Friday, May 24, 2013

Rex Howls At The Moon

The most recent Fiji Island Mermaid Press Book of the Month club mailing was a bit different from the typical "book". On the envelope was a linocut of a howling dog, with "Rex Howls At. . ." in pencil. The envelope contained another linocut, titled "The Moon".
This is my 13th year of sending out little books. That's kind of nuts. This was the first one that really wasn't a book, but it was a little narrative sequence of sorts, so I guess my subscribers will forgive me.
Another thing they seem to forgive me for is my chronic tardiness. The Book of the Month club has never actually succeeded in sending out a book every month. Ever. But I always do send people 13 books over the course of their subscription, so I guess that's ok too. I'm thinking of changing the name to the "FIMP Something or Other in the Mail Once in a While Club".

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I'm delighted to have my linocut "Baba Yaga" included in the 2013 MAPC Juried Members Exhibition, which opens tonight at the McDonough Museum of Art, Youngstown State University's Center for Contemporary Art. The opening reception is from 6 - 8 pm tonight and is free and open to the public. Exhibition juror Anita Jung will give a lecture starting at 5:30 pm. If you're near Youngstown Ohio tonight, you should go see the show!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Triceratops on stage

I built this little stage for the next little book. A triceratops wandered across it when I wasn't looking.

Friday, May 18, 2012


That linocut I was working on a couple of blog posts ago? It's finished.


I am thrilled to have my artwork accompany the many fine essays in the latest issue of Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction.

From the Brevity site:

"For more than a decade now, Brevity has published well-known and emerging writers working in the extremely brief (750 words or less) essay form, along with craft essays and book reviews. Though still committed to the mission of publishing new writers, Brevity has enjoyed an embarrassment of recent riches, including the work of two Pulitzer prize finalists, numerous NEA fellows, Pushcart winners, Best American authors, and writers from India, Egypt, Ireland, Spain, Malaysia, and Japan. Authors published in Brevity include Sherman Alexie, Lia Purpura, Terese Svoboda, John Calderazzo, Steven Barthelme, Mark Yakich, Ander Monson, Caitlin Horrocks, Jon Pineda, Brenda Miller, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Robin Hemley, Lee Martin, Rebecca McClanahan, Robin Behn, Abby Frucht, Barbara Hurd, Bret Lott, Ira Sukrungruang, Rigoberto González, Judith Kitchen, Michael Martone, and Diana Hume George.

Work from Brevity has been anthologized and reprinted in venues including Creative Nonfiction, Fourth Genre, Utne Reader, the Short Takes anthology, the Best Creative Nonfiction anthology from W.W. Norton, and many recent writing textbooks."

Surf on over to Brevity and spend some time with these short, marvelous essays (and check out the artwork, too).

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Vulcan juggling lava

My 6 year old daughter Rachel created this animation of her character Vulcan the volcano, juggling his piece of lava.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Work in Progress - a linocut for "Our Rarer Monsters"

I'm currently working on the seventh linocut of a series of eight that will be published in a book of poetry by Noel Sloboda later this year. The book will be "Our Rarer Monsters", and I've been posting the linocuts and some various related images over on flickr. Here's the first little doodle, drawn on the manuscript while reading the poems and thinking about the kinds of images I wanted to make:
Then there were some thumbnail sketches in the sketchbook - here's an excerpt from that particular exploration with the pen:
And here's the initial drawing that I worked up on the block, before I made the first cut:
As I've been working on these prints I've been scanning the blocks. I've found this to be useful as a way of deciding where to go next with the gouge. I can take the scan in photoshop, heighten the contrast to get a sense of the final black and white look of the linocut, and reverse the image to see the mirror image composition that will be the actual finished print. That reversal can have big effects on a composition, so it's helpful to have some sense of what's going to happen.
But I realized that the scans themselves were becoming kind of beautiful as images on their own, both for the contrast between the carved mark and the drawn mark, and because the surface gets so heavily worked as I draw and erase and redraw, looking for both the correct value and, often more critically, the direction of the cut that I want to make next. I tend to work very slowly and sneak up on the image, and try to avoid settling in to a pattern when I cut. I really want to draw with the gouge.
So, I post these hybrid images as a sort of "behind-the-scenes" look at how the linocuts happen. It's a different species of drawing than what I do in my sketchbook. Some of the marks are describing value, and some are shorthand marks recording decisions about which direction my next cut should take - which of the possible cross-contours my gouge will follow. The last image above is the current state of the block - plenty of opportunities left to screw it up. Stay tuned to see if it survives.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

linocut for "Our Rarer Monsters"

A new linocut, one of eight that will accompany Noel Sloboda's "Our Rarer Monsters", which will be published by sunnyoutside press in 2012.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

After Rembrandt - Pteranodon

A Dutch landscape with a bonus pteranodon. Fun with the fine point pen in the sketchbook. . .

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Lynda Barry thinks about why adults don't draw.

"One idea I have is, the big change that happens in drawing is when a kid is drawing, the paper is a place for an experience. At some point, the paper transforms into a thing that is good or bad, rather than a place where the paper itself isn't -- you've seen kids draw and they don't give a shit [afterward], they just leave [the drawing] on the table. An adult spends the same amount of time [drawing] and they don't know what to do with it. What's it for? They get freaked out about what this thing might be for because there's this idea that it's for something. They don't do that when they take a walk or a bike ride. They don't take a bike ride and then go, "Man, what do I do with this now? I don't know if that was really good. I felt like this was a good bike ride," but then they saw this video and, "No, it wasn't a good bike ride." [Laughs]"

Lynda Barry, thinking about why adults stop drawing.

from an interview with Chris Mautner

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

book cover for "The TSANTA Expedition"

I was delighted to do the drawing for the cover of Joseph Ridgwell's "The Tsanta Expedition", beautifully produced by Bottle of Smoke Press

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Ruffs by Marc Snyder
Ruffs a photo by Marc Snyder on Flickr.

Scratching in the sketchbook, working towards another linocut. . .

Thursday, October 27, 2011

a linocut for Our Rarer Monsters

This is the first of eight linocuts that I am producing for "Our Rarer Monsters", a book of poetry by Noel Sloboda that will be published in 2012 by sunnyoutside press. I'm planning on posting process shots and finished linocuts from the suite of prints as I make them, so tune in over the next couple of months to cheer and/or jeer, as the results merit.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Well, nuts.

One of the pleasures in my life is to wake up to see the sunrise from the top of our hill - here's this morning's edition:

Sadly, one of the pieces of that view is being chopped down today:

How could they cut that particular tree down? Don't they know that it is always beautifully silhouetted in the sunrise?

Ah well. My 5 year old daughter reassured me this morning while we were waiting for the school bus that there are lots of other trees that could be my favorite.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Library Card

Computers have made some things a little less fun. Kindergartners checking out library books is one of those things.