Monday, March 30, 2015

Reaching out across the world

Collaboration within

The next block is a collaboration within a collaboration. During the initial stages of the Kickstarter project The Peace Puzzle, I received a few queries from across the globe from artists and supporters of the project alike. I love that! I love the reach that the internet has given us and I have "met" and consider friends many people from across the world.

Rania Zaarour wanted to participate and told me up front that she wasn't an artist but she would like to have a role in the Peace Puzzle. Sensing a story behind her questions, I offered to design and carve an image for her. Through email, she sent the following along with some pictures of her ideas. I went to work with her amazing story in my head and heart, and came up with an image for her. I carved it today, a collaboration between uprooted souls. Thank you.

Rania Zaarour
Bangalore, India

"Basically, it is a picture of an olive tree, and a house, located in a town in the Northern Mountains of Lebanon called Bcheale (where my mother was born).

After living outside of Lebanon for 24 years, I went back to live there for one year last year 2014 – Our house is in a city called Byblos, by the Mediterranean, about 30 Km North of the capital Beirut;  as you know Lebanon has many political and religious conflicts, it has several areas that are not safe as well, and became more unsafe after the troubles in Syria started …

While I lived in Lebanon in 2014, the only place where I felt has kept its peaceful air and where the population was sparse was the town of Bcheale, I went up every chance I got to spend a week-end in peace, without any worry, roasting potatoes and garlic by the fire, eating apples and figs and grapes from my grandparents trees, and taking walks at sunrise and sunset.  It is the only place I miss since I left to live in Bangalore in January.

Anyways, Bchaele is also known for its olive trees and great olive oil, in fact there are three olive trees that are thought to be 5,000 years old; and thought to be the source of the branch returned to Noah’s arch.    

I attached some pictures that I had of Bchaele, and of the olive trees. The house I point out is that of a cousin.  He became a very good friend and supportive person in the last year, and also brings me peace.

So on my piece of the puzzle, I would love to have the olive tree from Bchaele; if there is room to show a mountain, and a house, that would be great.  If not, the olive tree is enough.

I would love if you design it J But then I am not sure I can be called an “artist” that contributed to the project…  

Here are some links about Bechaele,

Thank you for letting me be part of this project,

Best, Rania"
Rania Zaarour, Bangalore India
Image for the Peace Puzzle 2015

Stay in touch!

1000woodcuts Facebook Page: 
Maria's Facebook Profile: 
Maria's Twitter Profile: 
1000woodcuts YouTube:

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Peace and beauty from across the USA

From Across the USA

I am very happy that blocks are starting to come in now at a steady pace. Artists feel free to post on Facebook and let me know and I will share on my FB page as well.

I have word that two more blocks are on the way back so I am diligently trying to keep up with all the work and setting up the book. Everyone as you finish your beautiful images, please think about sharing some words with the world about you, your image or anything else you would like published in the book Peace in Print.
Here is the link to enter your info:

Notice below how Ray Hudson, a very observant artist, has caught on to my quest for dark chocolate and sent a nice box along with his block. Sure, you don't want to copy someone else's idea, but I promise I won't tell. In addition to chocolate I am also a fan of red wine (bit harder to send in a small box) and anything Spanish, or anything from all corners of the world...(no pressure). All in jest, of course!
And if you want to wrap your block in your local newspaper, that always entertains me when faced with the task of unwrapping, photographing and cataloging each image. I have a great "time capsule" from the previous City of the World newspaper collection!

Ray Hudson
Middlebury, Vermont

Peace for me involves the sea, the air in motion, and the earth in full bloom: all things rejoicing. All things striving.

Ray Hudson, Middlebury Vermont USA
Peace Puzzle 2015 contribution

Stay in touch!

1000woodcuts Facebook Page: 
Maria's Facebook Profile: 
Maria's Twitter Profile: 
1000woodcuts YouTube:

Friday, March 20, 2015

Welcome to Studio B

Framing Studio

I jokingly call my framing/shipping space StudioB. I needed a clean, cat-hair free, dust-free area where I could have packing and framing supplies and decided to dedicate the apartment we built for my Papi to those tasks. Here are a couple of shots of the matboard shelves, small print bins and the flat files (formerly called The Green Monster until I decided to paint it a more pleasant tan).
Mat board, plexi, metal frames on lef shelves
Framing and shipping supplies on right shelves

All my tiny woodcut prints organized

Flat files for larger prints and some of my cardboard
container collection

Framing Day!

