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It’s been a while since we had the luxury of just random looking, but today was such a day…we started with Fay Jones…up for another week at Laura Russo Gallery…the work had much in it that “spoke” to me…acrylic on paper…strange narrative…intriguing cast of characters…I love her work.

Fay JOnes 1

Fay JOnes 2

Fay JOnes 3

Fay Jones 6

on to George and Phyllis Johanson’s for a delicious lunch…

lunch 2

and an equally delicious studio visit.  George has been working on a series of reductive lino-cuts…a series of 24 images.

GEorge Johanson 1

George Johanson 2

George Johanson 3

He’s only printing 10 of each, and is printing them all by hand (without the press)…reminding him of some work he did as a student some years ago.  (And hand quilters take note…we agreed that the inconsistency of the hand, the slight stitch here or pressure there…made the work MUCH more interesting…)

George Johanson 12

He’s come up with a very ingenious system to “register” the prints..

George Johanson 9George Johanson 10George Johanson 11

In this method the first thing he carves in the block are the white lines he wants on the surface, then he carves out the second color, then the third…etc….thinking backwards from the finished image he wants.  As he cuts more and more away the block ends up not resembling the print at all…

George Johanson 9

The prints are absolutely gorgeous…he’ll show them next spring at Augen Gallery, and there will be a book…

Geotrge self-[prtrait

George Johanson 8

George Johanson 4

George Johanson 5

George Johanson 6

George Johanson 7

“the gesture”…

George Johanson the gesture

a gesture we saw repeated over at Blackfish in a painting by Clint Brown…

gesture

where we also noted the good books by our favorite author…

Roger's books

and then hopped over to Upfor Gallery to see Ben Buswell’s enigmatic and sort of yummy pieces…

Ben Buswell 2

film/Ben Buswell

and though it looks like embroidered silk organza, it’s actually emulsion coated film stock, cut and heated…the Columbia River…

Last stop was Butters Gallery where the Carolyn Cole show was up (and only slowly did I realize we were in the old NWAW–Northwest Artist’s Workshop space.)  NWAW was a floor below PCVA, the iconic gallery that brought the work (and the persons) of Alice Neel, Jack Tworkov, and many many others…from NYC to Portland.

Carolyn Cole

…by now, you probably can guess the next stop…

coffee

I was still thinking of the two life masks in George’s Studio…Louis Bunce (on the left) and the young (he was 33) George Johanson…

life masks

and recently we ran across the photo of the day they made the masks…

masks 2