Image above: hidden/revealed, acrylic & ink on aluminum, 17.5 x 23.5 inches

Friday, November 4, 2016

Beth Carson, Illustrator

LInk to a friend living in the UK - her blog



Movie Review

Yeah, something different, movie talk.

The film, Sweet Bean, a 2016 indie [Japanese-German-French production, yeah, crazy right] that is a slice of life story.

Most generally a film review actually talks about the story, and I find I can't do that as it would totally ruin it for you. So I'll only give the bare bones such as Netflix does.  Sentaro, the cook manager of a small doriyaki pastry shop - tiny, walk up window and only 3-4 indoor seats; the 76 year old Tokue who is hired by Sentaro to make the sweet bean paste used in doriyaki [what he has been using so far is paste-in-a-can lol] and so develops the story.  Who's story is this, the middle school girl who virtually lives off of doriyaki hand outs from Sentaro, Sentaro's story, or Tokue?  Each have their own perceptions, past and present and each story is told with just enough information that we feel like we have understanding into each person.

This is a gentle, naturally paced film that slowly reveals secrets and sadnesses.  By naturally paced I refer to the pace of conversation and observation, the normal movements of film are minimal and non-obtrusive.

I really like this movie, it drew me into a . . . hmmm, a mood, a sympathy that has become strongly a part of me.  At least 12 hours later it still haunts me, how many films have you seen lately that touched you?

Check it out, it is a great 2 hours.

Speaking of films, has anyone noticed that odd line-up of movies on Turner Classic Movies this week through to the election?  Fail Safe, 7 Days in May, Dr. Strangelove, and the like.  Watcha' trying to say Mr. Turner?

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Notes, Journal et cetera software

Someone called it the best application you didn't know you had already.

Microsoft's OneNote and OneNote 2016 are very useful [you guessed it] for note taking, but also collecting data from the Internet.  See this for comparison:

Data like: articles, pages, addresses and so on, then as you grab them they organize into your folders.

I've begun to use it for ideas and research for some artist book works, my ideas and also what others have done, for buying supplies for later and other relevant sites.

The basic OneNote is free for all devices, drawback perhaps is limited to cloud storage,  The OneNote 2016 has more internal organizational options and save to cloud or local storage - however it is part of the not-so-free Office package.

So specifically what I'm doing:

- ideas, drawings and design elements [like fonts] for my next art book

- a folder with pages of suppliers for paints, inks, paper: you can grab their pdf and insert it directly to a page, you can pull a item/price list from a web page [or the whole page].  Think about how Dick Blick organizes items and prices, just drop that sucker into your folder.

- a folder with processes listed, directions and my observations  I'm starting to scan in my gravures and make notes with the images.  I lose paper notes like crazy so this should totally fix that prob.

- a doodle folder [yeah if you can draw on your machine you can draw into OneNote].

If you're using the cloud storage, then you can save lists, photos to/from your smarty phone or tablet.

I've got the free version as I don't use Microsoft Office, but the free OpenOffice from someone nicer ;)

So far I feel so warm and fuzzy being organized


Friday, October 14, 2016

Storage for photopolymer plates

I've been doing a lot of work with photopolymer plates, particularly with the 4x5 inch size.

So, I've plates sitting everywhere wrapped in paper and realize it's not such a great way to store these dudes.

Archival storage for these plates should include:

1. no pressure on the engraved surface, so vertical [edge-on] rather than flat.

2. given that this is an emulsion [polymer plastic] layered onto steel, then de-lamination must be considered.  Temperature and humidity control occur to me.  An airtight box with silica gel to moderate humidity.

3. low cost and available

After looking for a number of weeks what I've found is the OXO Softworks POP container.  The one rated as 2.6 qt will fit 4x5 plates edge-on, with extra space at the top to close this airtight gasket-like seal; about $16 here in Albuquerque.  Thinking thin sheets of acid neutral paper between each plate.

Kinda' nifty.

Now the search for storage with those 8x10 plates....

Can't believe I'm so far behind on my blog writing.  Ah, summer, blame it on summer.


PS anyone with other solutions be very glad to hear about them.

Monday, July 4, 2016

The Unwinding Path

    The Unwinding Path is an extremely well written and interesting art blog.  It was my great pleasure to meet the author L.S. King, at a workshop earlier this year in Santa Fe.  She is a photographer and printmaker, and interviewer of other artists - the blog is well worth one's time.  Enjoy.

