Archives For Art

print 2

A couple of weeks ago I have the pleasure of spending a few hours in the Printmaking Studio at the University of Washington School of Art.  A group of about 20 novice printers showed up for instruction on how to make monotypes from UW art professor Curt Labitzke.  After a brief history lesson and some instruction, Curt set us loose with acrylic plates, a pallet of inks and rollers.  I think the last time I attempted to make a print was in college and the etching process, while fascinating, was far from spontaneous. 

The immediacy of the monoprint process was invigorating and although I am sure many in our little group were not used to expressing their ideas visually with paint or pencil or ink on paper, the studio buzzed with delight at what was revealed when our prints were lifted from the press.  Curt, an inspiring teacher, kept us on task and entertained as three hours in the studio flew by.

print 3

Monoprinting is just as the name implies, “one print” although a second or even a third pass through the press can produce “ghost prints” that I found more evocative than the first prints. 

The printmaking process yields a product that is once removed from the artist’s hand. The press, the paper, the ink, the various oils and powders that can be applied to alter the way the ink adheres (or not) to the paper adds surprising and sometimes unexpected elements to the result.  Printmaking is a collaboration of the tools and materials used and the artist, and maybe that is why it reminded me of architecture. 

print 1

Although my products are those of a rank beginner, I was thrilled a process that felt natural to me. It also reminded me what a great resource we have right her, a stone’s throw from the JA offices. Thanks UW!


Empty Seattle

Riley —  February 8, 2013 — 1 Comment

A couple of years ago, I wrote about a book of photographs by Matt Logue called Empty LA. He took photos of prominent LA intersections and edited all of the people out, which is significantly harder, and quite a bit more interesting than it sounds. The project turns well-known areas and turns them in to ghost towns. It calls special attention to the intertwined relationship between people and built environments; these environments don’t exist in a vacuum, they are intimately and always tied to the people who inhabit them. That’s what makes a project like Logue’s so interesting, it presents us with the built environment as we might design it: ideal and orderly, but the effect winds up being haunting. Places without people are awesome and peaceful, but they aren’t our places.

But if you didn’t identify particularly with Empty LA, I don’t blame you. Much of the effect is a product of seeing places you know turned upside down, and if you don’t live in LA…well, then they’re not really that interesting. But lucky for you, Thrash Lab has embarked on an epic project to bring that eerie feeling of emptiness to your town, not just in photographs but through time lapse video. In their Empty America series, they made it to the Northwest and produced an awesome little video called Empty Seattle. It features some of the most famous and well traveled areas of the city, only there isn’t a person or car in the video. It’s definitely worth a watch:



Justin's work on display at Johnston Architects

Justin’s work on display at Johnston Architects

We have been extremely lucky to have such talented artists come through our office gallery. Some artists work in their studios full-time while others devote any free time outside of their day jobs to creative endeavors. Either way, the work is beautiful and inherently articulated.

In the last few months, Justin Kane Elder’s work graced our walls stirring up a bit of good energy around the office with his use of bright colors and simple geometric pixels.  Some of his portraiture work exhibited at JA will continue to show through the month of January, including his life-size portrait of Andre The Giant. If you pass us along the Burke Gilman, you might be able to catch him staring off into the distance!

Life-Sized Andre

Life-Sized Andre

As for Justin’s day job? Look up the words Electric Coffin, visit the new restaurant Joule or the new EVO store in Wallingford and you’ll see what he’s been up to.