right now!     ian g. cozzens updates, news, photos, and thoughts

upcoming art-based social events at which you can buy my prints!

November 30, 2012 at 6:19 pm

I’ve been working hard, I’m excited about the work, & there are lots of chances around town & elsewhere to buy screenprinted posters & prints & postcards that I’ve made.

  • RIGHT NOW! Friday November 30th, 5-9pm — Craftland opening party & fun time, in downtown Providence (235 Westminster St). meet the artists! snacks! etc! plus my work will be ongoing-ly for sale at Craftland through all of December.

  • Saturday December 1st, 3-8pm, & Sunday December 2nd, 10am-3pm — I’ll be selling my work at the holiday art/craft sale of Fertile Underground grocery store on the west side of Providence (1577 Westminster St).

  • Wednesday December 5th, starting at 7pm — art opening (+ music, performances, etc) of a radical/feminist printmakers’ art show at Bluestockings bookstore on the Lower East Side of New York City (172 Allen St, Manhattan). I will actually be there (whirlwind NYC trip, yikes)!

  • Thursday December 6th, 7-9pm — studio open house & sale at Patti Barnatt’s West Side Sewing Studio at the Steel Yard (27 Sims Ave, Providence). brief but sweet! a warm respite from the cold outside.

  • some of my prints are available at the awesome Frog & Toad shop (795 Hope St, on Providence’s East Side); there’s a Hope St. holiday stroll thingy on Thurs. December 6th, 4-8pm, with cool demonstrations & food trucks & family fun & all the things that people on the east side like.

  • Saturday December 15th & Sunday December 16th, 11am-4pm — Cardboard Pankakes, a winter-time studio sale at New Urban Arts (705 Westminster St, Providence). I’m helping organize this holiday sale of amazing artists, zinesters, comickers, & craftspeople. it’s a serious all-star assortment of Providence maniacs!

Okay, holiday self-promotion done? Oh wait, there are also two of the new versions (red-orange, mint-blue) of my Industrial Trust Building print up on the store — I’ll be putting a bunch more recent prints for sale up there on Monday, as soon as photo documentation is done!

new color work

October 26, 2012 at 4:32 am

In the past I have been very frustrated, impatient, and (even?) bored when re-printing new editions of old prints. When you print something for the first time, there’s the moment of excitement when you see how the color layers are coming together, all these interactions that you had previously only conceived of in your head and tried your best to build into the transparencies. That moment can be super exciting, when it all works as you planned… super frustrating, when you realize how far off you were… either way, undeniably compelling.

That flash of totally new resolution, and the engagement & process & figuring out that go along with it, is missing from a second printing, and I’ve found myself just not caring about how a second edition of a print turns out. I don’t know if that’s a terrible confession of my artistic callousness — or if it’s actually okay, like it’s just not life-or-death anymore, and really it’s not life-or-death at all in the first place, it’s just ink on paper, it’s okay, and the second-edition-reprints make that clear (whereas the first printing of something is usually the culmination of a ton of work and stress and intense energy and carries all that momentum…).

But for some reason re-printing the Industrial Trust Building prints (first printed in 2009) was really fun and I had a great time mixing the colors and I think they are a lot better (or maybe just more confident and less conservative) than the original colorways… and I have developed a lot of control over the rainbow roll / ink gradient (most of which just involves doing lots of test prints on waste sheets when you can tell the gradient will not be smooth)… and I have somewhat better command of the transparent colors as well. Also I have this new technique for keeping my screen exactly in the same place which takes all the frustration out of alignment (!!!).

So! Very satisfying. There’s one “subtle” colorway, partly inspired by the personal fashion color scheme of awesome friend Christiane Marie, one “pink and grimy green” colorway for all those pink-lovers which now includes me I guess, and two more that are semi-converses of each other and are somewhat based on colorways from the postcards and are just bold & good. When sleep-deprived I have found myself saying that the colors on the blue-&-mint-green-sky print are “perfect”. Not sure I would totally stand by that when not hopped up on two hours of sleep. But it looks pretty nice.

