Sunday, January 18, 2015

terri wheeler - kc printmaker

It's a challenge. It takes you outside of what you are normally going to do.    Terri Wheeler
Photo from previous print exchange.
There was this print exchange. And I was, I CAN DO that, I can do THAT!. And they had this theme, it was like "Just A Second." And so I was like, well, you can do JUST ABOUT ANYTHING with that!! I mean, that is, what is that? I mean, it took me longer to figure out the concept  (laughs) than what I am going to DO. So I did a LEAF that is FALLING. And it turned out really good.  Terri Wheeler
The submission deadline for "Print Exchange -
Just a Second" was December 15, 2014.
Double click images to enlarge.
Terri's print exchange entry, next.

falling by terri wheeler

After I started dating my boyfriend Oscar, he brought me on our first date, these really pretty yellow lillies. And I just loved them. It inspired me to do some drawings and then some prints.          Terri Wheeler
Above, hand-made folio
Next, a suite is a group of prints that go together.
Below, yellow lillies, three-color linocut, artist's proof.

Whether she does a linocut, a painting, or sculpture,
her image is found through drawing. Two minutes.

Ms. Wheeler walks me through her studio. 
She uses her sun porch for drawing overlays.
A block from 2010 reveals her layout execution. Many patient cuts.
Two blocks are used to produce one image.
Video runs two minutes. Click on

Ms. Wheeler and her expensive table top press. The advantage of a mechanical press over hand-burnishing is having impressions that are even and consistent. She knows what it is like to have burnished areas of the block with a doorknob. It can be difficult to get the right pressure over the whole plate. She uses felt blankets for her linoleum blocks. She likes the embossing that it produces.
She dries her prints on a clothesline she pins up within her space.
To bring the press up to their second story apartment, Wheeler and her boyfriend took the press apart, carried the pieces upstairs and re-assembled the press without instructions. Setting the pressure is different for each block, depending on the humidity, according to Wheeler. Video runs five minutes. Click on

Artists Terri Wheeler and Karl Marxhausen talk about the importance of setting a routine in the studio. Three minutes. Click on

"You HAVE TO SET that LITTLE ROUTINE. I'll come in, I'll sit down, either something will come to me or it won't, I'll think about something and sketch in my book, I'll paint on this or that, until something starts to click, and then by the time something has clicked it's already dark and I'll have been up here for several hours." Terri Wheeler

"It's also WITH EXPECTATION, you don't go up and say fatalistic: "I'm never going to get anything done. It's a waste of time, why am I even bothering?" Some days CAN be like that. But sometimes it's like I'm just HOPEFUL. I just think: "I'm just going to TRY."  Karl Marxhausen

"And I find, you know, it's just THE TRYING. Art is three letters, T - R - Y. Try. Try something." Karl Marxhausen

"Yep. Yep. EXPERIMENT. CREATE. Just DO IT. If it fails, you have learned know, it could be a happy accident. Like all of a sudden, it could be "WOW, OK, that really WORKS!!" Terri Wheeler
A suite of work. Video runs six minutes.
Her process, linked video runs ten minutes, click on

Wheeler is excited about the Sketchbook Project and Print Exchange. Video runs two minutes.
For more on this, click

A final word to fellow printmakers. One minute.
Don't give up. There is room for everybody. Terri Wheeler

Terri Wheeler is a member of the Kansas City Artists Coalition. Her print studio is in Kansas City, Missouri. Her website is
This interview took place Sunday, December 14, 2014.

(Sketchbook Project images, courtesy of Flickr,, accessed Jan. 4, 2015)

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Holding Pattern - Spencer Museum of Art

    While we waited for our lunch to arrive at the old Teller's Restaurant in Lawrence, Kansas, we caught up with each other. Rick shared how museum goers were spending more than 15 minutes looking at work in New York, according to an article in the Times. Paula was getting ready to go with her sister on a trip to Costa Rico, a free trip.

