Fresh Paint
Saturday, April 30, 2005
Art Exhaustion, Day One
And may be the only day, since Dan at Iconoduel has thoroughly covered the Navy Pier show and in comments has clarified where the NOVA location is (we tried but couldn't find it -- guess we weren't looking for a transmission shop -- and were I guess hoping for a sign (literal sign, like on paper or cardboard -- nothing fancy)). And the admirable Houndstooth has covered the same territory, so I guess I don't need to go.

Sounds like the park was a bit better. And to answer everyone's question, yes, there are facilities, and no, they aren't blue port-a-pottie booths:

We got there early, but they still weren't ready for us. One entire half of the show (perhaps a full tent) didn't have electricity until at least 1 pm, so everyone was crowded over in the lit half. The guy from Dogmatic said the worst part was that the coffee service was without electricity when they were trying to set up.

No, worse was the story of the Hotcakes Gallery guy, who was supposed to get a 12 by 12 space but ended up with 9 by 9, and one of his walls was missing when he arrived yesterday. Speaking of which, I was curious how many signed up for the bus -- 32 people! A couple of boxes of wine on the way back, and you have a party! I almost felt like driving up there just so I could take the bus down to the show and back again.

OK. So there were few big-name New York or London galleries this year (Forum seemed to be the largest presence). And none of them brought their A-Team works along. The largest, most boring presence was the Thomas McCormick gallery (Chicago), which took over what seemed like the entire center of the fairly cramped tent space. Other galleries seemed to feature the identical work I'd seen last year, only sometimes in different colors.

A big theme this year seemed to be animals. And animals becoming people or people becoming animals.

(Also Sara Stites at Liquid Blue.)

Not as much encaustic as in previous years. I saw virtually no sculpture, no installations, only a few videos, no huge bland c-prints which had littered the show for many years. Granted, these are things I tend to ignore even if they're there....

So what did I like? Mostly I liked the works on paper and a few paintings. I adored this huge jewelled drawing (this is only a detail):

If the Chicago galleries hadn't been there (in particular Zg, with a whole stable of lively art) or Carrie Secrist (who had some of the Liliana Porter pieces) and the Stray Show strays from previous years, the show would have had no life whatsoever. None.

And I liked the wigs at Sophisticated Traveler (Peoria) by Angela Barker.

Go and see for yourself. It will be very very crowded, however, and cramped. Don't bring a backpack or big coat (you'll have to check it).

Friday, April 29, 2005
And So It Begins.... Art Exhaustion, Day One
On top of the Navy Pier thing and art in the park, I didn't realize there was something going on at Merchandise Mart too.

A friend and I are doing the park today. Am not planning on doing the pier (even though we have lovely, free, VIP tickets for it too). Good overview in Sun-Times article below is the first I found today, tho am sure we'll see stuff all over the place. Will attempt the NOVA thing tomorrow.

Art lovers can feast on fests

On top of it all, I have work in a show opening on Sunday (the prints I was slaving over). Full disclosure: it's at the Line Drive Gallery that I kinda slammed earlier before I found out that the EAC printmakers were going to show stuff there. It's not juried so it will be a very ahem diverse mixed bag. From what I saw when I dropped stuff off there's a lot of studio nudes, etc. The opening is from 4-8pm on Sunday, 1255 Hartrey Avenue, Evanston, IL. Phone (847) 570-0802. They still have no web presence.

Am well rested, however, since I didn't watch George last night on TV (and so get my innards into a knot, or spend the night fruitlessly clicking on instant polls).

And a reminder: those of you in Milwaukee can take the bus down to Chicago via the very fine services of the Hotcakes Gallery. How's that for convenience?

Thursday, April 28, 2005
Book of Revelations, AP Edition
Exploding Toads in a Pond in Hamburg, Germany, Baffle Scientists
BERLIN (AP) - More than 1,000 toads have puffed up and exploded in a Hamburg pond in recent weeks, and German scientists have no explanation for what's causing the combustion.
The pond's water quality is no better or worse than other bodies of water in Hamburg, and the toads did not appear to have a disease, she said. A laboratory in Berlin has ruled out the possibility that it is a fungus that made its way from South America [ed. they always get blamed, don't they?], Kloepper said.

She said that tests will continue. In the meantime, city residents have been warned to stay away from the pond. [ed. duh, unless you're a slutty blonde in a horror flick]
Yet another sign that the apocalypse is upon us? Has anyone found the face of the Virgin in the pond yet?

Good morning, friends. Funny.... my jeans fit yesterday.... Feeling a little bloa..... ARGGGGGHHH!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Holy Shit!
Noooooooo!!!!! Not Constantine! What's the point of watching American Idol any more?

Man, what will it take to get the bland and blond out of there? And Scott...

Very bummed. Will drink something and maybe I'll feel better. (I been up, I been down, to the bottom of every bottle... thanks, Nickelback, for the worst lyrics ever.)


But have figured out what I'm putting in this show (6 lithographs -- two of them diptychs). So have been farting around with different mats and floats. I hope people realize what we go thru just to frame something right.

God. Must wipe away my tears before continuing.*

*Not really. Constantine will do just fine. I bet he feels relieved, or eventually will.

Fugitive Woman Act
House Set to Approve Parental Involvement Abortion Bill
WASHINGTON (AP) - It would be illegal to dodge parental-notice laws by taking minors across state lines for abortions under legislation the House debated Wednesday, the latest congressional effort to chip away at abortions after Republican gains in last November's elections.
I've been politically quiet for some time -- but no more. This is appalling. This is what happens when we don't pay attention. Parental notification laws are bad enough -- what girl wants to be beaten within an inch of her life because some boy (whose life is not now ruined) got her pregnant? -- but at least she had the right like any other citizen to get on a Greyhound Bus and go somewhere she could get an abortion in peace.

If this passes, pregnant women move one more step toward being Handmaids of Lord Bush.

Call your reps right now. I mean it.

More Tales from the Hair Front
Darlin', Don't You Go and Cut Your Hair
Ever notice when any woman shears off the hair they automatically add 10 years to themselves and look like complete shit. Ladies hairdressers make money off of cutting your hair so they are going to fuck it up everytime and cut, cut cut.
Read these and be afraid....

Just mentioning this so you won't think I'm completely nuts.

Off to attempt to put a face on my face (after screwing up the lips). (See below if you are confused).

Tuesday, April 26, 2005
The Times Discovers Life Drawing, Part 2
And here's another odd Times article. Are they doing a series?

Nudes on Stage, and Music to Sketch By
On a recent Tuesday night, about 75 people crowded into the third-floor dining room of a private club in a Manhattan town house.

Some flocked to a small, noisy bar in the front, others to a rollicking party spilling out into a rear garden. The drinks flowed freely, and a jazz band struck up a lively blues number. A couple near the bar began swing dancing.

