Apr 6, 2014

Spring Open Studio


This baby is coming soon! So this may be the last chance to visit the studio in a long time, therefore I'm planning on having a lot of prints available, both old and new and a few paintings as well.
And to make it more interesting if you bring a story, lullaby or a baby related item you'll get 25% off any print or 15% discount on any framed print.


Mar 3, 2014

Grand Rapids print commission


I have been working on some commissions lately and hasn't been as bad as I thought. So far I have enjoyed creating images for other people and the best part is that you get paid for your work right away instead of just waiting until the next art show or that fortuitous sale.

The good part; 
-knowing exactly what to do (sort of) 
-having a time frame, deadlines are great when you don't have time management skills
-being able to pay rent that month

The bad part;
-Commissions are restrictive
 in so many ways, and more often than not the one design you hated but sent anyway is the one that gets picked, or the design you loved gets changed so much that you have a hard time recognizing it as your own. So, when I start to get mildly frustrated I have to remind my self to be patient,  that this is truly a job and it is a really awesome job because at the end of the day I may feel like I accomplished something and that is something I never experienced having "real" job.




Feb 4, 2014

Major Life Project

*español abajo

This record cold and grey winter in Michigan, oddly; has been and will be one of the most beautiful and memorable for me, since I have been busy  creating the most important project of my life, my own little human being.
The life growing in me has inspired and changed me in ways I didn't even thought possible,  making me do the cloud walking constantly. The little person will be born in June at home, assisted by an incredible midwife and my unconditional partner Nate. (Nope, I'm not scared about it, hospitals freak me out)
My apologies to my friends and family to whom I haven't had the chance to communicate the news in person, but it's hard when you don't go out or hang out at the usual places anymore. I am more introspective and introverted than ever.

And I am still busy with lots of art projects, more on that soon...

Bebe Guerra 5 months

Este invierno en Michigan mas frio y gris de lo normal, ha sido y sera uno de los mas hermosos y memorables para mi, ya que lo he pasado ocupada con el proyecto mas importante de mi vida; mi propio ser humano. 
La vida que crece constantemente me ha inspirado y cambiado en formas que no me hubiera imaginado, haciendome caminar felizmente sobre las nubes. La susodicha parsonita vendra al mundo en Junio y nacera en nuestra casa con la ayuda de una increible partera y de Nate, mi compañero incondicional.  (No, no me da miedo en lo absoluto no dar a luz en un hospital, los hospitales me aterran)
Mil disculpas a mis amigos y familiares a los cuales me fue imposible darles la noticia en persona, pero me ha resultado mas dificil de lo pensado, ya que no frecuento mas los lugares de antes, ademas de haberme vuelto mas introvertida de lo que ya era.

A pesar de lo anterior, he estado coupada con un monton de proyectos de los cuales escribire mas tarde.

Oct 24, 2013


 

Some of my latest prints will be part of the exhibition "Pulso, Art of the Americas" taking place at both Kendall College of Art and Design and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts. This exhibition compiles artwork from more than 25 regional and national artists.
Please join us for the opening this Wednesday October 30th, 6PM to 9PM.


Oct 23, 2013

Apocalyptic images

I have been working on a series of prints based on some of my apocalyptic nightmares. It seems like I learn of a new environmental disaster twice a day now.
In face of an impending new reality that we are already experiencing, but ignoring as random events, I can't help feeling some sort of environmental depression.
Now instead of creating an altogether depressing image, I am trying to play with satire and beauty as a way to lure viewers into the issue.

Sep 25, 2013

Drawing

I'm finding out that my patience for drawing is lost, has been for a while. I sketch maps of ideas of which a few will become block impressions on paper.
Carving a wood or linoleum block is like drawing in reverse, you start with a black surface and little by little your knife finds the outlines and highlights, there is no adding; its all about permanently removing material and committing to every line because there is no eraser tool. I love this way of "drawing"
Now, if anyone is ever going to pay me for an idea I better start showing them clean real drawings that represent such idea, so here we go... back to my school days of constant drawing until I develop my patience again.
Yeah, but now I have also developed a thing for distorting everything...



Aug 7, 2013

Commissions

July was the preamble to crazy August, in the same week my job at the health food store and my class on interpreting ended, on the same day, so here is the undeniable sign of change.
Surprisingly, my income is coming from commissions, which in the past would feel more like a punishment, but now as I get older and more tolerant I love them! And as they become my only source of income until the next big sell (which are non existent during the summer) I realize that I could have done this a while ago. You live and learn.
And happy to share that I'm also working on new prints for a show in the fall at Kendall college, and getting my piles of stuff, memories, letters, paper, old plates, craft projects, etc sorted out but mostly clearing out my life.
The studio will be ready for printmaking classes in the fall and my favorite holiday of all El Dia de Los Muertos.

