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Steamroller print by Ric Matthies

Don’t be distracted by Ric’s smile—see the puddles everywhere? See the winter gear people are wearing? Sunday was the craziest Wayzgoose yet, hands down. That’s because we had both the biggest crowd ever and the worst weather imaginable. So that smile is one of triumph: getting a decent steamroller print that day required beating some serious odds.

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It rained sideways while Jessica inked.

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It hailed while we lined up our block.

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Photo by Jamie Brooks

It froze while we peeled our prints up.

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Photo by Jamie Brooks

It blew a gale while I painted.

"Park Place" steamroller print by Chandler O'Leary and Jessica Spring

Still, despite the mishaps, I think it turned out alright. Jessica and I are calling our print “Park Place”—created in gratitude over the passage of a bond that would fund our city park system. The map in the center shows most of Tacoma’s parks, with twelve of our favorites called out like properties on a Monopoly board.

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We even took a snippet of the illustration and sent it over to the talented screenprinting booth folks, who turned it into a t-shirt design during the event (you can just see a peek of it in the upper left corner).

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Since the rain and wind prevented us from hanging the finished prints outside during Wayzgoose, most of the people who came that day didn’t get to see anybody’s finished print. So today Ric, Jessica and I remedied that.

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Thanks to Spaceworks Tacoma, all of this year’s steamroller prints are on exhibit in the Woolworth Windows downtown…

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…where you can see them—in fair weather or foul—now through August 21.

Thanks to everyone who visited or volunteered at Wayzgoose this year, and to King’s Books and the Tacoma Arts Commission for making it all happen!

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Here we are: year ten. Since the time Jessica Spring founded the Tacoma Wayzgoose all those years ago, it’s become one heckuva beast—and a veritable Tacoma institution.

So here are a few sneak peeks of the giant linoleum block Jessica and I are carving—and we’ll reveal all on Sunday:

10th Annual Tacoma Wayzgoose
Sunday, April 27, 2014
11 am to 4 pm, Free!
King’s Books
218 St. Helens Avenue, Tacoma, WA

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If you’re new here and don’t know what a Wayzgoose is, or you just want to relive the glory days of old, here are links to all the Wayzgeese (gooses?) I’ve been a part of:

2009 (Tacoma)
2010 (Tacoma)
2011 (Tacoma)
2011 (San Francisco)
2012 (Tacoma)
2013 (Tacoma)

Itching for more? Well, then, see you on Sunday!

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If you earn your living by drawing pictures, you have to spend a lot of time with your head down and your eyes on your paper. Yet at this time of year, with spring coming along fast (at least in the Northwest…), life hurries by at a frantic pace. I hate the idea of missing any of it—so I’m always happy for any reminder to stop and really look around me. So for our newest Dead Feminist broadside, we’re heeding the words of one of America’s greatest photographers:

The seeing eye is the important thing.  — Imogen Cunningham

This piece is a major departure from what we’ve done in the past—as you can plainly see. For the first time ever we’ve printed the broadside on black paper—which helped us “pull the focus” (if you will) onto the quote. It also provided a beautiful backdrop for a tribute to someone who spent her life creating black-and-white images.

Surrounding the quote is an intricate metallic silver filigree of spring botanicals and portraiture, creating a pastiche of the subjects of some of Imogen Cunningham’s most iconic photographs—while the color choice references the traditional silver-gelatin photographic process. In the eye of the storm of imagery is the all-seeing camera lens, looking out onto the world.

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Jessica has her own secret-sauce recipe for gold ink, and while we’ve used it before in our series (like in Gun Shy), nothing makes it look so fabulous as a dark background. The gold ink looked amazing on press—we kind of wished we could just leave the ink on there permanently, because that’s some serious bling. (It almost made the Vandercook feel like some sort of super-cool Bond gadget.)

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As always, we donate a portion of the proceeds of the series to a nonprofit that aligns with the message of each piece. To help sharpen the seeing eyes of the artists of tomorrow, this time we’ve chosen Youth in Focus — a nonprofit that puts cameras in the hands of at-risk youth to “teach them how to develop negatives into positives.”

Focal Point: No. 19 in the Dead Feminists series
Edition size: 164
Poster size: 10 x 18 inches

Printed on an antique Vandercook Universal One press, on archival, 100% rag (cotton) paper. Each piece is numbered and signed by both artists.

Colophon reads:
Imogen Cunningham (1883 - 1976) graduated from the University of Washington in 1907, earning a degree in chemistry with her thesis on chemical processes in photography. Shortly afterward she was hired by photographer Edward Curtis, who taught her platinum printing and portraiture. She opened her own successful studio in Seattle, and published an article entitled “Photography as a Profession for Women.” In 1917, Cunningham and her husband and son relocated to California, where she gave birth to twin boys. Her children and the plants in her garden then became key subjects of her work. Her experiments with double exposure throughout the 1920s and 30s contributed to a growing appreciation of photography as art. She was a founding member of Group f/64, a collective of influential west coast photographers including Ansel Adams and Edward Weston. The group mounted a 1932 exhibition at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, united by a manifesto declaring “photography as an art form by simple and direct presentation.” Cunningham’s vision came through in both her personal and commercial work: unvarnished celebrity portraits for Vanity Fair; documentary street photography; nudes and botanical images — a lifetime of work that continues to challenge and intrigue viewers.

Illustrated by Chandler O’Leary and printed by Jessica Spring, grateful for artists who remind us to focus.

Available now in the Dead Feminists shop!

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This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the Tacoma Wayzgoose! The festival isn’t until the end of April, but we’re celebrating early with an exhibit of all the giant steamroller prints created over the years at the Pacific Lutheran University Gallery. It’s going to be a doozy!

