Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Year that was 2017

As the past year is about to end, it seems the appropriate time to sum up some of the art activities of 2017.  All of this is found here on this blog, but here's the highlights:

Prints- A few new pieces were done this year. Completed an in-progress supermarket print, the latest in that ongoing series.  Started and finished a new saint, a request for a young relative.  My carving skills were put to a new task this year, which I'll talk about later.  And of course a new holiday card was carved and printed- the coloring and writing out of those cards will have to wait until I get my grades done.  Have ideas for more prints, but again those will have to wait just a little bit.

Shows- Kept busy with lots of local shows, many of which were dropped in my lap.  Had about a dozen works up on walls this year, several carrying over from last year's show at OCC, which ended up extending into this spring-likely because the space had nothing else to replace it with.  Participated in a few shows in Belmar, and some that were related to my connections there, such as a corporate space in Wall, and two in Spring Lake, such as the current invitational "Activist" show we have there right now.   Was part of a new show in Ocean Grove that happened at the same time as the passing of the building's founder, so we'll see what the future holds.

Teaching- Had the first Belmar print workshop in a few years- demand for woodcut finally built enough to get it on the scheduled and filled, with 6 students.  The organization is impressed and seems to want more, but it's really up to the demand.   There is so little woodcut being taught these days, that if you are in New Jersey and want to learn woodcut, you are probably coming to me.

Firsts- Early in the year I showed my first etching in many years, mostly because it suited the theme of a show and was already framed.   Haven't done a new etching since the 90's, so I don't think this will happen too often.  Over the past several months I have been working on a wooden sculpture, putting my skills and tools to a new use.  As a kid I carved with pocket knives and was able to do a few things- now I have more skills and better tools.  This one is a specific request so I don't know if there will be any more, but it's good to know I can do it.  One of my former local students has so fallen in love with woodcut that she's organizing a bi-coastal print making show, scheduled for this fall.  I'm letting her do most of the work, but I'll advise and contribute a piece when the time comes.

Studio- Still haven't got confirmation that Molly renewed our lease.  If she does, then I have plenty of things to do.  If not, I can do what I do almost anywhere- such is the advantage of woodcut.  When I know more I'll post it here.  See you next year.


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