Today's postings

  1. [Baren 37274] family print collectors (PLAWING # smumn.edu)
  2. [Baren 37275] Re: Online exhibition ... (Graham Scholes)
  3. [Baren 37276] Re: Printing for others (Graham Scholes)
  4. [Baren 37277] Re: family print collectors (Graham Scholes)
  5. [Baren 37278] Re: selling work (J Cloutier)
  6. [Baren 37279] Selling/Favorite Process (ArtfulCarol # aol.com)
  7. [Baren 37280] Re: Kiyoshi Saito (Eileen Corder)
  8. [Baren 37281] Re: selling work ("Louise Cass")
  9. [Baren 37282] Re: family print collectors ("Ellen Shipley")
  10. [Baren 37283] pulling prints for others (ArtSpotiB # aol.com)
  11. [Baren 37284] Re:selling work (Lana Lambert)
  12. [Baren 37285] Re: Selling, Moku Hanga Personality Type, Atelier Meridian (Annie Bissett)
  13. [Baren 37286] Re: Moku Hanga Personality Type (Dave Bull)
  14. [Baren 37287] Re: selling work ("Clive.ca")
  15. [Baren 37288] UK Postage (Jennifer Martindale)
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Message 1
From: PLAWING # smumn.edu
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 13:12:37 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37274] family print collectors
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When Jane wrote "The family can only absorb so much as
Christmas gifts", I had to laugh.

For years I gave my prints to family, (specifically siblings).
They were always received with a roll of the eyes, and a mumble about "I'd rather get a music CD, or gift certificate somewhere...."

When my work began to sell, and it was cheaper to give a CD or a shirt, etc., AND they realized this little print was actually selling for hundreds of dollars, they complained about not getting artwork.

Now they have lots of early work, but none of the late stuff.

Boo Hoo.

preston

Preston B. Lawing
Chair, Department of Art and Design
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
700 Terrace Heights
#1421
Winona, MN 55987
(507) 457-1701
plawing@smumn.edu
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Message 2
From: Graham Scholes
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 14:21:05 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37275] Re: Online exhibition ...
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Dave Bull wrote:
>
> Most woodblock printmaking (other than the most simple rough-cut
> black and white work), is not a 'casual' or 'impulsive' process.
> Planning the image, laying it out, finding wood, getting the colour
> separations figured out, registration ... and then the delicately
> balanced nuances of the printing process ... It's perfectly
> matched to what kind of person? A control freak.

> But the beginner doesn't understand this. Lots of people look at it,
> think to themselves "Wow, that's neat stuff; I'm going to give it a
> try ..." And some even do.

Yes indeed.... There is one other important factor that causes so
many people to learn the sport doing one or two pieces, then move on
to another medium. “No Instant Gratification“.

It is the biggest stumbling block of all. It has taken me several
months to get the first few prints off a set of plates. Some of my
work required 6 to 9 months to complete. I can rattle a quarter sheet
watercolour in an hour or so and a full sheet in a day. I am not alone
here.... most competent watercolourist can do the same... We had a
artist here that could to it in 15 minutes and 1 ˝ hours
respectively. Instant gratification. The reason why I moved away
from doing watercolours? ... No personal satisfaction. No challenge.

It is a little why I don’t do much intaglio work.... I can make a
plate in a day and start the printing the next day... this does not
take into consideration the creative process of working out the image
and mentally be prepared to put the first mark into position.

Regards
Graham
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Message 3
From: Graham Scholes
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 14:49:45 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37276] Re: Printing for others
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Dave Bull wrote:

> Barbara wrote:
>
>> My goodness Dave,
>> You are so mistaken about this...there are hundreds of shops that
>> do printmaking for other artists professionally. I have a book over
>> 2 inches thick with studios in it that do this across the USA.
>
> Sure ... litho, silkscreen, oil, giclee ... etc. etc. but _water-
> based_ woodblocks? Printers for hire? I can think of two ...
> Shinohara-san at Wesleyan, and Arikushi-san in Vancouver. Maybe
> Sawai-san, Graham's friend?
>
> (Not that I know anything about this ... If I'm wrong, then so be
> it ...)

