Studio Visit: J.J. L’Heureux

Bergy Bit Paintings on Nepalese Paper
Artist’s Statement by J. J. L’Heureux     
www.jjlheureux.com

“I am an abstract painter. I often use landscape as the inspiration for my work. The road from the physical environment to the inspiration on the canvas attempts to convey my enthusiasm and attraction to a place, its wildlife and selected aspects of the actual physical scenery.

Antarctica is remote, vast, windy and cold. Yet it is the most pristine place in all regards. It contains life in the most amazing forms and adaptations including penguins (birds that do not fly), birds that fly, seals, whales and in few places a handful of plants. While it is a place dominated by white on white there are colors in this setting of ice and snow that most people would be surprised to see.

Few people have had the privilege to travel to any part of this continent. There is a complex process underway among the many nations working in Antarctica of expanding the imagery of Antarctica into our shared cultural inventory of word, picture, music and scientific discovery.

Since my first visit thirteen years ago I have been building my own visual vocabulary. Bergy Bits is my first series of ice paintings. I have a photographic series that captures the colors and life in the snow and ice landscape. It is my intention to use different disciplines to capture my varied responses to this most wondrous place.

Close up look at Bergy Bits by J.J.

I have been to the Southern Ocean 13 times, the last in March 2013 when I was able to fly into the Taylor Dry Valley and study the Canada Glacier, one for the only “moving without movement” glaciers as it stays in approximately the same place because as it moves slowly forward it evaporates at the front inthe extremely windy, dry and extra cold air. It is my intention to find additional venues to explore different parts of this vast and inspiring place. The art will follow.

By definition Bergy Bits are large chunks of glacier ice or a very small iceberg floating in the sea. They are generally spawned from disintegrating icebergs and glaciers.”

We visited J.J.’s studio in late July, to see the Bergy Bits Series she was finishing up on. We were surprised to see how she incorporated the textured Nepalese papers into her work, using the bumpy textures of the papers to portray the coarse surfaces of the actual icebergs in the Southern Ocean. Over some coffee and J.J’s delicious homemade chocolate pudding, we asked her a few questions regarding her work:

Why did you choose to work with the Nepal papers for this series?
I loved the Nepal paper’s texture. I used to create my own bumpy textures on smooth papers, but when I found this Nepalese paper at Hiromi, it saved me a lot of trouble.

Do you go through any special preparations?
I have someone make the special size custom panels for me, then stretch the papers on to them and adhered with PVA glue. Then, I apply gesso before I start with my oil paints. I feel that oil paints have more texture than acrylic, which tends to become ‘flat’.

What is your main inspiration?
Well of course it comes from my expeditions to the South Ocean! Since 2000, I’ve been going every year on these adventures, and have been making art, conducting research and helping people ever since.

How long have you been using papers from Hiromi Paper?
Since Hiromi was at the Marina Del Rey location. She has the best papers, best variety and most availability. No one is disappointed with Hiromi’s Papers!

Check out our Nepal Paper here.

Thank You, J.J.!

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Artist Feature: Jalal Poehlman of Poehlman Press

Poehlman Press
Phone: 213.344.9692

I had the pleasure of visiting Poehlman Press, a fine-art printing studio in Downtown Los Angeles. Jalal Poehlman, artist and founder of Poehlman Press, works closely with each individual for every printing job. His clientele ranges from artists around the world, galleries, photographers, exclusive hotels, casinos, and more, many of which continuously come back for multiple projects. Some of his favorite projects include photographer Hannah Collins for the Ford Foundation and John Baldessari in 2002. Jalal showed me around his printing studio and a few of his wonderful prints. He also shared some insight on printing with paper and profiles. This led into a collaboration project we are working on with Jalal to print on washi for people to see at our retail location. Here is a little Q&A with Jalal Poehlman on printing:

How did you get into the profession of printing?

