Monday, May 18, 2009


Turns out it is a joke: This is the sign we saw at the Milwaukee Airport when we went out to visit relatives this May. It gave me a good case of the giggles which is something that probably doesn't happen a lot in airports. Don't try to find the word at Merriam-Webster's website though because it's not there. It's my kinda word!

Anywho... I've been using my sketches lately to create Thermofax Silk Screens so I thought I'd share my process here. Maybe then I'll get around to doing some sort of demo for printing with Thermofaxes to share on-line.

Here's a page from a sketchbook that I created a Thermofax from. Not sure when the image was drawn, but it was at least a few years ago.

I converted this to grayscale using Adobe Photoshop Elements which is what I use most for image editing, but most image editing programs will allow you to convert an image to grayscale and then play with the contrast.

For this I used the auto contrast feature, but sometimes I like to bump up the contrast manually to get more black than lighter grays. After increasing the contrast to bring out the details, I used the "stamp" filter to convert most of the grays into blacks. The Thermofax machine will only capture areas that are black or almost black so the stamp filter is a good one for creating images for Thermofax silk screens. It does have a bit of a stylistic "stamp-ish" look to it for some images and it won't always capture the detail that you want for an image even when you play with the options for "Light/Dark Balance" and "Smoothness," but it worked well for this sketch.

This image which I dubbed "Fleur 2" is now available as a Large Thermofax Silk Screen in the Friends Fabric Art webshop along with a bunch of other images that I've created. Some of them are from old sketches and some are new ones developed from Dover-type clip art images that either wouldn't work well as is for silk screens or needed some jazzing up anyway. (It also makes more sense in order prevent any sort of copyright issue.) So far most of the new ones are from old sketches, but other new ones will be arriving soon, because I'm addicted to drawing them. One of these days I'll have to do some actual screen-printing with the images myself.On a totally different note, fellow Loading Dock Gallery and Western Avenue Studio artists, Bill Tyers and Jack Holmes are having an art exhibit called "Wandering Feet" at the Loading Dock Gallery and I wrote a pretty nifty press release for them! Please check it out here: I rather like how it came out.

If you are local to the Lowell, MA area and can go, the exhibit is photography by Jack and pastels by Bill and runs May 27 to June 21. The press release and the Loading Dock Gallery website have all the details.

Tea time! Have a lovely weekend!

P.S. "Dirty, Smelly, Noisy" is back! Now we have Dirty Smelly Noisy Two - An Exhibition in Celebration of the Inspiration to Be Found in Industrial Spaces at Western Avenue Studios running for the month of June with opening potluck reception on Saturday June 6th from 5:30 to 9pm. You may be able to guess what I'll be doing this weekend when art for the exhibit is due on Monday! I'm excited about the piece that I'm working on. It's focus is on Dunkin Donuts Styrofoam cups that I see lying around on the ground breaking apart into bits that will never really go away as far as we know anyway. I'm thinking of calling it "Legacy" although I've been having fun thinking up names for it.

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