summer ball rolling

The last few weeks have been busy. Printing work for a show in Japan. Discovering that I was going to a residency in Vermont…last minute…due to my teaching schedule and the other Ohio artist being unavailable to take advantage of an Ohio Arts Council funded residency at Vermont Studio Center. Packing the car for less than a month of residency here in northern Vermont.

It was a two day drive and now it’s two days into the residency. I did dive into work once I got here. Anthotype work. Now two are outside and a third will join them tomorrow morning.

In a previous life I was a monk sequestered in a solitary cell. Maybe I was a lonely groundhog. That’s my studio practice. Twelve hour days with breaks for meals and artist talks in between. A walk here. A talk there. Tonight’s lecture was by environmental artist Jackie Brookner who’s work is concerned with the misperception of water as an unlimited resource.

To get the mid-summer ball rolling, here’s a pic from tonight’s walk near Johnson Community College.



the nostalgia for seeing an ocean horizon

As a way of moving out of the back of the blue sky gallery, a decision was made to utilize the overhanging dry wall that diagonally bisected the space. I really can’t pinpoint when I decided sidewalk cracks were going to be part of the show, but I had hoped to begin installing it the week before “Your Turn” opened. The idea was to create a crack near the ceiling as a way to make use of more of the gallery. Bridgette Bogle and I didn’t have time to execute this by February 1st. The actual photographing of the cracks happened mid-January and the printing finally commenced a month later. Last weekend was a quick run to Columbus to pick up an additional roll of 100 feet of generic luster paper, the other having run out by the time I got through the first crack.

These “sidewalk cracks” were printed out 15.5″ x 67″. Some were connected to each other in pairs. One set formed a triptych. Bridgette created her own crack with pink ribbon which was marked in intervals with blue and green masking tape. This made each of the sections part of one larger piece we ended up calling “lost horizons”.

I haven’t had time to properly document this part of our collaboration but I am posting a cropped detail of an image from the closing.

The name comes from the James Hilton novel Lost Horizon (and the subsequent movies) but is meant to reference my nostalgia for seeing the ocean horizon from my childhood home in San Diego. The cracks become a horizon line high above the gallery floor which mimic the height of the ocean horizon viewed from a hill.

However…in the process of determining a print size for that massively long strip of gallery space, I printed out three smaller versions of the sidewalk cracks and stacked them on the same sheet of paper. There is something appealing about this scale and arrangement that exists independently of the gallery installation. There may be more of these.

My inner Anna Atkins

Two more cyanotypes drying down. I mixed up new chemistry yesterday to a avoid the strange dark patches that may be from mold in the ferric ammonium citrate.

I am printing multiples to try some toning with gallic acid.

In case you were wondering, I AM channeling my inner Anna Atkins!


no borders

Inkjet prints are something I try to avoid making. The printer is usually reserved for making negatives for alternative processes.

Not tonight.

Here is a work in progress which I am considering for the Dayton Visual Arts Center’s Annual Member Show. This year DVAC has chosen the theme of no borders.

There is so much visual similarity to the cosmological images I have been making with fruit and a strange resemblance to the animation in Bjork’s iPad App for her Biophilia album. I think I’ll rearrange a lyric or two into a title for this image: “fast as a fingernail”. Maybe I should sleep on it.

the color fuchsia

It’s not summer until I begin a large anthotype and because I planned ahead (or perhaps never got around to it), I have pokeberry emulsion in late May! This is going to be a re-print of the Clem Wolfham anthotype which is badly faded due to mixing the original emulsion with water.

Don’t do that.

I suspect the diluted emulsion caused the image to fade but I don’t have a good guess as to why. Another sheet of paper I had coated a year and a half ago also faded quite badly in the dark. It’s something I noticed last summer after I got back from my Boston residency.

Last fall, after picking and separating berries, I had pokeberry juice all over my hands and made a  hand print on blotter paper. The image is still quite vivid perhaps hinting that maybe this emulsion shouldn’t be diluted.

The images below are the uncoated sheet of Fabriano Artistico Extra White Hot Press and the coated sheet. It is a bit streaky but the color is intense. As intense as fuchsia can get.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, will be the first day of exposure. Even with the heavy tree cover surrounding the back yard, I expect the exposure to take less than two weeks.

It’s always humid in Houston


At the start, let just get this out of the way: I do things the hard way.

I am basically carrying a chunk of what I consider my studio. For Houston, I brought 5 large anthotypes, rolled up in a tall plastic tube as well as  two smaller ones. Next is the hard case, a too large to carry-on suitcase which has my  clothes, two larger portfolio boxes and toiletries. Addtionally I have my messenger bag with lap top, an Agfa 11×14  box with some extra prints to exchange or sell, chargers for the computer and cell phone, a hard drive, etc. etc. etc.

Here’s the narrative of my travels today: lug this stuff to the check in counter at the Columbus airport after an hour drive at four in the morning. Did I mention that my flight departs from a city different from my final return trip city of Dayton?)Retrieve the luggage after a turbulent re-route of my Houston flight (an extra two hours in the air). Forget the large tube of anthotypes while retrieving the hard suitcase from a locked cage near the baggage carrousel ( I evidently took my time going wee, eating a Tampico burrito form Papasitas). Not realizing I had forgotten my tube until I was handing my luggage to the Super Shuttle driver. Running back to locate the tube, finding it and running back to the shuttle.

Checking in at the Meeting Place office. Did I mention I liked to do things the hard way. Instead of going directly to my off-site hotel, I decided to lug all of the luggage through the Double Tree (three bags full, sir) and then track down my hotel.

Going out Dallas street to Main (maybe five city blocks) to pick up the light rail. Buying a ticket on the correct side of the tracks to go to my hotel. Thinking it was the wrong direction and walking up a block to board the light rail going in the wrong direction. Taking it in the wrong direction for one stop. Exiting and re-boarding the correct direction.

Taking the train down towards Reliant Park and the Medical Center while talking to a suspiciously friendly dude who was telling me he inherited a Houston Pedicab company. He technically didn’t call it a pedicab. He described it as a three wheeled bike that has two seats in the back and was a business.

Exiting the train at the correct stop but walking the wrong direction (away from the hotel) and then back again.

I should have checked in first. BTW, I think this room is half the size of our house and it has two flat screen TV’s in it. Thank you Margie and Ray! I think I will watch cable and avoid tomorrow’s portfolio reviews. After all, it’s always humid in Houston for a gent carrying too much of his studio on foot.