As an art student in the 90s, I became interested in ways to output digitally created artwork. After reading Walter Benjamin’s 1936 essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproducibility”, I became fascinated by the potential of reaching a larger and more diverse audience through digital and mechanical reproduction. At that time, there was only one type of printer that came close to producing similar image quality of a traditionally exposed color photograph. That printer was the venerable IRIS inkjet printer, which had the unique advantage of the ability to make those prints on a large variety of art papers, including washi. Very few people had done the engineering necessary to convert these $126,000 complex and finicky pre-press proofing systems to produce fine art. One of those pioneers is a man named Jack Duganne who is the owner and master print maker at Duganne Ateliers in Santa Monica. After leaving graduate school and landing in Los Angeles I asked around about who was doing the best digital printmaking in Los Angeles and I was told a number of times that it was Jack Duganne. Because I could not otherwise afford to learn and use the technology I needed in order to produce my artwork I knocked on Jack’s door and asked him for a job. Jack is a great teacher and lovely human being and 15 years later and with much thanks to him here I am.

What are some differences with printing on washi compared to other paper?

Washi papers offer much more variety of texture, weight, tone and color as compared to other papers and especially to other fine art quality inkjet papers. Washi papers also tend to be much stronger than western cotton papers and like gampi for example, can remain strong as a very thin and translucent material.

Lastly, do you have any advice or tips with printing on washi for people?

Ideally when printing fine art and photography, custom profiling including sophisticated ink-limiting and linearisation should be performed for each ink/paper/resolution combination. When that is done, the maximum imaging potential of each paper is achieved. I use professional profiling hardware and software as well as a third party RIP to maximize print quality and accuracy.

Short of the professional approach, I have a few tips for printing washi on a high quality inkjet printer such as offered by HP, Canon, and Epson. Generally, the brighter white the paper is, the better color and contrast you will be able to achieve. Ironically, the dominant inkjet printer technology is Japanese and I have never seen a washi printing preset in any print drivers. Perhaps that is because of the huge variety of hand and machine made washi papers available. The paper settings in your print driver among other things controls the amount of ink that is allowed to go onto the paper. Coated washi papers can accept more ink than uncoated papers, they will give the best results. Experiment with fine art paper settings when using coated washi paper. When using uncoated papers, I’ve found that picking a plain paper setting often works best. When an image doesn’t come out as brilliantly as we want sometimes the first instinct is to lay down more ink. Quite often we are overloading the paper giving us muddy looking prints. Better results may be obtained from laying down less ink.
Thank You, Jalal!

A Visit to TreeSpace Studio

TreeSpace Studio

Amy T. Won

www.treespacestudio.com

Watercolors on Khadi.

It started out as a project to create her wedding invitations, and escalated to more invitation requests from couples. Amy is now taking the time to work on her own art. She has been drawing all her life, and attended school for architecture. During a mission to find paper sources, she was led to us, and we have been big fans ever since the first time she brought in her work! Last week, Yuki and I were more than excited to be able to visit her enchanted studio. Take a look around!

Continue reading “A Visit to TreeSpace Studio”

A Visit to Angeles Press

Toby Michel and Mary Michel

Angeles Press

www.angelespress.com

Toby Michel with some prints on Niyodo White.
Toby Michel with some prints on Niyodo White.

A couple of days ago, Yuki and I had the pleasure to visit the studio of Angeles Press, which was only a 5 minute car ride away from Hiromi Paper! We were immediately greeted with prints done on our paper such as Niyodo White, as pictured above, and on the KM-03 Surface Gampi White, which was deemed as a favorite, and can be seen below.

Photography, editing, and printing by Mary Michel.
Photography, editing, and printing by Mary Michel on KM-03.

