Multi-color prints on letterpress

wood type and print on old letterpress 'Showcard' machineRecently we drove to an outlet mall in Illinois to get my “new” Showcard Press. That is, we arranged to meet the seller at the mall parking lot, pulled around the back, carried/lugged the press from one truck bed to the other, exchanged cash and some history about the press, then each drove away. Continue reading

New work at ‘Under the Influence’ show

Alphonse Mucha's 'Bieres de la Meuse' poster

One of my favorites by Alphonse Mucha


Now showing at Artisan Gallery: Under the Influence, a group show by Gallery Artists wherein we each pick an artist that has an impact on our work, and create a piece(s) that is influenced by that artist.

For mine, I picked Alphonse Mucha. Pas de Deux, below is the result. Here is the text that accompanies the print, currently up at the gallery:

‘Pas de Deux’ Influenced by:
Alphonse Mucha + the Posters of Paris

I’ve always been inspired by Mucha’s posters of elaborate, beautifully drawn figures advertising products. His strong design-sense, line quality, gorgeous women, and rich, glowing color represent the ideals of the poster in his time. The fact that his exquisitely rendered scenes were fine art but also used in advertising (for the theatre as well as commercial products) is sort of the gold standard for me: Commercial and Fine Art. Communication crossed with beautifully rendered imagery all in one.

Colorful linocut of 2 chickens in floral scene surrounded by mulberries

‘Pas de Deux’ hand-colored linocut, edition of 10, 8in x 18in (image size). Click on image to enlarge.

I saw his lithographic posters last summer at the “Posters of Paris” show (19th century posters in paris) at Milwaukee Art Museum, and was astounded at the size of the work–most of them over life-size, often 6ft or taller. Along with these, there were huge circus posters (designed by other artists) of the time as well. That marked the beginning of a plan to make Mucha-inspired and circus-inspired reduction woocuts the size of my pressbed (4ft).

This piece, ‘Pas de Deux’ is the 2nd small-size experiment in this style (The Amazing Dancing Dog was the first). Now that I did my first 4ft reduction print earlier this year (a goose), I can start planning the bigger 19th century poster-inspired series as reduction block prints.

The show is up through July 21st and is a wonderful show — the other works in the show are super-inspiring to me.

Spring Art Tour coming soon!

8ft chicken, Market Weight Studios, woodcuts, Great Pyrenees

Come see the 8ft chicken! The 8ft pulltoy pig! And lots more (including that Skip Johnson patriotic chicken in the foreground). Here are a few students from a visiting art class in front of Market Weight Press Studios

Now in it’s 7th year, the Spring Art Tour features 20 artists who will open their studios to the public June 7, 8, 9 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday), 10-5 daily.

**NOTE: Sue will be in studio daily 10-5, EXCEPT Saturday absent 3:30-5p

S.V. Medaris’ studio will have printing demos, prints (unframed and framed), cards, pillows, t-shirts and more for sale. She is currently carving the first in a new series of Alphonse Mucha poster-inspired prints, as well as a 4ft hog woodcut, a flying (sort of) chicken linocut, and block-printing pillow covers, t-shirts and ? Lots of fun stuff.

Maps, artist profiles and more at the Mount Horeb Spring Art Tour site.

This Saturday night: Farm to Fork (to Fabulous!)

Opening reception Saturday, March 16, 7-10pm.

Showing with my friend and fellow artist Alicia Rheal in our From Farm to Fork (to Fabulous!) exhibit. The opening reception is a gala celebration and benefit for the Walls of Wittenberg. More info, and the poster, below. Highlight? Why Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Meats of course.

Poster for 'Farm to Fork (to Fabulous)' show, featuring artwork of S.V. Medaris and Alicia Rheal

This is going to be a really fun (and delicious) opening reception! (Click on poster to enlarge) And, if you drive up early, you can visit Nueske’s Company Store in Wittenberg (Sat. hours: 8-4).

The WowSpace is located at 114 Vinal St – Wittenberg, WI. Easy to find…Just look for the 8ft hanging hog carcasses and the giant pull-toy pig (cuts) in the front windows along the main street of downtown Wittenberg!

And here’s more info about the Walls of Wittenberg ongoing mural project.

One section of the wall installed for now….

Installing…. That’s an 18ft long Hampshire stud boar on right (the model, Pioneer is owned by Monson Show Pigs in Richland Center). And that’s an 8ft pull-toy pig in front window.

The Tunnel of Mortality

The Tunnel of Mortality, a life-size tunnel-book installation at Artisan Gallery, has been extended to September 9th, 2012! The next reception is Friday, July 27, 2012, 5-9pm at Artisan Gallery.

Here’s some shots (click any image to enlarge):

Door's entrance to old cheese cooler with show title: S.V. Medaris, The Tunnel of Mortality, inside reveals dark, wallpapered room.

“Come in.” said the spider to the fly….

Once you step in the door, you are in a floor-to-ceiling, darkly wallpapered, little anteroom, about 8ft x 8ft.

fancy-framed portraits on dark wallpapered walls

Back wall and right corner of anteroom

ornate wallpaper, fancy-framed portraits

Chairs are upholstered in the same, matching, printed fabric as the walls.

The richly detailed wallpaper is actually a 10in x 10in linocut pattern printed black onto burgundy duckcloth. About 480 times. If you look closely at one of the “tiles” you will see the underlying theme of the show:
plucked chicken, intestines, bones, axes, chicken foot...

If you look behind you to your right, the outside light looks blinding compared to the dramatic low lighting surrounding you.

taxidermied chicken on low table next to portrait hung on densely patterned wallpapered wall

Taxidermy chicken NOT for sale.

As you step through the door, into the anteroom, The Tunnel of Mortality is that big framed piece on the right-hand wall. It looks like any other of the framed woodcuts, except as you walk towards or by it, it changes (since it’s a 3-dimensional space, not a flat piece). If you’re not paying attention though, it doesn’t “read” as an interior space, but rather a mirror…or something. A number of visitors were looking behind and above them to figure out where the projector was. Most think it’s a mirror, but can’t figure out how come they don’t see their reflection.

Fancy framed portraits on dark wallpapered walls, and low table covered in matching tablecloth

Matching tablecloth and upholstery! This is really the only time I’ve gotten into “interior decorating” (in our real house, nothing matches. I mean, who has time when it takes this long to make pretend rooms?).

Walk into the center of the room, turn to your right, and there’s the tunnel.

fancy frame contains busy collage of farm animals and farm life

The Tunnel of Mortality, framed.

I’m not going to try to explain how this looks in real life, since you really have to go experience it to get it. Suffice it to say, that it’s confusing at first since you can’t quite tell what you’re looking at. Some have said it feels like a mirror.

And here’s a cropped panorama of the center section:

scene filled with relief-printed farm animals, carcasses and scenes of farm life

All woodcut or linocut prints on fabric or Tyvek.

Reception is this Friday, 5-9pm at Artisan Gallery (directions).
And the show is up through September 9th.

So, come check it out!
Experience the tunnel!
Sign the camouflaged guestbook!
Read some of the entries in the guestbook here.

cloth-covered book matches pattern of tablecloth