That's kind of like training day but much much harder and tedious and basically boring until everything is dressed up and ready for a show. A show! I have a show! Whether festival or exhibit, always a joyous occasion to have my art "out there" for people to see.

Today I'm framing hand-made paper so I like to "float" and avoid the surrounding mat. However, to keep the glazing (acrylic for large works) off the yummy paper and print I use a spacer made out of foam board. Trial and error with many types of commercial spacers taught me that the cheapest and nicest looking is a simple foam board strip glued to the edge of the backing board.

Here are some pics:
Mounted print Grand Canyon III on acid-free foam board
this is a 30 x 40 inch mount

The foam board strip separators and Ph neutral white glue

Glued to edges, this is  a print called Precious Waters

Acrylic glazing resting on the foam board strip, away from the print

Add a label and a COA, wire and kapoof! just like that

Just Walk With Me, ready for market or show
That about the skinny of it, my Facebook page has an album with all the framed prints And! you can always come see the show at the Las Vegas City Hall 7th Floor, April 1st through June 22.

Stay in touch!

1000woodcuts Facebook Page: 
Maria's Facebook Profile: 
Maria's Twitter Profile: 
1000woodcuts YouTube:

Saturday, March 14, 2015

First peek at a Peace Puzzle piece

First Peaceful Image Arrives!

I cannot describe the pure joy that I feel when these little images start coming back "home" to take their rightful place in our creation. They often come wrapped in newspapers from all corners of the world, a tradition started with the great City of the World collaboration. I enjoy the news from the world over, the little cards and notes artists send, and especially the images. All the newspapers go into a box, a time capsule of the year from all around the world. Cool, huh?

Without further introduction, here is our first wonderful peaceful image and what Barbara had to say about it. The information for each piece is entered by the artists as they finish their little gems on this page:

Barbara Mason

Hillsboro Oregon

This image is about personal peace...I thought about what would most signify peace...and there are a lot of universal images...but I think this small block of two people enjoying a quiet visit at the beach or park is pretty peaceful...I rarely have time to just sit and enjoy...but I am planning to take time to do a little more of it this year.
Barbara Mason, contribution for the Peace Puzzle 2015

Stay in touch!

1000woodcuts Facebook Page: 
Maria's Facebook Profile: 
Maria's Twitter Profile: 
1000woodcuts YouTube:

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Records Room

Office Stuff

All the blocks have now been mailed and, since I know those instructions that came with your blocks are a bit antsy from their trips and tend to disappear, I posted them more or less permanently here:

In the instructions you will find answers to most frequently asked questions about your puzzle piece, where to send it back and when and such things. Not that I don't enjoy answering your emails, I really always like it when puzzle participants ask questions or simply just keep in touch with a step by step of their progress. Makes for a daily smile!


One important note about this project is that the wood I was able to find has an MDF underlayer. In fact, right under the beautiful cherry veneer the MDF (medium density fiberboard) will make it so that carving these will be as easy as possible. The cherry veneer allows for detail, while the soft underbelly will make artist's knives glide through their blocks, sort of. 

You would think this would make for a perfect carving wood, but the downside is that the blocks will be just a bit more fragile than before. Being the eternal optimist, I am hoping the wood holds up to the nearly 180 prints per block that I will have to pull.
Your task is to treat your tiny block as carefully as possible and avoid moisture. Moisture will swell up the MDF layer, which will subsequently dry in my beloved desert, creating a potentially dangerous situation (printmaking-wise). 

And as soon as you finish...

I just know some of you are already drawing and carving! This makes me want to keep working too so I also posted the form that everyone fills out. This form is designed to give information about your images and anything else each participant or friend of peace wants to post to the world in the book Peace in Print. As blocks come in, I will post the info on the blog as well.
The form can be found here:

Anyone participating or backing the project can fill out the form and the info will be published EXACTLY as entered in the book. I will keep reposting the link for everyone to find quickly or just email me and I will send you the link.

Stay in touch!

1000woodcuts Facebook Page: 
Maria's Facebook Profile: 
Maria's Twitter Profile: 
1000woodcuts YouTube:

Peace Puzzle Information

Stay in touch!

1000woodcuts Facebook Page: 
Maria's Facebook Profile: 
Maria's Twitter Profile: 
1000woodcuts YouTube: