Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hybrid Contortions

***Press Release***

Urban Light Studios presents:


Art of the Fantastical and 3-Dimensional
Curated by Braden Duncan and Zachary Sofia

Featured artists:

Corey Skillman
Corey Urlacher
Ian Douglas Ferger
Jody Joldersma
Larkin Cypher
Mark Walker
Matthew Hinshaw
Noah Beasley
Seb Barnett
Xavier X. Lopez
Yvette Endrijautski

For the 2nd Friday Art Walk in December, Urban Light Studios is showcasing artists who have a flair for the dramatic, an eye for texture, and a tendency toward the 3-dimensional.

*Opening Party*
Friday, December 14th
Show runs through January 8th

Urban Light Studios
8537 Greenwood Ave.
Suite 1
Seattle, WA 98103

Monday, November 19, 2012

BFA: The Classiest Fine Art Scanning & Printing Studio in the Northwest!

I'd like to take a moment before the holidays hit with a vengeance to promote one of my favourite small businesses that I believe every artist, art collector, and art curator should support. Check it.

If you make art, and you've ever considered reproducing your work, creating a digital archive, or meeting some of the most knowledgeable and experienced figures in Seattle's fine art scene, check out Bellevue Fine Art Reproduction. They offer museum quality digital scanning services, professional image retouching, fine art giclèe printing on a variety of archival substrates, laser cutting and engraving, art cards, business cards, magnets, stickers, signage, and a whole lot more!

Scanning detail
As an artist, it is incredibly important to me to preserve my work at the highest possible quality. I want the art on my website and online portfolios to be accurate reflections of my original pieces, and I want my watercolour prints to look so amazing that I can hardly tell which is the print and which is the original. For years prior to discovering Bellevue Fine Art, I'd been using a flat bed scanner to capture my watercolours and drawings, but the lighting was inconsistent, and I usually had to do a fair amount of digital retouching afterward. As of last winter, however, my flat bed scanner has been officially retired and re-appropriated as a perch for my cats, and I now have all of my work scanned at BFA.
Better Light scanning set-up (photo courtesy of Bellevue Fine Art)
Bellevue Fine Art uses a Better Light high-resolution 4x5 scanning back camera to digitally capture pieces up to 6' x 8' without touching the surface of the original artwork (this is especially important for media such as charcoal, pastel, and oil paintings that haven't completely cured). They use a special polarising filter on paintings with high gloss to ensure that an accurate image is achieved with no glare. All pieces are professionally digitally retouched to correct for colour and to minimise dust particles and any major imperfections. The process is straightforward, but it requires great attention to detail, and the BFA crew treats every piece that comes through the door with equal time and consideration. In addition to a disc with high-resolution files and web jpgs, BFA includes a physical colour proof with every scan, so that when you pick up your piece, it's easy to compare the original and the proof.

I've tried reproducing my work at quite a few other print studios in town, but it tends to be expensive, their paper options are limited, and their customer service is pretty limited too (most of them are self-serve). It's nearly impossible to find a place that takes the time (or cares enough) to ensure that the colours in the print actually match the colours in my original paintings. Thankfully, at BFA, I don't have to worry about any of that.

Fine art giclee print on Moab Entrada paper vs. original watercolour on Strathmore cold press paper

Bellevue Fine Art is super straight forward about pricing (there's a calculator online), and the variety of materials you have the choice of printing on is... impressive. BFA provides large format giclèe printing using the latest generation Epson Stylus Pro 9900 with UltraChrome HDR archival inks. Prints can be up to 44" wide with virtually no limit to length, and the 9900 can handle fine art papers, canvas, and even some fabrics. Fine art paper choices include: heavyweight 100% cotton rag paper (textured or smooth); bamboo paper; rice paper; metallic paper; glossy, pearl, and matte photo papers; card stock; and adhesive removable vinyl (stickers you can stick and stick again!). I prefer the textured watercolour papers, because they most closely resemble the cold press watercolour paper I paint on. But there are so many options, there's no way I could limit myself to just one. BFA also has the ability to print on wood and metal, and the prints I've seen on the brushed aluminum are pretty spectacular.

Laser cutting fun!
The newest, shiniest service offered at Bellevue Fine Art is laser cutting, etching, and engraving. The Morntech 100W CO2 laser can cut through a huge variety of substrates, including paper, wood, leather, canvas, mat board, foam core, fabric, and toast! If the material is too thick to cut completely, there's always etching: great for glass, granite, marble, steel, and brass in addition to the sliceable surfaces listed above. The possibilities are endless, but the website lists a few: "etched wine glasses, cut acrylic jewelry, drawings etched in wood and glass, paper cut artwork, intricately cut paper cards, contour cut stickers, contour cut artwork, pre-cut shapes of Masonite for painting panels, leather-work, felt fabric cutting, paper cut objects, mobiles, spray paint masks, cut linoleum for block prints, etching wood for block prints, etched glass for cabinets and custom picture framing, custom cut lettering and signs, logos, 3D designs..." (from So if you can think of something that needs to be lasered, BFA can probably find a way to do it.

