Saturday, May 23, 2015

jack olsen - kc collector

  Jack and Georgia Olsen, the directors of the American Legacy Gallery, opened up their showcase home to their friends in the Nelson Atkins Print Society Saturday.  

Members enjoyed viewing paintings, prints, sculpture and pottery in the private collection, amassed over a thirty-five year period. Double click to see photos enlarged.
Five minutes. Comments from Paula Winchester (PM), Karl Marxhausen (KM), Clyde Wendel (CW), and Viewer in Hallway (VH).

People milled around looking at exquisite block prints, etchings, lithographs, charcoals, drawings and delicious paintings on the upper and lower level of the Olsen Estate. I caught up with my friend Paula 
Winchester, as she was eying prints by the staircase, and she offered some thoughts.

KM: So, are there anything in particular that you are really enjoying?
PW: Oh, just, I am enjoying looking, a little bit of everything..looking at the frames, how they have a sequence. So I was talking to Jack, that they will try to use the same frame with the same motif so that they can cluster them together. That's really neat.
KM: Yeah.
PW: Just the bronze work and everything. All exciting!
KM: They have a really good space, it's not all cluttered, there is room to move around in.

PW: And still see so many things. My friend that I brought, we found a pot upstairs in one of her cases, and we got to find out about what she knows about the artist. 'Cause we found one at a flea market, and we kind of wanted to know..
 KM: Wow. Sweet. Yeah, sure, sure.

PW: You know, I don't know, it looks so similiar. So, anyway, do you have a favorite yet?
KM: Really haven't focused so much.
PW: It is so nice how things go together.. It's not just a picture.
 KM: Oh yeah. How they got a picture, but they have given attention to the pieces that are next to it as well. 

PW: That painting looks like a Van Gogh.
CW: This one here? Robert Daughters. 
KM: Who?
CW: Robert Daughters. He's from the conservatory in St. Joseph. He passed away two years ago.
KM: So, that is done by somebody from here.
CW: He spent a lot of time down in Santa Fe, Taos, and Tuscon. Probably influenced by Impressionism. He used to work, he was an illustrator at Hallmark for a period of time.
KM: Actually the embellishments here (in the painting) go along nicely with (the swiggles in the gold-leaf frame) stuff that is going on here.
VH: These are by the same person.

KM: Really?
CW: He did those as well. These are his silkscreens. Four churches in the Taos, Santa Fe area.
KM: Those are silkscreens? They almost look like pastel.
VH: Although they don't have the swirls, they do have the same textural feel as in the paintings.
CW: Good eye!
KM: I like his bright colors. 

More about Robert Daughters 

That was the first time I got to see a wood engraving by Ernest Hubert Deines (above) When I did research on Fred Geary, the wood engraver from Carrollton, MO, Deines was a friend and did Geary's biography after he died. The piece is called "Flowers of Westport." Deines came from Kansas.                 Karl Marxhausen

We like the kinds of art in the Olsen collection. The same is true for the paintings and prints at the American Legacy Gallery in Kansas City. It's our kind of art.  Eric and Jane

More on the American Legacy Gallery in Kansas City, MO, click 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

karl marxhausen - print share

Photographer Karl Marxhausen held up a favorite woodcut at the Creative Cafe and shared the difficulty of the cutting and inking process. Double click on images to enlarge details.


"It began with my love for "a wisp." The way the thin graphite strokes described faint sunlight coming through the cloud."

"The thinnest lines in a woodcut are the darkest black. The whole design becomes something more than a gray scale drawing. After all the days it takes to cut a design onto the block, the inking and the proofing, it takes me just as long to embrace what I see with my eyes. A woodcut cannot hold soft lines like the light touch of graphite can."

"The tiptop of the trees are so skinny on the block, they hold a little amount of printer's ink. The hand-burnishing from the back side of the paper needs to be both gentle and deliberate. If that area is missed, then the details I want will be absent."

Six minute video showed inking a woodcut block with a brayer. Aligning the proof sheet with the inked block. Methodical burnishing by hand. Pulling a proof. And removing the water-based ink with a paper towel. (courtesy of the artist)

"There is a lot of guessing and planning that one works at. In my "Limb Over Snow Houses" I filled the sky with dashes, inspired by the work of C.A. Seward. It wasn't in the original drawing. It worked out amazingly well. I especially enjoy the graphic boldness and poetry of the tree trunk."

Hi, Karl, I wanted to send you a note thanking you for sharing your 2 prints today at the "show & tell." I was glad you passed them around so we could get a closer look at them. They were really quite wonderful! Keep up the good the work!
Ruthie Osa

Karl Marxhausen is a member of the Nelson Atkins Print Society. He takes photos for the Spotlight KC Print blog when he can. Members are encouraged to send their photos to along with their observations and comments related to all our events. See more of the plein air drawings from which his woodcuts were based at
Drop him an email to get his monthly newsletter. He keeps an art blog, the Moss Creek Journal  Cheers.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

print share - richard hamilton

At the Creative Cafe members shared stories about the print they brought with them from home. Double click on images to see details enlarged.

Six minutes.
"This one is interesting, from the standpoint of this presents I think one of the first use of plate toning," said Richard Hamilton during the Print Salon Share at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. "Which is where the artist wipes the plate.  Here he wiped the top but he did not wipe this bottom area to keep that dark and anchored. Of course this guy is with his mule, probably mule-horse, and I believe he is plowing somewhere on the outskirts of Paris."

