Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Very Latest! Photos to come...

Along the Everglades, so different from my beloved beautiful is nature in any form
I have been off in faraway lands taking on awesome adventures and recharging my energy reserves but now it is time to bring this wonderful project to its delightful conclusion.

We are all set for the Great City's Print Party. Everyone invited to aid or to watch.

Please see this blog post for all the details:

While I was away all the ingredients came magically through the various carriers and so we have ink and paper. All that is left is the last of the carving around the big blocks and to load the truck.

This post is also a last call for those of you who may have moved since you signed up for the project. Please update your physical mailing address by sending me an email, as mailing big tubes back and forth can get pricey.

I will update the blog soon with the very last of the arrivals and the progress of the preparation of the big blocks.

Check the blog for continuous updates with pictures and videos of the print party.

I guess I best get in the studio and finish up the prep-work, the printing elves await in the Great Northwest.

Thank you all for making this project come to fruition. Won't be long now and you will be savoring the fruit of the labors of 110 fellow printmakers and artists from all over the world.

Safe travels to my fellow travelers, I will see you soon enough.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Across the USA, two more citizens

Ellen Shipley in Santa Clarita, California USA sends this block and words:
Pigeons are ever-present denizens of a city, and what is more ubiquitous than a pigeon on a balcony?  Something has caught her attention however, and she'll soon be winging away.

When we lived in an apartment we put a feeder on our balcony to attract the neighborhood finches.  But word spread among the feathery folk and soon we had party crashers.  The jays were bullies and threw seed all over the balcony.  But the pigeons were the worst.  They ate so much seed they waddled.  Sadly we had to stop feeding the finches, who had long ago been chased away.  It's a bird eat seed world out there.

What cool images on the paper! Thank you.

Meanwhile across the country, Eric Hoffman from Warwick, Rhode Island USA sends his contribution:
I thought long and hard about this incredible project, The City of The World, and decided that my contribution would reference one of my favorite places to visit every time I visit a new city: The Used Record Store. Music like so many other things is quickly becoming ALL digital, to be downloaded and played in an instant from a computer. While I love the convenience of this new technology, my heart will always be in an actual record store. The smell of the old jackets, the history of how they ended up there, and the big beautiful artwork! I have always thought actual records sound so warm and beautiful on a turntable. The record store is a dying breed with more closing year by year.

My image for the City is one of excitement! The surprise and absolute amazement of finding an nice clean copy of an old John Coltrane album in a record bin! Pure magic, pure bliss! I primarily work in relief engraving, and a large body of my work features various 1950's Blue Note jazz musicians in their prime creating some of the most phenomenal sounds ever recorded! Every city needs music. Every city needs Jazz! That's my idea for The City of The World!!!!

My engravings can be found on my website -

Awesome image! Thanks for the post card and goodies.

I have ten more contributions to post, photos already taken so if you have not yet seen your block, just sit tight!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Massive Project comes to the home stretch

In my excitement, I forgot to mention my massive project!
All the details are in my other blog,

This image is one of 112 received for the City of the World project, contributed by Frank Trueba from Felton California.

Two commissions and a massive project

My time these days is taken up sunrise to sunset. I am finished with one commission and getting close to finishing another. These come rarely and only when I'm busy and all at the same time. I had to turn down two others this year because even I know my limit.

Here's a peek at one of the  illustrations for a publisher of Kipling books:
I thought it turned out kind of cool. It's tough for me to make something "look like a woodcut" without actually cutting it but the scope of the commission just didn't allow for that kind of time investment. So I started the way I usually start, with a real subject, in this case a pine cone.

After a photo session with my pine cone, I imported into Photoshop and applied some filters until I was satisfied with a very lightly rendered image. Then I just traced it with a brush as if I was cutting it with my chisels. A bit time consuming, but the result is very woodcut like, perhaps more like a wood engraving and it has my "hand" style deeply embedded in it. Or so I think, anyway, it actually looks like I drew it and carved it.

Spring is here and I'm getting a bad case of spring fever. But more work is to be done.

Along the West coast of the US, two more citizens

Frank Trueba from Felton, California USA, says this about his contribution:

My ancestry is Spanish and I found when I visited relatives in Spain as a child it gave me a better perspective as a citizen of the world. I also became acutely interested and educated in the contributions of Spanish culture to the world and thus have tried to carve something that encompasses all that. Hopefully my image is recognizable as an outline of Spain containing a famous depiction of Don Quixote de la Mancha. 