Located in Bellevue, WA, across the street from the South Bellevue Park & Ride, Bellevue Fine Art is easily accessible by car and bus. Scott, the owner, has experience in a vast array of art and technology fields, and he's always happy to answer questions. The turn-around time is reasonable (usually about a week for scanning and proofing, and less than a week for prints). BFA not only offers a full spectrum of customer services in studio, they have solid web support as well, including a host of how-to videos, tonnes of product information, and motivational quotes to inspire and amuse. In case you live too far away to visit the studio in person, you can upload files online and place orders either online or over the phone. BFA is happy to ship your art worldwide.

Laser cut art card

One of my favourite things about being an artist is that every year for the holidays I have the ability to create something unique and special for my friends and family. Of course, there are those times when everyone wants a copy of the same painting, and there's only one original. Fortunately, I can have it scanned and reproduced at Bellevue Fine Art, and then everyone on my holiday list can receive a beautiful holiday card or fine art print that resembles the original in every way.

So before you drop a chunk of change on mediocre art prints at a major retail outlet compound, call up Bellevue Fine Art. You'll be treated personally and professionally, and you won't be disappointed with their products or their service. Support a small business and your local art scene all at the same time this holiday season! Cheers!

~ BCDuncan

Thursday, November 1, 2012

NOVEMBER Art Fix: Upcoming Events

If you need your art fix for the month of November (and I know I do!), here are some shows that you won't want to miss. The holidays are fast approaching, so come out and support your local artists and craftsmen. Do you know what always makes for a fantastic and unique holiday gift? Art!

Kate Protage @ Core Gallery
The 1st Thursday Art Walk in Pioneer Square, Thursday, 1 November from 5-8pm. Don't miss the new body part themed mylar drawing series by Kate Protage at Core Gallery! Also see Baso Fibonacci at Zeitgeist Cafe, "Am I Woman" by Sonya Stockton at Gallery 110, Jeremy Mangan at Linda Hodges Gallery, Hib Saban at Stonington Gallery, "Arrest Me" at Punch, and "Ladies & [NOT] Gentlemen" at Davidson Galleries. Also check out new work at over 50 other studios, galleries, store fronts and art spaces!

Annette Lusher @ Saturn Building
The 1st Friday Art Walk in Fremont, Friday, 2 November from 6-9pm. The Fremont Art Walk welcomes the Saturn Building to their monthly line up, and they're opening with the textural abstract paintings of Annette Lusher.

Kate Protage, "One Step Further"
Paula Martea Fuld, "Check Mark"
Sarah Harvey, "Squid Print"

Here are a few teasers from the Thrive Art School at TPN Gallery Walls! They're featuring eight artists this month in a variety of media. So in case you miss Kate Protage at the Pioneer Square Art Walk, you can see some of her cityscape oils here! Also featured: Angela Scott (oil), Caudled Milk (collage & acrylic), Jim Pirie (oil), Paula Maratea Fuld (acrylic & mixed media), Ruthie V (acrylic & iron), Sarah Harvey (etching), Weston Jandacka (oil).

Also check out tattoo artist Charllie Grrl at Pel'Meni, Berkley Illustration at Portage Bay Goods, the encaustic paintings of Emily Alice Peck at Hub & Bespoke, and much more!

The 1st Saturday Art Walk in Port Townsend! The Red Raven Gallery is hosting Seattle artist Redd Walitzki with a comprehensive feature of her ethereal mixed media oil/watercolour/laser cut works from the past year! Come see "Biophilia" at Red Raven and wander Port Townsend's Victorian downtown for many other art events, live music, and more!

Election Day at SAM! Say 'I voted' at the ticketing desk to receive a $3 discount to see "Elles!" The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) Presents: "Elles - Pompidou Exhibition." This exhibit tells a story of modern and contemporary art solely through the work of women artists. It challenges visitors’ assumptions about art of the past century and explores the complex story of the role women have played throughout the history of 20th and 21st century art. The show runs through 13 January 2013.  

