|Baren-suji is the
newsletter of [Baren], The International Forum for Woodblock Printmaking.
The official internet site of [Baren] is http://barenforum.org
Baren-suji are the marks left by the baren when printing. Similarly, this newsletter assumes the role of recording the marks left by the woodblock printmakers that constitute [Baren].
Comments and contributions are welcomed. Please contact:
Baren and The Encyclopedia of Woodblock Printmaking were created by David Bull in 1997 to promote the art of and share information about woodblock printmaking.
Baren activities include an international discussion forum, a network of woodblock printmakers, workshops and get-togethers, and the very successful Exchange and Exhibition Programs.
To join [Barenforum], simply point your browser to:
|ISSUE 12: April/May 2004
NOTE! To return to this Table of Contents from anywhere in the Newsletter, just click on the barens scattered about.
Peek Into Our Resident Experts'
Studios: Part 2
Member Profile: Nancy Osadchuk
|Welcome to the April/May issue of Baren-Suji,
the newsletter of barenforum.org.
All the images in this issue are from the herculean calendar project undertaken by Julio Rodriguez. The project well illustrates the spirit of active Baren members. As I understand it (rumor has it) there were several members involved, with Julio interrupting the project to help collate our latest exchange. In any case, the dedication of spending countless hours taking orders, organizing, printing covers and pages, mounting prints, collating, binding, distributing and mailing the five types of calendars was an amazing feat.
A busy life can be a great teacher; the one precious resource that I appreciate most when given to me freely is time. I tend to be generous with my art, often giving children free woodcut bookmarks or cards at art festivals. But time for me is scarce, often my calendar is "booked" months in advance for festivals and exhibitions and I don't tend to be generous with my time. That is why I appreciate time so much when someone else, just as busy with life, gives away this precious gem in order to benefit a group or give someone else a hand.
The Calendar gallery can be seen here: http://www.barenforum.org/calendar/
Hats off to Julio Tireless Rodriguez!
"CUT, PRINT !"
A special thank YOU! to the contributors this issue:
Please direct letters to the editor and comments to: Editor
Remember that your contributions will continue to make this newsletter interesting and palatable for all. To contribute a feature article or an item of interest, please contact: Contributions
Exchange #20 has been completed! We are awaiting anxiously
for our prints. The gallery will be uploaded as soon as prints are received.
Exchange #21 sounds exciting! Prints are due August 1st.
Theme: Surimono: the four elements (earth, air, fire, water). Surimono (literally 'printed thing'), are distinguished from other Japanese prints in several ways: surimono were privately commissioned and distributed rather than being issued by a commercial publisher; they were printed on thicker paper which facilitated special printing effects; and they were consistently adorned with poems that played games with the links between verbal and visual imagery. Surimono were deluxe prints that displayed the wealth and taste of the individual or individuals who commissioned them. For the artist they represented high-profile commissions executed in close consultation with the leading connoisseurs, poets and actors of the day. (source: Fitzwilliam Museum)
Remember! General information and links to all exchanges can always be
found here: http://barenforum.org/exchange/index.html
And in case you missed them, the prints in the Exchange Gallery can delight you here: http://barenforum.org/exchange/exchanges.html
For those wanting to work at their own pace and perhaps do smaller editions, The Baren International Swap Shop is awaiting your prints. James Mundie presides over the Swapshop and is looking forward to adding your prints to those already received.
The Swapshop Gallery can be seen at: http://barenforum.org/swapshop/intro.html
This program is also open to non-members. We hope that you will also encourage non-members to participate so that we can promote the traditional exchange of prints among printmakers throughout the world.
WOODBLOCK PRINTS ON EXHIBIT
contributed by Sharen Linder
New York City:
Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Sakura Matsuri (Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival) Saturday and Sunday, May 1 and 2, 2004 From 1:00 to 5:00 April Vollmer and Sarah Hauser will show their Japanese woodcuts and demonstrate the technique in the Member's Room.
