Today's postings

  1. [Baren 39407] inspiration? (Andrew Stone)
  2. [Baren 39408] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V48 #4899 (Jul 18, 2009) (Marilynn Smith)
  3. [Baren 39409] Re: inspiration? ("Mindy Wilson")
  4. [Baren 39410] Re: copyright (Sharri LaPierre)
  5. [Baren 39411] Tee Shirt Idea (Gayle Wohlken)
  6. [Baren 39412] Re: Tee Shirt Idea (Diane Cutter)
  7. [Baren 39413] Re: Tee Shirt Idea (Barbara Mason)
  8. [Baren 39414] Re: From Whence Inspiration Comes? (Melissa West)
  9. [Baren 39415] Re: copyright (Tibi Chelcea)
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Message 1
From: Andrew Stone
Date: Sat, 18 Jul 2009 15:10:10 GMT
Subject: [Baren 39407] inspiration?
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Hi all,

I've been inactive for awhile as I went back with my family to Florence for part of the Summer. As any of you who garden know what it's like to come back ot a garden after a month away, visiting my abandoned farm after a year away was very sad. Tall grass, dead trees, perennial weeds in beds kept clean for years, etc.etc.

But I spent my birthday wandering around the Bargello, a wonderful museum of Renaissance sculpture that often gets missed by the tourists but houses some really phenomenal works: Donatello's David, Eros, Lions, etc. Works by Michelangelo, Giambologna, etc. Incredible wax and bronze mock-ups of Cellini's Perseus and Medusa.

Plus they have a very quirky collection of Islamic art, Armour and weapons, and Crusade-era ivory and tortoise shell combs and boxes. There was even an odd tapestry that looked like someone had copied all of Holbein's portraits onto a large tapestry woven with colorful silk and metal threads of all of these dour faces with colorful hats and shawls drawn by someone who appeared to have been forced to use the wrong hand. It was beautiful (sorry they wouldn't let me take photos).

So, I came out of there refreshed and full of ideas.

Most of my inspiration comes from some kind of trigger; visual or sometimes language driven. I sketch and doodle a lot and much of my work comes out of the doodles rather than the careful sketches. I find that when I draw a lot (life drawing, still lives, doodles, faces, etc.) out of all that volume will pop out the occasional SOMETHING that says to me: Hmmm, this is interesting. Lets do something with this. But the key is to draw a lot for If I sit down to produce something specific it is usually much less interesting. I have hundreds of pounds of paper under the bed with old, mostly crappy drawings. But I pull them out every year or two, and now a few years older and with a different eye, again something often is there that again calls to me in a new light.

I'm back in California again, did sign up for exchange 42. I dropped out of 41 in part due to the time it takes to do a larger work and because I knew I'd be travelling and didn't wan't to be stressed out by a deadline. I still have lots of things and issues competing for time but I hope to carve out some studio time too.

Andrew Stone
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Message 2
From: Marilynn Smith
Date: Sat, 18 Jul 2009 15:36:46 GMT
Subject: [Baren 39408] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V48 #4899 (Jul 18, 2009)
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Thanks for the thoughts on my splintering wood. The decision was to
give it off to the husband who builds things and pick something else
to carve on. Hmmm, that may not have been as good as I thought. The
husband said why not do a lino, don't you still have some. I said yes
and had him cut a piece the size I wanted. It has been a few years
since I did lino and it sure is different from wood. I can't get
those nice little details nearly as easily. If I just used a u guage
and cut it, it would be done in a jiffy, but I want sharp edges and
tiny inner cuts with a knife and that is not the same as it is when
cutting wood. I also use a different set of tools for my line and boy
were they dull. I used my nice water stones and sharpened them up.

My point is really simple. As I set there sharpening I remembered
when I was new at it and afraid of such a simple task. Thinking on
how much better I find wood over lino, makes me realize all the growth
and learning I have done in the last few years since joining this
marvelous group. Now, lino folks it is not that lino is bad it is
different and definitely a good material, it just works differently
than wood. And I have changed the way I approach a block, I use that
hanga knife a lot and love the detail it can give me, I just did not
realize how much I had changed.

For those new to the group and possibly new to wood block, there is a
lot to learn and this is the place.

I am agreeing that change and growth are a good thing. Julio and the
rest on our council, this new addition you are proposing sounds very
exciting. I guess as the internet grows we need to grow and expand.
Glad to hear some of you newer members stepping up to do an exchange,
they are for me inspiring and fun. I signed up for this one because I
seem to be procrastinating about getting in that studio and getting
things done. I had seen a subject I wanted to do and just thought oh
well one of these days. Now I am doing it!

Thanks to our hard working inner group who seem to have put in a lot of
time creating something new and awesome sounding.

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Message 3
From: "Mindy Wilson"
Date: Sat, 18 Jul 2009 15:38:51 GMT
Subject: [Baren 39409] Re: inspiration?
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"I have hundreds of pounds of paper under the bed with old, mostly crappy
drawings. But I pull them out every year or two, and now a few years older
and with a different eye, again something often is there that again calls to
me in a new light."

Wow, how I can relate to this! And, I love that others do this same thing. I
feel like such a pack rat. If anyone else looked at my insane scribbles and
scraps of paper. Oh my. I try to go through them after a few years and dig
out the ones that give me hope of some future project and toss some too.

