Several of you mentioned the organic “body part” references in the abstract images I posted this weekend. That made me think about the late Jerry Rudquist, a local artist and professor at MacAllister College in St. Paul. Jerry had a huge influence on my artwork. If you’re not into “duck and dog” paintings, Jerry was, for years, the dean of Minnesota fine artists. The image posted here is a hand printed lithograph. It’s an artist’s proof, which I was given because I printed the edition. That’s right, add another to my list of shot lived careers.

Lithography, as it’s root implies, is printing from the surface of a stone. Most modern printing uses this technology which is based on the physics of the attraction and repulsion of grease and water. Invented by Sennenfelder in 1798 it uses flat slabs of limestone, ground to a very fine texture to reproduce the image. Modern commercial printers use metal or rubber plates now, but fine art printers are still printing editions using the old technique.

I specialized in printmaking in college and applied to the Tamarind Institute in New Mexico, to train to be a Master Printmaker. I didn’t get in, so I found a small studio to work in Minneapolis. This was right after I returned from Idaho. I think. This winter I took this pic of the press at the Carleton art studio. It’s the same press I learned on. If you look closely you can see some stones on the shelves on the right side of the photo. Printing an edition of lithographs on a press like that is a real workout. But great fun, because it’s a two person job and I often worked with my professor, Dean Warnholtz, who was just plain fun to be around. Because he was as crazy as I was.


Yesterday, Beck called me at work to tell me there was a rose breasted grossbeak on the bird feeder. haven’t seen one of those for awhile. I saw it later in the evening as well. I hope they decide to move into the nieghborhood. What a cool looking bird!

11 thoughts on “

  1. professors that are as crazy as I am are my favorite, and the ones whose advice stays with me forever.

    Rose breasted grossbeak? I am going to have to find a picture on google.

  2. Bob, I have to say, you’re one of the most interesting folks I “know.”  That’s so cool.
    Rose breasted grosbeak — I wish I could see one, the closest I’ve gotten is a rufous-sided towhee (and that’s not close at all!)

  3. I bet bk is still looking for a Large-Breasted Bed Thrasher.

    Very interesting stories.  By the way what haven’t you done?

    On a third note it is Minnesota Day, according to Drowning Not Waving.

  4. In that case:

    The United States Treasury has announced they are recalling the new
    Minnesota quarters.

    “We are recalling all of the new Minnesota quarters that were recently issued”, Treasury Undersecretary Russell Shackelford said in a press conference Monday. “This comes in the wake of numerous reports to this agency that the quarters will not work in parking meters, toll booths, vending machines, pay phones or other coin-operated devices.”

    “We believe the problem lies in a design flaw,” said Shackelford.

    The winning design for the Minnesota quarter was submitted by Sven Petersen and Ole Johnson of Hibbing, Minnesota. Sven commented, “Apparently, the duct tape holding the two dimes and nickel together keeps jamming the coin-operated devices.”

  5. There are people as crazy you you out there? In public? Oh dear. So Minnesota is off my list, inspite of having a sports team called the Gophers. That just makes me giggle every time.

  6. haha… Minnie-sota coinage.

    Slapping my head d’oh because I never made the connection between lithography and stone… even though I knew that neolithic meant “new stone” and lithosphere, yadda yadda. 

  7. You know, I never quite understood what a lithograph is.  After reading this, I’m still not sure.  I think it’s the kind of thing I’d have to do before I can really get it.  Printing with rocks?  Something like that.

  8. In college I was in class with a girl named Robin.  She was cute and I bought her a red t-shirt with a stylized “R” over the chest.  (Batman’s sidekick’s symbol)  She then pointed out to me that whenever she wore it she would be a robin with red breasts.  I laugh now, but I might have blushed then. 

  9. We have several RBGrosbeaks that frequent our feeders all summer. They are probably my favorite of the birds that come by.

    Cool info on the lithograph, thanks for the lesson!

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