Here is the last commission I worked on:



Jul 1, 2013

Hops

The first time I tried microbrewed beer I hated it, plain as that. I had a really hard time swallowing every single one sip of the 12 sampler arranged in front of me. That was almost 15 years ago. Now I am a fan, I have been for almost 10 years and during that time I have made a point of visiting at least one microbrewery of every city I stay or pass through. But that is not the best part; I live in Grand Rapids Michigan which (look it up) is beer city 2012 and 2013! and if that wasn't already too good to be true I live and work less than a mile away both ways from Founders Brewing Co listed as the 3rd best brewery in the world!

My favorite brew is the India Pale Ale, that's the one with tons of hops!
Hops flower blockprint visit my Etsy shop if you wish to get one


This is a list of some of the breweries in GR
and a few near GR: 

Mar 2, 2013

Reduction printing. Wolf relationships




Like that fancy dish that takes for ever to prepare, tastes amazing and never find the motivation to do, color printing, or better said reduction printing takes a lot of motivation on my behalf, but I enjoy every bit of the process once I convince myself to engage in such a project.

The motivation was, the passing of a law to allow wolves to be hunted for sport in Michigan for the first time in nearly 50 years, thus removing them from the list of endangered species. For more on this subject visit: http://keepwolvesprotected.com/

I started this carving 3 weeks ago at UICA's Live Coverage, I don't know what I was thinking trying to design, draw and then carve and print 4 times in an 8 hour period of time. Nonetheless, I managed to carve and print 8 backgrounds and one general decent image to be auctioned.  Then I let it rest for one week and started the process again. Here is the process in pictures:


First step: carving the background. There are still black marks
on the board from the rough sharpie drawing




Background printed (first layer of color)

After pulling enough copies to leave room for mess ups
(I did 8) Then all of the blue background is removed













Green and red make brown, right?
 here I only removed a few lines of green.


Yes, green and red make brown! Third layer printed, red on top of green.
I also have to wipe off any ink on the raven every time I print. Next and last layer will be black.



Dec 2, 2012

Due update

I have been back 3 months already! And it was not an easy time during the first 2 weeks; coming back to and empty home (even the dog was gone) with so much to process and make sense of, plus the fact that my community was going through a mayor transition made me feel like I was alone in a swamp of loneliness and depression.
Thankfully, that's all the time I got to be depressed, right after that I found out that my exhibition at the Holland Arts Council was 2 weeks earlier than planned. I was able to produce 3 big prints about my trip, and then talk about my experience in the Middle East.
Then I had a few Art shows, talks, exhibitions, I even participated in ArtPrize and an open studio event,  and I adopted a dog!

The Wilson's girl, hanging out at our open studio event. On the wall some of the work I produced after the trip.
613 seeds, 613 good deeds.
I am now getting ready to enjoy the winter in a cabin in the woods or maybe go south and see my family. In the meantime I have one more event: the Vinecroft Studios Holiday Artist Market and maybe one more open studio weekend.


Jul 30, 2012

Hebron, Palestine

I knew we were going to a divided land, but no news, pictures, videos, nor shared experiences could really convey the heaviness of the atmosphere in this "holy" place that has been horizontally, vertically, politically, spiritually, morally slashed.
Markets are non-secular meeting sites, the hart of a town; full of life, people, colors, noises, flavors, gossip. This heart of the city has been divided in H1 and H2. The place of worship at war between two gods.

We entered the souk (market) trough a revolving gate flanked by armed kids dressed as soldiers. Our guide warned us to look out for the violence coming from the settlement above us, and right below it, there was man whose daily struggle is to tame his rage while trying to make a living under the constant aggression coming from the windows above.
Dan, our guide through the souk, was a volunteer From CTP (Christian peacemaker teams) we walked through what is left of a once vibrant market, then along the main street; Dan telling us: "the military came and closed the street and any business on it" In my head; this capsules of time with goods turning into dust for 50 years.
At the end of the market there is a 10 ft high wall, then a barbed wire fence, right there is one last business; a kid with caged nervous birds.

