Today's postings

  1. [Baren 36891] RE: Exchange 38, last call for confirmations ("Maria Arango")
  2. [Baren 36892] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4528 (Sep 15, 2008) (Marilynn Smith)
  3. [Baren 36893] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4529 (Sep 16, 2008) (Sharri LaPierre)
  4. [Baren 36894] Exchange 39 theme tallies and the 'technique' challenge ("Maria Arango")
  5. [Baren 36895] exchanges etc ("bobcatpath #")
  6. [Baren 36896] theme ("viza arlington")
  7. [Baren 36897] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4529 (Sep 16, 2008) (eli griggs)
  8. [Baren 36898] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4529 (Sep 16, 2008) (Elizabeth Atwood)
  9. [Baren 36899] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4529 (Sep 16, 2008) ("Mike Lyon")
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Message 1
From: "Maria Arango"
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2008 15:35:09 GMT
Subject: [Baren 36891] RE: Exchange 38, last call for confirmations
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Hi Benny and all,

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of communicating with the
coordinator of each exchange.
Please confirm either on list or preferably directly to

On that note, I recall Julio responded on the forum to your request. AOL
sometimes blocks email, sometimes it bounces to the sender, sometimes it is
a "silent" block where neither the sender nor the AOL-recipient are notified
of the non-delivery.

The others, could you please reply with your commitment to participate by
this week's end, say Saturday September 20th?

To everyone else in the exchange, please review the exchange requirements,
especially paper size. Last exchange there were some papers that did not fit
in the cases, the packing that people sent, and barely the mailing
envelopes. Don't forget postage or $ and a label with a neatly printed
return name/address, saves much time.

Exchange #38 information page:

Send your print details here:

Buy your nifty folio case here:

Thanks everyone!



Maria Arango

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Message 2
From: Marilynn Smith
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2008 15:51:05 GMT
Subject: [Baren 36892] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4528 (Sep 15, 2008)
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I like trees as a theme. Water based printing is good to learn. I
have to admit I do enjoy having the option to go either way, oil or
water. Perhaps we should take a vote on this as well as the theme,
than the majority rules?
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Message 3
From: Sharri LaPierre
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2008 16:18:42 GMT
Subject: [Baren 36893] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4529 (Sep 16, 2008)
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I guess I don't understand the hoopla over the moku hanga exchange
once a year. Three quarters of the exchanges would still be anything
you want: oil based ink or water based ink, or moku hanga. I see no
problem with having 1/4 be moku hanga.

I'd vote for the "if I were a tree" theme. And, thanks Julio, for
taking me back to 5th grade with Joyce Kilmer! Did everyone have to
memorize that poem about that age?

Cheers ~
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Message 4
From: "Maria Arango"
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2008 16:33:52 GMT
Subject: [Baren 36894] Exchange 39 theme tallies and the 'technique' challenge
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Themes so far:

-Nature vs Technology 1
-Mirror Image 1
-Garden/Plant/Landscape 1
-A Personal View 3
-Self-portrait 4
-Trees 4
-Self-portrait as tree 5

Keep the votes coming!

I will back off on the once a year thing but retain this Exchange #39 as all

In updating the gallery pages I have seen 37 exchanges very up close and
personal lately and simply feel that a 'twist' is in order. I proposed a
'technique' challenge, no different than a 'theme' challenge or a 'paper
size' challenge or a 'three colors' challenge. This is not to "deny" any of
the membership, but perhaps to bring out more of the membership and as a
kick in the pants to the rest. I realize nobody likes to be kicked, but,
realistically, we have had TWO (2) other moku-hanga only exchanges in 37

As a bit of truncated history, [Baren] was founded by David Bull as a
woodblock printmaking discussion group; one which sought to stimulate
interest and discuss techniques related to traditional Japanese woodblock
With the advent of increased membership, here came the oily folk (me
included incidentally) who changed the forum to include European style
woodcuts, wood engravings, and today we welcome linocuts, soft-cut cuts, MDF
and cork cuts, dremel cuts and any and all relief method into our exchanges.
All this was accepted I think rather well by the initial few who quietly
continue to provide us with amazing traditional works.