Angeles Press has been around for over 30 years and is now focusing in the digital field. Mary and Toby work intimately with clients on their projects to meet their every needs, whether it is for just a single print or editions. It was amazing to be able to experience how they transform images, some were even taken by smart phone’s, in to physical art work. We were able to work with them on printing with various Japanese and Bhutanese paper’s, which is just a sliver of what they are capable of printing on.

angelesvisit3

Painting by Victoria Sutherland, printed on Asuka 150g 17"x22".
Painting by Victoria Sutherland, printed on Asuka 150g 17″x22″.
From Victoria Sutherland. Printed on HP-61 Okawara Small.
From Victoria Sutherland. Printed on HP-61 Okawara Small.
Image taken by Trisha O'Keefe, "White Egret". Print on top with an Epson paper, bottom with MM-23 Shirakabe.
Image taken by Trisha O’Keefe, “White Egret”. Print on top with an Epson paper, bottom with MM-23 Shirakabe.

 

Thank you again for showing us around, Angeles Press!

 

Hillary Gruenberg “Longing”

Image

Local artist, Hillary Gruenberg, is now exhibiting “Longing” featured in the Project Room of Lois Lambert Gallery at Bergamot Station until March 9th, 2014!

Hillary has over 300 letter-sized mixed media works on variations of paper such as our Yucatan and Bhutan papers displayed across the walls of the gallery.

See more to view images and to read Hillary’s artist statement from her press release.

Continue reading “Hillary Gruenberg “Longing””

Celebrate Hiromi Paper’s 25th Anniversary with Us!

Date: September 28th, 2013 (Saturday)
Time: 6.30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Location: Hiromi Paper, Bergamot Station.
2525 Michigan Ave, Suite G-9
Santa Monica, CA 90404

25 years ago Hiromi Paper opened to serve a connection between Japanese paper-makers and artists around the world. This year we will be celebrating our quarter century anniversary and we would love to have you join in on our festivities! An evening reception will take place right at Bergamot Station, where our retail store is located. We will also be joined by paper-makers from Kochi and Fukui, Japan. Stop by for some drinks, grub, and to mingle with fellow paper/art lovers and makers! There will also be a special 25% discount off all items in-store on the day of the reception party.

Please RSVP by calling or emailing.

Apron

Check out our new aprons, which we will be selling for $15.00! Contact us for more information.

Studio Visit: Geraldine Neuwirth

Curtain Call, 2010

New York native artist Geraldine Neuwirth opened up her studio to us and shared some insightful words about the nature of her art.

Geraldine with “Spinning Class”.

This certain piece is around the size of the average human height, measuring at 98″ x 68″. Her work is often framed, making the piece even larger in person, and this is how she would transport them from her studio to her exhibitions. Geraldine regularly showcases in California and New York, just this year she had a POP UP exhibition at 74 Market Street in LA, and the previous year she had a solo show at the Wendt-Gallery in New York.

Geraldine not only works in large sizes, some of her smaller pieces are done on the Shojo-shi paper. These bold, dream-like and intricate shapes are done with an ink media, sometimes mixed with pastel, and often intermingled with more shapes added on by collage.

The combination of shapes and colors are familiar to Geraldine such as one would be to a “language”. They come to her in their own form of vocabulary and speak to her through influences of the circus and theater. Growing up in New York, Geraldine was no stranger to the theater world, because her father had worked at the Shubert Theatre. One of her two daughters, Irene Neuwirth, is also well known in the business with her designer jewelry.

Her works-in-progress are mounted on the wall as she studies them from afar sensing where to change certain shapes or colors for the final product. Even if a piece has entered the final stage, in the future it has a possibility of changing or being pulled apart to be used in other pieces.

This is another set of mix media work done on our Mohachi 22″x22″. Geraldine often creates a number of pieces that fit together pleasantly, either by color, shape, or size, and show them in groups. She is also working on 3 dimensional constructions as well. Also, you may have noticed by now that Geraldine does not follow the shape of the paper. She likes to create life and energy at the borders, extending her art without limit. When asked she says, “why stop on paper?”.

Another source of her inspiration comes from her transformation through the hardships and changes in her life. Her work is very personal, and the objects and colors call out to certain emotions differently for each individual audience member. Observing her work is really an experiential process, at times you even feel yourself falling into it.

Playground, 2010

Thank you so much for allowing us to visit your studio, Geraldine!