Link: The Unwinding Path


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Adobe Strata

   Another new one this Spring, Adobe Strata, acrylic and ink on aluminum, 9 x 15 inches.  I find the colors in these very calming, it's very like the natural palette of the area.

This is on display currently with others as part of my featured artist showing at Gallery at 400.

I'm spending a lot of on new designs, and am anxious to really get going and getting these translated to intaglio plates and onto  paper for further development.

   Not so hot right now for this 4th of July weekend, so we're getting some plants in the ground and Susan is laying out flower beds and such.  We're still into the desert plants of course, Spanish Broom and other things.  Last years baby Desert Willow has been blooming like crazy and has reached just over 6 ft, hummingbirds love it, and we've been seeing quite a few.


Saturday, July 2, 2016

New abstract

    This new abstract painting, hanging in my dining room so that I can live with it for a bit.  I find over this past month that i'm seeing unconsciously selected organizations in color and line.

Or perhaps I'm simple making patterns where none were intended - they really were not intended, but that takes me back to the unconscious . . .  and so forth.

15 high by 9 inches wide.  Which I just realized is close to the golden ratio.

untitled as of yet

    Had an opening last night with 2 other artists, another abstract painter and a fine art potter.  The potter did well, us abstract folks not so much.  There was a problem with standing space for the food table being about 8 feet from the walls where the paintings were hung, and it was also the narrowest of 4 rooms and acted as a hallway from entrance room into rooms 3 & 4.

I only talked to 4-5 people that were stopped and looking at my works, about the same for the other guy.  Abstraction per se seems to be a problem in this area for the public.  Many more were engaged in front of the more realistic works in the gallery than the abstract.  I had my first set of photogravures hanging as well [see the earlier blog entry photogravure in April ] and most seem to respond favorably to those images and not comment on the colorful acrylic abstracts; again, realism vs abstraction. 

PS: there are 3 other new works in June postings as well.


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Cartography 02

   Another new one that is going to be in my opening show at Gallery at 400 this coming Friday for Artscrawl - actually it is up on the wall there.

9x15 inches, acrylic and  on aluminum


Saturday, June 25, 2016


Another new work, placed in Gallery at 400, Old Town, Albuquerque.

acrylic and ink on aluminum,  9x15 inches


Friday, June 24, 2016

JC Smith Interview

     I shot this video recently while visiting JC [aka Pinkdog] in Las Vegas.  Finally got the edit done and approved yesterday, so here 'tis:

I'm newbe on utube so I think this link will take you to it.  This was made for Making Art Safely as part of a new series of video interviews with artists that have taken one or more of their workshops.  However it's not up on their website yet.

JC is visiting me this weekend prior to another workshop he is taking in Santa Fe on monoprinting.  Looking forward to hanging out with him.


Monday, June 20, 2016

Nightmare Bridge

     Well, it's been over a month since I've posted here.  Super busy, ending with 3 weeks of jury duty, and before that a week long trip to Capital Reef and that area which was a great trip [minus the 2 days of heavy rain].  I've yet to really go thru those shots, but as soon as I do I'll post a little bit on the Capital Reef area, and Goblin State Park, both in Utah.

Also I've been working on a number of new images on aluminum for a new gallery, Gallery at 400, which changes name and ownership on 1st of July.

Nightmare Bridge
9.25 x 15 inches
acrylic and ink on aluminum

I'll get the others posted soon and catch up on this blog a bit by doing so.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

JC Smith - Artist

First got to know JC, or Pinkdog as he's widely know, last summer at one of the Making Art Safely Workshops.  We've talked, corresponded and visited together since then, and I've come to understand [slightly] his humor and appreciate his art.

JC works lately in photogravure.  I've been going thru some files he sent me for a video piece I'm doing on him and thought I'd post a few of my favorites here so others could see some of his work.

All images are ©JC Smith 2016, All Rights Reserved by Artist.
as usual click on image for larger view.

Hoover's Damn
[I snagged this one when he was distracted on my visit at his studio]

Lambie Visits Reno

Tutti Fruitti

Zoltar Knows

All of the above 4x5 images, photogravure using the DTP method.  