Color mixing sequence. The first picture here appeared in the last post, but I threw it in for nerdy comparison purposes. Look at the two test sheets, one white, one ‘ivory’, that appear in all three of these photos, for context of “how many marks have been made since the last photo was taken”…

I took this picture for Buck Hastings so we can prepare to battle, I think he will win…

Chipboard is so not archival but it looks sooo good with silkscreen ink on it…

Your diligent correspondent, having just printed around 350 of these bad boys; that’s 2 pulls on each print, not counting all the test pulls on newsprint! I’m awaiting the day when someone says to me, “Wow, you really have the shoulders of a serigraphist!”

Here are some of the shelves I referenced in the last post: the new ones are on the right, at paperback-depth (upper) and zine-depth (lower)…

… and new ink shelves for all the transparent colors (the laser-cut background panel was scrap from a recent project by amazing Providence artist & friend Joan Wyand!).


…unrelated…

Looking across the Woonasquatucket River valley, from the (newly cleaned up & organized) third floor studio:

and last but not least, happy Halloween from Buio!

“master printer” / collaboration

July 28, 2012 at 7:47 pm

I spent the past week or so working with Noel Puello (friend, artist, fashion designer, New Urban Arts alum, and future student at MassArt!) on making a super-epic, four-layer, 12-color collaborative screenprint.

We made this print to fundraise for Noel’s college expenses: zig has a gap of about $8000 to cover for their first year of art school at MassArt. Read more, see more pictures, buy a print ($30-$100+ sliding scale), or donate just a couple of bucks, right here: http://noelpuello.net !!!

This was a whirlwind project:

  • about two weeks ago, we decided together on a size for the poster, based on paper I had around the studio
  • I gave Noel some wet media mylar (transparent plastic that’s been treated to allow it to accept ink & markers) and we talked about different layers & uses of color, looking at examples around the house
  • Noel went to the store & got some black paint markers (the easiest way to create solid black on plastic)
  • Noel flew to DC for a six-day national youth student leader conference and got about four hours of sleep every night and thought about the poster
  • Noel came back to Providence and made most of the transparencies for the print in one day (!)
  • we met up that evening & talked about rubylith and what text should go on the poster, organized the transparencies, talked about colors and added a rubylith “background” layer

  • by the next day, Noel had decided on the text, we finished the first layer transparency, shot the first screen, & mixed ink colors
  • two days later, Noel mixed the colors for the first & second layers, & we printed those layers on about 75 prints, with the help of CJ Jimenez…

  • the next day Noel mixed all the rest of the colors, and we printed the last two layers, including a final layer with glitter, with the help of Anne Reinhardt who also made us all an amazing dinner that we ate after midnight…

  • that was a very late night, but then we were done! BAM!

It was super interesting to work with a less-experienced screenprinter to help them realize their vision, as opposed to creating or setting out my own vision — I was definitely in the realm of “master printer assisting an artist” as opposed to “artist-printmaker” on this one. I also wasn’t in the realm of “teacher”, because I wasn’t “teaching” Noel a process that zig could then reproduce on zig’s own — rather, we had a joint goal: to create something excellent together.

In experiences that I’ve categorized as “teaching”, I’ve often stepped back and stopped myself from imposing my aesthetic opinion on the scenario, to let the learner follow a course I might not agree with. In this case, I was happy to have the occasional possibility to step in and offer a thought or opinion that I might shy away from talking about with someone who didn’t feel like as much of a creative peer as Noel does.

I was so psyched to work with a friend who was excited about learning and open to my ideas, but confident in the validity of their own vision & aesthetic sense as well. Noel & I were working together to do what was needed to make a beautiful and meaningful object. It’s been really fascinating to make something that looks nothing like anything I would have come up with out of my own imagination — but to still be extremely proud of what we made, and to feel a strong sense of my own artistic identity with it……

You think you’re a grownup & have felt or thought all there is to think & feel, but then there are these new complexities of feeling & understanding that come up, all the time, and demand to be paid attention to & not get generalized into prior experiences. !!!!