A recorded interview of the shop owner:
http://soundcloud.com/papermilitant/interview-in-hebron-palestine

A video of the market:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glrLt6QO3tU&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Jul 26, 2012

West and East Jerusalem

What is wrong with tourism? I had a little moral struggle in Jerusalem. Being blown away by the beauty of the ancient city that looks like it was carved right out of the mountain, the fortress wall, the history, the mystery, hey! even all the biblical references contributed to my state of awe, and then, the vendors, the food, the maze-like corridors... Next we got to the center of the city, and its holy sites. The temple, the wall, the chapels, the stations. Three mayor religions portioning one holy fenced mountain, and in consequence hoards of devoted ones who, sadly, just care about crossing out the next stop on their list or rub the next holy stone. Do they care about the current situation of the place? About the people of the place? Do they care at all about the place? Or is it just about being able to say that they where here and take enough pictures to prove it? I care, but honestly, that doesn't make me less of a tourist. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it, and got a glimpse of the contention that goes on in the quartered city.

Later that day, we met with a woman from ICAHD (israeli coalition against house demolitions) www.icahdusa.org, she took us to East Jerusalem through Palestinian neighborhood and inside the Maale Adumim settlement, and even if she hadn't said a word, that little ride would have been enough to have the word injustice roaming my brain and heart for a long while.

Jul 25, 2012

Refugee camp

Yesterday we visited the De Heishee refugee camp in Bethlehem, an entire day has passed and I'm still trying to process the experience.
This refugee camp is managed by the UN on Jordanian land. The refugees left their homes and their land and their belongings for what was supposed to be two weeks only, 60 yeas later they are still waiting and hoping to return. For some of them the offense is even greater since they can see their land from the camp; some if which has never been developed.
The piece of land given to a family of 6 has become the base of a stack of stories, each for every new generation of the original family, one generation on top of the other one, leaving some houses without any sunlight. Despite their situation this community have to endure, there is an amazing effort to to not let their spirits be broken. They manage to keep it clean, (they didn't have sewage until a few years ago), keep it some how habitable. I saw a lot of playful kids, they would come out and say hi, yes, they speak English and they like to talk, and that little chat just makes me think that if a community manages to keep their kids in that state of innocence, in a way they are winning this battle.
(disclaimer: I'm posting from my phone, please excuse my spelling and autocorrect)

Bethlehem

We arrived to Tel Aviv two days ago, surprisingly we didn't have any problems entering the country. Then rode the bus through the countryside, through Jerusalem and finally through checkpoint 300 into Bethlehem.
We are staying at the ICB (international Center of Betlehem) or Diyar www.Diyar.ps The place is like a little oasis in the center of Bethlehem built by the Finnish government.

Jul 23, 2012

Leaving the "land of opportunities"

I have never been to NY, always tried to avoid the big city when traveling trough the state; but being on a plane flying over this territory that gradually changes its color from the deepest green splattered with, I'd like to say blue, but sadly is brown water, to a grayish zippered green into finally a true concrete gray; the gate into the land of opportunities, I can't help it I find myself looking for her, I have a feeling she's there hiding between all that gray raising from the water... And then I see her. An overwhelming feeling of sadness, excitement, and melancholy gets into my very core. I imagine the countless immigrants that came trough that gate, some escaping, some looking for opportunities. I think of displacement through physical, economic, social violence. I think about my own situation, being an immigrant leaving the "land of opportunities" through this same gate to go to one of the most oppressive places in the world, where those who have been there for countless generations are constantly forced to emigrate their beloved land or become prisoners in it.
Good bye lady Liberty! We are off to the Holy Land.

Jul 4, 2012

Resiliency print

Resiliency
It's true... my website was swallowed by a cyber monster.  Long story, but in short a very frustrating experience, and an important lesson learned.
So all I'm left with for now, is;  this blog, an Etsy site and a Facebook page; oh, sure a Twitter account too.

I am still trying to raise funds to pay for my trip to the Holy Land, one way is by selling prints. There is more information in two previous posts below, but basically I am selling 50 prints @ $35 each. And by selling them all I should be able to cover that expense at least. Donations are also welcome, there is a link on the side panel for that.

If you wish kindly offer your support by buying a print, they are available on my Etsy site; or there is always the option of buying directly from my studio in Grand Rapids.

I should say that I am 1/3 away from my goal, and it has been such a beautiful experience to receive so much support, affection, encouragement and sympathy from my local community and beyond.

Thank you





Jul 3, 2012

Infinite thanks!!!