He'll be back in NM in June and I'm looking forward to seeing some new images and having a wacky time with him.  

As a note his long suffering and very lovely wife will not be with him - too bad as she could have an eye rolling fest with my wife.

Oh yeah, as a final note, seems we're actually related.  Where has the gene pool gone, gone for pudding everyone.


Friday, April 29, 2016

Searching for Home

Well a home.

For three days I've been researching and visiting galleries here in Albuquerque.  I've talked to a lot of people: gallery owners, gallery employees, other artist encountered in galleries or over the Net.

I'll continue on with this until I do find an art home here, but I know that ultimately I must once again look to the wider world of the art-gallery-complex [not unlike the military-complex] in all of it's intricate dances of posturing and art-speak.  Looking beyond this place, this state.

When I was in the Chicago, and other mid-western art markets [Omaha is great btw] there were many opportunities; someone would call me and say, "Blah-Blah gallery needs a one person show, I thought of you, call so and so, be nice and I think you'll do well there."  Stuff like that.  Produced from a network of friends, gallery owner, and causal meetings.  I've been somewhat lazy creating such a network here, I'd rather do art, look at art, and enjoy the New Mexico vibe of clean air, blue skies, deep deserts and high forested mountains; but lazy or not I meet people, get interested in what others are doing and want to go to their shows.

So now, what's happening is I've been here long enough that the network of acquaintances has started to create a synergy of connections.  Something like a mellow chain reaction.  Having realized this yesterday I truly started to push the curve of building that kind of energy.  I've found some galleries I'm interested in and seem initially interested in me.  Made some presentations yesterday, as I did so decided I wasn't interested in them so much.  The two today that I responded too, and I had walked into 7 places, I think i'll pursue to get 'represented', actually there is a third, but I think the work i'm designing now will be more interesting to them, so laters on that one.

I was reading an on-line article of the ABQ gallery scene from 2007, remember 2007, before the great recession when sales were good and often.  Seems galleries here were struggling with thin margins, low sales even then, god the recession must have been a bloodbath here.  There were gallery website links, about 7-9, and only two of those listed still existed.

So this week ends on a good spot, much more hopeful of finding my little art children a new home; having a plan really is the best LOL.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016


When petting Cats, be sure not to activate the Murder button.

I love that, especially as I look at the many scars on the back of my hands.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Just Strange

Well ok.

Was gone for 8 days on a trip to Las Vegas and Reno in mid-April.  Las Vegas to visit a friend and shoot a video interview on him about his art, and Reno to visit an old friend from Kansas City, MO. days, as well as, go to a military reunion [my first ever] of the 377th Security Police Squadron - Vietnam.

So more on all that later most likely, well at least some landscape photos in Nevada on that long drive between Las Vegas and Reno on US 95.

But first some travel oddities I photographed [click for larger image].

Yep, the old Alien Gas-Brothel-Dinner, outside the infamous Area 51.
Note that in fine print under word Brothel is 'Souvenirs', hmmm.

This plane wreck parked outside another Nevada brothel, not sure of the connection here.

Just a really tired old building on the magical road US 95.

This free minded motel just off I-40 in Flagstaff, AZ.
Aliens coming down from Nevada no doubt.


Monday, April 11, 2016


I really love how this image came out. It is a dtp photogravure of a digital infrared shot, the sun is very low, just minutes before sunset.

End of Day
Image is 4x5 inches.

This is a proof, using carbon black ink on Rives BFK.  I've found since starting this blog that scanned images for the blog become very noisy, when in reality there is no noise in the file or on the plate.  Guess I'll have to start photographing these works for portfolio when i get around to making another website. [maybe i just need a new scanner lol].


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Linocut practice

It's been some time since I've done any lino work, so thought it would be a good challenge to model one on an old Lynd Ward image.  I've always admired his work and own several of his books.  Lynd Ward worked in woodcut, and detail can far exceed what lino can do as a medium, but I thought it worthwhile to do an image.

So this is based on one done by him in his Vertigo, A Novel in Woodcuts, 1937 and can be had in new paperback edition from Amazon -link to book-.

Thought I came close, after all it was practice.

Below is a relief work from a few years back:

Into The Woods
 is a color reduction woodcut, using birch plywood @ 3/8 inch.
27.5 x 19.25 inches, edition of 4, I've the last one.


