Monday, October 27, 2014

october - mary ann strandell

Out of the box.
Not seen anywhere else.
 The works of Mary Ann Strandell are
Elements are suspended
in a space
some clear - decisive
some vague - out of focus.
She names this

     In her drawing High Tea IV With Seeds  it is the softness of pastel, 
and the erasure of graphite that breathe "transitory states into being." 
A quality that is both illusive and difficult to render. That is key to Mandell's vision.
    Her Matisse-like flourishes with sumi ink are both bold and lyrical. This is not just a counter-balance. It is also translucency. In the drawn medium she sometimes uses ink on Mylar to achieve this.

Transit Square, 24 inches square, 
3D lenticular print on sintra, 2004
Double click on images to enlarge

Her compositions are complex,
in motion, and frozen. 

In her drawing Rotate View Up the artist limits herself to a stark and unforgiving medium, that of sumi ink. She takes on a challenging perspective, and creates a disappearing staircase. Bravo. This drawing gives us clues to what Mandell is interested with. And a point of view each one can respect. She is toying with something championed only by particle physicists, namely quatuum mechanics. Simply put, states of being that shift in front of our eyes.

In her oil paint rendition of the staircase she gives us an idea of her color scheme (above). Her lenticular print making on the same subject (below).

Hotel, Apple Staircase, lenticular print, 16 x 24 inches, 2012

"The Mary Ann Strandell program this past Thursday, Oct 3rd, was very well received and very well attended with 40 attendees by the time the program was finished. This included 2 people from the Bemis Center." John Mallery

Meggan Draper II With Drones, lenticular print

"During the presentation she provided insight into the creation of a large commissioned piece she created for the Polsinelli law firm in Kansas City. This piece is approximately 7 ft high by 30 ft long. Hearing about the creation of the print from the proposal process all the way to the final installation was intriguing. She even invited anyone who was interested an opportunity to view the installed piece that Friday at 1:00 pm. About a dozen people took advantage of her offer. To hear an artist discuss their piece in a place for which it was specifically designed was amazing. It was truly an exceptional experience. 

I think what made her presentation so interesting is her passion and excitement for her work. She is a very successful artist with multiple shows occurring around the country. A show just closed in Charlottesville, Virginia and she has shows opening in New Mexico and New York in the next several weeks." John Mallery
Mary Ann Strandell

See more about Strandell at

Layout and text by Karl Marxhausen
Lens 2 photos and comments by John Mallery 

Cherry Stairs, 24 x 24”, 3D lenticular print on sintra, 2008, 
(courtesy of Mary Ann Strandell,, accessed Oct 27, 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

september - benton in black and white

"Personally, I really enjoyed just hearing the curator talk about the Bentons and, for me, looking at them there in the gallery. So many great images." Stephen Pruitt
Wreck of the Ol "97, Benton, 1944
    "Yes I was excited about the range of white to deep blacks and all inbetween that Benton was able to do.  I think other thing that I finally
noticed was this:  that in his most dramatic pieces there was something in the foreground, mid-ground and in the background.  All things happening at once, clear and dramatic.   I noticed his clouds how they reminded me of Asian cloud motifs in their art work and was wondering if he was influenced by them.  I did not think the clouds were Midwestern in appearance but more Asian artistic renditions.  Another thing with Benton that I liked is its basic human nature appeal....not fancy people, not wealthy things, but people struggling to make a life or to deal with the life that has been dealt out to them." Paula Winchester 
Prayer Meeting, Benton, 1949

Benton in Black and White
Click on
"The one big thing that I think should be emphasized is exactly what an original print really is.  There seemed to be some confusion on that issue Thursday night on the part of a participant.  The point is "Original prints are multiple works of art, entirely distinct from drawings, paintings, and sculpture, but fully equivalent in originality." Stephen Pruitt
The Farmer's Daughter, Benton, 1944
Spencer Library Guide
On Marilyn Carbonell's presentation on Benton in the Spencer Art Reference Library:
"The depth of the possible "researchability" that exists out there via the internet. I went the her library yesterday to research the London Times 1785-1860s hoping to find some greater in depth info I wish to find. Can't say I found anything new but was interested to see the original in print on the screen. Also, what I had to learn to operate. The library staff was oh! So patient and kind to me as I struggled with printing my discoveries and then forgetting etc etc. " Paula 