When two svelte women stepped up onto a small stage in the center of the room and dropped their robes, their nude bodies hardly attracted a glance from the two groups. But another group, clustered around the stage, became rapt and stared intently and unabashedly at the women, fixating on the contours, lines, creases, shadows and proportions of their bodies.
Son of a gun, they're drawing them gals!

Now, admittedly the Zelda Fitzgerald-like atmosphere at a life-drawing session isn't what we see up here in Chicago all that often, but this is the second article they've done recently about the wonders of figure drawing. Like they just discovered it's been going on! In this day and age! We're not all stuffing sharks in tanks! And even those who are, sometimes like to draw!

(check out the first article here via NewsGrist).

Good evening, friends. Didn't get a whole bunch done tonight. Dithering too much about what I want to put in an upcoming show and what not. All will be revealed soon, most likely. Nite nite.

Axis of Evil, Amateur Division
We were wondering about this:

Experiment Allowing Photos on Postage to Resume
LOS ANGELES (AP) - After an initial test marred by computer pranksters, Stamps.com Inc. and the U.S. Postal Service are again offering people a chance to put their personal photos on postage stamps.
Despite efforts by the company to filter obscene or otherwise inappropriate images, pranksters were able to order stamps using the images of such notorious people as Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa, Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and ousted Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.
But not George, I guess, so it's ok.

Back to mat-cutting.

Not a Good Week
... on American Idol all round, was it? Bo and Vonzell were ok, Scott appalling, even Constantine did a bad Nickelback, which is hard, because Nickelback is already bad. And the blond kid. I mean, a 17 year old boy doing Celine Dion? Puleeze. It was actually hilarious.

So now don't call me, don't bother me, because I will be cutting mats tonight. Ah, the plunder of virgin white 100 percent rag, that first delicious razor stab as the blade thrusts into the vast expanse of fiber, then the perfect slicing, the slicing, the slicing....

and the blood, oh the blood....

... er, sorry.

Monday, April 25, 2005
Print Progress
Good Monday, friends. Spent literally all day today putting lips on faces and not really liking the result. Wrong shape, too red, too dark, too light -- the usual problems. But will continue with them regardless, and perhaps try to put hair and skin on them like in my prototype.

And did a number on my naked lady. So have something I'm calling "Nude Spring" (because of the spring-like colors plus the nude):

And I have face in the woods too, that I might call "Woodsy Face," or something:

I think it would look better if it was wider on the right, but it was very smudgy, so I cropped it.

I kinda like both of these, so may attempt to do them again, only cleaner. If not, they'll be monotypes -- like most of what I do. I get bored just printing a single image, I'm afraid, and always try to "save" a print that's under or over inked. This is why I don't really consider myself a printmaker, since real printmakers think nothing of pulling a perfect edition of 50 at the drop of a hat.

Saturday, April 23, 2005
Paxton and Cherry at gescheidle
Apparently I was wrong, and there were no other openings over in West Loop Gate, just the one at gescheidle, which made it a little odd, like I was intruding on a private party to which I was actually invited.

Michael K. Paxton is a superb draftsman who in the past has concentrated on images from his native West Virginia (snake handlers, coal miners, people who do physical labor). Recently he has become interested in large structures, pieces of machinery, buildings, etc., some of which were shown previously at Byron Roche.

Here at gescheidle, the walls of the large room were covered with huge (did I say huge? I'll say it again. H U G E.) drawings, mostly in vine charcoal, a little compressed charcoal, the largest 76 by 150 inches on multiple sheets of paper pinned to the wall and unfixed. They depict places of destruction or violence, details blown up from newspaper clippings, sometimes just the sliver of a photo from Israel or Baghdad or Chicago. Some are very dense, like "Lockup," where there's barely any white space left. Others, including my favorite ("Mexican Bullfight") are quite minimal, with barely any charcoal on the surface. All have a heroic, expansive, romantic quality as reflected in the generally silly titles of each piece. (The show itself is called "The Perfume of Shadows," which sounds like it should be a quotation from somewhere, but I can't find it in my Bartlett's).

They are incredibly fragile. You can't imagine the anxiety I felt as the crowd brushed past two of them hung in the narrow hallway leading to the small gallery where Cherry's work was hung. Another hour of wine-drinking and they'd be toast, I was thinking.

(Which leads me to wonder how and where do you hang these things permanently, assuming they survive the month-long exhibit, or do you put each panel back in the box and store it away? Art about destruction that is destroyed before your very eyes is a bit been-there/done-that, and I don't think it's what these drawings are about. Needless to say, anyone buying one will likely also have the resources to frame it properly, but still.... Go see them now, while they're still fresh and the charcoal hasn't fallen off the surface yet.)

Speaking of Matthew (M. Ivan) Cherry's work... yes, he also had paintings at the exhibit. They're pretty good, but I was a bit disappointed. Shown are 3 series, "Sportin' Klein Post-Prime," "Boney," and "Juggle." The first 2 are variations on self-portraits, a genre that Matthew has been working on for years and years and years and years at this point. His previous show had few (if any), concentrating on paintings of his children (which I understand gained a certain controversy in this particular political environment).

The 6 paintings making up the "Sportin" series are called Geezer, Hoser, Poser, Teaser, Tweezer, and Pleaser, and each modest-sized painting depicts Cherry in a standing pose, naked, all hairy legs and unattractive torso, except for different styles of underwear (one, however, is with none at all). They were really good, I thought, painted surface lush and detailed.

On the wall facing them were arrayed 18 small 8 x 8 inch square self-portraits, just his face and enough of chest and shoulders to show a single word on the t-shirt of each one, like "dirty," "grumpy," etc. etc. I'm not sure if he had the word in mind as he was painting or if he looked at the painting after the fact and decided which word to inscribe on the shirt (I should have asked him, but we got to talking of other things).

I really didn't care for these. Maybe it was the lighting, but many of them showed a less-than careful surface, some with a bad halo around the figure that I'm not sure was intended. They also have a commodity-like nature (he can always paint more, pretty much exactly like the others) that I'm sure is a good thing for a gallery, but I'm not sure they're actually art any more and I'm not sure they show growth in the artist.

The final series, "Juggle," is possibly the best, and in some ways may shed light on Matthew's current obsession with reproducing himself. These are 5 paintings of wife Amy, each done in his lush and detailed style, depicting her in a nursing bra, one breast exposed, each painting posed against a hotly colored background, with titles Hot Mama, Sassy, Sexy, Spicy, Sweet. I know they have a large family and a new baby as well. Something is clearly going on here.

