Monday, September 29, 2008

Need a little INSIGHT?


Once again it's time for me to wax poetic about opportunities and information for artists, ably and happily provided by Alyson Stanfield, ArtBizCoach.

Alyson's about to launch a new series of conversations with artists who got their act together and built their own success in that mysterious creature known as The Art Business. It's easy to participate, no matter where you are.... all you need is a phone! You can even wear your pajamas and drink a glass of wine. No one will be the wiser.

So.... in October, November, and December, you can join Alyson as she hosts five conversations with artists who have been successful in museum exhibitions, commissions and other sales, artist residencies, grants, book publishing, teaching, and more. The program is called INSIGHTS, and you can learn all about it here.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Peak week for leaf peeping

Say THAT three times fast.

The lino tool is wounded, the season is escaping, and I've been feeling that sort of mild panic that comes with knowing that the best outdoor weather is NOW, and I'm missing it.

Thankfully I wrapped up a couple of jobs last week and could take some time off this weekend without guilt. It's "Peak" around here, the height of autumn color for aspen trees, so once again we trundled in to the car and went off on an adventure.

Yesterday we trekked over Independence Pass to the infamous town of Aspen. It's about a 2.5-hour drive from here when the pass is open. Once the pass closes for the season it takes more than 5 hours to get there. One might think we still have plenty of time before said closure occurs. But one would have to keep in mind that it's SNOW falling around me here at the summit and on the peaks in the background. We're at... hmmmm..... 12,000+ feet elevation.


The DM on the Lake County side of the Pass. I dunno. I just like this picture.



I suppose I should say something about The Aspen Experience... but about the most telling thing I can think of is this: On one street corner alone we saw three stores selling furs. And in the Farmer's Market we saw little girls trying on "mink" vests (probably they were just mink substitutes, but one never knows).

We also saw a lot of offices occupied by psychics. They were second only to offices occupied by accountants.

Anyway, you can see that the weather wasn't totally cooperative for this venture. Mostly good down below, but cloudy and rainy and snowy in the higher elevations. Not so good for getting out and stomping about.

The journey to Aspen and back took the better part of the day and we pretty much crashed when we got home. But I was determined that we would get out for some "local" color today, so we got an earlier start and headed up Marshall Pass.

From Salida to the summit of Marshall Pass is only about 26 miles, but it took us the same 2.5 hours that it took to cover the 90 miles to Aspen. 1) The Marshall Pass road is dirt, not paved highway. Rocky and bumpy. And we're in my Geo Prizm. 2) The weather was SPECTACULAR, and the color equally so. We had to stop a lot. Take pictures. Wander a little ways down trails and come back. You know: Slack off!

So... some highlights from the day, and then it's time to turn my attention back to things that need doing around here. Enjoy!
Climbing Marshall Pass from the Chaffee County side.
Yes, that's snow on the peaks.


My favorite local peak, Mount Ouray.

Marshall Pass summit, looking west-ish into Gunnison County.

It's all about the gold, eh?

Technical difficulties. Please stand by.


This is my favorite lino carving tool.

It's wearing a bandage because Someone Who Shall Remain Nameless But Whose Initials Are Coincidentally the EXACT SAME As Those of The Author of This Blog thought perhaps it would be nice to sharpen it, and instead inflicted severe damage upon the cutting surfaces.

The DM, AKA Knight in Shining Armor, has tried valiantly to repair it, and it IS better. But it's not what it was.

Sigh.

Plan B begins Monday.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Big joy in Linoville!


Ves is back! And despite having a week of catch-up to do in the shop (he's an excellent cabinetmaker at the lumberyard down the street), he squeezed (squoze?) in some time to cut me some little blocks.

Maybe he's just trying to keep me and my piddly-arse jobs at bay for a while, but I asked him for "10 or 12" and I got 24. I'm gonna be carving a goodly while. Yippee!

So. Fresh lino is affixed to this stack (15 blocks). Will be dry in the morning, and hopefully I'll at least have time to get a couple drawn. Look for new tiny linos towards the end of the week.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It's HERE!


And so, my fine and patient Brush and Baren readers, the secret surprise for you is finally accomplished.

There exists in a secret spot on my website, a page reachable only from this very location. (At least it's secret until October 15, when I'll let the rest of the world in on it and link it to the main website.) But for the next month, it's all about Brush and Baren readers.

So what's on this fancy, special page? Images of little tiny linocuts AND the ability to purchase them internationally through PayPal. How cool is that? My first foray into e-commerce has begun. (So please be kind and let me know if things aren't working correctly. We could run domestic tests, but not international ones....)

Unfortunately the shopping cart doesn't work if you'd rather just send me a check, but you can shop the page and make a list and email it to me, and we can manage the finances that-a-way.

The other special deal is that the "tiny linos" are only $15 USD each for faithful readers. Price goes up after October 15, but there you have it.

Groovy, eh?

So here's the link. And I've put it in the sidebar, too, so you can always get to it. I'll be adding more images as I get them finished... which I plan to do as soon as I get over the fact that the lumber yard let "my" carpenter go hunting this week! Who's going to cut my blocks?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Three weeks at home!

(More or less.)

Once again the Dynamic Duo were on the road this week. We spent the weekend due west of here in the area of Montrose, Colorado and the fabulous Black Canyon of the Gunnison. The main excuse for the trip was a surprise birthday party for a former colleague, but we also checked out the gallery situation and did a little hiking at the Canyon. Yes, you're right. We went someplace with ridiculous heights again. What WERE we thinking?

