Saturday, November 21, 2015

Pressing Matters VI: Printmakers Group Show

This November we hosted the 6th Annual printmakers show at the San Geronimo Valley Community Center--probably my favorite reoccurring art show of the year.

"Man with Hat",  Intaglio by Bea Benjamin
As usual the show highlights local print artist’s etchings, woodcuts, linocuts, lithographs, screen prints and monotypes.

This year’s featured artists include Bea Benjamin, Fred L. Berensmeier, Geoff Bernstein, Martha Cederstrom, Diane Cokely, Danielle Fogel, David Getz, Art Hazelwood, Elan Kamesar, Veronica Buros Kleinberg, Sophie Larsen, Katya McCulloch, Cindy Miracle, Elaine Nehm, Larry Rippee, Gabriele Schwibach, Susan Shannon, Connie Smith Siegel, Sam Vaughn, Xander Weaver-Scull and Melissa West.

Here are a few examples:

"Phillip Petit, World Trade Center 1974", Intaglio on cardboard plate also by Bea Benjamin
A knock out piece by Melissa West:
"La Penitente", a linoleum block print on fabric.

"Corn Goddess/Corn Demon", woodcut by Art Hazelwood

"Two Cages" scratch-foam, pencil, rice paper, plexi  by Danielle Fogel.

“Brown Pelican (Endangered Species Now Recovered)” by Xander Weaver-Scull

For this print Xander made his own ink out of soil, water and maple syrup.
The print itself is a stencil using watercolor.

"The Border Wall Divides All Life" a screenprint by Art Hazelwood

"The Golden Book of Art", 4-Color linocut reduction by Katya McCulloch

“Songbirds of Iraq”, 12-color, 2-block linocut reduction by Katya  McCulloch

Both of these incredibly complex prints are part of the "Absence & Presence” project, an international touring printmaking response to the bombing of Al-Mutannabbi Street.

"Star Shaman and Raven Dream the First Signature of the Human Being"
a linocut by Fred Berensmeier

"Colorado II" a screenprint by Dave Getz

"Colorado III- Shooter's Bible" also by artist /musician Dave Getz

"Stripes for Pompeii" a monoprint using solar plate and Chine Colle by Cindy Miracle.

"Santa Maria Novella" monoprint (with image on plate) by Cindy Miracle.

"Silver and Black" monoprint (using encaustic medium on plate)
also by Cindy Miracle.

"Bubba" an etching by Sophie Larsen

"Desolation Angel 2", a great stone lithograph by Sam Vaughn.

"Limbus Infantium 1" a hand toned stone lithograph also by Sam Vaughn.

Wonderful stuff. Great variety.
This really is only a portion of the exhibit. Hopefully I'll have a chance to put up more images from the show soon.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Roger May, R.I.P.

Currently in my life there’s a sad parade of people leaving the planet.

I got word from Michael T. Gilbert on Monday that Roger May has died.

Somewhere near Grass Valley/Nevada City: me, Kevin Brady and Roger May circa 1991
I first met Roger at a comic convention in 1975-- the first San Francisco Bay Con. He was dressed in red long johns, maybe a green cape, with a large red rubber nose. He called himself the Red Banana.

This was a little jolting, even for a comic con back then (and definitely a pre-Cosplay move).

Roger was a wild man. A trickster. Sometimes an uncontrollable force.
He could certainly make things exciting; sometimes he brought along total chaos.

The GroundUnder crew in self caricatures. Roger made a T-shirt out of this.

A cluster of cartoonists from that first Bay Con formed an informal jam night loosely dubbed the GroundUnder Cartoonists. We met on a weekly basis at Kevin Brady’s house. It consisted of Kevin, Marc Miyashiro, Trina Robbins, Michael T. Gilbert, Melinda Gebbie, Dot Bucher, Selby Sampson, me, and of course, Roger.

Super grainy photo of me (left), Roger (center) and Norman Dog (right) circa late 1970's-early '80's
We're at a Loonies meeting (another San Francisco based cartoonist salon of the day).

Roger had many passions. Two worth mentioning here were mini–comix and stereoscopy (aka 3-D imaging).

A San Diego Con jam with Doug Dougherty, Paul Mavrides, Roger, me, Shel Dorf, Steve Leialoha, Melinda Gebbie, Bob Foster, Trina Robbins, Carlo Lay. Jackie Estrada gave me this photo back in 1979.

