Tomorrow I’ll be at Open Studios at SFAI’s graduate center.
There will be the usual nibbles and drinks, but in my case there will be an interactive sound piece “Pulse”, created from the stories of San Franciscans. What story will your pulse tell?
Also I will be working on a new Participatory piece, so if you choose you can become a part of it!
Graduate Open Studios
Saturday, April 19, 2014 – 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Third Street Graduate Center
2565 Third Street (between 22nd and 23rd)
San Francisco, CA
April 19th: Open Studios 12-5PM 2565 Third Street (between 22nd and 23rd), SF, CA
May 2-4th: Print Show at Mullowney Printing 933 Treat Street, SF, CA 94110
* Opening on Friday the 2nd.
May 14th-18th: PRINCIPAL: SFAI’s Graduate Thesis Exhibition
SFAI Graduate Open Studios: http://www.sfai.edu/openstudios
This is your chance to get a peek into the process.
Navigational Tip: There is an entrance at 22nd street. Go to the second floor. Every Orange door on the floor is an SFAI facility.
I am in Bay C (just to the right of the lounge) in a lovely corner spot in #7 in the back right.
I will send out more information on the second two events as they approach. I hope to see you at the Open Studios! I will have an interactive piece running in the studio as well as a Participatory piece you can contribute to.
Last week I flew out to NYC for some Art saturation. Museums, Galleries, the Whitney Biennial, a show, studio visits… it was wonderful. There will be a post about all that, but I thought I’d share the work that really connected to my current exploration of weave and grid and tangle.
I happened to see Jasper John’s “Regrets” series at MOMA and noticed a lot of fabric and weave in his prints! It was interesting to me that though I knew him as a painter since high school, I’d never really seen any of his print work (one of those some-media-privileged-over-others things?). He also directly incorporated cloth and weave into his in 0-9 series on display there. Last week I was just working out how I would incorporate the weave into my first copper plate and here was a famous artist doing just that. Serendipitously later that day I saw another Jasper Johns piece at Matthew Marks Gallery in Chelsea related to the 0-9 prints at MOMA which was done as a bronze sculpture … again with the weave.
The following slide show is made up of the work around NYC, old and new that fed into the shapes and thoughts around grid/weave/tangle that I’ve been exploring.
This painting came out of the print gird/weave series I’ve been working on and I kept painting into it- pushing and pulling layers, treating the paint like weave, etc. and I’m so excited by how it’s going.
In this image I’ve added a thin blue line and the two loose and wavy horizontal yellow lines in Photoshop.
It’s a great tool for trying out strategies on a piece without having to do the whole thing and then re-do it afterward. Without it you might either not do a bold move, or you might do one and have it go wrong and spoil the piece. At other points for me it’s a way to keep working in stolen moments at home- moments when I can’t get back to the studio, but where I can sit back and reflect on the work and think about what to do next and go into the studio ready (even if I change my mind when I get there). As a parent without the luxury of time to sit and stare at things in the studio, I find ways to work around. In this case I’m glad I played with it first because I started with a wide straight yellow line that didn’t work, and I’m much happier with the wavy ones. These I think may actually be thread when I’m done.
The piece is two layers of print on canvas followed by layers of acrylic and thread sewn into the canvas. I’m temped to leave a corner of raw canvas out (as shown). It’s all about the-push-pull of materials. While I love oil for depth of color and time, the wonderful thing about acrylic is the versatility of what you can put into it- paper, thread, nails, fiber… whatever. In this case I had fun with fiber paste and high molding gel to get the textural surface I was after. The layering and depth and detail in the piece are much better in person.
It feels so good to be painting again. Hopefully I can go in and finish it tomorrow.
In entering a new media I’ve given myself the focus of concentrating on the abstract forms of the Weave and the Grid in an exploration of the digital and the organic, order and disorder, structure and entropy. I’m also sticking to plates of a 18″ x 24″ (the size of both the largest acid bath and laser bed.
I’m LOVING this project. It’s very freeing to explore ideas in a purely abstract form. So far I have 3 laser-cut plates I’m happy with (one etch on acrylic, one grid cut out of acrylic and one block out of MDF). I’ve also hand-carved a weave in wood.
It’s so refreshing to enter a new media without knowing the “rules” of that medium. Today I experimented with adding ink in gestural marks onto the plate after the nice clean layer was put on with the roller. Once it goes through once and then gets rollered over again you get this gorgeous ghostly watercolor look (in the dark grey layer here). I’m also loving adding string resist into the work.