Morning light on the walls of the Black Canyon.

The DM thinks he looks "goofy" in this photo.
I just think he looks like someone who is thinking
very hard about not stepping backwards into an abyss.


It's been great to be out and about so much in the past two months, but we are ready to be home for a little bit. Plenty to do around here. Of course, the little linocut project is high on the list... but YIKES! I learned this morning that the fella who cuts my mounting boards for me is gone hunting this week. Drama ensues! I'm going to have to find someone else if I'm going to get any prints carved this week. What? Diverge from my usual routine? AGAIN?

There are house projects and music projects for the DM. I have a set of 6 interp panels to finish this week, and some coloring pages to illustrate, and some skill cards to create, and a shopping cart to install on the website. (A shopping cart, you say? Does this have anything to do with tiny linos? Why, yes. Yes it does.)

So no rest for the wicked. We're here until the first weekend in October, when we're attending (and the DM is performing for) the Colorado Art Ranch Artposium... but we won't be letting any grass grow under our behinds. Or however that saying goes.

PS: Another "how do they KNOW" mystery


Cedar waxwings.

Nice birds.

Very pretty.

But how is it that they know to strip the two honeysuckle bushes in the FRONT yard of their berries and then go to the BACK yard to poop them all over the deck that the DM is trying to refinish?

It's a conspiracy, I tell you.

(Cedar waxwing photo pinched from the grand website of friend Bill Schmoker. You can find more lovely Schmoker images and musings over at Brdpics.)

Friday, September 12, 2008

More!

Yup. I'm having too much fun.

Which is probably why I have to go out of town again tomorrow. But hey, just for grins, a couple more tiny linocut cuties. The Amazing and Fantabulous Blog Readers' Special Involving Tiny Linos is still to come. Still waiting on technology. But the anticipation is mounting. Can ya' feel it?

Back on Monday. See ya then.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Yes, I did print last night


45 more happy little linocut prints drying on the rack. Snail, blanketflower, boreal toad. I still have some little blocks prepped, so there will be more. This makes... hm.... 8, I think. :-) There was another in the original batch, but I didn't like it so well, so it's relegated to the "stuff to tear up and use in other ways" pile.

Snail with its block. Everything is printed on a little 6"x6" piece of Hosho paper. (Brief description of Japanese printmaking papers here.)

Monday, September 8, 2008

A little more


We lucked out with perfect weather for our trip to Denver this weekend: low 70s, clear skies, slight breeze. Of course tonight it's supposed to dip down to 33F here in the Center of the Universe. Seems like just a couple of weeks ago we were covering up the tomato plants for late spring frosts. Time to dig out the cheesecloth again. (Oh, wait... I just looked at the forecast again. 39F. I think we're safe now.)

This morning started quiet in the world of client projects, so I tackled a few more tiny linocuts. Three new ones are carved... I may or may not get to printing tonight... it just depends on how the next hour or so evolves. I knew I wanted to make a little snail print, in part to honor one of my earliest chums in the blogosphere, Snail. But the other morning I woke up from a dream in which I had a pet snail. Its name was Scooter.

Don't ask me. I have no idea.

Anyway.... I'm brewing a "Brush and Baren Readers' Special," for these little prints. Some technical details to work out on the website, but keep watching this space for a splashy announcement. Well. An announcement of some sort. I dunno if it will be splashy.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

And speaking of perspective change


It's Artposium time again! This go-round Colorado Art Ranch breaks with tradition and heads to The Big City of Denver, where we'll try to suss out "What's So Funny About Art?"

The speaker lineup looks GREAT, and I happen to know that the musical entertainment at the Friday and Saturday night receptions will be darn good, too. (Yup, the DM will be providing the sophisticated ambiance. I'd send you to his website but it's, ahem, still disassembled. Perhaps this will be the needed kick in the posterior.)

So, yes, we'll be there October 3rd and 4th. You oughta be there, too.

Change of perspective

You know, in "the olden days," BDM (Before Darling Man), I used to relish holidays as a GREAT time to catch up on work. Two or three days in which I knew I wouldn't be interrupted by clients, or pretty much anyone else... it was perfect! I'd work all weekend, send everything off to clients on the last evening, and THEN (maybe) take a day off when everyone else went back to work.

Those halcyon* days seem to be in the past. The DM actually likes to do stuff other than work on the weekends. I don't get it! But I admit that our little jaunts on Monday were fun.

First thing in the morning we went to the top of "S" Mountain (AKA Tenderfoot Hill), the iconic conical peak directly across the river from town. It's always good to get a different view of the place one lives, I think. If you knew where to look, you could see our house from here.

I used my camera to take a little video of the panorama, but we're waiting for the DM to put a new soundtrack on it. Right now all you can hear is the ear-splitting whoosh of the wind through tiny microphone.

After that we popped home to grab some snacks and headed just out of town to Castle Gardens. This is a fabulous little area of BLM land... great rock formations and ancient junipers among the piƱon pines. Unfortunately it's also crossed in many places by the tracks of dirt bikes. (sigh) We heard some further up the canyon but never actually saw them. Otherwise we had the place to ourselves.

So now it's back to work like everyone else. I spent a goodly chunk of yesterday writing text for a new set of interp signs, and will do so again today. I've also been charged with a little more photo research for the fine team at National Audubon, and of COURSE I want to finish the little bitty linocuts I started last week. Here, a monarch and a damselfly... image size 2.5 x 2.5, editions of 15.

(* Hey, bird-types... we should be using this word more often in our daily conversations. It has to do with kingfishers, ya know. )