Quarantining

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2020

As we enter week six, (or is it seven?) of staying at home, sheltering in place or self-quarantining and contemplating the economy, the pandemic and the civil unrest it seems that the days are starting to run into each other in a kind of grey fog. Is today Tuesday? When was the last time I was out of the house? What did I fix for lunch yesterday? QUARANTINING is an emotional response to the current situation. Unlike SAINT JOHN THE MOSAICIST it is a minimalist piece using only six pieces repurposed from a couple of uncompleted projects and a drab palette. It may also be an unfinished piece with the potential, like life, to brighten considerably. (2020) (24” x 24” x 2”) ($150)

GOOD MORNING

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As I continue to sort through the detritus and debris of my studio I keep finding bits and pieces of unfinished projects. GOOD MORNING is one of those. Originally planned as part of a four or six part series of collographic prints with slightly different facial expressions and palettes reflecting different periods of the day all of which would be matted and framed as a single item GOOD MORNING is the only one completed. My notes don’t indicate why I didn’t finish the project – I still like the concept, but given everything else going on this is one project that may not get done for a while, if ever. So, I’m posting this to remind myself that the sun will rise tomorrow and it might even herald a good morning. (12” x 12”) (2020) (NFS)

Forsythia & Juniper

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2020

FORSYTHIA & JUNIPER is a monotype I did in the spring of 2019 but which pretty much lay dormant until I came across it while cleaning and reorganizing my studio. I would probably call it an abstract representational or perhaps a representational abstract. Either way, it shows a scene from a portion of our property line at a time when almost nothing else was showing color and there was bleakness to the landscape. Like FIRST FLIGHT it is a way of reminding myself that even though currently much about life appears bleak there is also much to be hopeful about. (2020) (18” X 14”) ($150)

 

Loss

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2020

LOSS is a monotype in the “Cognitive Emotions” Series that attempts to express what you feel in that moment when you get sudden, unexpected and devastating news. It tries to capture the brief instant before your emotional and intellectual coping mechanisms kick in and you start going through however many steps it takes to deal with it and move on. (2020) (22” x 12”) ($215)

First Flight

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2020

FIRST FLIGHT, reading from left to right, expresses my impression of watching the first flight of a young cardinal, which while initially in doubt (at least to me and I think to the cardinal as well) was ultimately a success becoming a symbol of courage and hope. FIRST FLIGHT is a hand inked and hand pulled hard plate monotype. (2020) (12” x 22”) ($125)

FRONTIER’S EDGE

 

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2020

FRONTIER’S EDGE is an experimental “process” piece, a monotype created by using different colored inks applied at different degrees of dryness and with different brayers. No brushes were used. At a distance there is little to see, but at about 10 feet away a log cabin emerges on the right and then a smaller partially obscured building on the left. If your eyesight and imagination are particularly good you will see a very large reddish bear carrying the cabin off. While the cabin was an intended part of the image, the bear was not, but then I guess that is life on the edge of the frontier. Matted and Framed to 11” x 14”. (2020) (11” x 14”)

SAINT JOHN THE MOSAICIST

 

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2020

Saint John the Mosaicist, one of the more obscure members of the pantheon of Saints, is known primarily for never having been observed or heard to have sworn or blasphemed despite spending his entire life gluing small pieces of glass, stone or ceramics to wooden boards. Although most historians believe that he worked in northern Italy during the period 1358 – 1387 AD, no one has been able to authenticate any mosaic pieces from that time and place as having been the work of Saint John the Mosaicist. There are no known images of him and the Church’s canonization records are surprisingly vague. While SAINT JOHN THE MOSAICIST is composed of a hand built, raku fired paper clay “mask”, a border of stained glass strips left over from a prior project and a background of glass tiles and stained glass pieces liberated from the mosaic shard pile at the Abington Art Center, the story of Saint John the Mosaicist has been woven from whole cloth. (2020) (24” x 24” x 1 ½”) ($275)

ORANGE ROSE WITH SOCIAL CLIMBERS

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2020

 

In most of my prints the ink is applied in layers using only a brayer. ORANGE ROSE WITH SOCIAL CLIMBERS is an experimental small step outside my comfort zone with the ink being applied using a brayer for the background and a palette knife for the detail. While I had a vague idea of doing something “floral”, I have no idea where the title came from, or why I chose an orange/black/purple palette, so I’m just going  to say that they speak for themselves and leave it at that. ($474) (2020) (20 “ x 8 “)

Staying Home

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2020

STAYING HOME is a collage made out of hand inked, hand pulled collographic prints that were originally intended to be part of my LINEAR THOUGHTS OF AN ARTIST and NAVIGATING THE ROUNDABOUTS series. I came across them as I was simultaneously getting ready to move to Ann’s Choice and diligently observing the covid-19 “stay at home” order.  STAYING HOME is thus both a commentary on existing conditions (including the chaos in my studio) and the result of one of the many “keep/discard/utilize” decisions that I’m having to make every day. Creating it was also one of my self-reward for making a couple of them. (2020) (18“ x 20“)

Kirkland

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2020

It is sometimes surprising how you and your work can be overtaken by events. When I was printing the background and assembling the collage pieces for KIRKLAND the corona virus problem was just starting to be a story and I had no idea that Kirkland, WA would be one of the epicenters. The title for KIRKLAND actually comes from the fact that “Kirkland” is the house brand name used by Costco and the collage pieces are repurposed from a Costco tissue box. What was initially an exercise in combining a hand inked, hand pulled print and found object/recycled materials ended up with more relevance than I could have imagined. (622) (2020) (16” x 20”)