Thanks so VERY much for sharing~
Mindy Wilson Funky Art-Organic Abstracts Misc. Illustrations
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Message 4
From: Sharri LaPierre
Date: Sat, 18 Jul 2009 17:18:10 GMT
Subject: [Baren 39410] Re: copyright
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I've been very quiet lately, but reading the digest every day. There
are just way too many things going on in the summer for me to get a
chance to do much of any kind of artwork, let alone cut a woodblock -
so I haven't been blogging, either. On the agenda this summer are:
chasing voles in the newly landscaped garden where they think I have
set out a buffet, and redoing the guest room which has evolved to
include some reconstructive remodeling. (And, traveling to ND to
visit children & their offspring soon.)

However, I just had to jump into the fray on where inspiration comes
from: and my answer is: everywhere and constantly. I've been thinking
about this for days and have not been able to pin it down. I do keep
sketch books, but very little actually finds it way in there since
there just isn't enough time to keep up with all the input. As for
not forcing creativity - sometimes you have to. You just have to go
to your studio, close the door, and make art. Once you get started
working the ideas will flow. If you wait until you are in the mood it
may never happen and at the very least you won't be very productive ;-)

Barbara asked about papers a while back: I use Somerset Satin for
most of my intaglio work and I love Echizen Kozo and Nishinouchi for
woodblocks. Shin Torinoko is good for proofing after I move past the
newsprint stage. I have a drawer full of the most wonderful paper
that I have no idea what it is or where it came from - it has been
here for 20 years. So, even when I venture into it I have no idea
where I'm going or where I've been. This is a cautionary tale: be
more organized than I.

Thanks, Julio, for the fun and instructive little videos.

Cheers ~
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Message 5
From: Gayle Wohlken
Date: Sat, 18 Jul 2009 17:23:32 GMT
Subject: [Baren 39411] Tee Shirt Idea
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We're kicking around an idea on Facebook and thought we should bring
it up here. Dan Dew suggested it would be a cool idea to create a
Baren Tee shirt with any profits going to the Baren fund. My idea was
to have an exchange where the theme would be designs for the Baren
tee shirt. Louise Cass thought why not have three different designs.
Once the designs are in, we'd have a vote and see which top three win
and then, of course, we'd have to figure out how to have them made
into tee shirts. What do you all think? We could sell them from the
mall maybe.

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Message 6
From: Diane Cutter
Date: Sat, 18 Jul 2009 18:51:08 GMT
Subject: [Baren 39412] Re: Tee Shirt Idea
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Love the idea... what about aprons, too?

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Message 7
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Sat, 18 Jul 2009 19:06:15 GMT
Subject: [Baren 39413] Re: Tee Shirt Idea
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We can print them ourselves with ink from a relief plate...we do it all the time with rubber fish with kids...
You use Golden GAC 900 and mix it 1/2 and 1/2 with acrylic paint and brush it very well and just needs to be heat set...I think it would work from wood or lino just as well as rubber fish. Might not be too fancy as it is hard to control where the colors go, but on the other hand, it will look very artsy
My best to all
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Message 8
From: Melissa West
Date: Sat, 18 Jul 2009 20:55:09 GMT
Subject: [Baren 39414] Re: From Whence Inspiration Comes?
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I get most of my inspiration when I'm outdoors, either hiking or
gardening. Sometimes the images are of my surroundings, sometimes not.
More important is the time and space to be alone with my own thoughts
and ideas.

Diane-- you're not alone. I take lost of photos for my blog and
reference photos for art. Photos of family and friends are few and far

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
Melissa West
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
melissa at mswest dot com
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Message 9
From: Tibi Chelcea
Date: Sun, 19 Jul 2009 04:31:33 GMT
Subject: [Baren 39415] Re: copyright
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I guess for these kinds of situations it's best to return to the classics
(circa 1683):

"*In a frict fence, a good *Compofiter* need be no more than an Englifh
Scholler, or indeed fcarce fo much; for if he knows but his Letters and
Characters he fhall meet with his Printed or *Written Copy*, and have
otherwife a good natural capacity, he may be a better Compofiter than
another Man whofe Education has adorn'd him with *Latin, Greek, Hebrew*, and
other Languages, and fhall want a good natural Genius: For by the Laws of *
Printing*, a *Compofiter* is frictly to follow his *Copy*, viz. to obferve
and do juft fo much and no more than his *Copy* will bear him out for; fo
that his Copy is to be his Rule and Authority: But the carefhefs of fome
good Authors, and the ignorance of other Authors, has forc'd Printers to
introduce a Cuftom, which among them is look'd upon as a task and duty
incumbent on the *Compofiter*, viz. to difcern and amend the bad Spelling
and Pointing of his Copy, if it be Englifh; But if it be in any Forrain
Language, the Author is wholy left to his own Skill and Judgement in *
Spelling* and *Pointing*, &c. his *Copy*, and *Correcting* the *Prooves*,
unlefs they be *Latine, Greek or Hebrew*, for to thofe Languages there is
generally a Corrector belongs to the *Printing-Houfe*: And how well other
Forrain Languages are *Corrected* by the Author, we may perceive by the
Englifh that is *Printed* in Forrain Countries*."

Whole text at:

Explanation in modern English (though not yet tweetereeze):
(I like & recommend this blog,, it's about a lot of things at least vaguely
printmaking-related, may be a source of inspiration).

I actually love how, in spite of the explicit advice that the "Printer" will
be "look'd upon as a task" to "amend the bad Spelling and Pointing", the
word Latin is spelled differently each time it appears in the text. I guess
Pointing was not what it used to be, even in those times.