University of Virginia http://www.virginia.edu/artmuseum/exhib.html
A Taste of Grace Italian Prints from the Fifteenth through Eighteenth Centuries, April 10-August 15, 2004
Smithsonian American Art Museum http://www.nmaa.si.edu/ http://www.smithsonianmag.si.edu/smithsonian/issues00/jun00/highopener_jun00.html
"A Well-Watched War: Images from the Russo-Japanese Front, 1904-1905" opens June 11 at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and features 38 Japanese woodblock prints, most in triptych, that detail this conflict. June Smithsonian Magazine has an article on this exhibit.
Philadelphia Museum of Art http://www.philamuseum.org/
To Instruct and Delight: Prints and Illustrated Books in Eighteenth-Century France February 21 - May 16, 2004
Illinois, Chicago area
The Chicago Art Institute http://www.artic.edu/aic/ The extraordinary Rembrandt's Journey - Etchings. (an extensive, impressive show!)
Harper College, Palatine, IL Small Works Exhibit , with a print by Baren's Tyrus Cutter.
Anchor Graphics http://www.anchorgraphics.org
PRINTMAKERS BALL Preview Exhibition, March 20 - May 1, 2004.
PRINTMAKERS BALL - May 1, 2004 A fundraiser for Anchor Graphics, a not-for-profit Fine Art Printshop fundraiser. Among the artists offering artwork for auction, Warrington Colescott, Ed Paschke, and John Center.
May 15- June 26, Julian Cox "Cuirasse Esthetique".
July 10 - August 21 Amanda Knowles.
Block Museum, Northwestern University http://www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/index_noflash.html
Working Conditions: Depression-Era American Prints Print, Drawing, and Photography Study Center January 30 - May 9
Smart Museum, University of Chicago http://smartmuseum.uchicago.edu/
December 13, 2003 - March 28, 2004
Mapping the Sacred: Nineteenth-Century Japanese Shinto Prints
April 3 - June 13, 2004
Incisive Vision: The Prints of James Abbott McNeill Whistler
April 22 - June 20, 2004
Taisho Chic: Japanese Modernity, Nostalgia, and Deco--" For painters and print designers, bijinga or "pictures of women" was a standard subject that often plunged artists into the debate over women as an index of cultural identity. This exhibition focuses on this modern Japanese struggle for cultural identity by examining images of women as well as fashions and furnishings which demonstrate the Japanese contribution to the preeminent Western design style of the period, Art Deco. Over sixty scroll paintings, folding screens, woodblock prints, textiles and other decorative art pieces present a broad spectrum of Taisho culture with particular reference to objects associated with women as artistic subject, producer, or consumer."
Printworks Gallery http://www.printworkschicago.com/
Phyllis Bramson, Prints Behaving Badly, Recent Mixed-media Prints, March 19–April 24, 2004
University of Illinois Krannert Gallery http://www.art.uiuc.edu/galleries/kam/
Picturing Performance: Japanese Theater Prints of the Utagawa School , 1790-1868,
January 23 through March 21, 2004
Whistler and Japonisme: Selections from the Permanent Collection, September 26, 2003 through March 28, 2004
Elvehjem Museum http://www.lvm.wisc.edu/
Nineteenth-Century European Prints
From March 13 to May 30, 2004
Minneapolis Institute of the Arts http://www.artsmia.org/
Now through May 9, 2004
The Russian Avant Garde: Artists' Books, Prints, and Posters, 1912-1925
Israhel van Meckenem: Engraver and Entrepreneur
Now through July 18, 2004
Spencer Museum, http://www.ku.edu/~sma/ February 14-May 2 Women/modern art, a diverse group of works from the museum’s permanent collection, including important works by Käthe Kollwitz and Gabriele Münter to Faith Ringgold, Barbara Kruger, Kara Walker, Louise Bourgeois, and Elaine Reichek.
