Saturday, December 18, 2021

My book is purchased by McCabe Library at Swarthmore Collage

Life is short, suddenly it's over. Try to be present every day. 

I am so pleased to tell you my book, In Which Our Main Character Has a Revelation of Wonderment, has been purchased by the McCabe Library. I'm sure every artist is delighted when their work goes somewhere where it will be appreciated. I am no different. The book was purchased out of the Philadelphia Center for the Book exhibit, Looking Out/Looking In.

As part of the PCBA exhibit, Looking Out/Looking In, they now have a walk through video on YouTube. You can see it here. In the video you can see the library setting, and of course the books. It looks like a very nice space and a wonderful show.

There is also an online exhibit here, that has all the work in the show. It was a hybrid show, most of the work was exhibited in the library, because of size limitations a few pieces are online only.

Spectacles for Viewing Christmas on Mars free download - make your own pair

On my web site I have a pdf pattern you can download and make a pair of these spectacles. There is also a slip case and a plain pair you could use as a pattern to decorate your own. These have been around ten years. I think it's time for a new pair. 

The holidays are almost here. However you celebrate, I hope you have some time with people you love. This can be a hard time of the year. I am missing people who can't be here. If you are missing people and feel alone, when everyone is so jolly, you are not alone. I think under the jolliness, many people are feeling sad. I have no smart advice for you, but I hope you can find some time to enjoy the holidays and reasons to be glad to be alive. 

Saturday, December 04, 2021

A finished book

Where are they now, Artist book by Judith Hoffman, paper, collage, paint
Where are they now? by Judith Hoffman, drum leaf accordion, Arches cover paper, collage, paint, ink. About 3 x 4 inches.

It's the same old story - I had a dozen pages left from a book I made years ago. I wanted to use them, and started playing with some mark making and collage. The dozen collaged pages seemed to divide into two themes, so two books. But I needed to make more pages so I could finish each book. I ended up making about 30 more pages. Both books are experiments with family photos. The photos are scanned and printed on an Epson SC-P700 printer, so it's supposed to be good ink.

Where are they now? Artist book Arches cover, collage, paint, ink by Judith Hoffman
Where are they now? First half of drum leaf accordion fold book.

Here is the first book - Where are they now? The other book is finished, but I have no photos to show you. I had to put my photo set up away last week to have some work done in the basement. They didn't show up, now they are coming next week. It's an odd coincidence that the title of this book fits the current problem with scheduling workers. Note: all photos will enlarge.

Artist book made of Arches Cover, collage, paint, ink by Judith Hoffman
Where are they now? Second half of drum leaf accordion fold book by Judith Hoffman

I am hugely enjoying the drum leaf accordion construction. I learned it from Andrew Huot earlier this year in an online class from Book Paper Thread called Books for Photographers and Printmakers. He is also teaching at FOBA this summer.

I will include some knitting news here - read on if you are so inclined. I needed some fingerless gloves for my cold hands. Looking through my yarn I found some almost finished ones I started years ago using yarn I spun myself. It's a thrill to spin yarn and then make something. As I finished knitting the gloves I got the urge to spin again. So another project has begun.

Finished fingerless mitts. Unknown fleece, sort of sock weight, chain plyed.

I never was that good at spinning, what I used to know has come back to me. Also all that I don't know. There are some good classes at Craftsy.

Mistakes and all here are some singles, the fleece is End of Innocence from Into the Whirled. It's lovely fleece.

See those tails sticking out of the singles on the left? Those are all mistakes. They may straighten out when I ply. Still it is relaxing most of the time. And I am delighted to be making yarn.

I hope you are doing well, keeping safe, and getting your booster. These are difficult times, it's good to find things to occupy your mind, other than the news. Thanks for reading and take care. 


Friday, October 29, 2021

Pens, Inks and Drawing in Inktober 2021

Blind contour drawing - that's me, but it doesn't look like me, thanks to the blind contour.

Be sure to read the last paragraph about subscribing to this blog. Signing up for notifications is changing .

October is Inktober - a month when many people who are nuts about drawing with pen and ink, or brush, or markers, challenge themselves to do a drawing a day. This seems like a good time for a post on pen and ink drawing. I will intersperse a few of my drawings from this month.

Blind contour and hatching. 

The main time I draw is in the evening, sitting with a cat on my lap and a cup of tea. I don't want ink that can spill, so fountain pens are ideal. I need ink that is water proof so I can use my drawings for collage. I prefer to refill a fountain pen instead of buying a new one, or buying plastic cartridges. And you can mix inks in the same brand to get a wide variety of colors. I often use black or brown, so I'm not sure this is a big deal to me. But I want options.

