Today's postings

  1. [Baren 30294] Re: "How Do You Do It" and Blogs ("Ramsey Household")
  2. [Baren 30295] Re: Baren Digest (old) V34 #3396 ("Marilynn Smith")
  3. [Baren 30296] Re: How Do You Do It? ("Oscar Bearinger")
  4. [Baren 30297] Re: How Do You Do It? (Myron Turner)
  5. [Baren 30298] Re: "How Do You Do It" and Blogs (Diane Cutter)
  6. [Baren 30299] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V34 #3400 (Mar 12, 2006) (Sharri LaPierre)
  7. [Baren 30300] Blog/Chat Chatting (ArtSpotiB #
  8. [Baren 30301] Re: How Do You Do It? (Charles Morgan)
  9. [Baren 30302] Re: How Do You Do It? (Myron Turner)
  10. [Baren 30303] Re: "How Do You Do It" (ArtfulCarol #
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Message 1
From: "Ramsey Household"
Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2006 08:08:32 -0800
Subject: [Baren 30294] Re: "How Do You Do It" and Blogs
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While I agree that the discussions are the heart of this group, I disagree
that we should get rid of the blog alerts. They are wonderful for seeing
people's work. If you don't want to look at the blogs, just erase the
notification. Easy solution for blog haters.

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Message 2
From: "Marilynn Smith"
Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2006 09:12:40 -0700
Subject: [Baren 30295] Re: Baren Digest (old) V34 #3396
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I agree with Maria that for the artist the image is all. However I also
think the wonderful skills that Dave and others have for carving are an
intregal part of the woodcut and without that it is not nearly as wonderous
to look at. We need it all and everyone on this list is important and every
approach is valid. I agree about the pencil in hand. My friend was sitting
next to me as I drew the image I will be carviing. I drew houses all
crooked and funny. I said, it is an interpretation of the Mexico I see.
The houses are varied and I have seen many made from all sorts of stuff, the
streets are bumpy and the sidewalks full of cracks and odd steps. Than I
also said , remember the song, little boxes all in a row? Well the building
is so heavy down here that it is beginning to feel like that. So it is
meant to be an intrepretative piece, not a photo. That to me is intregal to
my art. I do admire the photo realist, a lot of craft andd talent to that,
wow! But it is not me.Perhaps that is the secret, relax and be yourself.
Do not be concerned about whether it is valid art, unless you are breaking
some law out there and that is the beatuty of art, there are few rules.
Whatever and wherever you land your work will be right if you are yourself
and it will become a reflecion of you. Just like Maria says, when one sees
one of her woodcuts it is obvious it is a Maria Arango. One of the biggest
compliments I have gotten was that my work is all Marilynn. That to me is
what counts, that people know what my hand and heart has done at a glance,
wow!!! Dave I think people can look at one of your pieces and know it is a
David Bull, so you are definitely important to this hanga world, please do
not feel alone out there you are very important.
I do not mind the blogs at all, just like to see discussion so this is nice
to have, now I am busy chattering away again.
Best to all,
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Message 3
From: "Oscar Bearinger"
Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2006 11:53:41 -0500
Subject: [Baren 30296] Re: How Do You Do It?
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Hello Printmaking Group
Having read the Baren group, gained much info/pleasure/ideas/images, for a
while now
this is my first posting on the board.
I am too much a beginner in woodcuts to add anything to this thread,
however, I find this topic a great bundle of information and interest for
myself (and my work). An earlier thread on "how I started in printmaking"
was equally full of richness from many members - and almost spurred me to
post at that time :o)

So, despite being in the rain with Maria (whose work I love!!), I find this
group well worth while, I am handy with the button myself when I
need it, I find the images posted on the blogs very valuable to my own
Perhaps we just need to (at this time) technically jump back and forth
between List and Blog to get a more complete picture, but as this crazy
world goes chances are good that there will be a "patch-over" developed in
the near future that will make this cross-over of information a little
easier (fewer key strokes).

