Today's postings

  1. [Baren 38201] Re: Kawase Hasui 1950's video (Dave Bull)
  2. [Baren 38202] Helen Hyde (ArtfulCarol #
  3. [Baren 38203] Re: all those recent postings... (Shelley Hagan)
  4. [Baren 38204] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V46 #4719 (Feb 22, 2009) (Plannedscapes #
  5. [Baren 38205] neat edges (Rosposfe #
  6. [Baren 38206] Re: neat edges (Dave Bull)
  7. [Baren 38207] Re: neat edges (Diana Moll)
  8. [Baren 38208] not buying art (Barbara Mason)
  9. [Baren 38209] Re: all those recent postings... (ArtSpotiB #
  10. [Baren 38210] Why should they buy it? (Rosposfe #
  11. [Baren 38211] Baren Member blogs: Update Notification (Blog Manager)
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Message 1
From: Dave Bull
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2009 13:20:42 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38201] Re: Kawase Hasui 1950's video
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About the video Julio posted to the Baren blog ...

Julio asked:
> If anyone has more info or knows the title of this
> print please leave a comment.

This is a heavily-edited version of a re-publication of a video made
around 50 years ago by Watanabe. It is part of a DVD that is included
with the new edition of the book on Kawase Hasui issued by Hotei in
Holland (a _very_ expensive new edition ...).

The whole video is quite a bit longer, maybe around 40 minutes or so,
and shows the process of making this print ...
... right from Hasui sketching in the field, through hanshita
preparation, key carving, colour separations, colour carving, and then
printing. It's a gold mine of information. The Hotei DVD has both
Japanese and English soundtracks.

Somebody should get the whole thing up to YouTube soon, I think ...

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Message 2
From: ArtfulCarol #
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2009 14:56:58 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38202] Helen Hyde
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Thank you for the site which I followed and found my 1908 Helen Hyde print,
which I bought a while ago.
Why do people buy the prints they do buy?
For me, when I saw this I was immediately taken by the image and the quote
" A man's reach should exceed his grasp...." ( Robert Browning , also of
"Less is more" fame) I couldn't resist.
Miss Apricot -Cloud.

Carol Lyons
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Message 3
From: Shelley Hagan
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2009 16:01:20 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38203] Re: all those recent postings...
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This has been a great thread to follow. In my limited experience with
children and woodblock I have found that even boys who are aware of avoiding
"sissy things" think that woodblock printing is cool. I think it is the
physical nature of the art. How could a boy not love art that involves
knives and mallets? There is a great exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art
right now that features large sized woodblock prints as well as the actual
carved blocks. The blocks themselves have been turned in to table tops
(covered with Plexiglas), chair backs, etc. as well as mounted and hung on
the wall. It is beautiful and very interesting - and also very full of
viewers. Maybe showing the carved blocks helps people understand the process
a little better and makes it easier to relate to the final artwork? Perhaps
if art education focused more on hands-on experience with various mediums
and methods then people would have a greater appreciation for art.

In a similar vein I would love the forum's insight on a problem my 5-yr old
boy, Noah, is having in his kindergarten class. Noah has always been very
artistic but has stopped wanting to go to school because some kids are
teasing him for "scribble scrabbling" during art time. At the beginning of
the year the teacher made it clear that when the kids were coloring they
were not to scribble scrabble with the crayons. I think the idea was to
encourage the children to pay attention to what they were doing and not just
mindlessly mark up page after page after page.

I get it to the extent that I praise the children for taking their time and
thinking through a drawing and I tend not to compliment them when they
present 'artwork' that they scribbled out in two seconds. But Noah makes
these very intricate drawings in which he uses crayons "scribbled" on to make
rich, shiny colors. Since he is drawing vigorously the kids have called it
"scribble-scrabble" and tease him for it.

Interesting that even at the age of five there is so much pressure to create
art that conforms to every one else's with respect to form
*and*methodology. Why is it that the school system has turned art in
to an
objective subject with a right and wrong way to create? Do any of you know
of good books about abstract art or the value of the artistic process
that would be fit for kindergartners? I'd like to buy the classroom
something to help facilitate a 'scribble scrabble is okay if that is what
you mean to do' kind of discussion. I know a lot of you have teaching
experience and I'd love your insight.