Fortuitously enough, today's email Word of the Day ( was
'figurehead', defined as: a person who is head of a group in name only,
having no authority or responsibility.
As Exchange Manager, a 'figurehead' I am NOT and never will be. The 'job' is
time-devouring, tedious, and frustrating, but also thankful and infinitely
rewarding. Along with the responsibility come some perks, and one of them is
to steer the exchanges into something that we can all continually enjoy.
When I'm in charge I tend to grab the wheel and steer the ship, sometimes
into not-so-comfortable waters but what's a ship in a harbor?

Unfortunately, I am easily bored, more so in my artistic life, a motivating
asset and an exhausting curse all rolled into one. As an artist, I hope
forever to keep growing and a key to that growth is engaging in artistic
challenges. That philosophy permeates everything I do and is now irrevocably
entwined into "Maria as Exchange Manager for". And although I
realize this is not 'my' group to do as I wish and that the membership must
have a voice of its own...well, I'm no figurehead...

So, keep those comments coming, fellow shipmates. So far I have received
about 9 'yipees', 3 'bummers', and 2 'best let a sleeping dog lie'.
Perhaps, as someone suggested, other 'technique' challenges could be
forthcoming? Or do we just keep all doing the same thing perpetually so as
not to stir the pot?

Keep those comments coming. I really am listening. Breathe deeply that fresh
ocean air...

Respectfully to all,
Maria, Exchange Manager

†††††† Maria Arango
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Message 5
From: "bobcatpath #"
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2008 16:45:38 GMT
Subject: [Baren 36895] exchanges etc
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hello Bareners and
Sharen , you are not alone in being an oily printmaker nor in concern
about limiting
an exchange to moku hanga
We have had at least one all MK exchange before

I donít have a problem with it
But I would if it were to become the MAJORITY of the exchanges

Or is it a Moku Hanga forum
I greatly respect the Japanese tradition of MOKU HANGA but there are other
just as valid
traditions ie.- the german expressionist were pretty much black and white
oil;y artists
Thatís how I learn/taught myself how to do this Ėby studying them
Then we have the INUIT who printed soft stone
Why do we need to deem one more PURE than another ?

I love the VARIED and DIVERSE nature of mixed exchanges and
Ii think we can have both/all of the above
I have sometimes printed with acrylic paint or water color
As in the WHITE LINE METHOD of the Provincetown printmakers

Couldnít an oily artist do the moku hanga exchange by using water ink
instead of oily ink?
Or is it very vital that they do the paper, paste and brushes etc
I just donít have the temperament ,nor the desire to do it

So I donít mind not being in that exchange at all and
I would not really think we need to have an all oily exchange either

But perhaps an all BLACK AND WHITE exchange would be interesting sometime
Just sit out the ones that donít suit

I tend to sign up for every other exchange so as to not over extend
And have to rush it
Or I join depending on what time of year it is
When I have the most time to work

Since I was in 37/37a and 39 will be due in december-a VERY busy time-
I probably wont be signing up
But if I did Iíd vote for TREES
I have been living quite immersed in trees for 35 years

Gillyin in the KENNEBEC WOODS of Machias Maine US

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Message 6
From: "viza arlington"
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2008 17:44:56 GMT
Subject: [Baren 36896] theme
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hi all,
i dont have an opinion about the once a year all moku hanga exchange but i dont think i would have ever attempted it otherwise. my first baren forum exchange was 27 an all moku hanga exchange. i was just so excited to find a print exchange i signed up even though i had no idea how to print that way. i made every mistake i didn't have the proper tools but i like the way my print turned out. im glad i did it and now i am hooked.
regarding the up coming exchange i'm not too excited about a self portrait theme at least not a tall skinny one. i like all the other suggestions but would like to add architecture.
off to print

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Message 7
From: eli griggs
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2008 18:31:31 GMT
Subject: [Baren 36897] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4529 (Sep 16, 2008)
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--- Sharri LaPierre wrote:

> I guess I don't understand the hoopla over the moku
> hanga exchange
> once a year. Three quarters of the exchanges would
> still be anything
> you want: oil based ink or water based ink, or moku
> hanga. I see no
> problem with having 1/4 be moku hanga.

Perhaps this is the real problem, that some small core
of influential printmakers on Baren doing hanga can no
understand that those members who do oil-based
printmaking only are being treated as second class
members, artists whose concerns are not worthy of
serious consideration or corrective action by those
whom are entrusted to guide the day-to-day operations.

Now before anyone goes and objects to that observation
let me point out that for those of us that do
oil-based work, these exchanges have defined some very
clear practices, intended or no, that discriminate
against oily printmakers, the result being a de facto
ban on oil only exchanges.