I am a poet and sculptor and when I did my first woodcuts and prints (1.5
yrs ago) I knew I had found a medium that gave me much pleasure.
"It is imperative that the artist reveal through the medium in which they
are the happiest." (Franklin Carmichael, of Canada's Group of Seven

I will end here with a simple, practical question for Shireen (and any
others, please!):
I have looked at your website, Shireen, and I find your work truly
inspirational: the wonderful personal and (if I may) spiritual content of
your art books, and the great work you are doing with the materials. These
books in the hand must feel and be truly wonderful to handle, to look at, to
read!!!!! (I am doing my next poetry book including prints, and I
appreciate the valuable info on bookmaking from you and others)

My question:
you said
>I don't transfer any of my colour areas
> from block to block; unlike Maria I do a lot of proofing, and use
> that to work out my colour combinations.
how do you handle the "proofing" process? Do you need to clean the block,
and then re-carve, and then re-ink? I have found this proofing process very
messy!! I know I do want to re-carve and work on the block more, but
without waiting to the ink to dry, etc. I have found this a royal mess! Any
guidance here would be mucho appreciated!!

Sorry I was so lengthy. This is a great well of information, contact, and
print people!! Thanks to all.

Oscar Bearinger
Ottawa valley, Ontario, Canada
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Message 4
From: Myron Turner
Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2006 11:03:01 -0600
Subject: [Baren 30297] Re: How Do You Do It?
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If you are using oil-based inks, you'll want to clean the blocks with
some paint thinner or varsol before beginning to work on it again. If
you don't get the ink off the block, when you begin cutting again, small
splinters, often hard to see, will cling to the unwashed ink. Before
washing off the block, if you use a press, you might run it through the
press a few times, with newspaper, to get rid of most of the surface ink.
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Message 5
From: Diane Cutter
Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2006 10:22:40 -0800 (PST)
Subject: [Baren 30298] Re: "How Do You Do It" and Blogs
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I agree with you, Carolyn. I love both the discussions and the blog alerts. There's room for both types of communications...

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Message 6
From: Sharri LaPierre
Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2006 10:46:37 -0800
Subject: [Baren 30299] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V34 #3400 (Mar 12, 2006)
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Blogs vs. comments: I say, keep it all. I am an inclusive type person
and don't want to discriminate against anyone. I have enjoyed the
girls blogs (yours, too, guys), but especially Annie's and Melissa's,
and the ability it has given me to see them experiment and grow. Thank
you, Blog Manager, for this service. If you haven't heard me ramble
for awhile, it is only becuz I am so durned busy doing non-art related

My process combines all of the best possible worlds: I start with a
rather complete drawing and then as the print progresses it takes on a
life of its own and somewhere along the way any preconceived notions of
how this image was going to look are abandoned and it becomes it own
unique self. It may acquire another block or two, an etched plate,
some chine collé, i.e. anything goes! I use the computer more for
reference material than anything else, however, that changes sometimes,
too. I use any source or material within driving distance. Anyone who
does not believe in evolution should come sit on the wall of my studio
and watch what happens as my image "becomes itself".... :-)

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Message 7
From: ArtSpotiB #
Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2006 15:24:05 EST
Subject: [Baren 30300] Blog/Chat Chatting
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Dear Friends.

First and most importantly, I want to THANK the moderator/setup person (Is
that you, Riki?) who makes this all possible. Without you, we would have nothing
to appreciate, the way to share and a person who quietly rides herd on the
group. Because you have been so successful, dear friend, the group doesn't
probably see just how much you do. As a moderator of a listserve for a different
printmakers group, The Calif. Society of Printmakers, I can say that you're
doing a GREAT JOB. And give you a HUGE THANK YOU. I'm sure that others think and
feel the same way too.

Next, I do so appreciate the group. At first it seemed totally overwhelming
to see so many posts every day. Then the rate of postings increased! YIPES! I
find it overwhelming and wonderful at the same time. But I'm an adult, I can
handle it!

This group, generous in it's sharing of information and of the excitement of
process as well as product, has become a group of valued individuals to me.
Sure, you don't know me. But I am having a wonderful time getting to know you,
your work and your processes.