You will have to reduce that down to one.... Noboru Sawai does not do
it and hasn’t for 15 years .... and his student Airkushi has
retired.... Keiji Shinohara lives on the other side of the
world.... (o
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Message 4
From: Graham Scholes
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 14:55:43 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37277] Re: family print collectors
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I have carried on the Japanese tradition of giving my prints away to
relatives, friends and folks that have helped me in some way..... I
often noted that most would take it but with out much expression of
gratitude. Lots of them never thanked me. .... most infuriating. I
don’t do it much anymore. I have even had them equate it to a mass
produced art card grrrrrrrrr....

Graham
www.woodblockart.ca
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Message 5
From: J Cloutier
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 15:17:07 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37278] Re: selling work
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"*From: *Shireen Holman
>...What an odd idea, that one shouldn't want to sell one's work. If you
>are a doctor, unless you are independently wealthy, you ask people to
>pay for your services. Same goes for lawyers. Musicians get paid for
>performing. Actors are paid for playing parts in movies or on stage...."
>
Hi, -
It's not quite like doctors and lawyers. People have to have their
services, so they pay. But artists create even when no-one is paying
them, and the artists don't have a license or certification to say
they're real artists. Selling work is a recognition of the quality of
that person's work. There are so many levels of output and compensation
in the arts! Some musicians perform at local folk music festivals and
concerts, some in recording studios that may be a friend's basement,
while others sell out concert stages and slick CDs. Writers may share
their work by means of a column in a community newspaper, a local poetry
reading, or a national bestseller. And so on. Creating something and
sharing it with a group that accepts anything presented to them is a
good thing. I'm all for it! But selling your work is a validation that
you've reached a certain level of competence.

The getting paid is a reassurance that, yes, you did make something
good; a way to know you're not just imagining that this is worthwhile
work. Friends saying they like it is great. Sharing your work in an
open show is fun. But having it sell is like having it accepted in a
juried show - someone judged it, and said "Yes." I think we'd all like
to hear that.

Jane
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Message 6
From: ArtfulCarol # aol.com
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 15:36:57 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37279] Selling/Favorite Process
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I agree with everything that Shareen said about selling.
"What an odd idea, that one shouldn't want to sell one's work. If you are a
doctor, unless you are independently wealthy, you ask people to pay for your
services. Same goes for lawyers. Musicians get paid for performing. Actors are
paid for playing parts in movies or on stage. Why should visual artists
somehow not want to get paid for their work? It definitely is harder, because, as
Barbara pointed out, artists have to learn how to be sales people as
well..."


Also, I realized early on that people did not appreciate what was given to
them as much as what they buy and select themselves. Selling? Why not?

As for the process I like best. Which of your babies do you like best? No
choosing. For me:
!. designing---artistic, sometimes spontaneous, sometimes needing work.
Love it
2. carving--- compulsive. Love it
3. printing---surprise! Love it.
4. selling --- icing on the cake. Mmmm, so good.
Sharpening--I have the equipment and had the best of teachers, but a chore
I do not love, nor can do well.
Cleaning up--ditto.
Carol Lyons
_http://rst-art.com/carolgallery.htm#WOODCUTS_
(http://rst-art.com/carolgallery.htm#WOODCUTS)

(http://rst-art.com/artfulcarol.htm)
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Message 7
From: Eileen Corder
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 15:37:38 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37280] Re: Kiyoshi Saito
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Thanks, Preston, for the link to Time Magazine/Saito/Sato cover. Very nice!

-Eileen
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Message 8
From: "Louise Cass"
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 16:44:44 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37281] Re: selling work
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Okay - one more reply on this subject - well said, Jane! and of course it
validates what you do when people part with hard-earned money to buy it
I was attempting (albeit cynically) to be a bit humorous in wondering where
and how so many (judging from all the jury shows and art associations)
producers of art are to find a market...of course there's no answer.....it's
unfortunately a rhetorical question.

Re giving work to relatives -a bit of cynical advice - wait until the work
achieves a market value - everyone will really appreciate them then -
I didn't realize it until now but I'd never given ptgs or prints as gifts
until after I'd had some successful shows and now that they have a
monetary value I do feel I give presents of some worth and the recipients
value them more (I hope)!........