 Drypoint by Jean Francoise Raffaelli.
It measured 4 5/8 by 6 inches.

One minute.
He made a total of 184 prints. Jean Francoise Raffaelli did not consider himself an impressionist. He considered himself to be a naturalist. And later a follower of Zola, who was an avant garde writer.

Richard Hamilton is a member of the Nelson Atkins Print Society.

print share - paula winchester

When 40 Nelson Atkins print society members got together to share a print that meant something to each of us,

STORIES opened up, and it got exciting in the Creative Cafe of the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. 

Member Paula Winchester spoke about visiting her son in Portland and shared her wood engraving by Paul Gentry. Double click on images to enlarge.

Three minutes. 
Paula shared:
"This is a little bit that I know about this person. Paul Gentry. He lives in Portland, Oregon. My son also lives there and works at Nike World headquarters. So I tried to find him, but I was only traveling by mass transit and he was beyond where I could travel."

"But (Gentry) he calls himself a wood engraver. And he started in 2001, so he hasn't been doing this for very long. And wood engraving, this is for me to know as long as you don't know as well, is different from woodcuts, in that they are made on blocks of "end grain hardwood" rather than the face of a board. He also makes his own boards. So this harder surface allows one to cut a very fine design with engraving tools."

"He lives in the Willamette Valley, and he has become over time, basically he is a pictorial realistic division. And he loves the land, and that which he lives in. So his artwork is going to be things that appeal to me. And I like landscapes and things having to do with nature."

"To produce a print usually takes several weeks of work. He usually does not do much more than thirty-five prints. He fabricates these blocks themselves from pieces of eastern maple which are glued together and then carefully milled and sanded. And then the interesting thing is that when he does these prints he uses a "bamboo rice spoon" which he gets from the kitchen. The bamboo rice spoon is his burnishing tool to get it pressed into the print."


"That's about what I know. I know the American Legacy Gallery still has these things. And there was this rather nice one that I thought was really cool that had trees, cows, and horses. And (Gentry) he also did one that the American Legacy Gallery picked to be a part of the Print Crawl last year. One that he had that I thought was really cool, and that was not nature-oriented, but... if you have ever been to Portland, it has ridge after ridge after ridge after ridge, and it was like looking through ridges underneath the bridges and there was a person walking." 
John Mallery: That one was actually called "Shadows and Steel" and it is actually in the Nelson collection.
Marilyn Carbonell: The Nelson has three of them. Three Paul Gentries.
Steve Pruitt: And why, why do they have three Paul Gentries, Marilyn?
Marilyn Carbonell: Someone donated.

"Reflections At Ankeny" by Paul Gentry, wood engraving

Paula Winchester is a member of the Nelson Atkins Print Society. Her website is More on Winchester's experimenting with monoprints, click

Sunday, April 19, 2015

print share - john mallery

John Mallery is the President of the Nelson Atkins Print Society. He shares an etching impression which his parents, maybe even his great- grandparents, owned. 

The great thing about the print share salon at the Creative Cafe is the personality of each member as each shared their favorite print. Humor and respect go hand in hand with this group. Which is probably why the membership is growing as quickly as it is these days. Double click on images to enlarge.
Video is three minutes.

Albrecht Durer made a cameo appearance in the etched procession An 1870 version of Where's Waldo.
The full procession is next.

More on Austrian painter Hans Makart  

Another plus for this group is how much one learns from the people who attend the function you also attend. There is much expertise in the room. As in the next video.

Video is four minutes.
Stephen Pruitt tells viewers where the PLATE MARK is underneath the mat. Remarques were little etched images that showed special distinction to a given etched impression.
[Hans Makart courtesy of Art Sunlight,,
accessed April 20, 2015]

Saturday, April 18, 2015

print share - curtis smith

   Curtis Smith shared his trip to Havana with the Kansas City Kansas Community College Jazz Orchestra as the court photographer. While the group stayed at Cathedral Square in Havana, the students and Curtis stopped by the Taller de Experimental del Graphica, a print shop and gallery that was started in 1962 by mural artist Orlando Suarez with the support of Che Guevara.  Double click on images to enlarge.   Video is six minutes, NEXT.

More on El Taller Experimental de Graphica HERE.
Smith ALSO shared the backstory of a scratch board print he got signed by two famous mountain climbers Dee Molenaar and Tom Hornbein. Print was 7th of 39 impressions.

More on Dee Molenaar and K2 and more about training to climb 
(scroll down on that page to the bottom)
Video of mountain climb by Eric Cutts

Video is two minutes.
"When I bought this in 1980 I was working at a gallery out of Denver called Alternative Art. I sold prints for this Denver print making company in Kansas City for a while. ---- This is the only print I bought from them that I liked, that I sold for them. I guess it meant to me at the time, that Life is sort of like, you try to hit the target, your goal is to hit the target with an arrow, but for me, throwing a rock at it is about as good as you get, and you see this missing the target. So, symbolically, that is where my mind was at in 1980. A trial and error process of growing up." Curtis Smith

[Taller Experimental de Graphica de La Habana link courtesy,  Dee Molenaar, Wikipedia,, and K2,, video link to climbing, Alpine Ascents,, accessed April 10, 2015]