Jan noticed stained leaves on a cloth at Roxie's studio. Suzanne recounted her 4,000 mile drive to the coast of Maine and the collograph workshop she took part in. It was some thing she could do as a widow to remember travels with her husband. Drinking it all in. Pacing herself. So happy to get back home, to use her own equipment, in her own space, without having to wait. And do collographs her way. Visits with relatives in Cinncinati.

John was finding out that the etcher of birds, Maurcie Bebb,  was a painter too. There was  more to people that what lay on the surface. He looked forward to sharing the inside of the Pruitt's house on Sunday, December 14,
from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. He said from the outside houses look so ordinary, while inside the decor can be extraordinary. I ordered "bee stings" to share at our table. Some tasted the snack treat made of cheese and cracked pepper. Papa frits were also shared, along with laughter, and joy. Then our food came. It was tasty and exotic.

Photos and videos follow from the Double click on images to enlarge.
Spencer Museum of Art, which was where our group visited.

Nine minutes.

Five minutes.

Photos and video by Karl Marxhausen
Additional photo by Curtis V. Smith.

Holding Pattern at Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, Kansas

Friday, November 28, 2014

nov - warhol at joslyn museum


this is a cautionary tale. a group of the nelson atkins print society drove up from kansas city saturday. their intent was to view the "Andy Warhol in Living Color" in Omaha. they arrived intact at the Joslyn Art Museum.

once inside the subtle shift began. the chroma between Warhol and nineteen contemporary artists created a dialouge and sifted their senses.

members began to examine how color impacts both the subject and viewer.

all who drink in color are saturated and consequently shaped by the color to understand it.

 For more, click on accessed Nov 28, 2014

as of this posting, 
all the members from this exciting road trip have been accounted for.

original photos by robin gross. alterations by karl marxhausen. each are members of the nelson atkins print society. join today.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

nov - ink and compare - curiosity club

How much pressure is enough? 

The challenge for the Curiosity Club. Two minutes. Double click to send images in detail.

Eighteen participants from the Marshall area were asked to study and think and compare inked impressions. Were these two images exactly alike?

Virginia, Phyllis, Jackie, and Pat were the first group of puzzle solvers to examine an inked impression and a cut woodblock. 

They concluded:
1) the woodblock was the reverse of the inked impression
2) the deep cuts on the block resulted in white areas in the print
3) noticed the trees

The second group looked closely at three inked impression, next.

They concluded:
1) The dark impression was probably the first print inked up.
2) The left one had cornstalks and flowers in it.

      All were surprised to hear that the artist preferred the blackest black one. Many liked the faint ones. One lady, Carol, asked how the "cornstalk and flower cuts" were removed from the woodblock. An Elmer's paste was applied to the cuts, let dry, then wet sanded with 220 grade sandpaper and some water. The surface was gently wet sanded until the cut surface was smooth to the touch. When inked, the previous cuts printed black. (click on link for video HERE )

     It was a commercial artist at the Union Station in Kansas City named Fred Geary, a native of Carrollton, who got a bug for woodcuts. He was CURIOUS. He tried cutting on a linoleum block first. Something like this:

  As Geary's curiosity grew, Geary tried woodcuts, and then wood engravings, which use a harder wood. In 1935 Geary had an entry accepted in the 16th International Print Makers Exhibition, at the Los Angeles Museum Exposition Park, in California. He was one of one hundred and eighty-five print makers who had work exhibited.

         ABOVE, "Birthplace of Jesse James" by Fred Geary, wood engraving,18th impression of 100. This meant Geary had 18 impressions of that were just as DARK and as RICH and as PERFECT as the one you see here. The ink impression or proof measured 7 1/2 by 10 3/8 inches.
         The Carrollton Public Library graciously allowed five of their Geary collection to be shown at the Curiosity Club.

     Karl Marxhausen, an artist from Carrollton, prepared linoleum blocks for the Curiosity Club. The one to the LEFT was based on the right side of Geary's work.
Compare the inked impression to the RIGHT with Geary's work above. Places were marked for cutting, and students from previous workshops have made all the cuts. CURIOUS participants all inked from the same block, but applied different pressure as they HAND BURNISHED the back on the paper. The most frequent question was: "How much pressure is enough??"