And I’m honored to see that the artwork I created with Jessica Spring is gracing all the promo materials for the exhibit! (Thanks, PLU.) If you’re in the Seattle-Tacoma area this Wednesday, stop by for the opening, won’t you?

In the meantime, we’re about to get crackin’ on this year’s steamroller print…look for a teaser soon.

"Love Birds" illustration series by Chandler O'Leary

Here they are! My new line of bird illustrations has arrived, just in (the nick of) time for Valentine’s Day.

Bird illustration by Chandler O'Leary

In the shop you’ll find snazzy new postcards…

Bird gift tags by Chandler O'Leary

…gift tags (I’m particularly excited about these)…

temporary bird tattoo by Chandler O'Leary

…and even fun temporary tattoos! This is all just a taste of what I’ve got planned for this year—look for more soon.

In the meantime, head on over and see if something catches your fancy. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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For the past few days I’ve been painting while wrapped in a thick wool shawl and wearing fingerless gloves—but howl as it might, no polar vortex can dim my bright tropical paints.

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I’m putting the finishing touches on a few new goodies,

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just in time for Valentine’s Day. If you’re local, you can find them at my table at the craft fair this weekend! Here’s the skinny:

Tacoma is for Lovers Valentine Craft Fair
Saturday & Sunday, February 8 & 9
11 am to 4 pm both days, free!
King’s Books
218 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma, WA

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If you’re not local, they’ll go online in the Etsy shop this weekend, too. I’ll be back with an announcement post when they’re up. In the meantime, stop by the fair and say hello!

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It’s the new year—time to hang some new artwork. I’m pleased to announce that I’ve got a new solo exhibit opening this Thursday!

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The show is in the most unlikely of places: a dentist’s office. I kid you not. But Dr. Jamie Brooks (we all call her Dr. Jamie) is no ordinary dentist, and her space is no ordinary clinic—it’s an absolutely stunning piece of modern interior architecture, and twice a year she adorns it with new work by regional artists. Dr. Jamie really understands the value of adding art to the mix of our everyday lives, and has turned a utilitarian space into something really special—and supporting local artists while she’s at it.

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Once the show opens and local folks get the chance to see it first, I’ll post all the images here—but for now, here’s a little taste. Each of the 16 illustrations in the exhibit is a hand-lettered homage to Tacoma’s blazing neon history, told through iconic signage of days past. The images are arranged as day-and-night diptychs, painted on white and black paper, respectively.

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So if you find yourself in the Northwest in the coming months, be sure to stop by!

You’ll Like Tacoma: a solo exhibit
On display through June 30, 2014
Opening reception Thursday, January 16, 5 to 7 pm
Brooks Dental Studio
732 Broadway, Tacoma, WA 98402

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The Tailor and I are off on a winter road trip to spend the holidays with family and friends. I chose this picture out of pure wishful thinking, in hopes that the mountains in our path will be bare of snow…

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…though I have a feeling they’re going to look a lot more like this.

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Wherever you’re spending your holidays this year, may the short days be filled with bright winter sunshine—

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—and may the nights glow with warm, festive light.

Happy holidays!

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Even though it’s nearly as late as it could possibly be, here I am thinking, “Already?!?” But it’s true—even if you don’t do Black Friday (as you can probably guess, I’m partial to Small Business Saturday myself), today’s the “official” opener of the holiday season. And for perhaps the first time ever, I’m actually ready for it! (Well, mostly.) This year I’ve got new stuff in three different online shops—in honor of the three arms of my little business (though of course, if you ever want to combine items into one order, just drop me a line and I’ll make it happen).

First up is my Anagram Press shop, where you’ll find two new holiday cards, inspired by mid-century vintage kitsch.

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(One has just a touch of Griswold-y goodness…)

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Also new this year are three sets of crazy-strong glass magnets by Seattle’s own iPop, featuring my bird designs! I’m so proud and excited to have these that I’m tempted to plaster every metal surface in my studio with them.

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Next up, a little holiday travel: I’m pleased to announce the Souvenir Shop is now open on Drawn the Road Again, my new travel blog! You’ll find a big array of prints available there—

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from the first installments of my new 50 States Series

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—to original illustrations inspired by travel destinations.

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And because enough people have asked for it, there are even prints of some of my sketchbook drawings—including a Pick-a-Sketch custom order option.

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Last but not least, the Dead Feminists shop has some new additions as well—starting with a small letterpress keepsake version of the Birth of Venus steamroller print Jessica and I did earlier this year.

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And we’ve finally restocked our supply of mini letterpress journals (you folks cleaned us out last time we had them in the shop, and it took quite awhile to make and photograph more!). We call ‘em “Lemonade Journals,” because we made them from the “lemons” that crop up during printing—misregistered prints and tiny flaws that otherwise would have ended up in the recycling bin. But with some cute stitching and fun colored paper on the inside, Jessica turned them into perfect little stocking stuffers.

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Whew! That’s the whole kit n’ kaboodle. Keep in mind that some of the travel and sketchbook prints require a lead time to produce, so be sure to get any made-to-order requests in early! I’ll be shipping holiday orders daily until 4 pm PST on Tuesday, December 17 (when the shops will close for the holiday break).

In the meantime, I’m raising a virtual glass of eggnog to you: happy holidays!

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I love the hush that takes over the house, after the turkey goes in the oven and the table is set, but before the guests start arriving. It’s that little breath of time that reminds me to pause and remember that every raised glass, every hug, every laugh around the table makes the world just a tiny bit better. I’m thankful for that today—and for you, for joining me here as you do.

Whether today finds you snowbound or sweltering, at work or at home—happy Thanksgiving.