Thursday, March 24

Class Prep

Getting the materials ready for my printmaking class.
I just built this inking slab!
I plan on stapling some non-slip material onto the back of this board. Also, I learned yesterday that scrap wood is free at hardware stores. There was a pile of these 17 x 22" plywood boards. I should go back and grab a few more for some rough woodcuts.

EDIT: I went back to the hardware store for more of that scrap wood and apparently it wasn't scrap. They chopped these boards to build signs in the store. Also, scrap wood is sold at an 85% discount and the cashier yesterday didn't feel like charging me. I guess yesterday was just lucky.
And a few days ago, I made double pointed knitting needles with bamboo chopsticks!
It's quite easy if you have a woodcarving knife. I coated them in shellac when I finished carving to prevent yarn snags. Next thing I need is a project to try them out. I'm guessing the chopsticks make 3-gauge needles.

Tuesday, March 22

Back from HELL WEEK

Those They People in their infinite wisdom have said that writing stimulates your brain more than tapping keys on a computer. So here I sit at my desk writing this blogger entry on paper to be typed afterwards.

Last week was an effing blast. I just returned from the Southern Graphics Council conference which was held in St. Louis, MO this year. For those of you who don't know what SGC is, it is a big printmaking nerdfest. Though, if I were to acurately describe what I did in St. Louis last week, it is better known as Hell Week, Evil Prints' Bad-Ass Alternative Evening Printertainment.

The SGC stuff I saw was...okay. St. Louis Washington Univeristy is a beautiful campus. I attended panel discussions which were boring. I'm not asking for Michael Bay explosions or stupid gimmicks to entertain my reptile brain, but giving a actual speech rather than reading from a paper and also putting some energy into your words really gets me interested in the subject.
I also attended some demos which were okay. It was basically look at this cool shit rather than teach me something. One of the coolest things SGC offered was a presentation by Hung Liu. She is a fantastic artist and I can cross her off my list of artists I wish to see in the flesh.

The other coolest thing SGC offered was the Open Portfolio. I got to see a whole bunch of good and bad work and show off my crazy stuff. Printeresting shows highlights of this event and my Duke of Pipistrelle litho appears on the second portfolio session. A lot of NIU folks made it to Printeresting which is pretty cool. Gotta represent!! My table was busy, I couldn't talk to everyone. I ran out of business cards. I made some print trades, sold a print and met a bunch of cool people at this event. I had an adrenaline high afterwards.

Fred Stonehouse print!

Okay so on to HELL WEEK!
Thursday night, Evil Prints sends a party shuttle to transport us between the studio and the hotel. This converted school bus had a DJ and HUGE speakers at the back. This bus was bumping. Tessa says to me this is how she wants to go to heaven when she dies.

EP was PACKED. The whole back of the printshop was cleaned out and up to host a Printmaking Carnvial with games, the Dumbo See-saw litho press, a wheel of Misfortune. Beer was everywhere. EP is sponsored by PBR. There were so many people, they were running out of beer. It was great seeing all the cool folks again of EP. It was also great seeing all the awesome prints everywhere.

The Awesomest thing of Hell Week was the last night of the conference, The Printbanger's Ball. Dennis McNett created this Viking Battle Ship which was paraded down Manchester St. from EP to the Atomic Cowboy bar. Our parade consisted of two giant idol heads followed by the people pulling the battle ship which John Fronza's metal band Voyage of Slaves wailed from inside and a few marching band drummers kept at the back of the parade. This whole procession was surrounded by a large howling group wearing masks, waving flags and fake weapons. Tessa carried one of the idol heads; I was a flag waver. We walked down the middle of the street, holding up traffic and makin' mayhem. It was pouring rain but I think that made the parade even better even though we couldn't see Fronza's band. Have to protect the electrical equipment!
At Atomic, there was a muddy mosh pit once the battle ship docked.

There was so much happening here at SGC. It was great. I'm so glad to meet up with people, meet new ones and hang out. I got to watch Tessa get a tattoo! I'm excited to see if next year's SGC in New Orleans will be just as good.

Tuesday, March 8

Especially good at eating and complaining

I'm drawing another cat. It's something new for this cat exchange. I'm enjoying the doodle I'm working on now, and I think I'm going to take it to the copper plate. I'm just wondering, will this be another idea taken to the next step and then abandoned when I'm ready to print?

I cut a block, sketched out a new block, made a collagraph and now I'm considering an etching. I haven't pulled any prints yet. I don't want to sound like I'm complaining although it is a little frustrating. This struggle is probably a good thing.

I'm drawing a cat that's pretty fucking fat. and looks like a ball of pubes.

I am going to draw more everyday, I think my drawing muscles have atrophied.