On the whole, a good show. Paxton's work especially seemed comfortable on the walls of the new gallery space. I heard more than one person remark that they wanted to live there. Though, thinking about this reaction, why would we want to live with drawings depicting violent destruction? Maybe more edge is needed.

Wintry Morn Report
It is hovering right around freezing at the moment and the sky has been spitting drizzle and/or snow in a fierce wind coming directly from the north. Luckily I hadn't put my knee warmers away for the summer, yet.

Check out the latest on the Axis of Evil show that I initially talked about down here:
"The art is still in place," said Tom Mazur, Washington spokesman for the Secret Service. "Nothing additional has transpired. We don't discuss our protective methods unless charges are filed."

This means that Al Brandtner's "Patriot Act," which shows a gun pointed at the head of President George W. Bush, has not (as was initially suggested by WFLD-Ch. 32) caused a scandal equal to the 1988 painting of Mayor Harold Washington in women's underwear, and none of the 47 artists had their works seized or incurred legal action (as was initially feared by curator/artist Michael Hernandez de Luna).
The gallery is getting about 200 visitors a day, according to this Alan Artner piece. A reminder: it's up until May 11 (and so happily will run thru the entire Art Chicago/ Navy Pier/ Young Art/ Whatever schedule. I feel so exhausted just thinking about it).

Good morning, friends. Went to the gescheidle opening last night and will be back later with thoughts (good show).

Friday, April 22, 2005
Truly Spongeworthy News
FDA Approves Today Sponge Contraceptive for U.S. Sales, 10 Years After Product Withdrawn


The fierce loyalty of sponge fans was depicted in hilarious fashion on the sitcom "Seinfeld." The character Elaine Benes scoured stores for her favorite birth control, then stretched her supply by setting "spongeworthy" standards for prospective lovers.

The Today Sponge prevents pregnancy by covering the cervix and releasing spermicide from inside the soft, concave device. Roughly 250 million of the sponges were sold from 1983 to 1995, and women favored it because it was easy to obtain and use.
Let's go, ladies! It's Friday night.... but don't forget the condoms too -- nasty diseases and all. Putting a virucide or bacteria killer or whatever in them is clearly the next step.

Good afternoon, all you ladies and spongeworthy gentlemen. Back from printing, got nothing done, except make a mess and feel depressed. So will go eat something and paint for awhile. Brought the camera in from the car for a change so perhaps will upload a snap for you if I reach a good pausing point.

Then, let's not forget it's also Art Friday. I plan to hit gescheidle, at least, for the Paxton and Cherry show.

So, without further ado, I will leave you now.

You may wonder what I'm doing up so early, or whether I never made it to bed last night.

Just sleepless, is all. Worked on the painting of this hair thing yesterday, woke up and had to look at it again.

The camera, of course, is in the car, else I might show you the work in progress. Maybe not. For me, things I take pictures of "in progress" tend to stay that way, so I have half-completed stuff all over the place -- or, if you prefer, fresh, lively, and not-overworked stuff all over the place.

And I think the compressor on the refrigerator is gone. I have no ice, the milk has thickened, the yogurt has a fuzzy skin. Luckily I don't cook all that much. Since I've got the toaster, much of what I've been eating has been peanut butter-based. Have transferred the half-and-half to the "freezer".

Will go look at the painting again. It's a lot more complex than the earlier hair thing. Suppose it doesn't have to be, but I enjoy a challenge.

Thursday, April 21, 2005
Popping, er, Breaking News
Is it in time for the Nobel Prize nominations?

Scientists Discover Why Some Popcorn Kernels Don't Pop
It's long been known that popcorn kernels must have a precise moisture level in their starchy center - about 15 percent - to explode. But Purdue University researchers found the key to a kernel's explosive success lies in the composition of its hull.

Unpopped kernels, it turns out, have leaky hulls that prevent the moisture pressure buildup needed for them to pop and lack the optimal hull structure that allows most kernels to explode.
Wendy Boersema Rappel, a spokeswoman for the Chicago-based Popcorn Board, said popcorn processors are always looking for ways to improve their product, including reducing the number of old maids.
Like if they don't have broken teeth from biting down on unpopped kernels they just might get a man? (Yes, yes, I know the "unpopped" ones are called old maids. But not all old maids are "unpopped," if you get my drift...)

Good morning, folks. Blogger was acting up earlier so couldn't inform you of this before now. Bright and sunny out, though chilly. Will print another day, paint today. Will also load more of the new work into the appropriate slots online.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005
So Long, Mr. Robinson!
... but I'm not surprised. He was always too nice. But, my! Will he ever go back to being a plain old music teacher after this? Not bluddy likely, mate.

Will savor the day Scott is kicked out, however, or the blond kid (can never remember his name). They sing ok, but who cares?*

Good evening, friends. Have updated the resume (as promised), and have updated my Works on Paper blog to include stuff I sent off to the ADA Gallery Record Bin show in Richmond, Virginia. (Thanks, Martin, for the info). If you're interested in any of them, contact the gallery directly or send me an email.

That's it, for now.

*I'm discussing American Idol here. You may cover the top of the screen if you must.

Your Mother Was Right
Some Extra Heft May Be Helpful, New Study Says
And being very thin, even though the thinness was longstanding and unlikely to stem from disease, caused a slight increase in the risk of death, the researchers said.
Let me just move this pizza aside for a minute. Ooops... spilled the full-sugar Coke on the bag of potato chips. Now where did I put those donuts? Still out in the car?

While I've never been accused of being just skin and bones by my mother when I came home from college and being force-fed pasta and mashed potatoes, I'm sure many of you were, and you countered with, "But Mom, I'm fat!" Now you know, and your mother is nodding wisely while adding a little more parmesan and olive oil to the sauce simmering gently on the stove. Shortly the sausage now browning will go in. And you will eat it and make her happy by guaranteeing yourself a full and long life.

Blogger buddy Infinite Stitch always reserves Wednesday for Good News, and I never do. So today we're twins.

Good afternoon, folks. Was going to print today but so much has come up and phone calls and everything so I never got out of the house. Perhaps will paint. Am also getting ready to reorganize and put more stuff in the Works on Paper blog. And it's come to my attention that the online resume is at least a year out of date, so must do something about it, I suppose. Is about 30 degrees cooler out today than yesterday, so am feeling sad and so may as well do housework.

Back later (I keep saying that but never do show up again. Sorry).

Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Senate Panel Delays Vote on Bolton to U.N.
He has said, for example, that the loss of 10 stories from the United Nations headquarters building in New York would make no difference.
My favorite quote of all.

Stall, stall, stall. Delay, delay, delay (yes, him too). It will be All Pope All the Time for a little while, but we must persevere and thwart their evil designs on the world. Plus no one wants to look at that mustache.

Good evening, friends. It was a glorious day today, 80 degrees, breezy, daffodils smiling, tulips kissing the balmy breezes, delicate fingertips of green waving from the tips of branches...