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Must See Exhibits

Four really good exhibits in Albuquerque in April.  We saw them all today, tired.

2016 Insight Photography Show [web site here] April 2 - 24th, Fine Arts Bldg. Expo NM
The old Fine Arts building is in really fine shape, traditional adobe style, with many gallery rooms around a central exhibit space; the show is well lite and hung, and features may talented artists, some mundane, many exceptional.

18th Annual Masterworks of New Mexico Fine Art Show [here for on-line catalog, pdf].  Take a minute to look at the catalog and then you'll want to go.  April 2 - 30th.  Located at the Hispanic Arts Center, Expo NM [just down the street from the Fine Arts Bldg. parking is $5 for all areas].
A well juried showing, nothing to quibble about here on quality or quantity.

Next is numbers 3 and 4, are two, one person shows in the same gallery, New Grounds Print Workshop & Gallery - the Matrix Gallery [info here].

The two featured printmakers are in the front space, Takahiko Hayashi, trained for BFA Painting, Musashino Art University and MFA Printmaking at Tokyo National University.  See this link for a view of some of his works: Gallery; not the current show, one I think from an earlier show there?

Truly wonderful work, these detail etchings utilize colored inks, chine colle,  multiple plates and combining to create very intricate images, some like a kimono in textures, other organic and gestural.

Second, Ando Shinji, MFA Tokyo University of Fine Arts.  Again etchings, some quite large for a single plate [24x18 and larger], with a concentration on multi-plate color etchings. Also here for his past works at Matrix and again not the current showing but in both cases you get the idea.  I believe both are thru April, check with gallery for times and dates.

Much to lust after.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Soseki, part 3

Three haiku by Soseki, written after seeing an apparition of a woman on a spring night.

The shadows of a spring night blend and blur,
But there amidst the blossoms I feel sure
A woman stands.

Not blossoms but the midnight stars of spring she plucks,
And weaves them into garlands for her hair.

There she stands so utter alone,
And beaten Spring draws slowly to its close.

[p 50-51]


Monday, April 4, 2016

The Three Cornered World - part 2

Another quote from Natsume Soseki's fine novel:

"Immediately to my left I could see the foot of another mountain, and at times within the filmy depths of haze, shadowy shapes of what might have been pine trees showed themselves, only to hide again in an instant.  Whether it was the rain or the trees that was moving, or whether the whole thing was merely the unreal wavering of a dream, I did not know.  Whatever it was, it struck me as most unusual and wonderful. " [p 24]

"Only when I completely forget my material existence, and view myself from a purely objective standpoint, can I, as a figure in a painting, blend into the beautiful harmony of my natural surroundings.  The moment, however, I feel annoyed because of the rain, or miserable because my legs are weary with walking, then I have already ceased to be a character in a poem, or a figure in a painting, and I revert to the uncomprehending,  insensitive man in street I was before, I am then even blind to the elegance of the fleeting clouds; unable to feel any bond of sympathy with a falling petal or the cry of a bird, much less appreciate the great beauty in the image of myself, completely alone, walking through the mountains in spring."  [p 25-26]

For myself I shall keep this around me as I walk through the desert and mountains.

The Three Cornered World


Sunday, April 3, 2016

Day trip: Bandelier National Monument, NM

About 2 hrs. north of Albuquerque is Bandelier National Monument, just outside Los Alamos, the atomic city.

Evidence of migration and seasonal occupation in the National Monument dates back to about 10,000 years.  Those who eventually settled the canyon are known as the Ancestral Pueblo people.  This is canyon and mesa country, where deep canyons, such as the Frijoles Canyon, are carved into the Pajarito Plateau.  The plateau was formed from two gigantic eruptions, covering 400 sq miles with ash as deep as 1,000 feet.  Jemez volcano blew about a million years ago forming the Valles Caldera, one of the smaller super volcanos.

Click on images for larger view:

Above: Don Messec looking down into Frijoles Canyon.  The road down into the canyon points first at the visitor center, then the trail from there goes to the large kiva and then the foundations of Tyuonyi Pueblo.

Wider view of the overlook.  In the large image the backcountry trail can be seen switching back as it goes deeper into the canyon exiting the right frame.