Consider that, once upon a time, exchanges on Baren
were open to printmakers of both schools and equal
consideration was given to members work, the only
requirement was that the print must be woodcut or
other similar relief method.

That was a fair arrangement as every interested member
was able to participate so long as they were quick
enough to sign-up for one of the limited slots on the
exchange page.

Then came the hanga exchanges and oil-based
printmakers are being excluded from the very limited
number of regular Baren exchanges. As it stands now,
hanga printmakers are able to participate in all Baren
exchanges while those whom do not practice hanga are
excluded and worse, ignored or derided when they ask
for equal consideration in the form of oil-based only

Let us remember, just as there are members whom
decline to participate in oil-based printmaking, for
whatever reason, there are a significant number of
members here whom abstain when it comes to hanga.
Both viewpoints are valid and let me be clear,I am no
advocating that hanga only exchanges should be ended;
only balanced by giving equal access to resources over
to a sizable population of this membership, for whom
75% consideration is just no good enough!.

As it stands today, there is no legitimate reason that
the Baren leadership can no adjust the current slate
of exchanges to designate one as an oil only event and
likewise, give equal consideration to exchanges no yet
on the calendar. To delay corrective action in this
regard can only be read as an acknowledge on their
part that hanga is indeed the 'official' woodcut form
of Baren and all others, mere pretenders and

From the 'intro' page of Baren we read;

ď[Baren] is a place where anyone with an interest in
the fascinating world of woodblock printmaking is
welcome. Its main purpose is to encourage a flow of
information among printmakers, to allow them to share
their knowledge and experience, and to provide a place
where they can get to know each other.

Think of [Baren] as being a 'convention of woodblock
printmakers' - but a convention with a difference:
held in 'cyberspace' and thus easily accessible to
all, and with never a 'closing speech' to signify that
it is time for all the participants to end the
discussions and go home.Ē

Until this issue is acted upon by those who lead, this
discussion will no be ended and divisions, both
unnecessary and harmful to this forum, will continue
to underline all the good works of those concerned.

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Message 8
From: Elizabeth Atwood
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2008 19:03:54 GMT
Subject: [Baren 36898] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4529 (Sep 16, 2008)
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Bravo, Eli.................
As a European-style printer, I haven't felt marginalized on Baren
until recently.
I have been a member since the very early days when our number was
David Bull has been very gracious all the while.........with our many
non-hanga types.
Has it all been too good to be true???
ElizA in Maine
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Message 9
From: "Mike Lyon"
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2008 21:00:17 GMT
Subject: [Baren 36899] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V44 #4529 (Sep 16, 2008)
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Oh, good heavens! "Marginalized"? "Core of influential printmakers?" Do
we REALLY imagine there's a CONSPIRACY of star-chamber moku-hanga types in
here? GEEZ, LOUISE -- (rotflmfao) -- not as far as _I_ know!!!

Maria -- your thought to make ONE IN FOUR exchanges hanga-only DOES seem a
bit 'presidential' (I am the decider) -- I don't imagine that you'd be
getting much in the way of "unfair to oily/watery printers!" protest
marchers picketing the forum if you were to offer a 'rotating' schedule:

Themed / Unthemed
Chuban / Oban / other size
Oily / unrestricted / Watery / unrestricted

Maria's idea was to promote some experimentation and growth, NOT to bar the
door to a quarter of our exchanges, I am certain!!! Those all-hanga
exchanges were 'supposed to be' a special treat (or challenge), not a bone
of contention!

We've already had several (two maybe?) hanga-only exchanges -- but the
MAJORITY of Baren members are oily printers, not watery printers, so... In
fairness to the OILY MAJORITY, why not change #39 an ALL-OILY exchange and
nip all these protests in the bud?

The MAIN STRATEGY, seems to me, should be for active forum members to reach
consensus in these decisions through civil and OPEN MINDED discussion and
suggestion with the exchange manager mostly listening carefully in order to
divine the group mindset and then provide exchanges the membership WANTS
(which changes from time to time)...

SO? What do you folks think about adding a third rotating criteria to the
exchanges (oily / open / watery / open) in addition to the themed and size

And what do you think about making #39 all-oily (a baren first)?

And for THEME -- how about this: SHADES OF BLUE ??? rotfl again!


Mike Lyon
Kansas City, MO