So I spent the afternoon in the hell-hole of the print shop printing things in pink and orange. They (and I) look like a creamsicle.

Will clean up and be back. American Idol tonight. Must get ready.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Not quite in the act, but you'll notice the suspicious lack of vegetation in his vicinity...

Evening Report
Was a beautiful day out, so spent some time wandering around -- took off shoes, walked in sand, etc. etc.

So basically, have nothing new to say or report. Errands, etc. Did no art, thought about no art.

Will watch "24" tonight and kill villagers in "Age of Empires", then read some Terry Pratchett and go to bed. Will print tomorrow. Sometimes I need a day away from youse guys.

Sunday, April 17, 2005
Good Morning
... to all my irreligious friends, lolling around eating croissants and drinking good strong coffee. Here's one of the prints I've been working on this past week, since you've been demanding new stuff.

That's about it. It doesn't have a name at the moment. The version I'm working on in red and pink is a little naughty-looking. The stone has filled in a bit (I MUST do something to stop this) so it's beginning be a bit crude-looking, too.

A reminder to Chicagoites: the artists' reception for the Evanston Art Center Benefit is today from 1-5. I think there's a gallery talk at 1:30. Link to the side. I will be there at some point in the afternoon. Last year they put my piece online in the digital gallery. They don't seem to have anything up online this year, at least not yet.

So will have to fluff and prettify myself pretty soon. It may take hours to clean my nails, so better stop now.

Saturday, April 16, 2005
Better Than Sex
... a lot of it, that is, except for the good parts.

Good afternoon, folks. Just spent the entire morning, from about 10:00 on, helping a friend install DSL on her computer. Dear Lord, how do people who aren't particularly computer savvy do this? I don't think they do, or they get an in-law or co-worker to do it for them. Or they pay the big bucks. Not a single one of the instructions that came with the modem, etc. was accurate, and nowhere in the instructions was how to set it up on the Windows (or Mac, for that matter) side of things. I think the documentation writers simply assumed that after most people opened the box they would immediately call the toll-free number (support from India) and get talked down.

The tech support rep in India was magnificent. Name of Ricky (I may not be spelling it correctly -- he works for Earthlink, and maybe others). Patient, humorous, detailed, kept going over and over the same steps again and again and again until I believe we formed a connection that will last the ages, and we will send each other holiday cards, and silver spoons on the birth of offspring.

Yes. So I had to drink a little wine, and my friend will never ever be offline again.

Is about 75 degrees out and sunny, a lovely, lovely day. I will sign off now and do something else.

Thursday, April 14, 2005
SAIC BFA Show, First Floor
This floor was only half the size of the 2 others, and a good thing, too, because I was fading rapidly. I found only a few pieces I really liked here.

Amy Babinec -- Super, super paintings -- acrylic and paper on board. Narrow and wide paintings of houses, smoky green/violet shadows, bright light focused on exteriors and shaded windows, mysteriously askew. Softly edged but almost hyper realistic. These things blew me away.

Kiryun Choi -- "Hands" -- crocheted sculpture, huge, draping from the ceiling like intensely colored narrow green scarves yet with pink hands at the end, like mittens. Some of the trailing ends have finger shapes. Quite lovely.

Sean Richards -- cute painting in black/white/gray. Dog and boy poised to kiss. Cheeks on dog slightly pink from blushing.

Rosie Presti -- "The Eden Project: Phase I" -- grid of different versions of paradise in 4 x 5 grid, some photo images, some appropriated, some from art or drawings, some plasticky. From her handout: "We sometimes remember it as early America, the one before violence, cars and the telephone, where the Indian ran free." Pretty.

Ryan Hall -- more pretty good paintings. "Almost There" is in 3 panels, man in surgical mask looking at viewer with glove reaching from large panel thru smaller panel toward a woman looking away, also in a mask. Very quirky and odd, but interesting.

Beth Engel -- "Parable" -- installation room like a tiny formal dining room, only the dining table has these ceramic/crochet organic forms embedded in the table and clustered on the floor and growing out of the armoire on the back wall. On the walls are wonderful drawings in pale inks of these strange objects. Very enjoyable.

Amanda Westbrook -- 25 tiny tiny watercolor or acrylic paintings on paper (maybe 2 x 2 inches each). Each mounted on dark wood. Masonite? Gardens, fruit, little still life or landscapes, small worlds. Also a single larger painting called Blue Bird -- red tree, violet sky, a simple blue bird sitting on a branch, the bird framed with a little wooden frame attached to the surface.

That's about it.

Oh, nearly forgot the hair guy:

Colin Lyons -- bad photos of the back of the heads of a lot of blonde women. All different styles and shades, but all seem to be out of focus for some reason that is not apparent. What with my recent hair frenzy, I had to mention this one, though it isn't really wonderful, except in concept.

Pink, Pinker, Pinkest
Here's some ladies from last week, now that the Wi-Fi is back. Will be printing again tomorrow. Hope to make some progress on other images, too.

More later.

... and mailed. And a day early too, practically a first, thanks to Turbo Tax.

And my Wi-Fi has miraculously returned. Will be back a little later with my final BFA show blogging, just in time for the show to come down. But will be open until 9:00 pm tomorrow, Friday (I was wrong -- not open tonight, Thursday). So GO!

SAIC BFA Show, 2nd floor, Part 2
Here's the tail end of the SAIC BFA show, 2nd floor edition:

Loren Erdrich -- oil on vellum a light box. Big sepia faces with makeup applied lightly to face and cheeks, light shining through. Eerie. Years ago I saw drawings done in the palest of pale ink washes, like washed out negatives (didn't record the student's name, darn, but they've stayed with me). These reminded me of them a bit.

Andrea Lambert -- all lithos and collage. What a hoot! Manipulated Victorian images of scenes of love, betrayal, escape, etc. "The Letter", woman reading letter, perhaps of rejection, with gun at side. "The Trade" -- Sailor and wife embracing after long sea journey with mermaid rising from sea and embracing him from behind. "The Garden" -- coy images of nymphs, Cupid with gold ring as a halo, etc. Clever, maybe a little obvious, but well done.

Mario Trejo -- I loved this piece. Sharpie, pen, gesso on canvas. Huge. Tangle of squiggles, very dense and overlapping, a little Pollocky. Layers upon layers. Like he kept telling himself, "There's still more room. I can still put more stuff on here." But the gestural lines seemed to have a sense of humor about them, tho completely non-objective.

Scott Austin Nash -- "20 Guys I'd Like to Fuck", and so would I. Color photos, each maybe 20 by 16 inches of attractive nude guys, some penises fully erect, some not, all cheerful and casual as they face the camera. Reminded me somewhat of the Timothy Greenfield-Sanders photos of porn stars being direct and relaxed from the April Art in America, but only because I just saw them. None of them are suggestive or leering. Good photo values too.

