Oct 16, 2009

Prints are finally showing up!

I been putting a lot of energy organizing and getting ready for the "Dead End Prints" exhibit, not knowing if I was going to get any prints to show. 
I opened the studio on Monday to receive submissions and not a single person showed up, then I got a lonely print on Tuesday, and then on Wednesday I got a bunch on the mail. On Thursday I was anxious to check my mail, and there they were an other pile of multicolored envelopes containing beautiful Day of the Dead prints. 
Today is Friday and there are two more days until the dead line. I can't wait to go to the studio and check my mail. But I'm on the other hand trying to make a dead line for an other printmaking  show which is today.

Oct 4, 2009

Dead End Prints - two more weeks

There are just two more weeks between today and the deadline. I have heard from many people about their interest in participating, attending, writing about it, etc. And now I'm just going to be waiting anxiously to see what happens. So far, two local magazines have written stories about this event, but the most amazing thing is the emails I'm getting from all over the country and beyond requesting more information. 
The idea to organize a mini print exhibition came from our visit to several printmaking shops in Chicago about 3 months ago, I got inspired and decided to organize an exhibit with just handpulled prints for my favorite celebration of the year: El Dia de los Muertos. 
I think that an exiting theme and size would be the catalyst for really great mini prints.
If you are a printmaker and would like to participate, please visit my website and download a submission form.   The only requirement is the size; 9 square inches.

Aug 13, 2009

"My window" print exchange

I signed up for a print exchange with the theme: "My window", that was back in April and then it seemed like I had all the time in the world to finish on time in August. This has been one more reminder that I have no sense of time, even in July I thought August was far away. One day I read an email reminding us of the deadline; I checked my calendar and then I realized that I had just 1 week to finish not just the carving, but the whole edition.

I started working on the drawing, and then I carried the plate with me to any place where aflat surface was available. I finished on time, but...

Carving day and night ...

I'm ashamed to confess that I sent my prints 3 days late (I didn't consider the drying time!)

That's the real window.

Aug 5, 2009

My new etching press

Last month I found a posting on Baren Forum from a man who needed to sell his etching press as soon as possible.
I thought about it for an hour or so; it was crazy that for the past 3 nights I had been waking up in the middle of the night thinking that I needed to start saving money to buy a bigger press; and on the third day I stumbled into this! So I called the number and inquire the price, location, etc.
There was no way I could come up with the money in 5 days. That was Thursday, on Sunday we had a house meeting and I just mentioned the whole situation to my housemates; the next day I had the money and was making the call to give Joel an offer (I have the best housemates).

Wednesday: Carlos and I took the train to Chicago, I've never heard of railroad construction season before, we got there two hours late. We had lunch and visited the Mexican museum of art where we were going to meet Carlos' cousin who was taking us to Downers Grove where the press was.

We finally made it to Downers Grove at 5PM, I met Joel and the press, and realized that it was going to be really hard to move that press, let alone transport it to GR. The truck we were planing on using could only carry half of the weight, that changed half of the plans.
We took off the motor hoping that it would reduce the weight, and reserved a big U-haul truck, that's all we could do that day.

Thursday: we picked up the U-haul and headed to the tool rental place in DG, they suggested a motor lift and a chain would do it.
Well it only helped to move the press 6 ft out of the garage with the help of a jack and many dangerous slips of the chain. There was no way in the world we were going to lift a 1400 lb press 4 ft from the ground and then push it into the truck. We considered all the options: take it all apart, hiring 8 strong men, take off the legs, etc. By then the idea of having a press in my studio in Grand Rapids Michigan suddenly seemed more and more unattainable.
An other day went by, and the press was still sitting 6 feet from the garage, and 4 from the truck. It was late, we covered the press and decided to come back the next day, but first we went to the local brewery! Joel and I had a really nice conversation, got to know each other and we both realize that the press was coming from a good home and going to a new good home as well. I was happy to met another nice printmaker (I haven't met a not nice printmaker yet).