Judith Hoffman blind contour with added hatching

I have finally settled on De Atramentis Document Inks. Jane Blundell's posts about fountain pen inks are very helpful, this is where I first learned about the De Atramentis inks. This seems to be her most recent post, it includes links to previous posts. Note the Document inks are the ones that dry waterproof. They are changing their bottles and name, the newer Artist Inks are the same formula.

Couldn't find my pen, I really like the weird bottle shapes.

Many fountain pen inks will bleed when wet media is applied over them. The De Atramentis Document inks have been waterproof for me with a few exceptions. My usual method is to draw directly on the substrate - which is usually collage held down with Golden Matte Medium, or to draw on architect's tracing paper, and then use that as collage material. Either way the drawing ink needs to be waterproof.  The De Atramentis Inks work great. The one exception is their white, which seems to be made in a different way. It will settle in the pen. You need to shake the pen a bit and scribble on scrap paper to get it going. The white sometimes smears a bit when I am collaging, especially when I have drawn on a layer of acrylic paint. When applied to the architect's tracing, it smears a tiny bit where it is very thick but works well all in all. I try to just paint over the collaged paper with the matte medium, then squeegee off excess with a rib squeegee. I don't work over the same area multiple times.

Blind contour with hatching, Inktober 2021

In the last 5 years I have tried a number of inexpensive fountain pens. Now I am using what pen nerds might call an affordable fountain pen, but to me it is fairly expensive. It's the Twisbi Eco, $35.50 at JetPens. I switched to the Eco because the ink in the nib doesn't dry out. I can lose a pen for weeks, find it under my chair, and start drawing right away. There is a piston filler that works well, but you have to be careful not to twist the knob at the end of the pen when there is ink in it. If you do, ink will leak out. 

Insomnia. Inktober 2021.

I get most of my pens and inks from JetPens. They have a number of short videos explaining and demonstrating paper, pens and inks. Here is an article about fountain pen nibs. Another place that has been a good source is the Goulet Pen Company. They have the De Atramentis Document White. I haven't used them as much as JetPens, but have been happy with both places. Please Note: I am not affiliated with JetPens or Goulet Pens in anyway, I just want to suggest places I have found to be reliable. Both are in the US.

Strange rabbit from Svankmeyer's Alice. I like to experiment with hatching styles.

Some business: Blogger says they are no longer going to use the feed burner subscription widget thing. I do still see the sign up to get on my mailing list on my blog. I have been resisting signing up with another company because I am so tired of privacy issues. I feel if you give them your email address you are in for something unseen. And companies end up getting hacked and information is stolen. So I am making my own subscriber list, and sending out reminders when I post a new blog post. For now feed burner seems to still be working, or at least I get notifications when I post. It was supposed to have stopped in August. I have no idea what will happen, but if you want to be sure to be notified of new blog posts, email me at judithDOTzDOThoffmanATgmailDOTcom. You can unsubscribe at anytime, just send me an email. I don't want to send spam to your inbox.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Sending two books to the Philadelphia Center for the Book exhibit

Stolen Shadows by Judith Hoffman is on its way to the Looking Out/Looking in exhibit at the Philadelphia Center for the Book.

I am delighted to say I just sent Stolen Shadows and In Which Our Main Character Has a Moment of Wonderment to the Looking Out/Looking In exhibit at the Philadelphia Center for the Book. I haven't accomplished much in the last few years so it's nice to be able to share something with other artists and people in general. There will be a Zoom artist's talk on November 3rd. You need to register at the PCB website to attend. The exhibit can be viewed in person at Swarthmore's McCabe Library October 23rd to December 5th. It can also be viewed online beginning October 22nd at the Looking Out/Looking In exhibition page

Sunday, October 10, 2021

In Which Our Main Character Has a Revelation of Wonderment


In Which Our Main Character Has a Revelation of Wonderment, 2019, 5.75 x 4 x 1 inch. Materials: Eco dyed Bagasse paper, eco dyed linen thread, architect’s tracing paper, found papers, acrylic paint, ink. Techniques: eco dying, collage, drawing, rubber stamping. I took good photos a few months after finishing this, and then forgot to post them anywhere, so here they are at last.


I have had a few moments in my life when I felt connected to the universe, as if I could see everything all at once, and it all made sense. We can all have those moments, where we feel joy and are free from our daily worries and routine. It is, in a way, looking out at the world, seeing the beauty and reality without the overlay of our worries. But it's also looking in, seeing and feeling the space inside. I'm not saying life is always wonderful, because it's not. But allowing space for the good moments is important.

