Wednesday, December 24, 2008

annie's paris blog frog

hey friends!!

Hope you're having a most restful break. I just wanted to let you all know that I will be keeping a blog of my Paris adventures. You can find it at It's called "The Chair is Yellow." Go to the blog to find out why!!!

I will miss you all dearly.

love, annie

Sunday, December 14, 2008

guerilla art nun

Sister Corita Kent, a member of the order of the Immaculate Heart in Los Angeles (the now ex-nuns who run my former high school which used to also have a college), made some pretty cool graphic serigraphs in the 1960s. She's pretty baller. Check it out.

p.s. that procession you see? i think we should re-create it.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ray Johnson, Mail Art and the NYCS

The New York Correspondence School was established by Ray Johnson in the early '60s; it was singularly the most important contribution of Ray Johnson to the history of art, a point missed by leading newspapers and art magazines reporting Johnson's death. It was Fluxus and Ray Johnson's NYCS that birthed mail art, the largest international art community and movement in the history of art. Membership into the NYCS was bestowed upon anyone Johnson chose to correspond with and the exchanges were wonderful, intimately engaging verbal and visual play. Throughout the 1960s til his death, Ray Johnson was the conduit, the server, the proto-internet dada daddy surfing the mailstream, invading mailboxes everywhere with bunnies, imaginary Fan Clubs, and correspondance wordplay.

Mail artists around the world embraced Johnson's notion of making ordinary mail an art of extraordinary wit and beauty. Johnson's legacy lives today in numerous gatherings of mail artists such as the NYCS Salami Chapter which paid homage to Ray's passing at Katz' Deli. On Saturday, April 29 over 200 of Johnson's friends and members of his NYCS gathered at Friends Meeting House (Rutherford Pl. betweeen 2nd and 3rd Ave.) where he established the first NYCS gathering in April 1962.


What is Mail Art?

Correspondence art (Mail art)

Term applies to art sent through the post rather than displayed or sold through conventional commercial channels, encompassing a variety of media including postcards, books, images made on photocopying machines or with rubber stamps, postage stamps designed by artists, concrete poetry and other art forms generally considered marginal.

John Held Jr. The Dictionary of Art, edited by Jane Turner, Macmillan Publishers Limited 1996

All text courtesy of Artistamp Gallery.

Best of luck with all the mail art projects on their snail mail journeys this break.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Site Specific Prints!

The print elective moved their prints outside for the final project of the semester. Pictured above: Hannah Ireland (top two pictures: intaglio) Aaron Bos-Wahl (deer: intaglio and relief) Felicia Chen (construction site: trace monotype, intaglio, mixed media). Each student chose a site and then made their prints relate to the space or history of the area. Get your prints out of the studio!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Flux Factory

Art is moving. Moving off the wall, off the paper, and into the streets. What's your take on collective living? Can you silkscreen a map of imaginary places? Are you and a group of artists working on a collaborative project? I hope so and you should be.

When art gets tired and life gets boring-take it to the street. The cure for your ills is not in the google image search. You should wrap a building in prints, or write a proposal for Flux Factory. Get beyond your own head and into the future!

Call for Proposals

Flux Factory, an artist collective and artist-run center in NYC, is currently accepting proposals for collaborative art projects for our 2009 programming. Projects must commission new work that is collaborative in nature. We create projects in which artists can interact and experiment in ways that produce new works, either as thematic group shows or as giant collaborative works within themselves. Projects must be structured to accommodate an open call to local and international artists.

click for more info…

About Flux Factory

Flux Factory began as a collective living space in 1994, in an old spice factory in Williamsburg, New York City. Its original members were undergraduates at the New School For Social Research (now New
School University). About four years later, with a new stage built and twice as many members, the Flux Factory living room evolved into a site for art events and performances of all kinds. Flux became an official 501 (c)(3) nonprofit in 1999 and moved to 43rd Street in Long Island City, Queens in 2002.
After six wonderful years, we’re looking for a new home. Our projects will be taking place all over our fair city and beyond. Please check back for project-specific details.