Louise

(My work may be viewed at www.LCassArt.com )



---
>Hi, -
>It's not quite like doctors and lawyers. People have to have their
>services, so they pay. But artists create even when no-one is paying
>them, and the artists don't have a license or certification to say
>they're real artists. Selling work is a recognition of the quality of
>that person's work. There are so many levels of output and compensation
>in the arts! Some musicians perform at local folk music festivals and
>concerts, some in recording studios that may be a friend's basement,
>while others sell out concert stages and slick CDs. Writers may share
>their work by means of a column in a community newspaper, a local poetry
>reading, or a national bestseller. And so on. Creating something and
>sharing it with a group that accepts anything presented to them is a
>good thing. I'm all for it! But selling your work is a validation that
>you've reached a certain level of competence....................
>
>
>Jane
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Message 9
From: "Ellen Shipley"
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 18:41:22 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37282] Re: family print collectors
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Pearls before swine, alas, Graham.

I worry sometimes that I'm "pestering" my friends with more artwork
(especially a fellow artist who sells her work for real money, but she's
always gracious). My sister is voracious -- she may have more of my art
than I do. ;->

About the art card remark:

Last Christmas my husband commissioned me to do his company's xmas card
_and_ a series of prints to give to special customers. Ironically, those
were well received and he got several compliments for them. I guess if they
could see that the print was the "original" and the card was a professional
copy, it somehow made both more valuable. Go figure. ;-p

The print is here:
http://bp2.blogger.com/_qDqds-yeImc/R0yh8zQFgEI/AAAAAAAACk0/8qwY-WKhAMs/s1600-h/castle_xmas_carve05_kozo.jpg

And the xmas card is here:
http://bp1.blogger.com/_qDqds-yeImc/R2IHqJtJa_I/AAAAAAAACmk/ShdXD1yftE8/s1600-h/castle_xmas_card_vista.jpg

I think they'll ask me to do it again this year. It was a fun project, but
boy, working to a commission is nerve wracking!

Ellen

-(>-----~
Ellen Shipley
Trompt As Writ
~----- When Jane wrote "The family can only absorb so much as
> Christmas gifts", I had to laugh.
>
> For years I gave my prints to family, (specifically siblings).
> They were always received with a roll of the eyes, and a mumble about
> "I'd rather get a music CD, or gift certificate somewhere...."
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Message 10
From: ArtSpotiB # aol.com
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 20:01:39 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37283] pulling prints for others
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When I first got really going in printmaking, my linocuts were pulled by a
professinal doing the same for others. I know of several similar people who,
wonderful artists in their own right in the field, do so.
Then the cost became prohibitive due to coaching by another person, so I no
longer use that service.

At first this master "editioner" and I got together. I took not only the
block but a bon a tirer with me. That is, I took a pulled sample of the print.
On it I marked areas that I wanted to be sure would be interpreted in a
particular way as I was using a spoon for a baren. The master editioner and I had a
conversation regarding those areas and others. At some point she pulled a
print of the block (with me standing elsewhere due to turps. allergy). I returned
to the fumes for a while, for a discussion regarding details of the block. We
had similar conversations a few times afterwards with new blocks. Then we
became satisfied with each other's role and could anticipate details. For years
she pulled my prints. This is a valid way to do prints and continues, I
believe, on a quiet scale in the USA as well as some of the more prominent venues
mentioned. There are several in the SF Bay Area available as well, which are
full on businesses.

Why are many artists quiet about this process? Perhaps because there's a
confusion on just where the mind of the artist stops and the hand of the editioner
begins when one does not know the process. Or perhaps for tax reasons, tho my
master editioner paid hers carefully. Or maybe just because it's a small
business whose clientele are aquired by word of mouth. Maybe some do not want
these golden people's names known. Whatever the reason, I remain grateful to my
past editioner for her work. I tried for much of the time during our business
relationship to have a stamp/embosser made in the traditional manner to have
on my prints. I also gave her a "printer's proof" for her personal collection.
Since these works are in museums, perhaps they will accrue value. One hopes.

And that, friends, is my 2cents worth!

ArtSpot Out
Benny Alba at OMebase






Underground nuclear testing, defoliation of the rain forests, toxic waste
... Let's put it this way: if the world were a big apartment, we wouldn't
get our deposit back. -John Ross
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Message 11
From: Lana Lambert
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2008 00:12:57 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37284] Re:selling work
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On the subject of selling work and its hang ups. I too struggled with fact that laboring over a work of art and then selling it is like giving up a child. Thank god for woodblock printing! I can labor over my block like nobody's business but then when it comes to printing I can just keep on poppin' them babies! Problem solved! LOL.