LS of the ruins from lookout point.

The Frey trail from the campground down to canyon floor.

Click on for larger image, and see the ladders climbing up to Alcove House cliff dwelling.
Note the compressed white ash.

The upper Frijoles Canyon, the section with ruins is to my back.  The monument has 70 miles of trail, if you decide to come check website for trail damage, as a flash flood damaged or destroyed many of the routes.


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Gallery Closing

This will be the last month for the SE-OC Gallery here in Albuquerque, NM.  [This will be the 2nd one that has represented me that's closed in 3 years!]

I went early for the last Arts Crawl that the gallery will have.  Last night was a nice evening, there were lots of openings thru out the city so going early was necessary if I was to make any other openings.  The big one last night was the New Mexico Masterworks show, several of the SE-OC artists are in that exhibit.

Here are a few pictures from SE-OC:

You'll notice two of my images above, center, the Buddhas. I had a large show in Dec-Jan and left just three medium sized works on aluminum.

Like I said it was very early, not quite 6pm.  The windows are north light, just really a wonderful space with very nice people running the gallery.  The space, as I understand it, will be converted to their use for educational out-reach, which they've been doing at another location.

If you're a New Mexico person stop by this month, lots of really good deals on art.  SE-OC Gallery


Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Three Cornered World

Been reading this book, The Three Cornered World by Natsume Soseki, 1906.

It starts off with:

"Going up a mountain track, I fell to thinking.
Approach everything rationally, and you become harsh.  Pole along in a stream of emotions, and you will become swept away by the current.  Give free rein to your desires, and you will become uncomfortably confined.  It is not a very agreeable place to live, this world of ours."

That first paragraph sets off some reflection and a tone that so recalls for me Anne Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek,  published in 1974.

I've been reading about Japanese culture, and reading whatever literature strikes me from reviews or recommendations.  I've even read a ton of manga, to get a sense of modern tropes, and obsessions [also I really like the best of the artists and authors].

This book is I think, a life changer.

What is the three cornered world?  From the front-piece: "An artist is a person who lives in a triangle which remains after the angle which we may call common sense has been cut from this four-cornered world."  Soseki

Natsume Soseki, born in 1867, died in 1916, became one of Japan's greatest authors of the 'modern era'.  I qualify that because at the time of his writing so many of his contemporary writers were over whelmed by the influence of Western Culture and virtually abandoned Japanese traditions and styles, so their modernity was Western, unlike Soseki.  From what I've read in the book's preface Soseki was able to create a literary space that was in balance between eastern and western cultures creating a unique modernity.

The Three Cornered World was titled in Japanese Kusa Makura, literally the Grass Pillow, which the preface explains is a common phrase in poetry to indicate a journey.

I've always believed that books, their ideas, attitudes, insights come to me when I'm ready for them, sometimes I must come back to them knowing I've missed the essential on first read.  That may be years later, or simply reading and starting again immediately.  This one feels like it's right on time!

'fer'shure, more to come on this.


[The Three Cornered World, by Natsume Soseki, in Japan 1906, pub. 1970 by Gateway Editions, translated by Alan Turney and Peter Owen, 1965.  ISBN 978-0-89526-768-9]

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Essence of the previous post.

Art is a journey into the most unknown thing of all - oneself.  Nobody knows his own frontiers . . . I don't think I'd ever want to take a road if I knew where it led.

Louis Kahan

It's the journey to the discovery.


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Step Stumble - Gyotaku/acrylic

Ah, I know this but sometimes forget and go running in the dark with scissors:  I am a process artists, pre-planning, what Ansel Adams called pre-visualization, is not my forte as it always leads me astray. Well it did with the fish prints mounted over an under painted surface.

After multiple tries of mounting the paper, both tissue and various good washi papers, on to various designs both simple and complex, I find that the transparency/opacity of the fish print paper is too variable for me to control; that the strength of design is un-interesting; that on the best attempts the result is soulless.

So, I really like the fish prints, and will play [such a better word than 'plan'] with various colorations and multiple printing on paper, displayed perhaps in a more traditional way like floated, matted or perhaps hung banner style.

Time to get back into that meditative zone of process that consumes me so nicely.

