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Exhibitions

These are just a handful of upcoming and past appearances.

I do have many more appearances in mind this coming year, to be announced – and my mind is so fuzzy on the older ones, so I’ll add them as they come to me.

I’ll also update a lot of this with proper links gradually over the coming weeks.

Current/Upcoming:

“The Low Life” at Ice Cream Gallery and Toys in Grand Rapids, MI. Ongoing.

Steampunk Symposium at the Crowne Plaza Cincinnati North in Cincinnati, OH. April 26th through 28th, 2013.

Past Appearances:

Urban Lights Holiday Market at Ice Cream Gallery and Toys in Grand Rapids, MI. December 8th 2012 from 12PM to 9PM.

2012 World Steam Expo in Dearborne MI (Vending)

2012 Steampunk Symposium in Cincinnati, Ohio (Guest, Exhibitor, Vendor, and Panelist)

“Steampunk Soiree” at the Revolving Museum in Lowell, MA Feb 7th through March 3rd 2012

Mobilus in Mobili at Wooster Social Club in Soho NY (Exhibitor : filming of steampunk NY Ink Episode)

Artprize 2011 – (Guest and Exhibitor) at the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids MI.

Maker Faire 2011 Detroit (Guest and Exhibitor)

2011 World Steam Expo (Guest, Exhibitor, Panelist)

Steampunk Form and Function at the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation in Waltham, MA (Exhibitor)

Artprize 2010 (Exhibitor)

Lift Off! at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra CA, January 9, 2010 – February 1, 2010 (Exhibitor)

Horrorfind Weekend 2006 (Exhibitor)

Pittsburgh Comicon 2006 (Vendor/Artist)

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Work with me here

I am seeking two people who live in Grand Rapids, or are willing to travel to Grand Rapids for the Artprize competition/event.

Most importantly, those people would be able to be here during Artprize, Late September through early October, or at least be able to transport their part of the project before the event begins. Preferably, they would live in the region and be able to work on the project right here – that work period being from May through September.

This would be a collaborative project, with winnings split evenly between collaborators, should we win. Expenses would be covered by whatever sponsors we can find, and I’ll be seeking space to work in, in addition to the perfect venue for our work – hopefully one that will yield the most visitors.

The types of artists/artisans I need are as follows:

A plumber, or preferably someone who has experience and tools to weld brass, and feels they can do so imaginatively. Bonus points if you have some experience with functional structure and moving parts.

An Architectural design/engineering student (or preferably certified structural engineer), because venues and insurers are very happy when there is paperwork ensuring them our work won’t fall down and go “Boom! Squish! Aaaagh!”

Someone who works with electronics and electrical might also be nice to have, as we probably won’t be able to use coal power our device.

A co-painter might also be desired… preferably one who works in the pop-surrealism vein and does not mind putting down paint with other people’s paint.

Someone who works in alternative energy would be a plus. Electrical is the fall-back, but I would *like* to see this thing powered by green or alternative energy sources – anything from solar power, to sterling engines, to just a bio-diesel powered generator… or otherwise.

Persons experienced in grant writing and/or press releases. I’d be happy to count you as a collaborator as well – as long as you are willing to pitch in on driving, organizing, and/or some physical work in the process.

Of course the fewer people we have, the bigger the share, so people skilled in multiple areas outline above would be preferable – but I feel our team should not be so slim that it presents difficulty. That perfect balance is what I am looking for.

Creative Freedom:

I’ll put in ideas, thoughts, and designs where/if *wanted*, but want you to have as much creative freedom as you desire. I want this to be a collaborative project, not an artist as an overseer project. You can put in equal input on what I am bringing to the table, wood working, painting, promotional ability, web site skills, programming skills, graphic design skills, and a broad knowledge of most everything practical, to make a huge and impressive piece that is *ours* collectively and equally.

What is to gain?

Aside from participating in the nations largest open-entry art competition, which spans an entire downtown area:

$250,000 is the first prize,  $10,000 is the second prize, $50,000 is the third, and fourth through tenth prize are $7,000.

I am confident that if we do not win, we should be able to find a home for the finished work pretty easily, because we are that awesome. Interested parties can contact me through my contact form (hit the little envelope on the pipe at the top of the page).

Sponsors needed:

Right now, I would love to hear from suppliers of fabric and canvas, art paper, lumber, brass tubing/piping/hardware, tool companies, transportation/logistics companies, hobby shops (gears, cogs, shafts, servos), salvage yards (much of the same), art supply companies (paint, gesso, acrylic medium, pencils, markers, brushes, etc..), and anyone who has a hangar, industrial space, or large garage for us to build in.