Buio stole my leopard-print bandana that I made (by ripping up a pair of pants I found in the trash) for the Feral Summer queer dance party last Friday!

but you just can’t be mad at a person-face cat.

duotone, finally

May 28, 2012 at 2:22 am

I’ve been working on this Recycle-A-Bike poster for probably a year… but I realized I hadn’t ever posted any images to this blog yet. So here goes! [n.b. I have actually finished printing this poster now!]

Here are the duotone transparencies that I prepared literally almost a year ago for printing out: the darker color is on the left & the lighter color is on the right. (There is a line grid in the background so that I could align the hands once I had cut them apart — Faces does the most accurate transparency printing in town as far as I can tell, and they do not underprice their work, so it was important to keep the printing area to under 8.5″x14″… so I had to consolidate the hands onto one sheet & then cut them apart to put them where I wanted them on the actual transparencies I used to expose the screens. Once the hands were in place & aligned with each other, I scratched the light lines off the plastic.)

(Oh yeah, when I do a duotone thing again, and thus have to figure out how to do it all over again, I will make a tutorial post… except my version of photoshop is 7 years old! but maybe it will still be useful to some…)

Close-up of duotones. This is confusing because what you’re looking at is the screen for the lighter color (open yellow areas on pink solid background) with the transparency for the next color, the darker color (black dots on clear plastic) top of it… so it doesn’t look at all like it will look when printed, since the lighter color is somewhat “in negative” here. But you can see that the angles of the halftone patterns are different, thus making a “rosette” instead of a weird-looking moiré pattern!

My mom would call this the “art shot” — macro-focus, looking through the screen at a light source, showing a closeup of the freewheel gears (exposed from hand-cut rubylith) and the hand holding the gears (exposed from digitally-printed transparency).

Okay, printing! This is the first color, it was a rainbow roll from one blue to another… I can’t get away from the multiple rainbow rolls over each other, it’s kind of a gimmick but it just offers too many possibilities… (like this, I mean, this isn’t a screenprint but look at Buck Hastings jacking my style/inspiring me all over again as usual!!!)

This layer is all rubylith, yeah I cut all those little gears out by hand, yargle bargle

Second color! Some people who’ve seen this print have said “it’s so flat, usually your work has a lot more visual depth & perspective in it…” and it’s true, that’s what I was trying to do! and/or just to change up my usual way of working… and/or to free myself from creating something that “looked like” what it was “supposed to”… and/or to make a lil homage to the Stenberg brothers who are kind of the seminal crowd faves in iconic graphic poster making, and were my direct inspiration for combining photographic collage with graphic solid color elements in this poster…

In the photo below, you can see really clearly something that Emmy Bright and I have been calling “halftone thinking”: using one ink color to get two tones, one of them solid, one of them made up of dots, dashes, lines, or some kind of pattern. You can do this by hand drawing, making those marks with ink… or by photocopying a pattern & collaging it… or by using an photograph made into actual halftones! In this image, there are four (or maybe five?) graphic tones created by just the yellow ink on the ‘natural’ paper, in different patterns:

Okay that’s it for now, more photos of finished poster soon, and you’ll probably see it around town if you’re here in Prov. Spring is choogling along, being physically alive is pretty awesome, swimming biking dancing doing movement exercises pushing the possibilities of my body getting stronger!!!


“Ferdinand’s” department store building, Roxbury, Mass. When faced with the question of “How will we make our dilapidated landmark building look like a really cool graphic poster image, and keep the pigeons out, while waiting to find out if we can get funding to renovate it or if we’ll have to tear it down?”, these people came up with the #1 absolutely correct answer! I don’t know anything about this project or building, but this is a quite stunning (hopefully temporary) solution to what must be a really frustrating situation… go Roxbury!

squashy takeover & transparent rainbows

May 8, 2012 at 8:02 pm

This year’s Plant Sale poster is done! (Thanks to SCLT for their patience, and to my cousin (letterpress master) Dan Wood for cutting the edges off the prints for me super late-nite / lastminute!) Guess how much fun it was to draw these windows???

It features some of my (and possibly your) favorite buildings in Providence being re-inhabited by a terrifying-yet-friendly giant yellow squash plant. No full shots yet, you’ll have to catch a glimpse of one around town, but don’t steal them down till after the event on May 19th & 20th!