Portland Art Museum http://web.pam.org/index.asp Feb. 21, 2004 – Apr. 25, 2004
Sacred and Secular: Renaissance and Baroque Prints. In honor of the Gilkey Center’s 10th Anniversary and in conjunction with Masterpieces from the Rau Collection, the Museum has organized an exhibition of a selection of some 70 northern and southern European engravings, etchings and woodcuts from 1500 to 1650, drawn from the Museum’s permanent collection, as well as several local private collections.
The Hallie Ford Museum of Art http://www.willamette.edu/museum_of_art/ at Willamette University will be having a print exhibit in May and June, "Keys to the Koop." It emphasizes humor and satire in contemporary printmaking, and comes from the collection of Jordan Schnitzer, a big family name in Oregon print collecting. It features work by Mark Bennett, Enrique Chagoya, Tony Fitzpatrick, David Gilhooley, Damien Hirst, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Lorna Simpson and others.
Print Arts Northwest, Portland, OR. http://www.northwestprintcouncil.org/
May, "Liza Jones and Paul Miller, Exhibition"; June, "A Collaboration" Exhibition - New Work by Jani Hoberg & Sharri LaPierre." Opening June 2, Baren members are especially invited!
San Francisco, Asian Art Museum http://www.asianart.org/currentexhibitions.htm
Geisha: Beyond the Painted Smile June 25–September 26
"120 works of art document the lives of geisha, a corps of highly trained women dedicated to the performance of traditional dance, singing and instrumental music. The exhibition also explores how geisha, an enduring icon of Japanese culture, have been perceived in the West."
Los Angeles, The Getty Museum http://www.getty.edu/
Window onto Spain: Drawings and Prints from Ribera to Goya , February 17–May 16, 2004
Los Angeles, UCLA Hammer Museum http://www.hammer.ucla.edu/
The Prints of Albrecht Dürer September 11, 2004 - January 2, 2005
Foremost among the master printmakers represented in the collection of the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts is German Renaissance painter and printmaker Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528). The collection includes approximately thirty woodcuts, engravings, and etchings from all phases of Dürer’s career. Part of a series of exhibitions focusing on the Grunwald collection, the exhibition will include a selection of the most significant works from the Grunwald along with selected loans from other museum and library collections.
San Diego Museum of Art http://www.sdmart.com/
José Guadalupe Posada, My Mexico, January 24 through April 4, 2004
If you are missing out on the exchanges and exhibitions, be
sure to tune into the Baren forum and take
a gander through the Encyclopedia. Opportunities abound and await!
MEMBERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT...
Roxanne Sexauer is participating in a group exhibition entitled HUNGRY
CUTS - showing May 15th through June 5th
Reception Saturday May 15th, 6-9pm at the Viento y Agua Gallery, 4007 East 4th St - Long Beach, California USA
Sarah Hauser announces a solo show!
Hi folks, I'm pleased to let you know about my upcoming solo exhibition, "Geneticircus", at Woodward Gallery. It will be a show of brand new work - drawings, etchings, woodblock rubbings, and a few sculptures. The Geneticircus is composed of many variations of combinations of animals - There's the Batarilla, the Bunny Shark, the Sealoyote, Octochimp, Kitty Hawk, and many more.
Here's the where and when stuff: Woodward Gallery, 476 Broome St, Fifth Floor, NYC, Phone no 212-966-3411. Website www.artnet.com/woodward.html, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For those not in NYC, some of the work from the show will be posted on the website in the near future.
The opening reception is Thursday, May 6, from 6-8 pm. The gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 11am-6pm. The show runs through June 17.
Carol Wagner presents...Baren (that's right all of Baren)
This is to let you know that a very special display of the Great Puzzle Print project and three of our Baren calendars (the Landscape and the Postcard A and B) are now installed in the window of the last family owned and run Art Supply shop in Sacramento (California, USA), on J street, in Midtown, where they are creating quite a buzz!
I have posted signage giving the source of the prints and directing viewers to baren forum.org. Because the window faces north, the exhibit is safe from sunlight. The installation will remain front and center for a good month, and has already caused many viewers who stop, view and then come in, to ask if any of it is for sale.
