Friday, September 19, 2014

Roll, rip, print. #Repeat

In total I had four sessions with Lisa Lofgren. One planning and three “working,” if you can call our sessions “working.” We laughed, played, and experimented late into the night. With beers in hand we rolled flats, tore paper, and made Art! I am fortunate to have connected with Lisa and the outcomes are stellar. In our final session together we “scaled” up. We rolled massive “flats” of black ink onto the press and used full torn sheets to generate the “ripped” lines. In addition to the “rip” prints we took the previously torn sheets, which acted as masks, and mounted (Chincolled) them to a larger heavier sheets of paper. It is unfortunate, but the detail is lacking in the photos. The beauty of these prints is in their minute features. The way the ink gently bleeds through the torn edge, mild contrasts between the cream and white papers and the stark black ink, and how the thud of the ink lives on the paper. Some truly amazing things are happening.

This mini-residency in Bloomington Normal has been incredibly productive. Still in dialogue with my interests, these works on paper have afforded me a new and fresh vantage point. Sol Lewitt’s sentences on conceptual art appear on the first page of my Master’s thesis, well, the last four of them do. They are words I have lived by. For some reason they seemed to be on my mind more so during this project. I think I was trying to un-slick my art, not be too precious with the execution, and just let the idea unfold. I was remembering what I had forgot.

32. Banal ideas cannot be rescued by beautiful execution.
33. It is difficult to bungle a good idea.
34. When an artist learns his craft too well he makes slick art
35. These sentences comment on art, but are not art.

I think Lisa and I did no bungling over the last two weeks ;)



A staged photo.


And....Laughter. We had fun! 


The torn "masks" mounted to some smooth white paper. 


Beer makes everything look a bit better. 



A crap ton of black ink on the press. 









 Lisa the master printer, aka Tammy technical, touching up some blemishes. 




Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The new Normal (IL)...

Normal Illinois was recently voted one of the top ten happiest (small) cities in America. I am not sure how credible this is and what sound research has been done, though, I think it is spot on. Thinking back to my time living in Normal IL, attending Illinois State University, always brings a smile to face. It is the right mix of small town feel with cafes, hip venues, farmers market, and one-way streets. But not too small. There are universities peppered between Bloomington and Normal. They are not too large, but not too small. It makes for a nice ratio of college students to “townies.” It has been nice to come back and spend a little time in this area of the world. It has proved to be incredibly productive (art wise) and very energizing.


The other night I reconnected with one of my favorite professors, Sarah Smelser and her master printer husband Johnathan Higgins. She teaches Intaglio at Illinois State University and has a beautiful family. She was a fantastic resource and supporter of my early (angsty) career at ISU. She also gave me a D- on my first artist statement…I am better now for that D- .

These are Sarah and Johnathan's (AKA Higgins/Smelser clan) children L-R Ruby, Delilah, and the most fashionable Fin. 


Young Finn Higgins working his photography chops. 


Received this souvenir/art work from the Higgins children. "Matt is weird," Crayon on paper, 2014


Saturday morning farmers market with my host Pete Steadman. My little head almost popped off. I wanted one of everything! 






Pickled jalapeƱos! I just had to! These little puppies were only 2 for 25 cents at the Saturday farmers market. In Australia I can pay upwards of 19 dollars a kilo. There are not many Mexicans down under :(


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Rip #Inklife

So! I am making some print work! I did a great deal of printmaking during my undergraduate degree and enjoyed it. I was particular drawn to mono typing. The immediate quality is satisfying in addition to the fact that it is a one-shot process much like a waste mold.

Some images from the first night in the studio with Lisa Lofgren. She has opened up her fabulous open access studio to me as well as acting like my print making spirt guide. Inspired by broken glass, flats of inks are rolled out and ripped sheets of paper are arranged over these flats to block out pigment. The "rip"ed area of ink, the only bit of ink exposed, prints onto the sheet rolled through the press. The torn edges yield a seductive deep line that resembles a scar, a bolt of lighting, and broken glass. I am working with Lisa in anticipation of producing some prints at Pilchuck Glass School.

Ripped Sheet of paper over a flat of black Litho ink/lacquer agents, the black ink is rolled out on a plastic sheet of plexi.




The print shown opposite its substrate.



Lisa has constructed a fantastic studio space! She offers classes, open time, and is a wonderful consultant.









Wednesday, September 10, 2014

#Trainlife #Amtrak

So I decided to travel by train. I am headed to central IL to produce some material studies and prints before I head to Seattle. It was enjoyable! And so cost effective. For 14 dollars I had access to sufficient Wifi, a comfy seat, ample leg space, a cute food & beverage train with table seating, all with a view. So the wine might have not been select but was well priced and came with a plastic collectors cup....

The trip that would usually take 3 hrs 10 mins was cut down to 2 hrs 15 mins. Also. Illinois is very flat. So flat!



Friday, August 29, 2014

#Corning #Margaritas #Glasscasting

Great week long engagement at the Studio of the Corning Museum of Glass. Celeste Wilson was my wonderful TA who seemed always one step ahead. I had a blast with the students and the students had a blast with me, I think? It was a week filled with wax, glass, plaster, glitter, smiles, grit, silica, and plenty of Margaritas. Lots and lots of Margaritas!   









Monday, August 18, 2014

Arrowmont, and other adventures (August 10th - 17th)

Arrowmont was a bast! Located in Galinburg Tennessee, one hour south of Knoxville, this wonderful arts and crafts school is located off the "main" drag of neon, moonshine, and painted T-shirt wonderment. I had seven extraordinary students who worked from 8am to 1am tirelessly. We made rubber molds, waxes, refractory molds, and a little glass. Pictures can not describe the experience.