These posters keep getting sexier & sexier, says “one who knows“…

Here’s a moment in the process from about a week ago, when I was drawing the final ‘key’ layer with ink onto wet media mylar (plastic which is treated to hold the ink & not let it run). I mostly used a nib pen, but a couple of Rapidograph pens (passed down from my Grandpa, #1 & #00) are crucial tools for the tiny details. Then to correct blobs & mistakes, clean up lines, and also to create light in the dark areas, I scratch the dried ink away with the back of the blade of my trusty lil’ Olfa knife… Here you can see the pencil drawing underneath, layered with a sheet of tracing paper where I was working out the balance & rhythm of the large color shapes (of yellow squashes & green leaves) across the paper:

Also, each of the three layers in the print was a rainbow roll, which I’ve discussed in the past, but this is this new style where I do one transparent rainbow roll layer over a solid rainbow roll layer… and then a rainbow roll key outline layer. (As seen in this print from a year ago…) Something about the subtlety / complexity of those shifting layers overlapping each other turns out kind of incomprehensible & thus, it seems, pretty amazing.

Ink ready (those are three colors of transparent ink in the foreground, then a jar with water in it for washing off mixing spoons behind them):

On the screen, blending the colors together:

Then printed over the blue layer:

Here’s a tiny detail when ink on the final layer was still wet, and the early morning sunlight was coming in the studio window, showing how the ink sits bumpily on the paper (click for larger, it’s worth it!):

And, speaking of process, here’s what my past few weeks have been like:

To all my friends, including new/future friends as well as old friends, I’m really sorry for dropping off the face of the planet into this total screenprint work zone, please excuse my neglect of you / our friendship & know that I am eating mint-chocolate-chip ice cream in the middle of the night while I draw at a desk in a messy room, and thinking of you.

<3 ian

I used to hate the color pink

January 11, 2012 at 6:01 am

A lot of things happened and now I am working on a bunch of projects at the same time as per usual, rolling forward with some experimental / totally new & unknown-territory stuff while I try to ACTUALLY finish long-unfinished things and push myself to work harder on comics (right now, in the form of lots of ink/brush/wash experimentation / practice / fooling around) and keep putting on events that help build the queer community in Providence (right now, a series of monthly queer dance parties in our basement, next one’s February 11th, mark those calendars (or contact me for details)!).

Also I started a one-day-a-week coffee shop called “Coffee Club” in my friends’ office/gallery, partly as a way to have “a job”, and partly as a way of creating a warm creative community space where people can meet & be sociable through the winter months… come join us! Fridays, 186 Carpenter St. Providence, 12-8pm.

I should be writing about all this stuff as it happens, instead of doing giant summary posts three months apart, um well I’m a terrible blogger.

This (and the photo at the top) shows the beginning of an experimental project, which I’m working on with my truly awesome intern Alison Nitkiewicz, who is a printmaker, feminist, student, & part of my community of friends here in Providence. These giant sheets of bond paper, printed in various gradations of transparent ink, are collage material: they are going to go out into the world & be used to construct worlds.


[as seen with the toes of my boots; Alison, you were totally right about having some full sheets of each of these blues & not just printing them on the small paper!]


[as seen with Alison’s boots]

Pink & blue were just the first colors, there will be more, never fear, we’re not trying to stick to an essentialist binary here!

Also I haven’t really posted lots of pictures of friends on this website at all ever but here’s us dancing around in the kitchen to the music of the pop star who just had her baby the night/morning of our basement dance party… and yes, my housemate is holding the empty shells of 30 eggs… breakfast was delicious…

…and this is some beautiful people (there were more out of the frame of the picture and taking the picture) in the living room of our house the morning after the party, there was a sleepover…

…so maybe later I’ll write about what I’ve been thinking about regarding putting on events as an important path towards creating community, and how making social spaces is “real work” and totally meaningful, even though they are ephemeral and don’t fit into the standard definitions of what is productive… but I can’t write about that right now, there’s stuff to do!

