Monday, December 30, 2013

Year End

It's the end of another year.  Time to reflect on all the things accomplished in the past year and those things that weren't.  Time to set new goals for the year ahead.

I had many art goals written down at the beginning of this year.  I accomplished a little more than half of them.  Although some people might not think that is a good amount, I think it is pretty good since I had 43 goals written down.

Weekly time in the studio is always an important goal.  I aimed for averaging 20 hours a week in the studio over a 48 week period and ended up averaging 15 hours.  Just like statistics, I can mess with the numbers.  If I take out the time I worked at the art museum then the average goes up to 17 hours a week.  I've decided the actual number doesn't really matter.  It's the motivation to hold me accountable for getting into the studio regularly.

15 hours a week may not sound like very much, but I am getting artwork made.  I completed 35 fabric artworks of various sizes this year.  I also made around 10-15 original hand pulled prints.

For the business side of art, I aimed for spending an average of 5 hours a week working on it and exceeded that average by one, working an average of 6 hours a week on art business.

Overall, it was a good year and I continue to make progress on my art goals.

Now it's time to make new goals.  I think the hard part always is to be able to create a balance of goals to keep you moving forward but not have so many that you get stressed about it or doesn't allow you the time to enjoy some other things along the way.  That's part of the reason I don't mind if I don't meet all of my goals.

So I think my "theme" for 2014 will be "Enjoy the ride!"

Did you have goals you accomplished this year?  Please share, if you would like. Do you think it is a good exercise to make goals? Do you write your goals down?

Friday, December 27, 2013

Snake River Hike

We had a nice quiet, relaxing Christmas.  On Christmas Eve day, we went for a hike near Swan Falls dam along the Snake River.  It was a sunny day (no inversion) and in the 30's.  It was a nice day for a hike, except the hunters were out, too. So we would hear gun shots shooting at the birds from time to time.

Frank and Anna on the rocks.  If there were a few more people, they could start a band and this could be the album cover.

Monday, December 23, 2013


Christmas is almost here.  I have been enjoying parties and activities, but haven't gotten much artwork done.  I did manage to create a reduction linocut card for people who purchased my artwork this year and a few friends.

I have written about the reduction linocut process here before.  It's a little scary to do because you don't know how many good prints you will get in the end.  So, you always start with more than the number you want.

I still feel like a novice when it comes to print making.  There is so much to learn.  I learned a few things from doing this card:
-  First, don't fold the paper before you print.  It's harder to print that way (duh!).
-  It's helpful to have all the ink colors when mixing ink.
-  Don't use Sharpie on the linoleum block.  It will print with the ink. (I knew this but had forgotten.)

My original drawing for this card had a color scheme of pink, red and burgundy.  When I pulled out my ink colors, I only had Red Oxide which doesn't make for a very Christmas-y red.  It was o.k. to make the pink, but after that I had to change my plan.

Here is the first color, pink.  I was just using some card stock I had on hand.  I liked the creamy, yellowish color but didn't have enough of that and had to use some white, too.  You can see that the pink looks slightly different on each of the background colors.

The dark outlines around some of the shapes is the Sharpie.  It might be an interesting effect to use on purpose some time.  Fortunately, in the end, you can't really tell.

I printed these by hand, which means I rubbed on the back of the paper with a barren.  I set up an area for printing on my drafting table.

On the right is a piece of glass that I mix and roll the ink on.  The other piece of glass is what I put the block on when I'm inking it.  On the left is the inked block ready to print and that knobby thing above it is the homemade barren that my friend made and gave to me.  It works very nicely.

I had to create something so that I could register the paper each time I did a new color.  Here is what I came up with.

I used a leftover piece of mat board and taped some smaller pieces of mat board strips to it.  This is to place the block in the same position every time.  On the left I had marks to line up my paper.  Since I had folded the paper first, I had to be more careful getting the paper to the block side.

After all the pink was printed, I carved away some more of the block and printed a light blue.

Then I added one last color to give it a little more depth.  I had some help from some friends in deciding what the last color would be.

Here are a bunch of the finished ones drying.  The last color was a dark bluish gray with some silver mixed in.

