Thursday, September 29, 2011

New Test Print

Open Studios is coming this weekend, and I've been cleaning up my studio, trying to stash away things to make my studio presentable to visitors.  I've also been working on a small test print in plans for a larger woodcut print.  Making a smaller print first allows me to work out my ideas before committing to a much larger piece.

This new print is of a petunia flower.  The test print is cropped much tighter than I will have for a the larger print. The first color printed is yellow.

The second color is a light transparent blue.

I will be working on other colors today, and hopefully finishing in time for Open Studios this weekend

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Today is the Last Day of the Firefly Gypsy Market

The Gypsy Firefly Sale was so much fun yesterday, and the turnout was great. Thank you to everyone who came by. All of the "gypsy" booths looked so good, especially at night with all of the little white lights. Stop by today to see me and and my work in the VW bus before I drive away at 3pm!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Firefly Gypsy Farm Market this weekend!

Please join me this weekend at the Firefly Gypsy Farm Market. I will be a part of the caravan of artists displaying in my VW Westphalia Bus!  This weekend will also be the debut of my 2012 woodcut scroll calendar. It will be a lot of fun, and I hope to see you there!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Reception at Rabbit Brush Gallery Tomorrow Night

Please join me tomorrow night at the reception of my exhibition at Rabbit Brush Gallery in Hygiene

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The "Hang and Level"

Every once in a great while I get sucked in to buying products displayed on the end caps of stores.  I really try to ignore these displays, but recently I got sucked in to a table at Home Depot for the Hang and Level, a bright yellow plastic gadget for hanging pictures that I was previously pondering about inventing for myself, but someone beat me to it.
Anyone that hangs a lot of pictures knows how challenging it is to align several frames at once.  One way is to hang pictures with a measuring tape and a pencil, measuring the hanging point on the wire from the top of the frame, and how that lines up on the wall.  Lots of little pencil marks are made and some head scratching too as the math can get complicated when considering hanging at 57" from the center point (the average height from the floor for optimal viewing of pictures).  Apartment Therapy has a post on that subject. Sometimes I have had to make several little holes in a line to finally get the picture hanging in the right place.  The "hang and level" (h & l) doesn't eliminate all of that, but makes hanging frames so much easier.  On the bottom is one or two hooks to hang the picture from depending on the weight of the frame.  

Hold the "h & l" with one hand against the wall with the picture hanging on the hooks.  When it is in place, remove the frame and set it aside (a helper can be good for this, but not necessary)  keeping the "h & l" on the wall.  The hook, which has a point on the back of it, is pushed down to make a slight indentation in the wall where the nail should be placed.  Put the frame down, and nail in to the spot marked on the wall.
The point on the back to indicate the nail hole

After the frame is hung, the "h & l" also has a level on it to level out your picture.  When I moved into my new studio, I used this gadget to hang several frames.  It went very quickly, with little or no measuring, and the frames were lined up perfectly. I think I will be using the hang and level from now on to hang my work in my studio and in exhibitions. (BTW- this is a completely unsolicited endorsement of this product)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Buy local- art supplies?

My friend Melissa and I went to the Wayzegoose letterpress sale on Saturday morning to see what kind of goodies we could find.
Melissa bought a case of fonts to play with.  It was really heavy for her to carry it back to the car!

I saw Ray Tomasso at the sale with sheets of his hand made paper in bins for sale. He had been by my studio during Open Studios several times, and was always trying to get me to try his paper to print with.

 I was in need of some paper, so I bought forty sheets of a brown hand made paper.

It wasn't until I got home that I thought a little deeper about my paper purchase.  The buy local movement has been around for a few years now, encouraging people to support their local farmer's or small hometown stores over big box or warehouse retailers.  I shop this way as much as I can, but haven't considered buying local for art supplies.  Buying Ray's paper has so many benefits.  Not only does it support him, and his art of hand made paper but also encourages his recycling of materials that are incorporated into the paper.  Among the list of materials in the paper are grey pants, and a poncho.  How great is that?  After trying this paper in a new project, I may reconsider mail ordering my usual Rives BFK that comes all the way from France. 

I wonder how many other local materials could be used for art supplies- beeswax for encaustic artists is one.  My friend Laura Tyler is one artist I know that uses local beeswax.  Kristin Fitzgerrell uses recycled scrap wood in her work.  Can you think of other artists that use local materials or art materials that can be sourced locally?