"Ils Disent" at the Cornish Alumni Gallery, Wednesday, 6 November from 5-7.30pm. Curated by Sharon Arnold, and featuring work by ten Cornish graduates. "This is a group exhibition of local artists inspired by Seattle Art Museum exhibition, Elles: Women Artists from the Centre Pompidou, Paris. I have specifically asked male artists for a thoughtful response to this historic show about women, because as a woman, artist, and curator I am interested in what these artists will bring forward in this conversation. I feel these particular artists share a common thread with the women in Elles, an underlying duality that contradicts the idea of gendered work (and is artistic processes gendered?): the construction of sometimes angular, sometimes soft things; masculine or feminine process or presentation; quiet minimal narrative; or a hard, didactic punch. These men sculpt, hew, perform, build, draw, and write; making work about their heads and about their bodies; sometimes neurotic or sometimes dreamy, or simply about pure composition and form. In the same way that Elles is expressly (necessarily) gendered, and challenges our notions about work in the 20th century, Ils Disent strives not to undermine the historic relevance and importance of Elles, but to include these voices in our response to such an important milestone." - Sharon Arnold

The "Affordable Art Fair" in the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, Thursday, 8 November - Sunday, 11 November. (see website for hours of operation) A fun four-day event hosting 50 galleries and a huge array of contemporary art! The concept is simple, yet unique: an inspiring and friendly atmosphere in which you can find thousands of original paintings, prints, sculptures and photographs all under one roof, ranging from $100-$10,000, with more than half priced under $5,000. The work of young, emerging artists hangs alongside some of the biggest household names, while our Emerging Artists Exhibition provides a chance to snap up work by a future art world star. Admission is $12 for adults, free for children under 12.

"Sweet Prohibition" at Sound Spirits, Thursday, 8 November from 5-9pm. It's Pin Up fundraiser featuring Siolo Thompson and Amanda Paredes Swae Photography! Join us for an evening of ladies, liquor and fun! This is an *invite-only* art show and spirits tasting event at Seattle's first distillery since Prohibition! All proceeds from artwork sold will go to support The Better Bombshell, a non-profit community art project that seeks to redefine the modern female role model.

The 2nd Thursday Art Walk in Capitol Hill, Thursday, 8 November from 5-8pm. The Ltd Gallery is featuring "POP! 2" The Art of Pop Culture. Celebrating their 1-year anniversary with a party featuring new work by Carl Faulkner and over 50 other artists! Music by DJ Hojo, cake, party favours, and a food truck on site, raffle drawings and giveaways!

Don't miss the luscious and surreal oils of Javier S. Ortega at the Online Cafe! Also check out the "Holiday Miniature Art Extravaganza" at Ghost Gallery (featuring over 40 artists and 200+ art pieces!), "Nights of Serious Drinking," a collaborative effort by Amanda Manitach and Ryan Molenkamp at Vermillion; "Light Therapy" by Joey Veltkamp and Christopher Buening at True Love Gallery; new work at Bauhaus Coffee, Blindfold Gallery, Boom Noodle, Cupcake Royale, High 5 Pie, Joe Bar, Laughing Buddha, Retrofit Home, and more!

"Transmission" at the Mercury, Thursday, 8 November from 9.30pm til late. You do not have to be a member for this night, and you do not need a member to sign you in. It is open to the public. No dress code. Free for members before 9.30pm. Starts at 9pm and goes til 2am. The performer will go on around 10.30 and again at 11.30, and the artist will be there all night. Come buy art, drinks, hear music and watch a sexy lady dance. "Transmission" happens the 2nd Thursday of every month.

The 2nd Thursday Art Walk in West Seattle, Thursday, 8 November from 6-9pm. Don't miss new encaustic, oil, and acrylic works by Cyn Moore at the Twilight Artist Collective! Cyn Moore explores the crux between animal symbolism in traditional fairy tales, and the often uneasy relationship between captive animals and humans which exists in modern times. Also check out new work at The Heartland Cafe, Hotwire Coffee, Shoofly Pie, and more!

The 2nd Friday Art Walk in the Greenwood-Phinney neighbourhood, Friday, 9 November from 6-9pm. Tasty Delectable Collectibles will be hosting "Triumphs and Tragedies," art inspired by Greek mythology. Featuring paintings by Canadian artist David Camisa, as well as Jarrod Eastman, Jo King-Yost, Jody Joldersma, Joe Vollan, Lacey Bryant, Levi Hastings, Megan Majewski, Rob Schwartz, Sheri Debow, and Siolo Thompson. Don't miss it!
"Picture Perfect" at Bherd Studios. Opening reception: 9 November, 6-9pm. Showing through 21 December. Seven artists new to the gallery present paintings, prints and mixed media artwork that prompts us to consider how we interact with the wild and wooly, and how those interactions in turn change and shape us. How do we see the natural world: as fearsome and dark, welcoming and fuzzy, a place where we have a niche or an alien kingdom quite separate from ours? Whether cuddly or cruel, the natural world and its animal denizens are omnipresent in the works of “Picture Perfect”. Smiling and biting both show some teeth, and these seven artists bring their work to a new audience and fresh perspectives to the complex relationship between civilization and the wild. Features work by Lea Barozzi, Savannah Horrocks, Jeff Leake, MJ Lindo, Mary Louise Silva, Rawkson and Joe Vollan.

Check out "Below the Benjamins" at Urban Light Studios, Friday, 9 November from 6-10pm. Featuring over a dozen local artists with all art priced under $100!

Narboo @ Full Circle
Also see new and exciting work at Full Circle, EchoEcho, Naked City Brewery, Gainsbourg, Two Bird Tattoo, Chocolatti, and more!

Josh Keyes, "Carousel"
John Brophy, "Valkyrie"
The 2nd Friday Art Walk in Belltown, Friday, 9 November from 6-9pm. Roq la Rue is hosting "The Circus and the Sea" by Josh Keyes and "New Songs for the Standard Model" by John Brophy. Painter Josh Keyes is internationally famous for his work that blends museum-like diorama imagery with stark contemporary commentary of socio-political and environmental challenges we all face. John Brophy creates highly detailed paintings that blend artifacts from global cultures and belief systems and juxtaposes them with the overarching affects of western consumer culture.

"Fairy Tales & Fables," encore opening at The Wall, Saturday evening, 10 November. This is a ONE-NIGHT-ONLY art party! The Wall is a private residential gallery on Seattle's east side owned and operated by artist Pam Man.

The 2nd Saturday Art Walk in Ballard, Saturday, 10 November from 6-9pm. Don't miss new work at Annie's Art & Frame, Art & Soul, Blowing Sands Glass Studio, Cupcake Royal, Filthy Rich, Kiss Cafe, Monster Art & Clothing, Nightingale Gallery, Savour, the Sunset Tavern, Venue and more!

The 2nd Saturday Art Walk in the Central District, Saturday, 10 November from 1-5pm. Check out the Neptune Gallery Sculpture Garden and new work at Atelier Autumnthing, Hi-Spot Cafe, Pratt Fine Art Centre, Twilight Exit and more!

Matt Hinshaw @ Nautilus Studio
The 2nd Saturday Art Walk in Georgetown, Saturday 10 November from 6-9pm. Don't miss the final show at The Firm! It's a closing reception for Augie Pagan's show from last month and it is the last time the Firm will have an art show in its present location. Progress and change for next year means new owners in that building and goodbye to the gallery. Come support Augie and his fantastic paintings, and give the Firm a send off to remember! Nautilus Studio is featuring the the phantastic sculptures and mixed media paintings of Matthew Hinshaw. Also see new work at American Pie, Artcore Tattoo, Belle & Whissel, Calamity Jane, Fantagraphics Bookstore, Georgetown Arts & Cultural Centre, Krab Jab Studio, Smarty Pants, Totally Blown Glassworks, Two Tartes Cafe, Wax Expressions, and more!

Gargoyles Statuary's 20th Anniversary Celebration at Fournos (4733 University Way NE), Saturday, 10 November from 8pm-2am! "We want to thank everyone for helping us make it this far! We have the best friends and customers ever and are wanting tos share this momentous event! We will have live music with Isis and the Ghost, Golden Gardens, and DJ Coldheart. No cover charge and pizza will be provided till 9:30! Underage are also welcome until 9pm. 

The 3rd Thursday Art Walk in Edmonds, Thursday, 15 November from 5-8pm. There is a brand new steampunk themed shop in downtown Edmonds! Otherworlds: a store to linger while reading, playing games, trying on hats, testing your silhouette with a cane, and twirling a raygun. Have a cup of tea and a cookie, and journey with us to worlds of vintage horror, victorian steampunk, futuristic science, and magical fantasy. And check out Cheesemongers next door if you have the chance. More than 40 other local businesses also take part in the Edmonds art walk. Check it.

The 3rd Friday Art Walk in the University District, Friday, 16 November from 6-9pm. Come see brand new work at Gargoyles Statuary, Artist & Craftsman, BC Surf & Sport, Cafe Allegro, Chaco Canyon Cafe, Solstice Cafe, Starbucks and more! Don't forget to stop by Boulevard Grocery for a bag of fresh-roasted coffee hand-painted by a local Seattle artist!

RAW: Seattle presents "RAWards: 2012 Indie Arts Awards," Saturday, 17 November from 7pm-midnight at Trinity in Pioneer Square. The event is 21+, $15 in advance or $25 at the door ($1 from each ticket purchase goes to support the Red Cross). RAW is an international arts organisation run by artists, for artists intended to provide independent artists with the tools, resources, and exposure necessary to inspire and cultivate creativity.

Braden Duncan, "Dirigible Crow"
"Masks, Marionettes, and Mechanical Birds" at The Jewel Box Cafe in Northgate. See selections from my (Braden Duncan, your humble narrator's) newest series "Mechanical Aviary" as well as my Rorschach watercolour inkblots inspired by David Mack's "Kabuki" comics. The show is up all month!
With this much going on, you couldn't possibly complain that there's nothing to do in Seattle!

Support your local art scene! Cheers.

~ BCDuncan