Saturday, November 13, 2021

GERRY HAT TRICKS

I overheard some people, who seemed to be in my generation, talking the other day and I heard one of them talking about where they were going for an appointment. They said they were going to "Gerry hat tricks". Now that's a new one on me. At first I thought it was maybe the name of a doctor: Gerry Hattricks. Then I thought maybe they were bored and were going to some place called Gerry's to play a game called hat tricks. Maybe I should look into this to see if I can improve my aging carcass with some hat-trick games. Try this: Take the three words, gerry, hat and tricks, and put them together as one word: "gerryhattricks" and say it outloud. What did you hear?

Sunday, October 24, 2021

PLURAL VERSION OF A WORD

    Words of single items and words for more than one of those items are often not the same words. For instance a single page in a book is a page but more than one page are pages (just one simple example). 
    I was thinking about the word goose and how the sound of that word, for the plural, was changed more than the addition of an s at the end. If the plural of goose is geese, why isn’t the plural of moose “meese”? The word goose existed in the Anglo-Saxon language for centuries and had, back then, been given the plural version. But the word moose was only in the English language in the 1600s because the Anglo-Saxons didn’t know it existed until then. The word moose was from the Abenaki language in North America. 
     This got me thinking of a way to bring this into a wood engraving and the result was to bring two geese and two moose together. I was tempted to title it "TWO GEESE RIDING TWO MEESE", but that would appear that I misspelled.  I'm engraving a block which will be printed and titled "TWO GEESE RIDING TWO MOOSE"?    
                                                  
     I have engraved the block to a point where I have printed the first proof and when it was dry I scanned it. Here's a copy. 

As I've mentioned in previous pages of the blog, my studio work has slowed dramatically. I have added years to my carcass and that has come at a price.

                                                 

                                                                     

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

ODDBALLS

Another series that was printed as a book (both limited edition by me and by Porcupines Quill) was ODDBALLS. If you click on this link then click on "Preview This Book", you can then scroll down to "Table of Contents and clidk on a name of an ODDBALL to see the wood engraving. The sequence of texts/titles and images in this link may be off.
"The Mad Trapper" wood engraving

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

ALTERNATIVE TO THE WEBSITE

I thought I'd put some links on my Blog that would bring up some of my work that was on my website that was shut down by TELUS. I'll start with the Porcupines Quill. The publisher of my "See What I'm Saying?" book: Click on "See What I'm Saying?" title then on that opening page click on "preview this book". When you scroll down you will see a list of the titles of the work in that series. Each is linked to an image. I know,it's complicated, but it's the best I could do.
"Fly Fiahing" wood engraving

Saturday, July 17, 2021

TIMES THEY ARE A'CHANGIN' BIG TIME

I suppose this title links to my entries a few times back, but this one today has nothing to do with the pandemic. Two weeks ago I tripped and fell and had to be taken to the hospital. They found my hip had to be repaired. Well the operation was a week and 6 days ago and yesterday I was discharged. I thought it was too soon because I was having so much trouble moving around. I'm facing the changing times of moving around the house (instead of laying in a hospital bed). Moving on the main floor only (can't go down the basement) so, I'll need to arrange some help. Not easy to get to the studio either.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

BIG OF THREE SISTERS

My friend Dave invited me to join him on a road trip from Red Deer to the Rockies, around Canmore, Alberta. The destination was an area where there are three peaks next to each other. They are called The Three Sisters. The largest peak on one end is called the Big Sister. Next to that is Middle Sister, then Little Sister. I was captivated by them and when we returned from our trip I began to make sketches from the photos I took and check on the internet for some other views. Big of Three Sisters is the result.
BIG OF THREE SISTERS @ wood engraving (ed.25) image 7 x 5 in. $100.00 (you can click on it to enlarge)