I enjoy the collage mixed with drawings, rubber stamping and the eco dyed marks. As I work I become absorbed in some internal story. On this page Benjamin Franklin is studying a huge moon. There had to be a small building to delineate the earth, and in the end I added a large stamp of a bird to have a weird change in sizes.

The pages are so wonky from the eco dye process it's hard to photograph the book. They also spring open however they want to.

When she saw this page, my friend Elise said "He is hoeing the earth and the mountains are growing. 

Here an amazing thing is happening just behind the photographer. He's so absorbed in his flower he doesn't notice.

Our life can be so amazing, and then suddenly it's over.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Zymoglyphic Residents at the 1122 Gallery


Museum as Muse exhibit
Diorama by Sam David, Museum as Muse exhibit, 1122 Gallery. About 2.5 feet wide.

I just came from The Museum as Muse exhibit, the result of a summers worth of work for six residents at the Zymoglyphic Museum. (Full disclaimer - Jim Stewart, owner and curator of the museum is my husband. Click on any image to enlarge.) The show is held at the 1122 Gallery in Portland, Oregon. I went on a beautiful rainy afternoon that had bright moments of sun now and then. The exhibit space is in the back yard - go up the driveway on the right and through the gate. Be sure to check out the open hours on the website, it feels a little weird to walk into someone's yard. The space is magical. There is a covered car port, a shed and an old hen house that serve as the exhibition areas. Everything is sheltered by several huge Douglas firs. The whole experience is very Portland magical.

To make their art, the residents were allowed free rein in the preparation area of the museum. Most are assemblage artists, so they used the materials at hand in the museum's archives. You can see the museum's signature detritus in each person's work. It's fascinating to see how differently each person uses similar materials.

There is also work by a writer - Jason Squamata who is no longer in Portland, and Coleman Stevenson who interpreted the museum in patches of color. 

Sketch by Sam David of their planned project

The image at the top of the post is by Sam David. They also exhibited a sketch for the finished project (above) which is expected to take about a year to complete.

Museum as Muse
Ancestor by Erinn Kathryn, about 12 inches tall.

Museum as Muse
Womb by Erinn Kathryn. About 14 inches tall. I love the title written on the wall. It's the personal touch of the artist's hand.

Museum as Muse
Assemblages by Chandra Glaeseman. They are all related to the diagram at the bottom.

Diorama by Alex G. About 2.5 feet wide. 

Alex G. is the youngest resident at 10 years old. She is the author of the Kid's Guide to the Museum. Available on the museum's publication page.

Museum as Muse
Video and music by Alice Langlois. There is no way to capture the mysterious beauty of this video with a still photo. It is exhibited in an old hen house with water dripping from a huge Douglas fir. Alice animated materials from the museum's archives. She spent hours carefully photographing things like tiny sea horses and dried up creatures. Be sure to enlarge this to see the still image.


Museum as Muse
Coleman Stevenson interpreted the museum in bands of color and text. The sun coming through wavy plastic adds an element of watery magic.

Jim at Museum as Muse
Jim admiring Sam David's diorama.

The Zymoglyphic tintamarresque installed in the exhibition space.

There is a page for the residents on the Zymoglyphic Museum website which has links to websites if they have one.

I'm in the PSBA member's exhibit!

A child's introduction to the wonders of space, artist book by Judith Hoffman
A Child's Introduction to the Wonders of Space by Judith Hoffman. Artist book, coptic bound, 10 inches wide. 

I am so delighted to say I was juried into the Puget Sound Book Artists almost-annual members exhibit. Last year's exhibit was postponed because of Covid. I'm showing A Child's Introduction to the Wonders of Space, which I am particularly fond of. (the link is to a blog post - which includes enlargeable images.) I haven't entered many shows for the last 5 years or more, so this is a real treat for me. 

The books in the show are posted online here. There are links in the right hand column to the books. The show is at the Collins Library, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA. It will be up through October 1, 2021. There is a closing event on that day, in person, at the Collin's Library.

There will be a Zoom Panel Discussion on September 23. Four artists will talk about their books. The discussion is free but registration is required.

I hope you are all well. Please get your shots, wear masks and be safe! There are good things in life, even with all this stress. Try to see them. For me it's the start of our rainy season. Friday night we had a lot of rain. I love this cool, wet weather. I'm sorry to see the garden fade, but fall is beautiful in Portland. It's perfect for walking and we live near a nice park so walking is perfect.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Tetrapak Mark Making and Printing Tests


Tetrapak mark making tools test
I always have to make a book and take a photo. Even the funky tests. Single sheet binding, instructions from Keith Smith.