So far I have around 30 individual pieces, many of them still getting layered up. I’m not doing nearly identical “editions” in the convention of printmaking. I don’t see the point. Each of these is absolutely original. I’ll be painting over some of the ones I’ve printed on canvas, sewing through them… there really aren’t limits to this.
So today my tutorial professor Mildred Howard took us to visit Magnolia Editions in Oakland. She really goes above and beyond. What an incredible space! There were notable artworks both carefully displayed in the lobby and scattered, hung, tucked and neatly filed all over the place. Don Farnsworth gave us a tour and struck me as just the sort of person who would get along nicely with the various engineer, rocket scientist, neuroscientist, etc. set of my friends who build crazy things in their spare time.
The thing that clenched that impression (besides his knowledge of the human-eye/brain, color, etc.) was the studio-made coffee roaster. It’s a re-purposed barbeque with a little motor for a rotator to turn the little cage for the beans. We roasted them while he talked about the fine art of coffee-roasting, cooled them over an inverted house fan over a screen, and then he stamped and filled bags for us. Things like this reassure me about the art world. I’m glad I’m not the only geek here.
Magnolia has all kinds of incredible toys I want to play with- a huge laser etcher/cutter that has eye-beam spotting (senses dots on your material to better line things up). They have a print shop, paper making studio, a large scale watercolor printer… so many things. Especially interesting to me is that they also have everything (including the knowledge and skills) for designing large scale digitally designed tapestries like the Pae White piece that blew my mind at the art fair in LA (a smaller version of this). It turned out the Magnolia folks did it with her and everything is printed on the largest loom of this kind in Belgium. Something about soft flexible, untreated fabric looking like metal just does it for me. That it’s in the weave, not any application on the surface.
Anyway- a HUGE printer (more than half the size of my living room huge) that prints on a wide variety of surfaces. While we were there they printed a new piece that will be used for Imagery Winery’s new label (it is an award-winning winery which commissions artists to do their wine labels. The surface of the piece itself was layers of laser-etching, then building up the surface and finally printing over the relief. Wonderful stuff.
Chuck Close’s work features heavily at the studio as they work out processes together (currently tiles for a New York subway installation). He actually called while we were there and asked us over speakerphone if we really wanted to be artists. When we said yes, he said “Keep the faith”. :)
The whole atmosphere was really a delight. I would love to come back there with a project to do with them and their lovely toys.
On a side note they were doing exactly what I was doing all day yesterday- using the laser cutter as part of the printmaking process. Something that seemed like a natural move to me, one I was not at all surprised to hear that others have already been doing.
I have a lot of mediums under my belt, variously considered art or craft or industry depending on the time period and who you ask and I always want to learn new ones. For my grad program I decided not to add to that list without good reason. That said, printmaking makes so much sense to so much of what I am working with that when this class came up in my last semester I had to have it. It is a technology bridge between handmade and digital. It is multiplicity with variation, I can print on fabric. I can digitally etch or cut a plate at Techshop and then bring it in and print on it, or continue to work it by hand.
I decided to restrict myself to a simple idea- the weave and the grid, the digital/binary and the organic (part of my fascination with weaving is that it is both an ancient craft and the basis for binary computing). Every plate will be some version of this and I intend to start layering those plates. Inside that there is so much I can do! The two plates I have so far are a “Broken Grid” laser-etched (the black and white image here) and a hand-carved woodblock of a loose and dissolving plain-weave. The joyful discovery of today was that after printing on canvas (to paint on/sew through later) I can use the plate again on paper and get the texture of the canvas cloth in the paper print. I’m loving the layers possible with this. I also came up with a new idea of how to use sewing in the printing process which I haven’t yet seen.
I’ve got two laser-cutter dates this week and PLANS.
The other thing I love about the printmaking experience? It’s community based. Much like a ceramics studio, printmaking takes multiple sets of hands and people pooling resources to have it work. The atmosphere is relaxed, congenial, supportive, and questioning in a positive way. It isn’t every artist for themselves, it’s a place where people are helping each other make art. I really missed that. It happens in other disciplines through collaborative work, but it’s palpable in both ceramics and printmaking, and getting my hands achy with tools and sticky with ink feels like coming home.