(Editor's Note: I asked Nancy to talk freely about "the state of printmaking" where she lives and about her own printmaking experience)
I live in Calgary, Alberta. Calgary has growing pains, approaching 1 million with many galleries but only a couple devoted to printmaking. The Alberta Printmakers Society is located in Calgary and last December had their second annual Mini Print show at Gallery San Chun, images were maximum 9 square inches. Image 54 shows many printmakers in various disciplines. A fund raiser print sale (for APS) is coming up on May 29th at the Triangle Gallery of Visual Arts and will include work from outside the city/province as well.
The Glenbow Museum in downtown Calgary has an extensive collection of Walter J Phillip's work, Margaret Shelton, Holgate, Buller and others. Patricia Aynesly, the curator has written a book 'Images of Canada' featuring these printmakers. Unfortunately I believe it is out of print.
I still am primarily a painter, but was intrigued by prints, particularly Margaret Shelton's, who was a member of the Calgary Sketch Club to which I belong. I took a 3 day session at the U of C two years ago. This only told me I needed a lot more! So after attending several weeks more I felt I knew at least enough to try it on my own. Woodcut (hanga) suits me especially because I can do it in my own tiny studio without the bother of chemicals, and cleanup is easy. I have probably learned as much from Baren and have used its encyclopedia as reference many times. It is indispensable.
My favorite subjects are florals and landscapes but animals may start sneaking in sometime soon. I am listed on www.artincanada.com, and www.calgarysketchclub.com. I have attached a jpg of the mini print I had in the APS show.
Continuing with the Experts' preferences, pigment and papers are the subject of this issue.
The Experts' Favorite Pigments
Quinacridones: gold, violet and red. Traditionalists complain that they are unnaturally bright colors, but they are lightfast, medium tinting strength, moderate in opacity, and don't change color when wet. I often use them without mixing to get richly colored prints. They are not heavy like earth pigments, which can sink to the bottom of your dispersion; they are not strong tinters like pthalos, but not weak like a milquetoast cobalt violet I tried recently, either. They behave themselves, mix well with others, shine alone, but won't dominate a conversation.
As for why ... well, you know all about the need for a person to work
with a consistent palette ... Practically every single print I've made
in the past fifteen years has been made with nothing but what is in
these few jars ... (not counting 'special effects' (metal powders, etc.))
For my regular prints and most of the work I do for the baren exchanges I find myself using whatever is around that is water based. I have tried oil pigments but have a panic for the cleanup and the roller thingie. Sometimes I use water-based block printing inks such as Speedball if they are handy. Also not afraid to experiment with any water based brands off the shelves. For my blacks I use Sumi-e ink from a bottle bought at the local art-supply store. For doing special prints in the hanga style or to obtain that soft/pastel look characteristic of old Japanese prints I use powder pigments from the Barenmall. These have to be grinded with a mortar and pestle and mixed with a little alcohol to keep the resulting paste moist. I store the working paste in glass baby-food bottles and is good for a long time. There is something very nostalgic and satisfying about grinding up your own pigments !
