Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Studio Work


As I have said, I don't get nearly as many Christmas cards as I used to, so I don't make as many copies of mine as I used to.  I had enough to give them to all who sent me cards this year, or who I had promised them to, but I decided I could use a few more, if only to have a better proof to photograph, whenever it is I get a camera.  Adding to the printing process, I learned a few days ago about the planned tenants exhibition at the JSAC.  I had heard about it previously from Nichole, but this was an official announcement.  I don't like to show the same things I have shown before in a particular space, so one of my tasks was to go through my piles of information, and see what I have shown there before.  One thing that I am thinking of showing is my recent Fever Dream print, completed earlier this year. The problem there is that I didn't have a copy of the final print, as I had given my third and final proof to the model who posed for it.  Simple solution- make another copy of the print from the completed block. 

Today I decided to take care of a bunch of things at once.  All that printing, learn more about the show from Nichole, leave Molly's card for her, and mail the last two cards I have for people who had sent one to me. Had to wait until my parents came back from their morning errands, but I had everything ready to go as they arrived.  Just one trip to my car with my book bag and paper, and I was on my way. 

In my bag I had discs, some taken from the Studio library.  Started with one of those, Other Voices Other Rooms from Nanci Griffith.  How I ended up with that is kind of a long story.  Way back in the early 90's I was making regular trips down to Northern Virginia to see college friends who were living there.  Some were from that area originally, some found jobs there.  Had my folding cot in my trunk, or was happy to sleep on a couch if they had one for me to use.  A home base to stay in for free at night, and days spent going to museums in Washington, or going through book stores, record stores, or comic book stores in Northern Virginia.  At one point, between living with her parents, and her husband in the house next door to her parents, my friend and former housemate Jenny was living in a condo with two roommates, who I was under the impression were a couple.  In the kitchen, there was a small rack of compact discs, which included two identical copies of one album I had never heard of, So Far...So What  by the Pheromones.  Didn't know who owned them, but I noticed that.  That fall, back at my radio station at Montclair State, I found a disc of that album in the file cabinet where they stored all the discs (they feared that they'd be stolen, as all college stations did then), so I borrowed it to see what it was.  Put what part of it that I liked on one side of a cassette tape, and brought the disc back.  

Flash forward to Carbondale, and I had that tape in my studio there in the Glove Factory, the converted building where all the student studios were.  I don't remember what I had on the other side of the tape, but it intrigued Cynthia, the grad student with a space next to mine, so I lent her the tape.  But what later interested her even more was that collection of Pheromone songs.  (two guys from the DC area, who made music that was often topical, often political, and occasionally just musical, including songs about Dwight Eisenhower, the disappointments of owning a computer with only a 64K memory, young Republicans, and a rap about eating the plethora of cicadas that were all around that year)  One song on that tape was the band's update of a Woody Guthrie classic, called "Do Re Mi" about the problems of seeking one's fortune by leaving the Dust Bowl in favor of California.  The new version kept the tune and some of the words, but made it more about the problems of people leaving third world dictatorships and hoping to achieve riches in America.  (I told you they were often political) Hearing that new song, Cynthia decided to lend me the Griffith album, which was all duets with various folk and country people, doing famous folk songs, including a more faithful version of the original song.  The album is a bit more mellow than what I usually listen to, but I found it was good to work to, and years later got a copy on disc for myself.  Burned a copy of that to keep in my Studio here, and that is why I had it today.    (by the way, I don't have that Pheromones disc with me, so I can't bring it to the Studio, but the whole thing is posted to YouTube if anyone wants to hear it, )  See, it's a long story.

So I got to work.  Put out some Outlaw Black (the ink I used for both) and printed a new copy of Fever Dream.  It seemed like a good copy. It will be 2/10 in the edition.  I left it there to dry, and will find a suitable frame around here once it is ready to frame.  I don't need to photograph it for this show, just let her know how many pieces I intend to hang.  As I was finishing proofing the block, the first disc ended, and since nothing I have really goes with that one, I went with something brand new to me, something that arrived with a card from my music loving friend Doug, an album called Mod Jazz and that's all I know.  It's a full disc of songs that I would't call jazz, but more like a mix of r&b, blues, soul, creole, and anything else you can think of, though almost no vocals, and no band credits, at least in the copy I got.  But it is also good music for working, and getting anything new is a good thing.  (he also sent another album, by a particular band, but I'll save talking about that until some other time)  I had brought with me just enough paper to print two cards. One slipped on the block, but the other is usable.  Left those there for now as well, as there is no need for them right now. 

Nichole wasn't in, so I'll send her an email with my questions later.  On my way home I stopped at the Spring Lake post office (on my route) and dropped off the addressed and written out cards for two friends, who got the Christmas letter attached to email.  Molly's was left for her, so that task is now done.  Not a complete success today, but I got enough done to make it a worthwhile trip.


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