I've got a late start... But the moment I announced I was granted an art residency in the Holy Land and my urgent need to raise funds; I was showered with sympathy, financial support, and all kinds of help and love.
I got checks in the mail,  online donations, over-payments for prints, etc. And when I was feeling sick under the stress of throwing a big fundraising party; I was overwhelmed by the amount of help I received from friends and "acquaintances"

I am still overwhelmed, and loving my community more than ever. This trip hasn't started yet, and I feel like I have experienced, and learned so much from it already. I still need to raise 1/3 of the funds, but nonetheless can happily announce that my Grand Rapids community is sending me to the Holy Land.

Here is a very ambitious attempt:

Thanks to:
 Joel Skendzel, for being the best landlord and putting up with my countless ideas of events.
Cabildo, for putting up with my innumerable requests and for playing such amazing music
Drew Nelson, for his inspiring lyrics, beautiful music and unbelievable generosity.
Carlos Aceves, for all the amazing food that made our bellies sooo happy
David McGowan, for documenting the event with the most timely shots I could've wished for.
Kate Avila, the best printing assistant!
Mariano Avila, for starting it all.
The beautiful Moon
Garry Perrine, Billy Bennett, Sharri LaPierre, my studio mates: Elaine Dalcher, Tommy Allen and Michael Pfleghaar, the unconditional Bivinses, Ramirez' and Siegenthaler's,  printmaking mama Sarah Scott,  all the MAM gang, Wendy Marty, Amanda Narvaes, Steve Davison and Steve Heintz, Alex Gilford, Josh and Rachel, Jason Shrier, Dianne Carroll Burdick, Jeff Smith and Colette Seguin, Cathryn Young, Dan Vandesteeg, the Rumsey's, Frederic Voisin, Dave Huizenga, Ron Lichtenstein, Heather Bryant, the Hollemans, Josh Duggan, Renee and Eric... Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
I know I must be missing many more...

For those who happen to be on Facebook, here is a link to the album


Jul 2, 2012

Cabildo playing at my fundraising event. Thanks to Tommy Allen who recorded it.

Jun 14, 2012

Printing my way to the Holy Land




It is official! I'm going to Palestine and Israel.

And I desperately need help to raise funds to pay for this trip

I was invited to be part of The Hope Equals Artist Residency Trip; during which, I will be traveling with other North American artists from different areas and backgrounds. Our group will learn about the conflict by visiting Jewish, Muslim and Christian sites, as well as through collaboration with artists from Israel and the West Bank. Visit www.hopeequals.org for more info.
Art can be a very efficient tool to convey a message. The purpose of this program is to plant the seed that will grow within our art and have the power to inspire other people in our communities.
I am expecting this trip to be a deeply insightful experience that no matter what,  will for ever influence my art and my outlook on life. (I'll be blogging as often as possible)

This program is not free, and I am humbly asking for donations to help me raise funds. In return I promise I'll make the process as inspiring, fun,interesting and easy as possible to encourage your support.



So, here are the many ways you can help:

(For hefty donations, contact me and I'll get you a tax deductible receipt)

EVENT:

On June 29th I am:

1) Selling a "special occasion" limited edition print. 50 prints @ $35 will buy me a plane ticket.

2) Auctioning a super limited edition print, only 3 prints ever.

3) Hosting a fun party with delicious food, beautiful like-minded people, and awesome music by Drew Nelson followed by Cabildo.
This program is not free, and I am humbly asking for donations to help me raise funds. In return I promise I'll make the process as inspiring, fun,interesting and easy as possible to encourage your support.

Here are the details for those who actually read details:

2- Limited edition print.
I am carving a special occasion pre-trip linoleum and will print 50 copies. I figure if 50 people buy a print I can pay for my plane ticket.
Upon my return I will create a Post-trip print (Part #2); buying a pre-trip print will entitle you to a $10 discount on the Post-trip print.


1- Super Limited edition print. I am creating a 2 part print; pre and post trip. Part #1 is limited edition of 3 prints only. One of them will be auctioned at the party, one on Ebay, and the third one will be for sale. Part #2 is an edition of 50 and will be completed upon my return (if I don't return, then you would own my very last piece ever, a win win situation).

3- Music Event
If you don't want any prints but still wish to show your support, then come to the post-sale event and enjoy the thoughtful songs of Drew Nelson followed by the very danceable music of Cabildo.
8:30-9:30 Drew Nelson $15
10:30-11:30 Cabildo $15
or $25 for both.

If it is still impossible to make it to any of the above, but kindly want to donate use the donation button.

To buy prints online: http://www.etsy.com/shop/redhydrant