Saturday, October 25, 2014

Before and After

From now until the end of 2014, 100% of my sales proceeds at artEast Gallery in Issaquah will go to nonprofits.  50% will go to artEast which is a nonprofit to support artists.  50% will go to the Issaquah Food Bank.  Although not a direct link back to my can suppliers, this will help those in need during this difficult time of year.  So get out to artEast and buy!

One of the pieces I have at artEast is "The Stadiums".  This images is constructed of five cans.  The background is plywood coated with sand then painted the Seattle Seahawks colors.  The frame is a simple silver.

Original image

"The Stadiums"

The original image was taken right at dusk in late December for the Smith Tower looking south.  Mt. Rainier is barely visible on the left side.  I played with various layers in Photoshop to get the image to look like a drawing.  The final version is what I printed on the cans.  The C'Link is slightly different from the rest of the image so it stands out a bit.

"The Locks" and "2nd Avenue" are also at artEast.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Aluminum Can Creations

Printing on the inside of aluminum cans creates unique opportunities.   I search for 24 ounce cans so I am able to print a 5 inch by 7 inch image on a single can.  To get a larger image I piece together several cans.  Because it is a can, I can cut a fine edge and carefully align the image parts so the seams are barely invisible.

"Slippery when Wet"

"Slippery when Wet" is made up of three cans.  The photographic image is 7 inches by 10 inches and frame opening in 11 inches by 14 inches.  Two horizontal cans make up of the photographic portion. Then I have attached one vertical can in the center of the image so your eye does not get stuck on the can edges. Instead your eye follows the pier poles down the center as I intended.

If you look at this image closely you will see the tacks that hold the cans in place.  Cans have to be tacked down or they will return to their can state.  I have covered a piece of plywood with window screen and hand-painted it to compliment the photograph.  That way I have a material behind the painting that the tacks will stay in.  The cans are sprayed with a protective coating so they do not need to be behind glass.

"The Locks"

"The Locks" is done the same way as "Slippery when Wet".  The vertical can is in contrast to the background cans so the blue of the water and heat of the summer sun comes through.

Please look at the Recycled Cans gallery on my website for other creations.

Monday, September 8, 2014

My Can Supply

My current aluminum can supply is far exceeding my pace of converting cans to photographic images.  I find cans along the roads and paths during lunch walks. I am looking for 24 ounce or larger cans that have not been dented.  My suppliers are mostly the homeless that live along the railroad tracks or under the bridges in Renton.  I have learned where the drinking spots are and return often to replenish my supply.

Me Picking Cans with my Artist Stick (2012)

This summer I have picked up about 30 cans each week. That is well over 1,000 per year.
 In a productive week I convert about 15 to photographs.  More typically, it is 5 to 10 so my supply is growing.  This is a good thing because the cans are harder to find in the winter and I have more time to make them into art.
My Current Uncut Can Supply
Here is one of my latest!
Can Art, "Commotion"

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Why Cans?

Over the last 2 years, my photography efforts have centered around printing on "Upcycled" Aluminum Cans. Originally, I printed on the inside of cans because I thought it would be a cost effective way to "test" an image printed on metal before sending it to an expensive lab. But something else happened. People became interested in the cans. So for the last 2 years, I have pursued ways to make the process more efficient, not ruin my printer, and to display the cans.

I have spent countless hours refining my process so the final product is faster to produce and more reliable. It now takes about 30 minutes of work and 2 days of time to convert a can to a printable surface and my failure rate has dropped from over 50% to about 20%.

Displaying cans is a challenge. They want to go back to a can state.  I have found that their desire to curl is stronger than tape. The best way to keep them flat is to tack them down. At first, I spray painted plywood background but was told that looked cheap. Then I started covering the plywood with other materials such as screen or aluminum flashing. Then I hand painted these surfaces with acrylics and tacked the cans down.

Copy of G.K.'s Pool

The photograph is a shadow in a pool.  I hand painted the background on a screen.  Then framed the piece with a hand-colored frame.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

First Post

My interest in photography goes back over 40 years. I took a black and white course in high school and continued to develop, literally, this know-how through college and beyond until access to a dark room became too difficult. Said another way, my other life activities took over. Not having a dark room in my house made photography not happen.
Fortunately the advent of the digital camera and its increased capability have made photography a viable pursuit. I can now create images in my home and use color. Both wonderful advances of technology.

I photograph what is happening around me particularly when I am in a beautiful place like Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. I look for unique architectural features, shapes, lines and the colors. Of my, so many incredible colors.

1979 Photo of me Hailey, ID while a student at the Sun Valley Arts Center

2013 Photo of me in Granby, CT