-Lana
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Message 12
From: Annie Bissett
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2008 00:18:33 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37285] Re: Selling, Moku Hanga Personality Type, Atelier Meridian
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Lots of great discussion going on here!

About selling. I agree with Lana that making something on the
assumption that it will sell can take all the life out of the work.
I've been making commercial digital art for over 20 years and I'm
grateful to be able to make a living that way, but it's not often
that I get that wonderful feeling of self-expression from my
commercial work. I am finding self-expression in my printmaking,
though, and I feel very protective of that. I'm able to do something
in my prints that I can't do in my client-driven work, which is make
my own statements about the world around me, about the things that
concern or confuse or disturb me. I don't want to think of my
printmaking as work for commerce, not because there's something
inherently wrong with commerce but because thinking that way shifts
the focus away from me and my own concerns to an imaginary "audience"
that I'm trying to appeal to. I do want to sell some prints so that
my little habit can support itself, and I'd be delighted if someday I
actually made a profit, but I don't want to make prints with selling
as the main impetus.

I'm also interested in Dave Bull's thesis that there's a personality
type that's better at crafting a good woodblock print. I agree to a
point. I agree that compared to paintings or drawings or even
monotypes, woodblock prints are not casual or impulsive endeavors and
it takes someone with lots of patience and persistence. Maybe even a
control freak, a trait I'll admit to having. But I don't agree that
it's impossible to be both a good designer and a good carver/printer.
I think that all three aspects of the craft -- designing, carving and
printing -- can be learned with a lot of practice, no matter what
your personality type. I think within the strictures of the
techniques, there's still a lot of freedom to experiment and to
approach the work according to one's own disposition. For example, I
don't proof much because I like the feeling of not knowing what will
happen during the printing even though I've planned all the blocks
pretty carefully in advance. Some would find that crazy, but it suits
my personality.

Why don't more people do woodblock? I think it's simply because it
takes too long! Especially in this 24/7 speeded-up culture of ours,
who has the time?

Barbara, nice to see the Atelier Meridian web site. I see that your
master printer Jane Pagliarulo went to school here in my
neighborhood, at U Mass Amherst. I know several successful artists
who schooled here, so it must be a good program.

all the best,
Annie B

http://woodblockdreams.blogspot.com
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Message 13
From: Dave Bull
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2008 00:31:00 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37286] Re: Moku Hanga Personality Type
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Annie wrote:

> ... But I don't agree that it's impossible to be both a good designer
> and a good carver/printer. I think that all three aspects of the craft
> -- designing, carving and printing -- can be learned with a lot of
> practice, no matter what your personality type.

Of course, this is what I am _hoping_ (!), with my current project of
original prints. If my point had been literally true in every respect -
that a patient carver can never do good original design - then I'm a
dead duck!

I too, like to think that even though I will never be a 'free' artist
type, I will still be able to produce work that has enough interest,
and value, to be accepted by society (in the marketplace, etc.).

But there is no question that such resulting work will always show its
roots: it will feel somewhat contrived, and it will tend to be 'fussy'
...

Dave
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Message 14
From: "Clive.ca"
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2008 04:10:15 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37287] Re: selling work
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1. Hey, Benny, we're printmakers! I'm not sure about others but
normally I make 20-25 prints in an edition; if I had 20-25 kids I'd
probably give a bunch away just to save on food costs. If I got cash
for them it would take away the pain of separation.
2. Somehow it always feels as if I could do better on the next
print. Some times I'm right about that but I always save a couple of
prints just to be on the safe side.
3. It always feels better having a $200 dollars in my wallet than
having a box full of (potentially) $400 prints.
4. The people who don't respect the print don't buy it; if no one
wants it there just might be a message there somewhere (see No. 2)!

Clive


>I think that many find it difficult to sell/give away their work
>because:
>1. It's feels like selling your children
>2. You might never create anything as good
>3. It might be a marker piece, only you don't know yet
>4. It might not be respected/last
>Benny alba
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Message 15
From: Jennifer Martindale
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2008 08:44:42 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37288] UK Postage
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Thank you to both Harry and Mark for advice on packaging prints to go to the US on Exchange, and for the encouragement.
There is so much to learn and as ever I am grateful to the Forum which saves me so often from having to re-invent wheels.
Happy printing to all.