I hope your holidays are Merry!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Foray III

Last week, I went to the Treasure Valley Artists' Alliance's opening of Foray III.  This is the annual exhibition of the alliance that is an open theme and it usually is the biggest.  My artwork, Personal Logograph #7 is in the exhibition.

The exhibition is back in the Boise State Public Radio offices (220 E. Park Center Blvd).  They have such nice wall space and it is very nice they let the TVAA use them for their exhibitions.

This is the entrance wall as you walk in.  The yellow painting on the left is done by my friend, Anne Peterson Klahr, and is called Bask in Sunlight.

Artworks in the reception area.

The large dark artwork below is called Maui Moonbow by David Schwartz.  It has a richness and depth that draws you in.  It is made with epoxy resin and metallic pigments.  The red felted vessel next to it is made by Betty Maguire-Hayzlett.

A found object work by Cyndy Lounsbury entitled, Beacon.

This artwork is made by Lauren Kistner.  She has a unique technique of working with oil and I really like the coloration in this piece.

The free exhibition can be viewed during regular business hours, Mon. - Fri. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. at the Boise State Public Radio offices through Feb. 20, 2014.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Art in Traffic

Enough vacation photos, it is time to get back to some art here on the blog, as well as in the studio (still working on that).

On Dec. 6, there was an opening at the Visual Arts Collective for the exhibition, Art in Traffic: Boise Utility Box Art Exhibition.

In the past, I have talked about the Traffic Box program that is a collaboration with the City Department of Arts & History, several area business committees and the Ada County Highway District.  Local artists are selected (and paid) to create designs for city utility/traffic boxes to help discourage graffiti and to make Boise a nicer place.

I have seen traffic box designs in some other cities, but what makes this program different is that the artists are not painting directly on the box.  They create a design that is photographed and translated into vinyl that is wrapped around the box.  This lends a consistency to all the boxes and looks very nice.  It also allows for media other than painting, like my fabric work.

The Arts & History Department decided to have this exhibition of the original works that grace the traffic boxes (or if the pieces were not available to have another work that was similar in style).

Here are some photos from the opening.  Melissa Chambers' artwork is on the right and I think that is Jany Rae Seda's on the left.

As you can see, they really had to cram the pieces in because there were so many.  We are up to 75 designed boxes so far and the program is continuing.  I think this is great!

Here is my friend, Kathleen Probst, with both of our pieces.  My piece is actually a diptych but there wasn't enough room for both parts.

This piece below is made of paper cuts, another non-painting medium.  This is by Meredith Messinger.

There were maps available of all the traffic box locations and they indicated the location on each label, so if you wanted to go look at the box later, you could find it.

Above is the artwork in the exhibition by Bob Neal and one side of his traffic box below (he must have had more than one piece for the design, too).

This work by Rick Friesen is around two boxes that are right next to each other.

Another one of my friends, Mike Landa, had this in the exhibition, with the actual traffic box below.

This is a more recent traffic box design painted by my friend, Anne Peterson Klahr.

The exhibition will be up through Jan. 31, 2014, at the Visual Arts Collective.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Catalina State Park

Thanksgiving day in Arizona was the warmest day while we were there.  We took a morning walk in Honeybee Canyon, had Thanksgiving lunch and then went for a hike in Catalina State Park in the afternoon.

Monday, December 9, 2013


While we were in Arizona, we went on several hikes and enjoyed the different cacti and desert plants.  One of our hikes was in Saguaro National Park.  We also visited the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

Saguaro National Park

I really liked this kind of cactus.

I found the patterns on the dying cacti interesting.

There were many of these purple cacti along the roads and in landscaping but I didn't see many on our hikes.

 Me and Frank.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Pima Air & Space Museum

One day while in Arizona, we went to the Pima Air & Space Museum.  It was interesting and many of  the planes were sitting outside.  We have been to the Wright Patt Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio several times and it is by far the best.  But if you can't make it there, this is a good second.

This cute little plane is called the Bumblebee.  It's hard to believe it would actually fly.

 Anna is standing by a huge sea plane.

Behind one of the buildings there were these old, not in great shape planes that artists had painted, which I thought were very cool. I wonder what it would be like to paint a plane.

One of the insignias I liked that was painted on the side of a plane.