I can say two words about pink, though, which is this: I used to hate it because I thought it would make me look girly and that people would categorize me with other girls if I wore it… now I like it, I think mostly because it reminds me to keep reclaiming things I am afraid of… and because it is super gay, and guess what?

so am I.

More soon!

late-nite printing at NUA

April 11, 2011 at 8:00 am

My friend & colleague Emmy Bright (at right above) is an amazing artist, teacher, and mentor, and has incredible abilities (and reserves of strength) to organize & inspire the people around her! I met her through New Urban Arts, where she came to be a Mentor Fellow in the fall of 2009 — to work with the artist mentors there, supporting them and developing insight into how artist-mentoring works at NUA. She also has become a super crucial presence around the studio, both emotionally, artistically, and in a leadership role keeping (bad) craziness down & awesomeness (aka good craziness) up. I can’t really put the words around how important her presence — at NUA, in Providence, and in my life — has been over the past year & a half!

it's a traditional "key" layer! mostly.

One of the first things we did together was a screenprinting workshop for artist mentors… Since then I have been proud to assist and consult with Emmy on the multiple screenprinting projects that she has taken on! I stopped in to New Urban Arts a week or two ago when she was finishing printing the poster for this year’s Conversations In Creative Practice Series, and I got to take some pictures of Emmy working with Bridgette, Noel, and CJ — NUA students & alumni who were helping her out.

sorting out finished prints

taking the tabs off the finished prints

Here’s the timelapse video of CJ and Emmy pulling the last four prints in the run of (I think?) one hundred. CJ is keeping her hands clean, placing the paper with two colors already printed on it onto the pins — then Emmy (with messy hands!) pulls the print and floods the screen with ink again — then CJ lifts the paper off and puts a new sheet on.

print details:

( these two events have already taken place, they were pretty great:)

the first two conversations in the series

(and these two are yet to come, on the next two upcoming Thursdays: April 14th & April 21st, 7pm, at 743 Westminster St, Providence. more information!)

the last two conversations in the series

A couple of days later, we went to Black Cat Graphics on Providence’s South Side to trim the edges off the posters with Jim Pfeiffer’s giant paper cutter. Check out how the guillotine cut reveals how the rainbow roll (from red to transparent ink) was slightly varied on each one of the prints:

as cut by the giant guillotine!

Emmy measuring and marking the stack of prints for cutting. Hooray for screenprinting projects!

giant guillotine blade at left...

do you want to be the secret door projects intern?

January 9, 2010 at 6:03 pm

I am looking for someone to help me out with logistics, print organization, outreach, communications. This could range from schedule problem-solving to hanging out while studio cleanup happens, to doing publicity & helping put me in touch with galleries or publishers or people like that. If you’re interested in learning about screenprinting, meticulous analog art methods, and perspective drawing, I can help you out there! You could also have access to the studio here to work on print projects of your own. It’s unpaid, but perks of the position include bottomless coffee, good company, cookies and homemade bread… and of course prints.

… get in touch if you’re interested!

*finishing* prints, part II.

December 21, 2009 at 9:35 pm

Anticipatory snapshot of the transparencies for the Industrial Trust Bldg prints.

sweet solid black transparencies!

(The postcard version, seen at upper right, is still un-finished…) These transparencies were made at Faces, which is a great graphic output place here in Prov; they can print transparencies that are solid black and perfectly aligned (unlike a photocopy or laser printout, where the blacks will always be slightly transparent and the image will always be a little distorted). With the small detail and close tolerances of this print, the fancy transparencies were totally worth it.

I printed the first color on the Industrial Trust Building prints, then took a break and did the second chapter of a screenprinting workshop for artist mentors at New Urban Arts. The awesome Emmy Bright (with squeegee below), who is a recent arrival in Providence and an Arts Mentoring Fellow at NUA, set it up, organized the logistical aspects, drove me (and prints) around town, fed me, and in general helped me out SO MUCH during the end of November/beginning of December! A million thanks!!!