As an oil painter, I have painted visually (I paint what I see) for a long
time (more than 30 years). I limit myself to a handful of colors. I feel that
this allows me to more thoroughly explore what I see. Although I think I have
a tendency to try to understand intellectually, I think that limiting my palette
in this way makes it much easier to develop an experiential understanding. I
inherited the colors in my palette from Wilbur Niewald, my painting instructor
in the mid-1970's:
-flake white (now flake/titanium white is more readily obtained -- I like the strong color and creamy texture)
-cadmium yellow light (or lemon) -- a cool or green-shade yellow
-cadmium yellow medium -- a warm or red-shade yellow
-cadmium red light -- a cool red
-alizarin crimson -- a warm red
-ultramarine blue -- a red-shade blue
-and sometimes... cerulean blue -- a green-shade yellow if I can't 'do it' with just ultramarine
I have not yet found a similar 'work-horse' color palette for my moku-hanga (Japanese technique watercolor woodblock printing). After eight years of practice (more or less continuous practice for the most recent three years), I have become a big enthusiast, but am only a relative beginner. I hate to admit that I have developed some 'tastes' in colors, but have not found any full-color palette yet which is remotely satisfying. I have found several pigments which I like very much for monochromatic printing, but nothing acceptable for achieving a 'full-color' print... yet. I do prefer transparent colors, so I have had some successes with the following for water-based printing:
-pthalo blue (red and green shades)
My 'best' prints, though, have been more or less mono-chromatic. My current favorite pigments for moku-hanga are:
-prussian blue (dry pigment from Daniel Smith)
-prussian blue (Createx Pure Pigment suspension -- stronger than Daniel Smith dry pigment, but has purplish sheen when concentrated)
-graphite (dry pigment from Daniel Smith)
-graphite powder (home-made)
-sumi (neri-zumi from Baren Mall -- the sumi in the good-looking green bottles dries to an unpleasant gloss under many circumstances)
-various metallic powders and mica powders from various sources -- all have been good!
-Rice Starch (dry powder cooks into rice paste for printing -- I like Lineco, Inc. "Neutral pH Pure Rice Starch For Museum Mounting")
I love that Prussian Blue color! Hits me deep in the gut -- something intrinsically beautiful to me about this somewhat cyannic blue, and it seems to enhance my figurative images so much (but then so do the shades of gray in sumi and graphite). The Prussian Blue dry powder pigment from Daniel Smith seems to me to produce a slightly more pleasing color and a bit more tendency toward goma-zuri (which I like very much) than do the Createx or Windsor/Newton prepared water colors.
The Experts' Favorite Papers
If I could afford it I'd use Yamaguchi from Baren Mall all the time! But you must experience a variety of good, sized kozo papers to appreciate the character they give a print. The best ones are designed specifically for moku hanga.
'Echizen hosho' made by Iwano Ichibei in Imadate machi, Fukui Ken.
Nothing else used.
This is easy, the Yamaguchi-san hosho paper hand-made in Japan and sold by the Baren Mall. While it is expensive paper ( I can only get two oban sheets from one hosho sheet) my prints show a remarkable difference in the way they 'take' the colors. For regular edition printing and Baren exchanges I use Rives White. At $2.19 to $2.29 per large sheet, the french-made paper is a good alternative for my level of work. The paper has similar appearance & color to the hosho and comes in two weights...115gms and 175gms. For heavy duty, more than four-five impressions on a sheet, I use the 175gms paper.
No question here: Iwano Ichibei's (National Living Treasure of Japanese Papermaking)
wonderful hosho made specifically for moku-hanga printing. Extremely, extremely
strong and stable. Beautiful color. Very consistent throughout the sheet. Best
paper I've printed on.
Next-most-favorite paper: Yamaguchi Hosho from Baren Mall. Yamaguchi-san's hosho is similar to Iwano-san's, but not quite as thick or consistent -- still it's wonderful paper and I love to use it!
Best Places to Shop:
Baren Mall (See bottom of newsletter!)
Graphic Chemical & Ink
PLACES TO LEARN WOODBLOCK PRINTMAKING
Printmaking classes and workshops:
June 27 to July 4, 2004
April Vollmer, www.aprilvollmer.com Japanese Woodblock
Frogman's Print & Paper Workshop
University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD
A one week intensive with the renowned Frogman at a gathering of printmakers from around the country. Bowling and Karaoke are part of the package!
July 19 to 23, 2004
Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe, NM
April Vollmer, www.aprilvollmer.com Japanese Woodblock
The internationally acclaimed Mexican architect, Ricardo Legorreta, designed
the new facility and the adjacent Visual Arts Center at the College of Santa
Fe where this one week class is scheduled.