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Wayzgoose this weekend

Interested in learning more about letterpress printing or want to buy your own press?  Then go to the WAYZGOOSE!!!! Printers’ Fair open to the public

The Rocky Mountain Letterpress Society and the Book Arts League are pleased to host a Letterpress/Book Arts Sale and Wayzgoose on July 9, 2011 at Ewing Farm.

This is an opportunity for local letterpress printers to buy and sell equipment, for the public to experience an old-time printers fair, and for everyone to see a vintage letterpress studio, exchange information and socialize with old friends and new.

DATE/TIME: Sat, July 9, 9:00am-12:00pm
WHERE: Ewing Farm, 1915 N 95th Street, Lafayette. Everyone, including sellers, please park on Prairie Ridge Drive across from the playground and take the gravel path to Ewing. See the map on the BAL website at

Note that parking is prohibited on Larkspur Court, per our lease. Do not park on 95th St. either. (Important – the police have come by when people parked in these spots.)

COST: Event is free for public and buyers. $5 fee for sellers, who will bring small items only that can be put on tables; if larger items for sale, bring photos. Sales are strictly between sellers and buyer; BAL charges no commission and does not take responsibility.
The Book Arts League
The Book Arts League exists to further the traditional and contemporary arts and crafts of printing,

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Call for Entries; La Calaca International Print Exchange

The following is a repost from the Printmakingblog at Graphic Chemical by Dean Clark 

La Calaca Press and Expressions Graphics invite you to participate in the first LA CALACA PRESS International Print Exchange and Exhibition. This exchange is open to printmakers from the USA and abroad. The purpose of this exchange is to promote printmaking and create connection with artists around the world.
• Deadline date: Prints must be received by September 15, 2011
• Please RSVP by e-mail to: Carlos Barberena at
• Theme: “CALACAS” Day of the Dead / Open to your own interpretation.
• Media: Any traditional Printmaking process: Relief, Linocuts, Woodcuts, Intaglio, Lithography, Serigraphy, Collograph, etc. - NO DIGITAL PRINTS OR PHOTOCOPIES -
• Paper Size: 7 inches by 9 inches. Print/image size is open. *Please use any Archival Paper or Hand made Paper. (No Exception)
• Edition: 15 identical hand-pulled, original prints, include glassine sheets or tissue paper between each print, cut to match paper size.
•Each Print must be Signed and Numbered on the front.
• Fee: $15 US or $20 International paid via PayPal or a Check made out to: Carlos Barberena (Checks from US Banks only) This Fee covers the costs of postage and promotion of the project and Exhibits. *Fee is non-refundable.
• Exhibitions: The selected prints will be exhibited at Expressions Graphics in Oak Park, IL in Nov. 2011. * A Second exhibit will be at La Casa de los Tres Mundos in Nicaragua on Nov. 2nd, 2011.
• A Portfolio of 12 randomly selected prints will be mailed to each participant early November 2011. We will keep 3 Prints from each edition submitted to the exchange: 1 print will remain at Expressions Graphics and 2 at La Calaca Press for traveling exhibitions and promotional purposes.
• All prints submitted will be put in a web gallery and may be reproduced to promote this project. Please visit for more info.
• IMPORTANT: All prints must conform to the guidelines. Any prints that do not fit the guidelines will be returned to the artist. *Fee is not refundable.
• Please RSVP by e-mail to Carlos at and mail submission to:
Carlos Barberena
324 Washington Blvd.
Apt 3G Oak Park, IL, 60302

Monday, June 27, 2011

Back to the Blog

It's been so long since I have posted and I have so much to tell you about.  The biggest news I have to share is that I moved my studio from Wilderness Place to north Boulder at Broadway and Yarmouth on June 1st.  I now have a private studio with a little more room, and easier access for visitors and students. In the complex there are several other artists and creative businesses, and it is also in the NOBO art district which has first Friday art walks.
When I moved in, there was a garage door to access the studio, but was dark inside since I had only a small window
The door was replaced with glass to give the studio more light

Email me or stop by to see if I'm in for a visit. My new address is 4593 N Broadway #B102  Boulder, CO 80304 It's directly behind Boulder Horse and Rider, down the alley, and to the left.