First thing I thought, however, was that I wished a young woman had done this. 20, 30 years ago one would have, and probably did. Gay men and their art doesn't shock at all. The Mapplethorpe controversies are old and laughable. Gay Republicans have taken over the Log Cabin. Young women's imagery has retreated into subtlety and coyness (see Lambert, Vinarsky). End of sermon. Ladies, let's go out there and screw! Fuck abstinence! Make Love Not War! I fear I am showing my age.

Sandra Abbas -- bathroom paintings in the mirror. Tweezing mustache hairs, etc. Very good. Acrylic on birch plywood, but lush, oil-looking. Somewhat reminiscent of my recent hair paintings (ha ha).

Lisa Pantoja -- blue sculpture of woman's torso, like a breastplate of armor, laced up neatly in the back with red ribbon, and perhaps it is. On the floor in ranks and marching outward are small (maybe 6 ro 8 inch high) female "consumebots", dozens of them, all nicely painted and detailed. Liked this a lot. Had edge plus quality.

The second floor has now concluded.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Wi-Fi is Lo-Fi
Very maddening when the Wi-Fi is too noisy to maintain connectivity, so am on the modem now, so won't be uploading all kinds of pix right now.

Also lo-fi is Nadia leaving American Idol, tho she'll do just fine in the outside world.

Am beat, will finish my BFA show report tomorrow. Get down there, will ya? Is open till 9 pm or maybe later on Thursday.

Here, Kitty, Kitty...
Wisconsin Residents Support Making Feral Cats an Unprotected Species

though (article claims) anger remains.
The proposal would allow licensed hunters to kill free-roaming cats, including any domestic cat that isn't under the owner's direct control [ed. !!! is any cat ever under owner's direct control?] or any cat without a collar, just like skunks or gophers - something the Humane Society of the United States has described as cruel and archaic.
The law unfortunately says nothing about cartoon cats.

Does a bow count?

Good morning, folks. Have been busy lately doing the BFA show reports for those late nights when you're a little drunk and maudlin and you start googling yourself because you think no one cares. Well, I care (at least for about 20 of you). Still half a floor to go, and then the (small) first floor, then that's IT for the year.

Off to print soon.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005
SAIC BFA Show, 2nd Floor, Part One
So, here we go down the stairs to the 2nd floor at the SAIC BFA Show.

Sev Ucok -- interesting painting, tho don't understand if it's symbolic, or just a painting of a lamb, something that looks like a beach and something that looks like water. The marks rise upward.

Rachel Klinghoffer -- pastelly acrylic paintings. On display is a diptych of a temple scene with robed woman, clouds rising in stenciled layers, birds in sky. Painting on right similar scene, different woman, different robes, bomber planes flying in from left to right. Hard-edged, soft tones.

Aaron Delehanty -- self-portrait with red chair. Three panels that don't quite connect in "real" space, interior with painted paintings on wall. Nicely executed.

Emily Rapport -- luscious painting of Howard El lines, blue lights on snow. Also painting of buildings falling down a hillside -- earthquake followed by mud slide from 2000. Vertical hard focus white buildings at top, serene, untouched, everything disintegrates as plane falls toward viewer. Good paint handling in both.

Kate Mangold -- painted folding screen of a soccer game under extreme raking midday light. Colored shadows, differing focus as game proceeds across the field. Also showed some smaller studies.

Christopher Moore -- originally walked away from these drawings but kept thinking about them and went back to look again. Many of them were heavily patterned and painted over duct tape, or casual pencil drawings. Like the marks, exploration of material. Seems like there's less of this art student task this year as a lot of the kids seem to drive straight toward a finished, packaged product.

Sangimi Oh -- a wonderful wedding dress that I would wear if I were to get married. Plain white strapless satin bodice, silver tulle over satin, with a ripped blue jean belt/girdle. Really lovely, girly and tough at the same time.

Jean Nam -- as though a theme park burst through the wall with a giant cartoon-colored Alice in Wonderland as she grows bigger and bigger, astonishment on her face. Has to be 20 feet tall, at least. Don't have any idea how artist got the piece into the building.

Miah Lager -- this is maybe my favorite piece in the show, or at least on this floor. It's a huge quilted slipcover for David Smith's Cubi VIII, a shiny angly multiplaned sculpture. From the artist's quite thoughtful essay: "When a couch has become outdated a slipcover can be made to revive the couch. By constructing a slipcover for Cubi VIII I am continuing Smith's exploration of art materials and working toward eliminating ideas of hierarchy in these materials." It is a beautiful, brightly colored patchwork object in itself, soft and floppy, but dead on in its contrast to Smith's welded steel.

Monday, April 11, 2005
Axis of Evil Breaking News
Stamp art exhibit asks, ‘What is evil?’ while feds ask for info
Columbia officials were stunned when two Secret Service agents showed up for the opening of the new Glass Curtain Gallery exhibit “Axis of Evil: The Secret History of Sin.”

According to Columbia’s media relations director, Micki Leventhal, the agents arrived before the opening, demanding to speak with Michael Hernandez de Luna, the exhibit curator who was not yet present. Hernandez de Luna is no stranger to controversy as he is the stamp artist who was single-handedly responsible for shutting down Chicago’s Loop post office for several hours in October 2001 when he sent a skull and crossbones stamp through the mail with the word “anthrax” written on it.

Though the stamp was found to be harmless, Hernandez de Luna has been under a federal investigation for the incident. And while there is politically controversial art in “Axis of Evil,” Leventhal said, “We do not know, officially, the nature of their inquiries.”
Incredible! Fallon & Rosof have also written about the travelling exhibit in Philadelphia.

Just saw this while watching "24" here in Chicago -- was teased for the FOX 9:00 news. Will watch and see what their spin on it is about. Hernandez is a really good artist whom I've written about several times before.

“Axis of Evil: The Secret History of Sin,” will be on display at the Columbia College Glass Curtain Gallery, 1104 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago through May 11.

UPDATE: Cool! Hernandez is on tv now. Apparently the Secret Service thinks they were threatening the president's life because of a stamp called "Patriot Act," with a sneering President Bush and a gun pointed at his head. Al Brandtner was the artist of this piece.

Secret Service demanded names and phone numbers of all the artists in the show which Columbia College refused.

Maybe we'll have more later. Will post this now.

UPDATE: Sun-Times has more here.

SAIC BFA Show, 3rd Floor, Part 2
Continuing through the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's BFA show, 3rd floor edition:

Uziel Duarte -- more nice paintings, esp. a tiny one called "Watching TV While Painting," moody and dark. Also "Anonymous Objects on Shelf." Might be anonymous, but they are clothed enough for us to recognize spice bottles, and maybe even the particular brand.

