Pavicons, Elvis & Eve

September 11th, 2008 admin Miscellaneous No comments

I’ve been making lots of linoleum cuts in the past three years. When you work for some time in a medium you start to get a good idea how to work with the materials – how they behave and what to expect. Also, I get ideas about new images to cut and print. Lately, I have 2 driving ideas for linocuts.

A linoleum cut series I’m working on now is revisiting some of the personalities that I’ve known through the years and making small linocuts of them. Many of these images have passed from my hands very quickly and I hadn’t had a chance to really examine them. So this gives me an opportunity to go back and catalog these figures.  This is a kind of visual lexicon of Pavy iconic figures, or “Pavicons” as a friend of mine likes to joke.

I was digging through my flat files the other day and I ran across some 40 x 27 in Rives paper. I measured and figured that I could put 15 small prints on a page this size – 5 across and 3 down if I made the blocks 9 x 8 in. This would enable me to cut more images in this size and print many different images using the same blocks. This fits into my ideas about modularization of imagery that I’ve been working with for the last four years.

After I ink the 15 blocks, I can print in one pass. I’ve been wanting to do some one-pass prints instead of the 20-pass prints that I’ve been doing lately.

This spring I cut a block that depicts a snake in a blackberry bush. It’s a memory of when we used to go pick blackberries when we were small children with my mother. She would take a large stick and beat the bushes to make sure there were no snakes (especially poisonous ones) hiding in there. Anyway, after cutting and printing the block I thought it would be cool to make a series of work on the “Adam and Eve Story,” the ancient morality tale about reason and feeling. I have the bush, I just need to cut Adam and Eve. As I was thinking of this, I thought of other variations on this theme: Elvis & Eve (an old theme of mine), Adams and Eves (multiple Adams and Eves), Adam and Adam, Eve and Eve. This could go on forever, but I’ll at least do the four themes above.

When you’re up to your neck in creating, thinking of ideas, making things, time passes very quickly. There seems to be an endless flow of ideas. I’m cutting these blocks this week in preparation to print them next week, but I keep getting new ideas and I want to explore them too.

I guess that’s what a Sketch book is for. 

200 Art inspired by 200 yrs of statehood

February 27th, 2012 admin Blog, Miscellaneous, PR / News No comments


This year, 2012, is the 200th year of Statehood for Louisiana.

Not long ago I met a man who told me he was from “North Louisiana”. Immediately I assumed Shreveport, Monroe or Alexandria. After a dramatic pause he said “Minnesota”. He was of course referring to the western lands drained by the Mississippi river in  the original Louisiana Purchase of 1803. In that regard anybody from  Arkansas, Oklahoma,Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, and portions of Minnesota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Canada can claim “north” Louisiana as their home. That’s about a quarter of the land mass of the current  U.S., so the story of Louisiana is a major part of the story of  America. The acquisition of the Louisiana territory prepared the way for further westward expansion. 

To me the narrative of the 200th anniversary  is centered around the great river. Going with the flow and willpower against water seems the underlying threads here. It’s a constant. Compared to the human element, we rise and fall one by one, but the river keeps flowing no matter what. So this series of new work inspired by 200 years of statehood has water as main theme and personalities as a minor theme. These works do not necessarily  illustrate  historic events, historical painting being a genre to itself, but ideas and imagery that have come to me as I’ve talked about , read about, remembered and imagined events, places and personalities. This set of works is entirely colored by my perspective. I certainly considered all the major historical events  but I made work as the images came to me, so these first 30 or so works in the  series are not in any chronological order. The only order there is is the order that the images came to me and the order that I was  able to complete them in. These works are mainly on stretched canvases. The paintings are made by adding  layer upon layer of imagery on top of each other, sometimes obscuring sometimes complementing the other layers. I think it mirrors  the multitasking  lifestyles we lead  and the over-saturation of communicative media that is our everyday reality. 

Creative Capital Retreat

January 26th, 2009 admin Miscellaneous No comments

This weekend I was fortunate to attend the Creative Capital workshop in Baton Rouge, hosted by the Louisiana Division of the Arts. Anyone who had applied for a State Arts grant in the last three years was eligible to apply. I received word of my grant award right after  the New Year, and received several emails from the Creative Capital team and the division of the arts  before Friday Jan 23rd, the start date of the retreat.

Florida – Artist Residency Seaside

February 15th, 2010 admin Miscellaneous No comments

Here I am in Florida, about 400 miles east of  Lafayette. I’m here for an artist residency for the whole month of February. When I arrived here, my feelings were mixed – I kept asking myself, what was I doing here, leaving my family behind? But then again I came prepared to work and give it all I had, straight-out for a month, like in the old days when putting together a show.

It’s cold here. The beach in winter is kind of desolate, deserted. Nobody here. I did happen to go out the other day when the temperature was 50 degrees or so. Took some pictures of shore birds.

There are other artists here: Nathan Granner, an operatic tenor from Kansas City;  Lyndsey Ogle, a performer and writer also from Kansas City; and Roger Reid, a writer  From Birmingham, Alabama. John T. Edge, a scholar from Oxford, Mississippi is also here. Each person is working on a different project. Nathan is working on songs and budgeting a new opera, Lyndsey is working on her blog and a book, Roger is working on a book, and John T. is also working on a literary project.

The work is going rather well. I’m making 70 pieces while I’m here – 4 different sizes.

In addition, I brought some small works-in-progress that I’m trying to finish. These are all works on paper. We call these unique block prints, because although they are made from the block print medium, each piece is one of a kind. So there are no editions. I’m using a water-based ink, which is great because the drying time is so quick and cleaning up is rather easy. I’ve carved about 50 new blocks to use for this work. At the end of the residency, the 2nd to last day, I’ll be conducting a block printing workshop as part of my community service.

The month is passing quickly. Time seems to be an illusion these days. My torn-up feelings are waning and I’m focused on finishing the work and the residency. It’s even getting a little warmer here.