August 5-8, 2004, April Vollmer, www.aprilvollmer.com Japanese Woodblock
Women's Studio Workshop, Rosendale, NY April Vollmer , http://www.wsworkshop.org
Four days (Thursday to Sunday) in the small town of Rosendale, former cement
mining capital, now home to the fabulous book, print, paper and clay studios of WSW.
August 8 to 15, 2004 Augusta Heritage Center, Elkins, W. Virginia, http://www.augustaheritage.com/crafts.html
, James Horton / R.P. Hale, Wood Engraving and Letterpress.
Course title: "Moku Hanga: Japanese woodblock printmaking"
Instructor: Mike Lyon http://mlyon.com
Dates: June 21 - 25 2004
Location: Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Snowmass, CO http://www.andersonranch.org
Skill level: Open to all
Concept: Japanese woodblock printmaking enjoys the luminous brilliance of watercolor using non-toxic materials, minimal workspace and simple hand tools. Japanese woodblock technique differs radically from western relief-printing in that no press is used, no solvent other than water is needed, the pigment sinks deeply into the paper and colors may repeatedly be overprinted practically without limit.
Media: Transparent water colors, gouache, paper, rice paste, carving materials and wood blocks
Techniques: Mike will describe and demonstrate kento registration, image
transfer methods and carving tools and techniques including sharpening. The
workshop will cover the characteristics of a variety of wood and paper; types
and use of color brushes and the use and maintenance of the baren, a traditional
printing disk. Students will also delve into a variety of special printing
techniques including over-printing, goma-zuri (grainy printing), bokashi (gradation
printing), metallic pigments, mica and much more.
Activities: Participants in this five-day intensive workshop will design, carve and print images using primarily traditional techniques and materials. The instructor will provide a broad overview of the history of the medium, showing masterpieces of 19th- and 20th- century Japanese printmaking from his own collection.
Prerequisites: All are welcome, so a wide range of skill levels may be represented in the workshop.
Faculty: Mike Lyon will be featured in his first solo exhibition in Kyoto,
Japan in October, 2004. He is an avid collector of 18th- and 19th-century
Japanese prints, and manages the quarterly print exchanges for the Baren International
Forum of Woodblock Printmaking http://www.barenforum.org
Studio Fee: $60.00
Location: Anderson Ranch Campus
Workshop: R0301 http://www.andersonranch.org/workshops/temp.cfm?Include=Printmaking&EventID=845
Enrollment Limit: 12
Wood Engraver's Network (WEN).
Since 1994 WEN is an organization dedicated to the education and enjoyment of relief printmaking and, in particular, engraving upon end-grain wood.
WEN offers the delicate and engaging Block & Burin, a quarterly newsletter (soon to be semi-annual) filled with wood engraving history and wisdom. Members design the cover and it is always a beautiful surprise. Members also exchange prints, called Bundles, on a quarterly basis.
Membership information can be found at WEN's new and improved web site:
Here are a few more:
In consequence, supplies - good supplies - are difficult to come by in many parts of the world. But there is one place where woodblock printmaking is still practiced widely, and that is Japan. Hobby-level supplies are available locally in any town, in stationery shops and do-it-yourself centers, and professional tools are still made for those who need them.
But Japanese suppliers are focused on their domestic market and have no ability or experience in dealing overseas. The foreign customer too, finds it very difficult to obtain knowledge about the products that are available in Japan, and how to get them.
This is where the printmakers of the [Baren] group are stepping forward - to put these two 'worlds' together.
The [Baren] Mall is a buying service - it has no physical store, there is no inventory, and there are no employees. Orders placed on this website are transmitted to the mall manager (a [Baren] member), who also processes the payment. The manager forwards the order to the appropriate suppliers in Japan, where the goods are immediately packaged and shipped directly to the customer (by Air Post). [Baren] settles the account with the Japanese suppliers later - receiving a small commission in return for acting as 'go-between'.
The dealers are happy to have their products exposed to a global market - the consumers are happy to be able to have easy access to the supplies - and the [Baren] group gets a small boost to its treasury, to help this non-profit group fund some of the exhibitions and activities it undertakes around the world.