Margaret wanted to do another one. Two minute video.
Margaret (M): Does it make any difference how much you rub on this? 
Karl Marxhausen (KM): I guess you will find out. 
M: Ok (chuckle) (paper slides askew) Oh shoot. Do I take the paper off? 
KM: Just keep going.
Kathy: I bet it is just stuck to the block.
KM: And if it is stuck to the block that is a good thing!
M: Which one do you think is better? 
Kathy: That is your interpretation.
KM: Which one would you hang on your refrigerator?
M: You know, I don't know.
KM: (points) This one (on the right) is upside down. (points to left) This one is right side up.
Kathy: There you go. That might make it a little better.
M: (point to left) Probably this on is better.
KM: I'd hang on to both and sign them both. And say, "I DID THIS." 
M: (chuckle) And what if I....
KM: No, that's what gives it VALUE. If you say, I did this. And they ARE different. Then you can point that out. Say, "It was HARD. Cuz look, they ARE NOT THE SAME. I did both of them, but they are not the same.
M: (chuckles and she signs them)
KM: (points) Is that yours too?
M: Yeah.
KM: I would take ALL THREE.
M: You know what I did here? I signed it upside down. (chuckles)
KM: Hey, that works.

Edith and Margaret compare their impressions. Hmmm.

Virginia Sprigg signed her impression and clipped it to the clothesline John had put up. She went home and came back with a woodcut her first cousin had done. Donald Hayob was a retired art teacher from Slater, Missouri.

"I taught art at Longview Community College. The class was doing a section on Linocuts. I figured I would do one myself. So I herded them outside, we did drawings of the campus chapel, and went back in and did the box. I worked on the birch panel at night, for three nights. There was probably six to eight hours of work in it. Passion is what it takes. That and patience." (Hayob was reached on the phone, Sunday, Nov 16, 2014. He is 76 years old, retired, and lives on nine acres of land on the south edge of Lee's Summit, Missouri.)

One minute. Sprigg showed the woodcut "Longview Chapel" by Donald Hayob. His work measured 20 by 12 inches. Seeing the Geary works, and doing her own impression sparked Virginia to bring this treasure to share at the Curiosity Club. Sprigg lives in Marshall, Missouri.


Six minutes. Geary wonder at the Curiosity Club. A CURIOUS Holly Forsman inked her impression. So did Jackie. So did Margaret. Everyone this day was CURIOUS. 

"Once you started inking, they drew in closer." Kathy Tylee


"I have worked with linocuts before." Carol 
Below, both Carol and John took turns, sat and used a Speedball cutter on the second linoleum block Marxhausen had prepared.

"Now I see that the cuts are careful and controlled."  John


"Where can I buy a lino block?" Vera 

"You can buy them at the Dick Blick art store in Kansas City." Karl

Artist Karl Marxhausen cuts on his lino block. CLICK HERE
Fifteen minutes. At his home studio, Marxhausen works on a winter scene. He used this linoleum block as a example of block work at the Curiosity Club Wednesday, Nov 12th. For further cutting, CLICK HERE

Tell me something about the tree by the house that Fred Geary did, below.
"There is lots of white cut out of it."
The Curiosity Club meets the second Wednesday of every month at 1:00 pm at the Marshall Senior Center, 14 E. Morgan St. It is sponsored by the Senior Center and the Marshall Public Library. You can join them for lunch at 12 or dessert, coffee and curiosity satisfaction at 1:00 pm. For more information call 660-886-3391, Marshall Public Library.

Thanks to Holly Forsman for taking photos for this post.
Thanks to Carrollton Public Library and Director Sue Lightfoot for inked impressions by Fred Geary, from their collection.
Thanks to Kathy Tylee, Director of the Marshall Senior Center.
Thanks to Wicky Sleight, Director of the Marshall Public Library. Thanks to Karl Marxhausen for layout and additional photos. Marxhausen is a member of the Nelson Atkins Print Society.