Today's postings

  1. [Baren 26223] RE: Akua Kolor Ink ("Anne F. Bessac")
  2. [Baren 26224] shui-yin wrap-up ("Love Me")
  3. [Baren 26225] Article on Chinese Printing (G Wohlken)
  4. [Baren 26226] Re: Mary Pratt Prints (cary_benbow #
  5. [Baren 26227] photo realism (Barbara Mason)
  6. [Baren 26228] Re: Mary Pratt Prints (L Cass)
  7. [Baren 26229] Re: photo realism (Daniel Dew)
  8. [Baren 26230] RE: Baren Digest (old) V29 #2818 ("marilynn smih")
  9. [Baren 26231] Re: Baren Digest (old) V29 #2819 ("claudia g coonen")
  10. [Baren 26232] Re: Mary Pratt Prints (Wanda Robertson)
  11. [Baren 26233] different art traditions in print making (FurryPressII #
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Message 1
From: "Anne F. Bessac"
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2004 09:15:27 -0400
Subject: [Baren 26223] RE: Akua Kolor Ink
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Barbara, THANKS! This is helpful. I really appreciate it. I have been playing
with the inks, attended a workshop on water based inks and have been on the
web. So having someone's experience with which to compare mine helped alot.
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Message 2
From: "Love Me"
Date: Wed, 13 Oct 2004 00:57:11 +1000
Subject: [Baren 26224] shui-yin wrap-up
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I think I now have some idea of the shui-yin method and I will give it a go, sooner rather than later. The link in yesterdays posting by Ray and Bea was just the shot. It goes to show that everything you need is buried somewhere in the Baren forum

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Message 3
From: G Wohlken
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2004 10:46:57 -0400
Subject: [Baren 26225] Article on Chinese Printing
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Bea, since Sharen found your article, I did a search and found one more
of interest.
Here is an article explaining the Chinese printing method which Dave
included in the encyclopedia.

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Message 4
From: cary_benbow #
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2004 14:58:56 +0000
Subject: [Baren 26226] Re: Mary Pratt Prints
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Well put.... I was also surprised at the replies "against" a woodblock print style that is more realist than rough. (Especially because Mike Lyon's style is very much driven by a 'photographic' image, and we all can truely appreciate the craft behind creating his images independent of how his prints look.) I believe the flexibility of woodblock to give such a wide range of styles is one of its greatest strengths. I'm sure most people would agree.


e -
website -

>I am very new here, but not new to wood-cuts and other print making
>processes...and I am a bit surprised at the venom in regards to
>photo-realistic wood-cuts. I would certainly consider Mike Lyons
>Prints to be very "photo-realistic" very "Chuck Close-ian". What would
>make Mike's work less valued than lets say Bull's work? I realize that
>art is a very subjective process...someone may not "LIKE" a piece of
>art but does that make it "less art". Look at Duchamps "Fountain"
>where he entered a urinal in an art show. Or the color-fieldest the
>famous "Black Canvas".
>As for photography...there are many different photographers...the very
>technical to very expressive...which is better? Again another
>subjective opinion...there is no right or wrong answer.
>I hope you see my point.
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Message 5
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2004 09:41:55 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [Baren 26227] photo realism
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Hi all,
Is this another can of worms? Sorry if I started a debate, but I stick by my original post. I personally find this type of work uninspiring. It is just too calculated and cold for me. This does not mean I do not appreciate the skill of both the painter and carver and printer.

I also have a problem with a machine carving the blocks, yet I do solarplates and I am letting the sun expose the what is the difference? Maybe it is starting with a photo instead of a drawing and starting with a painting instead of a design for the woodblock. There is a lot of grey area here, sort of the whole giclee thing taken one step back.....way too complicated for my brain. Reproductions again in some form, but not called reproductions is the key here. Are my original images I make on a piece of mylar for the solarplates any different than a photo taken from a camera or a painting scanned into a computer? I am not sure....maybe and maybe not. I am not exhibiting the mylar in any way, but I could mount and frame them......sort of like a drawing for a painting.

As artists we have been copying each other for years, so what is wrong with copying a photo or a painting? I don't have the answer here but I just know that any type of work that is photo realism just does not appeal to me. I want a painting to look like a painting, a woodblock to look like a woodblock and an etching to look like an etching and a photograph to look like a photograph. I don't want to have to guess what it is. Go figure.

I am such a process junkie that I surprise myself since I am always so ready to try some new thing and am always trying to make a medium do what it doesn't want to do. But I just accept my prejudices in my old age and keep making art I like. I have totally given up trying to make anything I think anyone else is an impossible task.

I do think it is important to keep all the processes alive and whatever it takes to do this gets a gold star from me. This is why Dave's work is so important and the baren forum is such an important web site. I hate for anything to be this age of amazing information storage nothing should be lost. However as you all know, it is a lot harder to make art, especially moku hanga, than to read about making it! You just cannot learn it if you don't do it.