Progress to date:

I’ve already grabbed a domain and hosting for the project, in trying to be more pro-active than last year. I will be using my “spare* time to build the site for this project over the next month or so. Details will be on that will be posted here once the site is up. Everything from there will be rather “hush hush” and done via groups, phone, email, or in-person, aside from press releases, until the ArtPrize bidding process begins.

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Tees!


CirqueACirca Cotton Tee

Our beautiful shirts from Extreme Screen Printing have arrived. They are printed in 2 colors on an all-cotton heavyweight desert sand colored t-shirt – with art by Bethalynne Bajema, an incredible logo design by Ted Jauw, layout/pre-press by Myke Amend, modeled for by Cassie Truskowski, and loved by everyone who sees them.

Buy yours here: http://cirqueacirca.com/artprize/?page_id=131&category=5&product_id=26

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The Art of Cirque A Circa

Cirque A Circa (A Circus Out of Time) is coming up fast, and with it our 121st Annual RetroNauticon – which is much like a convention, but without registration fees and admission fees.

In a work of art nearly the size of two football fields, we will have many performers throughout the ArtPrize competition. Performers include airial, fire-spinning, fire-eating, and other sideshow performances by Cassie Truskowski, Author Bethany Grenier, Local Artist Ted Jauw, and many others – as well as fashion shows, and of course music: Such as acts by Zoe Boekbinder of Vermillion Lies, and also by The Gypsy Nomads – a great band last seen (by us) at the World Steam Expo.

You may, or may not be able to make it – but this promotional art featuring the Art of Bethalynne Bajema, and Ted Jauw’s Cirque A Circa logo and the Love ambigram is well worth-grabbing while it is still available. Not only do you have the chance to snag some wonderful and rare art for a low price, but you get to take a part of this event by supporting the artists behind it… thereby supporting the event (not having to find and earn money to eat on allows us more time to put towards this monumental effort).

Special Prints for Cirque A Circa by Bethalynne Bajema
Special Prints for Cirque A Circa by Bethalynne Bajema

Not only is Bethalynne offering these limited edition images for a very low price on the CirqueACirca page (direct link to the shop), but she has a beautiful limited edition (limited to only 21 prints) 8×10 metallic from this series available on her site, here ($2o): http://bethalynnebajema.com/scriptorium/?page_id=42&category=9

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Join the Circus

Some of you may already be aware of this, but this year I am participating in Grand Rapids’ Artprize competition along with Bethalynne Bajema, Ted Jauw, Kate Jauw, Bethany Greenier, John Hyatt, and Cassie Truskowski, with our combined work CirqueACirca.

We are putting together a work of art nearly the size of two football fields (a very ambitious project for a couple of artists with less than two nickles to rub together). This work will be a huge undertaking to say the least, and will include circus and sideshow performance art, among many many other things.

We hope that it will become a gathering point for steampunks and other like-minded individuals during the competition, in a joint effort with the SteamPig display and several other steampunk exhibits through the vast art competition (over 200,000 visitors last year). Our space will have a lot of room to rest your feet and hang out, and costumed up visitors add the the feel of the piece.

We hope that you will help out by being there September 25th (the main gathering date), or any date between September 22nd through October 10th.

If you would like to more actively participate and help out, there are *MANY* ways to do so – from helping us starving artists to starve a bit less, to easing the strain of gathering materials for this huge project (we hope to use as much recycled material as possible), to lending a physical hand on the build, or just getting the word out for us (because every person you know may know someone interested, or the people they know might know someone interested).

Please link to us in your blogs, facebook accounts, myspace, twitter, or otherwise… because popular makes popular these days, and the more people our message reaches, the greater we can make this event.

Cirque A Circa Poster by Bethalynne BajemaArtists: Those of you with a creative touch to help with painting and set up. It could be anything from plain flat painting to helping with the mural.

Roustabouts: Help during the event. Answer visitors questions, help with merchants/artists needs, etc.

Carnies: Merchants who share our vibe and intent may rent tents to sell wares.

Players: We need people to dress up in a steampunk or circus fashion and just walk around while adding to the vibe!

Buskers: Do you have a fun talent to share? Juggler, stilt-walker, etc.? We have a place for you in Buskers Alley.

Oddities: Do you have a very unusual art to share? We have a place for you to create and show off your talent.

