last month two of my dear friends, eitan and joanna, were married. their wedding was a completely epic weekend event that really exemplified the idea of a community coming together to make something happen. but months and months before this monumental weekend i started working on wedding artwork! they asked me to create their wedding invitations and it sort of evolved from there, and i started considering myself the official wedding artist. the first thing i created was their save the date cards. the three of us sat down to get an idea of what they liked and talk about some imagery, then joanna sent me examples of things she liked. then i disregarded every bit of imagery that we had discussed and drew a picture of them. well they are both very kind and patient people and were happy with the save the date card.
save the date card
when it came time for the discussion of the invite i had to remind myself that this invite was about them and what they wanted, not about me!!! so many conversations later we decided upon some imagery, fonts, paper and colors and the drawing for the invite was created. joanna helped me print the invites. if anyone is interested the save the date cards were drawn in pen, scanned and then just photocopied on to recycled cardstock, with 4-up on a page. the invites were letterpress printed from a photopolymer plate, that was created off of a drawing, the text was also printed from a photopolymer plate. then the pond lily was hand colored with watercolor paint. the response cards were also drawn in pen, laid out on the computer and digitally printed.
wedding invite and response card
along with the invite was a hand drawn map of how to get to the location that the wedding was held, and a small card announcing the brunch that would be held the day after the wedding. the last printed piece was a schedule of events for the day of the wedding and the ceremony. once again these were drawn in pen, and digitally printed.
front of the schedule
back of schedule
i stuck to all of my deadlines and everything was finished on time. a lot of people came to the wedding a day or two early to help set up and prepare, myself included. i was immediately put to work on writing out chalkboards. for two days i wrote out many chalkboards, none of which i have pictures of, but they turned out lovely. one of the best things is that we decided to barter for payment. for invites and all the other drawings eitan, with the help of my patrick, made us a dining room table!!!! it is beautiful, and i sit at it as i type this. the table is a farm table that is made from reclaimed pine, from a house torn down in detroit, with cedar legs. we all thought we got the better end of the bargain, so i will take that as a good barter. congratulations eitan and joanna!!!!!
wow, it has been a really long time. and i have a lot of projects that i have been working on for the last 9 months to share! so here we go. in the spring detroit finally got it’s very own farm and garden store, called detroit farm and garden (that we will refer to as dfg from here on) opened by my friend and neighbor jeff. i, along with my talented friend nina created the logo for dfg. i made the center image for the logo and nina did the rest, including creating the font in the word detroit! after the store opened jeff asked me to come in and talk about creating some signage for the store. he had made two huge chalkboards that sit behind the counter. they are made from plywood painted with chalkboard paint, and he envisioned that they would house information on bulk items, new products, classes and any other pertinent information.
blank looming chalkboards
each chalkboard is 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide. as i did some research on chalk i discovered that those handy chalk pens don’t work so well on chalkboard painted boards. they look great, but they leave a ghost image after erased, especially color pigmented markers, as the material is too porous and the pigment seeps in. they apparently erase just fine on a regular chalkboard. so we went with regular chalk, which is harder to work with in some ways than chalk markers. the first thing i did was decide how to divide up information and make a small to scale mock up of the boards and get a basic idea of how much room to allocate each area. then i figured out how big the text had to be for it to be legible from the door.
chalkboards being gridded off
using painters tape (one of my favorite tools to always have on hand!) i marked off the boards into sections and to make sure that the text was straight and evenly spaced.
left board sketched in
right board sketched in
after the board was gridded off i drew everything in with regular white chalk, which was sort of like sketching in with pencil. next i made sure that everything looked as it should and was spelled correctly.
starting to put color in
after the initial laying down of information i went in with the colored chalk to make it pop!!! and then many hours later it was finished and extremely colorful!!
it popped really well in the space as jeff was working with a limited color palette in the space, following the colors in the logo. you may be surprised to hear that a farm and garden store would have a color palette at all, but this is not your average farm and garden store! it has all of your farm and garden needs, and it is a very well put together store. there is a better photo of the chalkboards and the store itself in this slide show from the free press. this post is very process heavy, mainly because i personally love seeing how people do the things that they do, so when i remember to document the process i will post it here, as well as the final project!!
in the course of one week we have gone from almost 100 degree temperatures to rain and lows in the 50’s. it is truly starting to feel like fall. i love fall, it is actually my favorite season. but i don’t love that winter follows it so closely. fall in michigan always seems so short in comparison to fall in maryland. winter comes much more quickly here. in preparation for my show that is currently up i spent a lot of time reading about the life of john chapman ( aka johnny appleseed) and pioneer times. winter during those times was a life or death situation, but with the rising costs of food, gas, oil and the shrinking job possibilities it seems that winter is becoming more of a life or death situation to more people. john chapman was tough rugged man. he lived largely outdoors and alone, surviving the elements and living off the earth. he was an animal lover and committed vegetarian. he fervently believed in the new church of swedenborg and spent most of his life planting apple orchards spreading the good word. as a man he is very different from the myth that was created around him. the myth softened the edges and gentled the wild man, and made a more palatable version of this man. ultimately, as these things often go, the man is much more interesting than the myth. below is a paper cut from my series about his life. more creative spaces here.