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

ROOTS TO LIMBS TO LOGS

Last Sunday I got my act together, after I had finished making changes on the block, and inked up the press and got it going. By mid-afternoon I had an edition of 25 of "Roots To Limbs To Logs". It's from a 5 X 7 inch block and a relatively (for me) small edition. I just don't have the stamina or energy for more, as more and more of the years pile up. Not to mention: a larger edition would require being hung on the wires near the ceiting on hooks to dry. It means I would have to climb a ladder to hang each one. My balance and stability in that position is now very risky.
ROOTS TO LIMBS TO LOGS © wood engraving (ed.25) image: 7 x 5 in. $100.00 (You can click on it to enlarge)

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

ROOTS TO LIMBS TO LOGS

Back in late January or early February I was forcing myself to get into the studio and get my mind off my aching back and my gloom-and-doom thoughts. I got the sketchbook out and tried to focus on it. I started pushing my pen around the paper and letting one line lead me to another without any idea or image in mind. Before long I began to see that the lines were following a linking pattern similar to the growth of roots and I picked that up and followed it. As I was integrating roots and limbs into what I already had on the paper, I started to think beyond a tree. I saw a link between the life of a tree and the life of all living things. Roots to limbs to logs.

Saturday, February 06, 2021

A WOOD ENGRAVING IN CHANGIN' TIMES

After the struggle to get things moving in the studio again, it's here at last. The new Alien of Planet Earth, Wolf Spider.
WOLF SPIDER © wood engraving (ed.18) image: 5 x 7 in. $100.00 (You can click on the image to enlarger it)

Thursday, February 04, 2021

TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN'

Times are changing, as Bob Dylan said in the lyrics of his song. The restrictions brought on due to the COVID pandemic have certainly reinforced that. My work in the studio has slowed to a crawl and my ambition and motivation have slipped nearly out of sight. I'd like to share with you how it has been for me. I have been finding moments, here and there, to do some sketches of "Aliens of Planet Earth". Eventually I decided to try a wolf spider, a unique species with excellent eyesight. The reason for the good eyesight is that they have eight eyes! So the series of sketches began, until I arrived at one I wanted to engrave. I drew it on a block and began to engrave. When I reached a point where I thought a proof was needed I printed one. I knew that, with my inacivity and lack of regular axercise, I didn't have the ability clean the press without wearing me out. So I inked the block with a hand roller, then printed it on the press. I was able to get a fair idea of what it would look like and scanned the proof when it was dry so I could use the computer prints to try out different alternatives by drawing on them. I finally reached a decision to print an edition. I started this morning and finished this afternoon. I knew that printing an edition the size I usually print was a bit over my ability to handle now and press clean-up would be a task that would take a lot out of me. So I ran a small edition. My most recent edition, Poodle Moth, was an edition of 33. Wolf Spider is an edition of 18. When the prints are dry I'll scan one and share it with you here.

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

PANDEMIC:

As I was thinking about the impact of the COVD 19 pandemic, the isolation and problems this has caused, I thought of one of the required protocols. The mask, which has had many people upset and willing to participate in violent protests. Then I remembered a wood engraving I had made in 2016 that I titled "Face Mask". Wait a minute! I believe the epidemic began in 2019! So, three years before the epidemic began, I (somehow) came upon an idea to create an image of a mask, placed over an item that was my symbol of "Facetime" (A clock. Clocks have faces) My description of the print content is in the "See What I'm Saying?" theme on the website http://www.telusplanet.net/public/jimwest/facemask.html, (and is included in my book). And how are meetings and large gatherings often conducted now? Yes! Facetime, the no-contact online gathering alternative.
Then, pondering this further, I remembered that the "Face Mask" print was not the first print, about wearing a mask, and I searched back further in time to 1994 and found "Loose Mask"! http://www.telusplanet.net/public/jimwest/lsmsk.htm. Now I have to wonder: Was this me getting some kind of message from some kind of creepy mystical other-worldly influence? Or am I just so bored and isolated that I've gone bonkers and have no incentive to settle down and get a new wood engraving started?