I like the rich variety of ways that this setup/service offers. Most times
I look at everyone's blog along with the direct dialog. It depends on how much
time I have. My but multitasking is a saving talent nowadays. At times I just
skip the blog listings and either look later (usually the case) or I delete
them. Depends on my outside the Web life. Certain topics appeal more to me at
one time or another, so I might read that person's right away ... but I
appreciate ALL of your blogs, friends.

Personal news, should you find it of interest, is that I'm a painter,
printmaker. My original love in the art world was printmaking, having lived around
Inuit (Baffin Island) prints as a child. My life is split between administrating
a sizable printmaking art group, my own career in art and teaching
apprentices and interns.

Currently I'm mostly a linocutter in printmaking. ( benny alba -
artist San Francisco Oakland or Benny Alba Varo and the gallery section
California Society of Printmakers). I work "big" (24 x 36") and have another person
pull my larger prints. I have my own Griffin here (small) and a friend's
larger Etten parked in my studio. I've recently set up nitric baths and am ready
for a happy summer of outside ventilation dips. I've enjoyed watching JeanW
do a hanga print and found it inspiring thought, thanks to the excellent
teaching job she did for an art group.

I start with a pencil drawing (yes, mental flipping of image is fun to some)
on the block. My dear Mother taught me to use a mirror when a teenager for
flipping but I can do it now automatically.

After some time off thinking on the image, I use a BLUE sharpie pen to draw
the lines in, with hash marks across the unwanted lines to avoid confusion when
changing the design. Some prethought goes into how the actual cutting will be
as well as some changing as it goes along occurs. I like to test proof prints
on newsprint during the long aspects of the process. After pulling, at times
my prints are designed to be embellished with alum. ("silver") leaf. My
editions are 15. I like black, black or black in my prints, my clothing... And then
there's... black.

Thanks for listening to me. I remain respectful of your time and attention,

ArtSpot Out
Benny Alba
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Message 8
From: Charles Morgan
Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2006 12:46:25 -0800
Subject: [Baren 30301] Re: How Do You Do It?
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Myron wrote:
>If you are using oil-based inks, you'll want to clean the blocks with some
>paint thinner or varsol before beginning to work on it again. If you
>don't get the ink off the block, when you begin cutting again, small
>splinters, often hard to see, will cling to the unwashed ink. Before
>washing off the block, if you use a press, you might run it through the
>press a few times, with newspaper, to get rid of most of the surface ink.

If you want to avoid the toxic stuff in paint thinner and varsol, try using
vegetable oil, followed by soap and water or a citrus cleaner ... much
easier on you and the environment, and just as effective for cleaning the

Cheers .... Charles
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Message 9
From: Myron Turner
Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2006 15:32:24 -0600
Subject: [Baren 30302] Re: How Do You Do It?
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I'm not sure I'd use very much watery stuff on the block, out of concern
that the block might eventually warp and if you're printing with a press
or registering bocks, you'll be in real trouble. The reason I didn't
suggest mineral oil, which I use forfinal clean up myself, is that it
can leave a sticky film on the block, and you won't be much better off
than where you started, maybe worse off, since it could mix with the
next roll up of ink. If you are afraid of varsol, etc., I'd just run
the block through the press with clean sheets of newsprint 4 or 5 times.

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Message 10
From: ArtfulCarol #
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2006 07:31:07 EST
Subject: [Baren 30303] Re: "How Do You Do It"
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I waited 24 hours to send this second response, following the 1 a day rule.

Image and process go hand in hand. I can't have one without the other.
The marks that woodblock prints make are what I love. Ideally, I would
like to make a whole print of marks, beautiful marks, and the medium would be
the message. That's on my to-do list.

Each of us goes about it in their own individual style and I'm always
astounded at the different ways you Baren people make woodblock prints.

My carving process leaves much to be desired and I'm working on it... Each
time I make a cutting mistake I say to myself "I'm only human" and keep on
going. I try to remember how David showed me to make thin lines and study the
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Carol Lyons
Irivngton, NY