At the workshop, we printed the postcard-sized skyscrapers on STICKER PAPER.

transparent blue…

We ran out of time, and since the plasticky sticker paper doesn’t absorb any ink, a hairdryer was pulled into action to get these dry enough to take home.

hairdrying the stickers

Here we are achieving some good eye-breaking-ness!! (plus awesome clouds via rainbow-roll experimentation.) I was pretty exhausted & running on pure will at this point; pushing hard to get the larger skyscraper prints done before the Craftland opening on December 5th. This session of printing fun stickers — in order to demonstrate alignment using a hinged plastic sheet — gave me confidence that the prints would look good, and got me psyched again about screenprinting’s magical ability to create images that people love.

One of the participants also said later that they were glad to get to print an image of mine, instead of a random thing that someone had just come up with as a demonstration… that it showed them the possibilities of what could be achieved. I know what that feeling is like from the learning side of things — when seeing an example of work in a new medium, you want to be inspired by awesomeness, kicked in the pants to get out there & make more awesomeness yourself. It’s eye-opening to me to realize that my work can play that role in people’s lives… I am flattered and touched and it’s super meaningful. Thank you, Sarah, Jadrian, and Emmy, for being part of this night! and also for having patience with my sleep-deprived wackiness.

Watch out for these guys around town, your eyes might get broken.

crazy stickers.



From here on out it was a race to the finish line, another day and a half of nonstop printing.

Born of necessity, innovation:

drywall screw handle

A drywall screw driven into the side of the screen frame, with paper rolled & taped around it, allows you to easily lift up a screen that is smaller than your printing table, and/or that can’t be positioned so an edge sticks off the table for easy grabbin’. The paper roll rotates around the screw, so you can handle it to move the screen up and down over and over again without wearing your skin off.

screen handle closeup

Printing prison…

moving along…

I offered myself the possibility that I could stop printing these in the middle of the run, if I got totally exhausted. I decided not to — my track record with finishing interrupted print runs is not good — it’s generally taken me a year or more to complete them. So, even when I was totally beat, in the early morning of a sleepless night before the deadline for which I only really needed 50 or so prints, a couple more hours of pushing through the run looked a lot better than a year of an unfinished project hanging over my head. So, there are now 345 of these! in 5 different colorways. Man oh man.

After going through the process of mixing the transparent shadows for the Durruti prints, I had a real sense of competence with the transparent colors here, and got psyched about being super picky. This is the moment of the final color decision for the blue shadow on the gray-sky skyscraper (with rejected color variants lying below):

looking at transparent colors again…

Cutting the ‘tails’ off at Jim’s shop, with the giant guillotine:

two-handed guillotine

Emmy, still rocking hard as the “print caddy”, dropped me and prints off at Craftland…

safely delivered to Craftland…

… and I sat down and put the barcode labels on them just as Alec Thibodeau was beginning to hang the ‘print wall’.

hanging it up.

I think I have accepted the fact that I live almost my entire life in the realm of the “Just In Time”. I could beat myself up about this under-the-wire, deadline-focused scenario every time that it happens… which is pretty often… but really I’d rather just be psyched about what I do get done, apologize & offer beautiful prints to the people who get inconvenienced, & keep going.

I-195 bridge over the providence river

*finishing* prints, part I.

December 20, 2009 at 9:30 pm

taking you Back In Time!!! … a whole pile of process images from printing the Durruti/Ruins posters. Process work from the Industrial Trust Building prints is coming in the next update, this one got way too long.

Mixing colors. a) they’re not all oranges and blues (!) , b) look at that nice set of blond-beiges, moving right-to-left, getting ever closer to the beige in the sky on the yellow-gold Durruti print.

beige assortment

Green-sky Durruti print, seen through the screen that is about to print the blue shadow. The pink of the QTX emulsion and the yellow of the screen fabric always make such weird and awesome colors. Maybe someday I’ll make a print that is as eye-breaking as this.

looking through the screen, about to print.

