New Classes Start Soon

This spring, I will be teaching two new classes at a couple of wonderful print studios in Chicago. If you have been curious about screen printing, or learning more about printmaking in general, please follow the links below for more info and to register. Also, if you know anyone who might be interested in signing up for a class or private lesson, please feel free to share… thank you! And of course you can always contact me for any questions :)

Intro to Screenprinting on PaperBegins Saturday, January 11th!

8 weeks on Saturdays, 10am – 12:30pm at Spudnik Press

screenprinting on paper

Gain basic screenprinting skills for printing onto paper. This class teaches a wide range of skills, including working from basic handmade stencils to using photo emulsion, mixing ink, and creating an edition of clean, sharp, prints. By the end of the class, students will choose an independent project that could be anything from a set of greeting cards to a gig poster, fine-art print, or components for a zine. Students will need to supply all paper for independent projects. All other supplies will be provided.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Intro to Printmaking – Begins Monday, February 24th ($20 OFF if you register by Jan 15th)

6 weeks on Mondays, 6 – 9pm at Chicago Printmakers Collaborative

intro to print

This six-week course offers an introduction to a range of printmaking techniques with which to produce original work. Students will learn and explore many types of printmaking, including screen printing, relief, monotype, and intaglio. Works will be printed with the press and by hand. This course is a general introduction to many of the processes available at CPC, as well as a great refresher course. Some materials are included and a supply list will be provided on the first day.

This Saturday! 24th International Small Print Show at CPC

This weekend is the 24th Annual International Small Print Show & Holiday Sale at Chicago Printmakers Collaborative

This is a fantastic event, with a huge selection of beautiful, hand-crafted art prints and other works. Participating artists include Megan Sterling, Jeff Lassahn, Duffy O’Connor, Amy Ventura, Misha Goro, Hiroshi Ariyama, Deborah Maris Lader, Dan Grzeca, and many others. I will have some new works in the show as well.

In addition, expect plenty of homemade treats, warm drinks, and great people. Come celebrate with us!
small prints cpc 2013
Opening: Saturday & Sunday, December 7 & 8
open 11 am – 7 pm, both days

Preview: Friday, Dec 6, 12-5 pm

Exhibition runs through January 31, 2014

Chicago Printmakers Collaborative
4642 N. Western Ave, Chicago IL

more info: CPC Gallery News

NEW! ‘The Nutcracker’ Screen prints

I’ve been busy in the studio, finishing up a new collection of screen prints.

These four new prints are based on E.T.A Hoffmann’s “The Nutcracker and The Mouse King”. The illustrations were completed for a graphic anthology of classic children’s stories, coming out in Spring 2015 from Seven Stories Press, New York.

I chose The Nutcracker, because the original story by Hoffmann is actually much darker and weirder than the later, more well-known version by Dumas.

Below is a peek at some of the process. The images are originally drawn in brush & india ink, then screen printed by hand in four ink colors in limited editions.

These are now available for purchase in my etsy shop ~ and make great handmade, holiday gifts too! :)

Check it out here: * The Nutcracker Collection on Etsy *

Nutcracker & The Capital prints
screen pull
first color
The Mouse King
The Seven-Headed Mouse King
The Doll Kingdom
The Doll Kingdom
Doll Kingdom, detail
The Doll Kingdom (detail)
The Nutcracker, printing
printing The Nutcracker, final color

Upcoming Exhibition: “DREADFULS” at Whitdel Arts

"Headlines", cover, 2013

I have work in a new exhibition, “DREADFULS”, opening on November 1st at Whitdel Arts in Detroit, MI.

The exhibit will feature original drawings from contributing artists, as well as newly printed publications. Theme is in line with subversive dark humor, absurdism, so on.

Here’s a bit more about the show, from the press release:

“Edited by Ryan Standfest and published by ROTLAND PRESS, the ROTLAND DREADFULS series of chapbooks is an homage to the cheaply produced 19th-century pamphlets known as ‘Penny Dreadfuls’ – so named because the original cost was one penny and they contained stories considered shocking and sensational. ‘Dreadfuls’ presents nine of these publications accompanied by an exhibition of drawings produced for their pages”

Exhibiting Artists:

Josh Bayer
Cole Closser
Sanya Glisic
Gregory Jacobsen
Chris Cilla
Andy Gabrysiak
Ian Huebert
S. William Schudlich

Opening reception: Friday, November 1st, 7-10 pm at Whitdel Arts, 1250 Hubbard Street, Detroit MI 48209

Exhibition dates: November 1 – December 7, 2013

More information is available here:  Rotland Dreadfuls


I’ve been working on some new drawings recently, based on the strange characters and creatures in my head. Not sure what the title of this one is yet, but I wanted to post it. For some reason, ‘Betsy’ keeps popping up, so I might just keep it. She’s a totally nutty, curious animal bot. Someday she might figure things out, but chances are, she probably won’t.