Friday (that was the deadline to get the press out of the premises) We came back to the rental place and got a forklift! The press was in the truck in less than 10 min. We cleaned up, say good bye and came back to Grand Rapids. It took us about 5 hours to drive back, we were afraid that a sudden stop would make the press fly into the air and crush us or somebody else to death. So back in GR, we made a stop at the house and showed the press to everyone, (technically it was their press too) And decided to unload the truck the next day.

Saturday: We are lucky to have a studio where there is all the equipment and helpful people you'd ever need to unload a press, bring it up to a 3rd floor and set it up on your favorite spot.

I forgot to mention that the press was all covered in grease, which took me about 3 hours to get rid of, but that was nothing compared to what we just had been through, so I did it happily and didn't even seem that hard to me.

Now, I have an etching press, and I already pulled my first print!

It's strange, 10 years ago when I came to Grand Rapids I was looking for a printmaking shop where I could use a press. It takes a lot of time and effort to find one!

Jun 15, 2009

The latest endeavours.

After my last post back in April, I had a birthday party with a surprise band, video and present. Lots of dancing and such a memorable event.

Then my real birthday came, and we celebrated at Founders brewery, where a poster contest for a local organization was taking place too. I had submitted an image, since it was going to be at the same time and place as my b-day celebration/give-away.

As if all I had received already wasn't enough, my print was selected as the winner piece that night.

This is the final poster with my image.

Apr 21, 2009

Birthday print giveaway

Today is my birthday, and the third time I give prints on this day.
I already gave a bunch of them at my party on Saturday, the only thing I ask in return is a note.
Apart from the fun party, food, present, dancing, etc; it's always a joy to read the notes at the end of the day, that makes the whole thing memorable.
This year I created a print that had something to do with my birthday (kind of).
I believe that death is only the end of another cycle, and every year we complete a cycle.
I keep changing the name of this print, but so far I'd like to name it "Death gathering cycles"
If you would like a print, go to my etsy shop and get one.
If you live in Grand Rapids, MI, come to Founders brewery tonight, I'll be there at 7 PM, write a note and get a print!

Why do I give prints on my birthday? I'll write about that tomorrow...

Mar 31, 2009

My birthday is coming!

I've been doing this for 3 years now; on my birthday I give prints away to anyone who wants them.
I'm still organizing the whole thing, but I'll give more details soon!

Feb 6, 2009

Sembrar es una forma de Resistencia

This is the title of my last exhibit at Fountain St. Church. The work has to do with seeds; the importance of saving, planting, and sharing them, also it the first time in many years that I make colorful and hopeful art, there is no satire or hidden messages this time.

To sow is a form of Resistance

This will be technically my first solo exhibit in GR. I have been working on the theme of seeds, food and nature; going from construction black and white blockprints to a more abstract colorful representation of seeds.

The artwork explores our relationship with food and the environment. Seeds tell the story of our relationship with food and our kinship with the land. 

I became intrigued with seeds when I planted my first garden. As the garden grew, so did my awareness of the political and industrial forces that destroy the lives of small farmers in the U.S., my homeland, Mexico, and around the world. 

By saving seeds from my garden to plant the next year, I participated in a process that people around the world have taken part in for thousands of years, and every year seeds are saved to be our future food. The industrial process of genetically modifying seed has transformed our 10,000 year heritage into branded, private property. 

My work give tribute to those who are working hard to protect what is rightfully theirs, and  ours.

In this exhibit the orange cones represent our relation with nature which at some point  is so absurd it becomes comical. Development of the land means destruction of the land. By constructing roads to unaccessible places, those same places get so intensively exploited they eventually disappear.

Seeds on the other hand represent our relation with food, the importance of saving seeds in order to preserve our natural heritage.

If you want to take part in this effort, please take a bag of seeds and take good care of them, plant them and witness the wonderful cycle that begins and ends with every single seed. 


Jan 22, 2009

I was in Mexico for my grandma's 90th Birthday

I have had such a hard month, finishing all the artwork for the exhibit at Fountain St. Church, didn’t have time for christmas or new years eve celebrations, or much sleep at all, all because I promised my grandma I’d be here for her birthday, and I’m so glad I came.
I met a lot of family, some of them whom I just didn’t remember and some whom I’ve met for the very first time.
And best of all; it was great to see my Abuela, looking so good and so happy with her 90 years.