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

UP AND AT 'EM!

I've been out in the studio each day trying to focus on an idea to turn into a wood engraving. Most of the time there are only thoughts going through my head about the tough times, aches and pains and the boredom of isolation. But the other day the words dancing through my head stumbled a bit and got me headed in the "See What I'm Saying?" direction. I opened my "inkubator" (sketchbook) and started to put some images together to convert the words to a visual state. When I had it together and took a break, then came back later to see if there was any more I could do to it, I was confronted with an image that I found boring. (This is a common incident and part of the process.) So I kept pushing and pushing to see if I could come up with something else. Since the word relationships idea I had come up with was a dud, I turned my thoughts to the "Aliens of Planet Earth" and I've got some ideas I'm going to chase down. When I Have an image worked out I'll open the "inkubator" and let you have a peak.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

THAT'S ENOUGH

Enough is enough... More than enough. Hopefully, now on to something else. (Click on the sketch to enlarge)

Sunday, November 01, 2020

AS THE MOMENTS GO BY

Here's the next moment in the growing Pandemic Moment. Moment after moment the only moment that has my attention is this moment. So here it is... So far. I call this a progress report of the moment. (you can click on the image to enlarge it.)

Sunday, October 25, 2020

A PANDEMIC MOMENT

The other day (as frequently happens nowadays) I couldn't get myself motivated to work on something in the studio, so I decided to lay on the bed and read a book. After awhile I put the book down and just stared up at the white ceiling. The ceiling was apparently sprayed with what looks like little pebbles. As I stared and studied the little patterns of texture over the ceiling, quite a bit of time had gone by and I was in a trance following over the surface. It reminded me of the patterns of craters on the surface of the moon that have captured my attention and motivated me to create the wood engraving, "Mickey's Moon Landing". I decided to get off the bed and use this moment of Pandemic boredom to motivate me to at least do SOMETHING, even if it's mindless doodling in the sketchbook. At least it's in the studio and moving the pen around.
This is an earlier moment of the doodle:
This is where the moment has taken me today:

Saturday, October 24, 2020

WHAT THE.....?

Back on August 24 I tried to get to my website and all that came up was a notice from Telus that they were no longer going to offer websites to their clients. I tried over two or three more days and each time I got the same notice. Then I gave up and accepted it. No more website. I let more days go by then tried again...BINGO! There was my website! Since then it always opens. I don't know anything about the technology but I figured it had something to do with the fact that I had the file of my website sitting on my computer and when I entered the link to my website on my computer it was connecting to the file on my computer. Then I decided to ask a friend if he could get my website on his computer and...BINGO! He could get it! I kept asking others and it was the same story. Somewhere, out there in space my website is floating around, all disconnected, but still reachable: http://www.telusplanet.net/public/jimwest/

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

SOON TIME FOR AMERICANS TO THINK ABOUT THE STATUE OF LIMITATIONS

STATUE OF LIMITATIONS © wood engraving (ed.46) image: 7 x 5 in. $150.00 _______________________________________________________________________ The legal term, "statute of limitations" describes a law that is passed by a legislative body to set the maximum time after an event, within which legal proceedings can be initiated. Mention this term to someone who has never heard it before and it's a sure bet they will hear: "statue of limitations". During a discussion of this misunderstanding with Darrel Morrow, he dropped the hint (as he's done before) that there might be an image for a print there. As the idea began to grow, I remembered a quote from Tommy Douglas, a Canadian social democratic politician in the 30s who was instrumental in the establishment of the universal health care program in Canada. He said, “I don’t mind being a symbol but I don’t want to become a monument. There are monuments all over the Parliament Buildings and I’ve seen what the pigeons do to them.” And so, there grew out of all this, a statue of something that has limitations, including not enough room for all the pigeons who need it for their comfort. _________________________________________________________________________ So, American voters, think about it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

MICKEY'S MOON LANDING

In July I started "Mickey's Moon Landing" and in September I ran the edition. I haven't bothered to look back in my records to find out if this print took the longest for me to complete or not but I think it did. My ability to stay with it and concenrate has diminished as I age, but I was pleased that I finally ran the edition. A small one (20, plus two artist's proofs), but at least I did it. I have been captivated by photos of the surface of the moon, covered with craters, and I've enjoyed suddenly spotting arrangment of patterns that offer more than the craters.