Linework 4!

I have some new comics and work in the Linework Comics Anthology, Issue 4, that was just released.

Linework is Columbia College’s comics anthology, started by cartoonist and professor Ivan Brunetti. The anthology is student-run, featuring the work of students, alumni, and faculty of Columbia College Chicago. Each issue is put together with a lot of heart and incredible talent.

Marieke McClendon, one of the editors of Linework 4, recently made a quick promo video of the new issue:

Linework 4 will be available for purchase soon, at places like Quimby’s, Chicago Comics, Shop Columbia (623 S. Wabash Ave), as well as the upcoming CAKE fest.

Additionally, there are a number of Linework 4 Special Edition issues (coming soon) for which select artists were invited to contribute small works of art, prints, mini-comics, etc. I made a small edition of prints for the Special Edition issue, which I will be posting soon.

To learn more, visit the Linework Comics Anthology Official Tumblr. Thanks!!

CPC’s 6th Annual $20 Cash ‘N Carry Sale

cpc 20poster

Next Saturday – the 6th Annual $20 Print Sale at Chicago Printmakers Collaborative

Great way to get some highly affordable, locally-made prints, posters, tees, and other fun stuff. I will have some things in the show for sale too. There’s always so much good stuff to take in and enjoy, so come as early as you can.

Opening Reception:

Saturday, May 18th, 2013
12-6 pm

Chicago Printmakers Collaborative
4642 N. Western Ave, Chicago IL

Show runs through June 8th
Gallery hours: Fri & Sat, 12-5 pm (and by appointment)

Upcoming Class: Fundamentals of Relief Printmaking

Beginning next month, Duffy O’Connor and I will be co-teaching the relief printmaking class at Chicago Printmakers Collaborative. Duffy is full-time faculty at Harrington College of Design, where he teaches drawing, design fundamentals, and relief printmaking.

For this class, we will be covering everything from single to multi-color relief prints on wood and linoleum, printing by both hand and press, transferring images, and much more. Here are the details:

Fundamentals of Relief Printmaking
Mondays, June 3 – July 22, 2013
8 weeks, 6 – 9pm
For more info, sign up/share, visit: CPC Class Schedule
Here we are working on a woodcut for the poster, which we designed and carved ourselves. We even printed some of the posters using handmade ink!

printing poster

Final woodcut poster, 11″ x 17″ (click for larger):
Relief Poster CPC 2013

Pigment is thoroughly mixed with Burnt Plate Oil No. 3 to create rich and smooth printing ink.

ink mixing

ink station

New illustration for The Chicago Reader

If you live in Chicago, grab yourself this week’s copy of The Chicago Reader!

I just finished an illustration for Ben Joravsky’s column, in which he writes about the city’s recent plans to close 54 public schools, leading to subsequent overcrowding at others. One example is the Dever Elementary on Chicago’s northwest side.

Read the article here:  Mayor Emanuel’s crowded-classroom approach to fixing schools

And here is the illustration:

Reader illustration

Karl Blossfeldt’s Beautiful Plants

Every summer, I visit the Newberry Library Book Fair, an incredible used and rare books festival which takes places at The Newberry Library in Chicago. I save up money and spend most of it on as many books as I can carry back home.

I’ve recently been looking at one of the books that I picked up at the fair. I wanted to share it with my students, then found myself completely immersed in it (this happens a lot). It’s a beautiful collection of over 100 full-page photographs of highly magnified plant forms. They are characterful and lively; with a little imagination, one could find faces, bodies, architecture, and plenty of inspiration in the simple, graphic structures.

The book is “Art Forms in the Plant World” by Karl Blossfeldt. It is not a rare book and can be acquired online inexpensively.

Below are a few of my favorite pages scanned from the book. Click to view larger.
Blossfeldt, Pumpkin Tendrils
Pumpkin Tendrils

Blossfeldt, horsetail shoots
Varied shoots

Blossfeldt, Bourgati's Eryngo Leaf
Bourgati’s Eryngo Leaf

Blossfeldt, American Horse-Chestnut
Small-flowered American Horse-Chestnut

Blossfeldt, Weeping Forsythia
Weeping Forsythia, young shoot

Blossfeldt, Scorpion weed
Scorpion-weed panicles

Blossfeldt, Winter Horsetail Shoots
Varied shoots

Snakes and lino prints

A few things I’ve been up to recently.
Working on some quick linoleum prints at home

This is a goofy demo for my screen printing class. I wanted to show the students how to separate colors by hand, without any use of a computer. I made a drawing of the snake in pencil, then traced out the color separations using Dur-a-lar film and opaque black markers. These were exposed onto screens and printed in yellow and blue transparent inks. The green is created wherever the two inks overlap.

A small print of a tiger-like creature in the woods.