The mission of Flux Factory is to support innovative and collaborative art works. It is thus primarily an incubation and laboratory space for works that are in dialogue with the physical, social, and cultural
space of New York City (though collaborations may start in New York and stretch far beyond). The goal of the Flux art collective is to create a forum where Flux artists can collaborate with each other as well as others in an experimental lab that produces new works. These new works force participants to work with people they’ve never worked with before, or with unfamiliar media, or formal constraints. Flux Factory supports work that reflects upon and alters public space in dynamic ways. Flux Factory is also a public and community space in itself. It provides a computer center, darkroom, performance space, musical recording space, publishing equipment, and a weekly Thursday night dinner and salon that has become a well-known venue for artists and intellectuals to present both finished pieces and, more importantly, works-in-progress.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Whammo Gift Exchange

Lets all sign up for the "Whammo Secret Gift Exchange". The sign up sheet is outside of the critique room, this is open to anyone. We will be drawing names at the Whammo meeting on Monday November 24th. The more the merrier. Lets all walk away from this semester with something fun made by a friend.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Gift Economies

What do you think about this concept? Given the possibilities for the multiple in printmaking, how does that tie in to this theory?

The Gift Economy

In the potlatches of the Chinook, Nootka, and other Pacific Northwest peoples, chiefs vied to give the most blankets and other valuables. More generally, in hunter-gatherer societies the hunter's status was not determined by how much of the kill he ate, but rather by what he brought back for others.
In his brilliant book The Gift: The Erotic Life of Property, Lewis Hyde points to two types of economies. In a commodity (or exchange) economy, status is accorded to those who have the most. In a gift economy, status is accorded to those who give the most to others.
Lest we think that the principles of a gift economy will only work for simple, primitive or small enterprises, Hyde points out that the community of scientists follows the rules of a gift economy. The scientists with highest status are not those who possesses the most knowledge; they are the ones who have contributed the most to their fields. A scientist of great knowledge, but only minor contributions is almost pitied - his or her career is seen as a waste of talent.
At a symposium a scientist gives a paper. Selfish scientists do not hope others give better papers so they can come away with more knowledge than they had to offer in exchange. Quite the reverse. Each scientist hopes his or her paper will provide a large and lasting value. By the rules of an exchange economy, the scientist hopes to come away a "loser," because that is precisely how one wins in science.
Antelope meat called for a gift economy because it was perishable and there was too much for any one person to eat. Information also loses value over time and has the capacity to satisfy more than one. In many cases information gains rather than loses value through sharing. While the exchange economy may have been appropriate for the industrial age, the gift economy is coming back as we enter the information age.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Artists Space Daily

Would you like a new artist downloaded to your desktop everyday? Click here for a free program provided by the Artists Space  that clues you in to a new artist every 24 hours. Today's artist is Sal Randolph. 

Friday, November 14, 2008

Update on December 6th

For all of you not in the know, Whammo Press is back on for the December 6th event. Right now, the plan is to have a silkscreening demo at Fort Gondo, with multiple images to screen onto paper, t-shirts, cloth, anything!

If you are a member of the press, start planning on possible images to shoot onto screens. Think bold designs. Also, everyone should plan to donate paper, felt, t-shirts, or canvas to print on. Ink would be helpful as well.

I will be making 30 pieces of paper to donate to the cause. I challenge anyone to do better than that! Submissions are due on Friday, December 5th. There will be a sign up sheet for people to help print on Saturday. This will be a great way to get Whammo involved in the community and get lots of exposure for the group!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


The elective students have created a 4' by 4' cube. It will be on view today in the hall outside the print studio. Their assignment focused on collaboration, risk taking-and just plain active printing! Each team created 3 50" by 50" prints using intaglio, relief, monotype and hand drawn elements. A time crunch and lots of blank space to fill really pushed them to the limit-and as a result, there are lots of beautiful moments on the prints. Look for the dragon with braces and Boy George! The sides of the box may be pinned up to view the interior of the box, or take a peek through the cutouts.

The prints centered around the themes of: St. George and the dragon, bleached shell, punch drunk love and layers.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Paste Paper and Marbled

Click here for the description and here for galleries. Paste paper examples are at the bottom.

Buying Paper

Anybody looking to buy in bulk with others, it will be easier for those interested to collaborate here.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Halloween Print Exchange

The "2008 Halloween Print Exchange" is due at 9am Wednesday the 29th, lets all do a good job so that we can do this again in the future, and who knows, maybe we can auction one of these off.

WHAMMO press meeting!!

Hey friends!

