Thursday, July 29, 2010

Last Supper/Color6/SB1070

We said goodbye to our Chinese kids this morning at the airport.  Marlys' older girl kept turning around and waving goodbye as their leader took them away.  Everyone was exhausted after swimming last night and their favorite dinner - Cincinnati Chili!  I grew up on Skyline Chili and buy the packets of seasoning mix to indulge my chili addiction.  Who knew the kids would like it over all the other meals they enjoyed?  But 3 out of 4 had second helpings. 
After we dropped them off at 7:45am I went home and took a two hour nap then went back to the studio to print my 6th color on my current reduction linocut.  The little fish is starting to come out more and more.  Two or three more colors.  I was happy to learn my deadline in Reno has been extended two weeks.  I now feel the luxury of time and in our new expanded studio space, life is good!

Marlys and Joan Thompson and I are going to the next "SB1070 - An Artist's Point of View" exhibition reception tomorrow night at the Arizona Latino Arts and Culture Center.  After all the events of today, it should get a big turnout.  It is from 6 to 9 pm at 147 E. Adams in downtown Phoenix.  Come by and check out our art.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Lino/Student Exchange

A week ago, I started a reduction linocut.  It is one I will share with my students from my workshop at Oxbow Press in Reno, and with my current class at the Phoenix Center.  The first three colors were printed with etching ink which I had at our studio.  My relief inks were locked up at the Phoenix Center and I didn't have access to them.  When I was able to use my relief inks, I noticed that they were much easier to use, more creamy and easy to rollout evenly.  (I have Daniel Smith oil based inks.)  I am also now using a little bit of Miracle Gel, also a Daniel Smith product, to help release the ink from the plate.  I am still happy with the Gomuban plates (from IMcClain's).  I wish they came in large sizes. 
With our visitors from China I haven't had much time to blog so here are images of the first 5 colors.  You will see a little fish emerging from the kelp.  I hope to print 3 more colors and get the Reno prints mailed off in time for the exchange party. 


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Foreign Exchange

We have been hosting two Chinese boys (15 and 16) in our home the past week.  Marlys has been hosting two girls (14 and 16).  We have spent all of our evenings together with the kids, feeding them American food and playing Chinese card games after dinner.  They love our food, barbecue chicken and pot roast, ice cream, scrambled eggs with ham cut up in it... They are happy kids from 4 different cities in China who didn't know each other before this trip.  One of the girls speaks English very well, and the boys not so much. But the more we are together the more comfortable they feel trying to speak.  The boys have loved swimming and playing basketball.  The girls loved swimming and shopping.  Saturday we took them to our studio and introduced them to linocut.  They loved the skeleton prints of Artemio Rodriguez, so they used parts of his images learn the printmaking process.  They were engaged and encouraging to each other.  And they were proud of their accomplishments. 
Saturday night we took them to the exhibition opening at the Arizona Latino Arts and Culture Center "SB1070 - An Artist's Point of View".  We tried to explain the new law and why people were upset about it.  They took it all in but preferred to hang out at the US Airways Center where the Suns play.  Marlys said, you never know what they will remember from this trip, 20 years from now.  It has been wonderful having them here and getting to know them.

Friday, July 23, 2010

SB1070 - An Artist Point of View - Exhibition

Marlys Kubicek, Paulette Redmond, Joan Thompson and I will all have work in this exhibition.