Stowaways: The price for your passage is to help keep our ship clean! We will need people to keep an eye out for loose ties or malfunctions, pick up trash, make sure signage is still in place, etc.

Acts: Looking for acts willing to work with us to develop great shows and have an opportunity to show off your stuff.

And the rest: Did we fail to mention something? Let us know! There is a place for you in our circus!

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This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things!

Cover art for Gatehouse Gazette 10, my second cover for the popular Dieselpunk magazine.

Issue 10 will be released less than a day from the time of this posting, and can be found at ottens.co.uk.

Magazine Cover for GateHouse Gazette

(click the above image to view in larger sizes on Flickr)

I put it up for sale on Etsy, but I’ll likely pull it down if it doesn’t sell in the next day or so and paint it up with some acrylics for an upcoming show. If you would like to buy this piece, or would like to see what Bethalynne Bajema and I have for sale there, please go to Ettadiem.Etsy.com

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Sepia Saturday – Free drawings

On Saturday November 28th of 2009, Spend more than $100 My Store, and receive an original 8.5 x 11 inch drawing, drawn on 400-lb 4-ply archival bristol board in pencil.*

Pencil sketch for example of general drawing style, not one of the drawings offered

*Terms:

1) The theme and style of the image will be chosen by the artist according to your purchase, and made to mesh well with your purchased items. For example: A purchase of a giclee of “The Rescue” might yield a drawing of an airship, while purchase of a couple of “Conception” prints might produce a drawing of mechanical insects.

2) The artist reserves the right to end this promotion should an unforeseen high amount of interest be expressed in the form of purchases (but will still make good on all sketches owed up to the point of cancellation).

3) Drawings will be shipped with their corresponding purchases, and as a result there may be a delay of up to one week on shipping (but only if there are a lot of drawings to be made as a result of this promotion).

4) Offer Ends at 11:59:59 PM Saturday November 28th, 2009, Pacific Standard time.

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Of Books and Other Things

I’m getting closer to being done with this series, and finished with the book… well, the art book anyway.

The shirts and bandanas will likely be available months before the book – They will be decorated by the cover image, but not the cover text, and are pretty amazing. I’ll be screen printing all of these on my own this time around – hopefully that will make them extra special, at least to to some people.

Airships and Tentacles
Airships and Tentacles

I was going to wrap the book up with some pencil and pen and ink work, some watercolors and gouache, but I’ve received a book cover commission from an artist I could not stand to have turned down, and that author wanted something similar to what I’ve been doing. I’ve also been asked to do some similar-themed interior illustrations for another author as well. So, this book will be delayed by a hair, but will also be several pages thicker when released.

Anyway, this post has knocked down the post for the November Sale, so I am just going to remind you here that through November 1st through November 31st of every year, my prices are their very, very lowest (because I don’t want to be buried in shipments the week before the Gift-Giving Season). You might want to take a look around my store (if not the entire store, look at the November Sale Section).

Here are some items which are coming soon, though maybe not in time for Christmas. The shirt is now available – though the tonal striped tees I wanted originally are no longer being made by the manufacturer… bummer:

One-Color Four Corners Airships and Tentacles Bandana
One-Color Four Corners Airships and Tentacles Bandana
Two-Color Forehead decoration Airships and Tentacles Bandan
Two-Color Forehead decoration Airships and Tentacles Bandan
One-Color Airships and Tentacles Dusty-Brown Tee
One-Color Airships and Tentacles Dusty-Brown Tee
Two-Color Airships and Tentacles Dusty-Brown Tee
Two-Color Airships and Tentacles Dusty-Brown Tee
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New-found techniques for hand-embellishing fine art prints

Hand-embellishing is something I like to do with the earliest prints of any series, adding a higher degree of unique-ness to the prints within my limited runs.

Up till recently, I’ve had but two techniques at my disposal for the hand-embellishing of prints: First being painting upon canvas or fine-art paper giclees.

When embellishing giclees, I paint in acrylics and hand-varnish each piece. This can be a bit time-consuming, as I have to allow proper time for each piece to breathe before painting, and also have to hand-varnish these works afterward. Especially involved are those pieces where I get carried away, as I have sold several giclees which were almost their own new paintings with all I’ve added and redone within the piece.

To me, this is not only a way to make pieces unique, but I also enjoy the ability to go back and do things I might have thought to have done with the original works: adding detail to existing elements, enhancing colors, or often creating new elements within the piece.