The second Whammo Press meeting will be this Monday at 7pm in the critique space. Please come with some logo designs (so we can make immaculate tshirts galore) and maybe some themes for our baby zine project.
Enjoy the post-critique weekend!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Quoting Calvino's memo on Exactitude:

"To my mind, exactitude means three things above all:

1) a well-defined and well-calculated plan for the work in question;

2) an evocation of clear, incisive, memorable visual images; in Italian we have an adjective that doesn't exist in English, "icastico," from the Greek;

3) a language as precise as possible both in choice of words and in expression of the subtleties of thought and imagination."

To illustrate this further and to stretch the continuum from exactitude to subtelty, Calvino uses the Italian word and idea, il vago, which while meaning vague in definition also means lovely and attractive. He then cites Leopardi who addresses il vago in his poem Zibaldone. After re-reading the poem, Calvino says of the poet Leopardi:

"What he requires is an exact and meticulous attention to the composition of each image, to the minute definition of details, to the choice of objects, to the lighting and the atmosphere, all in order to attain the desired degree of vagueness."(!)

And "....the poet of vagueness can only be the poet of exactitude..."

There's also this - Calvino quoting Douglas Hofstadter - which relates to the above though it's from the memo on Visibility:

"Think, for instance, of a writer who is trying to convey certain ideas which to him are contained in mental images. He isn't quite sure how those images fit together in his mind, and he experiments around, expressing things first one way and then another, and finally settles on some version. But does he know where it all came from? Only in a vague sense. Much of the source, like an iceberg, is deep underwater, unseen - and he knows that."

Sunday, October 19, 2008


In light of the upcoming critiques, I hope everyone is working hard, tying up loose ends, and helping each other out.

I was revisiting some readings from last fall that were leftover from a semiotics lecture I attended. Included in them was a reading about "critical thinking" that I didn't take the time to read thoroughly then (I think I was cutting out tiny paper airplanes from rag paper) so I went through and reread it to see if it would be helpful in giving me a new perspective on critiquing, and what the purpose of being critical is, as well as insightful ways to do it.

In art critiques, there are the standard questions:

1. Why don't you make this bigger?
2. What if it were blue instead of red?
3. Have you looked at Henry Darger? Because you should definitely look at Henry Darger.

So, how do we avoid these questions and say something really relevant about our own work and that of our peers? The first step is to present your work with confidence. Prepare ahead of time how you'll talk about it. Hang it up neatly and with purpose-perhaps the night before. Be excited about it. See this as an opportunity for strong feedback that will make you look at your work in a completely different way.

That being said, back to this critical thinking article: if you have time, take a moment to read it. Some of the points may seem straightforward, but think about how this kind of thinking could apply to art making - the questions are basic and to the point. They cut through much of the mystery we surround our work with and force us to look at it strictly in terms of how we think about it. How we think about it and the reality of the work are sometimes disconnected. Take some time, slow down and consider the following about your own artistic practice and that of your peers (link to full article) :

Our own thinking usually seems clear to us, even when it is not. But vague, ambiguous, muddled, deceptive, or misleading thinking are significant problems in human life. If we are to develop as thinkers, we must learn the art of clarifying thinking, of pinning it down, spelling it out, and giving it a specific meaning. Here’s what you can do to begin. When people explain things to you, summarize in your own words what you think they said. When you cannot do this to their satisfaction, you don’t really understand what they said. When they cannot summarize what you have said to your satisfaction, they don’t really understand what you said. Try it. See what happens.

Strategies for Clarifying Your Thinking

  • State one point at a time

  • Elaborate on what you mean

  • Give examples that connect your thoughts to life experiences

  • Use analogies and metaphors to help people connect your ideas to a variety of things they already understand (for example, critical thinking is like an onion. There are many layers to it. Just when you think you have it basically figured out, you realize there is another layer, and then another, and another and another and on and on)

Here is One Format You Can Use

  • I think . . . (state your main point)

  • In other words . . . (elaborate your main point)

  • For example . . . (give an example of your main point)

  • To give you an analogy . . . (give an illustration of your main point)

To Clarify Other People’s Thinking,
Consider Asking the Following

  • Can you restate your point in other words? I didn’t understand you.

  • Can you give an example?

