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Playing in Clay

I like switching between different media from time to time. Each media has it’s own strengths and weaknesses, and the change in perspective keeps it interesting for me.

greenware little sheep
my first piece-a little sheep, of course!

It’s been awhile since I’ve worked in clay, so I thought I would try to create some painting/tile type characters in clay. My idea is to paint them once they are fired, so the finished piece will be a hybrid painting/sculpture.

greenware red clay bird and pig
followed by a bird and pig

One thing I love about clay is the textures…of my tools, my fingers, of the clay itself. It should be a really intersting surface to paint!

clay pig greenware folk art sculpture
another pig. i am working on a whole family!

It’s also fun to ‘build’ something, vs, draw/paint. I find myself using both hands when I work in clay.

clay chicken sculpture folk art
chicken

If you are in a creative rut, maybe it’s time to try something different?!? Works for me every time!

clay sheep greenware sculpture folk art
another sheep and bird. i’m starting a farm!

stay tuned for updates!

2 pigs 2 birds a sheep and chicken redware greenware clay sculpture art
2d/3d critters by Ken Swinson
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Guest artist at the Log Cabin Print Shop

I love it when new printmakers visit Old Washington and discover the Log Cabin Print Shop! Yesterday, Andrew Cohen (and family) came from Lexington, KY to print with us!

andrew and assistant inking his linocut

They came at a perfect time, because I was doing some repairs/maintenance on the press, and needed someone to test it out.

andrew cohen and assistant testing the press
Testing the press – it worked!

After some adjustments, we got the press working, and printed an edition of Andrew’s linocut

Success! Press is printing with no slipping!

Thanks again, Andrew, for printing at the Log Cabin Print Shop, and sharing your artwork! I hope you and your crew will be able to visit again soon.

Linocut by Andrew Cohen 8″x15″
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artZINE June 2018 – Barboursville, WV – The Longest Day

June 21st, 2018 was our 10th monthly artZINE in Barboursville, WV. Our theme was – THE LONGEST DAY. We met outdoor at Barboursville Park, so the weather was not ideal, still we had a good turnout, and a great time. Here are the pages. Click any of the images (or right here) to see/download/print all the pages from the zine (including 10 different hand painted covers).

If you’d like to download and print your own copy of the zine, a printable PDF of the zine here: https://1drv.ms/b/s!AtHTtTOFjtUTpSayhPHharQKTZvA

Thanks everyone for participating! July’s artZINE will be in Sandy Hook, KY. We are still waiting to confirm the date and location.

Introduction

Continue reading artZINE June 2018 – Barboursville, WV – The Longest Day

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Downtown Cincinnati/Over-The-Rhine Sketch Trip

My studio is in an interesting part of Cincinnati. It overlooks the business district and the historic neighborhood, Over-The-Rhine. If I ever need inspiration I just look out the window

There is so much in one view, i can’t fit it all into one sketch.

Here’s my sketch of downtown. I like the contrast between the old church in the foreground and the modern towers in the background.

 

Over-The-Rhine is unique because of the concentration of old buildings in an urban space. Recently, filmmakers have started coming to OTR to use as a set for New York City in the early 1900s.

The crown jewel of the neighborhood is  the newly renovated, Music Hall: featured in the middle of this sketch.

I’ll probably use these sketches as a study for a woodcut(s). There is so much interesting geometry (and all the windows!!!) it would be awesome to print.

If you would like to visit my studio, it will be open to the public this Friday from 6-10pm. The 8 story warehouse is filled with over 200 art studios to explore. This opportunity only comes once a month. More info here: Pendleton Art Center-Cincinnati.

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2 Weeks Of Bullet Journaling

Organization is not easy for me. I’ll have a broad range of different thoughts at once. It can be a beautiful thing, but quickly tailspin into chaos and dysfunction. I don’t think this is a unique struggle. Since our adoption of so much technology into our daily lives, we have been immersed in an massive amount of information…Not to mention tech companies constantly competing for our attention.  It’s becoming a norm for the people I meet to be overwhelmed, easily distracted and unorganized.

Two weeks ago, a friend gave me a quick glimpse at their Bullet Journal. It was filled with colorful drawings and doodles; enough to spark my interest and to want to learn more. You can do a quick web search to learn more about the Bullet Journal. I have been using one for the last two weeks, and here are some of my thoughts:

Paper Is A Refreshing Change

There have been studies that show a hand written note on paper is easier to remember than a note typed into a computer or cell phone.

Working in a paper notebook has less distractions. The apps on my phone have been designed to constantly try to get my attention. A notebook has no apps and getting away from the phone helps me to focus.

Its nice to be able to flip through my notebook. I’ll get a glimpse of an ongoing project, and it reminds me to think about it. Often, my digital notes disappear into a void; never to be seen again.

I Feel Like I Am Staying On Track

I keep my Bullet Journal open on my desk. The constant visual reminder helps me to stay focused on the day’s goals. Even when I don’t get something done, the unfinished goals follow me to the next day. Now that I have a place to store my random thoughts, I can see the different pieces come togething into something useful.

Less Frills == Better For Me

The colorful drawings and charts that are possible are what got me interested in Bullet Journaling. I have since learned that a minimal style notebook is a better fit for my personality (for now). I get to draw and use colors all day in my studio, I don’t need a journal for a creative outlet: I need to quickly store and retrieve information. The plain black pen works for me.

 

Two weeks might not be enough time to determine whether or not this will be a useful tool or not, but my first impressions are good. Certainly good enough to continue using this system. If you are looking for a system to keep yourself organized, you might consider the Bullet Journal.

*Fun Fact: I wrote this blog post on paper before typing it on the computer.

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New Maysville Panoramic Woodcut

Last week, I did some sketching around Maysville, KY, and asked my friends on social media…which sketch should I make into a woodcut. The feedback was divided, so I chose #1 of the 3 sketches.

Here’s my progress so far:

I reversed and transferred the sketch onto a block of wood

Then carved away all the parts I want to be WHITE

I printed my lightest color: a light, light brown. Then carved the brown areas, and inked again with the second lightest color: light grey

We are having good porch weather, so on the 3rd day, I sat on the porch, and carved my 3rd color: a light blue

My 4th and 5th colors  (light green and light purple) were far enough from each other, I was able to print them at the same time

 

Stay tuned, I’m carving and printing every day. I’ll have another progress report soon.

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Print Day In May 2018

To celebrate Print Day In May, I thought it would be fun to invite my community to visit my home/studio for an afternoon of making prints.

We had a great crowd…probably couldn’t have held any more people in the house.

For many of the participants, it was their first experience with printmaking.

What better way to spend Print Day In May, than to introduce others to the joy of printmaking?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was too busy helping everyone through the process to take many photos or do any printing of my own,

But I did print this little woodcut after everyone went home.

I had a great time. Thanks everyone for printing with me. Let’s do it again next year!

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people will never forget how you made them feel

I’m part of a project, called artZine. Each month, visiting artists collaborate with the community of a different small town to create a self published magazine. each month, there is a theme. April’s artZine will be on the 23rd, and our theme is “I remember when…”

this activity is free and open to the public. April 23rd, at the barn in Rabbit Hash, KY. There is still time to draw, paint, write, print, or create an entry however you are inspired. We’ll meet from 10-4pm.

for my entry, I chose to make a linocut of Maya Angelou’s famous quote because it illustrates the abstraction of memory, and the importance of kindness. Rabbit Hash, KY.