Where has this article been all my life? I recently read this essay in Harper’s by the author of a book called “Bullsh*t Jobs” that explains why pointless jobs make people miserable and depressed. It also explains why I love printmaking so much. A human being unable to have a meaningful impact on the world ceases to exist.
I like to create art of pet portraits and political humor and print them on products. Yes, it’s an odd combination. The goal is to promote joy and sanity through everyday items.
I wanted to let you know about something I just started doing: making ready-to-hang custom pet portraits that aren't framed. And they’re super affordable.
But first -- why? I hate framing.
I launched my portfolio building plan "15 Days 15 Dogs 15 Dollars" on Instagram this week. Starting July 15, I'll do pet portraits of 15 dogs, and their owners will have the option (but no obligation) to buy their pet's portrait for $15. I've still got a few spots left. Let me know if you're interested!
Like when two people are in an argument and the one who is losing says: "Well I don't care what you say. You're a Towel!" This meme that began with South Park character Towelie sums up our current political discourse.
This French market tea towel is inspired by a Steinlen lithograph and is hand printed, hand painted, and washable.
'Hoppy' Birthday Bunny cards starring Glenn the Bunny in one of her many poses.
Here is my process for creating the design for T-shirts for downtown Austin's Elephant Room.
Photos below show the finished product and then the image that was found on a piece of wood in a filing cabinet, the scanned and printed photo of the image, coloring with graphite, transfer to a linoleum block, and the carving.
I recently adapted an 1890s lithograph poster by Theophile-Alexandre Steinlen advertising cocoa and tea sold by "Compagnie Francaise des Chocolats et des Thes," the French Chocolate and Tea Company, for a tea towel. My process for hand painting is below.
I decided I liked the design better with a colored table cloth.
I found the poster in a fantastic book called "Posters of Paris." I highly recommend.
I debuted this Moulin Rouge T-shirt at East Austin Studio Tour this month.
Since I wanted to the design to have crisp edges, I taped off the design space on the T-shirt before I started working. I sketched the image onto the shirt with pencil, using Toulouse-Lautrec's original Parisian ad poster as my inspiration. I painted the black lines onto the fabric with a brush using Golden High Flow Acrylic Paint and then spot colored the design it with acrylic paint mixed with textile medium. Textile medium makes the paint more part of the fabric, as opposed to sitting on top of the fabric; it also keeps it from cracking when washed. Before I was done, I turned random ink spot drips into an all-over subtle splatter paint. Who says "accidents" can't be fun? :)
Here are some bunny cards I created pen-and-ink style. I love 'em. You what's interesting? I didn't use ink! I used Golden High Flow Acrylic Paint. It acts just like ink. And you can draw with it on fabric, and it won't wash out. Picture below.
I recently painted some Parisian poster-inspired flour sack tea towels for a gift. I used a fantastic 1890s lithograph by Theophile-Alexandre Steinlen called "La Rue," or "the street," which was created to showcase the talents of one of the leading poster printers of his day, Charles Vernau. Here is the complete original lithograph of the hustle and bustle of workers and business people on the busy Parisian street:
Here is me playing with a copy of the original, followed by the finished product:
My altered draft version, from working on top of a copy of the original lithograph. I cropped it and enhanced some colors and thickened up some lines.
Honestly, I think I like my "draft" version on paper better than the finished product on fabric, but it's still cool. And yes, acrylic paint with textile medium will stay on the fabric, even if you wash it in hot water and dry it in a hot dryer. So you can actually use your pretty towels. Or impress your friends with them at your next food gathering.
I got this material from a fantastic book called "Posters of Paris." I highly recommend.
Lately I've been a little obsessed with Parisian advertising posters from the 1890s., like this one: "Paris Alamanach," by Georges de Feure, which advertises a guide to Parisian attractions.
I love this woman striking a pose in her fur-lined cape with her tour guide, ready to take the Paris streets by storm, as men in top hats bustle behind her. It would be great fun to be transported in time and be her for a day. I love the composition and the strange color choices of fatigue green and pink.
I've started drawing on T-shirts with high-flow acrylic paint. Here's my wearable version of "Paris Almanach":
I would love to have seen the 1890s Paris streets covered in posters by artists like Feure and Talouse-Lautrec.
A printmaking process called lithography had just been invented. While printing presses could only product a dozen images a day, with lithography, they could produce thousands.
Lithography originally used an image drawn with oil, fat, or wax onto the surface of a smooth, level limestone "plate." The stone was treated with a mixture of acid and gum arabic, which would eat into, or etch, the portions of the stone not protected by the grease-based image. When the stone was subsequently moistened, these etched areas retained water; an oil-based ink could then be applied, which would be repelled by the water, and stick only to the original drawing. The ink would finally be transferred to a blank sheet of paper, and thus printed.
People loved the posters. Some would steal them for their own personal collections.
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Linocut uses the same printmaking process as woodcut: You basically make a giant stamp. The printing process is often called block printing.
I'm excited to be showing and selling my work with my fellow female artists this weekend on the EAST Austin Studio Tour!