Jon Seals – An Artist You Should Know About

In the winding path that has led me to Art – both as an educator and as an artist in my own right – I have been so fortunate to meet some pretty amazing artists along the way.  Artists that inspire me, influence me, and make my day brighter simply because I have the good fortune to know them.
Derrick Riley, Jon Hale, Toni Hobbs, Ross Zirkle, Natalie Brockman, Stevie Moore, Jim Foose, Bob Franzini  – well, the list could go on and on. I didn’t even me mention Li or Gary Mesa-Gaido!
This list of amazing artist – and those known but not listed because it would be too long – were all those I met in post-secondary (college) or while working on my Master’s. They are peers, instructors, and in many cases my friends. Still, the first artist – aside from my art teacher, Mr. B – to really impress, inspire, and move me was my friend, Jon Seals.
I encourage you to check out Jon’s website for info about him and his work. What I can tell you about Jon is that he is extremely talented, has a unique artistic vision, and is just an all around great guy. More

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Linoleum Printmaking – From the Beginning

Oohhhhh.....Aahhhhhhh....

For my next project, I had every intention of working on a painting. I’ve been working on a lot of paintings lately, and it just seemed right to continue on this same course of action. Still, since working on this blog, I’ve had so many ideas and so many things I’ve wanted to do that it just seems right to go back to what I enjoy doing most: printmaking!

Printmaking incorporates the things I like about drawing and painting: line work and color theory. I freely admit, my line work can always use work and my color theory (use of color in an artwork) is sometimes screwy, but I love it! Every time I draw or add color to a work, I learn something new that I can share with others (mainly my students).

While a lot of artists use wood, copper plates, or stone for their prints, I prefer linoleum. It’s affordable, water-soluble inks can work with it, and it can be used in a classroom. Those were the criteria I used when I first chose this medium (what the artwork is created with/from) as a Master’s student at Morehead State University. I was first introduced to printmaking though at the University of Kentucky where I took a woodcut class taught by Derrick Riley (great instructor, fantastic artist!). The same skills are used in both, but I found the linoleum to be easier to work with and just more fun over all.

For this next project, I wanted to go through step by step in my process for those of you interested in creating your own prints. I will be using golden linoleum which is a little easier to carve than battleship linoleum – typically used in a classroom because its cheaper, a Speedball lino cutter, and water-soluble inks. Before any of the tools can be used though, I have to decide on a subject. I will be using the characters shown above from my earlier painting sketches (seen in previous blogs) and I’ve set them watching fireworks. I still haven’t decided whether or not to do this as a reduction print, but I’ll decide by the next time I post.

Linoleum (prior to re-sizing) and Speedball cutter w/ gouges