While there are many images of Spanish culture I could have chosen (bull, flamenco dancer, etc) I find that an image of Don Quixote rendered by Picasso does the best in capsulizing the range and breath of Spanish contributions to world culture: the Cervantes novel, first published in 1605, is considered, by many, to be the first modern novel and unarguably the greatest piece of literature of the Spanish Golden Age and Picasso's (1881-1973) contributions to art are also inescapable--together they symbolize centuries of Spanish contributions to art and literature.

A personal favorite since I'm also from Spain! Thank you Frank.

And our infatigable Baren Mall Manager and so many other things Barbara Mason in Aloha Oregon USA, sends us this image and a cool t-shirt! for me:


These days the wood chips are flying as I carve out the "skeleton" blocks (the large blocks that hold everything together). I'm also placing all the little blocks in their place, solving potential printing problems and replacing the missing citizens. Much to do yet and photos are forthcoming. 

All is going according to plan although I feel that there isn't enough time to get it all done before the printing party. If you missed the announcement for the printing party, look back a couple of blog posts to find it. It's shaping up to be a fun time!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Northwest and Midwest contributions

LD Lawrence from Sequim Washington and New York USA says:
There is only one security camera in the City of The World, and it is disabled.

Gayle Wohlken in Burton Ohio USA says this about her contribution:
Some cats lead interesting lives above the city.  With their innate sense of balance and acrobatic skills, they leap from rooftop to rooftop looking for adventure. 

Nicely done!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Official MCPP Print Party for the City of the World

Here we go!!!
Everyone that can attend is invited to the great City of the World Print Party. If you live nearby or just want to drop by, bring an apron!!!

WHEN: Wednesday April 11 through Friday April 13, 2012, times TBA

WHERE: Atelier Meridian in Portland Oregon USA

WHO: So far we have Sharri LaPierre, Barbara Mason, Doug Haug and Maria (that's me). Others have inquired, everyone invited.

HOW: However it works out! Everyone responsible for their own transportation and lodging. We will get up early, stay late and work until 600 prints are printed.

We will have two presses available and going at once.
Good to have two people per press, better to have three and anyone extra can just "sub" when arms get tired. There's an inker, a paper layer and a press cranker; three vacant positions per press to be filled on a first come first served basis.
For extra hands there are available positions as block-carvers, prep-engineers, tweakers, lunch-gophers, paper taker-offer-from-the-blockers, cleaner-uppers... just all kinds of fun to be had.

This is Barbara Mason and Maria working in my studio with my old Patrick Press busily printing Puzzle #1 a looooong time ago. Look at all those prints hanging!!!

Don't miss out!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tiny blocks from my neighbors from the North and my neighbors from the South

The ingenius Charles Morgan writes to us from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
I am an experimenter and a tinkerer ... I am always working on some new project. My house is full of tools, junk, and other raw materials for my projects. So sometimes I feel almost like I am living in a sort of R&D industrial park. I designed my block to reflect that feeling. There is a small sign at the entrance, bearing my chop. And there are several buildings in a pleasant surrounding, with birds and plant life.

Cheers ....... Charles

Diana Hartley sends her block and news from Phoenix Arizona USA

Photos of the assembling party coming up soon.
As planned, I unpacked the woodblocks this past weekend and found out that I have some work to do!
When I jig-sawed the individual blocks, I apparently got busy mailing them off and just left the big "skeleton" blocks in their dusty, unsanded and (I knew this part) uncarved state.
So this week, while juggling an illustration commission, I need to get very busy and sand the edges of the skeleton blocks and mount them on their backing mat-boards, which I have already cut.

Then fairly quickly I must find the missing blocks, cut them out, carve something in them and place all the blocks in place. I'm thinking of breaking out the rotary tool and carving out the names of the cities of all the participants but I just don't know if there will be enough missing blocks to do that. That's a good thing, actually.