Roger was avid creator of mini-comix. He celebrated many a San Diego Comic Con by producing an on-the-spot mini enlisting the talents whoever was handy (which could be Scott Shaw!, B. Kliban, Steve Leialoha, Dan O’Neill, Bruce Simon, Leonard Rifas, Al Gordon, Rick Geary, Pete von Shelly, Revilo, Rogerio, and on and on..).

He also published scads of minis beyond the cons (such as The Short Comings of the Red Banana, Vibratory Provincial News, Mouse Liberation Front Communiqué and High Stakes & Everyday Conflicts).

Somewhere along the line, Roger chanced upon an old stereo camera from the 1950’s and he was off and running. He became wild about 3-D effects and created stereo photography and ultimately produced a series of 3-D comic books (Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, Spirit 3-D, Steve Canyon 3-D, Zenozoic 3-D).

Eventually these two interests collided and he created  "The World’s First   3-D Minicomix".

Roger amused, enraged and inspired.
Roger was an original.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Michael Rippee, 1947-2015

Since today is Day of the Dead It seems an appropriate time to commemorate the passing of my cousin Michael Rippee.

He died October 3rd. I don’t think I’ve really come to grips with this fact. In my life, Mike has always been there.

He was a musician, a drummer, since his early teens (before that he played trumpet). His parents, Garland and Pat, were completely supportive of his music. The family went to the Monterey Jazz Festival every year (and as an honorary sibling I often went along with my cousins, Mike and David).

Mike’s commitment to his music was total. He was a working musician, certainly not a rock star. Throughout his career he played straight-ahead jazz (his first love), rock, blues, big band swing, Texas swing, Dixieland, country (and western), with pop cover bands and probably anything else that he had the opportunity to try his hand at.

He began his career with the obligatory garage band, in this case, the Rumblers later known at various Battle of the Bands as the Rumblemen.

An interruption for a less musical tour during the Viet Nam War. (But Mike managed to find jam sessions in the Philippines).

                    (A slightly more hirsute version of the Rumblemen)

From there to the sorta-psychedelic, The Flight, to the jazz-rock band Moss (they played the Fillmore West in 1970).

A long tenure with south Bay Area local legends, The Collective Works.  Up in the Sierras with the Texas swing band, the Legendary Stardust Cowboys (and a lot of chili cook-offs).   And with the Hangtown Jazz Company (they played the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee).

Other projects included Caught in the Act, Crosscut and in latter years, the Blues Defenders.

Johnny Rawls, Mike, and Jeff Piche
Jamming with Kenny Neal
The Blues Defenders of Sonoma county hosted a highly successful weekly pro jam. Mike had the chance to jam with Terry Hanck, Zakiya Hooker, Elvin Bishop, Chris Cain, Ron Thompson, Kenny Neal, Lloyd Meadows, Jackie Payne and numerous others. The Defenders have been featured at the Sonoma County Blues Festival and Russian River Blues Festival.

Cousin Mike with Bill Bowker of KRSH radio, Donny Mederos and Johnny Rawls
Over the years Mike had long working relationships (and friendships) with a remarkable array of fine musicians including Bishop Norman Williams, Johnny Rawls, The  Jonutz Brothers (aka Cold Blood Horns), Steve Campos, Larry Stewart, Bob and June Williams, Dave Cardoza, Olen Dillingham, Jimmy Rivers, Lydia Pense and Rick Kellogg  (this is a short, inadequate, list to be sure).

Mike had three children and a considerable network of family and friends.
I was fortunate to be part of that family.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Elan Kamesar's Printmaking Exhibit

I was very pleased to finally get a chance to highlight the printmaking of Elan Kamesar this last month at the San Geronimo Valley Community Center.

Elan was born in San Francisco and works primarily in linoleum cut and lithography. 

He studied Fine Art at UC Santa Cruz, and has been a member of the California Society of Printmakers since 2004. He has traveled extensively in Latin America and Europe, and has worked in printmaking studios in Italy, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, and the Netherlands. 

His work has been exhibited internationally and is held in private collections throughout the world, including Launch Pad Gallery, Yokohama, Japan and the U.S. Library of Congress.

Here's a recap.

Setting up the exhibit.

A linocut


 The reception.

Me with Elan's father, sculptor Jack Kamesar