I have been testing a lot of mark making tools on Tetrapak. Above is a little book I made myself. Below are all the tests. Most of the tools I used are in the photos. The paper is Stonehenge, ink is Akua carbon black. Not all the tests printed equally well, but it's information, not beauty that I'm looking for.

Tetrapak mark making test 2021 Judith Hoffman
Fine line applicator with Golden high flow paint. Hard to control, hard to write backwards. Take a while to dry thouroughly.

Tetrapak mark making test 2021 Judith Hoffman
PVA sprayed on with toothbrush, keep it light for a texture. Lots of small spots end up making a dark area.

Tetrapak mark making test 2021 Judith Hoffman
Liquitex clear gesso, center is the tetrapak, right is Blick white acrylic, brushed on and scribbled with brush handle end. I need to play more with the brush handle marks.

Tetrapak mark making test 2021 Judith Hoffman
Utrecht mat medium sprayed on with spray tool. Keep it light to get spots, more spots will hold more ink. Hard to control but I love the bigger spots.

Tetrapak mark making test 2021 Judith Hoffman
Left dark area is an etching tool that scratches many fine lines, the grids are pieces of screening. I couldn't find most of them - the heavy plastic one above was used, also the wire. it's twisted very fine wire. These are embossed into the tetrapak.

Tetrapak mark making test 2021 Judith Hoffman
Staples under aluminum tape on the left and above right, hammered staples on the right.
 If you try this be careful - you don't want to make permanent marks on your rollers. Extra padding is a good idea.
Tetrapak mark making test 2021 Judith Hoffman
Aluminum tape, torn for the two horizontal pieces, crumpled for vertical piece. The long horizontal line is a fold in the tetrapak.
Tetrapak mark making test 2021 Judith Hoffman
Above: screwdriver blade, Below square tubing. Press down hard.
 The screwdriver blade is notched.
Tetrapak mark making test 2021 Judith Hoffman
Left: sand paper scratches, right Wiggle Jiggle writer with scribe taped on.
 It's a kid's fun drawing tool. On Amazon.
Tetrapak mark making test 2021 Judith Hoffman
Marbling comb. On the left I tried brushing on some mat medium. I want to use these in collage. Turns out the Akua dries slowly, but is finally supposed to be waterproof.

Tetrapak mark making test 2021 Judith Hoffman
Left some kind of etching tool - makes many very fine lines. Center: fork, Right: nail set, although maybe not the one in the photo. I think it had a larger circle end.

Tetrapak mark making test 2021 Judith Hoffman
Wheels with spikes. For leather working and sewing. These are hard to ink well. A very soft toothbrush seems best.

Tetrapak mark making test 2021 Judith Hoffman
Papermate ballpoint pen, wheel with spikes.

Tetrapak mark making test 2021 Judith Hoffman
Energel 0.5 pen

Tetrapak mark making test 2021 Judith Hoffman
Left: twisted scribe, right: scalpel

Tetrapak mark making test 2021 Judith Hoffman
Circle test: Left twisted scribe. The five is cut out. Right: nut cracker pick. Easier to draw a circle. I am having trouble adjusting to the different feeling between a pen and the scribes which are very sharp and only really work when I pull them toward me.

Tetrapak mark making test 2021 Judith Hoffman
Left: Jetstream pen .23, nut pick, Right Cork handled scribe. Just as sharp as the twisted scribe but easier on the hand.

Tetrapak mark making test 2021 Judith Hoffman
Uni Jetstream pen .28, Uni Jetstream 3, .38, Pentel energel .5, Papermate 1. They all look about the same when printed. I was hoping for a finer line from the finer tips.

Tetrapak mark making test 2021 Judith Hoffman
Top: wire tool with handle, Bottom: cork handled scribe, trying light and firm pressures.

Tetrapak mark making test 2021 Judith Hoffman
Polymer clay tool with embedded nails. I made this one years ago.

Tetrapak mark making test 2021 Judith Hoffman
Polymer clay tool, point on one end, circle on the other. The circle is like a nail set tool. The point is fairly smooth. I need to test this more.

Protecting the ink from cats
My system to leave the ink on the glass plate. We have a cat, he mostly doesn't walk on the table but he might. I should put a weight on top. They claim the Akua ink doesn't dry on non-porous surfaces, so it can sit out until you use it up.