Kathleen Havens -- This is just about my favorite piece on the floor, ("Wendee"), maybe in the show. Huge, gray, beigy gray, with underdrawing in charcoal? on unstretched canvas of a pregnant woman looking down, so head small, belly and legs very large. Somewhat Jenny Saville-like, but gray. Breast, belly, forearm, hand, thigh, highlighted. Gorgeous painted surface, complex. Draftsmanship confident and specific without being slick. Foot-wide borders surrounding painted center ungessoed, relax against wall and floor.

David McDaniel -- and even more painting. "Boxer With Coach and Manager" and "Sea Captain on a Northern Sea," large, traditional portrait size, slightly faux-naive Early American style. But these are acrylic paintings, and glazed and varnished to look like very old oil paintings, including a slightly cracked surface. A lot of interesting stuff going on in them.

Carrie Vinarsky -- Great prints & litho/screenprint books, tho the litho images seemed to print a little lightly. Best is the etching series called LOVE -- printed on square paper with edges cut into pretty scallops! Image one: girl innocently petting a pig. Two: pig performing cunnilingus on girl. Three: Pig perhaps taking her from behind while she views an ax lying on ground. Each print very detailed and, well, pretty.

Kate Gronner -- also has lithos, airy narratives, some intensely colored. Harpooning a bear, opening a rabbit and finding an alligator inside. Howling at an airplane that ejects a dinner service of knives, forks, plates, etc. Dead forest with plummetting chipmunks and pack horses called "The Sound that Occurred When They Hit The Ground." Huge talent here. Are they hand colored or done in print?

Jillian Gryzlak -- Hilarious! Large, wide digital photo of row of typical Chicago-style bungalows with a crude cartoony house, bright red with kid-crude windows and a green roof inserted digitally into row.

Nathan Redwood -- Pink background of very large painting, sketches of figures in dark line look somewhat like a page from Rembrandt's sketchbook, quick, gestural some overlapping, exaggerated, cartoony, forming curious narratives indeed. You could look at this painting for hours and never see it all.

L.X. May -- is obsessed with lawns. Paintings. Needlepoints especially sweet of a rake, "Bless this Lawn", a lawnmower.

The 3rd floor has now concluded.

Sunday, April 10, 2005
Neil Welliver, 1929-2005

NYTimes Obit is here.

(via Modern Kicks).

SAIC BFA Show -- Third Floor, Part One
Preliminary Note:

If I didn't notice your work, don't be upset. There were nearly 300 exhibits. Some things I simply have no feel for -- most photography, sculpture, jewelry, architectural stuff, commercial art, video, for example. Sorry. I may have missed some things while following the circuitous path. And yes, some of it was just not worth writing about. You can email me before the show comes down if you think I missed something worth looking at and maybe I'll go look for it. Maybe not. This is the real world, after all.

So. My prejudices are painting, printmaking, works on paper, and delightful things in general. I have a fondness for fashion and fiber art, too, as you all know.

Let's get started with the Third Floor, in order of viewing:

Victoria Troshin -- mixed media. Mylar? Skin? Blood? Tea bags? Multilayered translucently thin objects pinned to wall, captured in plexi boxes. Some delicately drawn on. Bones? Lovely.

Seema Dhoud -- triangle paintings of partial views of faces. Of moderate skill and interest, except note on wall says the artist is working on oil ground manipulation. Looking closer, then I see that the most effective one has many wrinkles under the painted image, all over the face area. Another has just wrinkles under the nose. Wonder if these are going to continue to "mature" as the drying time of the 2 different layers alters the image further.

H. Oh -- really neat woodcuts, ok etchings. Like the alligator eating a little kittie.

Felicia Grace Cinquegrana -- first real showstopper piece. "'Tis the Season, 2005", a 15 (or more) foot tall sculpture, a xmas tree made of 1700 hangers (the white plastic and metal department-store type) hung in rows on a steel armature. Liked both the shape and restraint of the piece. She could have gone over the top and actually decorated it, or painted the hangers green. They give a sense of both the solidness of a tree covered in snow, and also a glisteny, silvery quality. The hangers move slightly in air currents.

M.V. Tobin -- pigmented ink on paper. Minimal landscapes. Also big scribbles on bigger paper. Nice contrast.

Hannah R. Simpson -- I'm not a jewelry person, but these silver pieces were beautiful. And really liked the silver knife, fork, and spoon set with marbles inlaid at the end of the handles.

Vanida Wechasethanon -- "You Should Really Smile More", oil/canvas. Like the composition, subject, etc. Execution is adequate. Would like to see more care given to facture. Image is others in the frame smiling probably at the camera, main subject (young girl, maybe the artist) just looking grim.

Jiha Lee -- "Composition in Ivy & Persimmon (Let's Get Lost)" oil/panel, 12 inch square. Seemed to be only piece this artist exhibited, and curious. In center is very detailed, heavily worked couple in a convertible. Some of the shapes opaque, edges firm, others thin and sloppy looking. Edges disintegrate further toward top of painting, as road leads into the woods, in foreground are hard as a rock. Wasn't sure what to make of these contradictions. How much intended vs. fortuitous?

Marisa Heilman -- another showstopper. Solid stuff vs. empty stuff. Ceramics vs. wire armatures. This is an installation that lingers and makes me think of all these things. A ceramic pair of slippers, amusing. A softly collapsing teapot on shelf. vase, other household objects. Displayed along with black wire contour sculptures of other household objects. And a "house cage", with printed fabric images of household objects inside -- curtains, chandeliers, etc. (weakest part of display. cool, but not strictly needed). Tiny circles of black wire strewn about, possibly drops of water or flower petals? Found this exhibit mindbending in that I wasn't sure what was flat and what was not.

Katya Meykson -- good paintings -- snow, dog. Really nice one of face (possibly of artist) looking down, head in hand. Another of washing dishes, reaching out and petting dog. Good, nice surfaces for a change.

Here endeth the first half of the third floor. More later.

Saturday, April 09, 2005
SAIC BFA Show, Teaser
Just this minute walked in the door from spending the entire day at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's annual BFA show, and I must say it was odd to experience it without the crowds and hoopla of opening night. Everything spaced out enough that you could step back (and not into) to look more. It used to be held via lottery. I wonder if it's still the case, because the sight lines for some of the most impressive pieces seemed designed. I mean, they didn't stick "20 People I Want to Fuck" in the corner of the back of the third floor.

