

After spending the last couple of months working on projects I cannot yet reveal, and looking at another month of secretive work ahead of me, I needed a break. So here it is, the result of taking an hour and a little scrap sized piece of wood to just have fun.

Speaking of fun, I’ve been talking to Jane Pagliarulo about having a weekly relief printmaking night at Atelier Meridian. We’re still hammering out the details, but the basic idea is to give beginners and novices the opportunity to carve and print woodblocks with an experienced printmaker (me) available to assist and advise. Attendees would also be welcome to bring and work with linoleum, though I can’t promise any special expertise in the material. More details as they solidify.