Happy Birthday to Thomas Hart Benton

(Benton images courtesy of Nelson Atkins Museum of Art,, accessed September 13, 2014)

Comments by society members Stephen Pruitt and Paula Winchester
Layout by Karl Marxhausen

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

august - member's choice

Three Nudes in the Forest (Drei Akte im Walde): Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938), 1933, woodcut, 35.2 x 50 cm (Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City) 
Melencolia I, 1514
 Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471–1528)
 Engraving; 9 1/2 x 7 3/8 in. (24 x 18.5 cm) 
"I thought the selections that Lisbeth made were well thought out and interesting.  The early prints that she selected were excellent examples so members could see the growth of techniques and development of print making into the 20th Century." Richard Hamilton 

 Photos by Eric Lehnert, Print Society member.

Friday, August 22, 2014

birds in print ---bruce bradley

American Flamingo, John James Audubon

 The program at Linda Hall Library was spectacular. Bruce Bradley provided historical perspective into the printing processes used in the books we viewed. For me, as an avid bird watcher and naturalist, seeing the works was a dream come true. I had read about Mark Catesby's "The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands" (published in 1754) my entire life - not only did I get to SEE this book, I got to TURN the pages!! Works by Alexander Wilson and John Gould were also highlights. I think the big "take away" from the event is not how wonderful the works were, but the fact that they are ACCESSIBLE. It is possible for me to go back to the Library and see them again - I can go back as many times as I want to study them. To have such historically significant works accessible in Kansas City is PHENOMENAL. There were many on the tour (myself included) - who walked around the Library saying, "I had no idea such a gem could be found right here in Kansas City." John Mallery

See John and Elizabeth Gould bird images, click HERE 
Birds of America, click HERE
More on Prideaux John Selby, click HERE
Bird Prints, click HERE and HERE
More on Edward Lear birds, click HERE
More on Mark Catesby birds, click HERE
Collections at Linda Hall Library, click HERE
Bewick woodcut 
Karl, I had Bruce send me some info since I did not take notes this time. I have changed his wording a bit and added a touch more. The entire book list is attached and I took a cell phone photo of one of the Bewick woodcuts. Paula Winchester

 For John James Audubon birds, click 

   Ornithology, as much as any other scientific discipline, depends on illustrations to convey information about its subject. John James Audubon knew that, and his 19th-century studies for his Birds of America were 
attempts to break from traditional methods of bird illustration to show as much information as possible in a new and lifelike manner. The Birds in Print program examined the art of ornithological prints, as found in the 
Linda Hall Library’s collection of rare books. Print Society members and visitors looked at the work of Audubon and some of his contemporaries, such as John and Elisabeth Gould, Alexander Wilson, Edward Lear, 
and Prideaux Selby. Earlier work by Thomas Bewick and Mark Catesby were discussed and available to view, along with examples of several 16th and 17th century books with printed illustrations of birds.

    Bruce Bradley, Librarian for History of Science at Linda Hall Library talked for approximately an hour. Afterwards, members and guests went to the rare book area where Mr. Bradley had 25 books out for viewing and 
touching. The oldest was the Pierre Belon's L'Histoire de la Nature des Oyseaux, 1555, and the most recent being Axel Amuchastegui's Some Birds and Mammals of North 
America, 1971. Sixteen of the 25 books were published or created in the 1800s.

    The Linda Hall Library collects in all areas of science, engineering, and technology. Its holdings in ornithology include rare books in the History of Science Collection, along with modern books and journals that cover the 
entire spectrum of historical and modern studies of the subject. Mr. Bradley welcomed any member to come visit again, and to request any book that is in the rare book collection for examination.