hiding in the reeds
hi, wow it has been a long time. in fact it has been a long few months and i have a lot to share. but the most pressing to share is that i have my first solo show ever, and it is up right now!! i will be sharing some of the artwork from that show over the next few weeks. but here are the details:
Legends of Paul Bunyan, Lumberjack and Stacey Malasky: Cut Paper
I have two new series of paper-cuts on display at the gallery. the first one explores the life john chapman who later came to be known as johnny appleseed. the second is called ‘home economics’ and is centered around hands making things. There will be a closing reception on Friday, September 23, 2011 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm. The artists will discuss their work at a gallery talk on Saturday, September 24 at 2:00 pm. The exhibit and gallery talk are free and open to the public. The show is located at Paint Creek Center for the Arts at 407 Pine Street Rochester, MI. The show runs through September 24th.
in addition to my show there is a group show in the upstairs gallery that is all about paul bunyan, and worth checking out!!
the good word
today is a good day. mainly, for the reason that i have electricity and can work in my studio again. we had some crazy thunderstorms saturday evening that knocked out our power. unfortunately the electric company didn’t turn it on until 4am yesterday. so i spent several hours yesterday cleaning out the refrigerator and freezer. we had purchased some durian popsicles a few weeks ago to try, and had only eaten one (correction patrick ate one-i took one bite and decided i didn’t need anymore), as a result there was melted durian popsicle on everything in the freezer. so now our house smells like a combination on durian and kim-chi (there were a couple jars of this in the fridge that i composted because they had already been in there for quite some time). so now with the weather a pleasant 72 degrees outside i am airing out the house. so not much has been going on in the studio over the past few days. instead i spent time at book stores, picking cherries, reading and knitting by headlamp. but it is back to the grind today. my space is quite messy as i am planning my projects, which is a new thing for me, i usually jump right in. so i have been sketching, creating a to-scale diorama of the gallery space (so i can figure out how many pieces to create and how many frames to buy and of what size), gardening, spending time with cute babies and their lovely mamas, and that is about it. so here goes for some photos of all. more creative spaces here.
sorry for all the radio silence. i have gotten myself out of the habit of regularly posting and it can be hard to get back into the swing of things. of news and interest i currently have work up in a show in detroit called ‘objecthood’. it is up through the end of next week and open for viewing on fridays from 10-5pm, or by special appointment. i am going to take better photos of my work on friday, but here is a peek at what i have been working on.
in addition to some new studio work i have still been knitting, even on the really hot days. i am well into completed a sweater for myself. currently the body is almost finished and then i will move to the sleeves. i am kind of dreading the sleeves, as they seem like they will be slow and boring, and then after one you have to do the same things all over again!!! but this time the sweater actually fits! bonus. it uses a few techniques i was previously unfamiliar with, such as knitting pockets into the sweater (i don’t do well with simple). i am also alternating skeins, which means i am knitting back and forth with two balls of yarn because they come from different dye lots and therefore do not match very well. so it looks kind of stripey. but here is a mini sweater for a baby i finished in about two or three days. it was a quick knit, and is very soft. it is to send to a friend who is having a baby off in a far and distant land!!! sweater raveled here. more creative spaces here.
it has been a while since i posted last. and since then spring has officially arrived!! yeahhh!! although we are under a winter storm watch for tonight, booooo. i have been a little distracted for the past few weeks, and haven’t been feeling all that well, so i did not have a lot to say that wasn’t cranky and full of self pity. but i have been keeping myself busy. i’ve been steadily working on my sweater, and got to the point where i divided for sleeves and knitted a few inches below that. i was so excited i put the stitches on waste yarn and tried it on. well, it ended up being about 8 inches too big! yikes my gauge was a half stitch off and it will only grow when i block it. so while freaking out i emailed nora, my lovely knitting guru and acupuncturist, and she gave me some advice, some of which i knew and didn’t want to hear. i needed to start over. i ripped it back to the yoke, and haven’t been able to start working on it again. but i redid my gauge swatches and found a better size needle and i will restart again this week (after i finish pouting).
i have also been starting seeds and working in the garden. we had a beautiful warm day on friday and i pulled back the plastic on the hoops and discovered lots of spring growth on the spinach. i also planted beets, carrots, arugula, onions, and lettuce mix. i have some seeds started in the house and more ready to go. my crop schedule is all on the calendar, and seeds are organized. now i just need to make some spring tonic bee food and check the ladies. we have had one hive die in our backyard, and one survive. so i will most likely split that healthy hive this spring. at earthworks we currently have a 76% survival rate, although this is the touchiest part of the season, when a hive that survived all winter can bite it quite suddenly.
so now i need to keep myself motivated working on art, even though i am distracted by the outdoors. i still have not found a good way to manage my time effectively. i have a strange feeling that i will be saying that for the rest of my life. so for now i will leave you with another newer papercut of planting seeds!!!