Lovin’ Letterpress

Lettterpress wedding invites with Bride and Groom

A couple months ago, I had the pleasure of designing and letterpress printing wedding invites for some friends of mine. I had done a few things here and there, but this would be a invite, RSVP card, thank you notes and envelopes to match. I was excited to do a full set and even more excited when the bride, Ula, requested we do some blind embossing and provided some beautiful, detailed photos of the church they would get married in for some great ideas for a design element. After the designs were done, we printed them at LetterpressPDX with some major help from Jenn the owner and operator of this beautiful press. Jenn got me up an running, helped troubleshoot some tricky issues that popped up and guided me through the whole process. Then Ula and Dan came to help print their own invites. As soon as I get around to photographing the final pieces, I will post those too.

On Mississippi Ave.

A few weeks ago I finished a piece on the Mississippi District here in Portland. I just love this area as well…so much character despite the new massive, modern buildings. This is another area of town where I adore every building on the strip, but couldn’t possibly fit them all in. Maybe I will have to do a second one at some point!

Working on Mississippi District Print

I just adore the Mississippi District here is Portland…so I am doing a print of it. While the area is small, I just love how every building brings character to the street despite the new “mega modern” buildings that have been recently added. I started on a piece that was about a 100 inches long trying to put all the buildings I love into one scene – it was ridiculous. So, I forced myself to narrow it down to 5-6 so I can fit it on standard size paper. It is starting to come a long…here is a little hint of it.

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holiday's from Alberta District, Portland, OR
This is the first project I have printed on a Letter Press. I took a great workshop at the Atelier Meridian and was able to get a holiday card printed for the holidays on a press from 1909. Hopefully, I can do this on my own next year and take it up a notch. This year, I thought it would be fun to leverage my solarplate etching I did of Alberta Street…I took it and Christmas-tized it a bit. The image is made with a photopolymer plate and the text is hand set lead type.

Have a great holiday and wish you all the best for 2011!

The Pearl District – The Etched Version

Solarplate Etching print of The Pearl District in Portland, OR

The Pearl District in Portland, OR

This is my latest print of the Pearl District in Portland, OR. The Pearl District was formally an area of factories which has now been renovated into a cultural center of downtown Portland. Here I am trying to capture the spirit of it one composite print. I am excited about this print – it was my first experiment into layering and using lighter etched prints. I am definitely going to be incorporating this technique in my next scene.

Selling Alberta Prints at Last Thursday

Alberta Street Collection in color

I have been working feverishly on my printmaking. It is a slow process, but I am slowly building a set of prints. Even though I have really just started this project and have so much more I want to do and adjust, I thought I will set up shop and try to sell a few prints on Last Thursday on Alberta street. Even more importantly, it would be great to see people’s reaction to the work. If you are in Portland, come on over and say hi!

Beyond Hat Point: Photo Book Published


Inside with prose by Devin McCarthy:

It was early September and the blue sky was in its final gasp of summer. We drove slowly up the nervous, narrow road that edged the high cliffs. At the top, beyond Hat Point, we found this place. A forest of skeletal pine trees; thin and black with soot. Lonely markers of the fire earlier in the year. Their bark was strangely soft like paper. One touch and the bark would give; leaving a handprint in the charcoal trunk. The bushes and flowers that had been stifled by the thick branches of the trees were now free to stand alone in the sun. Everything below the trees was alive; nearly overwhelming the small path we followed. As the afternoon waned, the sunlight became angled, brilliant, and crystalline; nearly tangible. Breaking through the remaining branches and the leaves of the high bushes, the light was full of contrast; spotlighting a single flower and then shadowing it. We stood there a long time watching it all; the fierce beauty of the fire’s aftermath and the sunlight that seemed nearly aware of us. It wasn’t until the sun moved to the other side of the mountain that the spell was broken and we began the winding trip back down.

Light and Dark at Hells Canyon

Late Afternoon Light through burnt trees at Hells Canyon

Last September we went to Hells Canyon. The Canyon itself was an awesome view, but the remnants of of a forest fire accompanied with new growth and beautiful, late afternoon light was what caught our eye. I should say…while I was obsessed with the green growth contrasting with the burnt trees, Devin pointed out the light coming at us at one angle of the trail which resulted in the above photo and many others. I am thinking of making these into a book…Maybe…? Here are the rest of my favorites from that day >>

Photos shifting to printmaking

What a Spring…moving to a new place, the possibly had the swine flu, plugging along with work, setup a new blog design…and I am coming out of that embarking on a new project…
I learned a printmaking technique using Solarplates. You literally use UV light to expose a plate with a drawing or photograph (on transparent paper) and it creates an etching into the plate in which you can apply ink and transfer the image to paper. I won an artist residency with Print Arts NW as well – so I am going to focus my artwork to something like I have posted here. In my photography I have been working on urban landscapes and so I will continue that theme here with my printmaking. I will plan to work in color, texture, sky elements, etc. and develop this idea further.