Tuesday, October 3, 2017

This Weekend- I'm Drumming!

The Rogue Theatre

300 East University Boulevard, Tucson, AZ - 520-551-2053 

Dear Rogues, 
On this Saturday, October 7, The Rogue Theatre is hosting Odaiko Sonora Japanese Drumming Ensemble's 15th anniversary concert. We've got two shows: 2:00 matinee and 7:30 evening. If you've never seen Taiko drumming, you're in for a wonderful treat. Tickets are just $20 in advance ($25 at the door). 

Join us by calling the Rogue box office (520-551-2053) or you can always buy tickets on-line with NO added fees.
Wishing you all the very best! 
--Cynthia Meier, Managing Director

Thursday, July 27, 2017

New Mexico Road Trip- Santa Fe Workshop

Mokuhanga is Japanese woodcut. I took a five-day workshop at Making Art Safely from artist Annie Bissett. I tried the "beginner mind" approach to this workshop, having never done this technique before and not knowing what to expect, I jumped in.
Annie demonstrating printing using a baren

Mokuhanga is both an artistically and physically demanding medium. You might be familiar with Ukiyo-e, a style of Japanese art that extensively used woodblock printing. The Japanese created beautiful, popular images and colorful prints for the masses and employed teams of artisans to produce them with different craftsmen drawing, carving, printing, etc. Andy Warhol would have been proud!
Five days wasn't long enough to create any finished artwork but it was long enough to learn the basic technique. We had to have a drawing to work with when we arrived. The first day we learned to create the color separations onto the four blocks, two days to carve, and the last two days to print. Most people had something for the show and tell at the end- at the very least, a print that was close to being finished.

I realized that after I arrived, I had to greatly simplify my drawing so I had minimal black lines to carve since they are the most difficult thing to carve. We all labored over the carving, with cramping hands and dulling tools. We used traditional shina plywood from Hokkaido, traditional carving tools, baren, hake (brushes), rice paste, washi, etc. The brilliant thing abut mokuhanga is it's low-tech and relatively low financial output (You can spend $$$ on Japanese tools though)- no etchant, no mechanical press, no solvents, no ground. Like some printmaking techniques, you are not ready to print in an hour (Solarplates and monotypes come to mind), but ready to print in days, weeks or even longer. It's extremely safe, and like most Japanese art forms, the concepts are easy to learn but take many years to really grasp and even longer to master the medium.
Carving black lines is challenging

Carving large, flat areas is a bit easier
Overall, I will likely try mokuhanga again; re-thinking my images to fit the medium will be part of learning this process and the beauty of it is that I can create prints using this method in a space as small as a kitchen table. Images can be as simple or complex as you want and it can lend itself to mixed-media artwork. This is my best print of the week- some success with bokashi (gradation) but it's not finished artwork- I like to think of it as an exploration into mokuhanga!

"Wish Machine", 4th state, unfinished print. 

Explore more woodblock printmaking and mokuhanga- here are some of my favorite artists working in this medium:

Catherine Kernan
April Vollmer
Tugboat Printshop
David Bull

More New Mexico Road Trip coming soon- next up, Silver City!
Ciao ciao,

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

My, That Was Long Break!

I'm back! Starting to blog again- and post art updates! In a nutshell- I've been working a job or two or three, lost the studio space with the etching press, so I'm re-grouping and working on some new ideas. To facilitate this, I'm very excited to be taking a mokuhanga (Japanese woodblock printing) course in Santa Fe very soon from this artist.  I've also been hanging out with this amazing lady- she makes really cool bracelets too- check her "About" page.
Stay cool and enjoy your summer!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Art in Public Schools- Something New and Wonderful is Happening in California

Hi friends!
Yes, I'm alive- just taking an art break!
Here is a really cool article about art in schools! How science is changing the way schools think about art
Enjoy the holiday weekend,