  • Let me tell you what I understand you to be saying. Did I understand you correctly?
These points can apply to your thinking or to the work itself.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Print Club

Print club meeting tomorrow, Monday, at 4pm sharp. David Lynch may or may not be there. Its worth the risk though.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Call for t-shirt designs! Here are some examples of the designs I printed at SIUE with with other Print Council members. We took them to Southern Graphics in Kansas City, and they sold like hotcakes at Open Portfolio. We didn't even have real screens, we used this thing called a thermo fax and pink foam to catch the excess ink behind the shirt.

We made around $500 American dollars between the patches, pins and tees we sold.

The design I'm printing in this pic is "Rock Out" with a mezzotint rocker. One of our most popular designs was a print or die shirt with some kind of dinosaur on it. We also did, you name it. If nothing else, you all get to see a picture of me from grad school. Not much has changed.

Think: Swank Wash U Print Club designs on American Apparel shirts worn by printmakers everywhere. I'm thinking paper sink green with blue ink.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Halloween Print Show?

Anyone interested in a Halloween event for our print club proposal.
Could potentially be amazing.

Printmaking Bibliography

Buzz Spector
My Poetry, 2001
28.75" x 32.5"

Here's a link to an excellent and thorough bibliography for printmaking and printmakers compiled and hosted by Beauvais Lyons at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Learning to love you more

Miranda July, everyone's favorite gamine director/author/performance artist, has the greatest website.

I'm telling you about it because I think that it will inspire even the most reluctant printmaker ever to pick a roller to start something...anything, to see where it will go. Learning to love you more is a site that has "assignments"-not the print 7 prints by Friday type of assignment, but the kind of task that asks us to document our experiences, from clothing to politics. From its humble beginnings as a site, Learning to love you more has become a book, an exhibition, and an ongoing phenomenon that inspires not only artists, but teachers, farmers, senators, and more. Yes, farmers.

So, look at the site. Try the assignments. Make prints and drawings from the things that happen. You can do them in any order.

Most importantly, take a chance, like Miranda July did, and put your thoughts, words and actions out there in a sincere, collaborative way. Post to this blog. Start a conversation. Take a flash photo. Repair something. Make a field guide to your yard.

Set something in motion here: Who knows what it might become.

Seriously, because I'm the only one posting... and I would like to see what happens when everyone takes ownership of this space and engages it. My favorite kind of procrastination is blog hopping.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Printmaking student blogs

Two of my students in the elective class have opted for blogs instead of sketchbooks this semester. The blogs act as a virtual sketchbook-opening up their experience with printmaking to a much wider audience and feedback than the standard "pass in your sketchbooks to me and I'll be the judge of that" mentality.

You can see their work, influences, as well as reactions to critiques and everyday life.

Pictures: Woodcut with embossing, Sylva Johnson (Nicolette Ross, 1st year grad) (Sylva Johnson, undergraduate)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Laundry List

One day in 1795, Alois Senefelder's mother called him from his workshop. She was sending out a load of laundry. She needed paper to record the clothing items. Senefelder didn't have any, so he penned the list on a flat stone with a grease pencil.

He was 24. His father had been a noted German actor. Senefelder wanted to go into theatre, too. He'd already written a play that did pretty well. He'd made a little money with it.

But then Senefelder's father died, and he was left poor. Maybe he could make a living by writing, but it cost too much to have material printed. So he did an astonishing thing. He set out to invent means for printing his own works. And, while he was in his workshop, his mother asked for that laundry list.

We did two kinds of printing in 1795. In relief printing you create an image that protrudes from a plate. When you ink the surface, ink hits only the parts that stick out. Both typesetting and woodcuts work that way.

The second method is intaglio printing. You cut an image into a plate, ink the whole thing, then wipe the surface clean. Ink stays in the depressions and transfers an image to the paper.

Now Senefelder was about to discover a third method. He wanted to etch copper plates chemically. Then he had to make that laundry list. He used a limestone slab -- the kind printers mix ink on. He'd planned to try etching stone as well as copper.

He was about to erase the stone. Then, on a hunch, he etched the surface with acid. Sure enough, the grease pencil protected the stone. Words were left standing. The depressions were far too shallow to take ink. Yet, they did take ink.

Senefelder had stumbled on new means for setting off inked and non-inked regions of a flat surface. He'd found a way to make stone take ink chemically, not mechanically. The full chemistry of the process wouldn't become clear until long after his death. It's tied to the makeup of limestone and fatty acids.

