Just finished my first ever lithograph the other day. I found the process a bit tricky at first, but with printmaking the process is half the fun. I also really like the tonal possibilities it provides. The subject is three cats occupying a classic Chicago greystone row house. I did much studying on Google Maps to find good examples of the style. You can find these types of houses all over Chicago, but most are located in the neighborhoods stretching from Lakeview and Lincoln Park to Logan Square and Humboldt Park. They are similar to New York brownstones but the front facade is constructed from Indiana limestone instead of sandstone. Most were built from 1890 to 1930. Whenever I walk around Chicago at night I always wonder what's going on inside all of those houses and now we know: cats.
One last update before leaving for tour on Thursday afternoon. The new Memory Blank CD-R, "VENUS/MARS" is complete! 40+ minutes of spaced out synthesizer drones and noise to provide a soundtrack for your summer vacation beyond our atmosphere. It didn't exactly come out as planned because like an idiot I forgot about the bleed for the insert, but whatever. I invested in getting these "keepers" instead of simply crappily stapling the paper insert together like I did for the first EP. All 25 discs are hand numbered, have a custom spray paint job, and will have a different fact about one of the planets inserted into it. For example, did you know that Mars has the largest dust storms in the Solar System, sometimes enveloping the entire planet? These will be available on the Frustrations tour for $4 each:
Also featured at the merch booth on this tour, will be the new Memory Blank cassette single on Gold Tapes, previously shown in the last post, and two tapes from another Detroit area cassette label Passed Loves. My friend and co-worker Dan has two tapes of harsh noise and experimental electronics under the names Young Wound and Supporting Roles. It's all great stuff and he did an impeccable job hand making all the tapes. And as always will be the usual slew of X! Records stuff in our crate. The zine which I was originally hoping to have done by the tour will be put on hold until after I get back home. I ran out of time and money and did not want to put out anything sub-par. Here are some in-progress pictures though:
And lastly, I got a couple of my books from the Fall 2011 semester into a show at the DC3 Accelerator gallery in New Center. My illustrated version of Elizabeth Bishop's "The Weed" and my collage book will be featured along with a lot of other cool stuff. It opens Wednesday 7/25 and runs through September. See you in three weeks!
Since my semester at Wayne has ended, I've moved out of my parents' place to Ferndale with Sarah and Julie and took a couple of Summer classes at OCC. Moving, school, and work have taken up most of my time in addition to preparing for the upcoming Frustrations tour in less than two weeks but I've been trying to stay productive.
I made this for the Frustrations tour. We're making more of an effort to do some promotion ahead of time before we leave so I made this to send to radio stations/record stores/venues to get the word out. I only wished I would have had more time to work on the lettering for the tour dates. The trees are from some of the pictures I took back in December. Thanks to Sarah for the great photo of Julie!
I also collaborated with Zak of Gold Tapes to do this tape for Memory Blank. Go check out his stuff!
I am currently rushing to get art done for another new Memory Blank release as well as publishing a zine before we leave on July 26th. Everything is on schedule, but time is getting short. Stay cool, it's supposed to be 103 out today.
Here are the final prints of my semester's work in my Intaglio class. I forgot how much better prints look on nice paper. My critique with my professor is on Wednesday afternoon. All in all, I'm really satisfied with how this semester went and like Wayne State way more than CCS.
Here are the recent changes I've been making to the mouth. It's coming along nicely and it should be done relatively soon. Added a slight aquatint to the background and some details and shadows on the face which is just painting the nitric acid directly onto the plate with a brush to get sort of a washy effect. It is every bit as nasty as I hoped it would be and I still have time to take it even further. The last proof of the girl in her undies was just something I made to mess around but will probably develop into a real print if I have time. I will most likely use lace or fabric and transfer the texture to the plate via soft ground. Only a couple more weeks left in the semester, I have four papers to write, a sculpture to finish, and have to do an edition of one of my plates. The pressure is on.
I decided I was sick of my Fender Bassman 4x10 cab looking like every other Fender Bassman 4x10 cab on the planet, so I painted the grill all psychedelic. I put on a couple base (huh huh) coats of white spray paint, and then used acrylics for the red splatter and black swirl. All of them were just cheapo paints because I'm sure this will get kicked, punched, dropped, and thoroughly soaked in booze and sweat by the year's end so I can just do touch-ups as needed.
Here we have my two most recent intaglio prints. First, a pair of sexy legs with stockings. The plate required much scraping out of scratches, but now I feel pretty confident in my abilities to fix scratches on plates. So that's good.
Next, a nasty mouth that is only going to get nastier. I was so bored and out of ideas that I started making faces at myself in the reflection of my phone and just drew that onto the hard ground. I don't think my real mouth is this hideous though.
Here is the last print, post-aquatint. I did the spray enamel method twice over since the first time the background came out too light. Today I did the second one and the dark on top came out very nicely. I tried not to over wipe the plate too much to really let as much ink as I reasonably could come out in the print. I think I can consider this one done and will do an edition soon. Time to start Plate #2.
Here are some proofs of a new print I'm working on. The first in my Beginning Intaglio class. It is a hard ground etching on a zinc plate. It's a fun process. Cover plate with hard ground, etch to expose metal, put in nitric acid for a few minutes, and when you take it out the acid has eaten away at the exposed areas to create your picture. We are also learning aquatint techniques which I will most likely apply by the end of the week. The subject is one of the awesome old streetlights I photographed back in December. I chose to focus mainly on the ornately designed upper part of the light post.
Much has happened since my last post. I finished up at CCS and dealt with the unbelievable headache of transferring to Wayne State, but now that I'm settled in everything is great. One of my last classes at CCS was Basic Camera and Lighting so this post will be photograph oriented. Overall, a very satisfying class. It's awesome to actually know how to work a camera properly now:
Detroit has some wonderful old streetlights. On my last morning at CCS after my last class, I decided to go out and shoot some. The black one is on Brush next to CCS and the other two are in Woodbridge. After some research I found that most of these are pushing 100 years old, the white ones being from 1916. It's both pretty cool that these are still standing in the condition they are after being through almost 100 Michigan winters/summers and also a sad reminder of Detroit's sorely outdated infrastructure. Of course none of them still work, but most of the brand new streetlights don't work either so that's okay. I especially love the crazy ornate designs on the white ones. Newer take-offs on the old lights, that do work, can be seen up and down Woodward in Midtown and in Boston-Edison. It would be great if the city could eventually fix the old ones up, for me they give Detroit a big part of its character. Chicago is well known for all its orange streetlights, how cool would it be if these were fully restored?
I took advantage of some of the unseasonably warm winter weather we've been having up until recently and shot at some Royal Oak parks. Mostly just practicing with shutter speed, f/stop, and composition. I really like creepy looking trees and shot the ones below mainly so I could use the patterns the twisting branches make in a future silkscreen or something.