Trying out transparent colors for the blue shadow on the green-sky prints. The transparent inks have to be printed through the screen to show their density and hue accurately… At left is the first attempt (too purple). The final color was somewhere between the two on the right. I am excited to do some more experimental stuff with transparent colors; they can be a little bit of a hassle to print, but the way they lie in the paper (instead of on it like the solid colors) is so beautiful.

transparent colors testing…



When you are setting up your transparency on the screen prior to shooting it, remember to think carefully about how the image you are going to print will fit on the paper and how the paper will fit on your table under the screen! Or else you will end up with your screen sticking halfway off your printing table like this. In the background, AO is keeping me company, or rather, checking his email while I grumble & rant about making stupid mistakes like this one.

poor planning

Also here, as Mr. Punch would say, this is *not* the way to do it.

clamped print

Use caution when you open the door to unshaven young men who have moved into thin-walled schoolbuses for the winter; pretty soon they’ll be running up your electric bill in their desperate struggle to stay warm.

personal heating system
[a hairdryer in the studio? yup, for speed-drying color test swatches. They only show their true color when the ink is dry.]

After all that hassle, it actually works!

before & after.

This moment is always pretty magical. In this case, it was extra exciting: I’ve been trying to finish / thinking about / talking about re-printing these Durruti prints since last fall. A stack of paper with just the sky color printed on them has been sittiing around the studio since last December. I’m not sure why it took me so long: there were even a bunch of people who wanted to buy a copy, who I had been emailing back & forth with saying “if you can just wait a couple of weeks! I am about to finish printing them!”, also since last fall.

As I got to the point in the above photos — actually seeing the third and last color on the paper — a large weight lifted from my shoulders, and (not to over-dramatize it) there was a deep feeling of relief. I was antsy to print so I printed, not really thinking about it too much… but in the ensuing days, wondering why it had taken me SO LONG to get back to printing this thing, I realized that I had been completely afraid of it — that it had been pretty much PURE FEAR that was keeping me from working on it.

Fear of what? I am pretty sure it was just fear “that it was going to be really hard”. And in the end, printing it with tricky alignment, mixing the transparent color which I thought was gonna be super difficult… not that hard. Not easy, but interesting, lots of fun, and ultimately successful. I was really scared of color matching to the original prints — and I didn’t get the color totally matched — but the color that I mixed was better than the original color: better contrast, better looking, better overall. Answer: Nothing to be scared of.



Hey, what the heck is going on here? Why is the emulsion two different colors and all patchy-looking?

messing with the screen

When I initially conceived the Durruti print, I wanted the sky to be lighter than the paper. I had bought this yellow-gold paper, and wanted to print white over it for the sky and the bright details in the ruined building. So, I printed the white layer, and then went ahead and printed the blue shadow over it. Then, I began to have doubts: the text in the sky wasn’t readable enough. In the building, where the white areas were separated from the yellow by outlines, it looked great — I liked the way it popped out. But the sky, and thus the message of the poster, were too subtle. What to do?

To get the contrast I wanted in the letters, I needed to somehow print a darker color on the sky, without changing the white in the building or covering up the blue shadows. I didn’t want to cut up or modify the transparency itself, because I knew I would want to use it again to print other versions of the poster. Also, at that moment (over a year ago now), I didn’t have time to re-shoot the screen, or a free screen to shoot… There was a lot of argle bargle-ing… but eventually…

Using the screen through which I had printed the white ink, and placing it over a misprinted copy of the print for ‘tracing’ purposes, I took some of the emulsion and painted in all the white areas on the building that I wanted to keep, or areas of blue shadow that I didn’t want to print over. I re-shot the screen so that emulsion would harden… then a beige color (which can be seen being mixed at the top of this post) was printed through that screen.

yellow/gold Durruti final print

The photo doesn’t quite show the contrast as it is in real life, but I’m pretty psyched about how it came out. And — more color variations & experimentations will happen in the future!


Vibration pattern on the surface of my un-drunk coffee:

coffee frequency

It was sitting on the print table while I was printing. The main axis of the pattern (lower left – upper right in this photo) is parallel to the direction in which the screen moves up & down.


Jori Ketten, a local artist/photographer/teacher/co-conspirator (etc), helped me out immeasurably by taking documentation pictures of my prints — soon to be seen here. She also did photoshop magic on them (which would have taken me many, many hours). They look great, & she deserves a million shout-outs. Hopefully you won’t get sick of them. Thank you Jori!

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