We call the process "lithography." That's Greek for Senefelder's own term, "stone printing." And it was not simple. It took four years for Senefelder to get the process under control.

By the time he died in 1834, lithography had become the dominant means for putting pictorial images and musical scores into books. Senefelder had passed from seminal inventor to innovator. He gave us a series of lithographic presses, each one better than the one before it. He improved the chemical process.

And what of Senefelder the writer? Well, in 1819 he wrote a wonderfully clear textbook on lithography. And, as a writer, he kept right on serving printers -- down through the 19th century.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Island Press visiting artist, Chris Duncan

On September 29, we will welcome Oakland-based artist, Chris Duncan to Washington University's Island Press and work with him for the week to create a print project. Here are some links to Chris' work:

at Gregory Lind Gallery
at Jeff Bailey Gallery

Chris is interested in exploring concepts related to process, transformation, and reduction. He is known for his work involving intricate string sculptures, and has now begun to literally explore the threads that tie nature, science, and the spirit into life. He equally centers the work on personal and political issues, including works like "World War 3D," which is composed of a globe, a cube, and panel that is littered with dots that represent chaos and destruction. (from, September 2007)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

If we kill the multiple do we learn more?

As a student in our program, editioning seems to fall by the wayside, but thats okay. It gives us the chance to get more ideas on paper, instead of just honing our technical skills. I feel like we have a unique opportunity to explore the medium as art, instead of just a process. Does anyone see editioning becoming a key factor in their work in the future? There are ways to edition what we make now, but will we?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Peter Callesen

Half Way Through, 2006

Acid free A4 115 gsm paper, pencil, and glue

We're coming off a fantastic week with Island Press artist Mark Fox. It seems that our work last week involved more cutting than printing. Does anyone want to speculate on the origin and/or significance of the current paper cutting phenomenon in contemporary art?

Friday, February 8, 2008

What is a print? says a print is created not by drawing directly on paper, but through an indirect transfer process. In addition, they say that a print is "made up of ink on paper and existing in multiple examples."

If you go to MOMA's Flash site, What is a print?, you can check out their explanation of prints and print processes. It's a nice basic discussion and a good insight into how the rest of the world, if given the chance, understands what we do.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Does one-of-a-kind always = Monoprint?

Can I make drawings and call them monoprints?  What if I drew it all backwards, scanned it, reversed it in photoshop, and then used a laser-printer to make ONLY one "print"?

Thursday, January 31, 2008


Willie Cole with a hot iron on wood.
Branded Irons, 2000
4 scorched plywood panels
84 x 84 in.
Courtesy Alexander and Bonin, NY

Lisa B. with a cold iron in the snow.
Spring Flower in Winter, 2008
Snow with 5 iron pressings in the backyard
3' x 3'

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tracy Emin

Tracey Emin. Just Remember How It Was, 1998. Monoprint on calico with stitching

This work is typical of Emin's confrontational and uninhibited style. To make her monoprints, Emin places a sheet of paper, or cloth in this instance, on an inked glass surface and spontaneously scrawls out words and images. This technique produces single, unique prints. The artist is required to draw and write in reverse, making the process awkward. The use of stitching in this work connects it to Emin's large-scale blankets and other appliqu├ęd work. When seem from a distance, her art has a child-like simplicity which belies its raw expression and directness.

Tracey Emin is a London based artist internationally known for her autobiographical art.
Read more about her at White Cube.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Brief History of Monoprints and Monotypes

It is brief indeed, but this site has the history of monoprint going back to Hercules Seghers, a seventeenth century Dutch painter and etcher.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Aurobora Press

Stas Orlovski. Sculpture Garden With Birds, 2005. Monotype on handmade Japanese paper, 50" x 38"
Published by Aurobora Press

Aurobora Press is an invitational fine art press located in San Francisco dedicated to the monotype medium.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Artist: T.L. Solien
Title: Innocence Transfigured #3 (1999)
Media: monotype collage
Dimensions: 22 x 30 inches
Fassbender Gallery

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Printmaking is the democratic medium, right? Prints are accessible to the masses because they can be reproduced, and can be available in more than one place at a time. Why make a one-of-a-kind print, a monoprint?