Monday, August 24, 2020

NO MORE JIM WESTERGARD WEBSITE

I recently received notice (when I tried to open my own website) from my website server that "due to aging hardware", they have decided to shutdown subscriber websites. Oh well, I don't think there were that many visitors to my website anyway, other than scammers. 

So, scammers, what's your alternative route to scamming me now?

Monday, April 06, 2020

FINALLY, ANOTHER ONE

Just finished printing the edition of Poodle Moth, a new member of the Aliens of Planet Earth series. Like I've mentioned earlier, it seems to be taking longer to accomplish what I set out to do. I guess that's part of what goes with membership in the Octogenarian Society.


Wednesday, October 02, 2019

AND ANOTHER ONE...

Took a while, but a new Alien of Planet Earth was born a week or so ago, named Treehopper2. Like I said before, things are slowing down in the studio, and my pace, but they're still moving.

Thursday, August 01, 2019

ANOTHER ONE

I suppose I should look on the bright side and be happy that I finished another wood engraving. Decades ago I didn't have a second thought about completing an edition and moving on to the next one. Now it seems like a major milestone.

My latest is titled OWLKEYHOLE:

My comments on the image are on my website here: http://www.telusplanet.net/public/jimwest/owlkeyhole.html

Get it?





Monday, July 08, 2019

AN AWARD

Just got word from Porcupine's Quill, the publisher, that See What I'm Saying? was awarded the bronze medal by the eLit Awards, in the humor category. 
Yahoo!


Monday, July 01, 2019

KETCHUP

I like to substitute words that sound alike. If I wasn't doing that here I would have titled this post, CATCH-UP. As I mentioned a while back, things have really slowed down with me. They've slowed in many ways and in many areas. But I won't bore you with all of that. I'll bore you with what's been going on in the studio.

Anyway, moving on, I've forgotten to keep this Blogger thing going and I neglected to bring you up to date on my latest edition. I ran an edition of a new member of the Aliens Of Planet Earth. This one is an Octopus that I found interesting, partly because of the name it has been given. It's called the Dumbo Octopus. I suppose the fins on the sides of the bulbous body and the manner in which this octopus tucks in its tentacles makes it resemble the Disney cartoon character, Dumbo. So, it was named the Dumbo Octopus.


The edition was run in early June and then I moved on to try to keep the routine of working in the studio going. I fiddled around with the sketchbook and tried to focus on something that might be developed into an idea that would become visual. Remember catch-up - ketchup? Well, that sound similarity phenomenon became my next obsession and that's where I'm headed next (if I can pull it off visually). The secret is not letting my aging carcass take over. All it wants to do is veg. D'you know what "veg" means?  





Thursday, April 25, 2019

BRAGGING

I try to avoid bragging. I'm not comfortable with bragging. But I couldn't help sharing this with whomever reads this blog. So I'm not bragging, I'm sharing.

I received an e-mail from Porcupine's Quill Press the other day, informing me that my recent book they published, See What I'm Saying?, just received an award. The eLit Book Awards has awarded the book a bronze award in the humour category.

I've never heard of eLit Book Awards, so when I went on the website the publisher sent me, all I learned was that they are a digital publishing award organization. I couldn't tell where they are located, but I suppose if they are concentrating on "e" publications, they don't need a location. This has me curious because See What I'm Saying? was published as a real book, with real paper pages and cover. Oh well, I'm just pleased and proud that the book was recognized and awarded.