First impressions? Saw only two or three incomprehensible piles of personal stuff on the floor, and practically no representatives of the old "bad painting" style of a few years ago (which I find I somehow miss). There were probably videos and installations here and there but I find I rarely even look at them. One had a bunch of stuffed animals up you were supposed to pet and I suppose they made a noise, but it didn't work, or else the batteries were dead, or something. This is the problem with moving-part installations.

A lot of painting, a lot of works on paper. There's always extremes. A guy who can barely seem to get one poorly executed abstract-like painting on the wall vs someone who has come up with a full wall of slick imagery plus an entire business-card, website, stationery, postcard marketing package with digital portfolio for herself.

So here's instructions for when you go: Start with the third floor (top floor) and work your way down. Wear good cushionny shoes (floors are concrete). Leave the camera home (they won't let you take pictures unless you have written permission that you have brought with you -- guards are everywhere). Bring a big shoulderbag to hold all the postcards and handouts. It can just barely be done in one afternoon. If I were a good person I'd go back and take another look at some of the pieces that I'm just now remembering (and didn't write down in the notebook).

A word to everyone in the show: I liked a lot of it this year, which may mean you're not pushing hard enough.

I'll probably have a number of posts about the show over the next few days once I clean out my purse and organize. But I'm tired now and have to let it all soak in and get something to eat.

Friday, April 08, 2005
Surrender the Pink
... to the printing gods.

Told myself that if I couldn't get the pink background stone to print right one more time, I'd grain it and call it a day, and so I did. Discovered while doing it that the stone wasn't (ahem) exactly level, which certainly didn't help matters.

But solved my color ink problem thanks to the online outlines from University of Buffalo. Probably many other ways to skin these cats, but adding the mag and the varnish to the ink caused it to roll out perfectly. Pity the stone itself was a mess. Thinking back to the last time I printed color, this all sounded familiar.

Ah, well.

So am resting. Will try to get down to the SAIC show this weekend, then will work again in the print shop on Monday. Too much to do, too little time!

However, stumbled across one of my favorite Warrington Colescott prints in my recent googlethon,

Senefelder Receives the Secrets of Lithography (1976)

This is from his wonderful History of Printmaking series. You can find others here.

I didn't realize he was 84. Please, let's not have to create "Colescott Banishes Devils, Enters Heaven" any time soon.

Thursday, April 07, 2005
Good Morning From Fortress Dubya
... sorry, is it afternoon already? My mistake.

In the high 70s yesterday, now in the low 40s. Was supposed to rain the last several days, but not. A lot of stuff came out blossoming the last few days, now looking a little shocked and surprised. "We want rain," the forsythia demand. "Now."

A brazen brown bunny sat right by my fence yesterday, daring me to scold it for eating my one tulip.

So. Only news so far is I FINALLY figured out what to put into the EAC Benefit (see link on the side) and FINALLY got the digital image to them. Here's a hint. It's one of these, but to find out which one, you'll have to wait....

Other than that, I apologize on behalf of my country to all Canadians who may now have to hustle out and get a passport if they want to cross the Peace Bridge (I assume it's still called that) to visit the American side of Niagara Falls on their honeymoon. Be thankful George hasn't started eyeing your oil yet, because surely you have a few drops you can donate to the Great SUV Mission Against Planet Earth. Is this Round Two of the Oyster War?

Back later possibly with more news.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Saul Bellow, 1915-2005
Please make it stop.

I briefly worked for him when I was at the University of Chicago in the Committee on Social Thought. It was the year he won the Nobel Prize, the same year that Milton Friedman won the Nobel Prize. Economics and Social Thought were in the same building, so, knowing TV cameras and hoopla was about to happen, we all gathered at the elevators waiting for the great men to arrive, with signs etc. though not, it being U of C, balloons.

I remember little of him except there were always stars wandering in and out of the building back then, though IMHO the real star of the department was David Grene, the wonderful Greek scholar.

This is all so sad. Reality sucks so bad.

The Blonds Have to Go
... on American Idol. I think the kid will go this week. Ever since he got rid of his glasses he's thought too much of himself and started winking at the audience, what I hated about Clay Aiken. Plus I can't ever remember his name, and he's too young. Not fond of the blond girl, either, since Simon loves her so much. Yes, she can sing, but she has zero charisma.

And wife-beater Scott (girlfriend beater, actually, but the mother of his child) shouldn't even be in the competition, after what has come out this past week. They got rid of the stupendous Frenchie Davis for showing up on a sexy website in her youth, and one or two others have been kicked off for weapons possession, etc.

But, of course, they all were black.

And yes, of course, I like Constantine the best, because he so very much doesn't need it and it's just a kick. But he lets us in on the secret, which is the fun part. Plus he's actually smart, and knows music.

So onward. I was wrong last week. Will probably be wrong this week, and they'll get rid of Vonzell, who is good but often a bit generic.

Still Bummed
... about Bob Creeley, and tired and cranky. Woke in middle of night last night, spent time trying to find my copy of For Love (the one with the book marks and notes from freshman year), finally discovering it this morning in a place I searched a dozen times last night. Thanks, Bob, for finding it for me. Found in it a scrap of paper where the old poet Ruthven Todd (who lived in Buffalo for a time) had written down his address for me in Majorca. He's dead too.

Had forgotten how courtly and fey and sometimes embarrassing some of the stuff in the book is, or maybe I was the complete undergraduate gland. But the utter minimalism of the emotion, even in a mushy "song" to a wife still blows me away.

We are all so postmodern and ironic now it's hard to read some of this. How brave to put love poems (for the most part) on paper and publish them for all to see. And yet he was the definition of hipster cool with a touch of nerd.

I used to write stuff like "For M.", when "M" wasn't even the first letter of his name, so desperate was I to hide.

Anyway, an odd, emotionally charged day, starting about 3 am.

Good evening, friends. We at least have American Idol* to look forward to tonight, so I'll be heading to the store to lay in some snacks. Printing didn't go abundantly well. The pink background may have to be done in a different way. May give it another shot tomorrow, or just give up and start again with a stronger etch.

Am assuming you voted today. Still another hour left (in Illinois) before the polls close. Is absolutely perfect weather, about 72 and breezy. So you have no excuse.

*please don't hate me

Monday, April 04, 2005
Robert Creeley, 1926-2005
Of pneumonia, of all things. I am suddenly so very sad, and I have no wine.

Nice long obituary here, if an obit can be thought of as nice. UPDATE: Here's a link to other resources.

He was one of my advisors back in the poetry/art world of Buffalo. It was an intense place back then. I didn't know he finally left the place 2 years ago to go to Brown, and was now living in Providence, RI. I guess I'll always remember him right before his marriage to Penelope when he lived in an apartment on Fargo that was tiny and mostly books. I lived a few blocks away on Vermont. A couple of times we got together so he could read my work. I remember we went to the Anchor Bar for Buffalo Wings once or twice. I'd never had them before, and I still remember what they tasted like, and where we sat. He had this horrible off-white VW and drove very carefully, since he only had one eye.