Thanks and sorry for veering off topic yet again!
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Message 4
From: Plannedscapes #
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2009 16:30:24 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38204] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V46 #4719 (Feb 22, 2009)
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On buying/not buying liking/hating art:
I had an interesting conversation with my husband last night. I asked him
of all the art in my tiny gallery, what would he buy. I have my felted wool
fiber art, my pastels, my block prints, I have oil paintings and watercolors
and various other works by other people. He said he wouldn't buy any of it.
I was a bit shocked, to put it lightly. I said don't you LIKE the work in my
gallery, I mean, (pout, whine) isn't there anything of MINE you even like?
He said it was not a matter of liking it. He said he liked most of it, but
he would just not BUY it because he didn't know anything about art and would
feel funny buying it not knowing anything. So maybe that is part of what goes
on out there. Somehow people need to get past the feeling that art has to
be some kind of investment and into feeling it is something they just do for
their enjoyment. If they looked at art as how many meals out it was going to
cost and yet it was going to last for their enjoyment for the rest of their
lives and past if some wise young relative speaks for it! How do we get to
the point where people like my husband understand it is okay to not know a
thing about the art media or the artist and just buy it because it brings them
pleasure, makes them smile, challenges them to think, whatever it may be that
causes an appeal to them? He did say he would maybe buy some of my nature
photography if he had a new place and walls to fill, because he understood
photography, yet, photography is not even 'real art' to some. Anyway, I was left
with a feeling that maybe the 'public' needs more education, and NOT if the
form of how art is made and how it is valued and so on, but simply to be told,
"If you like it, if it gives you some form of pleasure or enjoyment or
stimulation, BUY it for your own self to enjoy!"
I will be thinking about this as I near the 2009 season - what can I do
within the confines of my gallery to express that?
Karma Grotelueschen
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Message 5
From: Rosposfe #
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2009 18:11:13 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38205] neat edges
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Well, the Ox went out but as I stuffed envelopes a question comes up for
those more meticulous than I am.
I'm having problems with a bit of spotting to the edges of my prints and
embossing problems where I don't want them.
It's not too bad but it's definitely enough that they look more "hobby"
level than just "handmade.
I usually put a line as part of the keyblock around the border of my prints
and I find that on too many I pick up a bit of ink to the outside of the line
when I print...usually I'm printing pretty hard with the Murasaki med. baren to
try and get a good impression on one drop with the Sumi. But I've noticed
similar problems with less pressure unless I really skim but then the impression
is too light. It seems to get worse as printing progresses but once it's
happening cleaning the block or printing alternates on damp newsprint don't help.

2nd and related is that I try to leave the "3" finger border cleared around
printing areas but often even with sanding down the edges I get embossing as
the baren bridges that 3 fingers and puts too much pressure on the outside
edge...this is usually a problem when I have inked a small area and the outside
edge is without ink but leaves an embossed edge clearly visible later in the
center of the print.

Any neat printers out there with some tips?
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Message 6
From: Dave Bull
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2009 23:40:11 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38206] Re: neat edges
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> Any neat printers out there with some tips?

OK, I'll bite ...

> ... I pick up a bit of ink to the outside of the line when I print
> ...usually I'm printing pretty hard with the Murasaki med. baren

We wouldn't normally use such a strong baren as the Murasaki for line
work. The projections on the coil are _way_ too hard for that kind of
thing. It's definitely a tool for colour areas. It's not impossible to
use it, but you really have to go easy ...

As for picking up 'ink' around the outside border, either the paper is
too wet and is flopping down into that zone, or you are not actually
rubbing in a perfectly horizontal alignment.

> even with sanding down the edges I get embossing ...

If the baren is bumping into the raised, un-inked areas like this, you
have to start thinking of _where on the baren_ you are applying
pressure. The base of your thumb is the place where the pressure is
applied, and it is directly under that where the printing 'action'
happens. Other parts of the baren disc just lightly skim across the
surface of the paper. You shouldn't be trying to apply pressure across
the entire disc. Focus your pressure on the action point, and of
course, keep that point over the pigmented area. There should be no
reason for getting embossing in those places where the paper is over
the un-inked areas ... (sanding them helps of course).

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Message 7
From: Diana Moll
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2009 00:58:56 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38207] Re: neat edges
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My edges and unintentioned blotches have improved since I started
taking the paper off the block in the direction of the corner Kento:
lifting the diagonal opposite corner towards the corner Kento, ha, ha
though this could still be wrong.......Also being careful of paper sag.

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Message 8
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2009 02:44:34 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38208] not buying art
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I know what you mean about having a husband that has no interest or education in art. Mine would crawl over cut glass to get to a saxophone, but not artwork. He is certainly more educated about art than he was when we married 40 years ago, but still, he has no interest in any art, not just mine. So in a way it is a blessing to know there are people out there who don't care about art at all, and it is not yours they don't like in particular. Knowing this has given me a lot thicker skin where sales of work are concerned..