Next up: a day trip to Bandelier National Monument, which will be a long day, 2 hours each way, but the forecast is 70f and cloudy, so great for photography and hiking.  I'd wanted to camp overnight with my brand new tent [North Face Talus 2] but not enough time this week. I did set it up in the backyard today, tent design has gotten wild lol, but 'twas easy set up.


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Day trip to Carrizozo, NM

Did a day trip down to Carrizozo from Albuquerque, the day started off fine, but the wind picked up quite a bit and ended up leaving out the walking tour we'd planned of all the old buildings around the 'gallery district' of the town.  Indeed it became a NM Spring day with high winds and blowing dust in the Valley of Fire, fairly unpleasant.

There are a couple of good restaurants,  and I think a microbrewery, but the wind blew us out!

So what we found, Gallery 408, a contemporary art gallery and Tularosa Basin Photography Gallery, a very large photography gallery.
First the photo gallery, it was vast, with excellent natural light and extremely high ceilings.  The building dates from 1917 and was a hardware store.

Click on image for larger view.

Notice the burro on the left roof corner.

Interior of the gallery, about 10,000 sf.

There were 32 permanent photographers in the gallery, plus a special exhibit of the current New Mexico magazine photography winners.  The 32 are from all over New Mexico, and are juried into the gallery.  The 2nd floor has art studios for the use, as I understand it, of visiting artists doing a residency at the gallery across the street: Gallery 408.

The view across the street, area between a small gallery of copper work and another building.

Building in back under construction.

The wall to the right of the gate.

Further down the street [to the left] is the courtyard for the Galery 408.

Below are in the courtyard.

For information about the artist in residence program contact Joan Malkerson, owner via the website. The contemporary works in the gallery are of as fine of quality as any I've seen, remarkable range of media and visions.

A return trip once the Spring winds die down is in order.  BTW there is RV and tent camping in the lava field outside of town, in the Valley of Fire National Forest Service area.  The last eruption was 3,000 years ago so you're probably ok.....


Friday, March 11, 2016

2nd Step: Gyotaku

The fish.  Inking and printing off of a fish onto paper is called Gyotaku, and was invented by the Japanese fishermen to record the type and size of their catch.  Today one can still use real fish, but most often -especially for us desert types - rubber models are used.  Gyo means fish, taku means print.  Its pronounced ghe-yo-tah-koo.

Yep getting the technique of making a decent fish print.  Started with an acid neutral tissue paper [Staples] and printed until I got the feel of how much ink/pressure then re-started with some expensive Japanese paper Sekishu - natural.  Expensive is relative in this case it's 14 cents vs 3.45/sheet; as printing papers go really not expensive.

See: Graphic Chemical & Ink  for supplies, and also The Japanese Paper Place for more info on Japanese papers.

Click on image for larger view.

Blue Gill,  Akua carbon black ink
on Sekishu paper

This requires a very delicate touch to transfer the ink, it is very easy to over/under 'rub' the paper.  My first 6 on tissue paper were fairly poor, then I found the pressure sweet spot.  Unfortunately the Sekishu, while very thin, was not as thin & transparent as the tissue, so I had/have a tendency to over-rub the paper.  I think I was relying on what I saw from the back to much when using the tissue, so now I've got to focus on the finger pressure and not go over a spot again.   It's strangely soothing to do these, so unlike using an etching press or book press which are more about muscle than touch.

So now I'm working on the mounting on gessoed board.  I've done one, and while the process was fairly straight forward, the results were poor as far as judgements on under painting colors and intensity.  More experimentation, but i've a number of small boards ready with three coats of gesso.

BTW I haven't abandoned polymer plates, I'm just waiting to afford my next plate order!  But what I do with the results of the polymer plates and the mounting of the fish prints will work together, as my plan is to do the same with the images from the plates - much more mixed media than straight print making. 

Someone once said to me "If there is a hard way to get to where you want to go, you'll pick that path everytime."  So true.  But that's why I'm a process artist - the trip is more fun than the destination.


Sunday, March 6, 2016

First Steps

So in this case the first steps are those that are leading to my next series of images.  Below is the first step in this process, an acrylic and oil pastel work on paper mounted on gessoed board.