Thanks to John Mallery and Paula Winchester for their contributions.
Layout by Karl Marxhauen 
(Links courtesy of; Birds of America,; Jonathan Selby,;  Bird Prints,;; Edward Lear birds,; Mark Catesby birds,,
accessed Aug 8, 2014. Collections at Linda Hall Library. About Linda Hall collection,, accessed Aug 23, 2014)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

tArvis - kc printmaker

in the midst of the viewer stream, tArvis took a moment to talk with me friday night. He told me about the Vanderhook press that he pulls with both hands when he proofs his linocuts. Something like the next photo.

He agreed to be spontaneous and say a few words for this post.

tArvis porter (TP) and karl marxhausen (KM) exchange. Two minutes.
tArvis points to photos of his blog from his smartphone. His PROCESS is deliberate, precise, and manual.
TP: All right, so here is my sketch. Which is drawn out on graph paper. That is how I kind of lay out the design --- And then, here it is, basically drawn out on a grid. --- Then, penciled in. --- Then I go through and actually carve it out. --- That is the finished plate right there. A couple little versions of it. ---
With this particular print, the red goes first. And you can see with my print that everything is really manual. You know, roll out the ink by hand, roll it on the press by hand, and then you actually pull the press, you pull every print by hand.
This is the black screen, so if you look at it there (both screens at the same time) you can see the red goes first, then black. And then hopefully that is the finished product.
TP: Of course, even the registration with this is manual, so --- You just LEARN to EMBRACE the imperfections with it.

KM: So which piece is that in this room?

TP: This one over here (pointing to the wall)

KM: point it out to us? Can you stand by it?

TP: Sure. There it is ! !  Fire 2012 (Chimú)

KM: What is your name?

TP: Travis Porter.

KM: And so, how many prints can you do of that?

TP: Oh. I do a lot of small runs. Like ten to twelve. This particular one I left open, because the red and black is so popular that I figure I can come back to a lot. But some of the more colorful ones, they are pretty small editions.

KM: And you were saying just a few minutes ago how, this is not typical of linocuts. So, what difficulties do you have with this particular challenge?
TP: Registering colors!! Typically with linocuts I feel like it is a little freer process, and not so graphic and built on a grid. So..

KM: Is it labor intensive??

TP: Yes. Very much !!! But the thing is, once you CARVE the BLOCK, you got it forever. Cause I spent many a-night carving. And I thought to myself, 'do it right, and you'll have this block and print on it forever.'
KM:  Of course, you are proud of it.

TP: Sure. Why wouldn't I?

KM: Who does your framing?

TP: I did. Because I have too.

The interview took place June 6, 2014 
at the Opie Gallery in the Leedy Voulkos Art Center, Kansas City, Missouri. Syncretized Patterns ran May 2nd to June 6th, 2014.

More deliberate precision cuts by tAvis at

(Hand-pulled vanderhook proof press courtesy of Briar Press,, The Porterhaus,, Fire 2012 image,,
Fire process, June 18, 2014)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

kcai student panel

    "It was a good run & discussion. Especially from the questioning past art dealer that seemed to know the answer to all of his questions. Rather more giving good advice to all the students & artists on how to be more corporate & business like with their work. We know we don't ever work for the money, but better to be fed at dinnertime than an ascetic. If it were me, I'd starve for making art any day than eat a good meal." Eric Lehnert

 Professor Laura Berman, panel moderator,
introduces the six KCAI students
who will speak on their print making.
Eight minutes.
Double click on images 
to enlarge.


Sara Elizabeth Haug
(current KCAI Sophomore) 
from Leawood, Kansas. 
Five minutes.

Daiana Oneto
(current KCAI Junior)
 from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Seven minutes.

Emmett Merrill
 (current KCAI Junior)
from Kansas City
 Seven minutes.
Interview with Emmett. 

Kelsey Alexsandra Van Horn
(current KCAI Senior)
 from Oklahoma.
Eleven minutes.
Closing comments on Merrill, then on to Van Horn.


Adri Luna
 (Bachelor of Fine Arts, KCAI 2011)
 from Los Angeles
followed by
Robert Howser
 (Bachelor of Fine Arts, KCAI 2009, 
Master of Fine Art, Ohio University)
 from Pennsyvania.  Seventeen minutes.

Student Discussion. Eleven minutes

Value of Critiques. Four minutes.

Students on building community within Print Department.
Seven minutes.