Monday, July 19, 2010

New Chapter - Teaching

I am starting a new chapter in my art life.  Teaching.  After the two day workshop in Reno, I came back to Phoenix and began teaching Reduction Linocut at the Phoenix Center for the Arts.  Tomorrow I will begin teaching Solarplate Etching at our studio.  I am excited to be teaching two media in which I have worked the most with since I have begun my printmaking journey.  Marlys will be teaching general printmaking at Phoenix College in the fall and we hope our classes will feed into each other.  It would be great to grow a strong printmaking program there.  I will be offering Reduction Linocut on Saturdays beginning in October for 6 weeks at the Phoenix Center; and Solarplate Etching on Monday nights also in October for 6 weeks at the Phoenix Center.  Let me know if you are interested and I will notify you when registration opens.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

ROAD TRIP - San Francisco

First stop, Shingle Springs to visit friends who were married the day before we were back in 1988.  And then onto gorgeous San Francisco.  No matter how many times we go there, it is always so pretty with views everywhere you look of travel icons: Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, Fisherman's Wharf, Coit Tower, the Presidio, the Marina District, Chinatown.  Classic and still alive and well.  Sigh.  No place like it.  We checked in and walked down to the wharf where we popped into the tiny Aquarium by the Bay.  There we discovered huge jellyfish, sea nettles actually which blew me away.   So mesmerizing.  Steve's daughter Barbara picked us up later and took us to their new place for a homecooked dinner by her husband Dan.  Steve's son Chris met us there.  I have to say, there is no better music to our ears than listening to the kids laugh.  We realized that our 30 and 35 year old kids are really happy and our hearts left filled with love.  They are smart and funny; connected to the earth and good international citizens of the world. 

Barbara took the next day off to show us some special places:  the tide pools in southern SF where we peered into the rocks to discover sea treasures such as anemones, and hermit crabs while the occasional seal would exit the water to lay on beach a little beyond our tide pools.
We also went to Chinatown for a quickie shopping sojourn where Barbara pointed out the graffiti of a very famous graffiti artist whose work is so valued they put a plexi plate over it to protect it.   Murals and graffiti art are everywhere and it really makes the city feel more full of life.  And beautiful. 

Steve and I had looked at all the art offerings in the city and decided we wanted to go to the Legion of Honor for a special exhibition "Impressionists Paris".  It was mostly works on paper with some paintings and sculpture,  all Paris based work by the Impressionists and included some wonderful prints which I was so happy to see.  We had never been to the Legion of Honor and since my sister had recently been in Paris and was still in France, it was a way to share in the experience a little. 
From there we stopped at the sweetest little pet cemetary in the Presidio.  It had been a beautiful little space but freeway construction which was going on all around it and over it, had necessitated cutting down some huge trees on the property.  But the little cemetary will remain, with its residents from World War II through the present.  As I walked around I became overwhelmed by the loss and the headstones loving comments, I just cried all the way through.
Our last night in the City, the kids took us to a Vietnamese restaurant because Steve wanted crab for dinner.  We had two crabs and tons of other delicious goodies.  I will always trust the kids' recommendations for eating in SF.  It was fabulous.  We left San Francisco wanting to do and see more.  That's the best thing about it.  Leaving your heart there everytime.  We can't wait to go back.

Friday, July 2, 2010

ROAD TRIP - More from Reno


One of the reasons we took this road trip was to see the Nada Dada Motel event where artists rented out rooms in the old downtown motels and turned the rooms into galleries for the weekend.  The Printmakers' Conspiracy, a group or Reno printmakers put together a print exchange called Naughty, Taboo, Just Plain Wrong and invited me to participate.  I learned that it would be exhibited during the Nada Dada event and thus we decided to go.  Plus, Steve's sister and her husband lived next door in Sparks and it would be nice to visit them.  Given the revised schedule to include 2 full days giving the Linocut workshop at Oxbow Press, we were able to pop in a few of the motel rooms Friday afternoon and found some fun and interesting offerings.  Our favorite was a room dedicated to old robots, called Skid Robot - where old robots go live out their last days.


The weather was perfect, 80 and sunny with cool nights and the vista from Linda and Rod's home was beautiful.  It was especially nice to meet Daisy, their new dog.  A rescue, part lab, part shepherd, she was skittish and anxious at first but quickly learned we were dog people and let us be her new best friends. 
The hospitality shown was generous and warm and we were surprised and lucky to be there when Steve's grand niece from Boise came in for a visit the day before we left.  Nice to recharge the family connections.