More progress, with pictures, in the next blog post or two.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

From a world traveler and the UK

Carol Hetherington from Australia and Canada, writes this:
We moved to Montreal from Austalia in 1995 and my husband spent 11 years working for the United Nations.  He retired in 2006 and we returned to Australia but also kept our home in Montreal.  When our daughter graduated from Concordia University in 2008 we all left Montreal for Whistler in British Columbia, Canada.  We continue to live six months of the year in each country.  I've seen a LOT of snow, worn a lot of tuques, and have a daughter who grew up losing her tuques.  This little block is my homage to the Quebec tuque and snowmen I've seen in all shapes and sizes.  I've brought a little snow and hopefully a little humour to the City of the World.  I'm new to woodcut and I was terrified of that little block of cherry so I kept it simple.

Excellent images! thank you for sending the news from around the world

Mark Mason writes from Clitheroe, Lancashire in the United Kingdom:
Every city needs a park and 'The City of the World' is no exception.
My small Lancashire hometown of Clitheroe is proud to have a Keep (Castle) at it's centre. Around it are the Castle grounds where people gather to play or watch the annual fireworks display. My image shows one of the sets of gates that lead into the park.
I'm proud to be part of this international print project, and to introduce the world to my hometown.

Thank you for tossing in some green into the city!

I confess I really like to receive the foreign newspapers with the blocks. I like how the world is so different and yet how we all have similar issues in our neighborhoods: need for parks, cross-walk dangers, petty crime and vandalism, cultural preservation, big business taking over older neighborhoods, dogs, pigeons...10-year old buildings coming down in spectacular implosions while fireworks light up the sky...oh wait, that's just in Las Vegas!
Anyhow, I said "similar" issues!!! 

Friday, March 2, 2012

From Washington DC and Pennsylvania USA

Jerelee Basist from Washington DC USA writes this about her block:
Washington, DC. is where I was born. Washington DC thrives with the best museums in the world.  Some of the best Thai, Vietnamese, Cuban, & Ethopian food exists in this city. The music scene calls out to the best musicians. The city has not been hit hard with the recession and housing prices are stable. Washington DC is where I travel every day to work and provides my livelihood.  Washington, DC is a hotbed of politics, consuming culture, and diversified races. The patchwork of DC is what I embrace. However, my image of a cracked capitol justifies how I feel about the infrastructure of my beloved city. This cracked image, also signifies the polarization that our nation feels as a whole.

Eli Vandernberg sends this contribution from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA:

Keep them coming!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

City blocks from big cities and small cities New York and Kansas

Sara Hauser from New York, New York USA contributes this block and wise words:
“Hare-Boy Looks for Godot”

The Story of Hare-Boy

In recent years, there has been scientific experimentation fusing human cells with bunny eggs, in hopes of speeding up the research processes.
A little-known fact is that several millennia ago, there was a sighting in a secluded area in the hills of England.  A creature which was part woman, part hare, whose name was Hortense, gave birth to the mythical creature now known as "Hare-Boy".  His father’s origin is not known, but Hortense and her mate were rumored to be the product of mysterious genetic experimentation, which often surfaces in ancient scriptures.
Hare-Boy's birth was especially noted because of the appearance of a bright orange carrot, which remained constantly floating above his head.
He went on to perform many miracles throughout his life.  He is depicted here in the midst of one of his miraculous missions as he looks for Godot.

Kolene Dietz in Lawrence Kansas USA, home of the first archives, has this to contribute:
Billowing, layered clouds are often a part of the landscape in Kansas. The thunderstorms that sometimes follow are comforting; and the rains a welcome sight for city dwellers and farmers alike.

I really like the clouds!

On another note, I have only 3 blocks to replace!!! Waaaaaaahoooooo!!! I will get them done this weekend. I am planning a great big puzzle assembling party for myself this weekend. This will require that I clear out my studio desk first, a month long task...just kidding.
For those looking for studio tips, I purchased a couple of very old sturdy desks, one is oak and the other is walnut. I think I paid $100 for one and got the other for free. These massive and awesome pieces of furniture form the base for my studio tables.
I placed them back to back in the center of the converted garage, then purchased two boards made of particle wood and covered in white melanine, each measures 3 by 7 feet.
The boards cover the desks and make my working area HUGE! If I need the space around the desks, the boards can be just taken off and set to the side vertically against a wall, then placed back when I need to work.

Cheap trick to make a very large working surface that can be easily removed. You're welcome.

I'm licking my chops at the thought of assembling all the pieces! Photos to come.
Oh gosh, I almost forgot! I spent a bit less than $1K on six 100-packs of Rising Stonehenge Warm White. I got some quotes last week and picked the yummiest. Paper on the way!