The process that i'm working out will next substitute the painted paper with a relief print and ink, with acrylic under and over the mounted print.  Right now i'm using an acid neutral tissue paper, but once i've got the look i'm going for i'll start using some Japanese papers, such as Kitakata, Sekishu and Thai Chiri Kozo all of which will add more character to the work.  I haven't decided which of these paper yet, that'll be the 3rd step of decisions most likely.

Click on Image for Larger View

12 x 8.75 inches [30.5 x 22 cm]

The whole image area has had 6-7 coats of acrylic matte medium mixed with drops of Quinacridone/Nickel Azo Gold and Interference Blue Fine which softens the underlying colors and changes the feel of the finished surface away from that 'acrylic' look.  For this formula and several others check out the Golden Paints website newsletter Creating an Encaustic Look.


Friday, February 26, 2016

Exposure Unit DTP

This is the exposure unit I built for photopolymer plates.  Unlike traditionally prepared plates for exposure a clear acetate film is not used.

How photopolymer plates are generally made require digital printing and/or drawing onto a clear film [transparent positive], the film is then laid onto the photopolymer plate -inked side to plate- and a single light UV exposure is made.

With DTP [direct to plate] preparation the photopolymer plate is run thru a digital printer and the ink is printed directly onto the plate surface, so a single source light is not required for proper exposure.  What this means is that instead of renting time in a studio to use an expensive exposure unit or buying one [thousands of $] a relatively inexpensive unit can be built.

This one took a few hours with a friend doing the wiring and aiding in construction,  some wood glue and screws.  Interior dimensions are 24" deep, by 25.5" wide.  This is big enough for the largest solar plate sold @ 16x20.

Seven dual ballast units were mounted in the lid and wired to an exterior switch.  the 14 UV-A tubes give total coverage to the interior.  In retrospect I would have two switches, one for the center tubes of 4 ballast and the other for the remainder if I was doing large or multiple plates - just to cut down on heat.


Switch is on the left side toward back, piano henge for raising lid to access tubes, and a door in front to slide plates in for exposure.  All light tight to protect the eyes.

Door in opened and hooked into position to set plates in and take out, hook at bottom to hold door tightly closed when making exposure.

Look at all those tubes LOL.  Ok, specifics on cost:  just under 275.00 to build with ballast & wiring, tubes were another 70.00 - UV-A fluorescents.
The DTP process is taught at Making Art Safely in Santa Fe, NM, where I am a teaching assistant for Don Messec, the developer of the process.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Brenda Nelson

On Feb. 16, Don Messec and myself interviewed the New Mexico artist Brenda Nelson in her studio in Santa Fe.  She is currently featured artist at Making Art Safely.

We recorded about 40 min. of video with her while she discussed her art, her process and workshop experiences, as well as her one-person show in Albuquerque during the Fall of 2015.

I plan on posting the edited video when it's done on this blog, so something to look forward to watching.  The following are some images from that show and of her work in general.


Using digital collage and photopolymer gravure plates she prints these wonderful images - the quality is astounding when seen in person.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Dec 2015 - Feb 2016

I've been working on making acceptable photogravure plates, using the new Solar Plates from Dan Weldon .  It is a much finer detail plate with improved grayscale.

This one I made in Dec.


Cedar & Lizard, 4x5 inches

This was made with carbon black Akua ink, onto Hahnemuhle Copperplate paper.  The polymer plate is directed printed on in an Epson inkjet, exposed to UV, developed in water, and then hardened with additional UV exposure [about 10 min.].

I learned this process in the summer of 2015 at Making Art Safely with Don Messec.   In my own studio I did some rearrangement of my workflow from traditional acid etch intaglio to this process, the biggest problem was the exposure unit.

I wanted to build my own to save money, and it came out really easily.  I wanted to build it large enough so that I could do large plates in the future, but for now focus on 4x5 and 8x10.  Cost was about 275.00 usd and took about 5 hours with a friends help.  The hassle was the UV-A tubes, every place I tried was out, and had to back order to the factory in Europe!  Four months later -- tubes installed I was ready to make test plates.  What I didn't need in it was a vacuum frame, as I had printed directly onto the plate, no intermediate acetate required.  And because I printed on the plate a single light source was not needed either, so tubes ['way cheaper by thousands] could be used.

Jan. and early Feb. the following three were made:

Mask & Rods

Dress Shirt & Ipod


All on 4x5 plates, most trimmed down to image area before plate hardening.

~ tim