If I could have a great yard by reading about gardening my life would be perfect!
Best to all,
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Message 6
From: L Cass
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2004 12:59:49 -0400
Subject: [Baren 26228] Re: Mary Pratt Prints
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Hi All -
Apologies for sounding so vehemently anti photo realist - of course there
is room for every kind of expression in art and photography is a medium
that has many faces - I'd say that one big difference,e.g., between Mike
Lyon and Mary Pratt is that Mike executes the woodcuts himself and the
Pratt prints would appear to be repros of her paintings in another medium
done by another hand harking back to the times when etchings, mezzotint,
lithography etc were used to reproduce famous paintings for popular
consumption.Tthese were all nonmechanical techniques and those printmakers
all worthy of praise. I was not so much talking against the extreme realism
but the fact that it wasn't produced by the artist herself - I know this
brings to mind Frankenthaler's work and I'm ignorant re whether her
collaborative prints were original compositions or reproductions of her
paintings as well??
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Message 7
From: Daniel Dew
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2004 12:55:34 -0400
Subject: [Baren 26229] Re: photo realism
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I debated about whether to add my two cents worth here and came to the
conclusion, as a realistic portrayer of things, that if I don't speak
up, maybe no one else will.
I love the the challenge of trying to make my faces "look" real, but I
also don't push it to the point of someone actually confusing my prints
with a "photo".
Maybe that's the difference?

Daniel L. Dew
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Message 8
From: "marilynn smih"
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2004 10:46:24 -0700
Subject: [Baren 26230] RE: Baren Digest (old) V29 #2818
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Having aquired dry pigments from Japan I have a question for you Mike Lyon.
What is dry pigment in mentol celluose paste? Does that mean you used only
the paste and no alcohol or other chemicals when you mixed the pigment?
Guess I will have to wait until you get back from Japan and hope you read
this when you catch up on all the email you will have. Hope you have a
fabulous trip. Oh and the work is amazing as always.
Harry I like your wood cuts a lot. They really do take advantage of the
wood and for me that is wonderful. I was carving in lino and tried this
group once and found them so intense I unsubscribed only to do a piece that
I thought would have been really good in wood, so here I have been now for
some while trying to learn this art form, it is a challenge. I will have to
try and take my akua kolor to Baja with me. Getting blocks ready for a 3
color abstract print from a watercolor I painted. Maybe the 4th side should
be a small landscape that takes advantage of the wood grain like you seem to
do, love that about your work. We can really learn a lot from each other.
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Message 9
From: "claudia g coonen"
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2004 07:55:15 -1000
Subject: [Baren 26231] Re: Baren Digest (old) V29 #2819
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to the person who asked about thin paper(tom?)
I don't know much about chinese papers but I do know that japanese Gampi is
tissue paper thin , see thru (almost) and you can wet it and still pick it
up, though it's like picking up a wet thin plastic bag that's hard to get
the edges to get it apart. It usually needs to be mounted after printing or
chine colle it.
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Message 10
From: Wanda Robertson
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2004 12:31:04 -0700
Subject: [Baren 26232] Re: Mary Pratt Prints
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Well I, for one, did not see any venomous postings. Just people
expressing their opinion. And I don't think anyone said anything
critical of Mary Pratt's paintings or Masato Arikushi's skills with a
woodblock. Just that some of are not fond of that particular style.
Baren has a lot of members with a lot of opinions (and styles) - if you
stay with us for any length of time at all, you will see that for
yourself. We do leave each other free to pursue any style of creating
art. And we *do* express our opinions! :-)

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Message 11
From: FurryPressII #
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2004 15:38:10 EDT
Subject: [Baren 26233] different art traditions in print making
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I think this goes deeper than the subject or style of the print. First the
question is artist made vs. master printer/master craftsman made. Second
what is the intent of the print, fine art vs reproduction. Third art vs
commercial printing in the mode of production.

First to have the artist do the whole process is a recent invention it
started in the late 19th century. Before this printmaking was either a commercial
process or a reproductive process to make painted images more averrable.
Remember wood engraving and Japanese wood cuts were commercial printing in their
heyday. It is only after this was past its commercial use did it become an
art form. After printmaking became an artist-driven process you then get to
the question of prints made by the artist vs prints made by art publishing
houses. This is a debate that occurred in other parts of printmaking besides
wood cuts in fact it occurred more often in litho and etching. U.A.L. would be
an example of a publishing house that pulls lath's for artists who generally
are painters. The idea that prints made by publishing houses tend to be
"perfect" in process but some times are rather "cool" because they are one step
removed from the hand of the artist.

Printmaking started as part of commercial printing. Parts of this tradition
still exist in reproductive prints. Remember reproductive printmaking using
the methods of fine art printing were the majority of prints being made up
until recent history. At one time maybe 90% of engravings, mezzotints and
etchings were made for this purpose. These have a connection to
reproductions made of paintings done by computers and photos. Mezzotints were invented
to do reproductions of paintings.

To me craftsmanship is a wonderful thing. I try to learn from the
commercial process. If I can add the life from artist produced prints so be it.

John c.