But when it comes to the metallic prints, I’ve mostly been limited to details in silver and gold metallic inks. Such is something that meshes incredibly well with the black and white engravings (especially when accenting prints made from works in which the originals had gold or silver leafing on them). With color metallic prints, however, I’ve often been limited to adding a bit of metallic glimmer to rivets and nails, adding various reflections to shiny bits within the works, or adding a bit of metallic shine to stars in the background, perhaps even creating new constellations.

Recently, I gave pigment ink markers a try, beginning with markers sold especially for photo coloring/ photo tinting – Zig Photo Twin Markers – markers typically used for making color photos out of black and white photos.

I am pretty happy with the results. Going into this, I was concerned that I might only be able to color and shade with them, and that the differences in color or texture would be obvious enough to break the piece. The inks however added themselves nicely to the prints, leaving little to no change in surface reflectivity.

There was also a lot more control in tinting than I had expected. With the first stroke, I was somewhat disappointed, as the color I laid down only barely showed up at all. But, with another stroke more color and definition showed, and another, until I had just the right amount. I continued this process, not just to add color and shading, but to add definition to stitches and wood grain. Eventually I was also adding new ropes and cords, new flowers and blooms floating through the air, and shadowy tentacles within the mist and fog.

The fine brush-like tips on one side of the marker are perfect for detailing or for coloring large areas, and the fine tips at the other end add more than enough control for this sort of work. That the color lays down evenly and gradually, makes possible everything from the slightest color shifts, to stark new creations.

I think future print projects may involve printing some of my works out completely in black and white, and then hand-coloring each print. I don’t know which pieces I could do this for, just yet – but it will be of future and yet un-released works, since I fear making something that special of existing works would not be kind to those who have bought prints of those works already.

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In case you are wondering which of these prints come hand-embellished – the general rule is that the first artist print (I of II), plus the first five percent of a limited and signed edition (for example #s 1, 2, 3 of a 50-print edition), are hand-embellished. If a buyer happens to land themselves one of these, I write just to make sure that a hand-embellished print is what they want… on the off chance that they would prefer a vanilla and true to the original print.

Many artists might prefer to hold onto their A.P.s, #1s, hand-embellished versions, and other special items for dead last – offering them as the special items they are (and priced accordingly). I, however, tend to give these at the standard price, to those people who order first, as a reward for kicking off a series.

The reason for this being that, though I can show you many images of my works online, they will never match up to the high-resolution and full size prints. I believe that seeing these prints in person, is what makes people want them most. I often watch print sales “bloom” out from those localities wherein my prints already reside, and often hear from buyers that they’ve seen one of my works on the wall of a friend, in a hotel lobby, dentists office, or other venue.

It serves me well to get my works out where they can be seen in full scale – one of many reasons I am thankful for, grateful for, every last buyer I have had.

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Depression Punk Pondered

“There is in every true woman’s heart, a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity, but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.”

-Washington Irving

Conversations between Bethalynne and I, regarding “Depression Punk” began about a year and a half ago – though until recently, I never really managed to consider these concept so seriously. Such conversations were typically a source of amusement, just silly banter and rampant conceptualizing – most often fueled by late nights and spoiled grain.

Of course when these discussions began, we had our sites set on the finer things in life: The extravagance of steam culture had us bright eyed dreaming of all the wondrous things we could make to wear, decorate with, perhaps even display and sell. We drempt aloud of wondrous things made of fine woven fabrics, intricate machines and devices made of brass gears and parts encased in fine ornate hardwood shells, castings in silver and on brass, and huge monumental artworks so complex and weird that they might be new wonders of the world. The things we would make, the things we would do, and the places we would go dressed to the nines in ornate brass, tweed, and brown leather; Whole worlds of arts and craftsmanship were opening up to us – our only limits being time and focus.

… Though I could hardly focus on anything at the time, barely getting any rest between stuffing prints into boxes and tubes; I was overwhelmed, stressed, and enthused by the sudden and unexpected popularity of my site and my works. We were still poor as we had began, and had a way to go before building a solid footing with our then fortunate circumstances. We found ourselves so incredibly in demand that I had an impossible time choosing from the avenues that were open before us.

One weekend night, we found that the television was becoming all-too heavily dominated by stressed stock brokers and stock owners, failing corporations and other other such things not concerning struggling near-homeless artist renters — In this – we non-stock-owners/non-homeowners had to flip around for a while to find anything remotely interesting to relax to… anything that did not have to do with AIG or that credit stuff we with no credit had little worry over.