I remember he'd just turned 49 and couldn't believe it. "I've always been, like, the kid," he said. He'd shake his head and run his fingers through his hair. I was probably a little in love with him, but it was a long time ago.

The last time I saw him was after a poetry reading here in Chicago at (I think) SAIC, or maybe MCA, and a bunch of us all went out afterwards and got wasted. It, too, was a long time ago.

Well, Bob. Now you know.

This was always one of my favorites (The Rain):

All night the sound had
come back again,
and again falls
this quiet, persistent rain.

What am I to myself
that must be remembered,
insisted upon
so often? Is it

that never the ease,
even the hardness,
of rain falling
will have for me

something other than this,
something not so insistent--
am I to be locked in this
final uneasiness.

Love, if you love me,
lie next to me.
Be for me, like rain,
the getting out

of the tiredness, the fatuousness, the semi-
lust of intentional indifference.
Be wet
with a decent happiness.

Plain and Fancy

Or perhaps you prefer this fancy one:

which is how I feel a lot of the time. The background is the tusche designs I was playing with on a different stone (and printed apparently with a bar too narrow for the stone). I may try to make it all work together tomorrow, a large task.

And I'm sorry Illinois lost the game. The fouls killed them, and the mushy play in the first half. Too bad, but we're used to it.

And a final reminder:


Interminable Half-Time Report
I am watching the Illini game since it's the law in Illinois, and there is a no-knock policy where your old gym teacher can break down the door and arrest you if you're not watching.

This doesn't look like the same team I saw on Saturday, is all I'm saying right now. Perhaps the hype got to them.

Good evening friends, even those from North Carolina. Nothing much to report. Did a slight amount of printing this morning -- put lips on The Face via a xerox transfer just to see what it really looks like beyond the digital sketch, and looks, well, interesting. Can be interpreted in a lot of ways. Will post it later, perhaps, once I hit "undo" enough times to get the original scan back.

And I must apologize for not going down to the SAIC BFA show that Dan at Iconoduel told everyone I'd be reviewing. Because of my schedule, probably won't get down there until Thursday. Sorry, all.

Well, the game has started again, and I must watch or else be fined. Later.

Sunday, April 03, 2005
Token, Talisman, and Tool
... at Noyes Cultural Arts Center.

Here's a fabulous, huge charcoal drawing by Deborah Maris Lader:

And a print by Bert Menco. He also showed a few drawings, but his prints are quite wonderful:

Finally, a collaged work by Duffy O'Connor. I talked with him about this for quite awhile. His two favorite motifs -- shoes and monkey faces -- generated a lot of proofs in the print studio and so he decided to combine them in a painting, then going over the work in oil. I think it's really neat:

Extra! Extra!
Breaking Art News!

Michael Paxton has left Byron Roche and will be showing with Matthew Cherry (aka M. Ivan Cherry) at gescheidle, opening the end of April.

Just ran into him (and about the only other fifteen people I know in the entire Northern half of Illinois) at the opening I spoke of before at Noyes Cultural Arts Center in Evanston, Illinois.

I'm really fond of both of these artists, and in the crush I didn't learn the dirty details.

All I can say is that I've never seen more networking between heavy hitting collector/dealers, gallerists, and artists before. Bert Menco and Duffy O'Connor, especially, should be very pleased. I thought Bert's prints were quite strong.

Spent time talking to other favorite printmakers, in particular, Elizabeth Ockwell and Diane Thodos.

Years ago I printed with both of them, and a fond memory of Elizabeth is when she was drawing deer bones by inking a slab, laying paper over it, and drawing down hard into the paper to pick up the ink underneath. I always wondered what happened to those drawings. Apparently she showed them at Columbia College, where she also teaches.

She said she also boiled down a dog she found dead by the side of the road, but her live dog ate the bones, so she never had a chance to draw them.

Ah, me.

I have snaps I will post a bit later. I have had a few glasses of wine.

Saturday, April 02, 2005
The Other Illini
The University of Illinois Champaign/Urbana Women's Ultima team, that is.

Don't know what Ultima is? It's a cross between football and a lot of other sports only played with a frisbee. And they were playing in Evanston today. And my niece was on the team, so I stood for 2 hours in the cold watching it with pride and joy.

Here's the team:

Here's an awesome catch:

And here's a frozen dad:

So I'm not down there looking at art, but watching the basketball Illini on TV. So it goes. You can't plan everything.

More later, most likely.

No Longer a Fool
Good morning, all. Just a post to switch everything out of Fool mode. Is a beautiful, sun-filled morning, but cold, alas. Catch ya later.

Friday, April 01, 2005
Stoned Again
... litho stoned, that is:

And here I am as far as the eye can see, representing at least 3 different skin tones:

As you can probably see from the stone, the image is beginning to thicken and fill in. I can probably take a razor blade to some of the hair strands and separate them, but eventually I'll have to admit defeat, grain off the image, and start a new project.

Now have 17 of them, about 14 of very good quality, 3 of lesser, which is actually a pretty good rate for an edition. Even though I'm continuing to print on BFK, it seems like each sheet has its own character and takes ink differently, which makes for even more fun.

While there today, our monitor, Marge Roche, brought by a father and little son who watched me print and went away with a signed proof on newsprint. I am so cynical (still) that I didn't let myself look in the trash bins outside the building to see if they pitched it.

And an early warning for those planning to see the show, Token, Talisman and Tool (works by Deborah Maris Lader, Bert Menco, and Duffy O'Connor, all terrific printmakers). The opening has been moved to Sunday, April 3 from 3-5, according to a handwritten correction on the show cards at Noyes. Address: Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes Street, Evanston IL, 847-491-0266.

I have pix already which I have to empty from the camera and will write up later. They put up some really nice work.

And the Winner Is...

After much debate and hours and hours of screwing around with dozens of images, here's the winner for the next painting. I like it because it looks like I'm literally wrestling with my hair, which is how the day usually begins, and is why I long to cut it all off, tho all my friends scream at me No, No!

Good morning to you all. I know I promised more blogging yesterday and didn't deliver, but that's the way it goes. Since I have access to the print studio today will be going over later.

And once more, a reminder of the BFA show opening at the School of the Art Institute, cleverly scheduled against the Illini game in Saint Louis on Saturday evening. But the show will be up thru the 15th (I think). I will likely take the opportunity to roam the empty displays and buck up the weeping students, devastated that no one, including their parents, came to see their work.

Or else I'll go on Sunday. Either way.

I don't have a good April Fool joke for you either, since he's still in Washington, as far as I know. But this is my favorite picture of him being compassionate:

UPDATE: Except this (via Boing Boing).

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