My next door neighbor is about 85 years old. She loves the piece above, called Duppy. I explained that it is based on my childhood imagining of what a duppy would look like. “What’s a duppy?” My best explanation is that it is akin to what Americans would call the boogie man or a very scary ghost. Her response to that? “We were afraid of Indians.”
Wildflowers and Such
Here is “Discus Thrower,” the first lino carving to come out of my new studio. And, the seeds for these plants were sown sometime around mid-April. Today, June 30th, and just look at them! Some will undoubtedly show up in my art.
Sketches for Jonkanoo series:
Coyote Howling (or Whatever Coyotes do!)
Video by Sara Grew, taken at Djerassi, up in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. It’s a very short video. Be sure to put your sound on.
The drawing here (a one line drawing) is actually of a grey fox. Why is it accompanying a video of a coyote? Because I thought the fox was a coyote, until a wise guy pointed out that grey foxes have fluffy tails and look nothing like coyotes. Pfft! Who knew?!
The Endless Fascination of Printmaking
This is one of my hand-made transfer prints. It is part of a Brooklyn rooftop graffiti scene. The boy in the painting was appropriated by the artist, Chris Stain, from the photographer, Martha Cooper. Now I have appropriated it from Chris. Here I give the piece an old world, weathered charm, by transferring it onto a fine gold basecoat. For the final touch I scoured it gently with fine steel wool: I didn’t want the gold to take over from the drawings and other elements of the work.
If you are starting out in printmaking, you will find it is equally rewarding as well as frustrating. Working on intaglios, getting the lines right, distributing the ink in the right amount and in the right place may be all well and good, until you find you’ve used the wrong paper! Then you have to start all over again because the paper just refused to cooperate and help you create your masterpiece! But you learn from your mistakes. Printing is as much about the process as it is about the print. I’ve wasted many sheets of $28-$30 print paper trying to get a print right. I am still learning what works and what doesn’t. In all of this, the artist’s eye is most important. Watch Kiki Smith prove this point in the short video below.
For all of you wildlife lovers, here is a 5-minute video of sea otters in British Columbia:
I am here at the southernmost southern point in the United States. Cannot go to Key West and not see the Hemingway House and go on a boatride or two. Here are some pictures for you to enjoy. Hey! Did you know that Key West was once owed by a Cuban man (it was private ownership) who sold the island to an American? Yep! It’s true.
Short story, “My Grandfather Is a Limetree”
My Jamaican short story about my grandfather is featured in Red Bird’s weekly view. (It went live there today.) You can view it by following this link: http://www.redbirdchapbooks.com/content/my-grandfather-lime-tree.
New York or Hamburg Steinway?
Which piano should one use to perform Mozart’s Concerto No. 22? A Steinway, yes; but which one? A New York Steinway? A Hamburg Steinway? And just what exactly is the difference between the two? Watch as Jan Lisiecki chooses his piano for his upcoming (debut!) concert at the San Francisco Symphony:
Wandering Around California with Three Mules
On a recent city hike, I came across several stickers in the North Beach area of San Francisco. These stickers had the photograph (logo?) of a single mule. There was no explanation of what these stickers represented (Mule Gallery, perhaps?). Intrigued, I went home and did a Google search for “mule logo San Francisco.” I came across an Atlantic Magazine article about a man wandering around California with three mules. The man has an Internet presence too. He recently had a date in court because a ranger gave him a citation for stopping to rest overnight on public land/open space, with his three mules. I like this guy! Read more about him here: 3mules.com