Education is the key but it is not an easy task. Just getting folks to know that an original print is different from a poster is a major thing. We keep plugging away at it, we will never give up. We stand united even if there are few of us! ha!
My best
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Message 9
From: ArtSpotiB #
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2009 07:10:03 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38209] Re: all those recent postings...
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HI Shelley.

Hmm. Perhaps someone else can help you with the task of information.
Jackson P. immediately comes to mind. Could you redefine the action to that of
"thickly layering crayon that requires multiple passes for a special effect" into
some sensible language? You wrote ""scribbled" on to make rich, shiny colors".
Then he'd have a response. Of course, there's bringing it home and having
india ink brushed over to give a finished look that is delightful.
Process/progress commentary time?

What it really sounds like is the sparring to practice estabishing a pecking
order and dominance. There's name calling and ganging up involved. You know,
declare an enemy and bond together. If he appears to be at all vulnerable,
they'll focus on his discomfort. Maybe you can teach him something about bullying
and appearing unflappable. Only the weak bully... becoming cowards when the
focus is on them. It's never ending and ever present even here on The Baren!

Not sure how to be more helpful.. never been a parent.

When I was at the U of Michigan I spent a lot of time studying "creativity"
to see if it could be studied like "intelligence" had been. With each new set
of judges to please, a person conforms more and more in life (or at least that
is what often happens). From mother, to parents, to siblings, to playmates, to
teachers and classmates, .... on and on it goes! We need those conformers...
just as they need we creative types. However, the strength to resist the
pressures is not easily learned.

Best of Luck.

ArtSpot Out
Benny Alba & The Bandit Dog

Thank everyone who calls out your faults, your anger, your impatience, your
egotism; do this consciously, voluntarily. -Jean Toomer, poet and novelist
(1894-1967). "Yes, and it has the added benefit driving THEM nuts when you do"
Benny Alba.
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Message 10
From: Rosposfe #
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2009 08:05:16 GMT
Subject: [Baren 38210] Why should they buy it?
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While I agree that society benefits when the arts are supported, most
individuals are not so benefitted and would not agree to pay for it. Since we
can't agree to adequately support schools, libraries, hospitals, etc. you
shouldn't whine about the public not supporting the artists by buying our work.
While I like, will look at and do buy beautiful and sometimes ugly things, I
think the best art challenges us in ways that don't often work well on the
living room wall. Good art should be unnerving, challenging, edgy, sometimes
controversial, or just so beautiful in a new way that it doesn't have to be. And
if the arts should be supported this is the art that probably deserves it.
Most of us don't do that. Instead of moving art history forward towards
new places, most of us are filling in laterally the boundaries of what's been
done. If you do landscapes, still lives, nudes, abstracts, etc. the odds are
that while what you make may be original it will be a lot like something else
out there. In an economy of surplus where people have money to spend they will
buy pretty art. Some of those people will buy what we make. Most will not.
Why people will spend money on new cell phones, starbucks coffee, fast food,
etc instead of art is because the art we produce isn't really as important to
them as the other things. It is wrong to expect them to support us
If you don't produce what people like, they won't buy it and I doubt you can
convince most of them that taxes should be used to support production of what
they find without value.
Most artists have other jobs that support them. This is probably the way it
should be for if you produce what everybody likes you are probably not
pushing the boundaries. And if you are going to be truly innovative and independent
of public taste you need to be prepared to produce unsaleable art and find
funding thru other means that will allow you to follow your artistic impulses
when they lead in unmarketable directions.
While producing art may be a neccessity for the artist it is not so for the
public. I would also venture that a lot of the art that is sold is sold because
of the relationship of the buyer with the artist more than because they need
your piece. If you can generate a relationship with the person who looks at
your work and become their artist you have a chance. If you can generate an
interest in showing someone where the work came from, how it was made, how it
fits into the history of place or of time, etc. and the viewer can participate
or be infected by the interest that we have for the subject, then they might
connect, might want to participate in our project in the way they most easily
can, by buying something.
Most of the artists that make significant incomes do so out of the
illusion/reality that their work is an "investment", collectible, and "sure to go up
in value". Or they have managed to successfully market their work so that
the small number of buyers still exceeds the production and the prices go up
accordingly. Some of them do really nice work and I don't begrudge them the
success or the hard work that probably was needed to get there.

Digest Appendix

Postings made on [Baren] members' blogs
over the past 24 hours ...

Subject: Cave Wall
Posted by: Amanda

Yesterday, I received my issue of Cave Wall, a literary journal of poetry and art. I'm pleased to be the featured artist of this issue, and they have included 4 of my woodcuts and 1 linocut. I'm happy with how the images came out and look forward to reading the poetry.
You can see previous issues of Cave Wall here.

This item is taken from the blog Amanda's Art Blog.
'Reply' to Baren about this item.