For some god-awful reason we found ourselves up late at night staring wide-eyed and zombified at the 80’s Robin Williams train wreck that was called “Popeye”, a deliciously terrible and ill-advised film based upon the adventures of the spinach-munching pipe smoking depression-era pugilistic hero of… of… well, someone had to have watched these cartoons… perhaps even on purpose.

Somehow, after an hour or so of watching, we found that we were still able to form words, and combine them into sentences; Discussion ensued, and that led us to indirectly this depression punk topic via our starting topic… “Hill Punk”

Hill Punk, we decided, would be a subculture where bands played on clay jugs, rubber bands and washboards, wherein the most fashionable would be those wearing the most ragged and worn wooden barrels, those with the most interesting objects tangled within their soup-crusted beards, and the finest art consisted of the most  hideously perfect rusty pipes and cloth tape, held together by twine and thrice-darned stockings. Women would don hair nets over tightly-pulled bob-tailed she-mullets, kids would wear burlap sacks patched with cigar ribbons, accented by sling-shots and chewing tobacco tins.

Figuring that this might possibly conceived as politically incorrect and insensitive by many a fine and upstanding person with Appalachian roots, we thought that this should concept should cover more regions than just the one, and should stem also into the cities and burbs.

This caused up to branch into a more Oliver Twist aspect of steam culture: One encouraging the wearing of rag-tag garments bound by hastily-stitched patchwork, torn gloves and battered hats powdered and blemished by coal and by soot – decorated with pins and necklaces of broken finery and salvaged machines – deviating from the lavishly steampunk culture to a culture of salvaged things and frugal sensibilities.

Gone are the days of stripping the finest wood from the most beautiful forests, and gone are the days of fine ivory canes, expensive perfumes made from plentiful sea mammals. No longer is it in good taste to rest one’s argyle-socked feet upon an intricate, rare, and expensive conversation piece from the depths of deepest and darkest Borneo. No longer is it safe or tasteful to boastfully cover oneself in brilliant jewels and precious metal at gatherings or when in the public eye. Expeditions to far away lands for science and discovery are near-impossible to finance. Among the wealthy, conversations surrounding the proper storage of kitchen grease, preservation of furniture, and the hand-washing of doilies have come to be the most fashionable topics of conversation, hosted in a small cluster of open rooms – the rest of these mansions sealed off for preservation of firewood and limited household staff.

Children in over-sized hand-me downs play games with toys made of salvaged and irreparable devices, things found in junk yards and gutters. They make jewelry from anything salvaged and shiny. For added flair, they wear pocket watches which neither work, nor retain any valuable parts. They make toys and pieces of art from things once functional, interesting and inspiring in appearance only – imagination fueling purpose and function.

Boxes fashioned of glued gears, nails, tin cans and and soldered spoons open gateways to the lush and plentiful lands of Africa; Necklaces made of broken piggy banks and found brass are merely disguises for secreted magickal jewels, or perhaps serve as a key to an ancient and faraway treasure trove – the keyhole cleverly disguised as a crack in a crumbling wall somewhere within a crumbling and abandoned estate.

Meet “Depression Punk”, the somewhat less-fortunate sibling to the steampunk, dieselpunk, clockpunk movements, a symbol for our times – powered by innovative re-purposing, the crafting of interesting and intriguing things from things passed over, wherein form and function collide with outcomes decided by practicality and frugality – imagination stepping in wherever function is not essential.

It only recently occurred to me, that these things are around in mass, and every bit as wonderful as the purely steampunk things I love but cannot buy or afford to make. Where one might see a failed steampunk or clockpunk piece, I have begun to see a very successful and brilliant depression punk piece in its stead… and it is odd that this in only just now rubbing off on me… that I am finally seeing the trees through the forest.

One of my Bethalynne’s greatest traits, is the pure power of her imagination, the way she crafts and dreams child-like eyes, building intricate stories and expansive lore around everything she doodles or glues together.

And while I poo-poo ideas of mine because I haven’t the money for the perfectly-grained piece of cherry carved from the rarest knotted old-growth stump, or haven’t the resources to make electrodes spark from telescoping arms of brass and silver – she crafts beautiful and intriguing gateways to incredible and outlandish strange worlds from scrap jewelry and salvaged paper products…

It seems I could take a lesson from her in hese regards, and from those I admittedly once scoffed at – get with the times and shed the bonds of my extravagant ambitions by showing a bit of fiscal responsibility and empathy, exercising that resourcefulness and practicality forgotten by many of us during these previous years…

Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant.

~Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus), Satires